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U-TIMES U. City High School 7401 Balson Ave University City, MO 63130

U-Times Feb. 2018 Volume 28, Issue 3


‘A Walk with Martin’ inspires paintings ByKathryn Fuller Co-Editor

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to celebrate and remember the legacy MLK left behind. Along with district music students, orchestra and band students, Marnie Claunch’s 3rd period Pre AP Studio Art class participated in creating artwork for the annual MLK day celebration, “A Walk With Martin.” The art was displayed in the front of the building during the celebration on Jan. 12. To represent his impact on the world, students spent two weeks creating images of King. “With it being Pre-AP, they are taking techniques and methods that they’ve learned and they’ve created their own project based on how they want to show a celebration of MLK.” Shu’Ray Butler, junior, chose to paint Martin Luther King Jr. when he was a child. “Nobody really talks about him as a child and he’s like a father figure so we thought it would be cool to paint him as a kid,” Butler said. The artwork was displayed in the main hallway as people walked into the auditorium for the celebration. “It makes me feel kind of excited [that people are looking at my work], but it also makes me feel kind of nervous,” Butler said. For Anaiah Easley, recognition for her artwork is a big deal considering she’s only a sophomore. “I’m honored,” Easley said. “It’s a very nice experience since we’re sophomores and we’re going to have our paintings looked at.” Claunch hopes that the artwork will have an impact on people who came to the celebration. “I hope that when people come, they will be inspired by their work,” Claunch said. Destiny Martin, senior, who is enrolled in the AP Studio Art class, created the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was used on flyers put up around schools and posted on the school district’s website and Facebook page. “The drawing was for an assignment and I decided to draw it on my iPad and then Ms. Claunch really liked it and sent it to the district,” Martin said. Martin created the image on an app called Procreate on her iPad in just three hours and forty-five minutes. Martin even received praise from the district for her artwork. “I got recognized for it at a U. City board meeting,” Martin said.

Sophomore Anaiah Easley works on the project she shared with fellow sophomore Nyjah Hudson. “We wanted to do something that [allowed people] to visualize Martin Luther King’s quote ‘I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear,’” Easley said. “Eventually, painting this became easier as we continued to paint our thoughts onto the canvas.” PHOTOS BY KATHRYN FULLER

While she paints, Ashlynn Jenkins, senior, explains her project. “I was dripping the paint to create atmosphere around Martin Luther King’s face because I thought it was missing something and wanted to liven it up. It shows how he drained himself to make progress in the world, and all the blood he shed was for people to move forward.”

Using a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a child, Shu’Rya Butler, junior, puts the finishing touches on his face.“Usually, MLK isn’t pictured as a child,” Butler said. “So why not.”

Nyjah Hudson, sophomore, works on her shared project with Anaiah Easley, sophomore. “Since we have a very diverse friend group ourselves, we wanted to portray this in our piece.”


Opinion/News • Staff editorial • Senioritis


• Military ball

4-5 Alternative Options • LLC • Dual enrollment

• Co-op • E2020

Features • Exchange student

6 • Book Review

7 Sports • Winter sports wrap up

• Conference realignment

February 2018



Cafeteria food falls short of students’ expectations Public school lunches are not known to be gourmet or fancy. In fact, it’s a common observation nationwide that school lunches are lacking. At our school, it is common to hear a student talking about how the food doesn’t taste or look good or that they’re stuck eating the same thing every day. Well, they’re not lying. The food at our school is not appetizing and students get tired of the existing menu served everyday. The food is not healthy and should not be served to high school students who need to be consuming nutritional food. Another issue involving lunchtime is that the cafeteria is short staffed. As a result of being short staffed, the cafeteria staff takes a while to provide the food so students have to wait in line for practically the whole lunch period before they can sit down with their food to eat, so by the time they actually get their food, the lunch period is almost over and they only have a few minutes to eat. Also, students are only allowed to have one serving of the main dish each day. How is one piece of pizza enough for a growing teenager? Chartwells provides meals to our school based on what food options are most picked by students. According to Susan Hill, principal, if students don’t pick a new meal that Chartwells provide, Chartwells will stop serving that item. For example, when kids grab the junky nachos instead of a new food item from Chartwells, they will continue serving the nachos over the new food item. During Barack Obama’s presidency,

Michelle Obama introduced The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. According to obamawhitehouse., “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children. This particular bill reauthorizes child nutrition programs for five years and includes $4.5 billion in new funding for these programs over 10 years.” The idea behind this bill was to “give USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) the authority to set nutritional standards, provide additional funding to schools that meet updated nutritional standards, help communities establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, build on USDA’s work to improve nutritional quality of commodity foods, expand access to drinking water, and set basic standards

for school wellness policies.” This bill sounds like a great idea, but in reality, school lunches actually went downhill after the bill was introduced. The reality of this bill is that it accomplished none of those things except for the fact that the USDA could set nutritional standards. Standards that don’t actually mean the food is healthy. “It is frustrating that there are foods that could fit in the [federal] guidelines that aren’t necessarily healthy,” Susan Hill, principal, said. Instead of the bill encouraging students to eat healthy, nutritious foods, it caused students to just not eat lunch at all because they don’t like the “healthy” options that are being served. Students skipping lunch creates an even bigger problem. However, since Donald Trump has taken office, his administration has rolled back Obama’s healthy food

Turkey ranch wrap as pictured on Chartwells’ website. This wrap contains 1450mg of sodium even though the American Heart Assoc. recommends no more than 2,300mg a day. That means that this wrap contains more than half the recommended amount of sodium.

Turkey ranch wrap as served in cafeteria. According to Caleb Perkins, senior, the wrap “tastes dry, bland, and it’s not enough to fill you up.” This wrap is also missing bacon and lettuce. PHOTO BY ASHLYNN JENKINS

initiative. According to NPR, “... Newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, announced a rollback of school lunch standards championed by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would “Make School Meals Great Again.” So without the barrier of the government’s regulations and standards of school lunches, it’s time to fix the food. Chartwells needs to provide better options and students need to be open to trying them, instead of grabbing the pizza or nachos. We could also bring in outside restaurants, such as Subway or Chick-fil-A, that can cater food for students who are willing and capable of paying. This way, students will want to eat lunch, and have better options. However, we would have to be sensitive to the fact that some kids can’t afford to buy lunch outside of school, because school lunch is free for everyone. “Not every kid is going to have the means to purchase [outside food] so we do have to be mindful,” Hill said. Lastly, it would be wise to add 10 minutes to our lunch period. By increasing how much time we have for lunch, it will provide students more of an opportunity to socialize with their friends and relax so they are less likely to be doing those things during class time. It also gives more time for eating so students will be full and more likely to concentrate on their schoolwork instead of concentrating on their hunger.

The reality of senioritis: multiple solutions exist By Zhong-Mei Webb Staff Writer

Usually around this time, the average high school senior begins to feel as if they’ve reached their limit or believe that it’s just not necessary to put in as much effort as they had been for the past three years. I like to say that I’ve had senioritis for the entire length of high school which then makes me ask myself: what is senioritis? In actuality, I only fit some of the “symptoms” of this condition myself, among them, an unwillingness to to finish assignments, seemingly unable to show up to school and classes on time, general laziness, total inattentiveness in class and a tendency to procrastinate. Of course these vary from person to person, and since this is not recognized as an actual disease or a real medical condition, there may be no way to actually determine whether or not it even exists. This, just like most words in the English language, is a label, a reason, an explanation as to why so many students nearing the end of their high school careers experience similar traits of idleness.

2017-2018 U-Times Staff Co-Editor: Lucy Wurst Co-Editor: Kathryn Fuller Sports Editor: Julian Albright Web Editor: Julian Albright Staff Writers/Photographers: Linsey Sparks Zhong-Mei Webb Ashlynn Jenkins Kaya Blount Eliot Fuller Clayton Miller Adviser: Mrs. Mary Williams

Senioritis could be the result of other actual problems the student may be experiencing, such as family quarrels, scheduling, extracurriculars, relationships, traumatic events and other innumerable hardships, all of which could be an inconvenience and can add a considerable burden to anyone. At this point, goals that at once might have seemed achievable might now seem impossible, or pointless. “You’re just tired of being at school. Just being here the teachers start to care less towards the end of your junior year,” Donte Ball, senior, said. “I think it’s a problem, it could be serious, it makes you want to give up. Your grades start to drop, not my grades personally, you lose your motivation to work. I want to sleep in class, don’t want to get up [in the morning], always complaining, and wanting to leave three hours early.” The main thing that seems to deviate this from general high school anxiety is that senioritis takes place during the senior year, which means making big decisions that could make a huge impact on the rest of your life. Deciding on what you want to do after you graduate (should I take a gap year and work? Should I go to community college?


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Should I just go to a school within my state? Which scholarships should I apply for? Should I join the military?), you may or not be squeezing in even more extra-curricular activities than usualmostly of the voluntary sort, and trying to graduate at all. All of this is far less troublesome when you have others to confide in, and assist. People like your guidance counselor, Mrs. Johnson. “Senioritis is just the feeling that seniors get towards the end of second semester when they feel like school should be over, and they do not have to motivation to put forth a strong effort because they are so focused on what is coming next,” Johnson said. “It is only a serious problem if you haven’t finished the classes you need to graduate. It’s especially difficult for those students, who are still working on their credits and their friends are done and just having fun. I think any time you are about to experience a major life transition, it’s easy to only focus on what is coming next and lose track of the here and now.” Most solutions are akin to those that you’d find for writer’s block or even conditions such as ADHD. These involve training yourself to become focused,

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more grounded, and apply principles of time management. Another solution is to really get invested into your education, actually care about what you’re learning and find enjoyment in it, which might be easier said than done, but when this is achieved, everything seems to be effortlessly obtained. You could make checklists, time yourself and designate breaks so you could lessen the chances of becoming distracted, rewarding yourself after you’ve accomplished something or finding the accomplishment itself to be a suitable reward. Pay attention to your health, and that includes taking the time to treat yourself and relax, get plenty of sleep and consume enough nutrients to get you through the day. The general idea is to not be too hard on yourself, which I could also take into consideration. Most colleges do look at your grades, attendance and disciplinary records throughout the school year even after admittance and can withdraw it if your GPA falls, or for any other reason possible.

Opinions expressed on the editorial page do not reflect the viewpoints of the school administration. All editorials (unsigned) represent a majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Signed editorials, columns, editorial cartoons, and reviews reflect the views of the author and not necessarily those of the U-Times Editorial Board. The U-Times reserves the right to reject, edit, or shorten letters. Submit letters to Mrs. Mary Williams in Room L306, or to any U-Times staff

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February 2018

Military Ball bids final farewell to Col. Henson By Lucy Wurst and Ashlynn Jenkins Co-Editor and Staff Writer

It was the last dance for Col. Henson, and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, or JROTC, team was determined to make it special. Henson retires at the end of this year. Students were greeted at the doors of the Clayton Plaza Hotel by the JROTC cadets and escorted down a flight of stairs by one of the members into a grand ballroom, where the annual Military Balltook place on Feb. 2. Balloons spelling out the names of the two schools in attendance at the ball, Soldan and U. City, were placed opposite sides of the room, separated by a dance floor in the middle and the head table where the leaders from both schools sat, including Henson. The night began with a social hour between the schools. “I liked meeting new people from Soldan,” said Marco Puma, sophomore. “But my favorite part of the night was the scavenger hunt.” Henson and Msgt. Stewart put on a musical chairs scavenger hunt where people in the crowd must help the contestants by reading off items from a list for them to retrieve. It could be anything from a driver’s license to a woman’s shoe. Henson had a wide grin as he watched the students frantically running around in search of each item. Although Henson is planning on retiring from his 10-year teaching career, he still plans on coaching so he can maintain interaction with his former students. “If there is one thing I will miss, it has to be the students,” Henson said looking back on his years of teaching. “My favorite part is working with the students and seeing them mature through the program to become successful.” Prior to his many years of “service” to our school, Henson was in active duty for the U.S. Air Force, as well as Director of Human Resources for U.S. Nepcon. And before teaching in the JROTC program, Henson actually planned on teaching history, earning a social studies teaching certificate before choosing another route. “Teaching is a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Henson said. “I have a great respect for teachers who have been doing this for a long time.”

Find more news and photos online

Jordan McNeal, senior, is front and center on the dance floor with her friends. “I really enjoyed the Military Ball, considering it’s my last year,” McNeal said. “I had fun with my friends and was happy to dress up and show out one last time.” PHOTOS BY ASHLYNN JENKINS AND SYDNEY LUCAS

Laughing together, Aaliyah Moore, senior, and Demetruis Willingham, sophomore, make the most of the Military Ball. “The best part was dancing with a sandwich in one [hand] and a chicken wing in the other while doing the Cupid Shuffle and not dropping any food or missing a beat,” Moore said. “Like, I wasn’t gonna sit through the Cupid Shuffle, but I also wanted to eat, especially that chicken.”

At his last Military Ball, Col. Henson dances “The Twist,” his favorite dance from his youth, which he dances to every year at the ball. “I thought this was the best Military Ball we’ve had in the 10 years I’ve been here,” said Henson.

North and South Korea join forces for Olympics

Student held at gunpoint in Tutti Frutti robbery

By Linsey Sparks Staff Writer

By Linsey Sparks Staff Writer

Two years after their last diplomatic talk, North and South Korea have come to a major decision surrounding the 2018 Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea. It was announced in early January that North Korea would be sending a team to the games this year. Not only that, but one of their teams would be a joint women’s ice hockey team with them and South Korea and they will be marching together in the parade under a unified flag. This came as a shock to a lot of people around the world. In 1945, Korea split and became two countries that we now know as North Korea and South Korea. Ever since then tensions have been rising and not much progress has been made. For example, the Korean War started in 1950 and lasted for three years, ending with the two countries still split. North Korea has stayed a communist country while South Korea is a republic. They are polar opposites. But it is too early to tell if this recent communication between the two countries will result in anything major. “I think it’s good public relations and can be a benefit for those two countries to have some dialogue,” said Matthew Horn, history teacher. “We’ve

seen it before with the Miss America competitions with Israel and Iran, it doesn’t necessarily get any political discussion moving so I am hesitant to say it is going to have a political impact in north korea but its a step in the right direction. They’re showing humanity for one another and coming under a common objective as opposed to being split.” The North Korean team consists of a shared women’s ice hockey team with South Korea, a pair of figure skaters named Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik, two short track speed skaters named Jong Kwang-Bom and Choe Un-Song, three cross country skiers (two men and one woman) and another three alpine skiers (also two men and one woman). The shared hockey team will consist of 22 players in each match. CNN reported that “they will be selected by the head coach from South Korea and must include three North Korean players for each game.” Along with the athletes, 24 coaches and 21 media representatives will be making the trip to PyeongChang, South Korea for the Olympics. The opening ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics was Feb. 9 and the games continue through Feb. 25.

As he went to work his shift from 5-10 pm on Feb. 7 at Tutti Frutti at 7708 Delmar, Koy Range, junior, thought it was going to be just like any other day. Little did he know that this day would remain in his memory for the rest of his life. On that day, an armed robber came into the family-friendly shop and held Range at gunpoint. While in the back of the store, Range heard the front door open. Not knowing where his co-worker was, he decided to go up front to greet who he thought was just another customer. He had no clue that this was not the case. When he started to make his way up front, he was met with a robber who was in the behind the counter with his co-worker. “It seemed like he knew what he was doing or where he was going because he told her to move the trash can,” said Range. Behind the trash can was the store’s safe, which was what the thief was after. Range’s co-worker tried repeatedly to open the safe, but for an unknown reason, the safe was not opening, which made the robber extremely angry. He then told Range to open the safe since the co-worker couldn’t. The only issue here is that Range does not know the safe’s code. What happened next

was the most traumatizing part of the experience. “That’s when he put the gun to the back of my head and told [my co-worker] that she had two seconds to open it,” said Range. “He counted to two and it wouldn’t open.” Instead of firing, the robber pulled the gun away and made Range lie face down on the floor. Then he walked to the front, opened the register and took about $170 out of it. Just as he was leaving, Melinda Looby, parent of Thomas Looby, junior, entered the store with her youngest son, Daniel, after his orchestra concert. After ordering Daniel Looby to go to the other side of the store, the robber left. Melinda Looby immediately called the police. The thief has not been caught yet.

The front of Tutti Frutti on Delmar near North and South. Multiple U. City students work at the frozen yogurt store. PHOTO BY ELIOT FULLER


Dual enrollment produces college credit while still in high school By Julian Albright Web and Sports Editor

As college keeps getting closer for high school seniors, students may do more to impress schools they strive to attend, or get a few credits in before they leave. One way to accomplish both of those goals is through dual enrollment (DE) programs. Dual enrollment is an additional option that some schools, including U. City, offer to help students. For high school students, dual enrollment means being able to take less classes at high school and leave early to take college courses on a college campus. For students like Catherine Hoff, senior, dual enrollment has been very beneficial. Since joining the program, Hoff only attends five classes at the high school, then leaves to take one class at St. Louis University (SLU). DE programs schedules can vary. For Hoff, she had a college class four days a week first semester, and now has a class two days per week this semester. First semester would consist of her leaving school early and going directly to SLU, whereas this semester she is able to have more down time to eat, do homework and study. Dual enrollment can be very helpful but it may not work for everyone. “I am fortunate enough to have a parent that works with me so I can use the car for the trip back and forth, but logistically it is hard for everyone to commute,” said Hoff. Hoff also explains that “if people want to have a real insight into what college classes are like (they are much harder) and how to excel in them, people should definitely take the opportunity.” DE can be quite the commitment however, and can partially take away from the high school experience. “I miss out on lunch everyday so I miss out on friends that I don’t have classes with,” Hoff said. “And when we had Homecoming spirit week and pep rally

it was really hard to work with my schedule so I could participate in all the activities.” If students are invested, DE can give them a big leg up. Cheyenne Hawkins, another senior dual enrolled at St. Louis Community College could be able to graduate a whole year early from college, depending on what she takes over the summer. “I will have 16 hours of credit by the end of the year,” Hawkins said. “Now the school district is putting the college credits on our transcripts so I will have 54 credits instead of 24.”

DUAL ENROLLMENT Catherine Hoff, senior, stands outside Ritter Hall on the SLU campus where she takes dual enrollment classes. “The best part about dual enrollment is having more flexibility and being more responsible for your learning,” Hoff said.

EARN WHILE YOU LEARN By Lucy Wurst Co-Editor

Every morning Jordan McNeal, senior, wakes up for a busy day of school and work. While trying to manage seven hours of school a day and a 20-hour work week can be stressful for a high school student, McNeal is enrolled in cooperative education (co-op), which reduces her school day to two to four hours, depending on the day, and makes working 20 hours a week less stressful. According to Janet Schaffer, business teacher, the co-op program provides a structured job experience for students while also giving them academic credit. A student is only required to work 10 hours a week, but Schaffer said many of the 18 students enrolled work upwards of 30 per week. “I did co-op because I wanted more hours at my job and more money,” said Jordan McNeal, senior. “It also lets me take less classes.” After meeting with Katy-Jane Johnson, senior counselor, and checking her credits, Johnson recommended co-op for McNeal. She now works at the Centennial Commons childcare center and the fitness facility there. “The best part of co-op is leaving school early and not taking unnecessary classes,” said McNeal. “For


seniors, specifically, it’s the best because it allows them to lean how to budget and prepare themselves for college and the future and be independent.” Other students use co-op to their advantage, such as Makaya Johnson, senior, who after being referred by a friend, got a job at Meshuggah Cafe. While Johnson only works on weekends, participating in coop allows her to have free class periods where she can focus on school work. “I think it’s a lot easier to do co-op,” said Johnson. “You can leave school early and take care of the things you need to do. You can run errands, do homework, or just have free time to take a break from a busy schedule.” To enroll in co-op, students have to be a senior, recommended by a counselor and take a business or marketing class. Once students meet this criteria, they have their employer fill out a form consenting to the program. To leave school and go to work, students sign out through Schaffer. To recieve academic credit, students must turn in pay stubs every two weeks and maintain 95% attendance, according to Schaffer. “Doing co-op is a great experience to improve responsibility and reduce stress,” said McNeal. “It’s a good opportunity for kids who need an easier workload and more time to focus on going to their job.”


Erin Ming, junior, Dan Holden, English teacher, and De’Asia Watson, senior, collab were talking about aliens and stuff, but we learned about allegory and how science fi Sower’ by Octavia Butler. It is cool because I didn’t know there were any black wome

LLC offers abunda By Ashlynn Jenkins Staff Writer

Christopher Blumenhorst, principal, insists is not an alternative school. It’s LLC (Lieberman Learning Center), and it helps to provide its students with innovative ways to continue their education. When Blumenhorst started as principal at LLC six years ago, there were a mere 40 students. Today, it buzzes with 100 students, proof that not everybody learns the same way or will follow the same path to graduation. Offering four different programs, LLC is all about choice. At LLC, programs include credit recovery, Missouri Options, Hiset which is the GED replacement, and, long-term suspension programs. The biggest benefit of being at LLC, according to multiple students, was that it is a smaller environment with less drama which makes it easier for a one-on-one setting with the teachers. “Because the rooms only have around six students per class, the teachers can really focus on each person easily, and nobody has problems with each other,” Alicia Taylor, senior, said. “You just really get the help you need.” Walking through the halls of LLC, a sense of calm pervades. With so few students, Blumenhorst

makes sure each other a Every teache environmen students nee Both lon courses are in making su either of the would disco and it could If it were catch up on the opportu education. H percent of th completing to complete across the st At LLC, t and afternoo session are s programs, w need to mak students wh make it diffi said Blumen the students

Online courses allow s By Eliot Fuller Staff Writer

CO-OP At the Centennial Commons, Jordan McNeal, senior, puts away some toys in the child care center. McNeal loves her job because when she does not have kids, which happens often, she has time to do homework or catch up on Netflix. “Working with the kids I do have is really fun and they keep my energy up whenever the day feels long and slow,” McNeal said. “I love seeing how happy they get when they see me and sad whenever they cry when they have to leave. The job overall is chill and my bosses are really great and understanding.”

These days, technology is found everywhere. At home, at stores, and now, it is used every day, every class period, at school. In fact, students can take online classes through the E2020 program. E2020 offers various online courses for subjects like math, social studies, health, personal finance, and many more. Often, students take E2020 over the summer to receive a credit. These classes can also be taken during the school day, during specific class periods. “Some of the reasons students take E2020 classes are so that they can get ahead by finishing classes in

the sche said purp M for t “ that faile E nece opti cons


Developing a “real world” topic for his web site, Corde Clark, junior, concentrates in Web Design class. “Students in Web Design use original ideas, their own photos and videos, as well as professional web site development applications to create web sites for an authentic, public audience,” Beverly Brandt, Web Design teacher, said.


borate on the computer in Science Fiction Literature class “At first I thought this class was weird because we fiction is actually about problems we have in the world today,” Watson said. “We are also reading ‘Parable of the en writing science fiction.” PHOTOS BY ASHLYNN JENKINS AND LUCY WURST

ant choices for students

the students form close bonds with and even has team bonding activities. er tries to create a very helpful working nt with a personal setting so that every eds are tended to. ng-term suspension and credit recovery self explanatory, but LLC takes pride ure every student feels heard. Without ese programs, the students at LLC onnect from the learning environment d create further issues. en’t for LLC, some seniors trying to their credit would never have gotten unity to graduate or further their However, since approximately 25 he 2018 graduating class is currently their studies at LLC, they are able the same vital steps needed to walk tage in May of this year. there are two sessions, morning on. Most students in the morning seniors who are in the credit recovery which are not just for students who ke up classes and credits, but also for ho “have unique circumstances that fficult to attend traditional high school,” nhorst. Credit recovery is essential for s who have not earned all the credits

necessary for graduation. One of the more important programs at LLC is the Hiset which is all for all adults who left high school before graduation. With the Hiset program, students now have another way to secure a high school diploma equivalency, which means that, through testing, students must demonstrate the same skills and knowledge as a high school graduate. Once you pass the test, University City High School will issue students a high school equivalency certificate or high school equivalency diploma. Missouri Options is a program for all of the students who have the capabilities to complete the high school graduation requirements for the state of Missouri, but lack the credits to graduate with their class and are at risk of leaving school without a high school diploma. This program works along with credit recovery, creating a dropout prevention program for the unique students in more difficult positions. Without this additional program, the students from U. City who were ready to drop out would not have graduated on time or at all. “If it weren’t for LLC I wouldn’t have gained all my credits and now I’m ready to graduate,” said Taria Henderson, senior.

In Ecology classs, LaNesha McPherson, science teacher, works with Dominique Williams, senior. “In Ecology, the students study how the environment’s biotic and abiotic parts are affected by human actions and how human actions are impacted by what is happening to and in the environment around them,” McPherson said.

Jared Stidham, senior, is creating a design on canvas using painter’s tape in art class. He will then choose a color scheme for his painting in order to complete it, acccording to Beverly Brandt, art teacher.

students to work independently, catch up on credits

E2020 system and receiving those credits ahead of “Being in front of a live teacher who will assist you and edule,” Christina Coby, Industrial technology teacher differentiate the learning as necessary is crucial for some d. “Some students take E2020 classes for enrichment students’ success,” Coby said. “However, receiving that poses in various subject areas” general instruction online and being able Many students even take E2020 just to work at your own pace may be what E2020 the purpose of credits. helps a particular student to have more “Some of the students take E2020 so success in school.” t they can recover credits for classes that they may have Alex Cunningham, senior, took E2020 last semester. ed to pass,” Coby said. He was taking a geometry course to make up for a Even though Coby is the E2020 teacher, she doesn’t missing credit that he needed to graduate. Although he essarily feel as though the class is entirely the best took the class, Cunningham did not feel as though it was ion. Like most other things in life, it has its pros and worthwhile. s. “Honestly, I feel like it’s kind of pointless,”

Cunningham said. “It was too easy to the point where kids did not want to learn.” Despite an overall negative feeling towards the online course, Cunningham explained that it did have its upsides. “It allows teachers and students to build a better relationship, and make the learning experience easier,” Cunningham said. In a class where students are largely in charge of themselves, staying on task is key. “If you are the type of students that slacks off, you really have to stay on it,” Cunningham said. “If you need it, by all means, take it,” Cunningham said.

February 2018



Exchange student adapts quickly to U. City By Eliot Fuller Staff Writer

Not many kids can say they’ve left their family and friends for an entire year to go visit a country they had never been to before. However, Izabella De Paula Braga, sophomore, came here in August with the AFS Intercultural Program, which gives young people the opportunity to live in a different country for an entire year, and stay with a host family. Braga lives in Goias, Brazil, but is currently staying here in University City with a host family. She attends the high school alongside her host brother and host sister. “I always wanted to learn about the culture here, like the traditions and everything,” Braga said. Braga was selected out of many other students in her town to receive a scholarship with the AFS program, allowing her to come to America and stay for one year. “They were doing this scholarship for the students, so they needed to see your grades and see how much English you knew,” Braga said. One of the biggest changes between Brazil and the United States were the schools, Braga explained. “We don’t have electives in Brazil, so we can’t choose what classes we want to take or anything,” Braga said. “We also don’t have sports in the schools.” Here in U. City, Braga lives with the Holahan family, and has two host siblings at the high school, one of whom is Nicole Holahan, junior. Braga and

Holahan have lived together for almost six months now, and have slowly developed a sister-like bond. “At first she and I were not close, like we didn’t talk at all,” Holahan said. “We started going on more family trips and outings, and we were forced to share a room. Then we just started talking a lot.” Holahan has two brothers, but does not have a sister. Living with Braga makes her feel like she has a sister now. “I’ve never had a sister before, so it’s been nice to have her here,” Holahan said. One of Braga’s closest friends, Rebecca Rico, junior, also says she has formed a strong bond with her. “It’s like having a little sister sometimes,” Rico said. Rico and Braga met at the beginning of the school year, and quickly began friends. “We met at lunch,” Rico said. “Nicole brought her down to lunch. And when I found out we had Biomedical Science together, I sat with her.” From there, Braga and Rico’s relationship continued to grow. They both played on the tennis team together in the fall, and became even closer. “Her attitude is really positive,” Rico said. “She’s just someone who you can always vibe with.” Braga has gotten used to her new life here. When it comes time to return home to Brazil, Braga said she will not be happy. “I’m not anxious to go back,” she

As a yearbook student, Izabella De Paula Braga spends a lot of her time taking pictures. “I think it’s my favorite part of yearbook--taking pictures. I always wanted to be in a journalism class, but we do not have them in Brazil. When I heard about yearbook, it was kind of a dream come true.”

Calling all artists! The Gallery at University City Public Library is looking for artists for its 2018-2019 season! Are you a visual artist interested in displaying your work in public? If so, submit a short resume of artistic background and 12 images of recent work on a CD or via email to Lexine at The Gallery by Feb. 28. Included should be a list with dimensions and medium of each piece. A few things you should know: • The Gallery can only accommodate wall-mounted work, not freestanding sculptures or pieces requiring a display case. • Audio-visual projects are welcome, as are group exhibits! • Exhibitors are chosen by a jury of local artists. • Want your submission back? Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when you turn in your application.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, February 28! Questions? Call or email Lexine at 314-727-3150 or @UCPL_Librarians 6701 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO 63130 • 314-727-3150


said. “A lot of people think I want to come back, but I actually don’t.” Even though Braga misses the people she left behind in Brazil, she admits that she likes her current life here in U. City.

“Of course I miss my family, but I kind of prefer the life I have here, like the school and the family and everything.”


‘Love, Simon’ highlights LGBTQ+ coming of age By Linsey Sparks Staff Writer

Coming of age stories are very common and very popular among youth. A quirky teenager grows as a person and finds their place in the world. These characters are extremely relatable, but the majority of them have one huge thing in common. Their sexuality. Most coming of age stories revolve around a straight teenager. But what about the growing chunk of the population that identifies as LGBTQ+? They need a character to relate to as well. This is where “Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli comes into play. It’s your typical coming of age story, but has a little bit of a twist. Simon is gay, but nobody knows. The story follows Simon Spier, a 16-year old high schooler, through what will be the most important and difficult few months of his high school years. The audience learns very early on that Simon is gay but hasn’t come out to anyone yet. He’s an average kid who loves theatre, his family is crazy yet lovable (like most in these types of stories) and his friends mean the world to him. Albertalli wastes no time getting to the point with this book. Within the first few pages, it is

revealed that Simon has an online, email relationship with a boy that goes by the name “Blue,” someone has found those emails and he is blackmailing Simon with them. It sounds like a dark introduction to a dark book, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The book is very lighthearted, yet doesn’t beat around the bush. It addresses a serious topic in our world today, but approaches it in a way that is entertaining, understandable and funny to the reader. With quotes such as, “Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.” It gets people thinking about social norms and why they exist. But on the other hand with quotes like, “Wonder Woman and a gay dementor. It doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species,” it shows that it’s a feel good book that will make you laugh and go through all of the emotions. But the best part about this book is that it is finally getting the recognition it deserves and has been turned into a movie that will be coming out in March of this year. It stars Nick Robinson as Simon, Katherine Langford and Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as his three best friends Leah and Abby and Nick, and it feature Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner as his parents. The cast reflects the book perfectly so far and the trailers have been amazing. Hopefully it does this 5 star book justice.



February 2018

Suburban Conference set to realign By Julian Albright Sports Editor

As of late, U. City sports teams have not come away with the most winning seasons. However, there may be an underlying cause behind it that is beyond coaches’ and players’ control. Up until now, our conference has consisted of large schools, and powerhouses like Parkway West, Parkway Central and Ladue. It takes a bit of a history lesson to fully understand. Decades ago, U. City was one of the bigger schools in the area, with a student body size of 2,400 in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the number dropped to 2,200 (about 525 per grade) and by 1990 the population at the high school was about 1300. It makes sense why it would have been reasonable for us to play those schools, but that was in the past. Seeing as our current student body population is 775 as of February 2018, something needs to change. The Suburban Conference, which encompasses 31 schools in the St. Louis suburban area, is the league in which U. City plays. According to Matt

Brooks, athletic director, the Suburban Conference intends to begin dividing schools into conferences and districts by something called competitive balance. This means separating schools depending solely on their record, over everything else like size, location and rivalries. Currently, the schools in the Suburban Conferences redistrict every two years. A school’s district differs from its conference. A district consists of the schools who play each other in “the preliminary rounds of the state tournament made up of a group of schools in a particular sport that play each other in a two year cycle,” Brooks said. “Conferences on the other hand, are a group of schools that play each other in a variety of sports on a year to year basis.” However, one thing that districts and conferences have in common is the attempt to give them more competitive balance. The Suburban conference has 31 schools, some huge, and some small. For years U. City has been scheduled to play Parkway West and Parkway Central in conference and postseason play, both having over 2,000 students per school.

Having schools like U. City, Affton, and even Clayton play those schools is unfair because a team should not have to go into the postseason knowing that they are going to get vanquished in the first game. As a result, the Suburban Conference plans for the 2018-2020 seasons include putting schools in pools. A pool is a subgroup of schools within the Suburban Conference that play each other in a particular sport. This means that when we play “conference” games, we will actually be playing the teams in our pool. It also means that the schools in our pool for one sport can be different than the schools in the pool for another sport. U. City’s pool will consist of Affton, Clayton, Normandy, Northwest, Parkway North, Seckman and Fox. Clearly, it’s apparent that more equality has been distributed into the pools. The overall purpose of this realignment is so that every team in each pool can go into games with an equal chance to win, hopefully eliminating domination of certain schools. The biggest roadblock to this is football which can make the situation

problematic. Generally, football is one of the most popular high school sports media wise, and is prominent at many schools. This magnification of football pressures schools into scheduling early for football. “I would say this pressure on football is driven mainly on two factors: number of games and emphasis on football in the community,” said Brooks. Having to schedule football earlier than other sport takes away from competitive balance because if a school is scheduling two to three, even five years and more into the future, there’s no telling how good a Whitney team will Huling be. Gabe Sekou, senior wrestler, does not think conferences should be realigned. “To me [realigning conferences] ruins competitiveness because you should want to play the very best,” said Sekou. Sekou’s argument is that if a team is in a conference where all the teams are equal, that team will never get any better. If a team continues to get pounded with competition, they will eventually prevail. “If you want to be the best, you have to play the best,” said Sekou.


Boys Basketball

As the regular season winds down for the U. City wrestling team, all eyes turn to districts on Feb. 9. With four returning wrestlers and three new freshmen, Jason Wells, assistant coach, has high expectations for the team. Wells projects that all three seniors, Jonathan York, Gabe Sekou, and Savion Douglas, along with Peter Zhang, junior, will power through districts for a spot in the state tournament. York has had an almost unbeatable season, with a personal record of 28-2. York also came in first place in the Tiger Classic Tournament, U. City tournament, and Priory tournament. Six people short of full team of 13, U. City heads into the post season with a team record of 9-6.

Peter Zhang, junior and returning wrestler, is projected to win at districts and earn a spot in the state tournament. “I feel pressured, but I’m feeling good for state,” Zhang said. ‘I just need to keep my head up and keep fighting.” PHOTO BY DESTINY MOORE

Girls Basketball

At the away game against De Soto in early December, Diamonique Dunn, junior, goes in for a lay up on a breakaway. “It was difficult to score because my defender was much bigger than me.” The Lions won 78-74. PHOTO BY ALONA JENKINS

The Lady Lions competed in five games during the first week of February, including three at the Borgia Tournament. They won four of their five games, with a current record of 11-8. In addition, they won the consolation bracket of the Borgia tournament, coming from behind in their second game against Fort Zumwalt West from a 19-0 deficit in the first quarter to win 65-62 in overtime. Diamonique Dunn, junior, scored the winning basket. In the final game of the Borgia tournament, Michelle Shores, senior, scored 26 to help beat Tolton 55-48. At the Clayton game, Chanelle Rice scored 30 to contribute to the 66-36 win.

Trayvon Robinson, sophomore, lets a shot go at the free throw line. The Lions primarily had a young team this season, but it was also a good chance to learn. “It was a struggle playing people older than us, but we got a lot of experience,” Robinson said.

Ayanna Williams

The Lions, with four games left in the regular season as of Feb. 6, are carrying a record of 6-15. However, U. City is in fourth place in the conference, ahead of Parkway West and Clayton, who have four wins each. U. City was able to pull a quality win over Clayton 55-54, and a 36 point win over Crossroads 55-19. The Lions have been led by team captain and sophomore Trayvon Robinson, who averages 11.8 points per game. Robinson also shoots 71.% from the three point line. Kam Bevel, senior, has also contributed significantly to the Lions by shooting 50% from the three and has shot free throws at 93.8%. Factoring in a new first year coach and an extremely young team with only two seniors, the Lions have put up a fight this season, losing multiple games by less than 10 points, just not being able to pull out a win.


Girls Swimming

On senior night in the tri-meet against McCluer South Berkeley and Hazelwood West, the girls won. It was one of the few wins of the season. Although the Lady Lions were not highly successful in the pool, they had many returning swimmers, specifically seniors, who stepped up and led the team, according to assistant coach Laryn

Brown. The seniors really helped the team progress. Many of the girls were forced to swim in new events, especially new strokes in longer events. “They truly have grown in ability and maturity which was shown greatly this season,” Brown said.

Nicole Kellogg, sophomore, fights against the water swimming butterfly stroke. Kellogg was able to bring her 500 meter time down by a little under a minute. “I got first in butterfly which is a huge accomplishment,” Kellogg said. PHOTO BY SELENA LEWIS

February 2018


The art of being single


on Valentine’s Day

By Lucy Wurst Co-Editor

Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year focused on love, romance and relationships. But what about those of us who don’t have a significant other to celebrate with? Being single on Valentine’s Day is often viewed as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be, in fact, for some people it’s preferred. “Being single (on Valentine’s Day) is better because you don’t have to worry about another person and getting them things and if they’ll like what you got them,” said Zoey Jordan, senior. “When you’re single you can do whatever you want to do.”

While there are perks to being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, there is also a great amount of pressure for the day to go perfectly and if it doesn’t go as planned, you end up disappointed. Being single means there’s no pressure and you can focus on treating yourself. “Being single on Valentine’s Day is easy because there are no worries,” said Tyreese Jones, junior. “I like being single because you don’t have to worry about cheating. You can also focus on getting good grades without the distraction.” Despite the hardships that being tied down on Valentine’s Day brings, some people accept that it’s better to feel loved

on this one day, while still recognizing the benefits that being single brings the other 364 days of the year. “Valentine’s Day is a great holiday because you get to feel loved,” said Jakahla Jordan, sophomore. “It’s better to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day because you get to spend the day with somebody and feel special. But being single is better overall because you can talk to multiple people and have fun.” Even though there are multiple explanations for the origins of Valentine’s Day, it has now become filled with pressure to plan the perfect day with a significant other. “It feels lonely to not have

anyone for Valentine’s Day,” said Selena Lewis, senior. “It changed my perspective on this day because I focus more on my closest friends and family rather than spending tons of money on materialistic things.” This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship or not, it might be best to focus on spending time and appreciating your loved ones, without the pressure and expectations, in spirit of the true meaning of the holiday. “Personally I don’t like Valentine’s Day,” said Khlyer Cross, senior. “If you’re in love with somebody you shouldn’t just have to show it one day, you should show it everyday.”

What is the best part about being single on Valentines Day? Jaiden Smith, freshman

Shawn Coleman, sophomore

“I don’t have to plan anything or worry about forgetting anything either.”

“I don’t have to spend extra money on anyone other than my mom.”

Annika Williams, junior

“You don’t have to buy presents for anybody and you can do whatever you want.”


Da’Sha Bland, senior

“Being able to go out, goof around and eat with my other single friends.”

February 2018 U-Times  
February 2018 U-Times