What's Up with Drama?

posted Dec 5, 2016, 9:12 AM by David Tapp   [ updated Dec 5, 2016, 9:13 AM ]

Article by Annika Myers and Sophia Meister

Remember those plays you saw in grade school that you thought were so cool because high schoolers did them? Well, the time has come for Ms. Zeman’s Drama class to put together the annual children’s plays. The drama class presents two performances, both are dramatic representations of children's books from everyone's childhood.

In performance order, The Rainbow Fish follows the story written by Marcus Pfister, and The Mitten, by Jan Brett. The drama class wrote the scripts and conducted auditions within the classroom. Every student worked hard to make these productions as professional as possible and really make these plays fun.

The Rainbow Fish adaptation is a tale about a fish and his adventure to find happiness. Rainbow, played by Kelly Knapp, must visit three aquatic gurus and find the secret powers of sharing, helping others and patience. She is guided by her friend Starfish (Grace Scott) to visit these three in the form of quests. First Rainbow helps the war veteran, Jellyfish (Nick Knappenberger) clean his house even though he is difficult to get along with. Then she ventures to the old ship yard to assist Hermit Crab (Annika Myers) find her shell. There, Rainbow learns patience from the crabby French crab. Lastly she goes to the kelp cave, where the wise Octopus (Andrew Flanigan) encourages her to share her scales with Blue fish (Rachel Meyer) and the other fish (Macy Littell and Alexis Nohl).

Macy Littell, Annika Myers, Rachel Meyer and Grace Scott worked tirelessly to create a fun rendition of The Mitten. They adapted the children’s book, The Mitten by Jan Brett into a 10 minute play. The Mitten is a Ukrainian Folktale written and published in 1981. The play features Macy Littell, Kelly Knapp, Alexis Nohl, Nick Knappenberger, Rachael Meyer, Sophia Meister and Annika Myers. The director is the wonderful Macy Littell.

The basic plot of the story is about a little boy named Nikki who wants his Grandmother, Baba, to knit him white mittens. The only problem is that Baba is afraid he will lose them in the snow, but she goes along with him anyways and makes the white mittens. As foreshadowed, Nikki loses one of the mittens in the snow. Woodland animals make their way through the forest and snuggle into the mitten for warmth and shelter. Soon the bear sneezes, and all the animals scatter into the woods. During the night Baba sees that the animals came in and got the mitten from inside the house, so she knits all of the animals winter clothes.

The show dates for the children’s plays are December 14 and 16. The Davenport Elementary school comes over to the high school during the school day on the 14th and the Drama Class goes to the Congerville and Goodfield schools on the 16th.

Lending a Helping Hand: EHS mentoring

posted Dec 5, 2016, 9:06 AM by David Tapp

By: Ashlyn Sizemore, Journalism Staff

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” These words were spoken by Ronald Reagan after winning the 1980 election. His wise words have proven to be true, not only to the country as a whole, but in small communities, such as Eureka. Eureka High School has been readily involved in a mentoring program for several years, and it has had a positive effect on the students. The program has served as a way to not only reach out and help those who struggle socially or educationally, but also to those who have mentored.

“Getting to see their smiles when you see them, it just brightens your whole day,” senior Caitlyn Perlingiero said. “I mentor first hour, so it’s a great way to start off the day.”

The high school students mentor several of the students from kindergarten-8th grade at Davenport and EMS, and it is a good opportunity to build relationships and for the high schoolers to come alongside their mentees and be models.  

The program was started by David Blyth, counselor and social worker at Goodfield, Congerville, and Davenport. Mr. Blyth started it originally with the intent for high schoolers to help the kids at Davenport and over time, EMS wanted to get involved.  

“The program is so incredibly successful,” said Mrs. Block, counselor at EMS. “Since starting the program, we’ve noticed a tremendous difference in the students’ behavior, attendance, and hygiene, as well as many other positive changes. The kids really look up to them, and I can’t think of any other intervention that meets the kids’ needs as much as this program. The quality of the mentors and their compassion is wonderful. Teachers are one thing, but the fact that the kids genuinely feel cared for, one on one, is HUGE.”

Dani Blankenship, senior, is another high schooler who has been impacted by her mentee, a fourth grade boy at Davenport. “I like mentoring because it gives kids an opportunity to get help on things that they are struggling with and gives them an opportunity to talk to their mentor about their homelife,” she said.  “It’s also a good way to show responsibility on the mentor’s part.”  

The mentors at EHS are learning quite a bit themselves through their time with their mentees. It is a positive way to learn acts of selflessness and compassion and the students have mastered techniques of service and kindness so far this year.  

End of Season

posted Dec 5, 2016, 8:28 AM by David Tapp

The final practices have ended. The uniforms have been turned in, and the cleats cleaned of mud that caked up at the last game. This is the end of the season. No matter what sport you play, it happens to everyone.

Cold, fall football nights on the field turn to hot, winter basketball games in the gym. The fans adapt easily. They find new names to chant and new records to memorize. As long as the parents get to cheer for a Eureka team, they are content either way.

But where does that leave the players? For some, the end of one season means the beginning of another one. Almost immediately, senior Kade Schoch, who has participated in both soccer and wrestling for all four years, said,  “I pretty much have to jump straight into wrestling. I have maybe two weeks before our season starts up.”

Unlike Kade, some people look forward to a little bit of free time as fall wraps up. And well deserved, too. Senior Aaron Lehman said, “Football guys work hard all through the season, but I’m glad to have some time off.”

After becoming state champions, the volleyball players are also planning on winding down after the post season. “As a team, we always make sure to try and get together as much as possible and make sure to keep good up with each other throughout the year,” Maddy Steinbeck commented.

Not to mention yet another postseason “run,” this time for the girls cross country team, Emma argo explained, “It’s nice to go home and relax. I hang out with my friends more because I have extra time on my hands. Then, at the start of next year I start training for track.”

For some like Emma, the season never ends. Freshman soccer player Ashton Hubert said, “I am now looking forward to the indoor season (soccer). After that, my club soccer team starts up in the spring! The time that I get to relax is mostly in the summer.”

Whether wrestling, soccer, or any of the fall activities,  you can be sure that this is a time of change for all of EHS’s athletes.

Growing Cancer Awareness

posted Dec 2, 2016, 6:41 AM by David Tapp

By: Parker Williams, Kate McCabe & Emmanual Blakes

As senior Titus Williamson would say, “It’s not a month, it’s a lifestyle.” No-Shave November has passed, but it is not forgotten. It is commonly known as a month where participants put down their razors and flaunt their hair; however, what most people don’t know, is that there is a much deeper meaning behind the event.

“My dad passed away a few years ago with cancer,” said geometry teacher, Mr. Bill Glass, “It ravaged his body, and it wasn’t a good time. Growing a beard during November helps me to remember that time and recognize the suffering of cancer.”

Although No-Shave November has been around for quite some time, it was not an official event until 2009. A Chicagoland family lost Matthew Hill, a father of eight, to colon cancer in 2007. They wanted to do something in his honor, thus, the event was born. They started this project to raise cancer awareness and collect money for a meaningful cause.

During No-Shave November, participants learn to embrace their facial hair--something most cancer patients lose during treatment. All participants, bearded or bare-faced, are encouraged to donate the money they would normally spend on shaving equipment, to charity.

Not only does it shine light on something we oftentimes forget, it is a fun way to challenge friends and family. Mr. Thomas Hantak, chemistry teacher, commented on the matter.

“Because I am a big supporter of facial hair, this month gives me the opportunity to let it go, and see how long or crazy it can get over at least one month!”

Many students enjoy getting in on the action as well. For one senior, Kevin Mickelson, this is a way for him to flaunt the chin hair, despite having difficulties in the past.

“I participated last year, but the results were not very good,” laughed Kevin, “let’s just say that it was very patchy!”

No-Shave November is working with following organizations: American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Despite popular belief, a full beard and ‘stache is not required to make the most out of this month. So, toss out those razors, whip out those phones, and start raising awareness for what is really important.

Go Cubs Go!

posted Dec 2, 2016, 6:03 AM by David Tapp

By: Keaton Greene & Logan Kennell

Fly the W! That's exactly what small town Eureka, Illinois has been doing the for the past two months, and the celebration continues. The 2016 Cubs, led by numerous all-stars including hometown hero Ben Zobrist, won the World Series in dramatic comeback fashion to clinch their first championship in over 100 years. Despite being down 3-1 in the series, the Cubs found a way to come back and take it all.

Senior Gage Bauman said, “I sat and watched with a roller coaster of emotions as I realized slowly that 108 years could turn into 109. Until that point I didn’t think that there could be a chance that we would blow it. I thought our chances were slipping away, but I was given a new perspective once the tarps came out onto the field. A new hope so to speak. It was at that point that I truly believed it was our game to win. Our series to win. And that’s what happened.”

Leading the way to this historic comeback was your World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. Ben led the team in hits and contributed with the amazing go ahead double down the left field line in the 10th inning of game 7.  

Throughout the entire postseason, he had the support of the Eureka community by his side. With numerous W flags, window paintings, and “Ben Zobrist for President” signs down main street, support for Ben can easily be seen all over Eureka.  “It is great seeing all of the support for Ben all around town,” said Sophomore Coleton Zobrist. “It shows how much our community cares about the people from here and express full support for those going out to achieve their ambitions.”

It was indeed a crazy week at EHS with numerous, very different things going on. First off, you couldn’t go a single day without seeing someone wearing Cubbie blue. Even principal Mr. Wherley, lifelong Cubs fan, was ecstatic about them playing in the World Series as he dressed up as a Cubs Mascot on the day of Game 7 and passed out Fly the W stickers. About 500 people showed up for a town wide photo, all wearing cubs gear, to send to Ben. We also had a trophy case filled with all Ben’s memorabilia from high school, college, and even some professional items to show our school pride for Ben.  “Ben is a great example to our community.  It is awesome seeing so many people express their support for him and the Cubs,” said Senior Matt Hoelscher.  

Ben’s contributions to the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series team will never be forgotten here in small town Eureka, Illinois. He will always be remembered as the kid from a town of 5000, who grew up with a dream, followed it, and is doing what he loves today. Winning MVPs, World Series Titles, and being our Hometown hero.

"Tis the Season

posted Dec 1, 2016, 1:26 PM by David Tapp

By Kaylee Elko and Meghan Mathews

As the holiday season ‘wrappidly’ approaches, everyone starts to get in the holiday spirit. Each individual celebrates the holiday season differently, especially at Eureka High School. Senior Keaton Greene celebrates by, “Hallothanksmas with my grandparents. It’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all in one. We do it because my grandparents leave for Arizona the week after Halloween, so we celebrate all the holidays the week before they leave.”

Science teacher Mr. O’Hanlon celebrates in a way that is probably more common than most people think. “Before I was married I had a tree that was about 3 feet tall, and I decorated it once, put it back in the box, and year after year I pulled it back out and just stood it up in the corner of the room. Simple and easy.”

Taking a new spin on the celebration for the holiday season around EHS as well is Key Club, as they host what is called “Santa’s Workshop” which takes place this Saturday from 9-12 at Davenport. Senior McKenzie Walz gives us a little more insight to the event. “We decorate the cafeteria to look like Santa’s workshop and we set up different stations with different games and activities. We are even able to have Santa come and meet the kids, which they really enjoy. My favorite part is that all the members of Key Club get to dress up as elves. Last year I wore socks that had bells hanging off the side. It’s hilarious to see everyone get so into it”.

To say the least, Eureka High celebrates the holidays in various ways, but it seems to be that EHS knows how to get in the holiday spirit.

Looking Back in Time

posted Nov 14, 2016, 12:14 PM by David Tapp

By: Gracie Hart and Albany Taylor

District 140. A district where hundreds of students come together from three different towns. Each one of the families throughout the district value different things, but family is among the most important. To learn more about their family heritage and the person they are today, students in Ms. Bertschi’s American Experience and American History classes are completing a family tree project. Although the projects vary between American Experience and American History, both classes have to learn about their ancestors. When asked why she gives the assignment to students, Ms. Bertschi commented, “In our community, families are very important to us. If students know where they came from, they will know why they are where they are today.”

The project allows for students to trace their families back as far as possible. They have the opportunity to talk to their family members or search the web on websites such as Ancestry to gather more information. The goal of the project is not only to learn about their past, but for students to learn when and why their family decided to risk everything and immigrate to America. Junior and American Experience student, Valerie Spencer, explained, “The best part about the project is finding out where your family came from and why they came to America.”

Through online research and talking to relatives, students have been able to discover things about their families that they never knew. Junior and American History student, Maddy Skelton, learned, “My dad’s side came from England and Scotland.”

These facts are just small pieces to each student’s extensive family tree. According to Ms. Bertschi, family heritage is important because “It is the foundation of knowing ourselves. If we know our story, then we can understand our beliefs, our choices, and all of those small things that add up to us.” Students will have a better understanding of themselves and of their families after completing this project and taking a look back in time.

I Hear EHS Singing

posted Oct 7, 2016, 8:44 AM by David Tapp

By: Kate McCabe, Journalism editor

As the 2016-2017 school year began, Eureka High School students faced numerous new situations. They were introduced to the freshman class, initiated into advisory period, and inducted into a new sports conference. In addition, the familiar halls of EHS would soon be filled with a new sound, the 2016-2017 Chorale.

Directed by Spanish 1 and chorus teacher, Mrs. Kate O’Donnell, chorale is an auditioned choir which consists of seventeen members. The club is open to all grade levels; however, members must have previously completed or be currently enrolled in a year of concert choir.

This year, only two freshmen, Celeste Anderson and Andrew Flanigan, were selected to be a part of the elite ensemble. Celeste describes her emotions throughout the auditioning process: “I was intimidated by the upperclassmen and didn’t think I would make it, but when I saw that I had, I was like ‘Wow, I must be pretty good!’” With this boost of confidence, Celeste mentioned how excited she was to be a part of such a talented group of singers.

Likewise, Mrs. O’Donnell commented, “It’s always exciting to work with a new group! I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s chorale will accomplish.”

Every Friday morning, Chorale sings the National Anthem over the intercom for the entire school to hear. Mr. Thomas Hantak, the high school’s new Chemistry teacher, explains his thoughts on the subject: “By singing the National Anthem each Friday, it allows the members more ownership in their group and at the school. In my experience, students tend to get more out of school or a class when they take some ownership in it. It also provides them with a practical application of their talents.”  

Chorale is a positive influence not only throughout the high school but throughout the community as well. Earlier this year, during homecoming week, Chorale sang the National Anthem at the community pep assembly. Also, when the weather turns colder, Chorale spreads cheer during the holidays by going Christmas caroling.

Junior Emma Paul, who has been a member of Chorale since her freshman year, recalls Christmas caroling as her favorite memory: “We stopped into one of the local shops and actually made a woman cry. It was an indescribable feeling.”

Whatever their task and wherever they may be, Chorale is sure to brighten someone’s day with a smile and song. The new voices will make for a fresh, unique sound that is sure to be just as beautiful as it has been in previous years. The talented team is made of five sopranos, five altos, three tenors, and four bases. With such a composition, the group is sure to produce an impeccably balanced, rich, sound. Be sure to catch the 2016-2017 Chorale perform for the first time at the EHS Fall Choral Concert in the auditorium on Thursday, October 13th at 7:00 pm.

Daring and Dauntless: Domination of the Dress Up Days

posted Oct 7, 2016, 8:40 AM by David Tapp

By: Ashlyn Sizemore, Journalism staff

This year for homecoming week, Sept. 19-23, Eureka High School knocked the dress up days out of the park. From pajamas on Monday to green and bling Friday, the students went above and beyond.  Freshman Celeste Anderson started off the week with a bang as she rocked her Buzz Lightyear onesie.  

“I liked seeing everyone else’s pajamas,” Celeste said. “It shows that everyone cares enough to dress up and show appreciation for their school.”

On Tuesday, sophomore Macy Little made “Merica Day” with her red white and blue apparel.  “I enjoyed the really funky socks and being silly and funny with school spirit,” Macy commented. “With homecoming, you can either choose to have fun and be happy...or just not. Why choose to be miserable when you can have fun on homecoming week??? I also really enjoy mardi gras beads…,” she added with a smile.  

On Wednesday, the seniors killed it at class games with their victory, wearing orange from head to toe, and Thursday brought a flash of professional sports teams and a rivalry of Cubs and Cardinals apparel from both staff and students.    

On Friday, the school was filled with green and white as everyone wore their Eureka colors. Senior Bailey Gourley showed her spirit with her softball jersey and beads.  

“Green and white day is the most fun because it’s the day everyone goes all out,” she said.

New Moves

posted Oct 6, 2016, 5:47 AM by David Tapp

By: Meghan Mathews, EHS Journalism

Loud, upbeat music and plenty of dancing captivated students at EHS on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 8:00-11:00 PM. The annual Homecoming dance concluded with “The Closing Ceremony” of a spirit-filled homecoming week.

Former EHS student, Justin Hymer, returned once again as DJ Hymz. After a long, sweaty night in the EHS cafeteria with a variety of different songs, Senior Meghan Waller explained, “The music was a lot better than last year. This was the most fun I have had at Homecoming!”

Taking a pause from the dancing, this year’s Homecoming court was announced, and students stood on an Olympic podium for their picture.  

Former king, Travis Dietrich, and former queen, Mercer Mack, crowned the new royalty. This year’s queen was senior Audrey Jones, escorted by the new King, senior Luke Lockart. “I was surprised and honored to have been chosen by my peers,” expressed Luke. “This year, there was more involvement, and I think that our senior class’s attitude toward Homecoming played a role in the participation of the students,” he added.

Despite the heat, students danced their hearts our until 11:00 PM and were the reason that Homecoming and spirit week were such a success.

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