Thursday, September 25, 2014

Who's new: new guidance counselor at CHS

Every year Chadron High School has new staff members that join the Cardinal family. New to the family is Mrs. Loni Watson, the guidance counselor.
She was born and raised in Spearfish, South Dakota. Throughout grade school she enjoyed math and science as her favorite subjects. At age fourteen she earned her first job at Taco John’s making tacos.
Mrs. Watson found her way south by acquiring a scholarship to golf at Chadron State College. “It was fun, and traveling was the best part,” Mrs. Watson said about golf. She majored in math education and continued her education by receiving a masters in education administration. Enhancing her education, she is now working on a masters in school counseling.
Mrs. Watson landed her first professional job in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, teaching algebra I and II. From there she went on to teach in Blair, Nebraska, and Seward Nebraska, teaching the same subjects to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and “straggling seniors.”
Mrs. Watson met her husband in Chadron during college and quickly migrated back to Chadron to stay closer to family. When a position opened up at Chadron High School to be a guidance counselor, Mrs. Watson knew it would be the “ultimate dream job.”
“Transitioning from a math teacher to a guidance counselor is different, less structured, but I love the one on one interaction with the students better,” Mrs. Watson said. Changes are bound to happen when a new staff member takes the place of a retired teacher. Mrs. Watson is working towards “revamping” the guidance office and making it her own. She has incorporated Facebook, Twitter, and an updated website to assist students, staff, and parents. “For now I am trying to be as good as Mrs. Hinrichs, and trying to fill her big shoes,” Mrs. Watson said. Her goals for the future she said are to, “Hopefully, help more kids go to college than before, keep kids from failing classes, and help pass them.”
Not only did Mrs. Watson convert from a math teacher to a guidance counselor, she also transitioned into a new school system. “I love Chadron High School,” said Mrs. Watson, “I love it because the staff is close, good to the kids, and the kids are equally as good back.”

Dance team


The dance team poses at the end of their first routine.

     The Chadron High Dance Team has started off the season with a strong dance, and they are looking forward to the rest of the season.  Mikaru Hirose the captain of the dance team said, "I'm excited to be a captain of a really good team this year." The team's next performance is this Friday at the pep rally and at the homecoming football game.  The team is a group of very diverse girls but together they make a good combination.

     Tricia Berry, co-sponsor of the dance team, says she loves being the sponsor, and it gives her a chance to connect with the girls because she's not a teacher. She said, "I love the girls." But, that doesn't mean they are perfect. The girls still have some things to improve such as "staying focused and accepting constructive criticism as a tool to attack," said Mrs. Berry. 

     The rest of the season Mrs. Berry, and the other co-sponsor Mrs. Paopao, are looking forward to road trips and the state competition the team is attending in February. Mrs. Berry said, "Truly, I've enjoyed this group of girls. They have amazing talent and a great sense of humor."

     Mikaru Hirose the captain of the dance team is very excited for this season and was proud of the first pom routine that she choreographed. She said, "I think our first performance went very well. I am extremely proud of the girls for working so hard on that dance and rocking it for the first time in front of the crowd." This dance was taught to them as well as many others during their summer practices. At the end of June they brought a professional in from UDA dance for a 7 hour camp. From there, the girls had 3 hour practices, 3 days a week, until school began. 

       Ahlaura Pourier the co-captain of the dance team is looking forward to the rest of the season and choreograhped the dance that the team will perform this Friday at the homecoming game. She says that helping lead this group of girls is a great expirience. The team is attending a competition in February and Ahlaura says, " will be a great expirience for all the dancers." Ahlaura thinks the dancers could work on more technical things, but "...we all seem to get along great." 

Restroom remodel

     Many students at Chadron High coming back from summer vacation may have noticed a set of restrooms were remodeled. The restrooms by the auditorium were chosen to be remodeled this summer since the auditorium is used frequently.
     Both sets of restrooms would have been remodeled if funds allowed that to happen.
     Funds for the restrooms came from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a law ensuring service to help children across the nation with disabilities. But, the IDEA grant came with guidelines. The restrooms had to be completely handicap accessible. A little of the remodel money came from school funds.
    Many upgrades were also made from tile flooring, a fresh coat of paint, new stalls and counter tops, and automatic lighting.
    Students seem to really like the new restrooms. Jadyn McCartney, student at Chadron High, said, "I really appreciate the newly renovated bathrooms."
    Another Chadron High student, Willy Cogdill said, "They're nice." Students are very enthusiastic about the new restrooms.



Students dress as hillbillies on Monday at CHS.

The underclassmen attempt to score a point against the upperclassmen.

Students at Chadron High are excited for homecoming week. Students are allowed to dress accordingly for the themes for this week. These include: Hillbilly Day, Hawaiian Day, Animal Day, Tacky Day, and Spirit Day. 
On Monday, underclassmen took on the upperclassmen in a power-puff game of volleyball. The upperclassman took the win. "We dominated the court, both offensively and defensively," said Willy Cogdill.
Other activities are also going on. On Thursday after the varsity volleyball game, varsity football players are auctioning off their jerseys. Jerseys are available to anyone who bids and buys them. 
On Friday students meet in the gym from 11:00 to 11:40 for the pep rally. The coronation will also be held. The queen candidates are Jazlyn Wright, Veronica Parish, and Laine Riesen. The king candidates are Willy Cogdill, Vonsinh Sayaloune, and Taylor Wild. "This year we will be setting up games for students who participate in fall activities. It will be very exciting," said KayLeah Deines. On top of that, the dance team will be dancing to two songs to get the crowd going.
Lastly, the dance will be held on Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Like in the past, the dance will be in commons. The cost is $3 per person or $5 per couple.

FBLA off to a busy start

     Future Business Leaders of America has all ready been busy and the new school year has just started.

     FBLA helps promote business leadership, understand American business enterprise, establish career goals, encourage scholarships, and develops character and self confidence. FBLA has three main aspects: Social- Get to know each other and have lots of fun. Professional- To learn new things about business, attend conferences, and work on job skills. Community Service- Giving back something to the community.

    The Future Business Leaders of America helped homecoming week get off to a start with decorations and advertising the homecoming dress-up days.

    On Friday October 10th,  during the football game until halftime, they will be serving chili, with a drink and dessert to the public. The Chili Feed tickets can be bought from FBLA members for only $5 a ticket. They will be serving in the High School Commons, and tickets can be purchased at the door. "It's a great way to bring the community together and help the kids fundraise for State FBLA," Brenda Budler, co-sponsor, said. "All of the money the kids raise from selling the tickets, gets put into their FBLA account."

     FBLA has a meeting every other week on Thursdays. "The meetings consist of talking about the previous meeting and going over new events. We really encourage to all members attend the meetings just in case we discuss something new," said Renae Noble, other co-sponsor.

     This year's president is Allie Johnson. Tate Cullers is serving as vice-president. Secretary is Brooke Roes, Treasurer; Alex Fritzler,  Reporter; Julianne Dickerson, and Activities director; Greta Welch.

Chadron grasps the win over Broken Bow

During the extra point attempt, Willy Cogdill (12) holds the ball for Vonsinh Sayaloune.

      Last Friday the Chadron Cardinal football team took down the number 8 team in the state, Broken Bow. The final score was 33 to 6.
      Mr. Bach the offensive coordinator said, "I felt good about the game, and it was a huge win for us. The Cards are sitting well in playoff points, and we have a good shot to host a playoff game."
     The Cardinal football team is now 3-1 with the only loss to Sidney. Coach Bach also said, "We executed well, but there is still a lot to work on, like our blocking scheme, our passing game, and our defensive flow."
      Mr. Slingsby, the defensive coordinator, said, "This Friday's game should be a well fought battle between the Ogallalla Indians and the Chadron Cardinals."

Interact: service above self

     Last year, a brand new club was formed at Chadron High. The club is called Interact.  "The purpose of Interact is for students to get involved in community service in creative ways," said Ms. Mack, sponsor.
     There is still time to join. All you need to do is pay ten dollars for dues, and you're set to attend the next meeting and be a part of the crew. Students wanting to be more involved with community work or need something to do should check it out.
      Some creative ways Interact is getting involved include the suckers they are selling currently during early outs and at home football games.
     They are also going to be distributing dictionaries to Pine Ridge students. Last year, they had a coat drive that they will be continuing this year once again.
     This year's president for the group is Mikaela Hasting, a junior. The vice president is Brittany Garza, a senior. The secretary spot is filled by Aly Crow, a junior. The treasurer is Tatyana Leija, a senior. 

Freshmen Adjustments

     Every school year brings new changes, one of those being new students. The freshmen class is making adjustments such as accepting the longer class periods, a bigger selection of activities, and new classes.
     Several students said they like longer class periods, which means less homework. Many also said that because their classes seem easier and are longer, they're getting better grades and keeping them up. "It's a lot easier with more time and easier work," said Cody Madsen. 

     On the other hand, a few students said that class periods are too long for them, even though they get their homework done. The extra time is unusual compared to the forty-five minute periods at the middle school. "The classes are just too long for me," said Isabella Sanchez. 

     More students are becoming involved in activities this year now that there are more options. Some students aren't affected, however. Some because they don't do activities, others because they didn't do any activities this year that they hadn't done last year. However, many students are getting involved in dance team, one acts, mock trial and many other activities they can't do at the middle school. "I can do what I like this year," said Kat Dodd. 

     New classes seem to not have intimidated many freshmen. Although a few freshmen admit classes are hard, most find them easier than last year's. The transition from classes last year to classes this year seem to not made a big affect on the new freshmen class.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


During the Gordon/Rushville match up earlier this season, Alex Nobiling goes up for a kill.

     The Chadron High volleyball team has started off the season with a record of  6-1. Coach Don Matt is very pleased with the start of the season, saying his team's play was a "pleasant surprise." 
     Thursday, September 18 the Cardinals traveled to Gering for a triangular with Gordon-Rushville and Gering. Chadron won both games, and has defeated both Gordon-Rushville and Gering twice. Despite winning, Coach Matt said, "We need to keep our heads for the rest of the season." 
     The Cardinals were led in kills by Chandler Hageman, with 18 in both games combined, while McCartney and Nobiling each had 17. Westemeier contributed 8 kills. Kiana Wright handed out a total of 50 assists in the two games. 
     Senior team captain, Lanie Riesen is very impressed with the start of the season. She is looking forward to the end of the season with her team, and has been impressed with everybody's play. 
     Coach Don Matt is excited for the rest of the season. However, he says it is very hard to determine what the end of the season will hold. "A very tough subdistrict is ahead of us, and we must keep playing hard." 
     The Cardinals will host Scottsbluff this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. 

Mock trial takes on murder

    Mock trial is a fall activity where students participate in a pretend court case to experience what a real court case would be like. Just like a real court case, mock trial assigns students to different roles, including witnesses, prosecutors, defendants, etc.
    There are three "teams" which compete amongst themselves and against teams from other towns. These teams have the opportunity to compete at districts, or even state, later in the year.
    According to senior Shay Chamberlain, a witness, "This year's case is about murder. There was a fire in the some factory. I believe that the boss did it on purpose to collect the insurance money."
    Junior Andrew Smith plays the role of a lawyer and says, "The battle of the three begins on Thursday," referencing the fight for team one lawyer between himself, Walt Mays, and Greg McCallum.
    The club's sponsor is Mr. McCarty. Mock trial practices take place in the courthouse, where participants can get comfortable with the legal atmosphere.

Cardinal Singers welcome a new director

     This 2014-2015 school year, the Cardinal Singers are welcoming a new director with open arms and open voices. Wendy Mahr, accompanied by last year's director, Patti Chasek, has taken over the responsibility of controlling the flow of both music and Chadron High students.

     Mrs. Alcorn at the elementary school was the one to inform Mahr of the open position. Mahr was speaking with Mrs. Alcorn about working at the school when the principal brought up the role. "I was in a choir group in high school, and I thought that it would be fun."

     Mahr plans to introduce more jazz music to the Cardinal Singers, stating that she "likes the music, and thinks it would be good for [Cardinal Singers] to learn." She hopes that she will be able to take the show choir to the Jazz Festival again because she thinks that it is a really unique and fun opportunity for high school students. 

     Mahr works with a number of different choirs, volunteering at the middle school during the school year and working with adults during the summer. "I don't prefer working with one group over another," she smiles as she continues. "You can definitely be more sarcastic with high schoolers than with middle schoolers, because they're more young adults than teenagers."

     Mahr graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley with a psychology major. Originally, she planned on leaving with a music education degree, but knew the challenges of actually becoming a music teacher. "You know, it's really hard to get a music job at schools, because most of the positions are already filled."

New curtains go up in auditorium

     Chadron High School received new curtains in the auditorium in August. 
     The new curtains consist of a red main curtain with black side curtains, while the old ones were grey with black side "curtains," which were actually two king sized bed sheets sewn together, attached to wooden boards and wire holding it above the stage. 
     Principal, Mr. Mack said the reason for the new curtains was that the old ones were torn, faded, and looked some what rotten. It was also a huge safety issue with the side curtains. The school had looked for places to donate the old curtains to, but they were just so rotten, faded, and looked so bad that the school decided to dispose of them.
     Mr. Mack said, "The cost was around $17,000 which included travel expenses for the installers, installation and removal, a one year warranty, new tracks, plus two side curtains." 
     All of the funding for the new curtains came from fundraising and local donations, including a generous donation from the Chadron Schools' Foundation. 
     Chadron High School hired Heartland Scenic Studio, Inc. Mr. Mack said, "I love the new curtains. They are much safer, more adjustable with the side pieces, and made the auditorium look much nicer. The next step would be to redo the seating in the auditorium."

XC runs Alliance down

     At the home cross country meet, the girls' team strides off for victory.

     Saturday Sept. 20 at the Alliance golf course, the Chadron High School cross country team competed with other cross country teams at the Alliance Invite.

     The results of the meet were good according to head coach Willie Uhing, seeing that the girls' varsity got 2nd to the Gering girls. The varsity boys were sixth. Kiya Passero placed 6th with a time of  21:12,  and Julianne Dickerson got 10th place with 22:53. Liam Simon got fourth in JV with a time of 19:50.

     What three words describe cross country? Mr. Uhing, said "Awesome, gutsy, and self-satisfying." This year Uhing is looking forward to the boys' develop. "I'm still waiting for the boys' breakthrough." He can't wait for them to surprise themselves with the abilities they already have. As for the girls, Uhing is looking for "consistent growth, and to really want competitiveness."

     Can the Chadron cardinals XC team make it to state?  According to Uhing, both boys and girls have a chance. "They maintain the talent, but it's up to them to put in the work." 
     As for the advantages over competing teams, the Chadron cardinals have "swagger" said Uhing. Mr. Uhing says that the cross team keeps it "fun but talented." With enthusiasm, he states that along with the swagger, "We have confidence, but we expect to compete."

New teacher Mr. Nelson takes on World Geo. and P.E.


     Chadron High School has a few new faces this year. One of those new faces is Mr. Nelson. He is from northeastern NE, which is by Norfolk. 
      In high school he played baseball, football, and track.  His school was smaller than Chadron, as his graduating class was 24. His school was a D1 school.  He said, "It was a small school." 
     He went to the University of Kearney where he studied social science and secondary eduction. He did not play NCAA sports, but he did play intramural sports. 
     He moved to Chadron because there was a job opening. This is Mr. Nelson's first teaching job. He decided to become a teacher because he always wanted to help people, and he wanted more than an 8-4 job.  This year he is teaching world geography and P.E. Mr. Nelson said, "I love Chadron, the school, the students, and the staff I enjoy all of them."

Monday, September 22, 2014

One Acts Takes the Stage

     Chadron High School kicks off the 2014-2015 year of music, drama, and theater with royalty, fairly tales, and culture. This year's One Acts, directed by Mrs. Paopao, and assistant directed by Miss. Dobry, is the "The Oldest Story Ever Told" by David F. Eliet.
     The play about Cinderella stories from China, India, and Africa will debut Nov. 14, 2014 with a dinner theater at 5:30 and the play to follow. Tickets are $12 and will be available to buy from One Act members at the end of October. The second showing will be Nov. 15, 2014 at 2pm. Tickets will be $6. A school-wide performance will be November 25th. One Acts will compete at districts Dec. 5, 2014 in Ogallala.
     This year's cast brings new members to One Acts. Mrs. Paopao explains that many returning actors graduated, so many younger students are stepping up with a great amount of talent. "I am really looking forward to working with the younger students," says Mrs. Paopao. Returning veterans are Shay Chamberlain, Aaron Gaswick, Ashley Trent, Aly Crow, and Harlie Kennell.
    There is "always a role available," says Mrs. Paopao. One Acts is low stress and is open at the beginning of each year to anyone who has a love for acting, and wants to be involved in something that is flexible in school.