Editorial briefs: Chargers bring home several awards

Don’t foul a Charger

Juniors Maddy Hutley and Rhett Murray took home the gold at the Royal Valley Basketball Tournament free throw contest. Hutley shot 13 out of 15 free throws. Murray tied with another competitor in the first round of shooting and had to shoot 10 extra free throws in a sudden death round. He went 10 for 10 at the line securing a win. Junior Hannah Mumpower also took home a first place medal in the free throw contest at the Lyndon JV Basketball tournament. She went 17 for 25 in the first round, tying with another competitor and came back to shoot 21 out of 25 in the final round. Congrats to all three of these individuals!

Abby Oliver Sets New Record

Senior Abby Oliver set a new record for WHS last week at the Lyndon basketball game. Oliver scored a total of 40 points in one game, beating the previous record of 39 points held by 2018 graduate Karsen Schultz. Oliver also recently surpassed 1,000 career points scored. Oliver achieved this milestone at the Mission Valley game. Congrats Abby on these accomplishments!

Chargers compete at State Scholars Bowl

Scholars Bowl placed 5th at State to end its season. WHS Scholars Bowl qualified for State after finishing in 2nd place at the Regional Tournament hosted at Wabaunsee. After going 4-1 in pool play, the team advanced to the championship rounds. With 6 members graduating the varsity team is wide open next year, so study up.

Chargers place at League Wrestling

Wabaunsee Wrestling had three wrestlers place in the top three at League Wrestling Friday night. Sophomore Eli Mumpower placed 3rd in the 132 lb weight class, sophomore Derek Wallin placed 1st in the 160 lb weight class and sophomore Koby Corp placed 2nd in the Heavyweight weight class. All wrestlers will compete at Regionals this Friday at Rossville. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will go on to compete at State in Hays February 22.

STAR events head to state

WHS FCCLA took 23 members to compete at District STAR Events in Manhattan on February 8. These members competed in 13 various events, 8 of them going on to compete at State Events in Wichita in April.

The editorial represents the opinions of the Charger staff.

Miss Rodeo KS visits Wabaunsee elementary schools

Miss Rodeo Kansas Brooke Wallace speaks to Alma Elementary School students on Friday. Wallace, a former classmate of Alma fourth grade teacher Brooke Janssen, spoke about rodeo events and her duties as Miss Rodeo Kansas.” The students enjoyed it,” Janssen said. “They saw her as a celebrity, which she thought was funny.” Janssen said she invited Wallace because she knew it was her job to spread knowledge about rodeo. Wallace also visited Maple Hill Elementary. Photo by Emma Alderman.

Scholars Bowl places 5th at state

Jarett Bolinder, Luke Barber, Maddie Alderman, Dillon Spellman and Sean Dugger do a buzzer check before beginning play at the state scholars bowl meet in Inman. The Chargers went 4-1 in pool play and finished 5th overall. Photo by Jan Hutley.

Team to graduate 6 seniors

The Wabaunsee Scholars Bowl team ended its season with a 5th place finish at state.

Seniors Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Jarrett Bolinder, Sean Dugger, Dillon Spellman and junior Eleanor Badeker traveled to Inman Elementary School to compete in the state meet after qualifying by placing 2nd in the regional meet. The state meet would be tough as it included eleven other teams who placed in the top three from other regional scholar bowl meets including teams like Wichita Independent and Goessel.

“I felt excited and much more nervous than I ever had,” Spellman said.

The format of the state meet is similar to the format used by the regional tournaments. The teams were separated into two pools and the teams competed in a round-robin with the top three teams from each pool moving on to the championship rounds.

WHS won its first four matches of the tournament against Syracuse, Sacred Heart, Oswego and Sublette. The last round of pool play would be against the other undefeated team in the pool, Wichita Independent.

The Chargers gained a lead in the first few questions but would be overtaken quickly after Independent correctly answered nine consecutive questions. Independent won 30-95. WHS would move on to the finals with a 2nd place finish in pool play.

“It felt good to go to the finals,” Spellman said. “But getting destroyed in that final match was very discouraging.”

The championship rounds began with a match against Sublette, a team that got 3rd in the same pool. A tough set of questions would result in a very close round with only a 10 point difference. WHS took a first-round loss of 20-30.

The next match would be against Heritage Christian Academy, a team who placed 3rd at the Wabaunsee regional. Once again, a tough set of questions would produce a 20-point difference, but another loss with a score of 20-40.

A rematch Wichita Independent would be the next match and would prove to be a difficult with Independent interrupting most of the questions. Another loss with a score of 20-100 would put the team in a poor spot for placing.

“When we lost three and still had one of the top teams to play, the mindset changed to get at least one win,” Alderman said.

Northern Heights, the champion of the Wabaunsee regional, was the next team up. The questions in the round may have been difficult, but WHS would overcome the challenge to gain its first victory, 40-10. Another win would make it possible for a top four finish. The last match of the meet would be against Goessel, first place of the other pool during pool play. WHS would fight hard but would prove to be tough a result in a loss with a score of 40-70.

“I thought we tried our best but it was disappointing coming up short,” Bolinder said.

Heritage Christian finished first in 2A after handing Wichita Independent it’s only loss. Independent  finished 2nd and Sublette finished 3rd.

A 5th place finish is one of the many accomplishments the team gained throughout the year. WHS finished second at Council Grove, league and regionals as well as coming very close to entering in the final rounds in two meets. Alderman would lead the team through the year as captain, scoring 1650 points. Spellman scored 755 points, Barber scored 160 points, Bolinder and Dugger scored 100 points each and senior Jessica Vanstory got 10 points.

“I knew this would be a strong team because we returned so many talented players from last year. I think they were really driven and competitive. We were only a couple of questions away from a better finish against some of the best teams in the state,” scholars bowl coach Brendan Praeger said.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

Opinion: Barber siblings dispense romantic advice for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, and dating in high school is harder than ever. Fortunately, junior Laurel Barber and senior Luke Barber have great advice for high school Romeos and Juliets.

I’m an upperclassman. Should I date an underclassman?

Laurel: I say go for it. If you are happy, then stay happy. Dating an older guy is what some people are used to but dating someone younger doesn’t really matter. It’s 2019 — do you boo.

Luke: If you’re an upperclassman that means you’re probably around 17 or 18 years old. In the state of Kansas the legal age of consent is 16. Why date an underclassman when you can date an elderly billionaire. Think about it, you have college coming soon and we’re all broke. College tuition to an elderly billionaire is pennies on the hundred dollar bill.

How many zip codes apart should I keep my boyfriends?

Laurel: With social media it’s super easy to find out who is talking to who. So stick to one boyfriend at a time and if you aren’t feeling it, just break up. From the beginning set clear expectations of what you want out of the relationship and if you even want a relationship.

Luke: That’s an easy one, don’t. And by don’t, I mean have lots of boyfriends in the same zip code. Have you ever seen those tv shows where people have multiple wives? Just do that but with boyfriends. Make them awkwardly compete for your affection under the guise that they are okay with it.

How much PDA is too much PDA?

Laurel: Holding hands and a cute little 3-second hug are the only acceptable PDA. Kissing in the classroom, commons or at school is gross. No one wants to see you kiss your significant other in front of everyone. It’s more acceptable if you aren’t at school and you give them a little peck of a kiss — as long as it isn’t at a super inconvenient or uncomfortable time for people around you. Don’t kiss at church, in the middle of a grocery store or at a restaurant. It’s okay to kiss in the park. Just don’t scare little kids.

Luke: Any touching is immoral. Don’t do it. You think other people want to see you making goo goo eyes at someone? No they don’t. In fact you should do the very opposite. If you are dating someone in school you should actively try to make people think that you dislike them. Constantly make fun of them. Constantly annoy them. Do whatever it takes to make sure people think you don’t like them.

What is a good Valentine’s Day gift for my HS boyfriend or girlfriend?

Laurel: It depends… if you have been in an exclusive relationship for only a couple of months, you should get them something meaningful but less than $20. Get them some like candy and maybe a nice dinner at McDonald’s. If you have been together for multiple years than you can most definitely go a little bit more crazy. Maybe like $50 on a fine piece of jewelry.

Luke: Immortality. It’s understandable that everyone’s main and sometimes only fear is death. So free them from them from their mortal worries. There are plenty of ways to gain immortality just buy a voodoo cookbook or something and get cracking. Not that hard in my opinion.

Is Valentine’s day a good day to ask someone out for the first time?

Laurel: Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days to ever ask someone out on a first date — right next to New Year’s Day. It’s awful to ask someone out because you are lonely. It’s  Valentine’s Day. You are in high school. It’s okay to be single. Everyone has been in your shoes. Just go to DG and get someone ice cream and watch some funny movies.

Luke: Yes. Everyone thinks “oh no one’s going to ask me out I’m a major uggo so today’s going to be fine I’ll just be lonely like always”. But no, here you come guns blazing. Ask them out and it will surprise them so much that they’ll pass out on the spot. At that point you take all the cash from their wallet. They’ll be so happy they have a date they won’t even notice the missing cash when they wake up.

— Laurel Barber, Luke Barber

Band, choir teacher Richard Philbrook to retire at end of year

Music teacher Richard Philbrook directs the choir on February 13. Philbrook is retiring at the end of the year after 43 years in education. Photo by Kendyl Bolinder

Music teacher Richard Philbrook has announced his plans to retire at the end of this school year.

Philbrook has taught 5-12th grade at Wabaunsee for 11 years, but has been teaching band and choir for a total of 43 years. His favorite thing about Wabaunsee is the students, and the special bond he’s formed with them over the years.

“That’s not just the requisite answer. That is truly how I feel. I have never taught where, top to bottom, the students were as kind, considerate and respectful as they are here. You guys are just nice people, seriously. So many of my colleagues never got to experience people like you, and I feel sorry for them,” Philbrook.

“He’s very dedicated to music. I’ll miss his stories,” junior baritone player Brendan Dugger said.

“I’ve had him since fifth grade. It’s going to be weird adapting to someone else’s teaching style,” junior trumpeter Falish Willier said.

WHS principal Jan Hutley and WJH principal Steve Oliver are interviewing candidates to fill Philbrook’s position.

After his retirement, Philbrook plans to travel and spend more time with his family, and will occasionally step in as a substitute teacher as needed. He will continue performing in professional music groups.

— Kendyl Bolinder, @Bolinderkendyl

FBLA members place at district competition

Seven FBLA members travelled to Herington High School January 21 to compete at the Kansas FBLA District III Conference.

This was the first District Conference WHS FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) attended in three years as complications with weather had canceled the conference the last two years. “This was the first time any of our students have been able to experience a district conference,” adviser Jeron Weisshaar said.

Attending the conference were juniors Laurel Barber, Hannah Mumpower, Sierra Quathamer and Falisha Willier, sophomore Reagan Kelley and freshmen Kara Hafenstine and Mayah Mumpower.

“I thought it was a good experience for my first year in the club,” Kara Hafenstine said. “I didn’t have that many events to do so it was kind of boring, but adding events over the next few years will make that better.” Hafenstine competed in Introduction to Business and placed 3rd in Introduction to Business Communication.

Reagan Kelley placed 5th in Business Law and 2nd in Hospitality Management. “It was stressful but fun at the same time,” Kelley said. “It was a good learning experience.

WHS FBLA had four other individuals place in events. Hannah Mumpower placed 2nd in Economics, 3rd in Personal Finance, 4th in Healthcare Administration and 6th in Journalism. Sierra Quathamer placed 9th in Agribusiness and participated in Accounting I. Laurel Barber placed 8th in Public Speaking and 10th in Help Desk. She also participated in Personal Finance. Mayah Mumpower placed 8th in Introduction to Financial Math and participated in Introduction to Business Communication. Falisha Willier participated in Accounting I and Business Law.

All WHS FBLA members who competed at District competitions will have the chance to compete at the State FBLA Conference in Topeka, April 1-3. Members who place in the top three in their events at State will advance to the National FBLA Conference June 29-July 2 in San Antonio.

“Not knowing what to expect or how it works, I think the group did an exceptional job with their events,” Weisshaar said.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

Technology director Austin Lawrence reflects on time at USD 329

In technology director Austin Lawrence’s nine years at USD329, he oversaw big changes in the technology, including internet improvements and the introduction of iPads.

Lawrence left the district in January for a similar position Hanover.

He had many roles at Wabaunsee. In addition to being IT director, Lawrence coached girls basketball for six years and football for one. He has also helped teachers to decide on curriculum to work with technology.

When Lawrence first arrived, the separate school buildings in the different towns each had their own internet service provider. Lawrence worked to consolidate the system, and now all the schools in the district get service from one tower with one internet provider. Lawrence also played a large role in better equipping the classrooms. The schools went from each having one mobile projector that was rolled from room to room to having projectors in almost every classroom. Each room is also equipped with an Apple TV, a device that makes student’s presentations and other classroom activities easier.

“Austin was a big help when it came to technology. I started around the same time he did and the progress we’ve made has really benefited the students,” journalism teacher Brendan Praeger said.

Originally the schools were all computer-lab-based. “My second year here, the goal was to get every school two computer labs,” Lawrence said. The junior high and middle school also got mobile labs with laptops. In 2014, the district transitioned to the current system of 1-1 technology by giving every student an iPad. “It was just as cost effective to either upgrade the computer labs or give every kid their own device,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence also oversaw security for the district. There are now 75 cameras district wide compared to the original number of only 10, and all buses are equipped with cameras. The phone system was also modified so that instead of having to make a long distance call between school buildings, the phones are all on an extension. Another major change that Lawrence oversaw was the transition from server to cloud. All the student’s documents used to be stored on physical servers. Now, all documents are backed up to the “cloud” using Google.

Currently, the district is working on changing the internet service from the tower to fiber optics, which is a technology that uses glass or plastic threads to transmit data. Fiber internet is faster and less likely to go down in a power outage.

Lawrence’s new position is the District Technology Coordinator at USD 233. The district uses Chromebooks instead of iPads, and Lawrence is excited to learn about new technology. “For IT people that’s always exciting,” Lawrence said, “instead of doing the same thing over and over I get to mess with some new technology.” Lawrence said he looks forward to having the opportunity to write new district policy about technology.

While Lawrence has already started his new position, his wife Cindy, a teacher at Paxico Middle School, will remain until the end of the school year. The couple is also expecting a third child this spring.

Both Austin and Cindy are originally from Hanover, so moving back is significant to them. “We’re moving back home,” Lawrence said. There will be familiar faces at his new job. “I actually get to work with some of my old teachers that I went to high school with,” Lawrence said.

After spending so many years at Wabaunsee, Lawrence said he will miss some things when he leaves, like the small community and the nice facilities at the high school. “Coaching sports was always very enjoyable. I probably won’t have that opportunity up in Hanover,” Lawrence said.

— Eleanor Badeker, @ellybadeker

WHS struggles to find substitute teachers

Finding a substitute teacher is becoming increasingly difficult for Wabaunsee teachers.

The district find substitutes through an automated website program called Frontline, formerly known as AESOP. Teachers and staff use the program to submit a need for a sub and it automatically calls out to a list of substitutes until someone accepts the position. When the subs receive the call they can either accept or deny the request.

WHS secretary Jeanne Perry said that the program usually works out great, but can be a problem with a small amount of substitutes that the district has. The district has around 15, and long term subs minimize that small number.

A problem with the program is that it doesn’t always fill the needed substitute position. When this occurs, an extra step is taken to fill it. “It is Carrie (Boeckman) and I’s job for the high school  to personally call a few people and ask them to maybe pick up at least half a day,” Perry said, “But if we can’t convince someone then we have to look at the different plan periods and piece it together.”

The number of times the school has been unable to find a sub has increased this year. First semester included multiple interim teachers that were gone frequently. The district has also suffered from losing a few good, reliable substitutes due to retirement and other jobs. Long term subs will also make an impact this spring for maternity leave along with many teachers needing subs for fourth hour to leave for spring sports and activities.

In desperate situations, some classes are supervised in the library, or a teacher may watch multiple classes.

Becoming a substitute teacher in the state of Kansas requires a substitute teaching license. These requirements include having a degree, completing a teacher preparation program and passing a background check to be able to apply. Anyone interested can apply at usd329.com.

Substitute Peggy Adams has been subbing for more than 20 years. She said she receives calls 3-4 times a week. “I enjoy being around the students,” she said. “I learn something from them or the lessons every day I work.”

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @Kaytlyn_nelle

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