WHS hires Spanish, P.E. teachers

WHS hired two new teachers at Monday night’s board meeting.

David Amer will replace Kathy Hendricks as Spanish Teacher. Hendricks has only been teaching on B days, so some adjustments may be made to next semester’s schedule.

Garrett Eck will take over the P.E. teaching position currently being filled by girls head basketball coach, Shanna Perine.

The board also hired Kolby Harris and Adam Laubert to coach junior high boys basketball.



WHS hires new librarian

WHS welcomes graduate Whitney Lynch to fill Library/Media Tech position.

Lynch, a 2009 graduate and daughter of Paxico Middle School Social Studies and WHS Cheer coach Cheryl Lewis, has returned to the halls of Wabaunsee to fill the Library/Media Tech position previously held by Heather McCreight. McCreight moved to Wabaunsee Junior High to fill the Library/Media Tech position there.

This is Lynch’s first Library. “I have never been a librarian before,” Lynch said, “but I’m learning.”

Lynch’s favorite memories of Wabaunsee include winning the state championship in softball her sophomore year and cheerleading. Lynch said her hobbies are her kids. “I have three of them,” Lynch said, “They are 9, 5 and 1 so they keep me pretty busy, but I also enjoy reading and sports.”

Lynch enjoys reading Nicholas Sparks books in her free time.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

WHS attempts to combat vaping

E-cigarettes or “vaping” has become a widespread problem across adolescents and young adults, and students at WHS are no exception.

According to CNN, teen vaping increased nearly 80 percent in the last year. This new trend also created a complication for high schools across America.

“As the administration and staff, we are being proactive as possible to prevent this problem from arising at WHS,” WHS principal Jan Hutley said. The high school has taken initiative by locking locker rooms during the day, and enforcing hall passes for students. “We don’t want to sit back and wait to catch someone.”

Although the WHS handbook doesn’t specifically mention e-cigarettes, Hutley clarified they fall under the tobacco section.

“It’s important for students to be aware of the consequences that will be given to them if they make this choice,” Hutley said. She also conducted a meeting with each of the classes in WHS to explain the school’s policies. “This will also be treated like any other offense against tobacco products, alcohol or drugs, and law enforcement will have to be contacted.”

Many students are also unaware of the health risks that come with vaping. In a survey conducted by Charger staff, 59 percent of students believed that vaping had the same or less of health risks than smoking cigarettes. Although hazards like second-hand smoke are canceled out, vaping actually creates more of a health risk for the user. This is because of the amount of nicotine and other chemicals are increased with e-cigarettes.

“Vaping is a very important health risk topic that teens and adults need to understand,” Wabaunsee Health Department administrator Janet Wertzberger said.  “Although vaping may be recommended for some adults who already smoke and are trying to quit, it is by no means a healthy habit for someone who has never smoked.”

WHS also sent an email out to students’ parents, informing them of the expectations and school policy on vaping and tobacco use at school.

“It’s important to let kids and parents know this information, and to make sure they know we do care about their safety and well-being,” Hutley said.

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

Miss Kansas speaks at WHS

Miss Kansas 2018 Hannah Klaassen spoke to WHS students about distracted driving, mental health and the Miss America organization in an assembly Wednesday morning.

Klaassen enjoys tap dancing, baking and running. Originally from Arkansas City, she attended Tabor College majoring in physiology before taking a break to serve as Miss Kansas for a year.

According to Klaassen, the Miss America organization empowers women, provides scholarships, style and success. She addressed the students about how the organization has changed her life.

Klaassen also paired with Kansas department of Transportation to speak about the different types of distraction driving. She addressed cognitive, manual and visual distractions that students may be using.

She gave ways to stay safe while driving such as “ Don’t drive between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. because your body is used to sleeping at those hours.”

Klaassen had a personal platform of “the Mind Matters”. She tied her mental health program in with distracted driving.

“Miss Kansas shared the importance of safe driving. It was important because she shared more information about the different ways of distracted driving,” SAFE & SADD co-president Bailey Coon said.

— Laurel Barber, @Lawl_e_20

Maintenance a financial challenge for Wabaunsee School District

A hole remains open in the ceiling of Mr. Praeger’s classroom on the third floor of WHS. A rolling trash can is brought in whenever it rains. The roof is one of many maintenance challenges facing USD 329.

USD considering options to maintain buildings

USD 329 faces maintenance challenges and is considering an extension of a bond issue to pay for solutions.

“The building was built in 1937,” WHS custodian Tim Songs said, “so it’s always challenging when there’s a problem.”

“The biggest problem is the roof,” maintenance manager Freddie Johnson said. The clay tiles high school roof leak, and the underlayer becomes saturated with water and splits open. This can be seen in the form of brown water stains on the ceiling tiles, or in more extreme cases such as the hole in the ceiling of one teacher’s room.

“To fix it right,” Johnson said, “we could take the clay tile off and replace it with tin. That would alleviate a lot of problems.”

The old high school building is not on the Register of Historic Kansas Places, so there are no restrictions on what can be done to the building. “The boiler system will have to be replaced,” Johnson said.

While some of the problems are cosmetic, others affect the way the building is used. For instance, the heating system in the high school auditorium has been broken for several years. A school assembly Wednesday was moved to the gym because it would be too cold to have students in the auditorium.

Funding for maintenance is provided by the capital outlay budget, which also provides for salaries of maintenance and custodial staff, transportation, and performance uniforms. The capital outlay budget would pay for maintenance repairs such as a toilet going out.

But for certain large expenditures like the roof or boiler system, capital outlay is insufficient. “To replace the roof at the high school,” superintendent Brad Starnes said, “it would take around $160,000.”

Another large expense is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The systems installed with the last bond issue have outlived their life expectancy. To help pay for these things, the board is considering extending a bond issue for another seven years, which would raise about $2-3 million without raising taxes from the current level.

The district also faces a decision about Paxico Middle School. Parts of the building and facilities need to be repaired, so the board is considering the district’s need for the building. The board has also been looking into studies that show that when a student transitions into another building, there is a drop in academic success before it rises back up. Potential plans would keep fifth grade students in elementary school and move sixth grade students to the junior high.

It is an ongoing process to look for solutions to maintenance problems, and several options are under consideration.

“We don’t want to put money into something that we won’t have in the future,” Starnes said.

— Eleanor Badeker, @ellybadeker

FCCLA Knowledge Bowl team advances to nationals

Alexis Hafenstine, Jessica Vanstory, Luke Barber, Autymn Schreiner and Eleanor Badeker pose after advancing to nationals in Knowledge Bowl. The team will compete this summer in Anaheim.

The WHS FCCLA Knowledge Bowl team punched its ticket to nationals.

After a victorious weekend, the team will be competing in Anaheim, Calif. this summer.

Five FCCLA members traveled to Louisville last weekend to compete in the Lifesmarts knowledge bowl at the National Cluster Meeting. The team consisted of seniors Luke Barber and Jessica Vanstory and juniors Eleanor Badeker, Alexis Hafenstine and Autymn Schreiner.

In October the team took an online test and scored an 89, the top score of the cluster and second overall in the nation. This score was then added to the results from the quiz bee that the team participated in on Saturday at cluster. The quiz bee is where members from each team separated into their different areas of expertise and answered a set of 10 questions. With a score of 60, WHS kept its number one position at the meet.

After advancing to pool play, WHS played out three rounds of knowledge bowl. They were able to stay at the top of their pool advancing them to nationals this summer. They received second overall out of 26 teams that came all across the country.

Captain Autymn Schreiner felt the team did an awesome job through different phases of competition. “Even when we were losing in some of the buzzer matches we stayed calm and came back every time. I feel like we were never really worried about losing, we knew we could do it,” Schreiner said.

FCCLA adviser Diane Breiner said she was proud of how the team competed. “They did amazing,” Breiner said, “They were number two out of six of the teams to advance. They were number two out of 26.”

WHS will compete at the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim in July. There they will compete against the 5 others from Louisville, 6 others from the cluster in Arizona and the 4 teams who will compete for a second chance in an online test later in the year. “We are very excited to see them represent Wabaunsee,” Breiner said.

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @kaytlyn_nelle

Willier raising money to study abroad

A WHS student is seeking funding to study abroad.

Junior Falisha Willier is in search of funds to study abroad through the American Field Study Homestay Program. Willier hopes to spend 4-6 weeks in this program in Tuscany, Italy during the summer of 2019.

Willier will fly to Rome and attend a week long language camp before driving to Tuscany where she will live with a host family. She is hoping to take a lot from this experience. “I just want to learn new cultures because I feel like we’re a little unexposed to other cultures,” Willier said. “It also looks really good for college.”

The program alone will cost $8,650 which does not include airline fees and transportation. Willier has planned many activities and fundraisers to raise money for the trip. This Saturday, November 10, Willier will have an Italian Dinner at the Alma Community Center from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 10 and under. Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and a dessert will be served. Willier also plans to host a Paws with a Clause holiday photo shoot for pets and a Parents Night Out event where childcare will be provided for parents wanting a night out.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

New books available in the WHS library

New works include young adult series and non-fiction

Last week, several new books arrived in the WHS library.

The process of purchasing new books for the library begins with recommendations from both students and teachers. Brendan Praeger and Laura Delfelder provide most of these recommendations, as the current English teachers at Wabaunsee. Librarian/Media Tech. Heather McCreight then adds books to the list based on suggestions from students throughout the year.

McCreight then researches reviews of each book to find out what they cover. “I usually read the first chapter of each book,” McCreight said, “I look at what the book covers and the different topics included in it.” She also consults Praeger to decide the final list. Once the books are approved, she orders them.

New additions include the Silo series, a self-published dystopian novel about a civilization living in silos following an apocalyptic dust storm. “Station Eleven” is another dystopian novel following a flu outbreak. Non-fiction book “Adrift” tells the story of a man lost at sea and “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” follows one woman’s search for the Golden State Killer. Norse Mythology is a retelling of mythological stories by Neil Gaiman.

“I try to choose books that I’m familiar with that I think the students will enjoy,” English teacher Brendan Praeger said. “I think we have a good selection of classics, but we need to keep up with new books, especially in the non-fiction genre.”

The library budget recently increased to $2,500, which not only covers new books, but also magazines, newspapers and any other supplies the library needs. This shipment of books totaled $677.12.

To recommend your own book or series, simply talk to McCreight and she will add your suggestion to the list.

— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_, Photo by Kaytlyn Meseke

Recently added books:

11.22.63 by Stephen King

Adrift by Steven Callahan

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

How to be Good by Nick Hornby

Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

United As One by Pittacus Lore

Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

Character is Destiny by John McCain

The Silo Series (Wool, Shift and Dust) by Hugh Howey

Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore

Hello Universe by Entrada Kelly

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Land of the Painted Caves by Jean Auel

Mammoth Hunters by Jean Auel

Plains of Passage by Jean Auel

Rest of Us Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Station Eleven by Emily Mandel

Why Character Matters by John McCain

CAD building model of WHS

Luke Barber and Dillon Spellman work on the base for a model of the WHS main building. “We build stuff, make stuff, and draw stuff,” Barber said.

Students hope to compete at tech fair

CAD students are creating a model of the main building of WHS.

Computer Aided Drafting students Luke Barber, Sean Dugger, Dillon Spellman and Kinsey Stuewe have been working on a model of the main building of Wabaunsee High School. The model will be 4 percent scale or 1/24th the actual size — roughly 5 by 6 feet.

The students are taking on the project in hopes of competing in a competition at the Fort Hays Tech Fair April 21. “We were on our way home from the Tech Fair last year and Luke was like ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a 3D model of the whole town?’ And we had to talk him down to one building and that’s the building we chose,” Stuewe said.

Sean Dugger and Kinsey Stuewe measure Brendan Praeger English classroom for the WHS model. “A lot of the measurements don’t make sense,” Dugger said.

The students measured every inch of the building because no plans of the building exist. The CAD students are using a computer aided drafting system called Autodesk Revit to create the building plans. The plans will then be used to create the model, a mostly wooden structure with 3D printed plastic pieces.

“Most of the students on this project are in their third year,” CAD teacher Amy Cassell said. “So this project adds that extra level to the class.”

The students have experienced a few issues while working on the model. “One of the biggest struggles was not being able to find the original plans for the building,” Stuewe said, “So we then had to go measure everything.”

The students plan on having the exterior of the plans done by winter break and have the rest of the spring leading up to the Tech Fair to finish the interior of the building.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑