Technology director, English teacher to leave WHS

Two Wabaunsee staff members will be leaving the district for new opportunities.

Technology director Austin Lawrence announced he is leaving after nine years serving on the Wabaunsee staff. Lawrence accepted a job as I.T. Director at Hanover-Barnes-Linn school district in Hanover, where Lawrence and his wife Cindy are from. They plan to build a house and raise their family there. Cindy, who currently teaches fifth grade math and science at Paxico Middle School, will stay until the end of the school year.

“What I’m excited about with this new job is that it’s basically an opportunity to come in and improve another school district,” Lawrence said.

Although Lawrence is excited about this job opportunity, he says he will miss Wabaunsee greatly.

“The things we go through in life are sometimes bittersweet, and we all have them. This is one of those moments for me. I really cannot put into words how great all of you have been over my nine years here. You are a great group of people to work with and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” Lawrence said.

English teacher Laura Delfelder will be attending Veterinary School at Kansas State University this fall. She has wanted to be a vet her entire life, so this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. She is excited to continue her education, because she really enjoys learning. She’ll be at WHS for the rest of the year.

What Delfelder will miss most about teaching is her students.

“I’m gonna miss my students. That’s like the one thing that makes me almost want to cry thinking about,” Delfelder said

“I’m going to miss my English classes, but can’t wait to move onto the next chapter.”

— Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

New P.E. teacher starts at WHS

P.E. teacher Garret Eck works in the weightroom during body fitness. Eck graduated from Emporia in December. Photo by Sierra Quathamer.

Eck hopes to promote fitness

New P.E. teacher Garrett Eck’s workout habits show that he is passionate about his subject.

“I decided to go into body fitness because I was originally out of shape and it really brought back my life and I wanted to help people get back in shape and push themselves in the weight room,” Eck said.

Eck replaces interim teacher Shanna Perine, who held the position for the first semester this year.

Eck attended Cloud County Community College to play baseball where he got his associates of science. After CCCC he went to Emporia State for his Bachelors of science in secondary education and minor in coaching. Eck student taught at Emporia High School and was an assistant football coach.

Eck, who graduated from Marysville in 2013, was intrigued by the job at Wabaunsee because it is a small school like where he is from and it was a great opportunity to teach right out of college.

His goals for the semester include getting more weight classes and more students in class instead of just having a couple of students in each period.

Challenges Eck has faced from starting later in the year are that the students already have a routine that they were used to and learning everybody’s names.

“My biggest goal for the year is to turn things around to get the kids to where they want to lift. They just want to go play games out in the gym. I want to get more kids in weights overall,” Eck said.

— Laurel Barber, @Lawl_e_20


New Spanish teacher starts at WHS

Spanish teacher David Amer addresses his Spanish 1 class. Amer graduated from Washburn in December. Photo by Sierra Quathamer.

Amer hopes to have fun in class

New Spanish teacher David Amer looks forward to teaching at Wabaunsee.

Amer filled the teaching position held previously by Kathy Hendricks who had served as an interim Spanish teacher. Along with all Spanish classes, Amer will also be taking on a freshman adviser base class and serve as a freshman adviser.

Amer, originally from Kansas City, is a graduate of Bishop Miege High School. Amer participated in baseball, football and wrestling in high school. He also enjoys working on cars and working out. Amer’s current hobbies include spending time with his fiancé, listening to music and following Royals baseball. “I also like to cook, play guitar, and am training my dog so she can be a therapy dog one day,” Amer said.

After high school, Amer moved to Topeka and attended Washburn University where he earned a degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Education. Amer student taught at Seaman High School this past semester.

Amer decided to become a teacher after helping coach the baseball team at Bishop Miege during the summer of his freshman and sophomore years of college. “I really enjoyed the experience of being able to work with young people,”Amer said, “and I know high school especially is an important time to have positive supportive influences in your life. I hope to be a positive and supportive person to students here and help them get where they want to go in life.”

Amer is looking forward to a good year at Wabaunsee. “I chose to come to Wabaunsee because it is a great opportunity to gain experience fresh out of college,” Amer said, “and I have the support and chance to try some non-traditional Spanish methods in the classroom. My goal for this semester is to teach you guys a lot of Spanish, have fun in class and have a lot of smiles.”

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

Editorial Briefs: new pass system mildly annoying

Online passes are annoying

Students are crying because in the time it takes to fill out the QR code pass for the bathroom, they have already peed their pants. The new system is better than filling out paper passes, but we still think it can be streamlined. We hope the kinks get worked out in the next few weeks.

Homecoming candidates pull names from Winter Royalty

A couple of the Homecoming candidates pulled their names from consideration for Winter Royalty, giving new students a chance to win a nomination. We’re torn on whether this should be an official rule or not, but we applaud the students who made the decision. Good luck to the Winter Royalty candidates Friday night!

We miss Winter vacation

What is the point of having two days of school after Christmas break? We could have just gone a few days later before break and then continued with a full week after New Year’s. Fortunately, it looks like this will be fixed on next year’s schedule.

WHS welcomes New teachers

We’re glad that Perine and Hendricks stepped up last semester to teach P.E. and Spanish, but it’s nice to have teachers who are here on a more permanent basis. Congratulations to Mr. Eck and Mr. Amer on their first teaching jobs We hope you have a great experience at WHS.

Staff repairs commons ceiling

The custodial staff worked over break to repair damage to the commons ceiling. It’s a tough job caring for several old buildings in the district, and we’re happy when the district can find a way to stay on top of the challenges.

Binge this

After binge watching new things for two weeks over break, our opinion is to stay home and watch season 3 of “Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix instead of going to the theatres to watch the terrible “Holmes and Watson.” Other official endorsements from the Charger include “Birdbox,” “Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour,” and “Dumplin.”

The editorial is the opinion of the Charger staff. Send letters to the editor to

Government class proposes changes to student handbook

Changes include dress code, parking rules and college visits

The students of the WHS Government class have made proposals for changes to the student handbook. The changes will be reviewed by Principal Jan Hutley, and if accepted will take effect in the next school year.

The students reviewed the handbook and looked for policies that could be changed to better serve the student body, as well as outdated rules that needed to be updated. “The students basically go through the legislative process,” government teacher Jess Rutledge said, “Introducing an idea, talking about it as a committee, and then writing it out for a bill, and then we send it to administration which we kind of treat like the executive branch.”

The administration then either approves the suggestions, which become “laws,” or vetoes them. Rutledge said this allows the students to better understand the legislative process. “It’s one thing to teach them about how laws are made,” Rutledge said, “so for them to physically do it and then see what all goes into it, all the various angles they have to look at, I feel like they really enjoy that.”

Proposed changes to the handbook include entries about the dress code, grading policies, parking lots and college visits. There are also proposed updates to outdated parts of the handbook such as lunch cards that are no longer in use and the correction of the table of contents.

The decision making process was largely left up to the students. “I try to stay out of it as much as possible,” Rutledge said. The students had to take the responsibility of choosing reasonable options that they believe will pass.

There was a lot of debate about suggestions. “Some people expanded on their opinions but others just said the same thing over and over,” senior Dillion Spellman said. In the end, the classes had two lists of changes to propose. “We were mostly pleased with the things we came up with,” senior Jessica Vanstory said, “most of all of us came to an agreement.”

The handbook assignment is different from past years. “The past four years what we’ve done is a bill to change WHS for the better,” Rutledge said. Of those presented over the years, one bill of suggestion was accepted by the school “administrative branch.” “It’s interesting because we’ve had a change in administration,” Rutledge said, “and with it being a different project I’m interested to see what Mrs. Hutley and the school board’s input will be.”

Hutley said she will take the student’s proposals into consideration when she reviews the handbook for changes. “It’s their school too, and I value what they have to say about the policies,” Hutley said.

— Eleanor Badeker, @ellybadeker

2B proposals

Dress Code:


Remove the following restrictions on these dress codes from the handbook, under the condition that they are not a distraction:

  • Jackets/Coats
  • Gloves
  • Hats/Beanies/Bandanas
  • Key chains
  • Dyed Hair Colors


Update the shorts policy to read as follows:

  • “Students are not allowed to wear shorts that are shorter than a 3-inch in-seam and are showing anything above the upper-thigh.”

GPA Policy:

The following should be the updated for the section titled “Weighted Grades an Honor Grades”:

  • The following weight formula is used to figure grade point averages at WHS-
    • Weighted Classes:
      • Physics
      • *NOTE- the following classes are still listed in the student handbook as classes that are offered for a weighted grade, but currently not available at WHS-
        • AP English
        • Calculus
    • The Weighting is as follows-
      • “A”= 5 points vs. the current 4
      • “B”= 4 points vs. the current 3
      • “C”= 3 points vs. the current 2
      • “D”= remains 1 point
      • “F”= remains 0 points
    • Honors Classes: Students will have 0.5 added to their GPA for the following classes-
      • Anatomy
      • Spanish II, III, and IV
      • College Algebra
      • Stats & Trig
      • Advanced Biology
      • College English
      • *NOTE- the following classes are still listed in the student handbook as classes that are offered as Honors Classes, but currently not available at WHS-
        • French II
        • Pre-AP English III
        • College Trigonometry

Parking Lot Permission

Under the “Student Driving” section in the handbook, it states that students are not allowed to go to the parking lot, and/or their vehicles, without permission from the office. We would like to amend this section to read as follows:

  • ‘Students will not return to their vehicle without permission from the office, or without a written pass from their classroom teacher, or until school is dismissed.’

College Visits/Military Policy:


  • Change the wording in the handbook to read as follows in regards to the policy on the amount of dates allowed for a student to miss school in regards to college visits, and/or military requirements-
  • Students are allowed 6 excused college visits, or, military visits/affairs while they attend WHS.
  • Students must present signed college visit form/military form on their visit and return it to the office upon their return to school.
  • Students are responsible for all homework missed during this absence.
  • Any additional excused visits must require either of the following for administrative approval-
  • Military requested attendance
  • Contact from the college specifically pertaining to the student


Work Study/Senior Hour Policy:

The handbook requirements for both of these policies should remain the same, with the exception that students are allowed to enroll in both, provided they meet all other existing requirements to be in good standing with the school and on course for graduation.

  • As it relates to the Senior Hour policy, we would like to specify that students are NOT required to be at school until the start of second hour classes.

Open Lunch:

Currently, the handbook does NOT place any restrictions on students, during open lunch, using a non-motorized bicycle to transport themselves to and from eateries. We would like to add the following policy in regards to open lunch transportation-

  • Students that are able to go off of campus during the lunch period may do so using the following modes of transportation-
    • Non-motorized bicycles
    • Non-motorized scooters
    • Non-motorized skateboards
    • Heelys
    • Non-motorized Rollerblades/Rollerskates
    • Students are NOT allowed to use the following to transport themselves-
      • Any motorized transportation

Needs Updated:


  • Change “Powerschool” to “online gradebook”, because we do not use powerschool anymore.
  • Remove “student lunch cards” from the handbook, as they are no longer used.
  • Change the listed days for ZAP to stating that it is on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
  • Revise the online handbook to the current edition
  • Current “Table of Contents” is incorrect with its information. This needs to be remedied.


4A Proposals 


College Visits/Military Policy:

  • Change the wording in the handbook to read as follows in regards to the policy on the amount of dates allowed for a student to miss school in regards to college visits, and/or military requirements-
  • Students are allowed 5 excused college visits, or, military visits/affairs while they attend WHS.
  • Students must present signed college visit form/military form on their visit and return it to the counselor upon their return to school.
  • Students are responsible for all homework missed during this absence.
  • Any additional excused visits must require either of the following for administrative approval-
  • Military requested attendance
  • Contact from the college specifically pertaining to the student



Ineligibility Policy:

  • The following should be added to the WHS ineligibility policy:
  • Two or more ‘D’s- After eligibility is run, students have one week of probation to bring up their grade in ONE of the two classes. If they do not come off probation at the end of the next week, they are officially ineligible for the next week.
  • Two or more ‘D’s WITH an ‘F’- Students are ineligible immediately. This includes participation in all school activities, athletic and non-athletic. The only exception to this is prom.
  • Additionally, we would like to add that students must be allotted four complete school days to raise their grades. This would be an addition to the stipulation that students must also be given two assignments to raise their grades.



Vocational Class Requirements:

  • Our class would like to change the section in the handbook regarding required classes. We would like to reduce the amount of vocational class requirements as follows:
  • Reduce the required amount of Vo-Ed elective classes from two to one credit. This would also increase the elective credits required to graduate from nine to ten credits.
  • Students would also be allowed to take four or more Vo-Ed classes, but would not be limited with what other core classes they would be able to take.



Hall Pass Policy:

  • Currently, the hall pass policy is predicated on students having their planners signed by the office, classroom teacher, or administration. We would like to update this policy to reflect as follows:
  • Written Pass Permission-
  • Student will have a completed pass slip from their classroom teacher, allowing them to go to another location (including, but not limited to; classrooms, the office, library, or to their vehicle).
  • Teachers are not only responsible for filling out a pass slip for the student, but are also required to phone the destination said student is going to visit, to make them aware the student is on their way.
  • Restroom visits and needing a hall pass slip are at that teacher’s discretion.



WHS announces winter royalty candidates, spirit days

Students vote for candidates Thursday morning in Cassell’s room. Someone placed posters campaigning for senior Maddie Alderman outside the building.

Winter Royalty

WHS announced the Winter Royalty candidates Thursday afternoon.

Queen candidates are seniors Maddie Alderman, Alyssa Lohmeyer, Kassidi Huff and Kylie Evans.

King candidates are Luke Barber, Connor Brown, Tanner Imthurn and Austin Magette.

The winners will be crowned January 11 at halftime of boys varsity basketball game against Rock Creek.

Spirit Days next week are ‘Merica Monday, Country vs Country Club Tuesday, Workout Wednesday, Dress to Unimpress Thursday and Class Color Friday (Freshman white, Sophomores Black, Juniors blue and Seniors red.

Former music teacher saves Christmas concert

Former music teacher Sue Yocum directs freshman Sarah Vanstory and the high school choir prior to the winter concert December 17. Yocum took over for Richard Philbrook, who was sick that day. “I was kind of worried, but I knew Mrs. Yocum was a really good teacher. I forgot words at one point in rehearsal, but I felt comfortable with her,” Vanstory said. Photo by Sean Dugger.

Music students perform despite teacher’s illness

A Christmas miracle was needed to keep the winter concert on schedule.

Richard Philbrook, the 5-12 band and choir teacher, fell ill over the weekend preceding the annual Winter Concert December 17. The students in the music program came to school that Monday planning to finalize preparations for the concert, but it was in danger of being cancelled without a director. Former elementary music teacher Sue Yocum volunteered to become the director, but only had a day to work with all of the students.

Yocum had to quickly work with students to see if holding the concert was still feasible.

No other days were available to reschedule due to the impending winter break. With only one class period to practice with the all of the students, the decision to continue without any changes to the performances was made, including performing two solos in the choir’s ‘White Christmas’ and the tempo difficult piece of the band’s ‘Three Minute Nutcracker’.

“Not knowing the tempos or the cues for the students in the pieces made it difficult,” Yocum said. “I enjoyed it, there was almost less stress than one I prepared myself.”

Behind the curtains, secretary Jeanne Parry put in a lot of work in the logistics side of the concert with things like contacting the correct people for help and making the many programs to be passed out.

“We just didn’t want to disappoint everyone who would have to travel or the seniors and their last Christmas concert,” Parry said.

Despite the illness and the inability for Philbrook to attend, the concert was performed on time and received well by the audience. “I thought it was really good, everybody played and sang their best even though Philbrook was gone,” junior Luke Stuhlsatz said.

“I was impressed, proud, and not surprised with how well the students responded,” principal Jan Hutley said.

Known for not missing any concerts before, Philbrook was disappointed to have to miss his first one due to being sick, but was proud of how the students performed.

“The concert would not have happened without the tenacity of Mrs. Perry, Mrs. Yocum, and all of the students who were willing to work with someone they hadn’t,” Philbrook said.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

WHS Student Publications staff picks favorite Christmas entertainment

With Christmas right around the corner, Christmas entertainment can be found in various forms such as music, movies, books and more. In the spirit of Christmas, WHS publications staff and advisers chose their favorite pieces of Christmas entertainment. Let us know your favorites on Twitter @whscharger.

Kaytlyn Meseke, newspaper

“The Polar Express” movie is my favorite piece of Christmas entertainment because it holds a special place in my heart. When my brother was being born, my aunt took me to the movie theaters to watch it and it was my first movie theater experience. I didn’t enjoy it much that day, and it still kind of scared me years after. But every year we watch it as a family and the suspense still gets me sometimes.

Hannah Mumpower, newspaper

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is by far my favorite piece of Christmas entertainment. My family and I watch it every year on TV at least once, if not more. It’s a really funny movie and is super entertaining. I’m pretty sure my brother can quote just about every scene in the movie. It also reminds me a little of our own family Christmases. They get a little hectic sometimes, but it turns out all right in the end.

Laurel Barber, yearbook editor in chief, newspaper

“Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas” is a classic but amazing Christmas movie. Every year the night before Christmas my mom would wrap all the presents and I would have to go into the back room to watch a movie. I would always watch the movie and try to be like Minnie in the ice rink.


Jayna Keller, newspaper

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is my favorite piece of Christmas entertainment. It’s such a classic, and when I was in sixth grade, I helped the younger kids in EL put on a production of it. Also they play it every year on TV, so I can just sit down with my little siblings, and enjoy a holiday movie. It’s an easy way to be able to relax with my family, without fighting about what to watch.


Abby Oliver, newspaper editor in chief, Senioritis host

Ever since my brothers and I were little kids, my mom would read us “The Night Before Christmas” book Christmas Eve night before we went to bed. We would get to open one present that night, and it would always be new pajamas. Then we would all sit on our couch, and listen to mom read The Night before Christmas. It just reminds me of Christmas as a kid.

Makayla Wagner, yearbook

My favorite Christmas movie is the classic animated “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” because it makes me laugh and my favorite part is when he started feeling and he asked Max to help him.    

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! — Pictured: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” — (Photo by: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.)

Sean Dugger, newspaper

Being more into music than movies during the holiday season, “Carol of the Bells” takes the place of my favorite Christmas entertainment. The song has been remade by many artists, which I believe adds to its enjoyment as everyone adds something a little different every time. My favorite covers include the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Pentatonix.

Emma Frey, newspaper

I liked all the animated Christmas movies growing up like “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” “The Year Without Santa Claus,” “Rudolph,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Nestor,” and “The Grinch.” I never really got into any other movies when I was younger like I did with those. They’re just so good and I don’t think any Christmas movie will ever top those for me. They remind me of being a kid.

Eleanor Badeker, newspaper

I’m a big fan of all the classic Christmas movies, but for me nothing beats the Nutcracker ballet. My family owns an old version on VHS. The picture is kind of fuzzy and it makes weird noises sometimes, but it adds to the effect that has been a tradition every year. The music by Tchaikovsky is so beautiful. My mom and I always watch it during Christmas break and it calms us down amidst the craziness of the season.

Justice Houston, yearbook

I love all Christmas songs but my favorite is definitely is “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey. It’s my favorite because every Christmas season me and my friends always jam out to the song.

Melissa Campbell, yearbook

My favorite Christmas movie is the Christmas Chronicles. It’s a new movie on Netflix, and it has some comedic scenes.

Shantel Corp, yearbook

My favorite movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” My favorite Christmas song is “Christmas Cookies” by George Strait. It my favorite season because I get to spend time with my family.

Meredith Hess, yearbook

Christmas Hallmark movies are probably my favorite thing to entertain myself with during Christmas time. My mom and I waste time watching them, and I even watch them while I study for finals! They are really cheesy and the same thing happens in every single one, but I love them.

Dillon Spellman, Senioritis producer

My favorite piece of Christmas entertainment is the 2008 Hannah Montana Christmas Special. Even if it only exists in my mind, it has to be the greatest Christmas-themed piece of art to ever exist. Someday I might even get around to watching it.

Brendan Praeger, newspaper adviser

Rather than choosing something old, I’m choosing something new that I think will become a tradition in my family. Last week I watched “Angela’s Christmas” on Netflix with my two-year-old son Logan. The short animated film presents a story from Frank McCourt, the author of the Irish classic “Angela’s Ashes,” in which a young girl steals the baby Jesus from a nativity scene to keep him warm during a cold night. The movie is incredible, and since my mother grew up in Ireland it’s extra special. Logan has watched it half a dozen times already and his grandmother even took him to the nearby Catholic Church because he kept asking to see “Baby Jesus.”

angelas christmas

Luke Barber, Senioritis host

My favorite Christmas movie is “A year without Santa.” I remember when I would sit on the floor in my grandma’s old house and watch it and sing along to the Mr. heat miser and Mr. cold miser song. My favorite Christmas song is from Charlie Brown, the Christmas time is here song, it’s just so sweet.

Maddie Alderman, Senioritis host

My favorite Christmas entertainment is watching my father watch “A Christmas Story”. He’s seen it about a million times, but still laughs at every joke. Also, if you watch closely, you can see him mouthing the words along with the characters on screen.

Amy Cassell, yearbook adviser

My favorite song is “Mary Did You Know?” because it’s pretty and my kids will sing it.

FCA adopts a family for Christmas

Wabaunsee’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter is helping with Wabaunsee’s Santa Express and Adopt-A-Family this Christmas season.

“Our FCA chapter has adopted a local family. So our members went out and shopped for the family. We then began to gather and wrap the presents. Pastor Jamie Bonnema will deliver them to the family,” FCA sponsor Jeanne Parry said. This is Parry’s second year as the club’s sponsor. “We assisted Santa Express last year by delivering presents, although this year adopting a family was really important with our members.”

WHS STUCO and FCCLA are participating in another Adopt-A-Family as well. FCA members also believe they can experience life lessons through assisting with these organizations.

“I think it is important for high school kids to learn to appreciate how lucky we have it in life,” senior Kinsey Stuewe said. Stuewe has been a part of the club for two years now. “Doing this project shows to respect everyone at all times because you never know what they might be going through.”

WHS FCA has also made some big changes inside the club as well, with recruiting new members. Parry believes the upperclassmen of FCA have the most to do with this drastic increase of membership.

“Our membership has grown from 0 to 30 in this past year,” Parry said. “I think we have a strong upperclassmen leadership that joined at the beginning of last year. They have really developed and outreached to fellow students.”

WHS FCA also hosts 5th quarter gatherings after athletic events, and a “See You At The Pole” welcoming all students before school.

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

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