Black History Month

Here at Southeast High School in 2020, this is our first year having a black history club, called ASÉ. ASÉ is about making black history a fun and learning experience for all students that attend Southeast Highschool. ASÉ is Sponsored by Monica Walls, and led by the president Kenya Apongule ASÉ is a student ran club. 

During the month of February ASÉ does quite a bit of events. This year the events they have done for Black History Month is; Black History facts everyday on the morning announcements, they’ve had door decorations around the school, black history movies, an assembly of celebration of Black culture, and we annually ended the month with a Black taste where this year ASÉ helped serve soul food at both lunch periods and throws a dance party. 

For three years our school has done door decorations. Whoevers classroom participates in decorating their door with something about black history, automatically enters the competition of who has the best decoration. To have the best door your door must have creativity, neatness, and good content ( did you learn anything from it). This years winner was Mr. Latif, her door is about and called  “Black Literary Movement Although History” with black poets and authors. 

With this year being ASÉ’s first year being a school club, members from the group seem passionate and take a lot of pride in Black history. President and senior, Kenya Appongulae, gave insight into the club’s first year. 

She said, “I like the idea of the Black history group because it  promotes the diversity and inclusion that is needed in the community at SSHS. Black students aren’t always presented in a good light and are often given negative stereotypes that leave a bad image on their reputation. Celebrating Black history throughout the school year is important because it shows Black students that their culture matters and is important at Southeast. To see so many teachers and administration getting involved with the activities throughout the month of April makes me really proud because it shows that our school can come together and celebrate black history, regardless of race.” 

Kenya’s pride, explanation, and passion is shared amongst many students attending Southeast. The club’s success comes from the strong enthusiasm of the club and the interesting activities they host. Students across all grades are part of the club, and Freshman, Taccorri Williams was able to contribute to ASE this year as the secretary of the club. This was a great first-year experience for the Freshmen. She explained that it was, “…fun being a part of ASÉ. And, being a part of ASÉ  is something you can be proud of; you get opportunities and chances to get your name out there.”

According to Williams and Apongule, this is a great club for Spartans to join, so if you are wanting to get involved for the next school-year, find one of the ASE members to talk about. You better find Kenya before the school year is over because she will be graduating in May. We want to thank her for her hard work, didcation, and passion for enriching the lives of Southeast’s students. 

She wanted the student body to know, “I’m very honored to be President of Ase for the 2020-2021 school year. I have been able to talk to people I’ve never communicated with while also being able to express my love and appreciation for Black people and black culture. I believe we’ve been able to bring a positive change to Southeast this year and I’m excited to see what the future holds for Ase after I graduate.”

Noah Doss

B.B.S.S.

Southeast High School is known for setting trends amongst schools in our city. We are so diverse, with a faculty that pushes kids to become better students and people in life, that we truly stand out compared to most other schools. One of these trends is the B.B.S.S. 

B.B.S.S. stands for Braided Behavior Support System. According to Mr. Zenntefis (a main contributor to the B.B.S.S.), this is a system that shows that there are a multitude of ways to support and encourage student behaviors. “The goal of this system is to identify student performance and skill deficits and strengthen them not only for school, but for life and adulthood,” said Mr. Z in a in depth interview regarding the B.B.S.S. system. 

This system looks to enact interventions to support student learning. This can come from one-on-one conversations with students about their school lives and even personal lives, incentives to change behavior, social experiments, and many other ways. B.B.S.S. looks into a lot of statistics and percentages, and since Southeast has started the system, attendance rates have gone up, referrals have gone down, and behavior has been better as a whole at Southeast. B.B.S.S. works to improve the soft skills of students which are basically manners and common courtesy. 

Thriving Thursday has become one of the features of the B.B.S.S. with the most attention from staff and students. Administrators stand at the entrance of the schools and greet students coming into school. This is already a good start to a student’s day by bringing positivity to them. Some kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and that dictates their entire day, but with engaging in a welcoming entrance to school, it can brighten their day. There is also lunchtime tutoring where students can have one-on-ones with mentors to push them in school to do better. Another feature is Spartan Shoutout, where students doing acts of leadership and kindness are recognized for their actions by staff and leader of the B.B.S.S program. These are all things to address student behavior and achievement.

  We also have a student-led B.B.S.S. team that meets with administrators to talk about the program. A few members of this team are Seth and Noah Doss who both believe the program is very beneficial to students.

“I think we are doing great. The way the kids act in the hallways, more positivity in the school, the greeting and morning rituals really help improve the climate of the school.” Said Mrs. Jennazo in a brief interview regarding B.B.S.S.

Demarco Hill, 9th-grader, who is a member of Goodwill Good Guides Mentoring said that the program is very helpful to him. He focuses more with weekly meetings and mentoring. Good Guides is a branch of the B.B.S.S.

Written by Staff Editor, David Emuze

This I Believe 2020

Congratulations again to the 2020 This I Believe essay winners from SSHS, Kenya Apongule, Joe Tiskos, and Grace Beyers. Their essays, along with the other winners can be found at https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381443845/this-i-believe-illinois.

Boys City: Student Section Edition

Southeast’s student section on night three

     Every year boys’ basketball city is hosted at the B.O.S center, and every year there is a competition to see who has the most spirit. This year Southeast came out with three new spirit days to hype up the energy for the tournament.  Thursday, January 24th was Olympic Day: students wore red white and blue, Friday, January 25th was Men in Blue day: (everyone wore black and blue), and Saturday, January 26th was don’t sleep on the drip day, so everyone came in pajamas. Hannah Willhite, Junior, said that during the game on Olympic day,  “Everyone wore white that day and we all cheered and had fun.” Apart from that there were also many pictures and videos of dances being done, and tons of cheers that came from the Southeast student section. Harlan Gargano, Sophomore, stated that the student section, “was very organized…The chants were fun, exciting and got everyone into it.” He also added, “Our shirts looked really nice and almost everyone dressed in them. Overall, everyone was into it and it was a lot of fun to be there.” On top of students dressing up for school spirit, they also added the popular chants that we do at every game, for example, one of them goes “ Y-e-l-l everybody yell, go b-i-g b-l-u-e” or the “Do it”  chant that went “Do it!, Do it!, Do it,! Now stop and let the freshman do it!” (proceeding to carry on to the higher grade levels until they reach the seniors). On top of that not only did the student section bring the spirit, they were also by the Don’t sleep on the drip posters, and men in black sunglasses. In the end, Southeast wasn’t able to bring home the spirit award this year like we did last year, but everybody who was not a part of the student section action was able to detect the electrifying feeling our student section brought, especially when our band played. Overall Southeast will always be a school filled with much spirit and next year we’re coming back for the spirit award. Go Spartans!

By: Iyanuoluwa Olalere

Southeast Poms at City Tournament

Southeast Pom Squad, performing at halftime, night one of City

  The Southeast poms had their audience in awe at this year at the City Tournament, even with the performance being on the first night. From the outfits, to the choreography, the poms this year had the other three schools in shock. After speaking with Poms’ coach Ms. Goodrich, I was able to get some insight into how this year’s dance was organized. 

Performing the first night seems like it would be very stressful, and it’s not like you can choose which night to perform. Ms.Goodrich said “…it is assigned based on seeds from the basketball teams.” But, you have to show off so, the other schools know what Southeast is about. Ms. Goodrich said that being a pommie on winter break is getting ready for the City Tournament, “The poms spend a lot of hours preparing for the half-time routine. Home game routines are 3 minutes, but the city routine is 5 minutes. So, it takes more preparation. Over MLK weekend we spent 12 hours practicing.” But, some of the pommies liked performing the first night because they felt they got to show off to all the school first. McKayla McKinney said how, “It was exciting and a rush.” 

The music was inspired by the theme of “Black Girl Magic”, Ms.Goodrich said “We try to pick a theme every year and then pick music that coordinates with the chosen theme.” The uniforms of the pommies were blue biker shorts, with a white hoodie that said in blue and gold “Black Girl Magic.” Ms.Goodrich explained, “The girls wanted a more laid back outfit this year instead of shiny outfits so we decided to focus on the dancing and less distracting uniforms.” Their senior night will be February 25th at Southeast High School, come out and support the senior pommies which includes Kenya Apongule, Kaylea Howze, Paige Price, Janayah William, Kayleigh Adams, Alyrika Belanger, Amaya Taylor, Deja Toliver, and Tijunay Roberts!

By Anna Langum

Is SHG Cheating?

https://dehayf5mhw1h7.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/577/2020/01/25204301/Screen-Shot-2020-01-25-at-7.40.54-PM.pngAndrew Fenimore

Every year, in late January, everyone in Springfield gets pumped up for the Boys’ Basketball City Tournament. Usually, it would all come down to a battle between Lanphier and Southeast for the City Title, with Lanphier placing second in State in 2017 and Southeast placing second in 2018, and, as we all know, Southeast came up one game short of the tournament in 2019. However, recently the balance of power has changed. Last year Lanphier was the 4th seed in City, (although I personally think they were more like a 2 seed), and this year Southeast was the 4th seed. A crazy City Tournament was in the works. 

As many had suspected, Lanphier won their first two games against Southeast and Springfield. Southeast lost their first two, with SHG and SHS each winning one game. In night 3, Southeast humiliated the opposing Springfield Senators, providing the team with a bittersweet ending to City. However, the night wasn’t over yet, as Lanphier had to beat SHG to go 3-0 and claim the Title. While SHG certainly isn’t terrible, they didn’t look to be too much trouble for Lanphier to beat, and many were expecting just that: a win for Lanphier. Going into the 4th quarter, Lanhpier was leading, but not by a sizable margin. In the 4th quarter, however, SHG started going off. With just seconds left, SHG was down 3 and it looked all over. But then, Cyclone, Sam Antonacci got off a 3 at the buzzer to force overtime. Obviously, SHG had all the momentum as they had scored 20 in the 4th quarter, and they won 57-56.

At first glance, this win for SHG just seemed like a shocking upset. However, there have been many questions raised regarding the Cyclones win, and a huge asterisk has been placed next to the win. In classic SHG fashion, they got away off of bad officiating that went in their favor. Specifically, the 3 point buzzer-beater from Antonacci was quite clearly released after the buzzer, so it shouldn’t have counted. “Luckily”, the referees didn’t notice and instead of losing the game, SHG got a second chance in overtime to win, which they did. What makes it even worse, is the claim that one of the referees walked out wearing an SHG hat, which would be huge, if true.

It’s a popular rumor that SHG pays off referees in major sports, namely football. While this seems more like a conspiracy theory when you look at it objectively, SHG has definitely gotten a ton of lucky breaks from poor officiating, like they just did at City. While I can’t say with certainty that SHG pays off refs, there are a lot of things they do that people consider to be cheating, namely their recruiting. Being a private school, they can offer scholarships to students of their choice. These students can simply be members of the Catholic Church or the poor, but “for some reason” many of these students just so happen to be star athletes. In the IHSA, recruiting isn’t allowed, but SHG is allowed to say that they’re just giving scholarships to students based on merit or some other shameless lie. It is for this reason that SHG is allowed to recruit without punishment, which gives them a massive advantage over other schools.

Do some students go to schools with the intent of winning? Yes but that’s not the point. Also, if they want to win by going to a public school, no public school in the CS8 is going to give them a scholarship to attend a high class private school. Let’s say you’re a parent of a student athlete and you want your child to have a good, safe, education. Are you going to have them go to SHG where they have top of the line facilities and they’re offering a full scholarship to go there, or are you going to have them go to Lanphier just so they might win more in basketball? Anyone who says public schools are recruiting with the same type of leverage as SHG is delusional. 

All in all, unless it’s true that the referee walked out wearing an SHG hat (which he probably wasn’t) then it’s very unlikely he was paid off by SHG. At worst, he was maybe an SHG alum who was favorable to SHG. What we need to accept is that high school refs for every sport are terrible. The IHSA employs teachers from schools in the IHSA. For example, it is possible (and happens quite often) for a teacher here from Southeast to officiate a football game between Rochester and Glenwood. These teachers will obviously have inherent biases, and it’s a stupid policy. Combine their biases with limited knowledge of the sport (because they’re not a full-time ref) and a lack of replay technology, and you’re bound to have a lot of bad calls. 

Andrew Fenimore

Spotlight Students at Southeast High School

Spartan Spotlight is a celebration breakfast for Southeast students that happens once a month. Each breakfast hosts one of the teaching departments (English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, etc). Each teacher in that department nominates a student to join them at breakfast. These events are hosted by Mrs. Walls in the library.

  “Spotlight students aren’t just students that get great grades and are very well behaved; spotlight students are students that have shown recent improvement and great work ethic that earn some acknowledgment.” Mr. Zentefis explained.

When earning the spotlight you and your parents or guardian are invited to a breakfast funded by Title One (Title One is a government grant given to the school for extra things like spotlight breakfast). During this breakfast time they talk and have flyers with information about scholarships and other beneficial things for students future. Also, each teacher gives a celebratory speech about the student they nominated: this is a great experience for students to be recognized.

Science Department

Noah Doss

Pep Rally

It was time once again for all of us Spartans to gather in the gym and support our winter sports teams. After a brief performance by our cheerleaders and some hype from Alex and Joe, Mr. Laub introduced our winter sports teams to much applause. The Swim Team, the Wrestling Team, the Southeast members of the district’s esports team, and the teams that are going to City, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball each had their chance to bask in the support of their fellow students. The main draw of the pep rally quickly followed after Mr. Laub handed the mic over: a cross-grade hoops challenge for tickets to the Boy’s City Tournament commenced with Freshmen DJ Mehundrew and Laila Sergent, Sophomores Luke Reed and Briana Jones, Juniors Anyea Flowers and Roosevelt Sims, and with the most participants, Seniors Paige Price, Don Boyd, Stuart Ross, and David Emuze. All got the layup tickets, but no one made the half-court shot. After the buzzer ended the competition, we got a performance by Poms before the traditional challenge of which grade can be the loudest. I will say everyone was loud and clear in their school spirit! 

Special thanks to Mrs. Barcik for organizing the rally and giving the list of participants.

Kerouac Mackendrick, spent the Pep Rally taking pictures

Congrats, NPR This I Believe Winners

Pictured: Joe Tiskos, Grace Beyers, and Kenya Apongule

Congratulations to Kenya Apongule, Grace Beyers, and Joe Tiskos for their excellent This I Believe Essays. They will get to record their essays, which will be recorded and aired next week on NPR. These three will also get to read their essays at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and will recieve $500 for having their essays selected. Stand tall Spartans!

Congrats to Eliot Dineen and Augusta Harris Patel

Pictured: Mrs. Latif, Eliot Dineen, Augusta Harris Patel, and Mrs. Holton

Eliot Dineen, a junior, won Southeast High School’s Poetry Out Loud Contest, and will advance to regionals along with our runner up, Augusta Harris Patel, who is a freshman that has great potential in the contest. Congrats, Spartans!