The Meridian Daily The student news site of Meridian Senior High School Mon, 07 Oct 2019 10:43:58 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Meridian community can watch live events on phone/computer/t.v. Mon, 07 Oct 2019 10:43:58 +0000

The high school’s journalism class pays for the community to have access to live coverage of school events. To watch the live streams, community members should go to, click the “More” tab and click on “Video Coverage.” These live streams cover sporting events, band concerts, special board meetings, and assemblies throughout the year.

“We do live streams so that the people that can’t make it to the games…they have an opportunity to watch it from their home,” said Karrigan True. True is the Executive Producer for District 15 News and oversees the live streams. “It’s just good for people that can’t make it to be able to watch it, even for just a couple minutes if they’re at work or at home doing stuff,” said True.

The live streams have had considerable success this year. Last weeks home football game live stream received 493 views.  The live streams are HD and high quality. Live streams also feature commercials made by journalism students for advertisers. On top of this, the live streams are free for any community members within a certain radius of the school.

“We as a journalism class pay for our community to watch  the live streams for free,” said Sheila Moore, journalism teacher at the high school. “It’s a great way to watch if you have sick kid at home…or if you live out of state and you have a sibling that is still on the team,” said Moore.

Connor Hurelbrink is one of those people who lives out of state, but has a sibling that still participates in high school sports. Hurelbrink is a Meridian graduate who now attends the University of Louisville. His little brother, Drew Hurelbrink, participates in many high school sports including football and basketball.

“I enjoy watching the live streams, still, because even in Kentucky it allows me to keep up with the younger guys I played sports with and it is a chance for me to get to watch my little brother play sports,” said Hurelbrink.

The next live stream is the homecoming football game on Friday, September 11.



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Elite yearbook experience Sat, 05 Oct 2019 15:41:52 +0000

Fort Worth, Texas; Glenwood High School, and a rap video. The past two weeks has been intense for Meridian’s yearbook staff. The staff has a strong start leading into National Yearbook Week, Oct. 7-11.

On Sept. 27,  Adviser Sheila Moore chose two yearbook staffers, Madison Sapp and Hallie Gates to attend Elite Weekend in Fort Worth, TX.
“Elite Weekend is where a bunch of schools come to this place and meet judges and train to teach yearbook, and we met with two yearbook trainers that Ms. Moore and I were very excited to meet, Jim Jordan and Mike Taylor,” said Gates.
Meridian even made an appearance on a special episode of a shared podcast between Taylor and Jordan. Listen to it here, starting at 31:10.
“Gates is the current editor-in-chief and is in charge of everything; Sapp will probably be her replacement after she [Gates] graduates,” said Moore. This is how Moore decided which staff members would board the plane to Texas.

They attended Elite weekend to better their book, as well as try to work towards entering the competition for a Pacemaker Award.

Part of Elite Weekend is to present your yearbook to six instructors/judges and the first day they said, “Yeah, I don’t like that.”

“We went in on the first day and thought it was okay, however, the judges didn’t see it working, so by the end of the week we had to change the whole layout and we changed themes and made a new one,” said Gates. “It was a decision that had to be made sooner than later, and in my opinion, September is better than later.”

There was a lot of pressure on the girls at Elite Weekend because they were getting judged by the best.

“It was intense. Imagine you’re doing your hobby but with six of the best telling you what you were doing wrong over and over again till you get it right. There were a few breakdowns because of how intense it was, but we got through the week fine and by the end of it we felt confident with the new yearbook look,” said Moore.

Some yearbook staffers, however, didn’t like the sudden yearbook theme change that happened. The old cover was a black luminaire and the new one is going to be a white luminaire with a clear portion that’s shiny.

“They [other staff] didn’t like the sudden change for the reason that they didn’t know why it happened, but if they were in our position, they would have understood more and agreed,” said Moore.

Evans’ reaction to the sudden change was one of  surprise and shock because the week before she had worked hard on the design.

 “I was like I did all that work and it pretty much went to the garbage can,” said Breanna Evans, staff member. “Now I am excited that we changed our theme and can’t wait to see the finished project!”

Level Up Video”

— October 2

After Elite Weekend ended, yearbook focus shifted to a project called Level Up.
“Hallie said to me that we should make a rap for the Level Up competition, so she googled ‘how to write a rap for beginners’ and started rapping right at the table, classic Hallie,” said Moore.

Yearbook staff has finished their entry for the Level Up competition put on by their publisher. They submitted a video; two national winners will be chosen. Winners will get two years of help from specialists Mike Taylor, CJE, and/or Jim Jordan visiting the school for special consultations, Adviser Academy tuition fee paid, and those are only a few prizes at stake. A challenge new staff hopeful, Kiersten Dagg was a part of as one of her first meetings.

“When I was there for the rap, I didn’t have my paperwork and application filled out; however, right after I immediately got it done, my first thought of yearbook was that this year will be really fun,” said Dagg.  “I’m really excited to be an official member of yearbook and I’m really happy for this year!”
2020 Meridian Yearbook Staff

Fall Workshop”

— September 24


“So basically, we went to a different high school  and spent a day going to different sessions that specialize in different areas that will help organize our staff and create a yearbook,” said Sapp, sophomore.

During workshop, the sessions that are available vary on the staffer and their job.

“My first session was about module design, my second was about design tricks and tips, my third was about using google apps, and my fourth was about design trends in 2020,” said Sapp.

Sapp’s job in yearbook is layout design editor, her job makes her responsible for her content and the overall entries and the design for the yearbooks.

Robert Le Cates attended the sessions for Interviewing 101, 10 Design Tips, Caption Writing and Modular Design.

“I took interviewing 101 because usually I never know what questions to ask, but after that I knew exactly what to do and how to ask. 10 Design tips was very interesting because John Kauffman is a very good teacher and is excellent at what he does. He taught me how to do things I didn’t even know were possible,” said Le Cates, junior. “Caption writing is another essential part of a good yearbook page so being able to write a stellar caption is almost a critical thing in yearbook. And finally Modular Design, but I believe we are going for a Modular Design book this year so to be ahead of the game, I wanted to take that class so I would know what to do early.”

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Reichert earns a 1,000 dollar scholarship for summer blood drive Wed, 02 Oct 2019 15:02:15 +0000

Hannah Reichert, a senior at Meridian High School, received a 1,000 dollar scholarship. On June 7, Reichert hosted a blood drive at the Blue Mound United Methodist Church for the American Red Cross Leaders Save Lives Program, which collected 25 blood donations. After this, she was entered into a scholarship lottery and won. 

The American Red Cross Leaders Save Lives Program encourages students from high school and college to host blood drives during the summer months and winter holidays. 

20% of all American blood donations come from high school or college students and when they are not in school, the amount of blood donations drops. This was one of the reasons Reichert decided to host a drive.

“I thought it would be a great way to give back to the community,” said Reichert.

Sheila Rappé, the National Honor Society adviser at Meridian, was available when Reichert needed help or had questions.

“Hannah did most of it, I just had to communicate with a worker from the American Red Cross in Chicago and make sure everything was scheduled. Hannah made all of the appointments,” said Rappé.

Reichert asked her grandma, Rose Reichert, and aunt, Susan Seitz, to make some snacks. Reichert was present for the entire event to help set up, welcome donors, and clean up afterwards.

On September 9, Reichert received an email that announced she got the scholarship. She believes that it will give her opportunities in her future endeavors.

“I am so thankful that I received this scholarship and I have gained an experience that I will never forget,” said Reichert. “The blood drive gave me an awareness to people in need of blood products that I did not have before.”

After Reichert graduates, she plans to attend Richland Community College for two years before attending a four-year university. She can not apply this scholarship to Richland due to a different scholarship. Therefore, Reichert’s mother, Cheryl Wise, has set up a 529 college savings account for the funds until Reichert’s junior year of college.


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Blue for Tyson Wed, 02 Oct 2019 14:55:17 +0000

On Friday, September 27, a wreck between a Sullivan school bus and an SUV killed two people. Among the two was Tyson Gabriel Javier Mendoza, a five-year-old student who attended Sullivan Elementary School.

The school bus was headed down Illinois 32, while the SUV stopped at the intersection heading east, according to the Herald&Review. The SUV pulled out into traffic, and the bus hit the driver’s side door.

11 passengers were aboard the school bus, while the SUV had no passengers. Back in 2017, a similar bus-car wreck occurred at the same intersection, which sent five students to the hospital.

As a way to show support, school districts across the area decided to wear blue, Mendoza’s favorite color, on Monday, September 30. Meridian students and faculty participated, with nearly every student wearing the color.  The Sullivan Parent-Teacher Organization will collect money for a memorial fund, according to the district’s Facebook page.

“He was the sweetest and loving little boy. Tyson’s smile and tender heart will be deeply missed,” said the family in an obituary posted by Schilling Funeral Home.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, October 3 at Schilling Funeral home. Mendoza’s family welcomes all attending and asks that you wear blue.



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Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra accepts two MMS students Sat, 28 Sep 2019 04:38:57 +0000

Caden Ford and Grayson Ventress, both in eighth grade at Meridian, were accepted to Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra in early September. Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra is a group that gives kids the opportunity to audition, participate and perform in an Orchestra.

Ford and Ventress both play the trombone in the Meridian Middle School Band. They auditioned in early September and were accepted the same day. Grayson, who has played the trombone since fourth grade, had a really good feeling about it and thought he would make it.

“I said, I knew I was getting in so I did,” said Ventress.

Ford, who has played since sixth grade, was surprised but also a bit confused when he heard he was accepted.

“She said ‘see you on Monday.’ So I didn’t really know if that meant I got in, but then when she confirmed it I got really excited,” said Ford.

On September 16, the students had their first rehearsal. Their practice schedule is every Monday, so they can prepare for their upcoming shows.

“I saw them going really far, but I think these young men if they keep going will get way farther,” said Tony Hicks, MHS and MMS band director.

Before band class, Ford and Ventress came in to share the news. Hicks, who normally doesn’t like it when people come in during his band class, didn’t mind it this time.

“They came up really excited, telling me how they made it into the group,” said Hicks. It didn’t surprise Hicks at all, because he believes the boys are extremely talented and work really hard.

When they grow up, both hope to still do something with music and that this experience will help them with their futures.

“I’d just like to say just keep doing what you are doing, keep practicing, and do what you are supposed to do. And if you do, you are going to have scholarships when you’re ready for college,” said Hicks.


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FCS annual crayon drive Sat, 28 Sep 2019 04:35:06 +0000

This year’s annual crayon drive ran from Sept. 23-27. Students rushed to get crayons for their homeroom classes which the FCS Club will deliver to DMH for children in the pediatric unit. The crayon drive is led by Katie Warnick who teaches many classes: Foods, Adult Living, and Child Development.

“FCS Club stands for ‘Fun Community Service Club.’ We do community service projects in the Macon/Blue Mound and surrounding communities. Some of the projects we complete are the crayon drive, visiting Eastern Star Home, Trick or Treating for cans for the Blue Mound Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child, and Secret Santa for the high school staff,” Warnick said.

As the week kicked off,  Warnick spoke about why Meridian does the crayon drive and who it benefits.

“We do this to help the people who stay in the pediatric department at DMH. The sick kids. It’s something for them to do while they’re just laying in bed and can’t really do anything else,” Warnick said. “And because of sanitation, they can’t share the boxes. That’s why we try to collect so many, is because that box is that child’s the whole time he or she is in the hospital.”

The crayon drive is important to Warnick, “I think it’s a really great community outreach. It’s something that we can help people other than ourselves. Even those people we don’t know or maybe we’ve known people who have had kids stay in the hospital, we can help make their stay a little bit brighter. It’s a good thing.”

Warnick said, “Last year, we collected 478 boxes of crayons.”

Last year, the winner of the crayon drive was Jeannine Rude, one of the math teachers.

“I always loved encouraging students to donate crayons for kids in hospitals — what a great cause!” Rude said.  Rude’s class roughly collected 173 boxes of crayons last year.

“It seems like our average per student worked out to be between 8 and 9 boxes each,” said Rude.

This year, the winner of the crayon drive is Sheila Moore and her study hall class.

“Our class loves to give back,” Moore said. “In the recent years, we’ve given to the Cakes for a Cure event. This year we wanted to help with the crayon drive. It is fun to support other groups the way the community supports journalism. It makes sense for us to give back.”


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You won’t be ‘board’ at family game night Thu, 26 Sep 2019 19:32:21 +0000

Meridian Elementary School in Blue Mound will hold a family game night this evening. Preschool students and their parents can sit back, relax, and enjoy pizza and tons of family-friendly games.

“Part of my role is to provide opportunities for parents, both engagement opportunities and educational opportunities,” said Lindsey Sheppard, Meridian’s preschool parent coordinator. She hopes that this event will help children and parents spend more time together, as well as provide ways to exercise the students’ abilities to think well.

“We want to give families the opportunity to see lots of different varieties of games that are appropriate for preschool age, and just some of the concepts that the kids can practice through playing these games,” said Sheppard. “Some of the skills they can practice that are very basic…taking turns, following directions, even learning how to count as you move a piece on the board. Some of those things we’re finding kids don’t know how to do.”

The event will be free of charge to both parents and students, and a pizza dinner will be provided before the kids start to play games.

“We try to make it as easy as possible for parents to attend our events, so we typically provide dinner and then we also have childcare,” said Sheppard. “We have childcare for the younger kids as well as the older kids, and since we’re a grant-funded program, these kinds of things are free of charge to families.”

This is Meridian’s first year doing a family game night. The activities will be held from 5:30-7:00 in the elementary school cafeteria as well as the gym. There will be board games, card games, and games where the kids can move around. 

“We want to give them an opportunity to play some of these educational games but also just have fun with their families,” said Sheppard.

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Child development plays board games with pre-k Thu, 26 Sep 2019 01:55:14 +0000

Katie Warnick teaches many classes at the high school: foods, adult living, and clothing when it’s available. Along with these classes, she teaches child development. Warnick’s child development class took a field trip to the Meridian Elementary School on September 25, during the school day.

“I try to [take field trips] twice a semester,” said Warnick.

The students made board games to play with the preschool kids of Meridian Elementary. When the kids were done playing the games, another group of students would rotate and play more games with the students.

Although this has been their only field trip so far, Warnick’s students are looking forward to more.

Gabby Bingaman, a junior and also a student of Warnick’s child development class, said, “My favorite thing about doing these kinds of projects is being able to meet the kids, and play the games with them, and just have time to bond.”

Bingaman wanted to join child development because she wants to go into a line of work that involves children and pre-k. She thought it would help further her education when the time comes.

All the students had different types of games there and almost all of the kids were excited to play with Warnick’s students.

Another one of Warnick’s students, Courtney Sollman has tried to take the class since her freshman year. Sollman said she enjoys the people in her class, and that’s what makes it her favorite part.

“The kids are fun to interact with because they think different than us and like it’s interesting to see that,” Sollman said.

Warnick wishes she could do these types of field trips more often with her students.

“I always feel extremely proud of them when they’re able to take what they learn in the classroom and then turn around and implement that in real life,” said Warnick. “It gives me joy, I love watching their interactions with the younger kids.”

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Finacial aid night for seniors Wed, 18 Sep 2019 15:11:53 +0000

On  September 18, 2019, Meridian will host its annual Financial Aid Night in the Meridian High School auditorium. The meeting begins at 6:30 pm and will have a representative from the Illinois Student Assistance Commissions (ISACorp), Jacob Gulso.

“He’ll do a presentation…on the different aspects of financial aid, what the timelines are, the different types of monetary awards there are through financial aid for college,” said Heather Johnson, the guidance counselor for Meridian High School.

Filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is a must for any student who wishes to attend college.

“It is [important] because any senior going to college has to apply for financial aid, regardless,” said Johnson. “And…starting with next year’s senior class [2020-2021] you are required to fill it out or you have to have a waiver in order for graduation.”

Application for Federal Student Aid is free and can be done on the website from the Federal Student Aid page. Availability to apply for 2019-2020 FASFA opens October 1, 2019. When applying, students may put down colleges they wish to attend and the students FASFA will be sent to those colleges.

“Once they [students] fill out their FASFA, that goes to the government,” said Johnson. “So then they will send out all the information that was filled out on the FASFA to the different colleges that students put down, so the information isn’t going to be sent to random colleges.”

The college will put together a Financial Aid Package. From there, the student can be made aware if they qualify for financial aid through that college.

“It could just consist of loan options. The more money a student’s parent(s) make,…the less aid they’re going to get,” said Johnson.

Meridian students who plan to apply for the Carol Scholarship, or any other Meridian scholarship, must have their FASFA filled out. Students who qualify for financial aid will receive that over the scholarship.

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Hawks suffer crushing defeat Sun, 15 Sep 2019 00:51:42 +0000

On September 13, the Meridian Hawks Football Team lost for the first time in their season to St. Teresa with a final score of 6-55.

“[During the game] I was thinking it’s St. T, we have a whole season to go. It’s one game don’t let it bring them down,” said Heather Crackel.

Crackel is a senior at Meridian and is a cheerleader for the football team.

“I feel like this loss is going to make us work harder, so we will be eligible to make the playoffs and because we want to turn this program around,” said Kayden Mashburn.

Mashburn is a sophomore at Meridian. He plays on the varsity and junior varsity football teams. He plays receiver and safety.

“Hopefully this loss will be a wake-up call and a little bit of a reality check on how tough our conference is. In the end, we are still 2-1 with a long season ahead of us,” said Micah Sheppard, head football coach at Meridian High School.

“As far as preparation goes, we will attack each week with positivity and enthusiasm. We will study our opponents and be prepared to play at the highest level,” said Sheppard.

“The atmosphere [of the game] was fun and exciting, everyone was pumped to be there, and they were just having a good time,” said Kimberly Love.

Love is a sophomore at Meridian and is a member of the high school band. Love’s favorite band performances are when they perform on Friday nights because of the late nights and marching under the lights.

“It’s been awesome to see them improve from the last three years! It has been awesome to see them win and be all hyped, tonight was a little rough, but I’m still excited to be here,” said Heather Crackel.

The junior varsity will take on St. Teresa on September 16, at 6:00. Then, the varsity team will play at Clinton on September 20, at 7:00.

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