Three East Forensic students qualified for state at their first tournament of the year in Lansing Jan. 26 and 27. Senior Matthew Trecek qualified in Prose, sophomore Lucy Brock in Poetry and Impromptu and sophomore Emory Apodaca in Informative.
“We had some good results for it being the first tournament, but the squad is looking forward to getting more qualifiers before state,” Brock said.
In a given tournament, participants perform either a prepared or impromptu piece in front of judges. By the end of the three preliminary rounds on the first day, six East students had qualified for finals.
Other students that made the finals but didn’t qualify for state were senior Emma Hunt in Poetry, senior Jacob Roberts in Program of Oral Interpretation and sophomore Aaron Berlau in Prose.
Forensics students that didn’t m
ake the cut for state can try for qualification in the upcoming tournaments, according to Brock. Tournaments are held nearly every weekend and students sign up for them independently. The state tournament is set to be held at Olathe North High School May 4 and 5. The students already headed to state are now preparing for another goal: nationals.
“There are two national tournaments over the summer that we haven’t qualified for,” Brock said. “That is the biggest thing we’ll be working towards for awhile.”
A school-based health clinic opened at Merriam Park Elementary School on Tuesday. SMSD partnered with Health Partnership Clinics, a health service similar to a minute clinic, to offer an exclusive medical service available to all students in Shawnee Mission including the Early Childhood Education Center.
The new clinic offers both medical and behavioral care provided by doctors for students ranging from elementary to high school. The hours on Tuesdays are 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. for walk-in health services and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays for behavioral health services.
The center is focused on pediatric care including sick child visits, well-child sports physicals, immunizations, chronic disease care such as asthma, nutritional guidance and mental health services.
School day hours make it difficult for students across the district to utilize the center. Senior Paige McClelland always seems to have the common cold and thinks it is a great step in helping kids in SMSD, but that the hours are limiting.
“I think it’s great to have a health clinic within our district,” McClelland said. “[But] since the hours aren’t very long and only open during school I probably wouldn’t be able to go often.”
Shelby Rebeck, the SMSD Health Coordinator, believes that the program provides an opportunity for students to receive critical health care that they otherwise wouldn’t receive. With the clinic, students will have proper access to the resources they need for their health which will lead to success in the classroom and improve attendance.
“The idea is to break down barriers to health care,” Rebeck said. “Barriers for many of our students include low income, lack of transportation, lack of awareness, and parents’/guardians’ inability to take time away from hourly jobs.
President Donald Trump commemorated the U. S.’s past and gave way to new beginnings in his first State of the Union Address Tuesday. He addressed both the Senate and House of Representatives in a joint Congress at the Capitol.
Sophomore Tatum Hood believes that Trump’s speech was informative, but that he countered his statements as the address continued. NowThis Politics calculated that Trump averaged one false statement approximately every five minutes.
“I think he made good points about unity in his speech,” Hood said. “But he also contradicted himself when talking about ‘the wall’ and standing for the pledge.”
Trump pointed to several statistics to mark the progress that the country has made since he took office. He listed the successes thus far, such as the 2.4 million new jobs since the election, the lowest unemployment rate in 45 years and enactment of tax cuts that will lead to saving $4,000 for the average American family.
“We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission – to make America great again for all Americans,” Trump said.
The majority of Trump’s speech elaborated on goals in place for the future. Among other plans such as improving veterans health care and lowering costs of prescription drugs, he introduced the proposal for a “Merit-Based Immigration System.” The new legislation would allow undocumented immigrants to become citizens, reform family immigration rules and find a wall at the southern border.
The president called upon Congress to set aside differences and seek common ground. According to Trump, there has never been a better time to start living the American dream as we move towards a stronger and safer nation.