The Green Pride The student news site for De Soto High School Journalism. Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:09:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wildcat of the Week: Lucas Beggs Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:09:12 +0000

While seniors at De Soto High School are busy finishing their high school careers, many are preparing for future careers behind the scenes. Senior Lucas Beggs has been busy with law enforcement departments around the area. 

Lucas expressed an interest in law enforcement my first year as an SRO [Student Resource Officer] at De Soto High School. We just had several conversations about it, and I recommended he attend the Youth Citizen’s Academy at the sheriff’s office,” former DHS SRO Jonathan Keys said. 

Beggs has been involved at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee Police Department and the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.

“At the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, I did their youth academy for two summers. At the Shawnee Mission Police Department, I did their Explorers Program. At the KCK Department, I will be starting an internship there on Oct. 10,” Beggs explained.

After all the experience he has gained with the police departments, Beggs plans to continue the work after graduation from DHS.

“Right after I graduate, I’ll be going to Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and I’ll probably be a CS (Civilian Specialist),” Beggs said. “I would be working in the jail, in the booking lounge and getting people booked into jail and such.”

According to Beggs, if he is still involved in the program once he is 21, he will be deputized and able to go on patrol.

A career in law enforcement requires a high level of integrity and someone that makes sound decisions in life,” Keys said. 

Beggs feels up to the challenge and is ready to pursue this life-long passion.

This has been a long-time goal for Beggs ever since he was young. 

“It has always interested me since I was a little kid. Not just because of flashing lights and loud sirens, but there’s something about being able to help somebody on their worst day and that is just an honor to be able to do,” Beggs said. 

There are many reasons that Beggs is passionate about the work he’s doing, but his favorite part is “being a person everyone goes to when everything is going wrong.”

The job, however, also comes along with hardships.

“I’d say the hardest part of being involved would probably be the mental aspect of it. You’re dealing with people’s worst days everyday for 12 hours a day,” Beggs said. 

Yet after the long hours of work and dedication, Beggs is looking forward to more of this demanding work in his near future. 

Keys is additionally excited about having more young people such as Beggs involved in the police force.

“Having young people interested in law enforcement is good for a variety of reasons. It helps reduce the negative perceptions people have toward law enforcement as a result of the media,” Keys explained. “It also serves to establish an open dialogue between the law enforcement community and the people they serve.”

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DHS 2019 Homecoming ready to begin next week Thu, 10 Oct 2019 19:55:10 +0000

De Soto High School’s Homecoming will occur on Saturday Oct. 19. The theme this year is Alice in Wonderland. 

Throughout next week, there will be a spirit theme for every day. Beginning Tuesday Oct. 15, themes will be Pajama Day, Crazy Accessories Day, VSCO Girl vs. Eboy Day and Green Out Day. Oct. 15 will begin homecoming week with tickets being available for purchase during lunch ($8 for single, $12for couple) and a Seminar door decorating contest.

Art teacher Sheila Wilkins is one of the door decorating judges for Homecoming week. 

Wilkins said she would like to see something that is “creatively interpreting the theme.”

 The Seminar that wins will also be rewarded with pizza as a fun way to raise school spirit and competition. 

Wednesday will include the Homecoming parade beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by Powderpuff, the girls’ flag football scrimmage, right after. Students are highly encouraged to join the parade or participate in Powderpuff. 

Sophomore Amy Rocha is more than excited to be playing in her second year of Powderpuff. 

“It’s just so fun to be able to play a game that we don’t always get to play. It’s fun to be able to do it with all my friends and compete against other grades,” Rocha said. 

Voting for Homecoming king and queen nominees will take place Thursday, followed by the pep assembly on Friday in the auxiliary gym at 9:14 a.m. The Homecoming football game will also take place Friday night at 7p.m. against Spring Hill. 

For the dance itself, the doors will open Saturday night from 8to 11 p.m., but in order to attend the dance, students must arrive at 9pm at the latest. If tickets have not yet been purchased, they will be available at the door for $10. 

Freshman Emerson Brown is also very excited to be attending her first Homecoming this year at DHS. 

“I’m really excited to go with friends and have fun,” Brown said.


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WOTW: Elizabeth Crainshaw Thu, 10 Oct 2019 17:22:24 +0000

Every year, a handful of new teachers and other staff members grace the hallways of De Soto High School. While some new members of the community find themselves known by most students at DHS, gifted facilitator Elizabeth Crainshaw has  more of a behind-the-scenes role. 

Crainshaw is the newest teacher for the gifted Voyagers program at DHS. Her job is to help her Seminar students in the gifted program reach goals related to education and their futures. 

The Voyagers program consists of only 30 to 40 students, so Crainshaw has the chance to have a large impact on a small group of students. 

Before coming to DHS, Crainshaw worked at Mill Creek Middle School as a resource teacher. While it is different at DHS, Crainshaw is excited for the year to come. 

“[DHS] is amazing. It’s a very tight knit group,” she said. 

Anyone who knows Crainshaw knows that she is devoted to providing the best possible environment for her students at multiple elementary schools and, of course, DHS. However, most people wouldn’t know that she is incredibly creative and daring. 

“I love to hike, draw, paint and parachute,” Crainshaw said. 

While Crainshaw does not actively parachute anymore, it used to be one of her more interesting hobbies. 

“You hang from the wing of the plane and when it’s time to drop you just let go,” she said. 

Crainshaw parachuted from about 3,000  feet above the ground. Though being a teacher is not nearly as dangerous, she feels that this new opportunity to teach Voyagers has ample room for adventure. 

“I’d say working with Voyagers is kind of daring, isn’t it?” Crainshaw said.

Crainshaw plans to run the classroom differently than teachers have in the past, placing the emphasis on individual students and their goals and needs. 

The Voyagers have found this to be a refreshing change. 

“She lets us be more independent, and I have had the opportunity to take control of my own learning,” said junior Voyager Caleb Kmiecik. 

She plans to have each Voyager work on independent projects, social-emotional learning and project-based learning. Some of these independent project opportunities include participating in Battle of the Brains at Science City, as well as participating in the jury at Johnson County Youth Court.

“I’m excited [to see progress] not just in this classroom, but outside of it, through the school day and beyond.” 

Though working with the gifted program at DHS is a big change from working in resource at MCMS, Crainshaw is ready for the challenge and the benefits to come along with it. 


Elizabeth Crainshaw prepares for her parachute to open after letting go of the wing of a plane.

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DHS students keep breast cancer awareness fundraiser alive Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:44:54 +0000

De Soto High School has traditionally created a caring environment and has consistently looked for ways to help those within the community. 

One tradition taken on during the month of October due to National Breast Cancer Awareness month, is the “Cats for the Cure” t-shirt fundraiser. 

In the past, DHS business teacher Tom Byers has put his marketing team in charge of advertising the fundraiser. This school year Byers is not running the marketing team, and this tradition was not in the plans to continue. 

As many students did not want this great tradition to be forgotten, senior Colin Campbell and other involved students started brainstorming. They made it a point to meet with Byers to discuss how a design could be made for “Cats for the Cure” to continue. 

This tradition is special to many students at DHS, as many within the Wildcat community have relations to people who have been diagnosed with cancer. 

Junior Tess Langton can relate with this experience, as her mother is a breast cancer survivor. 

“I think it’s really cool that our school is helping by promoting this [breast cancer] to our community to support so many families around us that have been affected by this disease,” Langton said. 

This year’s earnings from the fundraiser will be donated by Campbell and students to a special cause. 

“The money is going to be donated to Brayden’s Hhope for Cchildhood Ccancer. It’s an organization based locally in Kansas City that helps children with cancer,” Campbell said. 

The fundraiser falls just in time to get a t-shirt to wear to the “Pink Out” themed football game Oct 25. 

“The big thing about it is that we have a football game that is almost alongside the shirt, so our goal is to fill the student section with a lot of pink that night and gain a lot of support for this charity,” Campbell said. 

Order forms for the ninth annual shirt can be found in the main office and student services. Forms must be turned in by Oct. 14 to help DHS give back to a great cause.


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Senior life: internships and scholarships Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:33:57 +0000

When senior year hits, it is typical for students to panic about their impending adult life and scramble to figure out how to best prepare for their future. Senior Mason Johannes, however, has everything already figured out. From interning at a law firm to committing and practicing bowling with Baker University, Johannes is further into adulthood than the majority of students at De Soto High School.

Johannes began her journey into law long before she started her internship at Jeffers Law Office this past year.

“Actually he [Johannes’ brother] was a lot of the reason why I wanted to. I used to want to go into architecture. Then I started going to his court cases and I thought they were really interesting … the way they come up with punishments. There’s just so many different ways they can go about the process,” Johannes said. 

Her internship began when she got in touch with her parents’ divorce lawyer.

“You have to have a mentor through college, so I’m pretty sure he’ll [Mark Jeffers] just be my mentor,” Johannes said. “That’s the only one [firm] I’ve interned for, but there’s a lot of people in my family that are corporate lawyers, so I’ll probably just shadow them.”

Johannes’ day-to-day routine at the law firm consists of listening in on people’s legal situations.

“There’s a lot of privacy restrictions. So basically he [Jeffers] will contact them [the clients] ahead of time and be like ‘hey there is going to be this random girl going’… and I’ll usually sit on his side [in court], but at the back because I can’t be with him,” Johannes said. “But I basically just watch and take notes about what’s going on.”

Although Johannes is unsure exactly what kind of law she wants to go into, she knows she would prefer to work in criminal law over civil.

“I don’t want to do civil. That is so boring,” Johannes joked. “It’s just a silent room and the judge asks ‘did you agree on this?’ and it’s like ‘yeah.’”

When Johannes is not interning at Jeffers Law Office, she is practicing with the Baker University bowling team.

“It wasn’t one of their official practices but I went to their practice. . .I have to start doing wrist workouts. I didn’t realize that much went into it,” Johannes said.

Johannes’ bowling career started long before high school, all the way back in her family’s history.

“My dad never bowled in high school, but he bowled growing up. My parents go to national tournaments. . . last year they did the one in Las Vegas, which is a really big one,” Johannes said.

Despite always being around bowling, she was not always interested in it.

“My whole family is a bunch of bowlers. I used to bowl when I was really young, but then I went 10 years without touching a bowling ball because I was like ‘this sucks,’” Johannes said. “I’ve just always been around bowling, especially since my dad owns Park Lanes and I currently work there.”

Teammate Maddie Calvello—also a Baker commit—admits that Johannes has influenced her as a player.

“As a friend, it’s super helpful because she can yell at me when I’m doing bad,” Calvello said. “Mason got her scholarship and then I started freaking out because that’s my dream. Then she gave me the coach’s number and that’s kind of how that started.”

Johannes’ bowling career has been very successful, with taking the team to State her first year on the team.

In Johannes’ free time, she enjoys using her past cooking knowledge from DHS’s culinary program to cook different foods.

“I actually do a lot of cooking at the bowling alley [Park Lanes]. You get two certifications out of the class, your serve-safe one that basically says you know how to keep things sanitized and wash dishes, then you get one for completing the pro-start course itself, which basically says you know how to be a manager of a restaurant. So I have those two industry certifications … so basically I know both ends of the restaurant.”

Although the culinary program at DHS may not have been everything Johannes had expected, cooking will forever be a favorite pastime, if not a career path.

“I first joined for it to be a fun thing, but then I joined the competition team and it was actually a really cool experience. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, I got a lot out of it,” Johannes said.

Johannes will continue to enjoy her time here at DHS while preparing for her fast-approaching future, whether it be with one of her many passions: law, bowling or cooking.

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Student Commits to Iowa State Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:07:20 +0000

De Soto High School’s sports are very competitive, producing many talented athletes.. One of these being junior, Brooke Stonestreet.  Stonestreet recently committed to Iowa State University to continue her academic and volleyball career.

“I look forward to playing because my team and I have really good chemistry,” Stonestreet said.

With the 2019 season being her third year in the DHS volleyball program, Stonestreet has held a large role for the team.

“I enjoy playing with Brooke because not only is she a hard worker, she is a leader, and fantastic athlete,” Junior teammate Lynlee Hutchison said.

DHS’ varsity coaches, Lindsay Hothan and Boris Quintero, have put a lot of thought and time into improving the young team.

“We have a lot of talent and raw athleticism,”Quintero said.

“With the new team, we have been working on fundamentals,” Quintero said.

Stonestreet shares something she has learned from her experience here at DHS that she will take with her into the future. 

“De Soto has taught me a lot of things, like working on my skills and fundamentals, even being a better teammate. I have improved as a person and a player all around,” Stonestreet said.

With the season half over, De Soto has shown they are capable of achieving their goals.   

“I think if we put in the time and effort, we have a really good chance of winning it all this year,” Stonestreet said.

Iowa State’s volleyball team has given Stonestreet a warm welcome on her recent visit to the campus.  

“The campus is beautiful and my teammates are really nice,” Stonestreet said.

With Stonestreet’s upcoming  team commitment, she has new goals and new plans.    

“I want to win the national championship,” Stonestreet said.

 The DHS volleyball program  is proud of Stonestreet’s accomplishments and hard work to earn this opportunity.  


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Chiefs and Diamonds come together to choreograph competition routine Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:22:58 +0000

On Sept 29,  The De Soto High School Diamonds Dance Team had a unique opportunity to work with two Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders named Ellie MacDonald and Tiffany Grazda. The cheerleaders helped them choreograph their competition routines.  

“They [MacDonald and Grazda] are closer to our age than what we are used to working with, so it was fun working with their high energy. They are very encouraging and uplifting, and it was a lot of fun to learn from them,” senior Ashlen Boresow said. 

The experience was one that not every dance team gets to have. The team members were very grateful for the distinguished opportunity. It also made team members feel confident about their place in the dance world. 

“It felt like we were heard, appreciated and good enough to do things that Kansas City cheerleaders do,” senior Claire Kennard said.  

The dance team worked efficiently to get the routine done. Because they were working with highly professional dancers, the team was pushed to work harder. They learned the dance quicker than usual, which helped them grow.  

“I think that was the fastest we’ve ever learned a full dance. The whole team was a little nervous before learning the choreography. We only had three hours of time blocked off to learn the whole dance, and we are used to working six hours or more on choreography days,” Boresow said  

Not only did the Chiefs cheerleaders push them to learn faster, but they also broadened their knowledge of dance genres.  

“It was a different style of pom that I’ve never really done before,” Kennard said.  “It was interesting to get into this different genre that we’ve never touched before.” 

The team is excited to perform their competition dance at their three competitions on Dec 24, Jan 18 and Jan 25. They may also occasionally perform this routine at football games. 

“I think we are going to have a good year and I am pretty confident about it. Having Chiefs cheerleaders come in helps you feel confident. They seemed like they believed in us, which helped,” Kennard said.  


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DHS students travel far and wide Mon, 07 Oct 2019 19:47:09 +0000

People often take summer as an opportunity to travel and explore new places. This summer, many De Soto High School students had the opportunity to visit various unique places. 

Sophomore Rebekah Doyel got to visit several different regions, including Honduras and Kauai. 

“I went to Tegucigalpa [Honduras] with a few friends and family where we did mission trip work,” Doyel said. 

Her trip to Honduras lasted a little over a week before she headed to Kauai, a Hawaiian island known for its tropical rainforest. 

“We got to go skydiving, surfing, snorkeling, swimming, ziplining and hiking,” Doyel said, “I had been wanting to visit the island for a while so the trip was lots of fun.”

Sophomore Keeley Chambers also ventured outside the country into neighboring Canada. 

“My family is from Canada, so we try to visit as often as we can,” said Chambers. 

While in Canada, Chambers stayed in Ontario and visited  Fort Henry, a historic military fort in Kingston.               “Going to Canada is always a fun experience so I can’t wait to go back,”  Chambers said. 

Other students chose to vacation within the country. Sophomore Mason Laney visited Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. 

The ranch is owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America and Laney, a long time boy scout, was excited to go. 

Laney, along with his boy scout troop, hiked 73 miles through the mountains over 11 days.

“I had so much fun. It was probably my favorite experience ever,” Laney said. 


While on the trail, Laney got the chance to climb the cliff faces and take a gold mine tour.  

Wildcat Photo
Sophomore Rebekah Doyel poses with children from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Wildcat Photo
Sophomore Keeley Chambers poses for a photo in Kingston, Ontario.

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Science Olympiad starts new season Fri, 04 Oct 2019 17:35:29 +0000

With the new school year in play, De Soto High School’s Science Olympiad team has started practicing after school in order to prepare for meets.  

According to junior Isabel Haake, Science Olympiad includes all elements of science. 

 “Science Olympiad is an organization where students compete with other schools in different science categories such as biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.” Haake said.

Junior member Brent Smith is looking forward to a great season.

“This season, I am looking forward to trying out new events, and getting better at the ones I did last year,” Haake said.

Smith also shows great compassion towards the club sponsor, Chemistry teacher Lauren Sixta.

“Our team sponsor, Mrs. Sixta, is an incredible sponsor as well as a mentor. She has an outgoing passion for science that makes being part of the team such a great experience,” Smith said.

Similar to Smith, Haake also appreciates all Sixta has done for the team so far.

“She checks up on us during the days we have meets to make sure that we’re in the right locations with the right people at the right time,” Haake said.

A goal the team has this season is to  change how things were done during previous years. 

“Members from last year want to change how the team was organized, and our main want from last year was to have more members,” Haake said. “Last year there were about 15 of us, which was very tricky because for the State team, there are only 15 members allowed to go. This caused members to not work as hard to reach their full potential.” 

Along with increasing group numbers, another goal is for them to achieve on a bigger level.

“Seeing other clubs such as Scholars Bowl succeed, I know that success was possible for Science Olympiad too, only if we could get a team that was wanting to put the work in needed now so future teams can succeed as well,” Smith said.

The Science Olympiad team is excited for a great season and are eager to make changes to increase the success the team will achieve.

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De Soto providing classes in preparation for PSAT Fri, 04 Oct 2019 17:30:54 +0000

The practice SAT, or PSAT, held on Oct. 16, is a strenuous three-hour test that can provide a great practice experience  for students to excel on the SAT exam. 

Preparing for the test can be overwhelming for some students. With this in mind, English teacher Phillip Hamilton and assistant band director Philip Kaul are providing prep classes for those taking the PSAT. Classes take place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 

These prep classes  prepare students for the three main sections of the test. There will be two small math sections, one with a calculator and one without, as well as reading and writing sections. The math portions will be taught by Kaul and the portions of reading and writing will be taught by Hamilton. 

The inception of these classes originally began after last year’s test results came in, showing promising scores that, if improved, could land students National Merit benefits. 

“There were a number of people from the junior class [last year] who were really close to the point total for National Merit finalist. . . we had the opportunity to support students more than we had in the past,” Hamilton said. 

The PSAT will provide students with benefits for National Merit opportunities, but also test experience for future rigorous tests such as the SAT and ACT. Although the PSAT may have lower stakes for sophomores taking the test for practice, success on this test for juniors could mean large scholarships. 

“It can be pretty high stakes for juniors who are shooting for that designation, we just want to make sure that our students are as prepared as possible,” Kaul said. 

Because students taking the prep classes are shooting for these goals, there is no shortage of effort and commitment from them. 

“It’s been really productive and a positive atmosphere where everyone is working hard and improving at the things that are weaknesses and showing their areas of strength,” Kaul said. 

The class ultimately utilizes a workbook that students paid for at the beginning of the course, with practice tests being taken during class time as well. According to Kaul, doing work at home is encouraged to the students, but is not mandatory. 

On top of giving students materials and direction for the test, the class provides students with new strategies for test day. Junior Connor McCall believes that the PSAT classes will improve his score on this years PSAT. 

“I took the PSAT as a sophomore and I got a fairly high score, but I wanted to make sure I knew strategies to do even better this year and possibly qualify to be a National Merit scholar,” McCall said. 

With the addition of these voluntary after-school classes, Hamilton and Kaul hope to improve students scores and put them in a better position for their futures as well. 

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