Category Archives: Feature

Stories that revolve around special events and stories.

Speeching Progressively

With former coach Jacki Papstein gone, Darby Davidson, English teacher, has taken over coaching the speech team. Many returning speech team members look at this change as both an opportunity to mix things up, and as an obstacle to overcome.

“It’s just different switching to a new coach. It’s just going to be a different season and we won’t know how it’ll go,” Nathan Klaumann ‘15 said.

Though she has little experience coaching speech team, Davidson was in speech team during high school, participating in the Poetry event. Despite her novice status, Davidson has many plans for the team.

“There will be a large emphasis on community and camaraderie,” Davidson said.

Davidson also has high ambitions for the team.

“We’re going to make each day our masterpiece as we travel in the pursuit of excellence,” Davidson said.

Davidson also plans on taking the speech team to State.

Another change is the absence of an assistant coach. Alumni Justin Schultis will not be returning to coach due to his work schedule at Schultis & Son Real Estate and Auction. As of yet, Davidson has not made any plans to find another assistant coach this year.

“Having Justin gone will mean one less expert opinion,” Klaumann said.

Change In Plans

Change was in the air for the 28th annual Copacabana on March 9, 2013. The planning committee shook things up in terms of venue and food. Students performed on stage in the Burkley Fine Arts Center rather than on risers in the gym, and a dessert bar was included in the price of tickets instead of a full meal, which was typically provided in previous years.

Although very skeptical at first, Connie Schouboe, art teacher, said, “I thought it went very well. We were nervous because of the new format, but it went great. The sound system was good and performances went well. I don’t think anyone missed being in the gym. Copacabana was held in the Fine Arts Center because there was always trouble getting enough people to volunteer in order to serve the whole meal, plus there was always something going wrong with the sound system.”

When Copacabana was held in the gymnasium, the sound crew had to move the entire sound system from the BFAC to the mezzanine. After all of this work, there was still an abundance of microphone malfunctions. So many malfunctions, in fact, that a few performers actually had to go back on stage for a second time and try again to sing for the crowd. This year, in the BFAC, there were no major issues with the sound system. All songs were performed without a hitch.

“It kind of seemed like just another concert, rather than the normal ‘talent show’. The performances sounded really good and there was a lot more respect given to the performers in the BFAC than in the gym,” Anna Mach ’14 said.

There were several volunteers who guarded the doors in order to keep people from entering or exiting the Fine Arts Center while students were on stage, so there was far less commotion during performances than usual. Vocal music teacher Brent Roby got new laser lights that also elevated the performances.

To add to the list of advantages of using the BFAC, the chairs are much easier to sit in for hours than the hard bleachers in the gym. Performers and spectators alike said that being in the BFAC made Copacabana a much more pleasant experience.

Experienced Journalist Takes Reigns

Recently, The Fairbury Journal News experienced a change in editors. A journalist with 24 years of professional experience, Jim Headley, gained the editor position as of mid-August.

“I do not have a degree,” Headley said. “I learned in the newsroom.”

Headley started as a freelance photographer for the Cheyenne Daily News. He then was the editor for the Sidney Sun-Telegraph, which got him involved in an important story, ‘Too short to go to prison’. The case involved a 5’1”, 100-pound male who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl. Instead of getting the typical punishment of a sex offender, the man received 10 years of probation, because the judge claimed the man was too short to survive in prison. Two years later the judge was voted out of office by a campaign started by Headley. Fortunately, he had the support of the State Attorney General.

Later in his career, Headley became the sports editor for his hometown’s paper, the Sidney Sun-Telegraph.

“I had about 60 reporters under me (as the sports editor),” Headley said.

He also worked at the Gering (Nebraska) newspaper as a photographer. But when the paper was shut down, Headley took it into his own hands to create a new paper for the Gering area, from scratch.

“The Gering Citizen is the newest paper in Nebraska,” Headley said. “It is still run by my ex-girlfriend, and circulates about 2,000 papers a week.”

Now Headley is the editor of the Fairbury Journal News. So far he has made a lot of changes and already has plans for the paper to expand.

“I changed the photography, the layout, page locations, and I removed— most— of the crime from the front page,” Headley said. “A newspaper cannot be negative all the time, but on the flip side you cannot be a cheerleader either.”

Taking crime off of the front page seemed to work also. A letter to the editor in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal News said,


We are thrilled with the new paper format.

We were just ready to cancel as we could not believe the most newsworthy thing about Fairbury was the crime.

Not good incentive to attract new people or business. Have a great day!”

Headley’s future plans for the paper include expanding both the circulation and the staff of the paper.

“Life is too short for a boring newspaper,” Headley said.