The Live Wire The Student News Site of Liberty High School Fri, 20 Dec 2019 15:59:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Teacher: Darien Robins Fri, 20 Dec 2019 15:55:08 +0000 Two weeks before the end of the second trimester, Brad Borrison, English teacher, resigned, leaving his classes and students behind. Unfortunately, that left the Liberty English department and over 60 kids out of a teacher. 

“I think a lot of his reasons for leaving are personal,” said Peggy Dolson, the head of the English department. 

Not knowing what happened, the students were wondering what will come out of this situation. Thanks to the impressive and mature leaders of the English department, the teacher hunt started in full swing while classes were still on, as learning was the priority. 

He (Robins) is really thoughtful and committed to justice. I was really excited when he was available because he would be a great resource to our students.”

— Nick Borchert

“I also felt responsible when he left that those students were served,” said Dolson. 

While looking for a teacher, students still needed to learn. Lesson plans were needed for the students that went along with where they were, and English teachers came together to discuss how to give them assignments and plans. 

“It was very stressful because it was at the end of the trimester, but the English department was fabulous. Everyone stepped up,” Dolson said. 

Teachers stepped up and took over classes and discussed how to keep the classes on track; Borrison’s British literature, English 10, and acting classes were well kept, and the student’s learning was never hindered. 

In the 33 years of her teaching career, Dolson had never seen a case when a teacher had left in the middle of the year during the end of the trimester. A new teacher was needed, and Dolson and others started looking for new teachers or possibly even a long term sub to fill the role right away. The hiring process isn’t easy, and Liberty needed a teacher to fill this role pretty quick. 

“It starts with a resignation, so then you can post it and take applicants, and look through them, and call in for interviews and discuss,” said Dolson, explaining the process of hiring a new teacher. 

Fortunately, they found a perfect fit for all their requirements. Darien Robins, the new English teacher, was already known as the building sub at North West Junior High School. 

“It went surprisingly well, and Liberty High School is blessed with the teacher we were able to hire. Not only is he knowledgeable and organized, but he is very kind, he wants to help students, and he has got his own quirky sense of humor. He’s seamlessly fit into the English department,” said Dolson. “We really got lucky.”

“When Mr. Borrison left, I didn’t know what was going to happen; if he was going to come back or not. It kinda sucked that Mr. Borrison left, but I stayed on track with my learning,” said Ethan Armstrong, sophomore, one of Robins’s students. 

“He (Robins)  is a really good teacher and he is pretty cool,” Armstrong added. 

Nick Borchert, English teacher, was a student with Robins in college. The two are very fond of each other. 

“He (Robins) is really thoughtful and committed to justice. I was really excited when he was available because he would be a great resource to our students,” said Borchert. 

“He cares a lot about inequality and problems people face in the world by using education to combat social issues,” Borchert added. 

Robins joined suddenly, but he enjoyed it and thought it was thrilling. He knew teachers (Borchert and Ochs) already from previous schooling, and he thought of Liberty as a place he would love to work at. When a job opened up, he got a call needing of teacher very fast, and Robins jumped at the opportunity. Only having moved here a month and a half ago subbing around the area until his wife settled into a job, the whole thing seemed like a perfect fit. 

Very interested in music and singing, Robins expressed his love for the choir program here at Liberty and experienced All-State choir when he was in high school. 

He also writes musical theater and works with composers in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. He hopes to get involved in theater at Liberty, as it is one of his passions. 

“I like to teach theater [because] it is a very human process in the same way that all art teaching is very human,” he expressed. 

Robins also has a passion for teaching and the younger generation that steps into his classroom each day. 

Tessa Miller
Darien Robins, English teacher, posing in front of his classroom.

“Students are so great, still developing and changing all the time,” Robins continued. 

“Teaching is the purest form of humanity, the thing that separates us from all other creatures. Every generation of a wolf is more or less like the one who came before it, and just like that humans change more quickly because the knowledge we amass is passed on through teaching,” Robins said, “and that’s the crux of what humanity is.” 

He started as a music education and composition major in college but enjoyed more reading and English. The more he read, he realized his love for teaching. 

“The act of reading and reading well was so visceral. I spent a lot of time thinking about learning,” Robins explains. 

“When I first started English, I thought it was the most exciting thing. Every time I went to class I felt smarter and nicer, like I was learning how to be a thoughtful person,” Robins said. 

Coming from the University of Iowa, Robins student-taught at City High School and landed his first job in Grinnell, Iowa before he moved back to the Iowa City area and eventually came to Liberty. 

Although sometimes missing his former Grinnell students, Robins has enjoyed Liberty and the upsides that it has brought. He expresses his love his students and also the faculty and environment that Liberty brings; feeling welcomed by his fellow co-workers. His love for students is evident in the way he is passionate about teaching them  and how he cares for them. So far, Robins has adjusted well to the new position and is already making an impact on students.

Trump Impeached By House of Representatives on December 18th Thu, 19 Dec 2019 17:42:23 +0000 After a 6-hour debate on Wednesday, December 18th, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on both articles of impeachment. The articles were anticipated to pass because the majority of the House is Democrats. The vote count was majorly along party lines with only 2 Democrats voting against the first article (abuse of power) and 3 Democrats voting against the second article (obstruction of justice). The total vote counts for each article is 230 (yes) – 197 (no) and 229 (yes) -198 (no).

The articles of impeachment were revealed on Tuesday, December 10th, and outlined the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. On Sunday, December 15th, the House Judiciary Committee released a report, elaborating on and slightly amending the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. 

The first charge (abuse of power) refers to the July 25th phone call President Trump had with the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenksy, and the course of conduct and scheme of events illustrated by the call. 

Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election”

— House Democrats

“Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election,” wrote House Democrats. “He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.”

In the House Judiciary Committee’s report, House Democrats continued, “While there is no need for a crime to be proven in order for impeachment to be warranted, here, President Trump’s scheme or course of conduct also encompassed other offenses, both constitutional and criminal in character, and it is appropriate for the Committee to recognize such offenses in assessing the question of impeachment. President Trump’s abuse of power encompassed both the constitutional offense of ‘Bribery’ and multiple federal crimes. He has betrayed the national interest, the people of this Nation, and should not be permitted to be above the law. It is therefore all the more vital that he be removed from office.”

While these additional allegations did not surface as a specific article, they were additional context for the abuse of power charge.

In the July 25th phone call, House Democrats claim that President Trump pressured President Zelensky into investigating political opponent Joe Biden, evidenced in the White House transcript of the phone call. During the same time, they also claim that he withheld apportioned military aid and a White House visit for President Zelenksy.

This phone call has been at the center of impeachment hearings after a whistleblower, an anonymous person who reports suspicious activity of another, came forward with complaints about the conduct in the phone call. 

The whistleblower report, which was delivered to Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, describes, “the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

What the whistleblower is referring to is the possible quid pro quo President Trump offered to President Zelensky (“Quid pro quo” means “this for that” in Latin). The quid pro quo in question is if President Trump withheld appropriated military aid and an official visit to the White House from Ukraine in exchange for the Ukrainian government to launch an investigation into a political rival.

The “appropriated” part of the military aid is significant because that means that money was congressionally approved in the national budget this year. And that means the money has to be given to Ukraine, otherwise it’s a federal crime called impoundment. 

House Democrats and critics of the President’s behavior in the phone call believe that the wording in the phone call can lead to the assumption that President Trump was pressuring President Zelensky, specifically noting the phrase, “I would like you to do us a favor though”.

“This is how a mafia boss talks: ‘What have you done for us? We’ve done so much for you, but there’s not much reciprocity. I have a favor to ask,'” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff remarked at a press conference on September 25th. “And what is that favor? Of course, that favor is to investigate [Trump’s] political rival – to investigate the Bidens.”

This is how a mafia boss talks: ‘What have you done for us? We’ve done so much for you, but there’s not much reciprocity. I have a favor to ask’”

— House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff

The investigation President Trump allegedly desired would presumably focus on corruption and then former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in getting Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin removed from office in 2015 after Ukraine had just overthrown a pro-Russian government.

The second offense (obstruction of Congress) is about President Trump’s conduct during the impeachment. 

“When the president got caught,” Schiff said, “he committed his second impeachable act.”

During the impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration directed many aides in the White House not to testify. Notable names that did not testify include Rick Perry, former Energy Secretary and one of the “three amigos” that ran President Trump’s policy in Ukraine, and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney and a key player in running President Trump’s relations in Ukraine in what some call an “irregular diplomatic channel”.

 “I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify,” President Trump tweeted in response. 

The other two of the “three amigos” did testify. Kurt Volker, the former State Department envoy to Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, both testified in November. Sondland testified on November 20, 2019 and presented some of the most damaging evidence against the president.

“I know that members of this committee frequently frame these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo?” Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

However, later in his testimony, Sondland explained that the quid pro quo didn’t include the military aid, only the White House visit. He also inferred that President Zelensky didn’t have to perform the investigation, only announce it. 

“[Zelenksy] had to announce the investigations. He didn’t actually have to do them, as I understood it,” Sondland said. 

Both Volker and Sondland said that they didn’t connect the quid pro quo to an investigation into the Bidens during their sworn testimony before the House. They both recalled that they thought it was into Burisma and the corruption in the government.

I saw them as very different — the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable”

— Kurt Volker, Former State Department envoy to Ukraine

“As you know from the extensive, real-time documentation I have provided, Vice President Biden was not a topic of our discussions,” Volker said. “In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma, as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden. I saw them as very different — the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable.”

While he has been impeached, President Trump now has to go through a trial in the Senate to determine if the president should be removed from office. With the majority party in the Senate Republicans, the chances of him being removed from office are very slim since ⅔ of the Senate needs to approve removal. The date for the Senate trial is expected to start in early January because Congress is going on recess (a temporary halt) for the holidays. 

Donald Trump will stay in office for the rest of his term, unless the Senate removes him, and can still run for reelection in 2020.

Are Society’s New Expectations of Teens Too Much? Thu, 19 Dec 2019 17:02:45 +0000 Change is everywhere, and it’s bound to happen, but what has changed today’s youth and society in general since our parent’s childhood?

Social media has come to rise since our parents were our age, and it has had one of the biggest impacts on today’s youth. It is impacting our mental health, our body image, and our happiness.  It often projects the image that everyone has a perfect life and needs to be happy all the time. Ironically, along with the rise of social media, depression rates in teens have increased sharply, soaring almost sixty percent higher for all the teens between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. So, what has changed so drastically for teens? 

One thing is body image. Only four percent of women think they’re beautiful according to a worldwide survey conducted by Dove.

“We as a culture, as a society, are obsessed with size. It’s become connected to our identity as people,”  Emma McClendon, Associate Curator of Costume at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said to CNN.

 Social media, such as Instagram, and some of the Instagram models on it, set almost inhuman expectations for our bodies. Victoria’s Secret, which specializes in women’s undergarments, requires their models to have a body fat percentage lower than eighteen percent, while the average body fat percentage for women ages twenty to forty stretches between twenty-one and thirty-five percent. This creates unrealistic expectations for women and promotes self-hate towards our own bodies, our home.

Celia Daniels, senior, had a different perspective.

“I’m not necessarily sure that social media has done anything that hasn’t already been done because even before technology, we had access to magazines with photoshopped images of beautiful women,” Daniels said. “I do know that it has made those more readily available. You are just scrolling through, and you see this gorgeous picture of this gorgeous person that you will never meet in your life and will never interact with ever.”

Along with social media, colorful games and apps on devices that are meant to draw kids in, also draw them away from doing other activities and draw them away from people close to them. These games keep them from experiencing a wholesome childhood. 

“The frequent use of technology affects how we behave and connect with one another,” says Michael Manos, Head of the ADHD Center for Evaluation & Treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. 

According to studies that examined 2,587 teens who had not been diagnosed with ADHD, teens and children who use digital media many times a day are more likely to show more symptoms of ADHD. Using technology can’t cause ADHD in general, but it can cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD.

Nicholas Borchert, an English teacher at Liberty, commented on this.

“That’s what people do now when they have a free moment [… People] get out a phone and scroll through something, and I don’t think it makes people happy. It looks to me that a lot of people feel sort of purposeless or directionless because they’re spending most of their time doing that,” said Borchert. 

New school expectations have an impact on childhood too, compared to the older generations childhoods. 

“Academic standards are harder sooner than they used to be, which means that kids get fewer opportunities to play and explore,” Borchert says. 

These new standards play into kids’ changing mental health. One in five kids living in the United States show signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year. Think of how many kids that is per school, yet almost eighty percent who need mental health services do not get them according to NPR. A freshman at Liberty, who prefers to stay anonymous, touches on the expectations of school.  

 “[You’re expected to] finish high school and go to college. They [society] don’t really give you any room to make mistakes. They expect you to do everything perfectly, and they don’t realize that people do make mistakes. College isn’t for everyone,”  they said. 

Kids in the modern day and in the past also put more pressure on themselves to be exceptional in everything, sports, academics, etc. Daniels and Borchert both talked about how much pressure they put on themselves to be exceptional.

 “I am not one hundred percent the best. I am a good singer. I am, you know, a good athlete. But, I’m not exceptional and that’s [the] kind of the standard that I’m holding myself to. But I don’t; I rarely meet those expectations,” said Daniels. 

“I put a ton of pressure on myself to get high grades and to take as many college advanced placement classes as I could. It wasn’t always the healthiest thing in retrospect, but I did put a lot of pressure on myself to do that,” commented Borchert. “I was told by others that I was really good at school, so I was determined to be the best.”  

Even though past and present generations clash, they do understand some of the struggles their kids go through. Although most of them may not understand the effect new expectations and social media have on the new generation of youth, they were once the new generation, and they’ve gone through dealing with the new pressures of society. If the generations came together, they could find common ground, and solutions for the new problems that have arisen. 

Graph showing mental health at various ages.


Boys Basketball Stays Undefeated at 4-0 Wed, 18 Dec 2019 16:36:35 +0000 The Bolts hosted Western Dubuque last night, Monday December 17th, and brought all the energy from the tip-off. The game was back and forth in the first half, but when the Bolts took a 23-20 lead at halftime they never looked back. Liberty won the game with a score of 51-42.

The scoring was brought once again with Ethan O’Donnell scoring 10 while Ben Houselog and Kelby Telander also scored 5. Telander and O’Donnell both had 7 rebounds. Senior Sam Funke, also had 3 steals.

Mackenzie B
Junior Ethan O’Donnell shoots a free throw last season.

I feel very good about my performance and am looking forward to a very intense game on Friday vs City.”

— Andre Brandon


Top Performer

Senior Andre Brandon finished the game with a team high 17 points. Brandon also brought in 7 rebounds to lead the team with Telander and O’Donnell. Shooting 70% from the field and 75% from the free throw line, the 17 points was no shocker.

Life of a Teacher Coach Wed, 18 Dec 2019 16:05:25 +0000 Teacher by day, coach by night. Whether it’s early weightlifting or late nights in the gym, coaching by itself is a hard task. Teaching is no easy feat either, requiring hours to prepare for a long day at school and late-night hours grading. Not to mention, many of them have families to go home to. Allie Hutcheson and Austin Pink are just two of the many teacher-coaches at Liberty High. Day after day, they take on the enduring tasks of both teaching and coaching. 

Hutcheson teaches a variety of math classes at Liberty and is the junior varsity volleyball head coach. She is also the assistant head coach for the varsity volleyball team and contributed to the near-undefeated team’s first state appearance.

Randy Dolson (Left) coaching with Allie Hutcheson (Right).

During the volleyball season, Hutcheson starts her day by planning and grading for almost two hours before she starts teaching. After school gets out, she spends the majority of her night at volleyball practice. When volleyball practice gets done, she returns home to continue school work. Hutcheson says it’s tough sometimes balancing both her teaching and coaching careers.

“During the season, I don’t think I balance it well, and then the rest of the year, I stay away from volleyball a little bit more so that it balances in that regard,” said Hutcheson.

Hutcheson spends more than thirty hours a week coaching volleyball. With a very heavy amount of time spent in the gym, sacrifices have to be made. 

“I think you just miss a lot of gatherings with friends and stuff. [Our season is] during the fall and a lot of my friends go to Hawkeyes games and stuff and typically I don’t get to do those, but yeah, you just miss fun things like that,” said Hutcheson.

One other teacher and coach, Austin Pink, plays a large role in the Liberty football team as the offensive coordinator. He teaches health classes, P.E. classes, and success center. Pink’s time is limited at home with his two children and wife when football is in season. 

“Now that football season is over, my schedule is a little more family-friendly and flexible,” said Pink. “I take McCoy and Caden to daycare every morning at 7:45. With the way my schedule is set up now, I am able to get my workout in before the start of the school day. I teach Performance P.E., Health, and Success Center classes throughout the day. After school, I go pick up my boys from daycare and take them back home where we play for an hour before supper time.” 

Pink has some key strategies for staying on top of his responsibilities.

“Organization is key. Teaching and coaching go hand in hand. Coaching is pretty much teaching, just in a different setting,” said Pink.

Austin Pink posed with his two kids, McCoy and Caden.

He strives to bring a certain energy to class or to practice every day.

Pink stated, “I want students and athletes to want to come to my classroom or practice.”

Pink also talks about the difficulty of balancing his home life with his schooling and coaching life.

“It is tough during the season, but it is important to balance it as best as I can,” said Pink. “I make sure to be in the moment when I am with my family. I can’t be thinking about teaching or football. At the end of the day, family is the most important thing, and that keeps me motivated to be the best father and husband I can be as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s in season or not.”

Many student athletes have gotten the chance to work with Hutcheson and Pink. Drake Woody, senior, was the starting quarterback on the Varsity football team and has gotten to know Pink not only as a coach but also as a teacher and a mentor.

Woody was not always so comfortable with Pink, however.

“I was honestly really intimidated by him, but I was super excited to work with him,” Woody explained,.“I was super excited and really wanted to perform at my best to show what type of team he was getting into.” 

Woody’s eagerness proved to serve him well as he went on to build a strong bond with Pink, expressing how much of a better person he is because of him.

“It’s really great to work with Pink one on one; he has helped me so much this year grow not only as a leader but [also] in the QB role,” expressed Woody.

According to Woody, Pink’s positive attitude is contagious.

“I think he makes people motivated whenever they meet him.” Woody explained, “If you look at his Twitter, he posts some of the greatest motivational types of tweets. If you talk to him, you realize that he is a great guy and that makes you want to hang around with him more and more and then all of a sudden you are doing the same to others.”

Another student-athlete that has gotten the opportunity to learn from these two is Gabbie Schroeder, sophomore. Schroeder displays a promising athletic future, receiving some varsity-volleyball playing time throughout her freshman and sophomore years.

Keep a planner so you have a to-do list. I really like to check things off. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, which is hard to do. ”

— Allie Hutcheson, Math

Schroeder and Hutcheson have developed a unique friendship over the years, not only on the court but also in the classroom as well. 

“She is a great friend off and on the court and in and out of the classroom,” Schroeder said. 

Schroeder first met Hutcheson at a volleyball club practice and said that she just gave off a fun and energetic vibe.

Schoeder is also familiar with Hutcheson in the classroom.

“Hutch is one of the best teachers I have ever had. She’s really good at explaining the lesson she’s teaching. She’s really good at making learning easy and fun. She has very good relations with all her students,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder’s favorite memories with Hutcheson come from when Hutcheson was the head coach of the junior varsity team. 

“We called our junior varsity team the ‘Fun Team.’ Just being a part of the team is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was one of the most fun teams I have ever played on. Hutch had a big part in making it as fun as it was,” said Schroeder. “She’s a very positive, upbeat person. She’s a great leader. She’s been a great impact [on me] and my high school life.”


Fall Play Review: Property Rites Tue, 17 Dec 2019 15:55:32 +0000 Liberty’s theater program has always outdone themselves when it comes to their productions. With their dazzling sets, outstanding talent, and their marvelous casts, they have become an excitable part of Liberty’s atmosphere. 

Nothing going unnoticed, the new director, Olivia Symmonds,  stated, “I’ve been blown away by the talent I’ve seen already at Liberty, but more importantly than that is the work ethic and supportive attitudes that students show towards each other.”

On Saturday, December 14th, I went to see this year’s play, Property Rites. I had been told prior to attending the play that Property Rites was only 1 act (45 minutes), to which I would say, it definitely felt like that. The only issue I had when it came to those 45 minutes was the ending. I thought that the ending seemed a tad abrupt, and the play ended with a cliffhanger, which was to no fault of the Liberty students anyway.

The show itself I found was quite entertaining. It was funny, though I don’t think it was supposed to be. Deuce Martin, sophomore, had a character I sensed was the comedic relief in the show. Even though his performance was short-lived, I felt like he embodied the character he was playing really nicely, as did the entire Liberty Theater cast. 

However, some stood out to me more than others. Ryan Elmer, sophomore, who played one of the lead roles, acted as a character who was nervous and quite unsure of himself, which came across very well in his performance. For example, the way he carried himself and stuttered some of his lines, whether that was intentional or not, added a nice realistic touch to his character.

Mariana Lehnertz, sophomore, who claimed after the play “I forgot my line and couldn’t breathe, then almost started crying,” had one of my favorite performances in the production.

I forgot my line and couldn’t breathe, then almost started crying”

— Mariana Lehnertz

Her character was harsh and showed a lot of the metaphors Lehnertz said were in the play. Her character, who was a robot that was the first to become fully autonomous but hid it from the other robots, was quite scary. If I’m being honest, from her character alone, I came to the conclusion that I never wanted to make Lehnertz angry because of how terrifying her tone was toward her cast members in the production.

The plot, however, wasn’t the most entertaining, but once again I don’t think that was the cast’s fault. They probably could have spruced it up a bit more, but I was told by Poseybelle Stoeffler, sophomore, “The production has been a little difficult because of the timing and shorter rehearsal period due to a few conflicts.” 

Elmer added, “[The time frame] added a bit of anxiety.”

I didn’t enjoy how it ended, but I think that’s simply because I’ve never been a big fan of cliffhangers. Although, I think the middle of the play made up for it with its strangely creepy ‘deeper meaning’ messages.

Lehnertz said, “[The play] is supposed to be about society.”

I could see what Lehnertz was getting at with the hidden societal messages even without her telling me after the play. There were topics spoken from Stoeffler’s character about ‘free will’ and how no one should be ‘forced to live at the commands of others’. From this, I could tell the play wasn’t supposed to be funny towards the end. 

With so many hidden meanings and a dark underlying plot, I did enjoy this play. I didn’t enjoy how short it was, but again, that’s my own personal preference.

I cannot wait to see what else the Liberty High School Theater program has in store for us this year. 

When I inquired about the future of the program, Symmonds replied, “I’m hoping to have our program join the International Thespian Society next year or the year after.” Adding, “I think it’s very important that students get to explore multiple aspects of theater, and that everyone gets recognized for the hard work and hours it takes to put a show together.”

It is exciting in the sense that the theater students will be recognized by not just us but others. According to, the International Thespian Society is an “honor society for theatre arts students,” and also that, “Thespians may earn additional honors for work done after induction. Most Thespian benefits last through grade twelve.”  From the show I went to, as well as the ones I’ve seen in the past, this seems entirely fair for such a wonderful group of talented students.

While I wasn’t a big fan of the script itself, the students did a great job on stage, there were no crazy hiccups in their lines of actions, and their characters were all played to such a degree that I could have sworn I was watching a movie. I intend to attend all of Liberty Lightning Theatre’s future shows, and I’m especially excited for this year’s musical to which I’m sure they will dominate the stage just as they always do.

Liberty Girls Basketball Secure First Win of the Season Mon, 16 Dec 2019 18:23:51 +0000 Last Friday, December 13th, the Liberty Girls Varsity Basketball Team secured their first win of the season on a home game versus the Waterloo East Trojans. The victory is also the team’s first Mississippi Valley Conference win of the year. 

The girls beat the Trojans 66-41 and showed off impressive offensive skills throughout the game. Leading the team with 8 rebounds and the second highest scorer with 11 points was senior Isabel Smith. Freshman Keiko Ono-Fullard and senior Neshy Byrd both put up 9 points individually, and Sam McPherson, senior, led the team with 7 assists.

The girls visit Western Dubuque in a conference game tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17th, tipping off against the Bobcats at 6 PM. 

Top Performer

Liberty freshman Avery Gaudet led the offense with 19 total points and had 5 assists. Gaudet also proved effective on defense with 3 steals and 3 defensive rebounds.


Winter Break Bucket List Mon, 16 Dec 2019 16:00:58 +0000
When Will Liberty Have Their Own Swim Team? Fri, 13 Dec 2019 22:46:28 +0000 The dream of having a complete Liberty Athletic program is coming closer than ever with the beginning of our third year in the makes.

Both the men and women West High and Liberty swim teams had big goals this year. With many successful swimmers coming from both schools, the combined team has plenty of depth and skill to utilize. The main question is, when will Liberty have a swim team of its own? 

Currently, if the Liberty girls were to separate and form their own team based on the statistics from the previous season, they would have a roster of 8 swimmers and 4 divers. 12 athletes would not be able to fill out an entire varsity roster. But, according to Byron Butler, head coach for both the boys and girls swim teams, the female athletes would perform just fine individually, and some could even make it to the state meet on their own. 

“There are some that could still qualify and score at the state level,” Coach Butler mentioned.

If the Liberty boys were to form their own team, they would have much more team success. 25 boys are competing for the men’s team that attend Liberty. Along with the capability of performing well as a team, a lot of success would be found individually as well. 

This past season, the women Trojan-Lightning team practiced at the Coralville Recreation Center and the men are using it right now for the season . One of the many concerns is if Liberty were to split off and develop their own team, would they still practice at the same facility, or would they have to find their own practice location?

“At this time, we do not have our own facility and the current locations are not able to handle another team,” Mike Morrison, Liberty’s Athletic Director, said. 

One location that could potentially host both a men and women Liberty swim team would be the North Liberty Recreation Center. The indoor pool at the North Liberty location has multiple swimming lanes for recreational use. Currently, the North Central Junior High boys and girls swim teams utilize the indoor pool. However, high school swimming has more requirements in order to host a team.

“Modifications to the pool would have to be made in order to host Liberty. The indoor pool doesn’t have starter blocks for all six swim lanes, and the pool is 25 meters long, versus the needed 25 yards,” Ashley Bjork, North Liberty Recreation Center’s Aquatic Director, said.

Other problems that would hinder the ability for the North Liberty Pool to host Liberty would be time availability. During regular facility hours, the pool is constantly used by the public. Also, after school in the afternoon, the pool hosts swimming lessons, which would prohibit a team from practicing in the afternoon at all. 

Right now, the idea of a Liberty swim program isn’t a main agenda due to the fact that it wouldn’t work out. Hopefully, in the future, where facility availability is possible, a program can take shape.


Food Drive by Student Senate Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:21:32 +0000 Liberty Student Senate is holding a food drive! The group is hoping to collect canned food and other nonperishable goods.There are boxes located outside each students third period classroom. The third period classroom with the largest amount of donations will win a cupcake party. The contest is over December 13th, but any late donations can be brought to Ms. Nies’ room. All of the donated food goes to our schools own food pantry. 

“All of the donations go directly to Liberty students and their families,” says Cathy Cooper, junior. 

Student Senate’s mission is to supply many students with food for them and their families to eat over the holiday break. Many students who are on the free/reduced lunch program will not have access to provided meals like they would be at school. 

The Liberty Food Pantry is open every week on Fridays from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.