Free Press

Prairie restoration project connects KU and Free State

Bystanders gather to learn about the prairie restoration project behind Free State.

Libby Stanford, Co-Online Editor in Chief

September 4, 2015

Two years ago Free State science teacher Julie Schwarting and University of Kansas professor Dr. Helen Alexander saw potential in the abandoned football field behind Free State. Schwarting and Alexander then started a project aimed at getting students outside and excited about science, resulting in a...

Students explore college credit opportunities

Students explore college credit opportunities

Trenna Soderling and Sydney Gard, Reporters

April 28, 2015

The 2015-16 school year marks many changes in the USD 497 school district. The new learning programs to be offered include the College and Career Center and classes for college credit offered through KU. Additionally, the long-standing Johnson County Community College Career Pathways program will continue...

Seniors share plans for post-secondary pursuits

senior Sarah Lieberman

Kyra Haas, Elizabeth Patton and Sydney Gard, Editor in Chief, Reporter and Reporter

March 9, 2015

With two tanks of fish, a crested gecko and a baby ball python to care for, senior Michael Quackenbush appreciates not only the University of Kansas’s top-ranked engineering program, but also its close proximity. “I’m close to my family and I have a lot of pets, and KU won’t let me take my...

Khaury El-Amin shares poem “What’s Up Dad?” at the talent show

Reading from his phone, junior Khaury El-Amin shares his poem,

Darby Gilliland, Reporter

February 10, 2015

Junior Khaury El-Amin walks onstage nervously, takes a breath and begins to recite the poem he wrote, the words flowing out more easily as he goes along. He speaks about his father, a man he never knew, letting his words sink in with the audience. As he concludes, he looks up, his teary-eyed audience...

Single-gender English 9 classes result in ACLU intervention

At the beginning of the semester, the administration divided two freshman English classes into three single-gender classes. In January, the ACLU questioned the change, and the classes were promptly rearranged to be coeducational.

Kyra Haas and Maddie Birchfield

February 7, 2015

When freshman Aidan Dietz entered their seventh hour English 9 classroom on the first day of second semester, they were met with confused stares from their classmates. “At first people were looking at me like, ‘What the heck is wrong? There’s a chick in our class,’” Dietz said. “But they...

Scholars Bowl Students Compete for Academic Expertise

Discussing amongst one another during a game of trivia, members of Scholars Bowl practice for upcoming tournaments. So far Free State has produced a successful season.

Darby Gilliland, Reporter

January 30, 2015

Every Monday from October until the end of February, students meet for an hour after school in Coach Oather Strawderman’s room to test their academic knowledge and trivia skills in preparation for their next competition. Scholars Bowl is a competition where teams of students from different schools...

Students open up about mental illness

Kenneth Palmer and Libby Stanford

November 27, 2014

A year ago, senior Kayla Clark felt inexplicably sad. Every day something seemed wrong, but she thought she was simply overreacting. Her situation progressed to the point of suicidal thoughts and self-harm, and she knew she needed help. Clark, like many students, suffered from depression and anxiety. Mental...

Free State athletes recount concussions, close calls

Seniors Jacob Allen and Joel Spain help a teammate to his feet during the varsity Homecoming game against Leavenworth.

Maddie Birchfield and Lauren Brittain

October 27, 2014

Hoping to secure a spot on the varsity team, senior Briceson Junge plays hard on the last day of soccer tryouts. As Junge goes for a hitter, the goalie’s fist collides with his face. Junge immediately feels dazed, and athletic trainer, Ashley Frankian, comes to test him for delayed reaction and memory...

Students’ rights limited on school grounds

SRO Ty Scheibler goes into a science classroom to observe.

Fiona McAllister and Libby Stanford

August 28, 2014

At a Friday night home football game in October, the student section is full, with some students noticeably drunk. One takes a swig out of what appears to be a bottle filled with water. The look on her face as she drinks says otherwise. Drinking at a school event seems risky, especially with security...

District eliminates elective fees

morgan noll, reporter

May 27, 2014

Classes like photography, debate and band give students opportunities for creativity and personal expression, but only for a price. The district decided this past fall and over the summer to eliminate introductory level course fees for the 2014-2015 school year. According to the USD 497 Assistant Di...

David Stubbs lands job as audio engineer, makes mark in Encore

sarah lieberman, copy editor

May 23, 2014

Since age 12, junior David Stubbs hasn’t stopped thinking about music. “I never stop working on it,” Stubbs said, “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Stubbs is an audio engineer who was recently approached about a job, jump starting a career in music. “I record professionally for like an...

Eagle Scout Alex Houston hikes Antarctica

morgan noll and hannah moran

May 22, 2014

As everyone was frying under the sun on the beach, senior Alex Houston was watching a humpback whale breach in the icy waters of Antarctica. Houston spent his spring break and the week before with around eighty international strangers in Antarctica. His near 12 years of involvement in Boy Scouts paid off wit...

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