Billie News

Robotics Team Competes in Jonesboro Tournament

Cannon Fradsham, December 9, 2016

On Saturday, December 2, the Monticello Robotics teams, under the direction of Mrs. Griffin, competed in a Jonesboro tournament and advanced to the semifinals. This is the Robotics Team’s second tournament of the year, and, all things considered, they performed much better than their first tournament, even advancing to the semifinals with a brand new robot. The members of the team that attended the tournament were Drake Davis, Jaxen Morphis, Kimberly Toth, Daniel Ferguson, Jackson Grant, and Cannon Fradsham.

After the last tournament, the team decided that its old model - a robot with a forklift attached to it named Gerald - wasn’t very reliable, and so they constructed an entirely new robot over the course of a week to compete. The new model, named Bruce, used a lift with a claw at the end to grab hold of the stars and cubes in the game and hoist them over the fence and was driven by Drake Davis. Gerald also made a reappearance as a second team in the competition, with a redone forklift, driven by Cannon Fradsham.

When compared to the last tournament, there were a lot less things collapsing on the team. While the motors on Bruce’s claw definitely gave the team a lot of trouble, Bruce’s team went on to end the qualifying rounds with three wins and four losses, ranking 16th out of 25, while Gerald ended with the same score, being ranked 15th out of 25. In the elimination rounds, Gerald was eliminated in the quarterfinals, while Bruce was eliminated in the semifinals.

While the team did not win any awards at this tournament, the experienced gain was very beneficial. The team is invigorated by new ideas for a robot to replace Gerald - to name one, a push bot with hydraulics to shove stars under the fence; another team used a push bot, and it proved very effective - and ideas for how to better a driver’s control of their robot, featuring ideas like tilt controls on the controller. By the next tournament in January, there’s no doubt that the team will come back stronger than ever.

Basketball Games Against Lake Village Rescheduled

Jamya Wilson, December 9, 2016

The basketball games against Lake Village scheduled for Friday, December 9, has been rescheduled to Thursday, December 15. The games will be played in Lake Village.

Pajama Day at MHS

Jamya Wilson, December 9, 2016

After a victorious win against the Drew Central Pirates on Tuesday night, students dressed in pajamas were floating around Monticello High School on Wednesday, December 7, to continue the celebration of Billie Basketball Spirit Week. Some students wore coordinating Christmas pajamas, while others donned regular pajamas or onesies. Pajama day was definitely a success with the majority of the student body participating.

Lady Billies Dominate Lady Pirates

Jamya Wilson, December 8, 2016

The Lady Billies took on their rivalry team the Lady Pirates from Drew Central on Tuesday, December 6, at 6:30 p.m. This is a game every year that packs the gym with fans from both schools since both teams are located in the same town. This rivalry has been going on for years. The Lady Billies brought their best out Tuesday night defeating the Lady Pirates 60-27.

MHS Pep Rally

Patrick Saffold, December 8, 2016

MHS had a pep rally December 6 in the gym at 11:00. During the pep rally there was cheers, songs, skits, and more. In the skit performed by Bill E. Goat, a basketball player was asked to dunk. Because the game was a surprise, the players were wearing their school clothes like jeans or khakis, so no one could really do anything spectacular. Sophomore Terrance Washington got up and dunked it in his jeans while being cheered on by the student body. After that, Bill (goat) dunked the ball and hung on the rim...using a ladder, of course.

The pep rally concluded with the band played songs and the classes cheering for the spirit stick. In the end, the spirit stick was awarded to the junior class.

Billie Basketball Spirit Week

Yahbrion Robinson, December 2, 2016

Next week, Monticello High School is having a spirit week for the game against Drew Central, and it is a Christmas themed spirit week. Monday is Christmas colors and hats; Tuesday is North Pole Day, and there is also a dodgeball game. Wednesday is Pajama Day; Thursday students should wear tacky sweaters/tacky Christmas clothing, and there is also a dodgeball game. The week will end on Friday with a Billie Blue Christmas Day.

Also, the school is sponsoring a school-wide service project. The class that brings the most socks and mittens gets two days of an hour lunch.

Support Needed for Library Project

Luke Reginelli, December 2, 2016

The Monticello High School Library is working on a project which involves the use of tissue boxes. Mrs. Jarrett, MHS librarian, explains the reason for this project. “I am trying to keep books neater and more organized,” Jarrett explained. The boxes will help keep the books forward instead of being pushed to the back of the shelf. This will make the books more visible and give the shelves a neater appearance. It will take 3-4 boxes per book shelf, so help is needed in bringing in as many empty tissue boxes as possible. Empty tissue boxes should be delivered to Mrs. Jarrett in the library.

Class of 2017: One Step Closer to Graduation

Jamya Wilson, December 2, 2016

Seniors met with a Josten’s representative Tuesday, November 29, to discuss senior apparel to order. All seniors must order a cap, gown, and tassel; other items are also available, such as t shirts, sweat suits, jewelry, shorts tassels, water bottles with 2017 logo across them, and diploma frames. Also, the representative talked with them about ordering their cap and gown units . The representative made an announcement at the end of his presentation that order forms had to be in by next Tuesday, December 6.

Patrons Support Monticello Safe Prom

Ryan Bitely, December 2, 2016

The Monticello Safe Prom Annual Chili Supper was held on Tuesday, November 29, at the First United Methodist Church. Despite the rescheduling of the Christmas parade due to rainy weather conditions, patrons still came out to support this Monticello Safe Prom fundraiser.

This event is a source of revenue that helps provide door prizes and activities for students after prom. Several junior students and their parents participated in the planning, organizing, serving, and cleanup efforts. According to chairperson Memorie Dickson, there were approximately 333 tickets sold in all. Junior parents and students would like to thank those who supported this great event.

Mums the Word

Koby Shaw, November 20, 2016

We all speak English to some extend, some better than others. I probably fall on the lower end of the skill spectrum. It’s complicated. English is a living language. Born from a Germanic language similar to High German and drifting from neighboring languages and isolation in England, English is a living language: It’s constantly changing.

Because the Anglo-Saxon culture was a very barbaric culture with limited texts, the birth of what we know as English is hard to pinpoint. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, sometime in the Fifth or Sixth centuries, the mashing of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic languages created the first incarnation of English. After the Norse Vikings invade the land and yet another melding of verbal culture, England becomes more stable which leads to the writing and standardization of the language. So begins the reign of one of the widest spoken languages today.

English is known as a living language. This creates free admission (the concept of say it enough and it becomes a word) and evolution within grammatical rules (the use of apostrophes). Have you ever wondered why we have words that sound so foreign or childish? That is thanks to the living language we speak. Latin is a dead language which makes it static and useful for things such as science. English, however, gains several new words every year. {Insert examples here{ Slang has long been a part of language but everso more prevalent in English. Add to the mix of external languages adding their two cents and you have words such as touché (which is a word originating in fencing, hence its French sound). Another term, backed by popular demand, was added to the dictionary: ‘Merica. It’s used as the summing of the American way of life such as big guns and bigger burgers (saw the burger thing on a t-shirt once).

Ain’t is a very controversial word in English. Yes, it is a proper contraction after its addition to the dictionary, but it is still considered very poor English because it is slang. The use of contractions and abbreviations in English is a fickle topic because it is not proper English, but it is in the grammatical bounds of English. That is because when you are speaking in a formal or professional setting, many abbreviations (save relevant ones to the topic in question) and almost all contractions are seen as lower English and are perceived as for less educated individuals. This, along with cursing, stems from early English culture in Britain. While the nobles and higher echelons of society received education, many lower classes did not, creating this divide in English. While it is proper for us to say, “Ain’t that mighty pretty,” the more proper way to say it would be “Is that not very pretty,” without the contraction and the binding adjective as stated by Oxford.

Dean Martin said it best, “As a fella once said, ain’t that a kick in the head.” English, while a very dry subject in school, is a very wide and varied language that is ever changing in the way it is used. English may one day be replaced as has happened with many languages in the past millennia, but it will be an ever expanding one to its end.

Mannequin Challenge Sweeps the Nation

Jamya Wilson, November 20, 2016

Recently the internet has been trending with challenges accompanied by hit songs and scenes from movies in the 1990’s such as the “So Gone” challenge by Monica Brown, the running man challenge using the Ghost Town DJ song “My Boo,” the Andy challenge using the scene from Toy Story. The most popular challenge currently trending is the mannequin challenge.

The mannequin challenge is a viral internet video trend where people remain frozen like mannequins while a video is recorded. The song that has recently been used for this challenge is "Black Beatles" by Rae Sremmurd.

The mannequin challenge is ¨believed to have started by a group of high school students at Ed White High School in Jacksonville, Florida, after a student posted their mannequin challenge to Twitter on October 26, 2016,” according to Bustle.com. The video consisted of a group of students “freezing in poses,” acting as mannequins while someone is walking around the room with a camera recording until one of the students that is frozen as a mannequin unfreezes and goes to pick up another student that is still frozen.

The mannequin challenge has swept the nation in less than three weeks after the Ed White High school student shared their video on Twitter. Even Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff have participated in this challenge.

MHS’s English hall couldn't let a popular trend pass without participating in this challenge. Mrs. Reginelli’s, Mrs. Braswell’s, Mrs.Brown’s, and Ms. Morgan’s English classes took the opportunity to do the mannequin challenge using ¨ Black Beatles¨ by Rae Sremmurd. Even though this challenge was certainly a challenge because students couldn't remain frozen for a long period of time, it was an awesome success and fun for the students who participated. Stay tuned for a video clip from the challenge.

Monticello High School Students Compete at the Arkansas Student Congress

Christy Armbrust, November 18, 2016

Seven students from MHS traveled to Little Rock November 13, 2016, to compete in the Arkansas Student Congress. This three-day event centers on congressional debate. Earlier in the fall, college and high school students across the state composed bills that they believe would be important legislation for our state. These bills are submitted to the Student Congress Committee and are the basis for debate during the event. Sunday, students took part in Republican and Democratic Caucuses and Committees. Monday and Tuesday, the students were at the State Capital Building debating the bills. The college teams formed the Senate, and the high school teams formed the House of Representatives. Representing MHS as delegates were Blythe Christensen, Kristen Daniel, Valerie Maddox, Keeton Orrell, Maria Romero, and Brionna Williams. Fawad Khalid served as a page at the event. Because of their outstanding performances, Blythe, Keeton, and Maria qualified for the Forensics and Debate State Tournament of Champions in April. Way to go MHS 4N6 and DB8! This team is coached by Christy Armbrust and Tiffany Tucker.

MHS Honors Veterans

Yahbrion Robinson, November 18, 2016

On Friday, November 11, a Veterans Day assembly was held at Monticello Middle School Auditorium for high school students. Only students with a clean discipline record were allowed to attend the assembly. At the assembly, there were a number of veterans on stage.

Veterans led the audience in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Presenters talked to students about how it is good to respect veterans and how much work it is to be in the military. Then they showed us how to fold a flag. Also, Mayor Tucker talked to us about the Armed Forces. To finish it off, they gave a 90 year old war veteran an award. The ceremony ended with the students presenting the war veteran with a token of appreciation and a standing ovation.

Senior Yearbook Picture Deadline

Luke Reginelli, November 18, 2016

Attention seniors: It’s time to pick your picture for the yearbook. Mrs. Mitchell has access to all of your proofs, but she wants each senior to choose the one that will be used in the yearbook. Also, this picture will be the one sent to judges for determining yearbook beauty and beau. December 14 is the deadline. See Mrs. Mitchell for details.

Monticello Safe Prom to Host Annual Chili Supper

Ryan Bitely, November 18, 2016

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, the Monticello High School juniors and their parents will host the 6th Annual Chili Supper benefiting students at MHS Safe Prom 2017. This annual event will be held at the First United Methodist Church on 317 South Main Street beginning at 5:00 p.m. The cost of the meal is $5 and will include chili, crackers or Fritos and a dessert. You may choose dine in or carry out for your convenience.

Tickets may be purchased from any junior student or parent. For more information or tickets, contact chairperson Memorie Dickson at 870-723-7630. Please come out after the Monticello Christmas parade to support this cause.

MHS Beta Club Dog Food Drive

Ryan Bitely, November 17, 2016

This week the Monticello High School Beta Club is hosting their annual dog food drive. The drive will be held from November 7- 11. All dog food should be taken to Mrs. Stanley’s classroom to receive community service hours for Beta Club or National Honor Society. All the dog food collected this week will be sent to our local animal rescue organization 2nd Chancefurdogs. Please consider making a donation for this very important cause. All donations will be greatly appreciated.

Powder Puff Benefits Local Organizations

Luke Reginelli, November 17, 2016

The 9th Annual Powder Puff Football game was held at Hyatt Field on Monday, November 7. Student Council worked with one local organization and offered them them the opportunity to set up a concession stand to sell hot chocolate and water. Monticello 2nd Chancefurdogs, LLC, is a local organization that helps find local foster homes until the dogs can be placed in permanent homes in Connecticut and other states in the northeast. A little over $200 was raised at the event and is going to be used to cover vet expenses and dog food.

Junior High Basketball Games at Home Tonight

Luke Reginelli, November 17, 2016

The Monticello Billie Jr. High teams will play on Thursday, November 17. It will be the first action in Dan Coston Field House this basketball season under new coaching staff for the boys’ and girls’ teams.

Admission to get into the game is $5, and the concession stand will be open. Games kick off at 5:00 with the 8th grade games.

Monticello Tennis Players Named All-State

Jamya Wilson, November 17, 2016

Monticello High School tennis team had six players chosen for All State. On the girls’ team, Mikayla McGregor and Madi Ryburn were chosen as All State players. Ryburn and McGregor placed fourth in the 4A state tournament.

Four boys were chosen for All State from the boys’ tennis team: Luke Reginelli, Seth Horne, Clint Pigott, and Sam Mencer. Pigott and Horne placed second at the 4A state tournament, and Reginelli and Mencer placed fourth in the tournament.

Geo Mapping in EAST

Jamya Wilson, November 17, 2016

Two Monticello High School 9th grade students Hayden Robinson and Reid Merrell attended a Geospatial technology training at UAM on Monday, November 7. Geospatial technology refers to equipment used in visualization, measurement, and analysis of earth's features. The purpose of this training was for them to learn how to use an ArcMap. The focus was symbology layout and Geo Processing.

Mrs. Mitchell, MHS EAST teacher, explained the specific purpose of the training. “The goal was to learn how to use and create maps with specific data and be able to collect data and be able to place that information on a map,” she said. “Students will be able to collect data, such as population, and put it on the map.” Student Hayden Robinson explained what he learned in the training. “We learned how to make maps on computers like towns, roadmaps, and trees,” he said. “We can start mapping our school and football field.”

Ways to Save Your Grades

Koby Shaw, November 17, 2016

When you feel the impending doom that comes from a test, most people study till their eyes hurt. Some resign themselves to fail and just prepare for it. But are these really the most effective methods? Research has shown that a positive attitude, streamlining and chunking are all effective ways to improve your studying.

When you have a test coming up, panic is the last thing you want. Research indicates that a positive outlook and optimistic work ethic will make studying more effective by removing the dread. If you at least pretend that studying is not a must but rather a benefit, you will create the personal atmosphere that you are in control. This method of confidence boosting has been shown to both reduce anxiety and improve grades.

Students today often get sidetracked and lost in transit. You must cut out extra material and streamline your studying, you can cover the ground you need to. Studying in the electronic age naturally takes place on the computer. Those with the indomitable will to strictly study on the internet will find success. However, not all of humanity is that strong. When studying, if you find the temptation to play or search irrelevant information (like me), try using old-fashioned pen and paper. This will prevent any additional distractions.

Proven to improve memory, chunking is the method of breaking information into smaller pieces. According to Dr. John Grohol, “The important thing to remember in writing outlines is that an outline only works as a learning tool when it is in your own words and structure. Every person is unique in how they put similar information together (called “chunking” by cognitive psychologists).” Chunking is a term used to define the system people use to break down and study information. By studying smaller blocks of information to maximize the effectiveness, you become a more efficient learner.

By taking this advice, you can take away the fear and study better. If you chunk, you study optimistically, and you remove as many distractions as possible, you can study for your test better.

Basketball Team gets New Gear

Patrick Saffold, November 17, 2016

The boys’ basketball team got new gear last week that they plan to use for the basketball season. The team got new uniforms, backpacks, and shoes. The boys will wear their new gear at their first game on November 8.

Devario Ballard, Billie basketball player, said, “I really like the new uniforms. They are tight.” He described the home uniforms as white with stripes going down the sides with Billies written on the front. Senior Tyler Vance said, “I like the new uniforms better than last year’s; even though I’ve only seen them once. We get to wear them in basketball today.”

The Monticello High School basketball team is almost ready to start off their season, and now that they have their new gear, their anticipation builds.

Billies Spirit Card Sales Closed

Ryan Bitely, November 16, 2016

The deadline for selling Billie Spirit Cards was October 22. The Renaissance Team sponsor, Mrs. Bonfanti, explained the success of the cards, “Sales were pretty good this year, but next year, we will go back to the $10 cards.” Mrs. Bonfanti also explained, “[The Renaissance Team is] not sure how much money we made - hopefully it's enough to give a couple of scholarships.”

SchoolWay Sweepstakes

Luke Reginelli, November 10, 2016

Jostens is holding a Back to School sweepstakes, and it has been such a big hit that they have decided to extend it through November 18. This sweepstakes is an opportunity for a school to win $500. Participating schools will be automatically eligible to win the grant if they gain at least 30 new subscribers in the SchoolWay app. Not only does the school have a chance to win, but people who subscribe to the SchoolWay app will be automatically entered to win a Starbucks gift card. In order to participate, download the SchoolWay app by Jostens.

Junior Girls Dominate Powderpuff Football Games

Patrick Saffold, November 9, 2016

The annual MHS Powderpuff Game was held on November 7 at Hyatt Field. The first game of the night was between the senior girls and the freshman girls. The freshmen started out with a strong run from Lauren Stanley that was short of a touchdown. Senior Amari Huitt scored the only touchdown for the seniors that game. The seniors won their first game against the freshmen 6-0.

The second game played was the sophomores versus the juniors. The juniors defeated the sophomores 14-6. The juniors advanced to the finals to play against the seniors, while the freshmen faced the sophomores.

The third game would be the sophomores and the freshmen. The winner of this game would be third in the tournament.This game was won by the sophomores 14-7, earning them third place and the freshmen fourth.

The final game of the night was the seniors versus the juniors. This game would would determine the champion of the tournament. The juniors beat the seniors 12-0. The final results for the tournament put the juniors in first, the seniors in second, the sophomores in third and the freshmen in fourth.

Students of the Quarter Treated to Lunch

Ryan Bitely, November 9, 2016

Students of the quarter chosen for the first 9 week grading period were treated to lunch at Mazzio’s with principals Judy Holaway and Susan White. Students were nominated and selected by their teachers. Four students were selected from each grade based on the categories of leadership, academics, dedication, and character. Senior Emilee Lawson stated, “It was a wonderful time.” Senior Baleigh Jackson said, “I had a great time and felt honored to be a part of a special lunch.”

Mrs. Holaway was pleased with the group of students chosen. In an email, she expressed her satisfaction, “Thank you for nominating such outstanding kids. They seemed to enjoy their lunch today.” A new set of students will be selected based on the same criteria for each 9 weeks.

Creativity in Miss Morgan’s 9th Grade English Class

Jamya Wilson, November 7, 2016

Miss Jordan Morgan has been the freshman English teacher for five years at Monticello High School.

Miss Morgan’s English class recently read the book I have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton- Jackson. This book is about a 13 year old girl named Ellie Freeman, and she tells her story about surviving the Holocaust.

Miss Morgan decided to have her class split into groups of threes and fours and create a poster about the injustice that took place in this novel. She thought this would be a good activity to prepare her students to write an essay about what happens to society when the government disregards the value of human life.

Students were really involved in this project. Each group was asked two different questions: How this project will benefit them when writing their essay? What did they think about the book?

Tronia, Haley, and Raylon:

Q: How do you think this project will benefit you when writing your essay?

A: It will help us help get ideas about what we want to write about.

Q: What do you think about the book?

A: This was a good book.


The next group that was asked these questions consisted of Peyton, Lauren, Colton, and Joseph:

Q: How do you think this project will benefit you when writing your essay?

A: This project will help us plan out what we're going to write about.

Q: What do you think about the book?

A: It was sad in certain parts but happy in others.


The third group consisted of Sofia, Karson, and Taylen:

Q: How do you think this project will benefit you when writing your essay?

A: It will give us topics to write about.

Q: What did you think about the book?

A: It was good. It had mixed emotions.


The fourth group consisted of Clayton, Darvious, and Ty:

Q: How do you think this project will benefit you when writing your essay?

A: It's going to prepare us to write a good essay.

Q: What did you think about the book?

A: It was messed up and sad. A lot of people died.


Destini, Kay Kay, and Christine:

Q: How do you think this project will benefit you when writing your essay?

A: It’s going to help because it already explains what happens in the book, so it will be easier to write about.

Q: What did you think about the book?

A: We liked it.


After interviewing the students, Ms. Morgan was asked the following questions:

Q: Why did you choose this book for your class to read.

A: It’s a good book. It's nonfictional, and it makes them aware of this horrible event in history.

Q: How will this project help them write an essay?

A: It takes a lot of planning. After the project, they will be able to look at the poster and figure out what they want to write about in their essay because they have already listed out what has happened in the book.

Billies Fall to Bobcats

Luke Reginelli, November 2, 2016

The Monticello Billies suffered a heartbreaking loss on senior night Friday against the Dumas Bobcats. After the Billies put themselves in great scoring position to tie the game, a bad snap on the half yard line with under a minute remaining put the Billies away when Dumas recovered the ball. Dumas went on to win the game 22-15, increasing their record to (7-2, 5-1). With the loss, the Billies move to (3-6, 2-4) on the season.

This week’s game will be on Thursday night against the Dewitt Dragons. If the Billies win the game, they have a chance to make the playoffs depending on the outcome between Crossett and Star City. Dewitt is having a tough season this year with a record of (0-9, 0-6).

MHS Cheerleaders Hold Annual Kiddie Clinic

Patrick Saffold, October 27, 2016

The MHS cheerleaders held their annual kiddie clinic last week with a final performance on October 21 at Hyatt Field. The cheerleaders had over 70 participants at the clinic this year. The cheerleaders worked after school with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade girls. They practiced after school from 3:05 to 4:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The girls were provided a pink shirt with a Billie goat on it, and they wore this shirt while performing a dance and three cheers that the cheerleaders taught them.