Friday, August 11, 2023

Students Continue SHS Publication Traditions; Courier Archives to be Digitized

The 2023-24 Shelbyville High School Squib & Courier staff pose for an obligatory photo in the high school stairwell.

The first Shelbyville High School news publication was student-led, and some 135 years later, students continue to take the lead. What began thanks to the impetus of Ora Means, Frank Kent, Shelly Dorsey, James Hill, Carl Winter and John Day DePrez in 1887 has transformed into a dedicated class of 23 students currently overseeing the annual Squib and monthly Courier editions.

There have been setbacks through the decades, with the yearbook ceasing publication during World War I and the Courier recently returning from a brief hiatus, but the emphasis on “carrying the news” to fellow Golden Bears remains. Senior students Ella Johnson and Isabella Matney serve as editors for this year’s publications. Kristiaan Rawlings is the new faculty advisor and teacher of the Student Media course.

The original SHS publication, The High School Reporter, failed after 10 issues in 1888, but the Squib, first published in 1902 as a newspaper and starting in 1909 as an annual, remains strong with the latest edition boasting 204 full-color pages. With the Squib’s transition to yearbook status, a newspaper called The Key was established in 1921, but students quickly learned the harsh realities of business, according to a 1972 history of the publications written as a class project by Gary Plunkett. (He spoke with several teachers, including Miss Marion Chenoweth, Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Barnett and Mr. Hinshaw, and consulted past editions to document the histories, Plunkett said this week.)

“Many of the students began to feel that if they could find and read a discarded paper from another student, they would save the five cents purchase price,” Plunkett wrote of that early endeavor. By 1923, the paper was defunct, but students soon found themselves missing its coverage.

The next year the paper returned as The Black and Gold Courier, shortened to The Courier in 1925. That publication paused for five years during The Great Depression and the entire 1940s, but Miss Chenoweth took over as faculty advisor in 1950 and oversaw the renaissance of student-led news until 1966, when Howard Ribble accepted the advisor position and funds were available to purchase a Yashica camera, A-M waxer, and a vari-typer headliner.

When Mary Agler took the sponsor role in 1971, Jane Neeb and Plunkett were tasked with acquiring back issues from librarian Rhonda Brown and organizing the archives. Plunkett remembers scouring many places for copies of the paper, including the back of a library storage closet.

“Storing the back issues of the high school newspapers has always been a problem,” Plunkett wrote. Issues of the Squib and Courier were kept in the editorial room until 1929, then in the library. In 1972, Courier staff found The Reporters and The Keys were no longer around and “the remaining Couriers were literally thrown into the drawers” of a file cabinet.

The Courier returned intermittently last year and will now be published monthly. The student-staff for both products include Nina Arrieta-Narez, Kadence Burchett, Trinity Burchett, Wendy Castro, Kenna Clark, Ella Connolly, Aniya Cook, Miriana Cruz-Hernandez, Molly Fogle, Reese Fortune, Ella Johnson, Lilly Johnson, Reilly Keller, Isabella Matney, Emma Miller, Ava Mummert, Jhoselyn Ramirez, Chloe Sosa, Kira Swazay, Keagan Turner, Giselle Vargas-Garcia and Daniel Vazquez.

While the Squib archive is mostly complete, past Couriers need to be organized, and Rawlings, a teacher at Shelbyville Middle School and SHS, intends to slowly digitize the newspaper archives. One new edition will be made available each school day on the Courier’s school website. The first digitized edition is dated November 21, 1961 (featuring Judy Owens crowned Wind-Up Queen, introducing Student Council President Don Thompson, and much more!), but the daily additions will be random. Look for the 1980s to appear Monday. The Squib and Courier can also be found on their new Facebook page, where historical excerpts will be regularly shared. For those wanting a more direct link, this publication, The Review, will include links to the previous five editions each Friday.

This Month in Shelby County History

2018: A record-setting 139 dogs took their owners to the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center for Doggie Day at the Pool, netting $1,204.25 to be used for vet bills for sick, injured and neglected pets at the animal shelter.

2013: The Reds were the league and tournament runners-up in the Boys & Girls Club Summer Baseball League. Members of the team were Christopher Perkon, Brennan Perkon, Jonathan Spencer, J.C. Randolph, Landon Roccia, Tripp Garner, Hunter Fritz, Logan Page, Jacob Slusser, Brooklyn Ryan, Preston Williams and Quinn Bowden. John Hartnett was coach.

2008: Gov. Mitch Daniels stopped at the Cow Palace restaurant for a milkshake and some campaign handshaking.

2003: The Royals won the 2003 T-ball league and tournament championship in the Boys Club league. Team members were Ally Montegary, Lauren Asher, Katie Nuthak, Madalyn Toll, Brandon Lovitt, Christopher Asher, Hayden Veach, Max Montegary, Evan Diemer, Megan Phelps and Cassidy Skipton. Coaches were Will Thornburg, Kris Skipton and Melody Skipton.

1998: The Matchett, Arnold and Palmer team won the Shelby County Girls Softball League minor division championship. Team members were Jennifer Hidy, Melanie Clark, Alicia Baughman, Alyssa Young, Kimberly Remington, Lindsay Conner, Jessica Shearer, Kelli Haehl, Melissa McKinney, Illea Ship, Kate Kolls and Jessika Young. Coaches were Tim Haehl and Jeff Kolls.

1993: Members of the Shelby County 12-year-old All-Stars, who won the Bambino South Central State Tourney championship, were Kyle Henderson, Mike Griffey, Adam Browning, Pat Creel, Josh Hamilton, Kyle Lockridge, Ethan Davis, Dustin Stieneker, Josh Esslinger, T.J. McCracken, Brady Claxton, Adam Rees, Scott Bunch and Kyle Tunnison. Larry Browning was manager. Coaches were Greg Griffey, Gary Abner and Dr. Jim Rees.

1988: NAPA Auto Supply won the Morristown Youth Summer Sports Club's Pee Wee League championship. Members of the team were Matthew Schiewer, Nick Haycock, Andrew Hanson, Ryan Smith, Chad Carlton, Caleb Everhart, Chris Colglazier, Josh Reddick, Nick Davis, Ben Linville, Breck Dunham and Randy Torrance. Jay Haycock was coach.

1983: The Indians tied for the league championship in the Boys Club Rookie "T" League. Members of the team were Cord Dickmann, Sean Poehner, Todd Boyer, Kevin Stader, Tim Poehner, Joe Dickmann, Ronnie Baxter, Derek Young, Matt Shuppert, Craig Alvis, Dallas Phillips, Scott Rogers, Dow Boyer, Jimmy Adkins, Randy Phillips, Jeremy Price and Shawn Linn. Coaches were J.D. Lux, Todd Anderson and Brad Pope.

1978: Julie Trusty, Sonya Crafton, John Young, Jan Swinford, Dean Drake, Cindy Burbrink, Becky Burbrink, Mike Sullivan, James Crafton and Karen Young all had top placements in the Shelby County Pork Day event.

1973: Winners of the Boys' Club "P" League tourney were the Athletics. Members of the team were David Brewer, John McDaniel, Monte Greene, Kent John, Chris Winslow, Scott Sears, John Ruschhaupt, Brad Ragsdale, Eddie Higdon, Ron New, John Bass, Chris Cassidy, Russell Parker, Rod Anspaugh, Dourice Corley, Kevin Corley, Steve Marcum, Dewey Winstead, Steve McKenney, Andy Prashun and Ricky Chabre. Coaches were Wade Lewis, Ricky Moorhead and Mike Johnson.

1968: Tina Weingarth received the first passport processed in Shelby County. She was planning a student trip to Europe. The county clerk's office had just received the task of processing passports.

1963: Eighth contestants would vie for the Shelby County Fair Queen honors. They were Vicki Evans, Vicky Scheffler, Lou Ann McVay, Pam Eck, Carol Shaw, Linda Sawyer, Carol Bassett and Sharon Fisher. The 1962 Fair Queen, Janet Fox, would be present for the crowning ceremony. Merrill Stillabower was chairman of the queen contest.

1958: Larry Linville, 17, was named champion in both 4-H and Open barrow classes. Larry's sister, Janet, took the senior showmanship trophy. Judy Branson, 13, took the reserve champion ribbon in the 4-H and open barrow classes. Bill Wright was named 4-H first-year showmanship champion.

1953: With telephone operators on strike, Fire Chief Russell Klare reminded residents to familiarize themselves with the location of fire alarm boxes close to their homes. The city had 154 fire boxes located on utility poles.

1948: Over 12,000 people attended opening day of the Shelby County Fair.

1943: Harry Brokering, formerly of Shelbyville, won the Army Air Force Merit Award for a new bomb release, which had already been used in the war effort.

1938: Local jeweler Harry Major died at 60 years old. He had owned Major & Sheldon Jewelry store. He and his wife were the parents of one son, Dr. R.A. Major.

1933: Sheriff Elisha Crosby shot a Rushville suspect "in a roadhouse operated in connection with an Indian gasoline station about two miles north of Shelbyville on State Road 29," the Democrat reported. The man dropped his gun and submitted to the arrest after he was shot through the right arm.

1928: Three former students of Hartsville College, residents of Shelbyville, left for Hartsville to attend the eighth reunion of alumni of the school, which had been destroyed by fire in 1897. The college, a United Brothers institution, had been founded in 1850. The former local students were Julius Showers, Ed Adams and Jasper Phillipy.

1923: Mrs. Earl Gifford and Vernal Workman were named instructors at the orphans' home for the coming school year. Rev. O.J. McMullen, previous principal of the orphans' home, was assigned to teach at the Green school in Shelby Township.