Family Traditions of Halloween

By: Gabby Sonnenberg

As most people know Halloween is right around the corner. People are putting decorations up, finding costumes, and making goodies. People celebrate Halloween in many ways, there’s probably a million different ways to do Halloween. Halloween isn’t just about the free candy. Halloween is about spending time with friends and family, and celebrating traditions. People have different traditions for every holiday, and Halloween is no exception.
Sophomore, Jaden Newson celebrates her Halloween in a very special way “My sisters and I always dress up together. We go trick or treating and then go home and watch scary movies as a family.” She states that although she didn’t get to continue her family tradition last year, she plans to return to her roots this year.

Jaden, Emeri, Sophie Newson
Jaden, Emori, Sophie Newson 

We all have a favorite Halloween memory, and for Junior, Dillon Cranwell, his favorite Halloween memory is as a kid, he stole all the candy from the trick or treaters, hid with it, and ate it all up.
What’s a tradition without family? Hailey Simants says “I always dressed up and went to all my family member’s houses. I would go see all my grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then we’d go to the house on Beattie Street that is always decorated super cool. I always got scared by the fake ghost decoration. After that I just went home and ate way too much candy”.

Rylan Swingle.JPG
Rylan Swingle

Senior, Rylan Swingle “Every year we would start the evening by going to the Trick-or-Treat Street at the Rec Center and seeing all the cool and scary costumes of the people working. After that we would go to my grandparents’ house and spend hours goofing around and greeting trick or treaters at the door to scare them.” As he got older he moved on from those traditions. He now enjoys going to haunted houses and corn mazes with his friends.
If you’re a Sterling High School student you can not only celebrate Halloween at home but at school too. Students are allowed to wear their costumes this year. Some tips to remember, is that you can’t have face paint, and no face masks. Have fun and be safe SHS students.


Tiger Scholar of the Month

By: Cristen Kircher

This year’s Sterling High School October Tiger Scholar is senior Kevin Kulinenka. Kevin maintains a grade point average of 3.7. Kulinenka has been playing soccer for a long time now, but has played varsity soccer for two years and loves this sport. Although he
loves playing soccer, he will not continue to play in college due to larger goals he has for his life in the near future.

Kevin is very particular on how well he does in school which is why when it comes to school work, other parts of his life have to be set aside. Kevin stated, “I make as much time for school as I need and to do that I spend a lot of my free time studying and making sure I do my absolute best in school”.

Kulinenka’s favorite thing to do outside of school is play soccer and hang out with his friends, this is when he has accomplished all the school work he needed too. Kevin takes pride in his school work because he wants to be very successful in his future. Also to participate in high school sports, athletes have to set a high standard for themselves and have a high enough grade point average, and Kevin cares about his grades and enjoys playing soccer way too much to let his grades fall behind.

Kulinenka is currently enrolled in one college class which is offered through Northeastern Junior College in Sterling Colorado which is Composition 1, but he takes this comp class here at Sterling High School. Kulinenka says “I plan on graduating early in December to go work on my brother’s friends’ boat in New York. Then once August comes around, I plan to attend West Virginia University for either nursing or astronautical engineering”.

Currently, his favorite subject in school is math because it seems to be very easy for him which will benefit him in nursing or engineering throughout college in the future. Kevin leaves an inspirational message for the younger classes and he urges, “Keep your head up and never give up”. School and sports can be a challenging combination sometimes, but you have to push yourself to be successful. Everything that Kulinenka has worked for will pay off in the end.

Tiger Teacher

ms. splichal

By: Emily Gemaehlich

October teacher Tiger Teacher is Ms. Splichal who teaches English 1, English 4, Creative Writing, and Speech and Rhetoric. She has been a teacher for 14 years and this is her second year teaching at Sterling High School. Before Splichal came to SHS, she taught in Lincoln, Nebraska. “I came to Sterling to teach because I felt supported by families who are invested in their children. There is an expectation to take care of our youth and best prepare them for a productive future,” Splichal says.

Her favorite class to teach is Creative Writing. “During Creative Writing, we form a close knit bond. Being that the class size is smaller and we get to explore endless possibilities through composition; and the students mature in preparation for graduation.” she states. “Connecting with the individual personalities of my students inspired me to find ways to get them engaged in English/language arts.”

Aside from the positive things about teaching, there are also a few negative things. Splichal says, “I miss not keeping in touch with students after they graduate. There are few opportunities from bell to bell for students to let their guards down and just be.”
Becoming a teacher is a big responsibility and it is one of many jobs that often gets overlooked. Ms. Splichal became a teacher for one main reason. She says that teaching is extremely rewarding. “I am the mother of three teenagers and this career enables me to be actively involved with their development.”

Ms. Splichal graduated from UNL (University of Nebraska in Lincoln) and became a teacher after graduation. Ms. Splichal is a very hardworking teacher who cares very much about her students and the progress that they make throughout the year in her class. Her optimistic outlooks and responsible character makes her a wonderful teacher and a great example for students.

September Teacher of the Month


Mr. Cuba helping physical science student Jayce Maker

By: Destiny Boden

September teacher of the month is science teacher Mr. Cuba who teaches earth science, physical science, and chemistry. “I never wanted to be a teacher but all the professors at college told me [I would be] good at it. I never studied to be a teacher and became one years after college,” Cuba stated. Before teaching, he had worked in research and did not like it. He claimed “[I] decided to go into teaching after much consideration about my future.”

Even though he wasn’t planning on teaching, Cuba loves it. He believes “school should be rigorous and fun at the same time.” He also says that his teaching style is “rigorous, fun, and fair.” Cuba’s least favorite part of teaching is grading. He truly loves it though when “a students face lights up after [they finally understand] something.”

Cuba has been teaching for 18 years but this is only his second year teaching at SHS. Reflecting on the community, Cuba noted “Everyday Sterling grows on me a little more.” Teachers, just like us, were or still are students. Cuba is no different! As a student, Cuba describes himself as being “either loved or hated [by everyone], there was no in between.” He also recalls “I have always loved learning anything new, but the subject I struggled the most with was learning a new language.” Although he’s a teacher, he still has a life outside of school. Cuba spends his vacation time fishing, hunting, gardening and training his dogs.

There are many great teachers here at Sterling High School, but this month Mr. Cuba went above and beyond. As the year continues we wish the best of luck to Mr. Cuba and his students. Keep up the good work!

(Picture features student Jayce Maker)

New Teacher Story

By: Baylee Dorcey

This year welcomes five new teachers to Sterling High School. Many of them share the same amount of experience teaching. However, there are exceptions. All of them share the same passion for teaching and are very excited to meet their students, which there are no exceptions to. For those of you who haven’t met them, here are your new teachers. Mr. Mendenhall is taking over as the new weight training teacher, and this is his third year teaching public school. Previously, taught three years at the junior college, he then became a teacher because he enjoys working with kids and teaching them about physical fitness. Mendenhall’s goal for this year is to develop his students both physically and mentally. When asked why he chose to work at SHS, he replied: “I was going to school at NJC and I liked the community. I liked the town and the people.” Like Mr. Mendenhall, Mrs. Goss takes delight in working with students.

Mrs. Goss

Mrs. Goss teaches Algebra I and Geometry, and this is her fourth year teaching. She grew up in Brush and wanted to be closer to her family and it was cheaper to live out here than in the city. The thing that drew her to teaching was the ability to choose a different activity every day and getting to know all types of different people. And, her goal for this year is to have a positive year. Both Goss and Mrs. Church enjoy meeting the different types of students.

Mrs. Church teaches English I, English II, American literature survey, and yearbook. It is her fourth year teaching. She became a teacher because she always loved English and both of her parents were teachers. Her #1 goal this year is to get to know all of her students. Unlike Mrs. Church, who came to Sterling because she wanted to work at a larger school, Mrs. Flippin wanted to get away from the big city.

Mrs. Flippin teaches Family and Consumer Sciences. She has been teaching for four years. She came to SHS because she wanted to get away from the big city. I became a teacher because I love helping people and seeing that light bulb go off. Flippin’s goal for this year is to make connections with her students and grow the Family Career Community of America (FCCLA) club. Mr. Negley and Flippin want to develop better connections with their students.

Mr. Negly

Another new teacher is Mr. Negley. He teaches the Foundations of Art and Studio Art classes. During the 80s, he went to school for his Bachelor’s in art and education, which he put to use at the Sterling Correctional Facility. After his retirement, he got the chance to teach art, something he carries a torch for. His goal for this year is to get his students as far as he possibly can in their art education. The duo of new art teachers both want to develop their students as far as they possibly can artistically.

Mr. Cho

Current teacher of Digital Photography, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Graphic Design, Mr. Cho is one of the new art teachers. He came to Sterling to spread the world of art, which he has a passion for. Cho’s goal for this year is to make connections with his students and survive. It would seem that he’s already doing the former. Isaac Deleon says, Mr. Cho is the GOAT. Greatest of all Time. While Isaac might not think the other teachers are is cool as Mr. Cho, the Bengal Cry is very excited to introduce you to this year’s new teachers and hopefully, they stay here for a longtime. We hope, the rest of Sterling High School is as excited to get to know them as we are.

Teacher of the Month: January

20180112_152231The teacher of the month for January is Charles Cuba. He is one the science teachers here at Sterling High School. Cuba has been teaching here for almost a year. In total he has been teaching for 18 years.

Cuba teaches Earth Science, Physical Science, Chemistry and Physics. One of his favorite parts of teaching is interacting with the students. When asked why he became teacher, Cuba said, “I have always had the ability to explain topics to other people and my professors suggested that I go into teaching.” One the people that Cuba says influenced him was his father. He says, “Before he died he told me to find a profession that would make me happy.”

Cuba has many years of teaching under his belt and has many memories. However he says, “There really isn’t just one memory. I just love to see the look in the eyes of the students who understand something for the first time.”

Cuba has a goal to reach this year and years to come and that goal would be to prepare the students for the future. He hopes to accomplish as much as he can throughout the year.

Here are some fun facts about Cuba. Contrary to popular belief he actually likes being here with the students. He enjoys outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. He also enjoys “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Cuba’s favorite holiday is the 4th of July. He says, “It celebrates America and who doesn’t love fireworks?!”

Picture This Sterling

By Jaden Newson

Rise Above Colorado (RAC) is a drug abuse prevention program working to help teens be empowered to live a life free of drug abuse. RAC is dedicated and passionate in reaching teens all over Colorado. Along with the Board of directors and the team, RAC has a teen action council. On that council is one of our very own Jaden Newson.   

Jonathan Judge is the program directors on the Rise Above Colorado team. He’s been working with Rise Above for 9 years and counting. Judge’s favorite experience with Rise Above Colorado is working directly with the teens. “It’s so rewarding to visiting communities. I get to tap in with hopes and getting the chance to talk and create something. “ 

RAC has participated in many murals around the state. Over the summer Judge was able to get with some teens here in Sterling and talk about plans to create our very own! The mural will be located downtown by the Family Resource Center. Judge explained teens wanted something unique to Sterling. The overall decision the teens decided upon was a rural theme and something to reflect the beauty of the Colorado plains. There isn’t a set date for when the painting of the mural will be happening, but judge is hoping for some time in 2018.  

Judge has made a mural in almost every part of Colorado.  “My personal mission is to get to the Northeastern Corner, so this is pretty exciting. The farthest I’ve gone is Fort Morgan with the murals.” Judge’s favorite mural experience was working in Craig, CO. He explained he helped with a huge portion of the mural, and seeing the action happen does not compare with being in the action.  

If teens are interested in engaging with the new campaign teens can go to their social media pages. The new website by teens for teens is also a good way for teens to express any questions, or stories on the site.  “We are always open to talking with them and the website is a great source to reach out. “ Judge said.  

If you look around town you will find statues at parks, around city buildings, and general areas. Bradford Rhea has sculpted all of these. His most famous one,’Skygrazers’ or as most people know them as the giraffes in Columbine.  We aren’t new to art here, but what we are new to is wall art. We have a couple like on the side of Quilts and Creations. The new mural that Rise Above is doing will add to the colorfulness of our town.   

Camden Shepard is a freshman and was surprised to hear about the new mural. “I think it would be really cool to have a mural here in sterling. I would like to see something to show how proud we are to be Sterling. It would be cool to be like hey we are here and we exist.”  Shepard also added it would be really cool to help out if she had the time. 

Rodrigo Del Rio a junior was also unaware of the mural. “I would like to see something dope, something that stands out.”  Del Rio also said it would be cool to help out if he had the time and didn’t conflict with sports.  “We need something here to make it a cooler place.” 

Stefani Pfistner another freshman was very interested in hearing about the mural.  “That’s really cool! I think it would be so cool to see some nature theme and something really unique to show that we exist and we are proud to be here. “I definitely would help out with the making the mural I just need to know when. It would be so cool to be a part of making something awesome.”  

If you are interested in knowing more about Rise Above you can check out their different social media pages. Instagram- riseaboveco 

Facebook- Rise Above Colorado 

Twitter- RiseAboveCO