News You Can Use

Student Activities Board

By Cap Patel, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Student Activities Board (SAB) is made up of 11 students. Senior Maggie Greer is the student body president. Other students in SAB are Matt Newberry and Elizabeth Sellers for ninth grade, Marta Stevenson and Jonathan Siegel for the 10th grade, Michael Hicks, Andrew Palmer and Evans McCook for the 11th grade, and Coleman Rozier, Luke Slappy, Wade Snow, and Aaron Arnold for 12th grade.

sabThe board meets at a member’s house for monthly dinners to discuss topics and upcoming events such as dances, activities and fund-raisers. It also creates date walls and tags for Sadie Hawkins and homecoming, videos to promote big events at school, and prepare fun activities such as Spirit Weeks. There is a retreat at Lake Oconee at the beginning of the year.

The SAB contributes by “making sure there is still some fun that travels with students year round,” said Mrs. Lori Palmer, advisor for SAB.

“When you are a member of these boards, you work very hard and have to get a lot done,’’ said Greer. “So go pat your grade representative on the back for their hard work.’’

Forensics and Debate Club

By Carly Wanna, Gazebo Editor

Ms. Abby Schirmer, former debate coach, officially retired in 2014, following the graduation of her star debater, Hemanth Sanjeev.

Sanjeev had been ranked as a member of the number one debate team. Following her retirement, the official debate program ceased, leaving individual debaters to continue debating without help from the school.

Dr. Scott Shubitz and Dr. Ann Dromsky hope to rejuvenate the debate program as well as further the speech and performance departments through the forensics club.

Dromsky describes it as “An organization that promotes speech and debate and competing in events where verbal skills are important. There’s a large category of things.”

The two new teachers will operate under the National Forensics League to facilitate student participation in a variety of competitions around the Middle Georgia area.

“They can choose how many competitions they want to participate in,” she said. “If they just want to do one or two, they can do that.”

Students can not only decide level of participation but also what types of competitions in which they would like to participate. Although still working out logistics, the club hopes to encourage students in different speech contests including extemporaneous speaking, policy debates, team debates, dramatic interpretations, comedic interpretations, and more.


By Cap Patel, Gazebo Staff Writer

SALSA stands for “students advocating for life against substance abuse.’’ It is part of the FDC, Freedom from Chemical Dependency.

Students are encouraged to make healthy decisions about the use of drugs and alcohol. SALSA has its first meeting on Oct. 7 and is looking for students to fill in positions of leadership that are open.

Tejas Athni and Janie Hatcher are the returning leadership teams for the club.

“Students need to be aware that their decisions can have consequences and that they should make healthy decisions and try to postpone drinking and drug use until they are of age or can handle it,’’ said club advisor Mrs. Jacqui Wilson.

“SALSA suffers from an identity complex,’’ she said. “There are other ways that the club can reach the student body and we are finding ways to complete that. It is important that Stratford has a club that addresses drug and alcohol use among students because we need to have a form where we can support each other while learning about important thing.”

Student Issues Board (SIB)

By Hannah Lovett, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Student Issue Board (SIB) meets the first Wednesday of every month. Dr. Tom Lolis is the advisor. Senior Crawford Edwards is head of the honor council. Maggie Greer is the student body president. Other members include: Seniors Kat Boswell and Lily Howe, Juniors Morgan Mathis and Ellie Minette, Sophomores Holland Schell and Anna Parel, Freshmen Sara Kate Durkee and Anna Grace Grossnickle.

In the board’s first meeting, there was discussion about bringing back some of Stratford traditions. There also was talk about returning pep rallies to the end of the day and bringing back bonfires on football weekends.

The SIB also proposed allowing football players to park closer to the field house if they have morning football practice so that they won’t be late to homeroom. Making changes to the spring fling was also discussed.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

By Rania Akbar, Gazebo Staff Writer

Anti-Defamation League is responsible for Stratford Academy’s “No Place For Hate” campaign. The club’s advisor is Jaqui Wilson.

Bailey Toole is president, Amelia Foulkes is vice president, Reese Ellis is head of the Conversation Central Chair, Tejas Athni is the head of the Media Chair, Grace Deedrick is head of the No Place For Hate Chair, Janie Hatcher is the head of the Lower School Mentoring Chair and Kenzie Muenzer is head of Middle School Mentoring Chair. ADL is currently active and has a growing group of students who are trying to help better the Stratford community and make it a more loving environment.

adlADL members meet with lower, middle and upper schools students throughout the school year.  At these assemblies, they talk about bullying issues, stereotypes and other challenges students may face.

Students have an opportunity to sign the ADL pledge banner and promise to be aware of their own biases and seek understanding of those who are different. They also pledge to promote individual dignity and respect, stand up for other people’s civil rights and support those who are targets of hatred.

“All of these go back to support our main goal — how to create a safe and better school,’’ Wilson said.

Anti-Defamation League has reached their goal by making a better community for Stratford. ADL members have signed a pledge and passed out “No Place For Hate” pins and stickers.

Tech Club

By Anna Kate Alford, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Technology Club is run by co-presidents Walker Gibbons and Andrew Smolensky. The goal of the club is to focus on community service. One place where the technology club lends a hand to is Aunt Maggie’s Kitchen Table, where the members educate kids about simple programing. They also plan to go to the Maker Fair in October to observe the inventive spirits of the contributors in Atlanta. At their next meeting, they plan to vote on the positions of treasurer, secretary and public relations.

Literary Magazine

By Anna Kate Alford, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Literary Magazine is run by Dr. Frank Katz. The editors consists of seniors Jake Edwards and Zainab Siddiqui, junior Anna Kate Medlin, and sophomores Sai Pagadala and Li-An Tsai.

Together, their goal is to make a compilation of the stories, poems and illustrations submitted by students.

Chess Club

By Charles Upshaw, Gazebo Staff Writer


That is a sound you will hear at Stratford’s chess club meetings.
Mr. Bobby Stecher, chairman of the math department, is advisor for students who love this game, which involves both sides of your brain.

Chess has helped junior Shawn Shivdat, president of the club. Shivdat said after he started playing chess, his concentration and analytical thinking improved.

chessAnother top player on the team is fellow junior, Carson Greene, who is highly ranked in competitive chess.

Shivdat has encouraged students to attend club meetings, even if they are beginners. The club offers an opportunity to get community service hours by teaching students at other schools how to play chess.

Drama Club

By Emma Quintal, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Drama Club encourages students to become more active with the fine arts, specifically theatre.

The advisor is Ms. Sylvia Haynie. Club members go on field trips, play games, and work hard to get more people to participate in the theatre program. The club meets once every month, and the members play games that were created by the leaders.

Senior club leaders are Cameron Walsh and Walker Gibbons. The juniors are Ellie Minette and Anna Kate Alford. The sophomores are Meggie Aivalotis and Alex Stefanis. The freshmen are Emma Quintal and Matt Newberry.

Ecology Club

By Josie Lamb, Gazebo Staff Writer

Mrs. Theresa Ferrari, the advisor of the ecology club, is eager to start a year full of community service and helping the environment.

“I joined ecology club because I like nature and outdoors, and I thought it would be a great way to get community service hours while ecology2

keeping the Earth clean,” said Ellie Peterson, a junior in the ecology club.

One of the main projects from last year includes creating an organic garden and community service acts as well. Litter clean ups on Peake Road are just one of the service projects. ecology1Others include the Ocmulgee clean up, where they help keep the water source clean, and recycling.

Even though their year is filled with helping our environment, the club isn’t all work and service.

“Every year we try to take a hiking or camping trip,” Ferrari said.

A group of students in the ecology club enjoy the water on their river trip last year.

French Club

By Evana Baggett, Gazebo Staff Writer

The French Club is an excellent chance to gather with other students interested in learning more about the French culture. Club advisor Mrs. Rachel Chabot said students do not have to take a French class or speak French to become a member of the club.

french-1“We mostly celebrate and have many parties throughout the school year,’’ Chabot said.

When the French club meets, students can sample French foods such as  king cake, crepes, and croissants. The French club is in charge of planning the exchange students from France.

The club has about 40-50 members. The officers are Justin Griffin, Monica Montalvo, Zainab Siddiqui, and Gracie Childers.

Girl Talk

By Emma Quintal, Gazebo Staff Writer

Girl Talk is an international non-profit mentoring program with a very simple job.

High school girls mentor middle school girls to help them deal with the issues they face during their early teen-age years. Their mission is to help young teenage girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and learn to recognize the value of community service.

Stratford works with the middle school girls to help teach them what it means to be good citizens in the community. Stratford’s Girl Talk leaders work hard to get to know the middle school girls on a much more personal level.

Recently, the club had a three-hour training session to prepare the leaders for the upcoming year.

“Every girl who was accepted into the club had to fill out an application, which showed me if they were passionate about helping young girls, or if they just wanted to say that they were Girl Talk Leaders,” said club advisor Mrs. Jacqui Wilson.

Girl Talk is a nation-wide mission that works hard to inspire young-girls to be leaders, stand up to bullying, and discuss issues important to them.

Math Team

By Molly Garud, Gazebo Staff Writer

Win. Win. Win.

That’s what the Stratford Math Team does.

“All we do is win,’’ said advisor Mrs. Shannon Boswell.

mathLast year’s math team won first place in the Class A at the 40th annual state tournament, sponsored by the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

There are about 30 active members in the club. Freshman Abby Ellison said she loves to “sit and solve math problems with my friends who aren’t in my math class.”

“We’re learning a lot. It’s a great experience,” she said.

The team helps students compete, share and obtain lifelong abilities in math.

Pep Club

By Nate Jones, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Pep Club is one of the most active clubs at Stratford. Its goal is to promote school spirit.

dsc_1038The club is led by seniors Sanford Caroline Neel, Wade Snow, Riley Grossnickle, Kevin McGean, and Sarah Kate Sellers. The advisor is Mrs. Shannon Boswell.

The club helps organize tailgate parties before football games and the student section for football and basketball games.  Club members also announces all of the athletic events that are going on that week every Monday in assembly.

Personal Finance and Investment Club

By Molly Garud, Gazebo Staff Writer

A $100 prize.

“Who dares, wins,” said Crawford Edwards, president of the Personal Finance and Investment Club, quoting the Special Air Forces.

About 35 active participating members of the Financial club use an accurate stock simulator ( to invest and sell true stocks with fake virtual money.

The members create an intense competition when they use the simulator by establishing a grand prize of $100, which is given at the conclusion of the year. Smaller prizes are additionally awarded to second- and third-place members. These prizes consist of entry dues.

Useful and applying, not only does the Personal Finance Investment Club deal with real world applications, which can help students obtain lifetime financial security in their future, it isn’t time-consuming and it can rewarding or disappointing.

For example, based on the outcome of bought stocks in the stock competitions, the stock exchange can be promising or frustrating because everyone has a chance to succeed or fail. Furthermore, the Financial club is beneficial because, these skills will aid students in making future positive investment decisions. The valuable information is obtained through computerized stock investing simulations, guest speakers, and field trips.

Club advisor Mr. Allen Free said the club will take a field trip the Federal Reserve Museum in Atlanta on Jan. 20. Members will learn about the process of setting interest rates for banks, and printing money.

Academic Quiz Bowl

By Neely Shah, Gazebo Staff Writer

Quiz Bowl advisor Mr. Luke Harrington is looking forward to great year. The team has not had its first meeting of the year.

There are weekly practices and regular competitions throughout the year at Middle Georgia State University and other venues. Mrs. Carol Lanier is a coach for the team, which has about 10 members.

Mrs. Lanier said the team likes to make its practices lively and fun. Team members want to get everyone’s adrenaline pumping so that they can perform their best in a competition.

During the actual competitions, they compete against different schools until there are only two left. Those two teams compete against each other to decide the winner.

Last year, Stratford and Warner Robins High School were the last two competitors. Warner Robins had been undefeated up until that point. The two teams were tied, so it was a sudden-death round.

Before the moderator could even finish the question, Om Saklikar pressed his buzzer and shouted the answer, “Louisiana.” The answer was right and the Stratford Quiz Bowl won.

Spanish Club/Honor Society

By Arya Datta, Gazebo Staff Writer

The Spanish Club is a welcoming environment for upper school students who are interested in learning about the Latino and Spanish-European culture.

The advisors of the club, Mr. Ben McClain and Ms. Aimee Grisham are delighted to start a new year bringing new students into this cultural environment.

The club is not exclusive to students in the upper school taking Spanish. It is open to everyone. The focus of the club is to spread cultural awareness and knowledge to other students in the upper school.

The Spanish club hosts many intriguing and cultural events such as Cinco de Mayo parties. There will be a series of lunch events, where students will have the opportunity to get together with their Spanish teachers and fellow peers during their lunch period and practice conversing in Spanish.

Mr. McLain said the Spanish Society is separate from the club. “It’s for students who actually take Spanish and make an A- or higher and are in good standing with the school, good representatives of the school for three semesters in a row,’’ he said.

If the students are able to meet those requirements, then they are accepted into the Spanish Honor Society.

Ultimate Frisbee Club

By Graham Hefner, Gazebo Staff Writer

Kevin McGean and Steve Durkee are the presidents of the Ultimate Frisbee Club. There are 15 to 20 members of the club.

The purpose of the club is to educate students on how to play ultimate frisbee. The club teaches them how to execute throws and play a zone defense.

They play after school on Fridays on the soccer practice field in the fall, and on the football practice field in the spring. Middle school history teacher Travis Morrison is advisor for the club.