The Purple Clarion

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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

ACES team ends season with sectionals at SIU

Photo provided by SIC.
ACES team receives awards at the SIC regional competition.

Competition is an integral part of almost any school. Whether it’s physical sports like football or baseball, competitive marching, speech, or brain games like scholar bowl, schools thrive off teamwork and getting awards.

One of the competitive teams HHS has is called ACES. It is composed of several students who have excelled in their classes and been chosen by teachers to participate in competitive testing. The tests are in several categories such as math, English, physics, and computer science. The team recently competed in the sectional competition at SIUC on March 13, but will not be moving on to State.  Despite this, junior Reed Rider still believes that ACES testing can be quite beneficial.

“My experience at [Sectionals] was nothing short of fantastic,” Rider said. “I feel like I took away many test-taking skills that will help me in the upcoming SAT.”

Though Rider’s takeaway was better testing skills, junior Dathan Case believes that his experience at Sectionals was more humbling than he anticipated.

“I think that I have learned that there is always someone smarter and to not expect a certain score,” Case said.

Senior Jake Blimline also thinks the tests are a good challenge.

“ACES was similar to taking the SAT,” Blimline said. “Everyone starts at the same time, and (we) are given a set amount of time to finish. The tests at ACES are significantly more advanced than anything we’d take at school.”

Even though the test forms are familiar, ACES requires students to test their abilities by being in an unfamiliar area. Even the testing environment can challenge them according to the ACES coach Heather Cox.

“Ultimately, stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a test in a content area that you aren’t as familiar with or even in a different environment can challenge them a little bit and help them to grow,” Cox said.

One of the testing areas that the ACES team participates in is computer science. Since HHS doesn’t have a designated computer science class that teaches what is on the test, Cox has to use her best judgment to choose who will take it.
“So what we do is we look at the kids who are strong in science, the kids who are strong in math, and the kids who have been in some of those computer classes that we think might have a good opportunity to make some good educated guesses if nothing else,” Cox said.

Combining all of these factors creates a unique environment that challenges what most students are used to. As Cox said, it gives students a chance to grow.

“[By] putting themselves out there a little bit against other schools and their students as opposed to ‘I’ve always been top of my class at Harrisburg,’ or ‘I’ve always been top three at Harrisburg,’ you get to kind of challenge yourself and see where you measure up against other students in the area,” Cox said.


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Whittleigh Trusty

Whittleigh Trusty is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her first year as a  member of the Purple Clarion. She is also a part of Art Club, Book Club, History Club, and Color Guard.

Whittleigh has a prominent interest in most sciences. She enjoys reading about all things related to the subject and watching videos about chemistry experiments. Following high school, she would like to attend SIU to major in organic chemistry.

“Student journalism is important because it allows students to express their thoughts and opinions in a way that is almost guaranteed to be heard.”

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