High Honor Roll students named at St. Joseph-Ogden

Last week, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced their list of students who earned high honor roll status during the 4th quarter. Forty-nine members of the junior class were the among the 173 that achieved a high level of academic achievement.

To receive honor roll recognition at SJO students must earn a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students whose GPA soared above 3.74 are recognized as High Honor Roll students.

High Honor Roll





Guest Commentary | Social Security, It is worth the bite out of every check

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

In 2020 over 64 million Americans were collecting Social Security benefits.

The National Institute for Retirement Security (NIRS)has reported that Social Security is the only income source for 40 percent of retirees over the age of 60. The study also claimed that only 6.8 percent of retirees receive income from the three-legged stool of Social Security, a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution plan.

Another study conducted by researchers at the Social Security Administration, found that only 19.6 of Americans 65 and over received at least 90% of their total incomes from Social Security. That’s a big difference from the stat provided by the NIRS.

Nevertheless, the point is that for millions of Americans Social Security is either all they have or mostly all they have. Also, there are some government employees who have their own pension system and do not pay into Social Security.

Social Security taxes take a bite of our income from every check. Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent of wages up to the taxable maximum of $142,800 for 2021. The self-employed pay 12.4 percent. Some self-employed struggle with paying the 12.4 percent and look for creative ways to only report a small salary. This may enable you to have more cash now but your Social Security check will be much smaller when you become retirement age.

Religious objectors can often be exempted from paying the tax. I knew a minister who in his younger days did the paperwork to exempt out of Social Security. It was the one of the biggest mistakes of his life. When he became 65, he couldn’t quit working. He had also drawn out most of his other pension savings for emergencies.

With meager retirement dollars he was also faced with having to buy Medicare insurance. To make matters worse he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At a relatively young senior adult age he had nothing with which to fight. He was tired from his long years of work. He had nothing financially saved. He couldn’t stop working. Medical insurance became a dilemma and within two years he was dead.

Social Security is not a perfect world. It won’t make you rich but you’ll be glad you have the check and the medical insurance.

Keep this in mind the average monthly Social Security payment for 2021 is $1,543, and the maximum you can receive at full retirement age is $3,113 a month. If you have waited until you are 70 the amount is $3,895.00. These figures change all the time depending on cost of living adjustments and how long you work and how much you pay into the system. Keep in mind the longer you work and the more you pay into Social Security, the more you collect at retirement.

So, go to work and be glad for every dollar withheld from your check for Social Security.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


Are you washing your fruits and vegetables the right way?

StatePoint Media -- The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat anywhere from five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. While meeting or exceeding your recommended daily dose is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, it’s just as important to ensure that you’re consuming produce safely.

Now that it is fresh produce season, keep in mind that rinsing with water doesn’t completely eliminate pesticides, or the wax that’s sprayed on produce to help extend its shelf life. Regardless if it is fresh out of your garden or delicious looking veggies from the farmer's market, it is a good idea to throughly wash your produce.

Photo: Any Lane/Pexels
Whether you’re making a salad, sautĂ©, skewers or soup, the best way to ensure you’re maximizing the health benefits of these good-for-you food choices is to consider incorporating a fruit and vegetable wash into your kitchen routine. Just be sure that when choosing a wash you look out for the Safer Choice label from the EPA, which indicates the product is both effective and uses only ingredients that are safer for families.

One choice to consider using is ARM & HAMMER Fruit & Vegetable Wash, which combines baking soda with other pure and simple ingredients such as lemon, purified water and salt. This formula is scientifically proven to safely eliminate up to 90 percent of pesticide residue of the commonly used pesticide, thiabendazole, when used as directed, as well as clean four times better than water alone.

To safely eliminate pesticides, wax and soil from your fruits and vegetables, follow these three steps:

1. Spray: Spray produce with Arm & Hammer Fruit & Vegetable Wash.
2. Gently rub: Gently rub produce to remove soil and wax.
3. Rinse: Rinse under water to wash away pesticides, wax and soil.

To learn more and for additional tips, visit armandhammercleans.com.

When it comes to your family’s healthy lifestyle, choosing nutritious fruits and vegetables is just part of the equation. With this small tweak to your food prep routine, you can ensure those supermarket selections are wholesome and safe by the time they reach your plate.

Tips to keep remote meetings productive

Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels
StatePoint Media -- With many offices continuing to function remotely or hybrid style, video conferencing will remain a mainstay of the American workforce for the foreseeable future. Here’s how to ensure your meetings stay professional and productive:

Be Mindful of Limitations
Miscommunication can occur during an in-person meeting, however, there is a larger margin for error in a video call. Be mindful of the limitations of remote meetings and encourage participants to address who they are speaking to by name to avoid confusion. Consider assigning a moderator to help prevent interruptions, as well as someone to take minutes. This can ensure key takeaways are understood by all, particularly if tasks are assigned during the call.

Embrace its Benefits
While video calls do have their limitations, they also have a number of key benefits too. Features like screensharing make it easy to share presentations, data and analysis. Meetings can be also recorded for future reference or shared with colleagues who were unable to attend. And, while the mute/unmute button should never be abused, having this feature does give moderators the ability to make it clear who has the floor at any given time so that meetings stay structured.

Employ New Tech
The right technology can help ensure your staff is not overwhelmed with calls and video conferences. For example, Motiv, a mobile dashboard powered by Eturi that tracks productivity metrics for team leaders, now has a new Google Meets feature offering deeper insights specifically into meetings and calls. Is the time allocated for reoccurring meeting being used effectively or can it be optimized? Are the right team members using ad hoc meetings to brainstorm and collaborate? Who is meeting with who, when? Using this feature, CEOs, managers and team leaders can have these questions answered so they can make informed decisions. To learn more, visit motivapp.com.

Your team may be decentralized, but collaboration is just as important as ever. With the right habits and tools, you can run more effective meetings, and work productively together from afar.

Unity Junior High list 4th quarter honor roll students

Today, Unity Junior High School announced the names of students who achieved honor roll status during the third quarter. Congratulations to the 76 students who earned the requisite grade point average to celebrate the honor. See the names of UJHS students who made the quarter's High Honor Roll list here.

6th Grade Honor Roll

7th Grade Honor Roll

8th Grade Honor Roll

113 UJS students earn high honors recognition

Unity Junior High School announced the names of students who achieved high honor roll status during the final quarter of the 2020-21 academic year. Congratulations to all the students who earned the requisite grade point to qualify for high honor roll recognition during this period.

6th Grade High Honor Roll

7th Grade High Honor Roll

Anna Carolyn Amias
Aria Eve Battaglia
Mylie Lynn Castle
Kaedan Dane Chenoweth
Cameryn Dayle Cobb
Eli Samson Crowe
Ella Jean Darnall
Annaliese Birtukan DeNeal
Crewe William Eckstein
Callie Marie Ellars
Camden Michael Fairbanks
Tanner Elizabeth Gallivan
Collin William Graven
Isabel Grace Grob
Kenley Jo Harris
Brayden Jonathon Henry
Tyler Jason Henry
Lucas Alexander Hood
Logan Phillip Jeurissen
Miles Kennedy Johnson
Faith Lyn Lampe
Johanna Ilene Langley
Isabelle Joy Levingston
Mylie Emily Loftsgaard
Claire Lynn Meharry
Isaac Julian Neverman
Mason Robert ONeill
Harry Matthew Polonus
Dallas Jordan Porter
Mackenzie Rose Pound
Kyla Lanae Reed
Ty Steven Rodems
Katie Marie Ruggieri
Jillian Brooke Schlittler
Vanna Lee Schriefer
Liana Grace Sheets
Hunter James Shike
Annalise Rose Shunk
Caden Alexander Stierwalt
Ginna Mae Stierwalt
Madelyn Rose Stierwalt
Emma Marie Swisher
Alexander Lane Wells
Paula Louise Wilson
Claire Morgan Zorns

8th Grade High Honor Roll

Jenna Blair Adams
Lindy Marie Bates
Molly Kay Baxley
Sophia Cathryn Beckett
Paige Leeanne Brewer
Noah Michael Bryant
Elle Makenna Cheely
Josephine Rose Cler
Madelyn Rae Darnall
Jordan Kathryn Daugherty
Nathaniel Gojam DeNeal
Ashlyn Brielle Denney
Kade Ryan Dubson
Chloey Ryanne Duitsman
Ava Maureen Fenter
Catharine Elizabeth Ford
Sophia Safrona Frye
Alexis Rae Gady
Paige Ann Garretson
Kadence Lynn Goff
Faith Marianne Hall
Sophia Ruth Hartke
Lauren Mellissa Hellmer
Dallas Anthony Hollingsworth
Lindsey Michelle Johnson
Alex Nathaniel Mowrer
Makayla Jean Nonman
Brady James Parr
Reigna Jolie Price
Camryn Elizabeth Reedy
Ashley Lynn Rennels
Ryan James Robinson
Lydia Claire Rossi
Maegan Denise Rothe
Savannah Renee Rubin
Lauren Anne Shaw
Abigail Ruth Smith
Joseph Robert Tempel
Avery Elise Watson
McKinley Mae Weller
Nolan Allen Wishall

SJO seeking new head basketball coach

St. Joseph-Ogden High School is currently searching for a new head coach for the girls' basket program.

Early last month, head coach Kevin Taylor, who led the Spartans to a third-place state finish during the 2018-2019 season and secured four regional titles during his tenure, announced his retirement from the position. His five years at the helm resulted in 86 wins and 25 losses.

The successful candidate and subsequent staff will inherit a battle-tested, talented senior class with the potential to carry the program to another state final appearance.

The official position announcement is listed below.

Notice of Position Opening

School Name: St. Joseph-Ogden CHSD 305
Building Name: St. Joseph-Ogden High School

Job Title: Varsity Head Girls Basketball Coach

Job Description: To fulfill the duties of high school head varsity girls basketball coach as related to the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Girls Basketball Program.

Qualifications: A valid Illinois Professional Educators License or valid ASEP Certification

Job Posted: 5/5/2021
End Date: Until filled

Starting Date: Upon Hire

To Apply: Please send letter of interest, resume, references, and a copy of your teaching license or ASEP Certification to:

Gary Page Principal
St. Joseph Ogden High School 301 N Main
St. Joseph, IL 61873
Phone: 217-469-7321
Email: pageg@sjo.k12.il.us

Hamilton dashes by competition, SJO wins track sectional

Amassing 139 points, just five more than runner-up Salt Fork, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls track program earned their first post-pandemic sectional championship title last Wednesday.

It was a spectacular evening for two-time state Long Jump champion Atleigh Hamilton, who led the Spartans with three individual titles. The senior gave gold medal performances in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Later, she broke a long-standing school record of 59.2 in the 400-meter dash.

Hamilton also qualified for this week's state meet on Thursday in her signature event the long jump. The Illinois State University signee finished in second place behind Salt Fork's Gracie Jessup with her best attempt at 5.25 meters.

Meanwhile, Abby Behrens cleared 1.52 meters to win the High Jump competition. Teammate Macy Reed-Thompson finished third to help SJO rise to the top in the 14-team meet.

The Spartans also swept all three relay events.

Kailyn Ingram, Helene Jones, Malorie Sarnecki and Ashlyn Lannert combined for a time of 10:27.70 in the 4x800 Meter Relay besting squads from Urbana University High School (2nd), Clifton Central (3rd) and Milford.

The Spartans faced stiffer competition from Bismarck-Henning-Rossville and Uni High in the 4x200 Meter Relay. The SJO foursome of Payton Carter, Raegan Crippen, Grace Schmitz, and Hope Rajlich finished less than a second ahead of the Blue Devils with their time of 1:51.47. Uni High finished third at 1:55.59.

To close out the meet, Lannert, Ingram and Jones from the four-by-eight, along with Rajlich from the 200-Meter Relay squad punched their ticket to state with a 4:15.17 finishing ahead of Uni High and BHR.

Also turning in top-three finishes were Raegan Crippen, who finished third in the Triple Jump, Ava Knap clocked in at second place in the 1600 meter run

Grace Schmitz and Payton Carter finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the Pole Vault

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