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Moniteau school board talks decathlon, caps and gowns

CHERRY TWP — The Moniteau School Board voted Monday to approve sending students participating in the United States Academic Decathlon to their national competition in Frisco, Texas, at the end of April.

The students, taught by Kristy Hershey, have received the first place in small schools division with several dozen medals from previous regional and state competitions between them.

Moniteau hosted regionals, and the state-level event was located at Thiel College. There were 13 teams at each.

Only two schools from Pennsylvania go to the national level, and approximately 30 states send teams to compete. This is the first year since 2019 that schools are returning to face-to-face competition.

“They worked so, so hard,” Hershey told the board, detailing students’ perfect attendance at study sessions throughout the summer and breaks during the school year.

“We appreciate everyone’s support.”

Board president Michael Panza congratulated the students that were present and wished them good luck after a unanimous vote to send them to the competition.

Caps and gowns

Questions arose from attendees regarding students voting on the colors for caps and gowns at this year’s commencement.

Dustin Thompson, co-principal of student affairs, informed the board about student leaders’ discussions on changing the tradition of male students wearing black and female students wearing white caps and gowns every year.

Administrators resolved to let the students decide on which color all of them would wear, meaning all would either be black or white.

While there was brief discussion from people on both sides of the issue Monday night, the matter lies with school administration, not the school board.

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