The Bird Call

News And Notes from Clever High School

It's a Learning Experience

Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of The Bird Call!

Over the 16 days of Christmas break, I spent more time than I should be proud of exploring the wonderful world of Disney+. Specifically, I took a long walk down memory lane and binge-watched episodes of Boy Meets World while my wife and two sons slept in most mornings.

I find it pretty amazing how watching a TV show 27 years after it originally aired can completely change the experience. The show hasn't changed since I was a child watching it, but I have. If you are not familiar with the show, a quick google search describes it as chronicling the everyday events and life-lessons of Cory Matthews. The show begins with young Cory in 6th grade and follows him for seven seasons through his first year in college. (No, I did not make it through all seven seasons over break!) :)

As a child, I watched this show and related to Cory, his best friend Shawn, and many of the other school-aged characters. As an adult, I found myself paying far more attention to Corey's parents and his neighbor/teacher/principal/mentor Mr. Feeny. Truth be told, I always sort of disliked Mr. Feeny when I was a child and now he is my favorite character on the show. Not only did he have an underappreciated sense of humor ("I will be watching you every second of your high school career. Which in your case, may be decades!") but he has a wealth of powerful life advice.

My favorite Mr. Feeny-ism comes when he says:

"See, it's not enough to leave school and just desire to succeed in this cold, cruel world. Because then you've simply become a part of it. You must also have the desire to change it. And to change it, you'll need a fine mind and a good heart."

This statement is truer today than when originally spoken all those years ago and needs to be heard and understood by our students. What Mr. Feeny is saying is that wanting to be successful does not separate oneself from the thousands of other young adults entering college or the workforce every year. It simply isn't good enough. Wanting to be successful is easy. Success comes when you turn desire into action and are prepared for when opportunities present themselves. Success happens behind the scenes and more often than not is born out of countless failures. Bigger still, you must want to change the world you live in to be successful. The most successful people in business are innovators who have dared to take the risks that come with thinking outside of the box.

Mr. Feeny also points out two qualities - "a fine mind and a good heart" - that will be needed to navigate the path to success. This part of the quote, to me, is the most significant. I would even be willing to take this thought a step further: shouldn't these two character traits be exactly what we strive for in each student that graduates from CHS? If every student leaves here to enter the next phase of their life possessing these characteristics than we (the family and school partnership) have surely done something right. In fact, there may be no greater ambition - as a teacher, principal, or parent - than to know we have prepared these young people to enter adulthood with "a fine mind and a good heart".

Thanks, Mr. Feeny.

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Hickman's Happenings

Character Education in the HS

Our character word of the month for January is Tolerance. A tolerant Clever Bluejay encourages understanding and acceptance for beliefs or practices differing or conflicting with their own. They demonstrate empathy and compassion through their words and actions. A tolerant Bluejay uses appropriate language including words, content, and voice level and is non-judgemental towards others. We have reached 80 positive referrals for the year! Keep up the positivity and kindness Bluejays!

A+ News:

All A+ Students: A+ Status Reports will be emailed out to students in a few weeks. If a student is out of compliance, a report will be mailed home.

Senior Male Students: Just a reminder that one of the requirements for A+ is to sign up for the Selective Service. If you have reached the age of 18 (or 17 years and 3 months), please go to to register.

Seniors: Just a reminder to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is one of the requirements to be eligible for the A+ scholarship. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Hickman or Mrs. Waisner.

File the FAFSA online at This is a free website - beware of other sites which may charge a fee!!

Counselor's Corner

Seniors, scholarships are here and will be due soon.

Please go to this link to keep updated on scholarships available.

The Community Foundation scholarships will open up February 1st and there are multiple scholarships available. The Joe King Scholarship and the Nelson Family Scholarship are on the Community Foundation website.

Please join my senior remind for scholarship updates at

Seniors that plan to attend OTC next year will need to attend a STAR seminar before enrolling in classes. We will go as a group to attend this seminar on February 21st at 8:30 AM. Permission forms are at the high school along with a sign-up sheet to attend.

Dual Credit forms are due by February 5th for any student taking a seated dual credit class this semester. Students will need to apply online at if they have never taken a class through OTC. They will also need to fill out a registration form to enroll in the class. The teachers are sending this information home soon. Payment will be due by March 25th and it will need to be paid to OTC.

A Little Bit of Everything

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High School Tips and Tricks


Odds are, this is a program you may not be familiar with. The Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) was established in 2007 as the state’s online school. It was previously known as the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MOVIP). Currently, MOCAP offers courses for 9th through 12th grade and plans to expand to grades K-12. Students can take courses from any Internet-connected computer, available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. MOCAP's mission is to offer Missouri students equal access to a wide range of high-quality courses and interactive online learning that is neither time nor place dependent.

Local school districts and charter schools may use their own preferred online provider. The Clever School District’s preferred provider is Launch or Edmentum. The Launch program is operated and overseen by the Springfield, MO School District and currently offers over 120 courses. Edmentum is operated and overseen by a private company and currently offers over 100 courses. Courses are designed by Missouri teachers and aligned to the state standards. A formal review process is built into all course development to ensure high quality and rigor.

While attending high school in a virtual setting is not for everyone and removes a student from the overall experience of attending four years of high school, having the ability to provide an alternative to the traditional approach allows us to meet the needs of more students than ever before.

If you believe that this program is one that would be beneficial, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Waisner for more details by calling 743-4830 or emailing her at

Prom Guidelines

Prom, which is scheduled for April 18, 2020, will be here before we know it! Students planning to attend prom need to be aware of the policies in place regarding a student's eligibility to attend. Please click the button below to view a letter outlining the district's beliefs on Prom attendance as well as a detailed description of what is required of students wishing to attend as well as the appeal process for any student not meeting the expectations. You are encouraged to review these items with your student(s) and reach out with any questions you may have.
Prom Letter and Guidelines

Click here for details regarding Prom eligibility and the appeals process.

Clubs and Organizations

Clever High School offers a variety of extra/co-curricular activities for our students. Now is the time to get involved! Check out the list below for what is offered and who to contact:

Future Teachers of America - Mrs. Neely

Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Coach Jones

Science History Club - Mr. Burry

Clever Student Alliance - Mrs. Money

Art Club - Mr. Schmidt

Future Business Leaders of America - Mrs. Lumpkin

National Honor Society - Ms. Lathem

Future Farmers of America - Ms. Miller

Student Council - Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Waisner

Yearbook - Mr. Boyles

Speech and Debate - Mrs. Scheibe and Mrs. Money

Academic Team - Mr. Walker and Mr. McGarry

Spirit Squad - Mrs. Neely

Theatre - Mrs. Scheibe

Math Club - Ms. Strickland

Upcoming Events

January 29: Eligibility Check

February 1: Clever Speech Tournament

February 13: Clever High School Trivia Night

February 17: No School

February 19: A Little Bit of Everything

February 19: Eligibility Check

District Events Calendar

Click here for a comprehensive list of all upcoming events!

Alumni Spotlight

Name: Kayla Duffey

Graduation Year: 2010

Hobbies & Interests: Crafting and spending time with friends

Family: Currently raising my little brother Gavin who is 15.

Current Job: Southwest Baptist University Cheer and STUNT coach

College after CHS: Southwest Baptist University and Missouri State University

Extracurricular Activities: Cheer, Speech & debate, FFA and Band.

Favorite Class: In high school, it was band, in college, it was advanced counseling methods and practices.

Advice: Get through high school and be exactly who you want to be in college. Find friends who make you a better person and push you out of your comfort zone. Always take the opportunity to go on trips and see and meet as many new people as possible!