Forty-eight years ago, when Assistant Principal for Academics Tom Becvar first stepped foot on Oakland Avenue, Richard Nixon was being investigated for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, the last American troops were leaving Vietnam, and the term ‘internet’ had not even been conceived. After a career that long, Becvar has served nearly 10,000 students and held a multitude of important titles at SLUH. Decades after the start of his career, though, Becvar announced this year that he will be retiring, leaving behind a SLUH community that is much better off because of his work.
Becvar has served as the Assistant Principal for Academics for the past 16 years, and before that he served as the Math Department Chair for 23 years. His arrival at SLUH in 1973, though, was not marked by much pomp or circumstance. Becvar himself describes it as a fairly straightforward affair.
“I had heard there was an opening here when I was teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools and I thought ‘this is something I really want to do,’” said Becvar. “I came over, applied, and the rest is history.”
What followed, though, was indeed history, as reported by the teachers and students who have known him. Myriad of teachers have come and gone in his tenure, including the vast array of Jesuits that used to occupy the majority of teaching positions at the school.
Called by many names throughout the school—Flan-man, Captain Flanagan, Billiken man—math teacher and former cross country coach Tom Flanagan will be putting away the calculator and protractor for the foreseeable future as he retires from full-time teaching after 43 years of teaching and 30 years at St. Louis U. High. Flanagan began teaching at St. Raphael’s school in South City until he moved to DuBourg a year later, where he would teach for a full 13 years before arriving at SLUH.
After a 21-year teaching career, Social Studies Department chair Kevin Foy will make the full-time transition to administration, succeeding Tom Becvar as Assistant Principal for Academics this summer. It was officially announced at Cashbah that Becvar would be retiring after 48 years at SLUH. Gibbons made the decision that the replacement would be someone within the school. The job posting was sent out right after Spring Break.
Last Thursday, May 6 marked the Class of 2021’s final day of classes at St. Louis U. High. To cap off their last four years at SLUH, the seniors parked in the faculty parking lot, moved around some of SLUH’s furniture, and hosted a tailgate in the turnaround beginning at 5:30 a.m., which featured burgers, donuts, and drinks, a slip ‘n slide, games of wiffleball and Spikeball, fireworks, and music. Plans for the senior prank and tailgate had been in the works for several weeks.
SLUHsers Comic Strip
Members of the SLUH Car Club gathered on campus on Saturday, May 1 for the club’s first Cars and Coffee event, giving students a chance to expand their knowledge and interests of cars. Car Club is one of the newest extracurriculars at St. Louis U. High, having come into existence just three years ago. Though there had previously been a Car Club at SLUH, it fizzled out when its then-moderator, current Director of Theater Operations Tim Moore, left for another work opportunity.
A slip n’ slide, Chick-Fil-A, ice cream and some healthy competition sounds like every teenage boy's dream day, and that day was made a reality for the junior class when they participated in their class funday last Friday. The day began with juniors hiking up the turnaround where they were enthusiastically greeted by their classmates hyping them up for their class’s fun day. The event was put on by junior class moderator Tracy Lyons, members of the class of 2022, and other faculty members.
After spending a bit over one year at SLUH, lacrosse coach and geometry teacher Willie Evans will be leaving to work at Honeywell Aerospace to design plane engines. Evans was hired last spring to replace Dan Schuler, who departed for Cleveland. “It was not normal, but it wasn’t anything that wasn’t able to be a smooth transition. Everybody was very welcoming, and everybody was easy to work with,” said Evans.
The Jr. Bills Ultimate frisbee teams faced another action-packed weekend with five games being played in the span of three days. Varsity took on Edwardsville’s White and followed with a double header the next day against Edwardsville’s Orange team and Chaminade, while JV faced off against CBC JV and Clayton.
The St. Louis U. High rugby team had its Senior Night last Thursday against Eureka. In another blowout game, SLUH beat Eureka 45-12. SLUH’s offense was faster and the defense kept the pressure on the Wildcats for the whole game. The Jr. Bills also played against St. Thomas Aquinas last Saturday, losing a close game, 39-35.
The annual St. Louis U. High student art exhibit officially opened yesterday on the second floor art gallery of the Jesuit Wing, allowing students to showcase their art from the school year. In typical years, the Fine Arts Department features art from every student in an art show, which is open for students and faculty to enjoy as the year winds down. This year, as a consequence of the pandemic, art was hard to keep track of, giving art teacher Sarah Rebholz a smaller amount of art than normal.
I recently came across Jack Figge’s opinion piece published on Dec 1, 2020: “Pornography is a teenage male epidemic; let’s do something about it.” I would like to commend Jack for writing a much-needed piece. In my three years with the Prep News, I had always hoped to write a piece like Jack’s. I sometimes tell myself I was too busy or the issue wasn’t that important to me. In reality I was ashamed because I was a habitual pornography user. I would like to supplement Jack’s piece with my own journey with pornography and giving encouragement and advice to current St. Louis U. High students, faculty, administrators, and parents. It is my assumption, and I believe a valid assumption, that many, if not most, SLUH community members have an experience similar to mine.
The St. Louis U. High varsity baseball team has dropped its past three games, two against MCC rival Vianney and one against Troy Buchanan, and has subsequently extended its losing streak to six games and dropped to a 7-14 record in a year that is shaping up to be the Jr. Bills’ first losing season of the 21st century.
The seniors might have finished up their final weeks of school, but the volleyball team still has a few more to put its final touches on their play. After victories over Chaminade and Vianney, the team now has an unblemished record of 24-0 and has a set record of 62-0.
The St. Louis U. High track and field team won the MCC championships at the varsity and JV levels on Wednesday, May fifth. SLUH’s varsity win was its 14th title in its last 15 seasons and was the ninth consecutive win at MCC championships. For the JV, SLUH won its fifth straight title.
What are your summer plans?
Editor in Chief
Carter “plotting my presidential run” Fortman
Noah “spending time with Sprock” Apprill-Sokol
Jacob “having some alone time” Sprock
Luke “waking up” Altier
Sam “$5 movie Tuesdays” Tarter
Carter “fixing Chick-fil-A’s sauce supply” Spence
Louis “creating excuses to skip PN 86” Cornett
Luke “baking” Duffy
Jack “ranting to Nathan” Figge
Nathan “not listening to Jack” Rich
Jack “winning the game” Rybak
Roarke “practicing for next year’s StuCo game” Unrau
Jackson “overtaking Peter on the track” Cooper
Nick “exclusively grilling” Campbell
Peter “not getting overtaken by Jackson” James
Charlie “arting” Bieg
Coby “placing bets” Spratte
George “working on those sets” Henken
Grant “hibernating” Grabowski
Alex “recovering” Wentz
Steve “not pivoting” Missey
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