ITS Members Away at Conference Waited Out Inclement Weather


Ali Nuckles, sophomore, (on the left) marvels at the snow last Saturday in Kansas City. Because the MHS Thespians were snowed in, they kept themselves entertained with snowball fights and other social events.

While all Rockwood students went home two hours early last Friday, Ali Nuckles, sophomore, spent her weekend involved with karaoke activities and snowball fights.

Nuckles is a member of MHS’ International Thespian Society (ITS) and was at the Missouri State Thespian Conference in Kansas City, Mo., last weekend. The group stayed an additional night in Kansas City to avoid inclement weather on the roads.

Nuckles said she enjoyed all the aspects of it. To her, the extra night was great to make new friendships and socialize with the other ITS members.

“We learned so much and made so many memories last weekend,” Nuckles said. “By the time we got back to St. Louis, our bond as a team was even stronger.”

ITS members left for the Missouri State Thespian Conference afterschool last Wednesday, Jan. 9. The state conference spanned three days, with schools departing from Kansas City Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Steve Hankins, associate principal, stayed in touch with Rebecca Blindauer, theater teacher, as they both observed the weather by the hour.

“We’ll know Sunday if it’s safe for them to come back,” Dr. Hankins said last Friday. “The safety of our kids precede all costs and concerns. We’ll figure this out.” 

We learned so much and made so many memories last weekend. By the time we got back to St. Louis, our bond as a team was even stronger.”

— Ali Nuckles

On Friday morning, it was decided that all Rockwood schools at the conference should extend their stay for another night at the Marriott Hotel and depart from Kansas City on Sunday.

Blindauer said a big issue both MHS and Rockwood Summit faced was the fact that the bus company, which was in charge of their travels, was based in St. Louis, so they couldn’t immediately depart from Kansas City right when the weather became hazardous.

Schools from all over Missouri waited out the inclement weather, leading to the Thespian conference organizing social events on Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel to keep the students occupied.

“The students were quick to adjust to the change in plans,” Blindauer said. “As parents were notified, everyone understood that it was best to stay another night than risk traveling back to St. Louis.”

On Sunday, the thespians left Kansas City about 1 p.m. and arrived at MHS at 6:30 p.m., with a couple stops along the way. They did not encounter hazardous weather conditions.

The additional overnight stay cost about $1,500 for the group, which was deducted from Blindauer’s district credit card. The district finance department opened up the credit card to a large transaction for an additional overnight stay.

“Right now there are some discussions on who exactly will pay for that extra night,” Blindauer said. “We want to distribute the cost as fairly as we can; however, at that moment, the idea of who will pay in the long run was the least of our worries.”