Upper School

Upper school students have over 30 clubs and organizations from which they may choose to belong. At the beginning of each school year, these organizations host a Club Fair in the Ward Parkway courtyard during which students may visit booths created by each of the clubs. All students are encouraged to become involved in the life of the school outside of classes. Students enjoy the opportunity to hold leadership positions within each of the clubs.

The school day at Pembroke Hill is supplemented by a number of activities designed to help students play a larger role in school life. Students are encouraged to participate in one or more organizations in addition to regular classes. There are many opportunities for students to assume leadership in helping to determine the tone and direction of the school.

Many activities and opportunities are organized through the school’s clubs and organizations. All school organizations are chartered by student government. Clubs may be placed on probation, suspended or dechartered if they are inactive or fail to fulfill or abide by their charters or constitutions.

If students are interested in establishing a new club, they should contact student government.

Clubs Open To All Upper School Students

L’Alliance Francaise

L’Alliance Francaise promotes an appreciation of francophone culture by sponsoring various activities including French film evenings, crepe sales, petanque tournaments, outings to French restaurants and guest speakers. L'Alliance Francaise also sponsors the French activities during the extended day program on the Wornall campus, and it raises money for francophone humanitarian causes by selling concessions at the upper school musical concession each year.

Art Club
The Art Club promotes interest in and supports the visual arts. Activities include extracurricular art-making; visits to galleries, museums and artists’ studios; art-based service projects; generating art exhibits and publicity to promote visual art at PHS.

Asian Club
The Asian Club promotes cultural diversity and explores Asian culture through cuisine, art, film and language.

Astronomy Club
Astronomy Club aims to educate students about the world around them by encouraging them to look up at the skies and think outside of the box. In addition to learning about ancient and recent astronomical discoveries, students will have numerous opportunities to explore the night sky using telescopes and other equipment. The club also provides a forum for discussion regarding physics and astronomy and allows students to discover concepts outside of the average curriculum.

AWARE informs and educates students about AIDS and other life threatening diseases. Members help organize fundraisers, assemblies and participation in the AIDS Walk.

Book Club
The Book Club gives students the opportunity to choose books to read for pleasure and discuss them in a relaxed setting away from the rigors of the classroom. The club also plans and participates in community service projects such as book drives and reading to children.

Chess Club

Chess Club gives students the opportunity to learn and play chess in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. Weekly meetings allow students to learn new moves, play in teams and play a variety of chess games.

Common Ground
The purpose of Common Ground is to make students aware of cultural diversity as well as the connections that we all share. The club members represent many ethnicities and work with other cultural clubs to promote awareness. Common Ground has added one focus group - The Gay-Straight Alliance - to help foster the club’s goal of respect for all students.

Cooking Club
The Cooking Club promotes the interest in culinary arts and styles of food through first-hand experiences. Through cooking, the club also encourages cultural diversity as a fundamental aspect of life. Club members are frequently engaged in community service cooking, fundraisers such as bake sales, and other various cooking opportunities such as observing professional chefs that foster the joy of cooking. The only prerequisite to join the club is a love for food!

Environmental Club
The Environmental Club educates students about pressing environmental problems in the community and in the world and about what they can do to protect the environment locally and globally. Recycling on the Ward Parkway campus is a major club project.

Garden Club
Garden Club oversees the planting, watering, and harvesting of the Pembroke Hill Community Garden. Club members help plan, plant, tend and harvest organic produce three times a year (fall, spring and summer). The club combines all aspects of gardening with community activities that educate about and generate enthusiasm for gardening.

International Club
The International Club promotes better understanding among people of all nations by helping sponsor foreign exchange students at Pembroke Hill. The club organizes activities and provides funds to enhance the exchange students’ experiences. Additionally, the club promotes travel abroad opportunities for Pembroke Hill students and contributes funds to a scholarship for those wishing to travel.

International Thespian Society
Membership in the International Thespian Society is achieved through meritorious work in the dramatic arts, including acting, stage managing, set construction, lighting, sound, makeup and costuming. The Society produces the one-act plays, usually in the fall, and the Black and White Banquet honoring annual achievements in theater in the spring.

Latin Club
The purpose of the Latin Club is to promote awareness of the Latin language and Roman culture. The club is associated with the National Junior Classical League and participates in the Missouri JCL convention each spring.

Politics Club
The PHS Politics Club promotes political awareness and provides a forum for upper school students to discuss their political views. The club sponsors opportunities to learn more about various political issues and to participate in political events.

National Forensic League
This National Forensic League chapter was founded to promote the speech and debate program. It provides an opportunity for student leadership and participation in speech and debate and assists in tournament organization.

Peer Helpers
Peer Helpers provides its members with opportunities to participate in school-related activities that encourage students to interact with their peers in a positive and productive manner.

Pep Club
The Pep Club celebrates Raider spirit and supports all types of competition and activities. Pep Club organizes all homecoming events including Spirit Week, pep assembly and half-time crowning activities. The club also organizes the annual Color Wars events and the fall after-game mixer.

Photography/Film Club
Photography/Film Club provides an opportunity for students to further explore their interest in both photography and film. Past activities have included trips to watch films, visits to local museums and galleries and hosting open darkroom times. The Photo/Film Club also seeks to gain community exposure through holding photography competitions, organizing film viewing on campus, and organizing student photography exhibitions at local Kansas City venues.

The Robotics Team is focused on competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). There are many facets to this competition and students may choose to participate in specific areas. Some of those are: robot design and build, programming, public relations, accounting, graphics design and computer graphics, web page design and build. Students will be expected to attend meetings, learn about the overall robotics competition, and spend after school and weekend time in building the robot or in their particular area on the project. The greatest time commitments for this team occur for six weeks beginning at the end of the first week in January with regional competition taking place in March or April. National competition takes place in late April.

Spanish Club
Spanish Club promotes the importance and awareness of Spanish as a language and culture. The students participate in a variety of activities such as crafts, trivia games and dinners out to Hispanic restaurants. The club encourages students to become more aware of the Hispanic influence around us by promoting local activities and celebrations in the Kansas City area. Each year, the club helps a local Hispanic family in need during the holidays. The club is open to anyone interested in Spanish as a language or culture.

Upper School Student Government
The Student Government is composed of elected student representatives from each class, at-large representatives and class presidents and vice-presidents. The objectives and responsibilities of the student government are: maintaining open communications between faculty, administration and students; providing an opportunity for students to enhance the life of the school; and organizing student participation in the life of the community.

Student Government consists of the following elected officers: president (elected by the upper school students); president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer from each class; one elected representative from each class; three at-large members elected by the entire upper school student population - one of whom will be elected by voting members as vice president of Student Government and another secretary/treasurer of Student Government.

Youth In Government
The purpose of the Youth In Government program is to prepare high school students for responsible leadership in the American democratic process by providing guidance, training and experience in the theory and practice of determining public policy. Members enjoy leadership training experiences through the year including bill writing, judicial preparations and the state convention in Jefferson City, that includes a legislative program similar to the Missouri legislature. The local spring Model UN convention allows club members to address and debate real national issues.


The Garret and The Voice publications of the upper school are produced as extracurricular activities. The Pinnacle is both a class and an extracurricular activity. Editors are selected by an application and interview process with former editors and the faculty adviser. Staff positions are open to most students who apply.

The Garret
The Garret
is Pembroke Hill’s annual creative arts magazine, dedicated to the publication of student imaginative writing, artwork and photography. The Garret functions like a club in that any interested student is encouraged to join as contributing staff at any grade level. Students previously serving on The Garret staff are encouraged to apply for editor positions during their junior or senior years. The work of the editors is a creative endeavor, and involves making final selections of works to be published, layout design and other pre-press work. Much of the work on The Garret is done in free time and on weekends, primarily during third and fourth quarters.

The Pinnacle
The Pinnacle is a visual and written record of the school year. The yearbook staff members work closely as a team through the year to document important and unique school events. In the extensive process of creating the yearbook, students acquire important publication skills: photography, writing copy, captioning photos, layout design, desktop publishing, editing and production. The head editorial staff’s responsibilities include designing the unifying themes and aesthetic elements as well as managing the section editors and staff. Production of the Pinnacle requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Much of the work is done during students’ free time after school, on weekends and during the month of January. Students are encouraged to apply for editorial and staff positions who have completed the visual arts course and who have received a recommendation from their advisers and English teachers.

The Voice
The Voice
is the school magazine written and published by upper and middle school students. Circulated in the Pembroke Hill community, its primary purpose is to record middle and upper school activities, air issues current to the middle and upper schools and to stimulate student involvement. Students can participate in reporting and feature writing, photography, editing, layout design and advertising.

Honorary And Other Organization

These groups are formed to serve the school in special ways or to recognize academic excellence.

Campus Guides
Juniors and seniors are selected by the upper school faculty to help the admissions office. Campus guides conduct tours for prospective students and their families and other visitors, in addition to assisting as ushers at special events.

Cum Laude Society
The Cum Laude Society is a national honor society recognizing outstanding academic achievement determined by class rank using a weighted GPA and the Cum Laude Society’s guidelines. Each spring, membership is offered to a select group of juniors and seniors.

Leadership Advisory Board
The Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) is a panel of 10 junior and senior students who work in service to the school community. Students are appointed in the spring after completing an application. LAB students begin leadership training in the summer, at a national conference where they develop skills for effective group process. Knowledge of this process empowers the team to achieve its goals. Throughout the school year, LAB students meet weekly to work collaboratively with peers, faculty and administration to identify needs within the student body, and to devise action plans to address them. Through their service to the school, students on LAB enhance character traits such as: self-knowledge, risk-taking, inclusivity, compassion and integrity.

Student Health and Wellness Committee
The Student Health and Wellness Committee is composed of students from all grade levels whose main purpose is to promote physical, behavioral and social wellness in the upper school. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Disseminating awareness and education around wellness topics;
  • Educating students about basic health information and to help reduce the stigma around issues relating to mental health; and
  • Assist in planning and promoting speakers or presentations on topics relating to student health and wellness.

Departmental And Competitive/Performance Groups

Some organizations are formed for the express purpose of competing with similar groups at other schools or for performance at Pembroke Hill and elsewhere. The faculty sponsors of these groups require some form of evaluation or audition for membership. Leaders or team captains are appointed or elected from within the groups for the year or by event. Any group that competes with other schools is governed by the rules of the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

Arts Letters
Upper school students with a deep interest in the arts have the opportunity to earn an arts letter. Each area of art: drama, instrumental music, vocal music, debate and visual art has its own criteria for this honor. This award recognizes students who have made significant achievement in their chosen area of expression. Typically this is determined by contributions that go beyond those of the regular classroom experience. See the department chair for the specific criteria.

The Choirs And Musical Ensembles
The upper school choirs are coed performance groups that meet during the school day for rehearsals. Students from these groups are invited to audition for the Madrigal Singers and the Top Of The Hill jazz group. All groups perform at all school concerts as well as at a variety of community concerts. Because choirs are both academic and nonacademic, students may be officers of choir and hold other key leadership positions.

Envirothon Team
Envirothon is an extracurricular team competition addressing four environmental topics: wildlife; forestry; aquatics; soils; as well as one topic that changes each school year. The team works together to answer questions at five different testing stations. Students also prepare an oral presentation at each competition level: regionals; state; and at the North American competition, which includes winning teams from the United States and Canada. The competition season begins during the second semester and requires occasional meetings throughout the spring. The North American Competition alternates between locations in the U.S. and Canada. This week-long competitions is held at the end of July.

Math Team
Participation on the Math Team provides students with opportunities to compete in local, state, regional and national competitions. Participation in contests may result in national recognition and scholarships. To be successful, team members will need to attend meetings and practice sessions during and/or after school.

Science Bowl

The Science Bowl competition is organized around quick responses to questions over a wide range of science topics. Students practice with their coaches for both speed and accuracy of response. Then teams are formed for a one-day regional competition in late winter. Success at the regional level can lead to participation in the National Science Bowl in May.

Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad is an extracurricular team activity in which students complete individually for medals in their events, but team advancement depends upon total team performance. Students individually prepare for three-to-five different events selected from 25 nationally written events offered each year in the categories of science knowledge, laboratory skills and technology. The team trains by entering pre-season competitions with other teams starting in the fall. Success at the Greater Kansas City Regional Competition in late winter may qualify the team to advance to the Missouri State Science Olympiad competition in March or April and the National Science Olympiad tournament in May. Meetings and practices start in early October during school meeting times and on weekends with competitions running into the spring months. All students in grades 9-12 are eligible and invited to start attending weekly meetings as announced in assembly.

World Affairs Challenge

he World Affairs Challenge is an academic competition that focuses on creating solutions for global development. Students research a given issue, liaise with professional experts in the development community to brainstorm ideas for an original solution, and then spend time crafting a presentation that best demonstrates how the solution might be applicable to real-world scenarios. The national competition takes place at Regis University in Denver each year. Apart from the presentation, the students also compete in a collaborative question with students from other schools.