Archive | January, 2015

WPS CLOSED Jan. 14th-S1 exams and sports update

There will be no school on Wed., Jan. 14th. Basketball weather update for Jan 14th: boys and girls basketball games vs Monticello scheduled for tonight have been postponed. The boys will make up their game on Feb. 12th. The girls game will be made up on Feb. 9th. There will be no practice for the teams today. 

Exam Schedule:

  • Thursday, Jan. 15th (Early Release District-Wide)
    • 1st Block Exam [8:25-9:55]
    • 2nd Block Exam [10:15-11:45]
  • Tuesday, Jan. 20th (Early Release WHS-Only)
    • 3rd Block Exam [8:25-9:55]
    • 4th Block Exam [10:15-11:45]

Posted in Features0 Comments

Waiting for awards on Saturday Jan., 10th at the home meet.

What is Forensics?

When most people hear the word Forensics, their minds automatically go to the science that is used in the case of a crime. According to The Free Dictionary, Forensics is “the art or study of formal debate; argumentation” or  “the use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law.”


Coach Widener said, “Forensics is a great activity for students.  It’s not only fun, but it builds confidence in the participants.  Once they gain some confidence in talking to people and in front of people, they are more successful in school and in any career they might choose to pursue.  Because of that colleges love to see that a student has participated in forensics.”


If you join a high school forensics team, there are 10 different categories students can compete in. The fiction categories are humorous interpretation, serious dramatic interpretation, prose, poetry, storytelling, humorous duo interpretation, and serious duo interpretation. The non-fiction categories are extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, and original oratory,


In humorous interpretation, students pick a funny piece to memorize and perform. The student also must have an introduction that mentions the name of the piece and the author. There are  no props/costumes and there’s a time frame of 10 minutes. Some important qualities for this category are voices, motions, gestures and poses. Serious dramatic interpretation is the same thing as humorous interpretation except instead of being funny the entire time, you just have funny bits inside of your more serious piece (hence serious dramatic).


In prose, your piece can be funny or serious. Instead of having your piece memorized, you must read it from a mini binder. You have to acknowledge and look at the binder even when you pretty much have your piece memorized. Although you don’t have to memorize your piece, prose performers have to have their introduction, with the name of the piece and author, memorized. You also have a time frame of 10 minutes in this category. Poetry is very similar to prose except you’re reading poems instead of a prose piece. The poem you choose must be published.


Storytelling is as it says, you’re performing a childs story that you’ve memorized. In storytelling you perform as if your audience is children. Your piece must be memorized and you need an introduction with the name of the story and the author. You have a 10 minute time frame in the category too.


Humorous duo interpretation is a category where 2 students pick a funny piece to memorize and perform. In this category you can’t look or touch your partner except during the introduction. You have a 10 minute time frame and you can’t’ have props! This is a funny category so you want to make your audience laugh. Serious duo interpretation is the exact same thing except you don’t want to be funny, you want to be serious.


Extemporaneous speaking is a category in which you pick a question (which you either will or will not know things about) and you have 30 minutes to research the question based on printed articles and magazines you’ve collected and brought with you. You’re allowed 1 note card to bring with you when you give your speech. You’re called in 1 at a time to give your speech to the judge. You have 7 minutes (the judge signals you your timing as you go along) to give your speech in which you must restate the topic exactly somewhere in it. You give the judge the topic slip on your way out.


In impromptu speaking you pick from 3 topics and have 7 minutes to choose a topic, come up with a speech and give it. You’re given hand signals for time and you’re allowed a note card for your speech.


In original oratory you write your own persuasive piece and then prepare to perform it. You’re trying to convince your audience to agree with you on the topic you’re speaking about.  It needs to be memorized, but you’re allowed 2 note cards when performing.  You have 10 minutes to perform and then you give your piece to the judge afterwards.


Last year, the WHS Forensics team had 10 students go to regionals. The students are Morgan Beckerdite (poetry), Marie Gilbert (humorous interpretation), Dana (Donna) Gallego-Garcia (humorous interpretation), Phillip Ryman (impromptu speaking), Tabby Steed (storytelling), Ruben Harris (original oratory), Catie Freeman and Robin Cooter (humorous duo), and Bobby Parolisi and Alisha Sharpe (serious duo). Three students, Marie Gilbert, Phillip Ryman, and Dana (Donna) Gallego-Garcia moved on to states. Marie Gilbert was the 3A VHSL State Champion in Humorous Interpretation.

The team posing for a picture after awards on the 10th.

Waiting for awards on Saturday Jan., 10th at the home meet.

Waiting for awards on Saturday Jan., 10th at the home meet.


Posted in Features0 Comments

Students, faculty raise safety concerns at Waynesboro High

Editor’s note: In recent months, there have been several significant events taking place involving Waynesboro High School. To get an inside perspective on how people at the school feel about these situations, the News Virginian staff worked with the student reporters at the high school’s operation. This is one of several stories we’ll run this week, high lighting some of the feelings about issues like safety and school construction.

WAYNESBORO- With recent school shootings happening nationwide, the topic of school safety is on the mind of students, staff, and administration. On Nov. 25, some Waynesboro High students stayed home from class, after a rumor was spread about a classmate planning to bring a gun to school. It raised the question about if students and  staff are safe on campus. In a survey done by the student journalism class, 221 Waynesboro High students were polled. Out of that number, 108 said they feel safe, 93 said they don’t feel safe and 10 were undecided.

Keith Smit, band teacher at WHS, said that a problem he’s noticed is kids walk off in random directions going wherever and coming back whenever, though he’s not not sure how that problem can be fixed. Smith also mentioned that students are in danger when fights happen because the teachers and faculty are outnumbered by students.

“The band room is a little different (from the usual emergency protocol) because if there was an emergency like a shooter in the school and we knew the shooter was close by, we ave 2 exits (that go directly outside),” Smith said. “We’ll get out and get safe, which goes and doesn’t go with protocol because you’re suppose to have everyone together. If students have the opportunity to get away from the building and be safe somewhere away from a dangerous situation, then that’s what I would do.”

Other teachers don’t believe that protocol is helpful in these type of situations.

“If we ever had a real emergency any protocol in place wouldn’t actually be followed,” said Christopher Mattern, a math teacher at WHS.

Mattern added that safety has improved at the school over the last few years, including the addition of a security camera system and the numbering of entrance/exits of the building. However according to Mattern, there are some flaws with the security cameras because they don’t have audio, they’re not in classrooms, and they’re not recording all the time. Hem said that is the situation isn’t in the frame of the camera, then it’s not going to help. The cameras aren’t all around the school which is another concern.

Student and staff awareness is another issue mentioned by several WHS students and teachers.

“We just need to pay a bit more attention,” said Olivia Piper, a WHS junior. “I feel like not everyone pays as much attention to the environment around them.”

Math teacher Bill Krzastek said that the best way to stay safe for students is to let faculty, administration, or resource officer know when they believe a problem exists. Smith agreed that everyone needs to be more aware because kids find ways to get in trouble.

An additional concern that many teachers and students have about the school is the unlocked doors and the multiple entrances into the building.

“I don’t always feel safe at the school because some doors are never locked and kids just walk in and out of the school as they please,” said Mackenzie Coburn, WHS freshman. “Anyone can get in.” She also mentioned having an ID card for teachers and students as the way to get into the building and officers stationed at entrances would make her feel safer. Junior Brandon James said he’d feel safer with more than one officer at the school because just one officer can’t be everywhere at the same time.

Last year, the district installed a new multi-camera system at both the high school and middle school, one that monitors all entrances and exits at the facilities. The school district was able to afford that upgrade due to a state grant. That system has already paid off, leading to an arrest of someone who attempted to break into the high school after hours earlier this year. Teachey hopes at some point to enhance that system. There are 27 doors leading into the school and he would like to have a system that lets Waynesboro High officials know when there’s an issue.

“I want an alarm system that will alert to a door being opened that’s not supposed to be opened,” Teachey said. He added that in a perfect world, he’d like to require a student or staff IS to get access to the building, but there’s not enough money to cover that expense.

Every summer, Teachey said, administration and faculty work to make things safer around the building. He added that people from central office come over to the school and cal a code red to see how faculty reacts.

At the end of the day, safety is on everyone’s mind. Teachey’s first priority is keeping “his kids” safe.

“When people talk to me about what my job is and my SOL scores and education kids, none of that matters if they don’t feel safe,” said Teachey. While you don’t see it written very often, my number one job is making this place safe first. Then I work on the other stuff.”


By Emily Kratzer, Classroom Manager of

As featured in The News Virginian

Posted in Features, News0 Comments