Archive | December, 2015

Under Pressure

By Lucy Paiste, Editor in Chief

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, SOL season. Last year, WHS administration decided to switch the SOL testing dates to the week before break. The alternative option would be to schedule testing for the week after we come back from break. That does give teachers an extra week to go through the material, but it does present the challenge of having a two week long break between when the material is taught and when the students are tested. SOL testing coordinator Mrs. Barber said that the reason for this change was because some teachers had expressed that the students would remember more if they took the test with the information fresh in their heads.

“The students leave at the break time and they come back having had two weeks off and as much as we’d all like to think that you all go home and spend an hour each day studying, we know that that doesn’t happen,” Barber explained. “While that break is nice, students are maybe not doing as much studying and reviewing with the work. It’s hard when you first come back after break and say ‘Surprise, you have to take an SOL test.’”

Last year was the first year that administration wanted to try giving the test before winter break, Barber added. WHS administration does feel like they have seen a difference in the scores from last year to this.

Each year the Department of Education posts a school report card that clearly display the schools and their results, organized by category. This report card displays a report for the entire school years results, which includes any SOL tests taken in the spring. This chart shows the progression from the 2013-2014 school year to the 2014- 2015 school year

Although these

fhjfdfhdfhgdkhjdjAlthough these numbers encompass the entire year of SOL’s, a positive change can be noticed from year to year.

Some teachers feel, however, that it would be more beneficial to students to have the 1st semester tests held after our holiday vacation.

“I like doing [the SOL’s] after break because it gives teachers more time to cover more material. I personally don’t think that a student who has really learned the material is going to forget everything in 2 weeks. I know some people may not agree with that, but that is my personal opinion,” said Mrs. Konizer, a chemistry teacher at WHS. “The break gives students time to study a little bit because right now things are just so crammed in.”

Konizer brought up the point that with the holiday break approaching, there are lots of things distracting students from studying for their SOL’s

“The concert choir has a concert this weekend, there’s sports, everybody is just overwhelmed with the amount of work and extracurricular activities. There may be guests coming in to the family home and brothers and sisters coming home from college and it just makes it really hard for students who are trying to do their best, to find the time to really and truly give it their all,” Konizer said.

When asked if it was more beneficial to have the SOL tests before or after break, Mrs. Meade said “It’s not so much doing the test before or after break, as it is the amount of time we have to get the material in. Because we haven’t changed the semester, we have about 2 weeks less to teach the same amount of material and that’s making it really hard.” Meade thought that although this was a problem that is going to be hard for her to deal with in the next few weeks, it wouldn’t have much of an affect after that “It’s really a moot point,” said Meade. “Next year that is the reason that they are changing the schedule and we are starting school about a week earlier. Next year and even next semester this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s really just affecting us right now.”

So, teachers and students alike rejoice! Everyone work hard and make one final push for this winter SOL and we will never have to deal with cramming material before an SOL again. Next summer is going to be a short one, but a year from now, teachers won’t even be thinking about the pressure to fit loads of material into a shorter amount of time.

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Support Aarin Moss with Leadership Class

by Honoka Ando, reporter

Leadership class was going to raise money for giving animals to families this holiday season, but they changed their focus to raising money for Aarin Moss who is going through serious medical issues with astronomical medical bills.

“I expect Waynesboro High School students to help Aarin Moss. They might not know him, but they know that he is a student at WHS. It’s personal. It’s someone who is a part of our school community, ” said Caesar Ruiz, a leadership class student.

Aarin Moss is 10th grader at WHS and has been suffering from Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension since he was five years old, and needs double-lung transplant. PPAH is a rare disease characterized by elevated pulmonary artery pressure with no apparent cause. Symptoms of PPAH are nonspecific and commonly include dyspnea, weakness and recurrent syncope.

“It’s important to help others, especially someone you don’t know”  said Mrs. Ford, who teaches the leadership class. ”It’s easy to help friends, family, and yourself, but sometimes it is hard to help other people you don’t know, but it’s so important as being a person.”

Leadership class held a campaign on December 11th during that night’s basketball game. They raised over $650 during the game, by creating three baskets filled with sports equipment and Christmas goods to raffle off. They also set up a table with information about Aarin to let people know there is gofundeme page available for anyone who wants to donate. This web page has raised over $1500 so far.

“The goal of this campaign is $2000, but that would be great if we got more” said Mrs. Ford.

Anna Fridley, another leadership student said “we might not be able to reach the goal because it is such a short term, but we can make a little change to his life even if it is little.”

The gofundme page is still available for everyone, at https://www.gofundme.com/m3dv46vj

Leadership students making baskets for the campaign

Leadership students making baskets for the campaign

 

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Passport Club Promotes Pulseras & Exploring the World

by Dalton Lafferty, Technology Manager

The Passport Club sold  Pulsera bracelets to fundraise for a trip to Ecuador. Pulsera is the spanish word for bracelet and the bracelets are made by artisans in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Uganda. The Passport Club first heard about the bracelets at Leadership Convention in Charlottesville on November 11th, 2015, and the idea intrigued the club. Mrs. Ford, English teacher and Passport Club advisor, says “[the bracelets] are all so creative, and colorful, and exciting, and you don’t see things like it very often. You don’t find them in stores very often, especially for this price.” The bracelets are free for the club to sell, but they must sell for at least five dollars, because that’s how much money goes back to the artists that make them. The Passport Club sold  the bracelets for six dollars, making a one dollar profit for their trip.

“I love the bracelets,” Ford said. She explained that the club chose to sell the bracelets because they aren’t common. Her excitement fuels a love for travel, as she looks forward to “being in a place most people don’t go.” “The goal of the Passport Club is to get kids traveling,” she said. We want them to see any part of the world they can. It means you get to experience another part of the world, that is probably completely different from Waynesboro.” The Passport Club doesn’t do many fundraisers, but in addition to the Pulsera bracelets, they plan to host a yard sale, which in the past has raised upwards of five hundred dollars. Ford likes to step back and let the students run the fundraisers though. Next year the club is traveling to France and London. Ford thinks about sending a student to a foreign exchange program all the time, and wants to send them to “places that are totally different.” She was smitten with China and thinks it would be a perfect place for students to study in. Passport Club wants students to experience other cultures and to visit as much of the world as possible.

Junior Kat Johnson says “through passport club we are given the unbelievable opportunity to grow as individuals by not only learning about the world around us but also how to be leaders while serving others.” While in Ecuador, the club plans to make a direct difference in the natives’ lives by partaking in service projects that focus on agriculture, clean water, and education. Johnson says the Pulsera Project is just another way to serve the community.

“Through the Pulsera Project we are able to make a small step forward in improving Nicaraguans’ way of life.” The club is excited to serve the local communities and Johnson is “looking forward to the new perspective on life and the ponchos [she] will return with.”

The Waynesboro High School Passport Club is a great chance for students who may not otherwise be able to travel outside of the country to get out there and see new cultures. Selling the Pulseras not only benefits the students involved in the Passport Club but also the artisans that made the bracelets. Fundraisers at WHS help to unite the student body as a whole, and the Passport Club is another branch of student togetherness. One way students are increasing companionship is by selling Pulseras. So, if you see one of the students in Passport Club, be sure to wish them “buen viaje!” which means “have a good trip” in Spanish.

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Early Graduation: A Big Decision

  

By Avery Paiste, Reporter

Larissa Goalder is an early graduate and has already been out of high school for a year and began her college education at VCU. She accomplished this by putting in extra effort during what would be her junior year of high school and making the push to graduate early. Goalder says “I felt more motivated to do well,” because she had to do extra work in order to finish in time.

If  you have ever considered not staying around for all four years of high school then graduating early might be the option for you. Graduating early is something that some high school students do, and is an alternative for students who believe they don’t want to stay around anymore or other reasons to continue on in their life.

“It depends on the situation” says guidance counselor Matt Bailey. This may not be for everybody but there are pros and cons. Graduating early may give people the opportunity to enter the workforce sooner. “If it’s a college bound student, I don’t recommend [graduating early] because [if they don’t] they can take more time here to prepare” says Bailey. There are many factors to consider when it comes to writing early. Mr. Bailey recommends doing research because “a lot of times the benefit isn’t as big as if they would stay.”

Mrs. Jones, Assistant Principal, added “I think it’s beneficial for some, if you have all your credits; kudos to you.” To graduate with an advanced diploma a student needs 24 credits, whereas a standard diploma requires 22.

There are many reasons why someone would want to graduate early. “It’s a lot of kids who maybe fell behind in elementary grades and are looking to graduate with their class” says Jones, “unfortunately, for some kids, maturity wise, early graduation isn’t for them.”

There are people who have done this in the past, and people who will continue to do this. Staff at WHS say it takes hard work and isn’t something you decide in a day. It takes a specific type of person to accomplish this task: a hard worker who has a goal and isn’t going to let anything stop them from getting there. Those are just some of the attributes you need if you want to graduate early.

 

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A Tight Squeeze

by Dalton Lafferty, Technology Manager

Every new school year at Waynesboro High School seems to bring its own challenges, but one has remained a problem for years: the student parking lot. From the limited number of spaces to the size of the spaces, parking at the high school is one of the most complained about issues here at WHS.

Junior Zach Washburn agrees that the parking lot is an issue, but is “understanding of it because there is limited space in such a small school zone in the middle of a neighborhood.” He thinks it would be nice to have a bigger lot, but knows the high school is restricted to the size it is. Washburn describes the lot as “tight” and says that the small size of the lot caused him to rush to his car because the busses occasionally block his spot.One Friday night after a football game, Washburn got into an accident because the spots were so small. . He says, “although I was looking over my shoulder I hit another car because of the diagonal spaces and the rainy dark night.” In addition to being in an accident in the parking lot, Washburn has even witnessed two accidents occur between students after leaving class.

Senior Victoria Porter, however, takes a similar but different stance on the issue. “The parking situation at the high school isn’t too bad for the students who pay for parking passes,” said Porter. “However, we have lots of students that have to park up and down the street because there isn’t enough room in the parking lot for them.”. Porter has been the victim of spot thievery, when someone parked in the parking spot she paid ten dollars for. This causes her to park in a different spot, which can cause a chain reaction. Porter concludes by saying, “I think the parking situation is probably as good as it’s going to get based on the size and layout of our student parking lot.”

Even though the parking lot has several obvious flaws, even students agree that there isn’t a lot that can be done about the situation. An alumni of Waynesboro, however, decided to take matters into her own hands five years ago. Kylie Roberts, class of 2011,  implemented the system where students get their own individual spots, eliminating a free-for-all that was occurring. She noticed the understanding that seniors would park in the lower lot, but also noticed that students from Governor’s School and VoTech who purchased parking passes weren’t able to find spots, so Roberts and her friends “took it on ourselves to get permission from Mr. Teachey, get the needed supplies, and then spent Giant Pride Day painting numbers onto each of the spots,” says Roberts. Now, students are assigned a spot on a first come first served basis.

In reality, there is not much that can be done presently to remedy the parking at the school’s current location. This serves as a reminder to administration that parking should be a main focus on the school’s future design.

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More Than Just Students

 

by Kelley Conley

Burke Bender and Jadaciss Williams finish up with basketball practice.

Burke Bender and Jadaciss Williams finish up with basketball practice.

Waynesboro High School students do more than just come to school.  Students are involved in clubs, schools sports, sports outside of school, take AP classes, and many students have jobs. While keeping themselves busy, students have learned some valuable skills they wouldn’t have learned if they didn’t participate in their activities.

Senior, Burke Bender who has committed to Virginia Tech to play soccer, plays soccer all year round, plays basketball and soccer for WHS, has taken AP classes, and is a leader of Pep Club. Bender plays on a travel soccer team out of Charlottesville so he spends a significant amount of time commuting to practice and games each week.

“I have to drive forty-five minutes each way to practice and practice,” says Bender “so it takes time away over three hours a night from studying and doing homework.” He had to find out to balance his busy practice schedule and school work and said “It can get really difficult some nights with practice and trying to get all my homework done. But once I found out how to balance the two, it has just become a routine,” said Bender.

He is also a leader of the WHS Pep Club, and spends time in and out of school coming up with new ideas for the club or planning events. Since Bender is so involved with a variety of different activities he is aware of the importance of learning how to establish priorities.

“I’ve realized I have a deep passion for sports,” said Bender. “but also how devoted I have to be to my school work too. It’s also given me the mindset to want to help others through a club.”

Freshman, Michael Hicks has been working at McDonald’s since this summer, and he has had to adjust to the high school while working, learning some valuable life skills.

“I mostly work on the weekends and work seven or eight hour shifts,” said Hicks. “It has made me really work on budgeting my time so when I have homework and projects due for my honors classes I can make sure it all gets done.” To limit his distractions he puts his phone and laptop in another room to stay focused on getting his work done.

Junior, Jadaciss Williams, is an all-state football player who also plays basketball for WHS. But he does more than just play sports, he takes United States AP History and AP English, and works at Food Lion on the weekends.

“I chose Food Lion because I  knew they would work around my sports schedule and school schedule,” said Williams. “My mom also knew some people who worked there, so that really helped me.” Being a standout athlete, Williams gets comments at work like “Hey, nice game on Friday,” or “Good luck this week.” He says “that kind of encouragement is great have from people I don’t even know.”  

Senior, Molly Hildebrand keeps herself busy by taking AP Government, AP English, working at Rack Room Shoes, and  being part of Lyrical Ladies at WHS.

“I chose to work at Rack Room because at my last job I was a waitress and it was really stressful,” said Hildebrand. “I wanted to work somewhere a little more relaxed and flexible.”
Hildebrand moved to Waynesboro in January from Orange County, and got involved at WHS quickly by joining Lyrical Ladies. “I have always enjoyed singing and I thought Lyrical Ladies would be good place to make some new friends and be able to do something I like,” said Hildebrand. Keeping with her two AP classes can be difficult because “it can be hard some nights to get everything done. Sometimes I’m awake until almost 1 a.m. trying to finish things. But I’ve been working on not procrastinating as much as I used to.” She also plans on joining an indoor soccer league this winter, and playing for WHS in the spring.

Students at WHS are more than just students, they are learning skills that are helping them prepare for life after high school.

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WHS Swim Meet Wednesday December 2nd

On Wednesday, December 2nd, WHS swimmers took on Charlottesville High School and Louisa County in a meet at Buford Middle School.

Special Congratulations to Khai Vein for his amazing performance in his first ever meet!

Ella Pickering and Emma Hill won in the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle respectivley. For the WHS Men’s team Tate Snyder picked up a win for the Giants in the 200 IM and Senior Bobby Carey got a personal best time in the 100 butterfly.

Great job to all of the swimmers, what a great kickoff to the 2015 season.

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Seniors, Claudia Scheeren and Victoria Porter, pose for a photo

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WHS Swim Team is all smiles at the meet against Charlottesville HS and Louisa County.

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Freshman, Avery Paiste and Tate Snyder.

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Senior, Logan Terrell, swimming the 500.

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Bobby Carey, Senior, counts the laps for Logan Terrell.

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Junior, Maggie Riggan and Coach, Grace McDevitt.

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Avery Paiste, Tate Snyder, Khai Vein, and Bobby huddle before a relay.

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Maggie Riggan, Tate Snyder, and Avery Paiste after a race.

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