Archive | December, 2016

The outing class is not the average elective

 

By Jisell Lopez

Waynesboro High School has been offering the outing club to students for about 13 years.David Hennel has been teaching at Waynesboro High School for about 15 years,and he started the outing club on his second year here.The outing club isn’t just a club anymore it is actually a one credit class, Which is for the students interested in learning about the outdoors and group size Hennel never has more than a dozen students. “I’m basically teaching skills and informational things they need for hiking, backpacking, paddling, and also cycling plus they’re getting a lot of other outdoor related type education too,” said Hennel,the Outdoor Education,CTE Marketing,Economics,& Finance teacher at WHS.

”I moved here because there’s so much to do. I chose to come here and I’ve loved the outdoors all my life and I looked at this place as a nirvana for outdoor activities,” said Hennel. According to the Waynesboro visitors page, the City of Waynesboro is 3 miles from the junction of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, so there are many hiking trails to chose from, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Waynesboro also offers backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, bouldering, and mountain and road biking.”We have fabulous paddling opportunities.  We’ve got great places to ride bicycles. It’s heaven for somebody that likes the outdoors and recreation stuff like that. You know, we’ve got two national parks here, and we’ve got national forests all over the place,” said Hennel.

Waynesboro also offers activities like disc golf, geocaching, and The South River

Disc golf is a nine hole course at Coyner Springs. Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a global positioning system  receiver to hide and seek containers anywhere in the world.The South River, a favorite destination for fishermen,and is one of only two urban fisheries in the state.

“I have a small group of students that really enjoy it and want to keep going with it,” said Hennel. “Personally, I like the outdoors and knowing we  have a class about it made me excited,”said Alyssa Corbin Balsley, a senior at WHS.Wesley Seay, a senior at WHS, said the outing club “let me experience new things that I wouldn’t  do if I weren’t  in the outing club.”

According to The Huffington Post eating right and having a healthy diet, can help students maintain a healthy weight and boost your metabolism. Sometimes it’s hard to exercise due to class or work. An easy way to get some exercise in is to walk to class or work. Getting seven to nine hours or sleep and improve overall health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight loss or gain, headaches, and it could also reduce brain function. Drinking water can help you in overall health by keeping you hydrated and just detoxing the body. Most people stop working out or playing sports after high school,but it’s important to stay active throughout college and even after that. Staying active and keeping a healthy diet throughout college is much harder than in high school.

Mo Kappes the advisor for a student organization at the University of Wisconsin Madison that does team building and high and low ropes courses workshops for students on campus. “The purpose of the program we offer is to help people learn more about themselves and those around them,”said Kappes. Kappes background is in outdoor education,but what she’s begun to appreciate is character and leadership development with college students this is now her 6th year working with college students.

“The outing club is theirs,so I tell them,if you want to do something,plan it and we’ll do it,”said Hennel.Everything the students wish to do from hiking to bike riding. The students have control over the club. If  they wish to go hiking,they would plan it and Hennel would ask teachers or another adult to join.

The Outing Club is open for anyone willing to learn about the outdoors.

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Mr Wion

During the bomb threat on October 17, 2016  Mr Wion went to the soccer field  because they had to evacuate because of the threat. Although he wasn’t playing soccer at that time, he caught his foot in the grass. Wion had to wait about 45 minute to get some ice for his ankle, and he didn’t want anyone to worry because there were crisis already going on because of the bomb threat. After the bomb threat Wion was rushed to the emergency room. His injury was very inconvenient , and he was very frustrated  getting around and not be able to do things. “Little things like washing your hands might be difficult because the soap,water, and paper towels are far away from each other and being on crutches might be dangerous because you might slip and fall”, said Wion.

Wion hurt his fibula. The fibula forms the calf bone and it doesn’t hold any weight at all, For Wion it might of have caused stress since he loves to be outside running a he doesnt get to do all the things he use to like before.Here are some symptoms that  he can suffer deformity of uneven leg lengths and inabiltiy to stand or walk. Bruising or discoloration may indicate damage to the blood vessels. According to the Children Hospital.

      Wion was struggling a bit with teaching because he couldn’t  get to every student as he used  to ,and he was  working slower which made him sad because he  loves to be active and help  each  student. All his plans for the fall have been ruined now because he can’t do most of things he loves to do. Instead of enjoying nature, he spends  more time watching TV . The day before his injury happened he was running at night on the mountain, and Wion  never thought of getting hurt the day after. He got the nickname   scooter guy since he was on a scooter, and some teachers were  planning  on decorating his scooter with some flames.

According to U.S. NEWS,teachers are always there most of the time because they get hurt or there seriously ill. Students can get affected also because, if a teacher is seriously ill or injured the school has to  keep looking for a substitute.

The students won’t be able to understand the concept that they’re learning from a substitute. Also getting a teacher to substitute is a lot of money, in a study in year 2012-2013 the school spent  $424 million dollars nationwide in every school and 1,800 for each school indivinal. Wion’s  injury will  probably take  4-6 weeks to heal.

One of Wion’s  Earth science student  Jisell Lopez said that she struggle more because she couldn’t focus on her work  because everyone was louder than usual with the substitute.But Lopez managed to get back and focus. Wion is off his scooter now , then he was on  crutches for a while. Then two weeks later he was not going to use his crutches anymore, and after Thanksgiving he  started  therapy so he could get better and stronger than ever.

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Staying safe while staying educated

By Millineum White

 

   Students at Waynesboro High School, can  learn about the dangers of being on a college campus from news media. The media, from Facebook to CNN, have covered the situation. Stories like the Rolling Stone article with Jackie, who accused a group of frat brothers of raping her, help students see the need to be informed on how to stay safe.

   There are many ways to stay safe on campus, including “Code Blue”, the Patronus app, and campus security. Students should familiarize themselves with the school’s campus safety office. Every school has a campus safety or security office, and part of college tuition funds it. Students should make the most of this resource by utilizing its services. Your college’s website likely provides information like office hours and phone number, but you can also visit in person when you arrive on campus.

   One of your options is to educate yourself by calling or visiting the campus safety office and requesting information about their programs. Find out if your campus has the following services and how you can take advantage of them: blue light emergency phone stations or ”Code Blue”, campus escort services, safety maps with suggested secure routes or support for a safety app like Patronus.

   On average, sexual assaults and other crimes are more likely to occur at night. In about 80 percent of campus crime, students are the perpetrators, according to the nonprofit Clery Center for Security on Campus. But tensions make students wary.  While you shouldn’t scare yourself into assuming danger is around every corner, you also shouldn’t take unnecessary risks, such as walking alone at night. Instead, use the buddy system or call campus security for a ride.

  “Longwood also has a service called Night Walkers, which is where students can call and get an escort from another Longwood student from our Criminology majors from point A to point B,“ said Jillian Dudley, a former Waynesboro High School student.

   Most college campuses across the United States employ the blue light emergency phone system as a preeminent security feature, and students become familiar with the system during campus tours and freshman orientation.When someone feels unsafe on a college campus, he or she can push the ‘call’ button on the blue phone, and campus police respond through a speaker and arrive at the location.

   “Longwood’s campus does have the blue safety poles around our campus. Standing anywhere on our campus you should be able to see at least 3-4 blue lights,” said Dudley

If your phone gets stolen or the battery is dead, the original Blue Light phone system isn’t going anywhere. The phone system will still work and connect you directly to public safety. According to the company website, for over 25 years the blue light emergency phone has been a pioneer in developing and producing durable emergency communications solutions. Using the blue light phone system is not required. If you feel threatened or unsafe, there are other things that you can do to feel secure.

   “I personally have not ever used the blue light located on campus because Longwood does an amazing job of making me always feel safe, so I don’t have to use them. I also do not know of any of my friends who has had to use the either, but it’s great to know that we have them there just in case they were needed,” said Dudley.

   College campuses are full of safety options, so students need to be aware of all the safety features. “I will always be aware of my surroundings,” said Trinity Conway, a Waynesboro High School senior.

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Photo by “Student Safety Services.” Intensive English. 24 June 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

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Sickness in school

 By:Makayla Glass

How many colds have you had this school year? Maybe you need to find a way to eliminate the germs.

“The average american child gets 6 to 10 colds a year,”  according to WWW.WebMD.com  Children in school can get germs from sharing pencils, pens, drinking from the water fountain, and door knobs. Most students don’t even think about touching these things and then touching their face and eyes. Germs can get spread so easily through everyday life, and we don’t think twice about touching so many things that are covered in germs.

How do parents know if their student is too sick to be sent to school?  Well from the http://www.webmd.com  Parents should start by looking at the different symptoms to find out if they should take their student to the doctors or just give them something over the counter. If students have a cough or a cold they should not return to school if they have a whooping cough and should see a doctor, but the student is feeling better within 24 hours can return to school. How long should students with a temperature stay home? A student with a raised temperature of 101 or higher they should stay home roughly round 24 hours but if they start to feel better within that 24 hours they can return to school the next day.

Everyone at some point in their life has experienced a headache or a sore throat,  but if a student has a sore throat it could be a common cold or strep throat, the student should stay home and return once the student is feeling better for the next 24 hours or has started antibiotics.If a student has diarrhea this could lead to dehydration so make they have plenty of fluids, should return when a doctor say so,but if they are vomiting  they should see a doctor as soon as possible and should not return until the next 48 hours.

 Kristen Ritchie, the WHS school nurse said “October is the start of when everyone starts getting sick.” Six students were sent home October 7 through the 11 due to an illness. With everyone getting sick and spreading germs around, students may miss multiple days of school. If this happens,  you may start to fall behind on your school work.

If an illness is serious and a student needs to be out of school for a substantial amount of time, we look to see what resources the school division or community may be able to offer for that student to get their appropriate education,” said Bryan Stamm, an assistant principal at WHS. Not only will they, the WHS staff, help your student stay updated with their school work, but they want to help and see [the student] succeed.

Christine Benson-Sapp, an English teacher,said the hardest thing for students trying to get caught up on their work is that subjects maybe harder to grasp because they have less time to learn the material. Not only is it hard for the student to get caught up, but it’s also difficult for the teacher to get the students caught up because the teacher is trying explain just how important the make up work is to your grade. Students missing school can affect the whole class. “Usually, it means that one student ends up having to complete the assignment on his or her own, or change his or her assignment completely by joining another group if a student misses a lot during project time,” said Benson-Sapp.

Cheyanne Brown, a WHS sophomore, has missed a total of 7 days of school due to an illness, including two days for pneumonia, two days for a cold, and three days going to doctors appointments. “ I have had to stay after school for 9 days to get caught up,” said Brown.

How can you prevent yourself from getting sick? You can’t protect yourself from every germ in the world, but you may be able to dodge a couple of colds by learning germ etiquette. Germ etiquette is something everyone should learn. Cough and sneeze  into your elbow, washing your hands, and using hand sanitizer after blowing your nose.

You still may get sick, but at least you know when you should stay home so you don’t spread it. You could eliminate some the germs, and you could also save a lot of people from getting sick and missing school.

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Working inside and outside the classroom by; Lilli Wilfong

Many WHS students have either part-time or full time jobs, but how do those jobs affect how students do in school? Can they find a balance between their jobs and school work? Rebekah Martin, a WHS junior, who works at Panera Bread said,  “Having a job while in high school is pretty difficult because I have to keep up with my work along with the hours given to me by my job. I struggle with maintaining a healthy sleep balance because  I have like 3 hours to do homework and other things if I want to be in bed by 2:00 A.M.”

       A  National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (1998) study showed that “the number of hours that 10th graders worked increased the number of absences from school, especially among those students who worked more than 30 hours a week.  In addition, students working more than 30 hours a week during high school were associated with lower levels of future education attainment. And the extent to which students remained in school decreased as the average weekly hours of work rose.”  Tammy Zirkle, a math teacher at WHS said, “Kids won’t do the work outside of school so work doesn’t interfere but also, does affect for some students because they don’t have the time to do homework or study.”

     According to Kusum Singh (1998) a professor of education specializing in Educational Research and Evaluation (Statistics) at Virginia Tech  found that the more hours that students worked, the more likely they were to get lower grades. Students’ previous grades also affected their later working behaviors—students who had higher grades in elementary and middle school were less likely to work longer hours when they reached 10th grade.”

One of our very own chemistry teachers, Andrew Guertler, said, “I do tend to see a trend with employed students when it comes to their marks. Overall, students that are employed tend to struggle in keeping their grades up when compared to students who are not employed.”

           To help out students, there are actual federal laws for students with jobs. The Department of Labor sets federal rules for working teenagers according to age. For students under 14, they are limited to employment in a short list of fields that include newspaper delivery and babysitting. With some exceptions, they are also eligible to work at a business owned by their parents.

        Teens who are 14 to 15 can work in retail, food service and lifeguarding. By law, these slightly older teens can only work three hours or less on school days and 18 hours or less per week during the school year. Working hours must be after 7 a.m. and before 7 p.m. on all days except from June 1 to Labor Day.

           Students who are 16 and 17 can work unlimited hours but only in jobs declared non hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Once they turn 18, students can work unlimited hours and are not barred from hazardous jobs.

          But are there things in their own school that can help them with bringing their grades up? Some teachers allow students to turn in late work. So if a student worked late one night they can still have time to turn their work in. ”I do allow students to turn in work late. However, there are penalties for late work. I provide countless opportunities for all students to do extra credit throughout the year,” said Guertler. The penalty ranges from a letter grade each day to a couple points. As an example of this Martin worked really late one night and didn’t have time to do homework that was due the next day, In the end her English teacher, Amber Loyacano, let her turn it in late so she still got points.  So there are ways that students who work can still get good grades, they just have to ask and do the work in order to get it.

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Sweet Day Cafe is roaring

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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photo by Jisell Lopez

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Do You Know Our SRO?

By Sarrah Cochran

Officer David Layman used to walk the halls of Waynesboro High School with a backpack and a jacket. Now he walks the halls with a badge and a flak vest.

Layman is the School Resource Officer (SRO) here at WHS. Much like a regular patrol officer, SROs help the community while being in the educational atmosphere of a school.  “I volunteered for the SRO position when it became available five years ago.  I was granted the SRO position by the Chief of Police,” says Layman.

Layman volunteered to be an SRO because he always had an interest in the educational system and being a school resource officer would give him the opportunity to serve the community while working in an educational setting.  He was assigned to Wayne Hills Preschool Center, Westwood Hills Elementary School, Berkley Glenn Elementary School, and Waynesboro High School when he volunteered to be an SRO. Working at an elementary school is very similar to working at a high school, as there are barely any changes in the duties. Rather than listening to high school students and staff that come to Layman with problems, he could answer questions from elementary schoolers who want to know about what it’s like to be a police officer.

Having a School Resource Officer is not required by any federal law. The Waynesboro Public School System has an SRO assigned to each school. Layman has many different tasks throughout the day. “Many times daily his guidance is sought by students or faculty who have questions concerning problems they are having or situations of concern. Often he just serves as an ear for someone who is going through a difficult time or needs someone to talk to. Another of his duties is to serve as an adviser to the administration on matters of security, safety and crime prevention, and he is often asked to instruct students or staff on special topics such as traffic law, underage drinking, or emergency procedures related to an incident in the school environment,” said Commander Kelly Walker of the Waynesboro Police Department. Layman listens to issues that the students and staff of WHS are concerned about, and he just listens. Layman is a highly trained police officer, which means he is prepared to deal with any task at hand. According to NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers, all SROs are required to take a course which will prepare them to deal with students. A part of the training is a course that deals specifically with bullying.

Some SROs help teach lessons in classes. Layman helps out mainly in the driver’s education classes. He helps teach about the dangers of driving distracted and the dangers of driving in Waynesboro. “He [Layman] typically talks about reckless driving and discusses laws and penalties regarding using alcohol. The students usually get a chance to ask him any questions they have, and he goes over a field sobriety test and implied consent laws. I think it is good to hear from someone in his position and to have him share some of his experiences,” said Coach Kevin Loker, a WHS physical education and driver’s education teacher. Layman has been helping out in the Driver’s Ed classes for four years. The driver’s education classes try to prepare students for driving. Layman has also helped out a math teacher, Mr. Wright, by attending a field trip to James Madison University with the math class.

Officer Layman works hard each and every day while maintaining a friendly relationship with people around Waynesboro High School. He sits in on first lunch and always has someone talking to him, whether it be student or staff. Next time you see Officer Layman, thank him for all he does!

 

Citation:

1- National Association of School Resource Officers, NASRO, https://nasro.org/basic-sro-course/ Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

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Safe Driving Requires Practice and Paying Attention

 

By: Trinity Conway

Waynesboro High School senior student, Veronica Martin, drives to and from school and work con

screenshot_2016-12-05-11-07-34-1-1sistently. Martin is always driving, especially on weekends with her friends, and she admits she gets scared sometimes while driving. “ People don’t know how to drive. They run red lights and stop signs,” Martin said. The number one thing Martin considers when driving is her seat belt. Martin will will not start the car if everybody doesn’t have their seat belt on. Martin thinks she is a very safe driver as she pats herself on her back. “I am very alert and pay attention,” said Martin.

According to safecar.gov, the proper seatbelt use is to have the lap belt adjusted so that it is snug. A  shoulder harness should not be under the arm, but specifically across your chest.  Lots of people tend to not follow said guidelines because some say the seatbelt is “irritating”, but it is meant protect you from flying through a window. The site also adds in how is easy it is to get distracted. Grooming and eating  are just a couple of the distractions from safecar.gov.

Shawn Moran, the driver’s ed  teacher at WHS, said students need to be focused and put the cellphones down also. Moran’s main concern with teens driving is paying attention. He stated the top three things to be aware of when driving are other drivers, the environment and traffic signs. “To spend time driving with parent or guardian are also good and important choices,” said Moran.  

WebMD’s article made the indication  that is better to drive one on one with a parent. The article  informs there is comfortability and better progress if so. According to ct.gov , parents need to continuously monitor and guide their teenagers’ driving activity, and limit their travel to purposeful driving. Once teens begin to engage in joy-riding, their crash-risk increases dramatically, and more so with each additional teenage passenger.

20161121_093312_hdrOfficer Layman, Waynesboro High School’s resource officer, agrees that students need to pay attention. Layman calls the students of WHS kids of his own, and if he were to give advice to his kids,  he would tell us to practice, go to the DMV and handle what needs to be done first, have knowledge on driving, be aware of surroundings and don’t get distracted. “Pay attention,” Layman said sternly. He adds, “whether it is from your phone or just adjusting your seat, pay attention to just driving.” He adds, “whether it is from your phone or just adjusting your seat, pay attention to just driving.” When Layman thinks of teenagers driving, the thought that comes to mind is “point A to point B”, meaning students shopuld  make sure they get to and from where they need to be safely. He continues to say that all things, such as adjusting the mirror or eating, should be done before starting the car. “If you feel the text is that important, pull over somewhere safe so you can then reply,” said Layman.

Layman believes it is important for teen drivers to know about more than just how to drive. “Knowing motor vehicle maintenance is good to know also,” said Layman. Layman brings up tire pressure and lights on one’s car is good to have knowledge about. “It’s good to do a walk around  your car every now and then before you get inside the vehicle, to inspect your car yourself,” said Layman. Layman said that, tire pressure and lights are important, mainly because lights help you in the dark and are a signal for people behind you driving. If you remember to check your tire pressure it can prevent you from any “flat” mistakes while driving.

Teen Driving can be stressful to teens and adults and it’s very essential to remain safe by following all guidelines to driving. Teen drivers are the new kids on the block and should know traffic signs just as much as they know their favorite song on the radio.

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WHS implements changes after bomb threats

By: Destiny Lam

The fire alarm went off, so everyone headed to the nearest exit, just like they’d practiced. It was odd to have a fire drill during 3rd lunch, but students exited the building quickly.  However, when students and staff were filed into the soccer field on October 17, it was apparent that a there was bigger problem- a bomb threat written on the walls of a girls’ bathroom. While attitudes towards the conflict varied, students and staff agreed that improvements could be made to the procedures.

For the most part, teachers of WHS maintained a positive outlook towards the situation. “I think it went remarkably well,” said Mrs.Coyner, a history teacher, “particularly since we haven’t had to do it in years and years and years. No one really knew what they were doing.”

Mr. Hennel, WHS outdoor ed. and CTE teacher, agreed that considering the amount of practice they had, the evacuation went fairly well. “They did okay,” said Hennel. “I’ve been here for 15 years and it’s really the first one I remember.” Both teachers agreed that they felt that their students hadn’t been affected drastically and Coyner noted that the bomb threat produced more drama than fear.

Some students were not amused by the event. “Honestly it was sort of disorganized,” said Tess Bryan, a WHS sophomore.“They definitely shouldn’t have pulled the fire alarm.”

 From an administrator’s perspective, the high school evacuation went fairly well considering how unfamiliar everyone was with the circumstance. Mr.Stamm, WHS assistant principal, said that everyone left the building quickly and everyone made it to the soccer field safely. “There are some things we’ll probably do different in the future once we get up there, but I’m really happy with how quick everyone reacted,” said Stamm.

Despite the varying opinions of how the situation went, students and staff agreed that improvements needed to be made. “What we did followed the plan,” said Coyner. “Now we need to work on the plan to correct some of the problems we had.”

According to Hennel, communication of the situation to everyone needed to be addressed. WHS principal, Mr. Teachey, said that the evacuation could have been more organized and that the fire alarm did not need to be pulled. “Bomb threats come in a lot of different forms,” said Teachey. He emphasised that pulling the fire alarm is the best option for specific places or times. If the threat isn’t specific, the fire alarm shouldn’t be pulled and everyone should exit the building as orderly as possible.

Since the evacuation of October 17th, WHS has had a second bomb threat. Students were evacuated once again on November 4. Instead of pulling the fire alarm, staff went to each classroom with instructions. Students were evacuated out of the building and up to the soccer field where teachers were holding up papers and clipboards with bus numbers on them. Students that usually rode the bus were told to find their bus number and wait for it to arrive. Those that usually got a ride home or walked were told to stay with their 4th block teacher.

Students and staff agreed that the second evacuation went better than the first. “The second time was definitely more organized than the first,” said Bryan. Hennel’s problem was addressed as a megaphone was used to better the communication from staff to students. However, Teachey said that while the second threat was more organized, it needed to be performed quicker. He explained that the main goal was to evacuate quickly and orderly, keeping all students accounted for. Dr. Barber, Waynesboro Public Schools Director of Student Services, said that safety was the most important. “Our priority in any type of situation is to keep students and staff safe,” said Barber.

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“Our priority in any type of situation is to keep students and staff safe,” said Dr. Barber, Waynesboro Public Schools Director of Student Services. Photo By: Lilli Wilfong

Barber said that he was content with how the administrators reacted and that if another bomb threat were to happen, he believes that they’re fairly prepared. “There’s a lot of kind of different pieces to the puzzle,” said Barber, “and I think our team, the administrative team, has done a good job working together.”

Some students haven’t recognized that bomb threats are a serious offence. Sarah Jackson, a freshman, said, “They’re just taking it as a joke.” She felt that the threats were being used to get out of class and weren’t taken seriously. Stamm agreed that everyone needs to be made aware of just how serious bomb threats are. “It affects the school day and the school environment, but it also affects the safety and mindset of the students in the building and the community,” said Stamm. Not to mention that the consequences for threatening the school has major consequences. “It’s a dumb idea,” said Bryan, “If you do something like that you get an actual legal penalty.” According to News Virginian, those that are at the age of 15 or older could be charged with a Class 5 felony. Barber said that a student making this threat could be suspended long term or expelled from school as well. “We don’t believe that as a school division, that any of those consequences for that type of behavior is good for anybody,” said Barber.

While the evacuation plan has progressed, there may be some room for further improvements such as more drills to be implemented. However, threatening the school with something like a bomb threat not only disrupts the mindset of the community, but also decreases the amount of time that students have in order to learn. Moreover, making a bomb threat to the school results in serious consequences that could carry on throughout a person’s life, possibly resulting in the loss of opportunities that would have otherwise been available to them such as plans to graduate or maintaining a successful career.

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Little Boxes Make a Big Impact

By Alyssa Kerrigan

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning to a decorated tree, but with no gifts waiting under it with your name on them. Or maybe waking up to no tree at all. For Mrs. Sati, it was a gift enough to have a caring family and food to eat.

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A finished Christmas box. Photo by Alyssa Kerrigan

As a fourteen-year-old girl living in Romania, Sati, a latin teacher at Waynesboro High School, received one of the gift-stuffed, red and green shoe boxes provided by an organization called Operation Christmas Child. OCC sends shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts to underprivileged children around the world. The children that receive these boxes may come from poor families, or may not otherwise receive any gifts for Christmas.

Sati wants to share her experience and provide gifts to other children around the world, filling them with the same excitement she received as a child. “I would love to see their faces,” said Sati, “I would love to be there and see the excitement on their faces.” She, as someone with firsthand experience of receiving a box, wants to bring happiness to children’s lives.

When she received the shoe box, Sati recalls excitedly looking through all the items in the package, carefully handling the special gifts. She remembers receiving things like hair bows and brushes, little girly things such as those. It was not the actual presents that mattered most to her, but the thought that was put into the gift. “I was happy because I thought, ‘Somebody’s thinking of me from far away, from another country, somebody I don’t even know. Somebody wanted to bless me and make a gift for me,’” Sati said. For Christmas, Sati’s family usually received things like fresh fruits, and foods that weren’t always available to them, so the shoe box was a treat.

Six years ago, Sati started filling  boxes at home with her daughters. And about two years later, she brought the idea of Operation Christmas Child to WHS. Her class loved the suggestion, especially when Sati told them that she had been a recipient of a Christmas box.

The first year WHS participated, the students were eager to help out. “The first year, we had very much interest from the students. They were so involved. The first year was such a brand new project for us. The students were extremely energetic and they collected donations and went shopping,” said Sati. The goal for this year was to fill sixty boxes, and when sixty-six were filled, Sati was overjoyed. She expects for this project to grow even more, and hopes that the number of boxes increases as well.

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The Latin Club with shoeboxes. Photo provided by Mrs. Sati

Avery Paiste, a sophomore at WHS, is part of the Latin Club and has helped out with Operation Christmas Child. He explains what the project means to him and how it has built relationships between the members of the Latin Club. “It has definitely brought us together as a group, just doing tasks as a community brings us together,” said Paiste. He believes OCC is a great way for everybody to grow closer and for children around the world to have the opportunity to experience the magic of Christmas.

There’s a soft spot in Sati’s heart for this project and for the children receiving gifts through the organization. “For me personally, it’s like a wish that came true. It’s like a ripple effect. I was a person who received a shoe box, and then I worked with my little girls and made several boxes with them. And now I’m doing it with my students and they’re really happy!” She hopes Operation Christmas Child continues to grow and that students go on to support this cause later in life, even after they leave school.  

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