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WHS Students Testing Water At The South River

These pictures are from a field trip the Ecology students took to study water quality.  We assessed the South River at Ridgeview Park.  We measured the pH, the nutrient levels, and the turbidity (big clear tube).  We also collected organisms from the stream, identified them, and counted them.  We used a math model to give our river a “score” based on the number and type of organisms we found.  The students had a good time wading into the water and seeing the different kinds of organisms living there.  The score we got for the South River was in the “unacceptable” range, but just barely.  A follow-up to this field trip was a walking trip led by the city’s Public Works department on the storm water systems in Waynesboro, how they work, and how they are designed to reduce pollution in the South River.  This is of special interest to our class because we are currently raising trout that will eventually be released into  the South River in the spring.

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Mr.Peters moves his way to Waynesboro High School

By: Millineum White

Anthony Peters, a new geometry teacher at Waynesboro High School,teaches three geometry classes a day. Peters said he was the kind of student that didn’t do so well on purpose because he was content to have a B or C. In his classes now he sees some students that remind him of himself. “I want my students to recognize that their potential is within them, to grow and nurture, but also to realize that the decisions they make have consequences, sometimes devastating consequences.  Learn what you can, then move on.  You can figure out the why later.”

After graduating from high school and enlisting in the Navy, Peters used his G-I Bill to put himself through college. “From start to finish it took me 7 almost 8 years to get my masters degree. I worked also, so I didn’t take it full on each term, “ said Peters. The Navy gave him discipline, the drive to get things done and time management. The Navy calmed him, taught him how to not be in such a hurry and to plan better. Peters uses these skills he learned in the Navy daily in his teaching.

Prior to teaching at WHS, Peters taught in Tennessee Public Schools for 35 years,a different subject each time .Peters taught physics for 14 of the 35 years he taught at Sullivan South High School in Kingsport, TN. He last taught for one year in Chilhowie, VA after his retirement from TN.

In his younger days, Peters’ father had only a 8th grade education. When Peters was in high school he taught his father and his little brother how to do math. “We used to sit at the kitchen table and I would be doing my algebra  homework and going over and over the basics with them,” said Peters.

During those years Peters had an interest in chess “I’ve played since I was in the third grade,” said Peters.  He enjoys watching the students in chess club grow in their game. Once he has taught them enough tactics and strategy to beat him, his job is mostly done!  “I eventually want them to compete statewide as a team. That is my goal for the club,” said Peters.

Peters came to Waynesboro because “my wife loves this area, and also because Virginia is a better state for helping my disabled son than Tennessee.” They enjoy living here and look forward to exploring the Valley.Peters has and two adult children, and his wife is a retired pediatric registered nurse. His oldest son still lives in Tennessee, but his youngest son has moved to Waynesboro with Peters and his wife. His youngest son is handicapped, but Peters does not let that have a negative impact on his son’s life.”He [my son] remains hopeful despite his injuries and always looks for the good in people.  He is a joy to be around,” said Peters.  Daily Peters tries to come up with things to do with his son “What can I do to make his life better?” said Peters.

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Coach Go makes lasting impact on football players and students

By: Ethan Burch


Tom Goforth

Goforth in his Pheonix classroom Picture by Ethan Burch

Tom Goforth is a teacher and Varsity football Coach at WHS. Born in the City of Bluefield, West Virginia, Goforth, also known as Coach Go, started his football life in little league where he would end up playing for 16 years total. Goforth realized he might want to become a teacher while in high school in a chemistry class. This teacher taught a different way and made Goforth realize how fun learning and school actually was. It was at that moment he decided he wanted to become a teacher.

He graduated from his High School and moved on to Bluefield State College, a small school in West Virginia. It was there that Goforth double majored in Health/P.E and English. When he got out of college, Goforth coached and taught at Richlands high school for 3 years. From there he went to Tazewell High School for 7 years and then to Stuarts Draft, where he spent 23 years. Goforth decided it was the end of the road for his coaching career, so he retired from Stuarts Draft and from coaching.

The fire and desire of coaching in his heart hadn’t died down since Draft, so Goforth decided to coach at Riverheads for a year. While coaching at Riverheads, Goforth was in the talks  with our own Coach Derek McDaniel, head varsity football coach, about coming to coach for WHS. Goforth  took the offer once a position at Phoenix, which is a learning program for students who need to learn in a different environment outside the classroom, opened. McDaniel told Goforth that he could make a difference to our football program. McDaniel explained Coach Goforth’s “experience, his wisdom , his ability to bond with players” was his decision to bring Coach Go to Waynesboro. “He has a really good rapport with kids and he’s a great coach,” said McDaniel “He’s a good teacher of the game, teaches life lessons he’d be nothing but a positive influence on our kids. Seriously, he’s pretty good.”

Since then Coach Go has worked at WHS for 4 years. Many students at WHS look up to Goforth, which he says  “put(s) more pressure on [him] to set a good example.“ 

Goforth is the kind of person you can go to if you had something wrong either as a football player or just a student. He has had students return to check in and see the Coach that made an impact on their lives. One of his students, Brendan Burch, who is currently deployed in the army and played football in college said “I will never forget the things that Coach Go taught me. He helped me on and off on the field.” 

Goforth Plans on retiring soon to pursue a new career. “Education is leaving guys like me behind.  I have always been more interested in the kid, not necessarily the subject or technology.”


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Roper soars to secretary position


By Sydney Furr

Once a former Delta Airlines flight attendant, Mrs. Nadine Roper is the new WHS secretary. Before coming to WHS, Roper worked at Unisys Corporation at Tysons Corner, and Virginia Western Community College in the human resources department. Roper loves her job here at Waynesboro High School and enjoys being a secretary because she feels like a bigger part of the WHS community. She has never worked with high schoolers before, but to her, the students aren’t difficult. According to Roper, things that students consider urgent are often not as urgent as they think.

Mrs.Roper interview picture #2

Mrs. Nadine Roper busy working at her desk. Photo by Sydney Furr

“It’s a matter of awareness and trying to understand sometimes where they’re coming from,” Roper said. “It’s perspective I guess.”

 Roper’s favorite part of her job is interacting with the students. To Roper, being a secretary is not a lonely job because there is always something going on. For a while, she was a homemaker, but that got lonely for her. Now, she never finds a dull moment at WHS.

Roper thinks highly of the staff at Waynesboro High School. She looks up to them and thinks that they are skilled in what they do.

“Most of them have been here for over ten years, and so I respect that they have a lot of expertise in their field and the community of WHS,” she said.

 Mr. Brian Stamm,  WHS Assistant Principal, has a high opinion of Mrs. Roper. He said that she is very organized, keeps track of his schedule, and lets him know when he needs to be somewhere.

“It’s a benefit for me because a lot of times my days are so busy. She helps kind of keep us organized as we move throughout the day” Stamm said.

Stamm enjoys working with Roper, as she knows what he needs when he needs it. According to Stamm, Roper works with the guests that visit WHS very well. She knows how to make sure they feel welcomed even when everyone else is busy behind closed doors.

Stamm says that Roper has fit in with WHS. “She comes in and you come into a building with over 1000 people in it a day doing a different job and there’s a big learning curve with that but at the same time she’s taking it all in stride and really try to sit in with what we do and she’s done real good with us so far.” 

Roper and Ms. Kendra Jones, WHS Assistant Principal, are the only African American women in the office.

“I think it’s good for students to see, especially other black students and let them see people who look like them, working in a office and having someone to engage with and interact with.” Jones says. Jones thinks that Roper carries herself very professionally. Jones went to say that regardless of race or gender, Roper tries to build relationships with everyone.

 Stamm and Jones agree that Roper has brought new ideas to WHS and brings a positive energy with her every day.

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Former WHS Student Comes Full-Circle

By: Victor Sansing

Erick Biggs. Photo by Victor Sansing.

Erick Biggs. Photo by Victor Sansing.



      Erick Biggs is a new aide here at Waynesboro High School.Biggs got his job at WHS after Mr. Teachey approached him about the position. Teachey thought he would be a good fit for the job. Before getting this job he thought about joining the Marines because he wanted to “travel the world and blow stuff up.”

       This job is sort of a stepping stone for Biggs. He never really wanted to work with kids. “Kids are terrible. They have too much attitude,” said Biggs. But after a while, he started enjoying the aide job a lot more than he thought. “The job is very challenging, but also very rewarding,” said Biggs.

        Mr. Biggs does, truly,  enjoy working at WHS more than he thought. He works alongside Mrs. Lunger and Mrs. Upson as LaQuinn Torian’s one-on-one aide. He is around Torian for all parts of the day. His usual day goes like this: He gets Torian off the bus at 8:10, then, he goes with him to the cafeteria for breakfast, next, they watch CNN Student News and practice the alphabet and phonics, afterwards, he goes to first lunch, eventually, he goes to ASL for third block, and, finally, he goes to the gym for fourth block. He is with Torian during all of these steps in his day.

       Biggs has quite a crazy early life. Originally, he is from Chicago, Illinois. Biggs then moved with his family to Florida and then to Virginia. After settling into Virginia he and his parents went on a missionary trip to the Philippines. His parents were helping to build a school for orphans and he went along for the ride. This helped Biggs  to, “appreciate all of the things I have.” In the Philippines he saw people using heaps of trash for shelter. The trip, “really, really, really, really,” helped him. After coming back from the Philippines, the Biggs family went back to Virginia.

     Biggs attended a Christian school and then later went to WHS. After graduating from Waynesboro High he attended Radford University. Where he graduated with a degree in Pre-Med Biology.

     In five years Biggs hopes to be away from Waynesboro, though. He explained that after five years of working at a school his federal student loans will be repaid. So, he plans to spend five years in Waynesboro and then get a change of scenery. He still wants to teach for a while, but maybe in Roanoke or Colorado. With that being said, teaching is not his end goal. He wants to eventually use his degree in some way. The only dilemma with this plan is that most jobs need more education than he already has. He would really like to work at the National Institute of Standards of Technology. The Institute does a lot of high tech work and is the closest nuclear reactor to Waynesboro. Working at NIST is sort of an end goal for Biggs. He believes he will achieve his goal, eventually, by, “Staying on track and getting my student loans paid off.”

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Meet Our New School Nurse: Mrs. Gibson


Nurse Gibson working in her office.

By: Jamey Archie

Amy Gibson is a new nurse starting at WHS this year. She worked at Wayne Hills pre-school for 6 years before coming to WHS.  “Coming from a school with only 170 students to a school with almost 900 students is a huge difference,” says nurse Gibson. Since there are more students at WHS than Ms. Gibson is used to, she stays busy at all times. Her craziest experience as a nurse was a de-gloving accident with a girl whose class ring got caught in a door, taking her skin off. 

Growing up, Ms. Gibson always wanted to be a nurse. ”I always liked helping people and caring about people,” said Gibson. “The regret I have is not doing it while I was younger.”

Some advice that she has for anyone who wants to become a nurse is to start at as early of an age as possible. Starting with early classes and learning information sooner could help you a lot in the future when searching for a good job.

Gibson attended Piedmont Community College because it was the closest to her. There, Gibson got an EMT ( Emergency Medical Technicians) and a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) degree. She says working as an EMT in the past helps a lot when it comes to emergencies. 

She has substituted as a school nurse at Kate Collins Middle School and she says there is a huge difference in the students and their attitudes. Nurse Gibson sees herself at WHS in 5 years from now. She really enjoys her job here.  

Lynn Watson, head nurse of Waynesboro Public Schools, feels that Gibson is a very big asset to their school nurse team.  “She has experience in assessment and treatment of acute illness and trauma,” Watson said, “Nurse Gibson has many strong qualities which make her a good fit for WHS.  She is able to make good judgement calls and assessment as well as follow the guidelines set forth by the Department of Education.”  Watson has worked primarily in the Emergency Room environment as a Registered Nurse.  She has done some prison and jail nursing in the past.  Also, Watson did travel nursing for over 9 years to many states within the United States. Many of her years of emergency nursing helped Watson a great deal in being able to function independently in a school nurse role and also be able to lead our team of nurses.

Assistant Principal, Bryan Stamm says, “Mrs. Gibson and Ms. Watson provide a valuable safety net for students at our school by working with our students and parents to make sure their needs are met.”


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Teachers go purple to support LGBTQ students

WHS teachers and staff wear purple for spirit day.

By: Jamey Archie

Photo provided by: Amber Loyacano

“Spirit Day is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone — forward-thinking companies, global leaders, respected celebrities, neighbors, parents, classmates, and friends — to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.”

For more information click here:

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Student Spotlight – Thihn Ton

Thihn Ton doing a magic trick Picture by Victor Sansing

Q: What grade are you in?

A: 11th


Q: How long have you been a student at WHS?

A: 1 year


Q: You’re known around school as “the kid who does awesome magic tricks.” How do you feel about that? Did you know that?

A: It makes me feel happy.


Q: What inspired your interest in magic? Why is it important to you?

A: I think it’s really fun.


Q: Are you from Waynesboro? If not, where are you from?

A: Yes, I’m from Waynesboro.


Q: What are some of your other interests/hobbies?

A: I like to play soccer.


Q: What is your favorite thing about school? Favorite class?

A: My favorite class is Mrs. Benson’s class (English).


Q: Are you involved in any clubs/do you play any sports?

A: I’m in the International club.


Q: What’s your family like? Who do you look up to?

A: It’s big – my dad, my mom and my sister.


Q: In three words, describe yourself. 

A: Funny, handsome, and skinny.


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Mrs Elaine Mahler the new SPECIAL addition to whs

By: Chloe Mclaughlin    

 At the start of a new school year you may find many new, fresh and friendly faces. Mrs. Elaine Mahler is a new edition at WHS as a Special Education teacher. 


Mahler previously worked at the Kate Collins Middle School as a Special Education teacher. She said that the biggest differences coming from the high school to the middle school is the maturity level in found in high school students. She feels that they are much more independent and follow routines better and are also more trustworthy and open.

“Most of the students are very friendly, and you don’t have to nag them a lot. They seem to have a grip on what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act,” said Mahler.

Mahler believes that there are benefits to teaching Special Education.

“You learn how to reach each student and and their different needs. Each student appreciates what you do and they want to learn,” said Mahler, “I go home everyday feeling good.”

She also believes that she creates personal connections with her students.

“You study what they are able to do and you learn their likes and dislikes. It’s a work in progress. You can’t expect even an adult to change right away,” said Mahler.

Mrs Mary Lunger, a fellow coworker and Special Education teacher feels that Mahler is friendly, always helpful, and has also been a great help assisting students in their elective classes.

“She’s a calm presence in our active program,” said Lunger,“Her calmness is an asset to some of the students that have anxiety,”

She also believes that Mahler’s personality is a great fit for the high school and she relates really well with the students.

Mahler feels that her personality reflects on her decision to teach because she loves helping people and enjoys doing paperwork.

Due to her decision to teach she attended multiple colleges, receiving a master’s degree in special education, administration supervision and English education.

When Mahler first began college she was taking classes for Biology. She was later diagnosed with Mononucleosis which forced her to be on complete bed rest and withdraw from all her labs and science classes.She  found that she was doing much better in English classes and struggling in science, so she decided to make English her major.


Mrs Elaine Mahler busy at work on her computer Photo By: Chloe Mclaughlin

Mahler has taught in various places such as Alabama for a year and Nelson county for 11 years. She has also substituted in Augusta County for 11 years and did secretarial work for 14 years in Christiansburg and Waynesboro. She also attended and graduated from WHS which was a part of her decision to teach here this year

Some things that have helped Mahler in her career as a Special Education teacher, and advice that she would give to aspiring Special Education teachers is to always keep up with your paperwork and to always use your support system. Make sure you try to get along with the parents and teachers around you and stay on the same page. It works much better for the students when the adults are all together.

Mahler’s journey in education involved many hardships and experiences; it’s safe to say that Mahler’s destination at WHS has sparked a positive reaction among students and staff.  


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Friday the 13th Senior Night Football game.

By: Jamey Archie

Photos by: Jamey Archie

Pictures from the senior night football game on Friday October, 13th. WHS lost a home game against Rockbridge County with a score of 28 to 35.

WHS takes a time out.

WHS Defense lines  up.

WHS Varsity Cheerleaders Standing in formation

WHS Defense lining up.


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