Archive | October, 2015

Mrs. Werle teaching new signs to ASL 3 students

JMU Changes Foreign Language Policy

Mrs. Werle teaching new signs to ASL 3 students

Mrs. Werle teaching new signs to ASL 3 students.

by Kelley Conley, Classroom Manager

James Madison University made a change to their foreign language policy in July 2015, but only after initiative was taken at Waynesboro High School. JMU counted two years of American Sign Language for credit for incoming students, but after those two credits were counted, students were required to take two years of a different foreign language at JMU. The new policy says that three years of sign language meets the minimal recommendation for foreign language requirements. The two reasons JMU did not accept ASL as foreign language credit include the following: ASL is a conceptual language, not a written language, so students do not have a traditional written component; additionally, JMU did not believe there was cultural piece to learning ASL, until the policy was changed.  Other schools in Virginia that accept sign language as foreign language credit are Radford, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia.

Mrs. Werle, who is the sign language teacher at WHS, had been working with local representatives like Dickie Bell and members of the JMU foreign language department to change the policy for over a year. “JMU wouldn’t talk to me directly; they wouldn’t answer my calls or emails,” said Werle. “I think they changed the policy because they were getting pushed from all the letters they were receiving.” JMU’s Foreign Language Director, Dr. Stephany Gould Plecker could not be reached to comment on the policy change.

In Mrs. Werle’s Sign Language 2 and 3 classes, students wrote letters to local representatives saying that sign language should be accepted like any other foreign language.  Senior, Michelle Smith even started a petition and had students sign to have the policy changed.

Senior, Natalie Grimm has taken three years of ASL, and is very passionate about it. “Taking sign language helped me feel as if I could communicate with more people,” said Grimm. “It’s even given me the chance to meet many different people.” She loves learning ASL so much that she plans to major in Deaf Education, Translation and Interpretation at Liberty University.

With JMU accepting ASL for incoming students, Mrs. Werle hopes it will encourage students to apply to JMU and to be proud that they took sign language in high school.


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Junior NHS members help organize the English department's storage room.

Service Makes a GIANT Change

Junior NHS members help organize the English department's storage room.

Junior NHS members help organize the English department’s storage room.

by Dalton Lafferty, Technology Manager

Waynesboro High School currently has four extracurricular service organizations: National Honor Society, Beta Club, Key Club and Interact Club. Although these organizations offer a variety of opportunities for involvement, the amount of students volunteering has been on the decline. Ms. Laliberte, advisor for Waynesboro’s chapter of the National Honor Society, has seen a drop of about ten members from last year. Laliberte speculates this may be because the values of students are changing, or because of stereotypes people may have about NHS or volunteering.

The four pillars of National Honor Society are scholarship, character, leadership, and of course, service. Laliberte hopes to begin branching out to focus on the other pillars because scholarship and service are required to stay in the organization, but leadership and character are not necessarily highlighted in the member’s duties. She thinks all students could benefit from the pillars, but that service would be the bonding factor for students.

Waynesboro’s National Honor Society has worked with multiple national organizations such as Relay for Life and the SPCA, but Laliberte thinks looking locally for service projects would benefit not only the community more, but the students as well. The student population could become closer if it looks for local service projects to work on. Sadly, most students are only volunteering and joining the National Honor Society because they view it as something to put on their college applications. Laliberte says “I wish students knew that NHS wasn’t as big of a factor on college acceptance as students think it is,” but she says they view volunteering as a “necessary evil”. Even though students may be volunteering just to look good for college, Laliberte thinks adults don’t volunteer enough. This isn’t a good thing because adults should be setting the example for teenagers to volunteer, and some do. Many adults are members of adult service organizations, and they are motivated and committed to serving the community. Mixing the adult and high school service organizations would help bridge the age gap and break stereotypes both groups may have against the other.

Carly Edwards, senior, describes Key Club as a nationwide service organization “run by the students.” Key Club does several service projects including filling stockings in conjunction with the Salvation Army and boosting morale, says Edwards. She says she wishes that volunteering was “pushed and stressed even more” on college applications. Edwards thinks that service is genuinely important to people. “Some people actually do care about it (service and volunteering).” There are a number of Key Club members that are genuinely interested in improving the community. Edwards thinks that volunteering should be a requirement for graduation, but that each student should volunteer on their own. Otherwise some students may slack off and leave the more motivated students with all the work.

Another WHS senior, Janelle Harris, has risen to the role of president of Beta Club. Harris refers to Beta as a club for honor students with opportunities for community service where the students work as a group to better the community. Harris thinks members of Beta Club are making a positive impact and says they work really hard on projects we give them. “Keeping a positive attitude makes efficient work,” says Harris. When asked whether or not volunteering should be a requirement for graduation, she said “I don’t see why not” and that it should be completed on the student’s time.

Although it may seem that teenagers are not volunteering as much as they have in the past, it still makes an impact on the community. Even performing small tasks for other people will improve the overall moral of the community, so take time to help someone out today. Some acts may seem small and some may seem large, but together they can make a giant difference.

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Proud to be WHS


Students exited about tonight’s game.

By Avery Paiste, Reporter

The senior class of 2016 has been sparking a change for the better in terms of school spirit and Waynesboro pride.   During spirit week, the senior class donated over 2,000 cans to win the canned food drive in hopes of taking the spirit stick from the Juniors.

“As a four year attendee at the high school with no spirit stick wins, we as a class decided it was time to bring home a win,” said Alex Flowers, WHS senior.  It all came down to the powderpuff game where the juniors beat the seniors in the end of it all.

“It’s upsetting because we don’t have another shot at it,” says Flowers.

The juniors also raised over 2,000 in this year’s canned food drive and won the locker war, a competition where students put money into lockers each day. At the end of the day whoever has the most money in the locker wins. This goes on for the all of spirit week.

Ryan DeMarmels, a junior powderpuff football coach and cheerleader said “Going into this year, expectations were high. The thought of us winning was a no brainer.” The Junior class has now won the spirit stick two years in a row. Will they be able to win in their senior year? “Oh it’s gonna be a three peat”. “We are gonna blow through the competition, it’ll be effortless” said DeMarmels

In 2015, both classes have shown much school spirit and care for the community by participating in philanthropic causes like  collecting thousands of cans to local area food banks.   That being said, the stands at our home football games seem rather empty.   Last week’s homecoming game brought in the biggest student section crowd of the year.   There is a sharp contrast here. Everyone dresses out for specific days of spirit week and donates money and thousands of cans, but as DeMarmels said “The student section is not as big as I would like it to be.”Considering all the games the Giants have been winning lately, one would expect the stands to be packed. But the seniors had their last opportunity to attend a home game as a student last Friday as Waynesboro took on Turner Ashby.

Another factor to be taken into consideration when looking into game attendance  is the number of students who get into home athletic events for free. Pep club alone has over 200 members. According to the rules of Pep Club, if a student gets into a home athletic event, they are supposed to sit in the student section.

“When a student gets his/her pep club card, they sign a paper that states that if they get into the game with the card they have to sit in the student section,” says Pep Club officer,  Zach Washburn “If they do not abide by this rule 3 times, they get kicked out. No one has been kicked out his year yet, but a few were released last year for bad behavior,” said Washburn.  So it is possible to be kicked out of the club for breaking the rules. Other specific pep club rules include: not having your card at the game, going to a game while being suspended from school.

The goal of many clubs and school events is to raise school spirit and recruit people to support the school. However, not many people come to games to sit in the student section and cheer on their team. Either way, Pep club is giving it their all to expand our student section but it comes down to the students, so put some pep in your step.


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Madelin Bender at William and Mary university

Where are WHS graduates now?

by Honoka Ando, Reporter

There are a lot of careers after high school. Some WHS graduates go to college, others go to the military, and still others go into the workforce. Here are some paths of graduates of WHS.

“Try to experience everything you can do while you are there because four years go by way too quick.” said Justin Diggs, a graduate of WHS. He graduated from WHS in 2013, and is now working at the YMCA and Kroger, and attending to Blue Ridge community college. This was his main goal that he had in high school. When Diggs was a high school student, his favorite subject was history. He did not really have a favorite teacher, he loved them all. Diggs played football for two years, basketball for three years, and track for four years. He said “If I could go back to high school, I would definitely played football for four years.”

“Waynesboro high school was great and still now is, but the only thing which is different is the attendances for sports” said Diggs. When he was a high school student the basketball games used to be packed to the point where you couldn’t even sit down, but it’s not like that anymore.

Diggs is not sure what he is going to study at school, but he said, “I enjoy working with kids, so it’ll probably be something in that field.”

Instead of going into the workforce, some of graduates chose to go to college after high school.“Challenge yourself as much as possible by broadening your horizons academically, and socially to become better prepared for any type of post-graduation plans.“ said Madelin Bender, a graduate of WHS. Bender graduated from WHS in 2014, and is now a sophomore at The College of William and Mary. She is majoring in Marketing and minoring in Hispanic Studies, and hopes to become fluent in Spanish. In the future, she would like to open her own business or create a product which she can market and sell on her own using her degree in Marketing. She is also interested in working for a government agency that interacts with Spanish-speaking countries.

“I am absolutely living out the dream I had in high school. I wanted to attend William and Mary since I was a junior here at Waynesboro. I did it by making studying my priority, challenging myself to make networking connections, and participating in extracurricular activities.” said Bender. Bender participated in National Honor Society, Key Club, Pep Club, Varsity Swim, Varsity Soccer, and Varsity Volleyball. During high school, she also got her foot in the door at W&M via interviews, campus tours, and email correspondence with the admissions office. “I really worked to balance all of my academics, extracurricular activities, and outside hobbies. That practice in time management helped me because at college, work loads drastically increases and extracurricular activities become more demanding.” said Bender.

During high school, Bender’s favorite subject was United States History. She loved learning how society and the nation evolved throughout history. Bender explained “I find it interesting to imagine myself as a citizen during certain eras, particularly during the Cold War and World War II.” Her favorite teacher, by far, was Mr. Waldron because he treated students like adults, constantly challenged them, and taught them that it is okay not to make all As as long as they are learning along the way. She said, “If I could go back to high school, I would have taken harder classes to prepare myself for the academic rigor the college.”

Just as Diggs went into the workforce, and Bender went to the college after high school, there are various paths on can take after high school. Going to college, going into workforce, joining the military are just a few. There is just as many ways as people are. It goes without saying that, but the life continues after high school!

Madelin Bender at William and Mary university

Madelin Bender at The college of William & Mary

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Bell Schedule_October 2_Early Release

Updates for Fri., Oct. 2nd


Here is the updated Friday schedule.

Bell Schedule_October 2_Early Release

AM Pickup at WHS: 8:25amPickup at Phoenix; 10:30am Pick up at WHS; 8:25amReturn from VCTC; @11:20 (1st lunch students allowed opportunity to eat all others to class TEX)
PM Pickup at WHS: 11:20amPickup at Phoenix; @1:20pm CANCELLEDAfternoon tech students should stay in cafeteria after they eat lunch

Cash for Class and the Canned Food Drive end Friday. Still dress in your class color!

Powderpuff Football and Cheerleading have been moved to Fri., Oct. 16th. These are the only activities that will earn points for the spirit stick after Fri., Oct. 2nd.

The Homecoming football game has been moved to Fri., Oct. 16th. The Homecoming dance has been moved to Sat., Oct. 17th. Homecoming dance permission forms are due by Wed., Oct. 14th at the very latest. Turn them in to Mrs. Ford or a teacher on duty during lunch.

Stay safe and dry this weekend!

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Throwback Thursday

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Chris Williams dressed as an 80’s hip-hop enthusiast.

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Jade Riggleman dressed as an 80’s doll

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Koran Roberts is a 90’s person


Zach Washburn and Jeffrey Kildea


Faith Goalder, Mullaney Lee, and Mollie Harris


Sabrina Munro and Hayley Darden


Kelsey Eutsler, Dalton lafferty, and Carly Edwards


Alyssa Balsley, Piper Bane, and Maggie Riggan


Madison Becker and Sonny Carey


Caroline Lee and Cydnee Jones


All Photos By: Avery Paiste

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