Categorized | Features

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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