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Community Comes Together to Support Athletes in Game of Two Undefeated Teams

Community Comes Together to Support Athletes in Game of Two Undefeated Teams

By: Raylene Dewhurst

Friday night, two high school football teams, both close in community, came together in competition each trying to keep their 9-0 win streak this season. 

It was a pretty crowded game, people from all around the Shenandoah Valley attended. Supporters from both teams were nervous about who was going to win. Stuarts Draft had an excellent season, but Riverheads pretty much had this game in the bag.

The game sold out tickets for seats last Sunday, and people were already setting up their spots last weekend. One hour before the game started, the Cougar Stadium was already packed with fans, and it was difficult to find a parking spot.

The amount of fans in the stands for both teams was immense. Both sides of the bleachers were packed. People were standing along the fence on every side. There was so much maroon and red, and you could distinguish the Cougar pride from the Red pride.

“I was shocked by how many people showed up, considering how cold it is out here. I already can’t feel my toes” said Riverheads fan Kevin Dewhurst. People had blankets, layers, and someone even brought a space heater.

After the first half people began to leave the game due to the score. By halftime, the Gladiators were already in the lead, 28-14. The people began to predict the winner of the game, and their predictions were right. 

The Gladiators defeated the Cougars 49-14 at SDHS, but both teams had the love and support from their community. Both teams will begin the playoffs this Friday, and hopefully one of them will head off to states in December.

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Journalism Hat Drive '19

Announcements November 10th-November 16th 2019

General:

  •  
  • The senior class is selling Krispy Kreme donuts now until Friday, November, 15, see a senior council member to order
  • Hey Waynesboro HS Family! It’s SHOEBOX time again! Would you like to bring joy this Christmas to children in need around the world? For many of these children, the gift-filled box is the FIRST gift they have ever received.  Please join the Latin club as we collect school supplies, coloring books, hygienic items, and toys or grab a box and bring it fully by Friday, November 15.
  • Seniors: If you missed having your picture taken on picture day but sill want to be in the yearbook. please contact Gentry in Harrisonburg and they will schedule an appointment for you. We want everybody included in our 2020 yearbook!
  • Waynesboro High School is pleased to announce that students can take the Virginia DMV learner’s permit test online at school. Students will be eligible to test if they are 15 years 6 months or older. There will be a testing session held on Wednesday, November 13 at 11:00 am. If you would like to test please see Ms. Jones, Coach Loker or Coach Moran for registration information.   This will be the last test session this semester.  We will resume offering test sessions 2nd semester.
  • Juniors & Seniors: Do you want to find out more about a career that you are considering?  Are you interested in a mentorship second semester or next school year?  Come to the Giant Goals workshop on Tuesday, November 12 in the Career Center during lunches to learn more about the Giant Mentorship program.  Please check your email for information on signing up.

Clubs:

  • Any students who have thought of international travel there will be a Passport Club meeting Wednesday, November 13 at 6:30 in the Media Center, please join us with a parent. Stop by room 263 to see Mrs. Rudolph for more information. Hope to see you there!
  • There will be an Interact club meeting on Wednesday, November 13th at 3:30 in room 241.  Elections will be held, all members please be present.  

Counseling:

  • WHS!  It’s National Apprenticeship Week!  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, there are over 180 different occupations that are available for an apprenticeship. Many are in the trades, like electrical, carpentry and masonry, however, there are also apprenticeships in computer programming, childcare, firefighting, and health care.  Questions about Apprenticeship?  See Mrs. Wood.
  • Sophomores & Juniors:  Are you interested in finding out more about Valley Career & Technical Center programs?  We are scheduling shadowing times now.  See Mrs. Wolke in the Counseling Office.  
  • If you are applying Early Decision or Early Action, your deadlines are quickly approaching. Please make sure you turn your college folder into your counselor 2 weeks before your deadline.
  • Students interested in taking a summer course through Virtual Virginia, please see your counselor. 
  • Next week in the Career Center for Juniors & Seniors:
  • Monday:1:50 PM Longwood University Wednesday1:00 PM Christopher Newport University Thursday11:30 AM Richard Bland College of William & Mary
  • If you are interested in spending a day at Governor’s School, go to the counseling office for a permission form.  The deadline is Dec. 6.
  • Need help completing your FAFSA and applying for college?  Mrs. Wood & Mrs. Lott will be at the CTE Annex in room 104 (Mrs. Musick’s room) on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:30 PM.  See Mrs. Wood with questions.

Sports:

  • Waynesboro Cheer Open Gym/Tryouts will be Tuesday, November 12th – Thursday, November, 14th 4:00-5:30 pm in the cafeteria
  • Girls Basketball will have open gym/practice on Wednesdays throughout the fall at 6:00 at WHS.
  • Open gyms for softball will start Monday November 11. Open gyms will be every Monday and Wednesday at 4:00 on the softball field at KCMS weather permitting. If the weather is bad, we will be inside at 5:30 in the small gym at KCMS. 

https://www.valleydistrictva.org/public/genie/304/school/7/

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Friday, November 1, 2019
Saturday, November 2, 2019
TIMEEVENTDETAILS
6:30pmFootball: Varsity Game

vs. Turner Ashby  @ JMU
Sunday, November 3, 2019
Monday, November 4, 2019

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WHS Student Wins Cross Country District Championship, Moves on as an Individual to States

By: Peyton McNorton

The Waynesboro’s High School cross country team had their district meet on Tuesday, October 22, at Rockbridge High School. Out of the 5 teams WHS competed with, WHS boys cross country team placed 2nd overall and advanced to regionals. The girls team however only had one person advancing. 

Senior, Sam Sikora, was titled the Valley District Champion and headed to regionals with his teammates. 

“It was a dream come true,” Sikora said. “It was my big goal for this season.”

Not only was Sikora happy about being the district champion, the students and staff were happy for him too. 

“I’ve got so much positive feedback,” Sikora said. “I’m happy that WHS community and the Waynesboro community is proud of me.” 

This is Sikora’s fifth year participating in cross country and is excited to continue running when he goes to college. 

“I’m planning to run for Radford university or Longwood university,” Sikora said. “I haven’t decided yet which of those two I want to go,” 

Sikora decided to join cross country when his Kate Collins Middle School gym teacher, Julie Stevens, recommended it to him. 

“She’s the reason I’m in cross country,” Sikora said. “She got me into it.” 

When Sikora first started, he wasn’t as focused than what he is now.

“I think I have improved a lot throughout these years,” Sikora said. “I’m more focused on training than my first year.”

Sikora lives, breathes, and sleeps running. He loves racing with other opponents.

“My favorite thing about cross country is the feeling when you finish your race,” Sikora said. “When you’re done racing, all of your hard work on training is paid off.” 

Although Sikora loves his sport, there are some things he doesn’t enjoy about cross country.

“It can hurt at times,” Sikora said. “It’s a mental and physical sport, and can be pretty tough.” 

Sikora also has great love and respect for his coaches and teammates. 

“It’s been great. Especially this year,” Sikora said. “Coach Stevens has always been a great coach to me.”

“My teammates are great as well,” Sikora said. “They’ve made it so much more enjoyable.”

Although Sikora is going to run again in college soon, he is going to miss the WHS team. 

“Going to states has always been memorable,” Sikora said. “And being with my whole team.” 

The boys cross country team headed to Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, November 6th to compete in the regional tournament. It was an incredibly competitive meet. Unfortunately, the WHS team lost in a tie breaker to Spotswood. Despite this, Sikora advanced individually to states and will be competing in the VHSL class 3A boys cross country championship on November 16th.

“I’m just excited for our team,” Sikora said. “I’m also excited for the younger kids to come and see what’s it all about when they advance to regionals in later years.” 

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The Vaping Issue at WHS

By Sam Sikora

Vaping has become to our generation what smoking was to the previous generations. It is plain and simple. It is an epidemic. We hear this all over the news. Each week it seems like there is a new study or controversy regarding vaping. But is vaping really as bad as everyone has made it out to be? Is it an issue at WHS? What can be done to halt the problem locally? 

Let’s start with the basic statistics. Recently, the CDC made the claim that as of September of 2019, one out of every four high school students vape. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are roughly 15.3 million students enrolled in High School for the Fall of 2019. That means there are roughly 3.8 million students in high school that vape. To put that into perspective, there are 3.3 million students are set to graduate from public high schools this spring (NCCES). That is a big problem. But are these statistics accurate locally? Well I decided to find out. Over social media, I created an anonymous poll regarding vaping. It was a simple, short poll. My first question just simply asked the question: “Have you ever vaped before?” My results were rather shocking. Roughly 83% who took the poll had vaped before. My second question, which was dependent on the first, asked those who had vaped as to how regularly they vape. Of those who had vaped, 40% said they rarely vape, 27% said they vaped every now and again, and 33% said they vaped on a daily basis. My poll only represents a small population of the high school. However, if I was able to poll every student, I believe the results would not be too far off. 

So we know the statistics on vaping, but how does everyone feel about vaping? Do vapers want a change? According to one anonymous vaper, the answer is yes. “Although it’s something fun to do, it’s a very serious matter,” they said. “It is deeply affecting people’s lives and health.” The vaper also claimed that vaping “is not a safer alternative to smoking” and that its health questions are “intimidating.” I then asked them about the environment of vaping at WHS. When asked about if WHS has a vaping problem, they answered “Absolutely. I have seen 5 or more people vaping in a bathroom at one time.” According to the vaper, vaping is also a distraction from class. They claimed that they take frequent bathroom breaks to hit their vape. 

What should WHS do about this? Well the vaper claimed that while stricter regulations is a good thing, the school would struggle to enforce the rules. They claimed more frequent bathroom checks would be a step in the right direction. No matter what, they agreed that something needs to be done. 

Vaping has become not only a widespread problem nationally, but also here locally at WHS. With health concerns regarding vaping rising, the issue is becoming more and more daunting. Instead of a generation hooked on tobacco products, our generation is becoming the one addicted to vaping, or more specifically, nicotine. With no resolution nationally or locally, vaping is an epidemic that is only going to continue to spiral downward.

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Dealing With Teen Depression

By: Ruth Fiske

Depression is something a lot of people struggle with, especially teens. In the past, people used to judge those who had depression. I believe now as a society that we are more aware and caring towards teen depression. It is important to inform people about teen depression and helping all people. 

How common is teen depression? Why does it exist? What even is teen depression? How can we act to help teens with depression? These are probably some questions that come up when this subject is talked about. I had the privilege to interview some of my peers and a fellow classmate about teen depression. The first person I interviewed was my school counselor, Ms. Shaw. Ms. Shaw has worked at Waynesboro High School for eight years now. Before that, she was a school counselor at a different division and worked in child protective services. Ms. Shaw is mental health trained because that is part of the training to be a school counselor. I asked Ms. Shaw if she thinks our school is aware of the problem of teen depression. 

“I think they are,” she said. “Between the teachers and administrators and the school counselors, we’re pretty aware.” 

She went on to speak about teen depression. 

“Well, I think it can be a number of things. It could be situational depression. That can be anywhere from a death in the family, a change in circumstances, like divorce, or parents splitting up, high school relationship, so that’s what I would consider situational depression. Where it doesn’t always last for long periods of time but at that moment it feels like, well, the end of the world,” she said.  “That doesn’t mean it is not as important as long term depression, it’s just a different depression.”

We talked about how students that have suffered from depression for years is completely different from situational depression. We discussed how that could possibly be from a chemical imbalance in the brain or something traumatic that happened that depression still continues. We also got to discuss how some time ago if a teen had depression, then people would say that person is just quiet or antisocial. 

Mr. Spees, the photography teacher at Waynesboro High School, had some interesting thoughts about teen depression. This is Mr. Spees’s seventh year at WHS. He has worked a variety of other jobs. He owned a business as a welder, he’s worked in restaurants, he has been a gardener, worked in factories, has been a photographer. I asked him how teen depression affects students.

“It definitely affects kids when they walk in the door,” Spees said. “They probably don’t get near enough school work done. It probably affects the job that teachers do. It also affects when the students don’t participate.”

I also got to ask him what his experience were dealing with teen depression as a teacher. 

“I see more physical signs that mental signs,” he said.  “They recede to themselves, are quieter and don’t want to talk about it.”

Being mental health trained is not a requirement for teachers like it is for school counselors. As a teacher, Mr. Spees said that he is not afraid to stop and talk to students if they seem depressed. He said that he asks students, “Are you ok?” The reason being is because he cares about this issue and wants to help. If he cannot help in a more professional way (because he is not legally trained to deal with mental health), then he said he would recommend someone for a student to talk to.

Olivia Huffman, a student at Waynesboro also had some thoughts about teen depression. This is Olivia’s first year at WHS and she is in eleventh grade. Teen depression to Olivia is portrayed in the media as staying to yourself and sometimes suicide. I asked Olivia if she sees teen depression as a problem at WHS.

“No, not at WHS, but I’ve seen teen depression a lot at my old school Fort Defiance,” she said. 

     Olivia also told me that she does not see it as much as she expected to see it here at WHS. I asked her how we as students can be more aware of teen depression, and how we can help other students.

“We can make people more aware by talking to your counselor if needed,” she said.

She also thinks that we as students can help teens dealing with depression by being there for them. I also asked her how important it is making teen depression aware to her and how important it is helping teens with depression. 

“Well just in general, helping others to me is a great thing,” she said. “But especially with depression or suicide.”

Finally, I asked her how she thinks the teachers and staff at WHS acknowledge and help students with depression. 

“Teachers and staff at WHS are always there if you need someone to talk to,” Olivia said. “Especially in very difficult situations like teen depression or anything like that.”

As teens, our brains are still developing and it is hard to focus on schoolwork or anything for that matter when you are dealing with depression.  It is ok to not be ok. It is important to reach out to each other. You never know what is truly going on with someone and everyone deserves to have someone there for them. Talk to your friends, family, school counselor. You are never alone!

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New Faces at WHS Part 4: Emilee Sawyers

New Faces at WHS Part 4: Emilee Sawyers

By: Peyton McNorton

This is the fourth in our series of a new teacher profiles.

I interviewed Emilee Sawyers, a new CTE teacher who teaches human services and leadership. I asked her how it has been so far this school year. 

Q: Have you had a previous experience with teaching?

Sawyers: This is my first year in the classroom, but I have worked with youth in different ways over the past ten years. Prior to coming to Waynesboro High School, I worked for Juvenile Court Services and the Department of Social Services. I have always had a strong interest in both teaching and human services. I recently finished up the state’s requirements to obtain my teaching  licensure. I am a previous WHS graduate so it is exciting for me to return to my old school. Go GIANTS!!!

Q: How do you plan on becoming involved in the school beyond just teaching? 

Sawyers: I am excited to get students out in the community for service-learning projects.  My 4th period is currently working with the Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth and the WARM Shelter. I hope to help motivate students to be involved in their community. I am also excited to watch my students who are involved in sports. 

Q: What has been challenging so far?

Sawyers: Since this is my first year, I spend a lot of time lesson planning.  It has been fun but very time consuming. 

Q: What’s been good and how is the relationship with other teachers?

Sawyers: I love my students and all of the staff at Waynesboro High School have been so welcoming and helpful.  I appreciate everyone’s kindness and willingness to share their knowledge with me. 

Q: What are you most excited about this year?

Sawyers: I am excited to get to know the students at WHS.  I am also excited about teaching human services. I have a strong passion for helping others and am excited to share that with my students. 

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New Faces at WHS Part 3: Stacy Rider

New Faces at WHS Part 3: Stacy Rider

This is the third in our series of a new teacher profiles.

I interviewed Stacy Rider, a new CTE teacher who teaches intro to health and medical sciences, nutrition and wellness, and sports medicine. I asked her how it has been so far this school year. 

Q: Have you had a previous experience with teaching?

Rider: I taught for one year when I worked at a private school – Anatomy and Physiology.  But that was 3 years ago! I’m starting as a full time teacher now because my last job required working a lot of late nights and weekends and was hard to balance with family.

Q: How do you plan on becoming involved in the school beyond just teaching? 

Rider: I am a Licensed Athletic Trainer so I will help with providing Sports Medicine coverage for Waynesboro High School athletics.

Q: What has been challenging so far?

Rider: I’m trying to learn how to juggle lesson planning, managing a classroom, finding interesting material to help the students learn, and still learn everyone’s names!

Q: What’s been good and how is the relationship with other teachers? 

Rider: It’s been good! The other teachers have been very welcoming and helpful!  I’m looking forward to getting into a routine and getting to know everyone!

Q: What are you most excited about this year?

Rider: This new role is a new adventure.  I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and hoping that the students will find these to be good classes.

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Homecoming Photo Gallery

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Homecoming 2019

Homecoming 2019

By: Jaydn Wood and Peyton McNorton

Homecoming was on Saturday, September 21st. There were many changes for the dance this year. Some of these changes included a new location for the dance itself, and new music options.

Although there were changes, and there were some people that loved homecoming 2019, there were also some people that didn’t enjoy the experience as much as in previous years.

Many people said they did have a fun time at the dance. They enjoyed dancing and chatting with their friends. However, several people did not like it due to the music and the location. This year, the dance was in the gym instead of the cafeteria.

“I think having the dance in the cafeteria would be better,” Sam Sikora said. “Because, you were allowed to go outside on the court yard to cool off.”

Homecoming king, Mckinley Bell, had mixed feelings about the dance.

“I mean I liked it. I had a good time,” Bell said. “Just the one thing I would change is the music selection.” 

Although Bell had a good experience at his last homecoming dance, he also had a good experience as being homecoming king. 

“My experience as homecoming king was pretty cool,” Bell said. “I got a lot of positive comments from my classmates, teachers, and even community members.” 

Bell wasn’t surprised that the won the homecoming king title.

“I don’t really have a good explanation for why I wasn’t surprised,” Bell said. “I just kind of knew.”

WHS senior, Kristen Wagner, is proud for Bell.

“I love Mckinley to death,” Wagner said. “The best moment was when his name and the homecoming queen’s name was announced and hearing my senior homecoming court friends cheering so loud.”

Wagner was one of the nominees for homecoming queen. Although she wasn’t the winner, she didn’t care that she lost.

“I would’ve felt like a winner even if I wasn’t on court,” Wagner said. “Because, being a part of the senior class is a win by itself.”

Wagner is going to miss seeing all of her friends being happy and having a good time at the dance.

“I think another thing I’ll miss is everybody uniting and everyone else, as well as me just having a good time dancing,” Wagner said. “There’s nothing like it.”

Bell is going to miss the experiences he had at his last homecoming dance.

“I’m probably going to miss the fun times with my friends,” Bell said. “It’s crazy to think that I’ll never be at WHS homecoming dances and events ever again.”

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Powderpuff 2019

By Kamren Hale

The junior class before their game.

Last week WHS held their powder puff game. Powderpuff at WHS is when girls can sign up ato play football and the boys can also sign up to be cheerleaders. The junior class was supposed to play the freshman class, unfortunately the freshman class didn’t have enough players to form a team. As a result the junior team went straight to the finals. The senior class the played the sophomore class and at first it was close by the half. Then the senior class took over the game and by the end of the game the score was 21-6. After the game the boys did theirs cheers and they put on a show for the crowd. The sophomore class only had 1 student cheer for them, wearing a dinosaur outfit. The junior class had four members. Their props included a small kid jeep, a clown mask, and a sign mocking the senior class. Finally the senior class put spiderman in their cheer and also unmasked our old principal which made the crowd go wild. This lead to the championship game: the junior versus senior class. Right as soon as it started, it was a good game but the seniors scored first and then shortly after they scored again. At the end of the first quarter the juniors finally scored. At the end of the game, the juniors scored with no time left on the clock and all they needed was a 2pt conversion. On the last play of the game they had a girl wide open in the right corner and she dropped the pass. The seniors won the spirit stick and the final score was 14-12. As the week came to an end, all that remained was the Homecoming game on Friday and the dance on Saturday.

The bleachers with all the classes and teachers on the track.

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