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The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

Educational Planning Night

Natalea Thurston
Mr. Mark Wise (staff) discusses math options with students and parents.

To kick off opportunities for incoming freshmen, James Buchanan High School on Monday, February 26th, welcomed parents and students to attend and gather in the cafeteria to meet teachers, see the classes that are offered, the type of assignments that are within the course, and more. In addition, a meeting held in the auditorium by the counseling department and college advisor to discuss the expectations, requirements, daily schedule, and the pathways to graduate. 

“I am most excited about the sports I can try out for. I’m very athletic so I enjoy those after school activities. I love the coaches and my teammates that push me through the year and I find that sports keep me productive during the school year like making sure that I have my work done on time,” Kaylyn Smith said.

Each department had a table set with papers and projects along with a slideshow showing information, pictures of students, what years you can take it, and the benefits. From the Physical Education department, Miss Angela Johnson teaches the aquatics courses to educate students and enhance water safety. Taking an aquatics course can be a great alternative to gym class, James Buchanan High School is one of the only pools in Franklin County that students can use to take physical education credits, elective credits, and competitive swimming. 

“We get to be in the pool all year!  It’s not just a summer thing, and getting to know future high school students and their parents as well as highlighting what I am passionate about and teaching,” Johnson said. 

From the Science department, Mrs. Emily Poffenberger teaches several courses like PA Wildlife, Invertebrate Zoology, Honors Anatomy and Physiology, Vo-Tech Biology, and Forensics I and II. All of her classes include interactive labs, critical thinking, and animal identification. The science department included a handout that included a sequence map of possible classes to take, descriptions, science fair information along with envirothon information. 

“It was nice to interact with students and parents to discuss their future plans.  During class time, you cannot always have individual conversations with students about what their next steps will be and how we can best support them in reaching their goals. The educational planning night allowed us to have those conservations and show families what we have to offer students at JB,” Poffenberger said. 

From the English department, Mrs. Cara Bafile shared and discussed topics she teaches in her English 9 class and her AP Language and Composition class for 11th graders. English 9 lays the foundation for the Keystone exam as well as introduces literary concepts through writing and reading. Bafile’s AP students focus on preparing for the AP test by debating controversial topics and writing college-style essays.

It was so meaningful to me to have the chance to greet the future ninth graders and welcome them personally to our program and the electives we have to offer. This was a new experience,” Bafile said. 

In the auditorium, counselors Mrs. Brenda Ford and Mrs. Lynn Troutman met with 8th grade students and parents to discuss the expectations at the high school.. People who attended received a copy of the slideshow used during the presentation to have as a reference when scheduling. Topics consisted of their responsibilities and freedom that they will have compared to middle school. But, both counselors expressed the importance of working hard, attendance, and goal setting skills. 

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About the Contributor
Natalea Thurston
Natalea Thurston, Staff Writer
Written by Karli Gordon Natalea Thurston is a Junior at James Buchanan High School. She is a part of the Varsity soccer team and has just joined the yearbook staff this year. She is excited to step out of her comfort zone and take on this challenge along with managing soccer. Another of her favorite hobbies is taking pictures. This is one of her many skills for journalism. Others include hardwork and her motivation. She is also a very funny person. An example of this would be when she was asked why she joined yearbook, her response was “because Izzy wanted me to and I really like Izzy.” With that being said, she is still excited and that wasn’t her only reason for joining.   More onto the random facts now, Natalea is close with her Dad and her two younger sisters. After High school she wants to go to college to become a Physical Therapist; although she doesn’t know what college yet. Natalea likes fall because “it’s not cold, and it's not warm.” Her favorite music artist right now is Taylor Swift but it changes a lot. With all that being said, Natalea is a great fit for the yearbook team. 
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