The Rocket Flame

A Day In the Life Of Mr. Poe

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A Day In the Life Of Mr. Poe

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When you think of your teachers, you probably think of them staying in one classroom, teaching the same class throughout the day, but that’s not the case for Mr. Eric Poe (Faculty).

For eleven years, Poe has been the James Buchanan High School’s Chorus teacher. Throughout his day he travels to three different schools, teaches five different classes, and instructs kids ranging from fifth to twelfth grade.

To be able to teach his students, Poe has to be “performing” at all times. He has to sing in his vocal classes to teach proper techniques and demonstrate how to sing the notes properly, as well as be able to play the trumpet and piano for his music theory and elementary band classes. Even when he’s not having a good day or not feeling well, he still has to perform and be at his best to be able to teach his students.

Starting out his day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Poe reports with Messa Voce, a special choral group, to the high school at 7:15 AM. At this time, they rehearse chamber, more classical repertoire, and popular, or “pop” music. The popular music they put to choreography.

First period, Poe teaches high school Chorus. During this period, some students have band, so he and Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty) have to trade the students off every other day, having a “full Band” one day, and “full Chorus” the next. Here, they practice music for their Chorus concerts.

Messa Voce returns to Poe second period. Most days, he mainly focuses on Messa Voce, but on Wednesday he rehearses with the Five-Point Band, Messa Voce’s music ensemble.

Everybody in Messa Voce is encouraged to try out for District Chorus, and most make it to County Chorus. Since these activities are at the beginning of the year, during that time they mainly focus on the music for that appropriate activity. When not working on that, they’re working on their concert music.

Third period, Poe teaches AP Music Theory. This class involves teaching students the mechanics of music. He teaches notation to his students, as well as ear training, to get them prepared for the AP test at the end of the year.

Period four, Poe not only has his lunch period, but also his planning period. While simultaneously eating his lunch, he also sends emails, writes his lesson plans, and completes anything else he needs to before 

he heads down to the middle school around 12:30 PM. By getting there early, he has to have enough time to prepare the auditorium and get organized before his students come.

“There’s a lot of different things happening during that period [middle school activity period], so it’s hard to get the students to our practice,” said Poe.

At the middle school, Poe teaches not only seventh and eighth grade Chorus, but also sixth grade Chorus. Like the high school, the middle school Chorus period also has Band that happens at the same time. In addition, this period serves as a free period for students to do make-up work and attend other clubs. Sometimes Chorus only gets to meet once a week, and with everybody asking to leave and signing out, it takes up around ten minutes of his period, making it go from forty to thirty minutes. At times, this period is one of the most stressful times of his day, according to Poe.

Around 2:15 PM, Poe heads either to Mountain View or St. Thomas Elementary schools to teach Beginners’ Band. He brings his trumpet along to show students how to play the different rhythms and what the notes should sound like. Many of his students ask how to play the notes and the correct finger positioning of them. At 3:15 PM, his students are picked up and he is able to go home.

Poe’s crazy schedule at times leaves him stressed and exhausted to a point where he does not have the time to help teachers out as much as he’d like

“I’m not complaining, I just want my colleagues to understand,” said Poe.

Although Poe has a crazy, busy day, he gets satisfaction from being able to teach so many kids and bringing music into their lives.

 

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Diving In At James Buchanan

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Diving In At James Buchanan

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) smiles on the pool deck at James Buchanan High School.

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) smiles on the pool deck at James Buchanan High School.

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) smiles on the pool deck at James Buchanan High School.

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) smiles on the pool deck at James Buchanan High School.

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On October 29, 2018, Ms. Angie Johnson (Faculty) started as the new swim instructor at James Buchanan High School. Prior to her new job as a swim instructor, Johnson had been an aquatics director at the Chambersburg YMCA for 12 years.

Growing up in Hawaii,  Johnson has been around water her whole life.  As a child, her mother and father would always take her to pools and water parks.  Kings Dominion was Johnson’s first water park. She feels most comfortable in the water or on the pool deck.

“Basically water is my life,” said Johnson.

Wanting to put her love for water to good use, Johnson became the Aquatics Director at the YMCA.  Her job entailed teaching swim lessons to all ages, teaching and making sure kids know water safety, and also managing the lifeguards that were on duty to make sure everyone maintains safety. As soon as Johnson started teaching Aquatics, she instantly knew her life came to a full circle.

“Water safety is very important and everyone needs to be aware of how dangerous water can be,” said Johnson. “But it can be so much fun too.”

Johnson has been smoothly transitioning into her new position as the new swim instructor.  Students all seem to agree that Ms. Johnson is an excellent teacher.

Abigail Nagy (9) and Makinna Peck (9) smile for a picture before going to swim class.

“She is very helpful as a teacher and always explains what to do, sometimes even through example,” said Makinna Peck (9).

Peck and Nagy really appreciate the fact that Johnson will go the extra mile by getting into the pool with them and taking the time to explain how to do different skills.

“I think Ms. Johnson is doing a good job of keeping us on task and keeping us busy,” said Abigail Nagy (9).

The students especially enjoy how Johnson changes up the class every day.  For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays, they do water fitness. Tuesdays and Thursdays, they do water aerobics, and Friday is a free day.  

“Aquatics is different this year because there aren’t as many students, sand Samuel Ocasio (11).  “So it’s fun because we

Samuel Ocasio (11) swims during his special aquatics class.

get to change it up every day.”

Johnson is excited to give high school students an opportunity to do a different type of physical education that is water-based.  She is also looking forward to giving the high school students an opportunity to teach the elementary children as she did in high school.

“I am just really excited to be here, and it’s going to be an amazing experience, I just know it,” said Johnson. “Everybody so far has been so welcoming and friendly.”

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) teaches Alexis Snyder (9) and Samuel Ocasio (11) about the breaststroke.

Alyssa Blair, Staff

Alyssa Blair is a a first-year member of the James Buchanan Student Media staff.  She is a senior at James Buchanan High School and is very involved. ...

A Day in the Life of Life Skills: More Than Just A Class

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A Day in the Life of Life Skills: More Than Just A Class

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

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   Throughout the school day, your routine probably consists of doing the same things, but have you ever thought about how some other classes spend their day?

  The Life Skills Class routine ranges to something different every day. A couple days a week, a group of kids will go to Mercersburg Academy and help clean up the dining hall. If it is a work day, the students leave after the announcements and help at their assigned area for a couple of hours.

  Then, two days a week, the students go to Target and help there, too. Their duties change daily Some days they will unload trucks that come in, and other days they stock up the shelves with the items that are delivered.

  “It helps them with things they will need in their everyday lives and in a job,” said Mrs. Kristy Horst (Faculty).

  The students not only learn what it is like to have a job and a set routine, but also how to interact with people. Working at Target and the Academy gives them that chance.

  After the students come back from their duties, they will go and have lunch together during 8th period. When lunch is over, they then go to Art.

   “I think the most important part is that they’re just able to come in and unwind and be creative and whoever they wanna be,” said Maggie Strawoet (12). 

 

Gregory Murray (11) works on his art project with his classmates Kaitlyn Miller (9) and Justin Mellott (9)

For most of them, it is their favorite period of the day. They do different art projects together and on Fridays, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty) plays songs they suggest.

  Lastly, the students finish their day by helping out in the school. During 10th period, several students go and empty all the recycling bins in the classrooms. They then take it outside to the larger recycling bin. This gives the students an opportunity to clean and help out all the teachers.

  Now even though every day differs, this is what a typical day looks for this class. Through spending time together, all of the students have formed friendships with not only each other but with their peers throughout the school and community, and they certainly are a light in the school.

 

Julia Trei, Staff

Julia Trei is 15-years old and a sophomore at James Buchanan High School. Her hobbies include running and shopping. Her favorite color is yellow and her...

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Brooms, Mops, and Dustpans Oh My!

The Truth Behind How The School Gets Clean

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Brooms, Mops, and Dustpans Oh My!

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As the bell rings, the students file out the door onto the buses, leaving the mess that is left over from the day behind. The real question is, who is in charge of cleaning the school preparing for the next day? A team of seven janitors work day and night to clean and sanitize the school to ensure the health of everyone here.

 

Mr. Jeff Cole (Faculty) is the newly-hired Head Custodian for James Buchanan High School. Starting May 14 2018, Cole recently just celebrated his six-month anniversary of employment at TSD.

 

“If you like what you do, you never work a day in your life,” said Cole. “I love what I do, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Growing up in southern New Jersey, he went to a local college for an Asian and Latin degree. After completing his degree, Cole served a couple years in the New Jersey Police Department and realized it wasn’t for him.

 

“If you don’t see yourself retiring from the job, then what’s the point in working?” said Cole.

 

Cole then got a job as a janitor at an elementary school in south Jersey. When starting this new job, he realized that being a custodian was for him. The faculty and staff liked him so much that they invited him to class celebrations at a local beach.

 

“Being a janitor is very rewarding, said Cole. “You see a difference in what you’re doing start to finish.”

 

Taking a trip to Gettysburg, Cole fell in love with the area of Pennsylvania, intrigued by the scenery and historical aspect of the community. Leaving his hometown, he went house searching for the right match for him. After a long search, he found a house in the community of Mercersburg with a short commute to work. Cole heard about the head custodial position on a listing the school posted. With previous experience, he knew that he fulfilled all of the qualifications.  

 

“I just wanted to be happy,” said Cole.

 

Starting in May, school was coming close to completion. Cole was trained by the other janitors in the school, they showed him what needs to be done and how to do it. With summer quickly approaching, he had multiple jobs that had to be completed before school started. One task was to move everything out of the classrooms into the hallway, so that they could strip the floors and wax. They also were in charge of draining the water out of the pool to clean and disinfect from the year prior. One staff member touched up and repainted some spots of the school. The cafeteria tables are also deep cleaned, cleaning the pipes and underneath the tables, using the special “gum knife” to remove all the multi-colored spots.

 

“It’s hard to be a perfectionist when there is so much to do,” said Cole.

 

With school starting up again, a routine that seems to change every day was put into place. Coming into school around 2:30 and clocking out at 11:00, Cole starts off his shift with filling mop buckets, so that he can sweep and mop, assisted by a fellow janitor on the same shift. After the cafeteria is swept and mopped, they both move on to the 300 hallway referring to themselves as the “300 hallway pit crew.”  Going into each classroom, they spray each desk with sanitizer, letting it set to get the best results. In the meantime, they also sweep and collect the trash.

 

“We all enjoy the disinfection and the health aspect of cleaning,” said Cole.

 

After completing the classrooms, they move onto the library repeating the same process. On the list to complete is the lobby, main bathrooms, nurse’s office, athletic trainer’s room, and the faculty room. Each night, they also spray a certain chemical onto the wrestling mat to ensure all harmful bacteria is gone. Responsibilities might be added when team members are out, as well.

 

“Every night is different,” said Cole. “You have to plan yourself around what is going on in the school.”

The janitors are responsible to clean up after events, such as sporting events and musical concerts, and sometimes their cleaning process is interrupted by other events taking place anywhere in the school. “Adapting and overcoming every situation” was a phrase Cole repeatedly said.

 

Students in extracurricular activities form friendships with the janitors as they pass them on their way to their practice or activity.

 

“One time, I was singing in the hallway, and he [Cole] joined in,” said Abby Carbaugh (12). That was a memory she liked since it made him so approachable and they both laughed about it.

 

People sometimes don’t notice that the spill made the day before is cleaned, or the pile of pencil eraser dust is off the floor. Lots of behind the scene work is completed daily to ensure the health and wellbeing of each individual student.

 

Where’s He’s Been, Where He Is, and Where He’s Taking Us

Mr. Benedick talks with The Rocket Flame staff about how life changed a little this summer as he accepted a position as Acting Superintendent, but how his positivity is winning over all of TSD

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Where’s He’s Been, Where He Is, and Where He’s Taking Us

Mr. Rodney Benedick, Acting Superintendent of Tuscarora School District

Mr. Rodney Benedick, Acting Superintendent of Tuscarora School District

Mr. Rodney Benedick, Acting Superintendent of Tuscarora School District

Mr. Rodney Benedick, Acting Superintendent of Tuscarora School District

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Remember that smiling face that you’d see lending a helping hand around the school: whether assisting the cafeteria ladies at the lunch line, greeting students at the bus ramp, or just stopping by classes to see how things are going? Are you wondering where he went? Well, now he’s the head honcho of our district, and his work life is completely different than before.

 

Former James Buchanan High School principal, Mr. Rodney Benedick (Faculty) took the position of Acting Superintendent of the Tuscarora School District on July 1, 2018.  As a former student of TSD, Benedick has now worked his way up the educational ladder to now be the superintendent. Picking up where previous superintendents left off, Benedick’s goal is to expand on past ideas in the district along with previous personal experiences.

 

After growing up with his mom being a substitute teacher, Benedick had no interest in the educational field after high school.

Answering some tough questions during an interview with JB Student Media, Mr. Rodney Benedick discusses his life prior to his work in education.

“After I graduated from college, I was working as a retail manager. My first job out of school was a stockbroker. I quit my job after about a month; it was not me.”

 

Benedick’s personality did not fit in with the cutthroat environment. He then took on a new role as the manager of a a Foot Locker in Richmond, VA, where he was living after college.

 

“I saw kids all day long at the Foot Locker that were not in school when they should have been in school from crazy, dysfunctional families[…]Then, I started thinking about who keeps track of these kids,” said Benedick.

 

After being in a different environment than he was used to coming from the small town of Fort Loudon, PA, Benedick started to have a change of perspective on his future.

 

“I saw a lot of kids in a real quick time period that didn’t have the stuff I had growing up, so, long story short, I went back and got my Master’s in Special Education, because I wanted to help kids that didn’t have what I had at school or growing up,” said Benedick.

 

After getting a teaching degree and working with special education kids in New York, he spontaneously came back after making a chance decision to move here with no job or living arrangements.

 

“I guess it was a little bit of luck or right-place, right-time kind of thing,” Benedick said of this decision.

 

With that little bit of luck, he became the Acting Assistant Principal of James Buchanan High School, his former stomping grounds. He moved up to the position of Acting Principal when the former Principal stepped down.

 

Due to Benedick’s new position, he had to further his education to become certified to meet the criteria. He spent 15 years as principal of JBHS, but decided to take it one step further. Benedick applied for the position of Superintendent and went through the interview process when he learned of the open position.

 

¨What I told the Board is that I want to be THIS superintendent, not A superintendent¨ said Benedick.

 

By being “THIS superintendent,” Benedick wants to be committed to the community and focus on what he will do for the district. Benedick feels that it is substantial to “connect to the community at large.” Due to his familiarity within the public, Benedick is starting off further ahead than his predecessors.

I want to be THIS superintendent, not A superintendent

— Mr. Rodney Benedick

“A goal of mine is to create a positive place for kids to go to school and celebrate the good things that happen,” said Benedick.  

 

Benedick, with his self-described “positive personality,” has made it his mission to create an environment of positivity throughout TSD. He has spent most of his time in the high school during his working career, but as superintendent, he’s trying to spend more time in the elementary schools.

 

“It is difficult to spend as much time in the buildings as I would like,” said Benedick, but he hopes to spend more time interacting with kids.

Mr. Rodney Benedick joins the 2018-2019 JB Student Media staff for an interview

 

Benedick’s day-to-day schedule is filled with meetings and is “more office-based” than it was previously. While Benedick is not interacting directly with students every single day, he’s still making a difference in their world of education due to the decisions he makes every day that help enhance students’ educational experience.

 

“My favorite part is knowing I do have an impact on even more kids,” Benedick said.

 

Although Benedick is not in the high school to help out every single school day anymore, he is now helping not only this school, but the rest of the school district, every day back in his office. Whether it is talking to lawyers or communicating with people outside of our district, Benedick is trying to give us a great education and memories to stick with us for the rest of our lives, all while keeping that smile on his face.

 

 

Behind the Throne

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Behind the Throne

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Under the Friday night lights of Rocket Stadium, the 2019 Homecoming King and Queen were crowned.

Shupp (12) and Cormac Houpt (12) accepted their crowns after a eventful week of participating in spirit days and games during the pep rally. But what is it really like to be Homecoming King and Queen? What goes on behind the scenes?

 

Candidates campaigned all week to try to get votes from the student body. Posters and banners were hung all around the building to grab the attention of students. Some candidates even passed out cupcakes and candy to persuade students.

 

“Campaigning was awesome! I know that Kayla Locke (12) and I had a fun time participating,” said Houpt.

 

Some friendly competition went on to see who could go all out with the school spirit to rack in the votes since court couples were running against each other.

 

“Campaigning was really fun!,” said Shupp. “It was a little intimidating for Scott and I when we saw how much Kayla and Cormac were participating in Spirit Week.”

 

Banners advertising “Vote for Madi & Scott” and “Kayla and Cormac for Hoco King/Queen” were posted in the front of the cafeteria. In addition, posters with catchphrases and funny pictures were posted on lockers, doors, and even in the gym locker rooms.

 

“It took us a while to come up with catchy sayings for our signs, but we pretty much made all of the signs during activity period and study halls,” said Shupp.

 

Other candidates used another way to easily spread the word to many people at just the touch of their fingertips by snapping a picture and posting it to Snapchat.

 

“We didn’t do many banners,” said Houpt. “Most of out advertising was social media.”

 

The candidates also dressed up and participated in the spirit days. This years’ spirit days were Lounge Day, Dynamic Duo Day, Monsters University Day, Kingdoms Day and JB Spirit Day.

 

“My favorite spirit day was the JB Spirit Day,” said Shupp. “It was nice to see everyone in green and white and excited for the football game.”

Each couple dressed to correspond with who they were running with. Each day involved a new outfit to catch the attention of their peers.

“Scott and I would talk each night to plan out what we were going to do for the following day,” said Shupp.

 

After a week full of school spirit and participating in the pep rally, the candidates lined up on the track during halftime of the football game and anxiously waited for the results.

“I was very excited when I was crowned king,” said Houpt. “I knew it would be close because there was so many good candidates.”

 

To future Homecoming candidates, many students have passed through and became king and queen and many will do it after. This years’ seniors have some advice for next years’ candidates.  

 

“Just have fun with it! It’s a blast and it will be a memory you won’t forget!” said Shupp.

 

Emma Gipe, Staff

Emma Gipe is 17 years old and a junior at James Buchanan. Dance is her passion, and she does Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe, and Tap.  She also serves...

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That Was Then, This is Now

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After graduation, students go off on their own to make new memories with new people and, more times than not, go to new places. Every so often, there will be some students who tend to stay back or come back to their hometown to start a career. At James Buchanan High School, there are some individuals who have gone here to school and now have started their careers.

 

Mrs. Rebecca Miller (Faculty) and Mr. Kevin Gustafson (Faculty) are only a couple of people who attended high school at James Buchanan. None of the faculty members planned on coming back to high school and work here.

 

“It was one of those things that just kind of happened and it was almost like a domino affect,” Miller said. “The door will open here and a window will open there and things happen all of a sudden just by luck.”

 

During their high school Careers, Miller and Gustafson were both involved in sports and clubs. Miller played basketball and was on the Yearbook committee. Gustafson played football, basketball, and track. He was also involved in National Honors Society. Being a part of activities has played a big part in their high school careers.

 

“Academics and athletics were my full time jobs while I was in High School.” said Gustafson.

 

As time moves forward, changes tend to happen. Some of the events at school altered or faded out. Twenty years later, Miller still remembers having an event that she always looked forward to at the end of the year.

 

“One thing that I really liked when I was a student was FAD Day,” Miller said. “It stood for free academic day where there was like all of these field trips that you could choose from. You could go to Baltimore, you could go to a Pittsburgh baseball game; You could go to the mall, or to a bowling alley. It was a school day, but you picked a field trip that you would want to go on.”

 

James Buchanan still celebrates school spirit, but back then, they had different events than what we have now. Participation in high school was considerably higher than what it is today.

 

“This school district used to have Color Day/Week,” said Gustafson. “Each class would be responsible for decorating a hallway with a theme.  At the end of the week, parents/community members would come into the school in the evening and walk through the building so they could admire all of the decorations.”

 

Nowadays, there are aspects of school that changed drastically. Technology has played a big role in formulating school work.

 
The technology integration has been significant from having a few computer labs to now having all students with laptops.” said Gustafson.

 

Academically, there have been more class opportunities given to students who were thinking about going to college.

 

“The chance to get college credit has changed a lot,” said Miller. “Like the HCC dual enrollment and the Mon-Alto classes; I don’t remember any of that.”

 

Over the years, the school itself has changed with updates. Despite this, the attitude of the  student body have stayed the same.

 

“Some teachers say that kids are different,” said Miller. “I think kids are just like kids from twenty years ago. They still have the same things that they worry about and things that make them laugh. People are people and I don’t think that part has changed a lot.”

 

All-in-all, former students who are now teachers remember James Buchanan as the same as today except for minor differences. Both Miller and Gustafson have fond memories they acquired while attending high school at James Buchanan.

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Proud To Be An American

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Proud To Be An American

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There are so many diverse countries around the world – China, Puerto Rico, Argentina, the UK (also known as Great Britain), and so on. Some people from these countries come to America to start a new life. As fate would have it, Mrs. Marie Donahoe (Faculty), came from the UK to America to continue teaching students.

 

Donahoe lived in York City, which is in the northeast of the UK. During her time there, she worked at a Further Education College in Grantham to teach learning support students. Donahoe and her husband lived in the UK for about ten years until they both decided to come to America.

 

“My husband was from Chambersburg and when we got married we were living in the UK,” said Donahoe. “Then he decided that he missed all of the cheeseburgers, hotdogs, baseball, football. So he told me ‘Why don’t we give this a try?’ and I agreed.”

 

Donahoe lived in the United States for six years before she decided to go get the citizen’s award.

 

“I like it here in the United States,” Donahoe explained. “I want to remain here and I want to work here. I love teaching and I love the job that I currently have. I love doing what I do for a living. I did not want to put my job into jeopardy by not becoming a citizen.”

 

On the day that Donahoe went to take her citizen’s test, she had the feeling of “butterflies in the stomach.”

 

“I was a little bit nervous mostly because you are in the hands of the government. I had to pay money in order to apply for the citizenship award, which isn’t cheap,” Donahoe said. “For me to blow that in an interview answering, ‘Who takes over for Mr. Trump if he was to resign?’ would be very frustrating.”

 

Besides being anxious about the test, Donahoe said that she was happy to have passed.

 

“My citizen’s test was actually fun. The lady who interviewed me was really nice and easy going. She wanted to know quite a bit about England and Britain,” said Donahoe. “She gave me the test and she asked me six questions in all which I guess I got all correct, so by the time I got to the seventh question she was like ‘You’re good’ and put the test away. For the most part, they were very straight-forward questions and it helped that I had some practice tests to help me study.”

 

Even though Donahoe is legally considered as a United States citizen, she sees America as a new home that has different aspects of life compared to the UK.  

 

“The UK and the United States are pretty much similar in landscape and cultures. The major differences are that here, things are very spread out whereas the UK is a little bit compact,” Donahoe explained. “The difference between the rural areas is that there is a lot of public transport, such as bicycles, trains, and a lot of walking in the UK, unlike in the United States where people normally drive to get around. Students who go to school will usually walk to school, but sometimes they do take buses on occasion.”

 

According to Donahoe, the school structures are alike in the UK and in the United States, but the requirements for graduation are different.

 

“Kids can leave high school at the age of sixteen and go onto college, which is like a community college here, if I were to compare it to the United States,” Donahoe said. “You basically end up graduating with the equivalent of a GED.”

 

Schools in the UK end at a later time and the education being taught are different compared to the United States.

 

“The education over there [in the UK] is career-oriented, whereas here it is subject-oriented,” said Donahoe. “When you go to college, you have to take the liberal arts, whereas in the UK you do not have to do that. For instance, for my degree, I didn’t have to take math classes or psychology classes. Timewise, the UK starts at around nine in the morning because they have a national curriculum and then we usually end at around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon.”

 

According to Donahoe, the food in the United States is unhealthy compared to the UK because we have more greasy and fatty foods. Her all-time favorite snack that she misses is the fish and chips. Food in the UK is considered healthier because their foods are made from local ingredients.

 

Being a part of the UK culture, Donahoe has aspects that she will cherish forever and try to restore in her family here in the United States.

 

“I will miss the tradition of Sunday lunch in the UK. Sunday lunch was when your family came together at one person’s house and you would have a lunch that would be similar to Thanksgiving in the United States,” Donahoe said. “This would occur every Sunday. When we came to the United States, I tried to keep one aspect that came from my life in the UK and add it to the life I have now in the United States.”

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Sewing Together the Perfect Night

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Sewing Together the Perfect Night

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The weather was a little dreary with the rain but everyone was dressed to the nines in gorgeous gowns and tuxedos. The air was filled with the smell of flowers and all around people were taking perfectly-posed photos in front of the gorgeous venue at Green Grove Gardens.

 

Girls spent all day doing their hair, makeup, nails and getting dressed. Boys look almost unrecognizable in their tuxedos, compared to their everyday school attire.

 

Prom is one of the most memorable events for all high school students, but for two particular girls the night was made even more memorable by getting to show off their own unique handmade prom dresses.

 

For Aria Jewel-Barnett (11), creating her own prom dress is a special memory

 

We began planning (the dress) two weeks before prom,” Said Jewel- Barnett.  With the help of her mother she was able to finish the project at the last minute.

 

On the day of prom, we woke up early to finish up the last step of the dressmaking,” she said. “Our old sewing machine broke down, causing utter mayhem and frustration; It was very stressful because we were in such a time crunch.”

 

For last year’s and this year’s dance, Lauren Fleming (12) started her dressmaking process early.

 

“I started making my dress in January,” said Fleming.  

 

She was inspired to create her own dress because, “I always hate wearing a dress that someone else could wear, I like uniqueness.”

 

Sizing was another reason for crafting her own gown.

 

“Making your own dress means you could make it the exact way you want it and for your correct size.”

 

Designing a completely unique and personalized dress is also a good way to cut spending during prom season.  For Lauren, crafting her dress only cost her $20 for a dress pattern and Aria spent only $50 to create her gown. Comparing this to the $300 dollars the average teenage girl will spend on a prom dress, designing your own dress can be a huge money-saver, as well as a memory that will last a lifetime.

 

Creating a handmade dress takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and can pose a list challenges to any skilled dressmaker. In the end, the finished product is worth all of the time and effort.

 

For any beginning seamstress, the girls gave some pointers and tips on what to pay attention to while embarking on making your own dress.

 

“Always start out with a small project and work your way up,” Fleming said.

 

“I would highly suggest having to start at least a month before prom,” said Barnett. “That way you won’t be so stressed on the day of your prom. “

Filed under Features, Off Campus

New Experiences and Changing Lives

JBHS Ag Teacher, Ms. Brittany May, is changing lives with her appearance on the Today show

Ms.+May+outside+of+NBC+studios.
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New Experiences and Changing Lives

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

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She has been an inspiration to a school, a community, a state, and now to a nation.  Her life changing transformation has shown millions that it is possible to change the course of your life.  Ms. Brittany May (Faculty) had once weighed over 500 pounds, but after taking her life into her own hands, she has lost almost 300 pounds.  Her perseverance has been seen all over the nation through her appearance on the Today Show.

 

“It was such a surreal experience being able to share my experience on a national platform,” said May.

 

On May 3, 2018, May was a guest star on Megyn Kelly Today.  She was part of the “Mind and Body” special that morning.  May, along with her mother, discussed the

the dedication and determination that she has had to have to make it to the point she is at now.  Megyn Kelly, amazed at May’s courage, asked her questions about her life as a teen, the journey she has taken, and the plans for her future.

“I keep getting messages from people telling me how I have touched them,” May said, “My heart is beyond full.”

She has given many people the courage and determination that they have needed to change their lives.  As others change their life, May continues to change hers.

May said, “I joined a gym three weeks ago because its fun.”

Along with her healthy habits she has learned, she is trying new things.  May started off her journey being stubborn, but as she kept moving forward she realized that she could not be afraid to try new things.  She now has become a coach of her weight loss program, Optavia. May guides her clients through their journey by touching base every day for the first week and then weekly from there on out.  She continues to chat with her coach on a weekly basis about her healthy habits and things she can do to continue to improve her life.

“For the first time in my entire life, this summer I won’t be thinking about losing weight or being in the process of losing weight,” May said.

Her weight loss has allowed May to have more energy and do an increasing amount of hands on activities in the classroom.  She has been learning a lot from her experiences that she is able to bring back to the classroom to her give her students the best education she can.

 

May said, “I can’t wait to see what I will do and accomplish next year at this time.”

 

May plans to continue Optavia and be there to support her clients through their ups and downs.  She also plans to continue teaching using the knowledge that she continues to gain from her new experiences her transformation has allowed.

Kirstyn Black, Staff

Kirstyn Black is a first-year member of the James Buchanan Student Media staff.  She is a senior and has many interests.  She enjoys playing volleyball...

A Day in the Life of Mr. Strawoet

One thing that is really important within the athletic department is the scheduling of the games. Mr. Larry Strawoet (Faculty) deals with the “behind the scenes” of the sports played at James Buchanan High School.

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A Day in the Life of Mr. Strawoet

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6:30 a.m – 7:00 a.m. – Strawoet arrives at the office between 6:30 and 7:00. Before Strawoet starts his day, he looks at the schedule to see which sports have games and where. If there are away games for that day, he takes care of the transportation for those teams. Afterwards, he gets the early dismissals ready so that they can be announced in the morning for those specific athletes. He tries to make sure that all of the fields are ready and touches base with the maintenance staff that the fields are getting aligned.

 

7:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m –  During this time, the director’s office is normally empty. Mr. Strawoet is rarely at his desk because he is always on the move, always prioritizing with making sure that everything is moving smoothly.

 

11:35 a.m – 12:15 p.m. – During this time, Strawoet gets his lunch break when he is scheduled to do lunch duty during period 4/5. Sometimes, he does not have time to get lunch because he is doing something else, which can be rescheduling games or any number of responsibilities.

 

Strawoet deals with the cancellations of the different sports games. He has four different weather maps on his phone. If there is inclement weather happening at the locations of the games, there will be a discussion with the other school and coaches. If the games are home, then he will have to consult with maintenance.

 

“It is very hard to judge whether or not to cancel games due to weather,” Strawoet said. “But in the end, it is all about the health and safety of the kids. We want our athletes to be healthy and injury-free and if that means we have to cancel a game, then that is what we will do.”

 

12:20 a.m – 3:15 p.m – After lunch, he may go back to his office to take care of a couple of things before he leaves his office once again. Sometimes, he will check with the coaches to make sure of the game times so that they both are on the same page. Strawoet has to make sure that there are officials for the events and makes sure that he has paychecks for them.

 

After school until 8:00 p.m. – Strawoet prepares the menu for the concession stands for the home games. This means the beverages and the snacks in the stands are all prepared. Then he moves on to get the press box ready. He has to make sure that there is help at the home games to take tickets.

 

8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – At this time, Strawoet makes sure that the next day’s games are all organized. Then he goes to the fields and makes sure they are all cleaned up and ready to go for the next day before he leaves to go home.

 

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Finally after sporting events held at the high school are over, Strawoet gets in his car to go home to his family. He gets as much sleep as possible in order to be ready for the next day.

 

“My day seems pretty hectic at times, but the nice part about my day is that every day is different,” Strawoet said.

 

Strawoet is the first one to arrive at the fields and the last to leave. His days can be somewhat chaotic when there are quite a number of tasks on his plate, but he likes what he does and he wishes to continue as long as he can. He cherishes his job and everyone he connects with.

I get to deal with exceptional young athletes and I get to have relationships with teachers, administrators, staff, opponents, teams, and many others and that’s the joy of this job. The relationships that I have had over the years I value the most.”

— Mr. Strawoet

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Megan Rummel, Editor

Megan Rummel lives in  St. Thomas, PA. She lives with her mom, dad, and her two grandmas. Her brother lives in Chambersburg and is a father to his son...

Marc Mero: An Inspiring Story

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Marc Mero: An Inspiring Story

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Marc Mero, former WWE wrestling champion and author of How to be the Happiest Person on the Planet, visited James Buchanan High School on March 28 to share his Champion of Choices tour.

According to the  Mami Herald, “Mero dedicates his post-WWE career to inspiring students to overcome bullying and self-destructive thinking, set goals, dream big, and to appreciate those who support them most in life.”

With more than one million people seeing the program, they describe it as “life-changing” and says it reaches students at “heart level.” Mero does these productions to show students that they are not alone in the battle against bullying.

With both the JBMS and JBHS students packed tightly in the gym, Mero took each student through his life journey. Starting out living in a beaten-down apartment, his life took a turn when his parents got a divorce. Living with his mother, he started hanging out with the wrong people who took him down a path full of drug abuse and an alcohol addiction.

 “Friends are like elevators: they are gonna take you up or take you down. Show me your friends and I’ll tell you your future,” Mero said during the assembly.

Throughout the crowd there were tear-filled eyes as students became emotional as he shared his story. With the death of his mother, younger brother, and sister, Mero reiterated the importance of family.

The detrimental effect that it had on my family, losing family members, made me realize how precious life is, ”

— Marc Mero

Mero asked all students to go home and tell their siblings how important they are, as well as  also to apologize to their parents for any wrongdoings.

“I see hardworking kids with dreams and goals, I just don’t want the kids to make the same mistakes I did,” said Mero “I see hope; the darker it gets the brighter we have to shine.”

After listening to the assembly, Aurora Wagner (9) shared how she is going to change. “I’m gonna go home and thank my family, apologize for stuff I said to them,” she said.  “Overall just treat everyone better.”

The assembly also informed the students the usefulness of talking about your problems, to let people help you through feelings of depression because everyone matters.

Mero thinks his presentation is different from others because “[he] shares from the heart, making  students realize that there is a part of his story in each one of them.”

Mero encourages all students that see his presentation to contact him through email, Twitter, or Instagram to tell him your story and how his presentation might have changed their life.  

One thing can be said: the assembly was powerful and one students at JB will remember.

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