The Rocket Flame

A Spook-tacular Day

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

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October is a season full of carving pumpkins, dressing up, and lots of sweets. Student Council decided to celebrate this season by hosting a pumpkin-decorating contest, costume contest, and senior trick-or-treating.

Every year Student Council hosts a pumpkin-decorating contest. The contest allowed homerooms to show off their creative side by painting pumpkins. The pumpkins are judged by teachers who come down and decide which pumpkin is the best.

“I enjoyed being a judge for the contest,” said Hillwig. “It’s cool to see how creative the students can be.”

Homeroom 301 (Art) won the contest with their Oscar the Grouch-themed pumpkin. The homeroom was rewarded with a breakfast provided by Student Council. The breakfast includes bagels, doughnuts, and fruit.

The Art Homeroom Oscar the Grouch Pumpkin

“All the pumpkins were so unique,” said Claire Kriner (11). “I never would have thought to paint a pumpkin like they were.”

At the end of the day, Student Council members will dress up in Halloween costumes and deliver the pumpkins to local nursing homes, including Shook Home and Menno Haven.

“My favorite part of the pumpkin-decorating is visiting with the elderly and seeing how happy their reactions are,” said Kriner.

The next event Student Council planned was the costume contest. The costume contest lets students dress up as something of their choosing. The categories were: Most Creative, Best Couple, Best Group, Scariest, and the Most Funny. Student Council then chooses a random selection of teachers to judge the contest. The pumpkins this year were judged by Troy Hillwig (Faculty) and De-bra Blair (Faculty).

“The judging was tough,” said Hillwig. “There were some great costumes like Bonnie and Clyde and Raining Men.”

Dressing up as Bonnie and Clyde, Jackie Wagaman (12) and Aaron Stone (12) pose for a picture.

The final event to wrap the Halloween festivities up was senior Trick-or-Treating. The event enables seniors to dress up in costumes and go around to teachers who give out candy. Not only do the students dress up, but the teachers participate as well to get into the Halloween spirit.

Dressing up as Captain America Brian Stull (Faculty) participates in Senior Trick-or-Treating.

“My favorite thing is senior Trick-or-Treating because students are acting like they are younger again,” said Lynn Fleury-Adamek (Faculty).

From dressing up to getting lots of sweets, the day was filled with Halloween fun for students and faculty to enjoy.

Filed under On Campus

Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

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A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.


Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.


“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.


“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.


While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”


Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.


“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange



With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

Filed under On Campus

Are You College-Ready?

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It’s crunch time for the Class of 2019. Many seniors are in the midst of completing college applications toward their next step in education for the start of 2019-2020 school year. To lend a helping hand, James Buchanan’s College Ambassadors have organized workshops to help with any unanswered questions that students might have.


The first two workshops focused on the important topics of the FAFSA and The Common Application, which can both be crucial steps when applying to colleges.


“The college application process can be quite overwhelming,” said College Ambassador, Harley Rife (12). “These workshops don’t just provide answers to specific questions, but they also allow seniors to see how they can make the process less overwhelming.”


Ambassadors were split up into four groups to collect information and study up on various topics that they then would present to college-bound members of the student body.


“My group’s topic was on writing admissions essays, and I have learned a lot about what to write about and what colleges are looking for,” says Rife.


The student-to-student perspective is a change from just the average meetings with your assigned guidance counselor. This experience gives students a chance to interact with other classmates who can relate since they are going through the same process.


“Sometimes with the counselors, students feel like they have to ask questions, or that they have to take extra time from their school day to ask one simple question,” said Rife, ”So students are encouraged to ask College Ambassadors and other students their questions.”


The counselors, Mrs. Brenda Ford (Faculty), Mrs. Lynn Troutman (Faculty) and College Advisor Ms. Amy Violante (Faculty) help guide the ambassadors in the right direction to help other students.


“The support of Mrs. Troutman and Ms. Violante really motivated me,” said Rife. “So now we’re trying to spread the motivation.”


The final workshop will take place in Room 101 on Nov. 2 and will discuss interview and acceptance processes.


“I hope students gain knowledge of the topics, but, more importantly, encouragement,” says Rife. “Encouragement to do their best and try their best on all of their essays and applications.”


As time starts winding down to the beginning of the 2019 school year, the numerous applications and SAT’s will show their significance in the college application process.


“Everyone is capable,” says Rife. “It’s just a matter of putting in the time and getting the ball rolling.”

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...

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

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For years, the James Buchanan Drama Club has followed the same pattern in terms of what type of show they put on in the spring: musical, play, musical, play, musical, musical. Wait, two musicals in a row?

This year, the JBHS Drama Club is trying something new: two musicals in two years, back to back. Last year, a titanic-sized cast brought the historical tragedy to life on stage with Titanic; but the drama department decided to do the exact opposite this year. In the spring of 2019, students will be performing a romantic comedy with a small cast entitled She Loves Me.

“I choose shows that people have likely never seen or even heard about,” said Mr. Luke Spurgeon (Faculty), the director of the drama department. “They come in with no expectations, nothing to compare us to, and we get to be the best they have ever seen! She Loves Me is one of those shows!”

Spurgeon tries to change up the genre each year, challenging the cast to “be multi-talented” by having them act in a myriad of different scenarios, from drama to suspense to comedy, and finally, romance. Once the show was decided upon and announced, the audition date was set. Auditions took place over two days, Sept. 24 and 25, with the cast list coming out the following day. Those that auditioned crowded around Spurgeon as he posted the list to the door of the chorus room.

“I am so honored,” said Emily Palmerchuck (12), who was cast as the female lead, Amalia Balash. “I am so excited to start working ‘cause it’s a great show.”

Once the cast list was out and the leads were announced, it was time for the table read, where the cast got together for the first time and read through the script. The table read was kicked off by Palmerchuck bringing vanilla ice cream for the cast in honor of the song “Vanilla Ice Cream.” Palmerchuck said that her favorite part of the table read was seeing the choices made by the other actors for how they portray their characters.

“I think just hearing how each actor interpreted their lines because we all had our own way of looking at them and how we would say them,” said Palmerchuck.

Ella Heckman (11) and Rose Runyan (12) are always ready to bust some moves.

The cast learned the same lines and the same songs to audition, so everyone had their own interpretation of scenes going into auditions and the table read. Spurgeon played the soundtrack when the script called for musical numbers, but many of the cast already knew some of the songs, singing along to a recording. After making it through the table read, the She Loves Me cast has music practices in November and December.

Palmerchuck said, “Then, we get into the full swing of things starting in January.”

Starting in January, the cast will have practices every week to learn the show. They memorize their lines and begin to work out how they perform the scene on stage. Palmerchuck looks forward to staging scenes between her character, Amalia, and the other lead, Georg Nowack, who is portrayed by Jacob Troupe (11).

“I think I’m most looking forward to staging the scene in the shop where Kodaly sings “Illona,”” said Spurgeon.

Kodaly, who is portrayed by Dean King (11), tries to win back his girlfriend, Illona (Allison Collings (12)), after she gets mad at him. Most of the cast already know each other from being in previous productions of the drama department.

“A lot of us know each other already,” said Palmerchuck, “and we’re all very passionate about the show, which is, of course, part of the reason we got the roles we did. I just think it’s going to be a good time, everyone’s going to put in the work, everyone’s going to support each other.”

All of that work will pay of in mid-March, when the musical will be performed. Spurgeon predicts that the audience will leave the show with any of the songs stuck in their heads, but he would like to hear people humming the opening number when they leave.

“[Kodaly] sings the song trying to woo her back…” – Mr. Luke Spurgeon.

“I really want people to leave singing the ‘She Loves Me’ song because it’s the namesake,” said Palmerchuck. “It’s such a big song, it’s such a good song.”

Palmerchuck also thinks that the audience will leave the show “singing the goodbye song as people are leaving the shop,” as it is sung multiple times throughout the musical. With auditions over and the table read completed, it won’t be long until the show is staged and ready to be performed. Grab your vanilla ice cream and a dear friend and come see She Loves Me, as performed by the JBHS Drama Club, in March of 2019.

Deanna Grove, Staff

Deanna Grove is a senior at James Buchanan High School. This is her first year as part of the JB Student Media staff, and she's always busy taking part...

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

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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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...

Filed under News, On Campus, Showcase

A Disney Dance

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Senior Awards Ceremony

All the award winners smile after the eventful ceremony.

All the award winners smile after the eventful ceremony.

All the award winners smile after the eventful ceremony.

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On May 22, the James Buchanan High School honored the Class of 2018 with the annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Over $230,000 in awards were presented to the senior class with 70 lucky students able to partake in the Ceremony.

With the ceremony only lasting for about two hours, Claire Alfree (12) entertained the crowd as she played various pieces on the piano before the ceremony started.

“This is the first time we ever had live entertainment,” said program coordinator Mrs. Mary Cristofano (Faculty).


The program was packed with all different kinds of scholarships and awards, ranging from $50-$4,000.


Each department in the school presented awards to chosen students that went above and beyond. The awards can also be from progress throughout the four years of high school.


For students to receive scholarships, they had to fill out multiple applications and write essays. Each application required different amounts of information to coincide with what the scholarship entailed.


The well-known Glazier scholarship was the top on everyone’s list. With $44,000 being split 18 ways, each student received $2,444. The scholarship can renew with each year of college if the student keeps up with a certain GPA and fills out the renewal paperwork each year.

Back Row: Samantha Mills (12), Abby Horst (12), Maddi Hissong (12), Shelby Carbaugh (12), Haley Saunders (12), Mackenzie Runk (12), Brianna Hege (12), Logan Rockwell (12). Front Row: Kierstyn Martin(12), Sydney Jones (12), Kirstyn Black (12), Amber Brindle (12), Renee Sollenberger (12), Mackenzie Shughart (12), Annabelle McChullough (12), Emma Bafile (12), and Makenna Piper (12).

The Marshall Reeder scholarship topped all the others ones, giving $4,000 over 4-years totaling to $16,000. Megan Hoffeditz (12) was the lucky student to receive the scholarship. Hoffeditz is planning on going to Wilson College to work towards her teaching degree.   


Lenfest Scholarship winners were also announced. These award winners already knew that they were chosen, but Nicholas Garbinski (12), Logan Rockwell (12), and Renee Sollenberger (12)  were recognized for their accomplishment. For more information read Lenfest Scholars For Life.


Many scholarships are donated by people in the area to help out with students’ college expenses. Past students or teachers come to the ceremony to be a figurehead of any scholarship.


Some scholarships had certain criteria and were only presented for some students. Logan Rockwell (12) qualified for the Montgomery Elementary scholarship, where only people who attended the elementary school could apply. This can also go for the Lemasters scholarship, with the requirement of having a residence in the area.


Local businesses and organizations also presented at the ceremony. The local Rotary Club donated $4,500, as well as Whitetail Ski Resort due to the multiple employees that work there over the winter season. The Bank of Mercersburg, presented by Annalisa Ambrisco, gave Summer Sensinger (12) the scholarship on her behalf.


Memorial awards were also given out to represent certain people in their honor.


With one last roaring applause from the crowd, all 70 students beamed with excitement with multiple certificates and folders in hand. The night ended with Tea Time Tasties cookies and other refreshments provided by the JBHS cafeteria.  

Godspeed Totem Pole

On May 20 schools from around the area gathered together for the Tony’s of high school musicals.

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

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Totem Pole Playhouse Awards were started back in 2014 and closely mimic the Tony Awards for Broadway shows.


“Out of three counties, the schools that want to participate in it can have judges come and watch their musicals,” Claire Alfree (12) stated. “Then they get judged based off of different awards, such as Best Actress and Best Ensemble Number.”


Five schools/people are nominated for each of these awards, ranging from Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, to Outstanding Musical Chorus. James Buchanan High School’s show, Titanic, was nominated for nine of the awards.


“I got nominated for Best Leading Actress,” Alfree said. “Dean [King] got nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Jackie Wagaman and Logan [Williams] got nominated for Best Ensemble Male and Female. We got nominated for Best Ensemble Number, Best Chorus, Best Musical, and Best Duet.”


Titanic has big shoes to fill from the performance two years ago, Jekyll and Hyde.


“We won ten awards for Jekyll and Hyde,” Alfree stated.


Back in 2016, Alfree was awarded Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role, for her character Lucy Harris, the same award that she was nominated for this year, playing Kate McGowan.


“Honestly, I was really surprised,” Alfree said. “You’re up against seniors and I was only a sophomore at the time, so I was definitely in shock, but I’m proud, and I worked really hard for it.”

Alfree and the other castmates have high hopes for this year’s awards.


“I would love if we got every single award, but I don’t want to go in there saying we will,” Alfree said,  “No matter what though, we are going to come home with something, and we’re going to make our school proud.”


Dean King (10), who played Barrett in the show, was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role and Best Male Solo. He won the award, for his performance of Barrett’s Song.


“I was super shocked. I honestly thought that Ben, who played Shrek, in Shrek the Musical [Waynesboro], was going to win because he has such a beautiful voice,” said King.  
“I was super excited when I won that award.”


James Buchanan also won two other awards Sunday evening.


“The Titanic musical as a whole also won the award for Best Ensemble, and then Abby Horst won the Jean Stapleton Award,” King said.


Even though they may be nice, the musical and Totem Pole are not all about the awards, but about the people.


“You get really close with all of the cast members and whenever the show’s over, that first two weeks, you start to miss it a lot,” Alfree stated. “Totem Pole is that one opportunity to have everyone back together again.”


The cast had a chance to do it all one last time and Totem Pole will be an experience for them to remember forever.

Sydney Jones, Staff

Sydney Jones is a senior at James Buchanan High School. In addition to Student Media, she is involved in many activities throughout the school, including:...

Filed under On Campus, Showcase

Advice for College Freshmen From Alumnae

In the library lobby of James Buchanan High School, a banner hangs where students and faculty can write advice and inspiring words for seniors that are graduating.

In the library lobby of James Buchanan High School, a banner hangs where students and faculty can write advice and inspiring words for seniors that are graduating.

In the library lobby of James Buchanan High School, a banner hangs where students and faculty can write advice and inspiring words for seniors that are graduating.

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It is the middle of the summer, and you are roaming through the aisles of stores trying to shop for your dorm. There are so many things in so many colors, and you do not know where to start. You’re asking yourself questions like:

“Do I need a duster?”

“Should I get a planner to plan out my week?”

“Should I buy this value pack of Ramen so I can save up money?”


These are all questions that have been asked many times before, and they will continue to be asked many times in the future, but the advice from a few alumni who asked the same questions should set you in the right direction.


James Buchanan Alumni Class of 2017, Veronica Harmon, Lebanon Valley College, and Kayla McKenzie, Millersville University, wanted to share some advice that they wish they had when they were going into college as freshmen.


First of all, moving into college can be a hassle, so take necessary precautions to avoid any unnecessary struggles.


“Having all your stuff organized before going there is very handy,” said Harmon. “Having your clothes together, having your toiletries together, and so forth, is very helpful, so you are not looking for random stuff that could be in any box.”


To maintain a tidy dorm room, work with your roommate to keep your dorm room clean.


“I am a very clean person, so I have everything clean always, but my roommate was quite different than that.” Harmon said.  “Understanding whose responsibility is whose [is important], like I took out the garbage when she took out the recycling.”


Scheduling can become a lifesaver when it comes to staying on track.


“Have a set day on when you like to do things [helps]. I would always do laundry on Tuesdays because it wasn’t busy,” said Harmon. “Having a schedule will help you figure out when to do things at the best time like you can’t vacuum if you have a carpet during quiet hours.”


When it comes to saving money, the best advice is to actually save it up.


“Put money in your savings account and don’t touch it unless it’s in an emergency and, no, wanting fast food isn’t an emergency,” said McKenzie. “You have a meal plan for a reason, but treating yourself once a week won’t kill you either.”


If the situation occurs when you are not doing the best in your classes, you have resources around you to help.


“Teach yourself if you have to, get a tutor, or work with the people in your class,” said McKenzie. “You only have to deal with this professor for one semester.”


A tip for a successful college academic career is to stay on task with your work.


“When you are working on your work, you have to focus on that and not have any distractions because you have to stay ahead,” said Harmon.


To destress after an immense workload, you can do activities around campus.


“Colleges usually have a crazy amount of clubs and extracurriculars,” said McKenzie. “I suggest getting involved in at least one every semester. Find something you love and join that club.”


These two college sophomores are only two opinions. There are plenty of other additional articles and lists that could help you prepare for your future in college. Not only that, but you could also ask more people you know attending college for their advice. Also, don’t forget if you have any questions that you can’t find answers to online, contact your college to ask.

Madison Dorsey, Editor

Madison Dorsey, better known as Madi, participates in several extra curricular activities, such as Tennis, Art Club, Drama Club, JBHS Student Media, Relay...

Filed under On Campus

“Houston, We’re Ready For Take Off!”

Learn about the new Voyager Program coming next year at JB

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Three…two…one…blast off! During the 2018-2019 school year, the Voyager Program will be launched at James Buchanan High School.


The Voyager Program is a self-driven class for students, which includes three different disciplines: English, Social Studies and Art. Students will be coming up with their own projects that encompass these subjects. The program is worth three credits, one for each subject.


Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich(Faculty), one of the five coordinating teachers of the program, said “One of the examples we gave was a student built a bass guitar. So with that, he would write a paper maybe on the history of bass guitars, but then he also found music and wrote music for it.”


The Voyager Program is made up of a lot of open-ended work that is done in the students’ own time. Students will be tasked with completing two projects a marking period for two marking periods. It is compared to college, where students do a lot of learning on their own, but they also have to manage their time. To help students, the coordinators set up weekly journals where students have to report their progress. They are also hoping for at least one class period where students can come to any of the coordinators and receive time and help on their projects.


“This could really benefit students that might not learn perfectly in a regular classroom setting,” said Chambers.


Rather, students learn school subjects through what they love and have an interest in. Some students do not excel in the typical classroom setting, but the Voyager Program enables students to learn in a different environment.


“For example, when I was in high school, I would have excelled in a program like this, but that’s because I could have focused on art and then learned the history and English related to it,” said Chambers.


Mr. Rodney Benedick (Principal) first found this idea form Central York High School’s Apollo Program, where each student has their own tailored way of learning. Several teachers became interested, including Mrs. Danielle Fox (Faculty) for English, Ms. Jena Antonelli (Faculty) for Social Studies, and Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty) and Chambers for the Arts. The program is being led by Mr. Michael Mele (Faculty).


In the end, the teachers involved are looking for what students can take away from this program. They feel this program can help prepare students for life outside of high school and into college. They hope to have fifteen students this next year to make the program really take off.


“We are looking for any driven student. I don’t think there is any cookie-cutter student for this program and I think that’s what’s great about it,” said Chambers. “If you are driven and willing to put in the work, willing to grow as a student and to work with your teacher mentors, I think that’s the ideal student.”


The teachers and staff here at JB are looking forward to seeing how this program does next year and years to come, hoping learning can reach new heights.


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Do You Drive?

Parking in the school parking lot, Sammie Mills (12) shows off skills learned through taking Driver's Education and Driver's Simulation

Parking in the school parking lot, Sammie Mills (12) shows off skills learned through taking Driver's Education and Driver's Simulation

Parking in the school parking lot, Sammie Mills (12) shows off skills learned through taking Driver's Education and Driver's Simulation

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A person can start learning to drive at 16 years old, and, through Driver’s Education and Driver’s Simulation, which are offered at James Buchanan High School, students are learning to drive properly to be in control on the road.


Driver’s Education is a mandatory half-credit course offered to students in their sophomore year. The course goes through 10 modules that consist of a lesson and quiz. Throughout the 10 different modules, there are many topics covered, including emotional driving, driving under the influence, all the way to what is under the hood of a car and liability insurance.


After the modules are completed, students must take a final driving assessment to determine whether they will pass the course or not. If the student receives under a 75% on the final assessment, they have failed and must keep trying to complete the course in order to graduate. Unfortunately for students that fail, they must pay a fine of $50 every semester they take Driver’s Education.


At James Buchanan, Mr. Michael Mele (Faculty) is in charge of Driver’s Education. This means he informs all the students about the course and supervises students to keep them on track, especially for the final assessment.


“It is really important to get an understanding of the rules of the road,” Mele said. “I think what the exposure to Driver’s Ed does is it gets you making conscious, safe decisions on the road.”


James Buchanan also offers Driver’s Simulation directed by Mrs. Julie Eshleman (Faculty). Driver’s Stimulation is a course taken by students where they go through simulations at a wheel and even practice driving on the road with instructors. There are nine different simulations that the students go through which replicate different weather conditions. Each simulation is required to be taken twice.


Driver’s Simulation is an optional course, though, since students have to pay a fee to take it. Once a student completes the course, they are allowed to take their driver’s test through the school instead of through a DMV. There are also circumstances, depending on the type of insurance, where students will be given a discount off their insurance if they take the course.


“The leading cause of death for young people is automobile accidents,” Eshleman said, “So anything we can do to prevent that would be great.”

Driving is not something that people, especially teenagers, should take for granted. By offering Driver’s Education and Driver’s Simulation to students, James Buchanan aims to teach students road safety in hopes to minimize future accidents.

Sarah Kimmel, Staff

Sarah Kimmel is a sophomore at James Buchanan. She likes to be involved within the school by being a staff member of the student media, a member of the...

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