The Rocket Flame

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Getting a Head Start on College: Do Honors and AP Classes Help?

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For many high school students, getting as prepared as possible for college is a main priority. One way these eager JB students choose to stay ahead of the game is by taking Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes, as well as Penn State classes offered here.  


At James Buchanan they offer a wide variety of honors and Advanced Placement Courses including: AP Literature and Composition, AP Language and Composition, AP World History, AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP Government,,  AP Chemistry, Honors Economics, Honors Anatomy, Honors Chemistry, Honors Science 9 and Honors Geometry.


The AP classes are taught in the same format as a college course, but rather than receiving college credits on your classroom grades, students have to take an Advanced Placement test to determine if they can receive college credit for the course.


The type of college credit one receives is all based on the test score. The test is out of five points and while a perfect five might get a student a full college credit for the course, most colleges accept at least a three to go towards your degree, even if it counts as an elective credit.  


In addition to getting a head start with advanced high school courses students also have the option to apply for an early-to-college program offered by Penn State Mont Alto. The courses consist of two classes per semester, and are taught in the morning prior to the school day from 7:15 to 8:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays.


The classes offer not only tuition reductions and technology fee coverage but allows the students to take courses dually with the highschool and also receive college credits for the class.


These classes place students in a real life example of college, consisting of not only one weekly in-person meeting, but an online aspect as well.


“The college classes (Penn State) prepare you for college by exposing you to a more rigorous curriculum than what you regularly experience in normal high school classes,“  said Isaac Miller (12), who participated in the early to college program this year.


Students see the positive side to getting a jump start to college, as well as the teachers.


“I think taking an AP class puts the student at a higher standard of learning,” said AP Language and Composition teacher Mrs. Jenna Sheaffer (Faculty).  “ You’re in charge of your learning and it [AP/ Honors classes] teaches you responsibility and organization that will help you with college-level courses in the future.”


No matter what your plans are after graduation, whether attending a four year college, two year college, or trade school, preparing for your future is a key focal point. AP classes help prepare you not only for future learning opportunities but gives you organizational skills that can be carried on to your future endeavors. High school is all about getting ready to go into the adult world. Like all things choosing a course that best fits you and your plans will be the key to success.

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Showcasing Our Students Art: Ensemble of the Arts

During Ensemble of the Arts, there was artwork accepted from all of the schools in the district.

During Ensemble of the Arts, there was artwork accepted from all of the schools in the district.

During Ensemble of the Arts, there was artwork accepted from all of the schools in the district.

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The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and with it comes many annual events, such as Arts in Action. Arts in Action has been a tradition in the district for several years, but this year it is being replaced by a new event: Ensemble of the Arts.


On April 23, James Buchanan High School hosted its first annual Ensemble of the Arts, in replacement of Arts in Action. At Ensemble of the Arts, there was an art show, along with performances by Messa Voce, Indoor Guard & Percussion, and Stage Band.


Although Arts in Action was a community favorite, Ensemble of the Arts will offer an extended appreciation for students’ artistic work.


“It’s just an art show,” said Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty). “We really felt that as great as Arts in Action was for the community, we really felt that our students’ artwork wasn’t being the center of the show.”


For the students participating, this is their time to be the spotlight in the school.

One of the few stands to sell food, NHS had a baked goods sale, where members Kirstyn Black (12) and Annabelle McCullough (12) sold a baked good to Grace McKenzie (11).

“I feel like in our school, sports are always seen as taking over every other activity, so I think this is a good opportunity for kids to really show their arts because it’s not only paintings, drawings, and clay work, but it’s also with the music,” said Olivia Harmon (11). “It’s a chance to let these kids who are usually over-shined come out from underneath and show who they are and what they do.”


Past years at Arts in Action, there have been petting zoos, food, crafts for younger kids, and other various activities. At Ensemble of the Arts, there will be very little of those things.


“We are considering next year maybe having some performances,” said Chambers, “but if you would go to a college or really any other high schools, and you go to an art show, you are there to view that art, not to see demonstrations.”


Although the art show will be fruitful for the older students, the younger children might not have the same reaction because of its seriousness.

“I think that having an ensemble and having it not be an art competition but like a showcase. It’s more of a serious thing, so people might take the artwork more seriously, especially in high school,” said Harmon. “Also for the younger kids who come around and have artwork, it might not serve them for what they’re looking for in different programs, such as the petting zoo or the art demonstrations before.”

One of the events at Ensemble of the Arts was a show by the Indoor Percussion, where they performed their routine for this year, “The Noise Inside”.

Since this is the first year of Ensemble of the Arts, it is pretty small and there are not numerous categories for the art.


“Next year, I would like to have at least two categories: 3D, 2D, and then maybe Best in Show. This year we are just going to stick to one overall category,” said Chambers.


There is more to the art show for students than just their own creations being viewed.


“I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s artwork. I only ever really get to see mine, to be honest, because obviously, I work on my own art,” said Harmon. “I don’t get a chance to see other peoples. Now, I get to see what they are able to do.”


While Ensemble of the Arts lets the community focus on what students in all sections of art can do, it will permanently replace Arts in Action.


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Coming to a Close

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Twirling flags, beating drums, counting, and lights.  Practice, practice, practice is all the indoor program has done since day one in preparations for championships.  On April 7 and 8 the James Buchanan High School Indoor program attended championships in hopes that all their hard work and dedication during the season had paid off.


“We start out with a really good warm-up,” said Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), “We kinda chunk things along the way.”


Each rehearsal begins with a warm-up that can include anything from running, to rhythm exercises, to tossing flags.  To ensure the best possible outcome, each Indoor member must be fully loosened up and ready for each rehearsal.


Both indoor guard and percussion practice every day after school.  After their warm-up they move to the show. This year Indoor Percussion performed “The Noise Inside” and Indoor Guard performed “Evil Alice.”


This year’s Championships began with the Indoor members arriving at the school at 9 a.m.  They began to do run-throughs of both of their shows trying to perfect every detail. Shortly after their arrival. the Indoor program left bound for Chambersburg Area Senior High School.  


Once they got there they sat and relaxed before their performance at 1:30 p.m.  The pressure continued to build as the Indoor members guide took them to their practice spot.  Keeping the members updated on time, the guide, would periodically tell the members how much time they had left.  Each update brought on more nerves as the performance became closer and closer. Soon the time came for performance and the guide took the indoor members to a waiting spot before performing.


“We were excited, nervous, but confident,” said Deike.


The nerves between regular competitions and championships have grown more tense as the clock continues to tick towards the finale of the season.


“This is their moment to shine that each one of them has been given a gift and a talent and there is no one else that can take their spot on the floor, off the floor,” Deike said. “It is up to them now to go out and take everything that they have learned and just put it out on the floor.”


Guard took fifth place with a score of 80.980 and percussion took third place with a score of 84.20.  


Deike said,“There’s no next week, no next time, it is now, now is their time to shine.”


As championships came to an end so did the season.  Each group had a very successful season and look forward to having a successful season next year.

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What is Student Media?

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From the outside, Student Media may look like it is just taking pictures, but there is much more to it than that. Yearbook does many things like choosing a theme for the yearbook, designing pages, and writing articles not only to document the year, but for our online school newspaper, as well.


However, Student Media has just as much fun as they do working with special events, such as the Yearbook Wedding, Ad Sales Day, and the monthly Work Nights.


At the beginning of the year, it is all about getting the newbies introduced to how a journalism classroom runs, from the way photos should be taken, how to write features, or how to design their own pages. There are many things done to prepare the new staff for publishing the yearbook and newspaper, like the Photo Challenge where they practice taking pictures, the article they all wrote together to teach them how to write as a journalist, and the study of digital design.


“Being the editor, and having a year of experience has significantly helped me to enhance my skills so that I could teach the new staff,” said Hannah Zomak (11).


As the year progressed the staff worked on completing the seven sections of the yearbook in four deadlines. They were able to meet each deadline on time as they had planned. The sections range from the People section, to Student Life, to Ads. They are all different, but they each take a lot of work for the staff to complete.


“The biggest challenge I had would have been with the Academics sections and that’s because I had PLTW/AG/Business/Tech Ed.” said Madi Dorsey (11). “That is a spread that has four departments on it and it was hard to fit all four departments on two pages.”

Even though there was a lot of work to be done, the staff also made time to participate in activities together. They participated in the Ag Olympics together, went to a PJ night at the movies, and even went out to eat at Burger King.


Student Media is period 7/8 in the school day, so the staff is able to work together and have some bonding time. One period of the day is not enough, so once a month they have Work Nights. when the staff gets together after school to work on the yearbook, have a meal, and also enjoy one another’s company.


Work Nights are full of laughter and many inside jokes. To the yearbook staff, at these Work Nights is where they become more of a family. At the first work night, they had they Yearbook Wedding where each staff member vowed to be loyal to each other as well to the yearbook. Each Work Night has a different theme and everyone enjoys them.


“I really like talking with everybody and it is a great way to work and socialize,” said Rachel Kimmel (12).


As the year is coming to an end, many classes are finishing up their work for the year, but Student Media is already getting prepared for the next year. Currently, the staff is working on the Theme Project, where they design the theme for next year’s yearbook and try to “sell” their theme to admin in the district.


The staff is divided into three teams with three different designs, and they create and sell a theme package that they present. The class then votes along with the judges on the Best theme for the upcoming school year. The three themes they are choosing from are “Once Upon a Year”, “Let’s Rewind”, and “Day in, Day out”.


“Our theme we are working on is all about the work students and staff put in day in and day out,” said Emma Gipe (11) “Every day everyone put in hours of hard work along with balancing their outside life.”


As well as doing work for next year, the staff is also looking for students to join Student Media. There will be a meeting held on April 19 in room 220 activity period for anyone who is interested. If you are unable to attend the meeting, come down to Ms.Reeder’s room and get the information. The JB Student Media Staff is excited for you to become a part of their family and are looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.

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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What’s Next for you after High School?

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With only three months left in their senior year, students in the graduating class are feeling a lot of stress about what is next. There are three primary options for graduating seniors:  entering the workforce, joining the military, or heading to college. Some of the seniors have already figured out what they will be doing when they leave JB.


Joining the workforce straight out of high school can be tough, but with the help of Mrs. Chris Shelley (Faculty) and the Work Co-Op program, it can make it easier. RJ Fogelsonger (12) will be heading straight to the workforce after high school. Fogelsonger was working at another job, but he wanted to work in a shop and somewhere he could continue to work after high school. Shelley knew there was a job opening at APX Industrial Coating, and was able to get him a job there. He is currently working there as a prepper.


“I prep things to get painted, sand them, tape them up, and just prep,” said Fogelsonger.


Right now he is not in a high-ranking position but he hopes it may be different in the future. At his workplace he is able to move up through the ranks as he gets more experience.


“I would be a supervisor if I got the chance,” said Fogelsonger.


He has not been at this job long but he has decided this is the job from which he would like to build his career. Some people are made for the workforce and others are not, but he hopes in the end that it will work out well for him.


Another option after high school is to join the military. Some people may build an entire life out of the military, while others sign a contract for a certain amount of time and then start a different career.. Shayla Ramsey (12)  is heading to the United States Air Force after graduation.


“I really wanted to join the military because it is different from what everyone else is doing,” said Ramsey. “I also have a lot of family in the military and that encouraged me to join.”


After her eight-week basic training in Texas, she will be headed to Mississippi to her tech school to learn her job for the Air Force.


“My job is client systems, Ramsey said. “It’s basically working with computers and just troubleshooting.”


After the two- to three-month tech school is completed, Ramsey will be stationed in West Virginia to perform her job. However, she will not be in the military forever. After her contract is up with the Air Force, Ramsey wants to head to college to become a nurse. She hopes to make nursing her lifetime career.


Heading to college is another option available when leaving high school. Makenna Snider (12)  is planning to attend Wilson College for nursing after graduation in June.


“I have always wanted to be a nurse and to be a nurse you’re required to go to college,” said Snider.  “Plus I want to set myself up for a successful career.”


When her schooling is completed and she is officially a Registered Nurse, Snider hopes to get a job at the Chambersburg Hospital in the Emergency Room. However, she doesn’t see herself here forever.


“I hope to see myself as a flight nurse on Life Net to fly and be a nurse on there,” said Snider.


Life Net is the helicopter unit that lands at serious accidents and they also transport patients from a local hospital to a more advanced care hospital. To do this Snider must be an RN as well as become a certified paramedic.


“You’re administering medicine like a paramedic would do in an ambulance but you’re doing it on a helicopter instead,” said Snider.


Snider knows that going to college to become a nurse is the best option for her. However, this is not the same for everybody.


Having many options available to you after high school can ease some of the stress you may feel when graduating. Joining the workforce,military, or college is just some of the countless things that you can do.


From Classroom to Stardom

The story behind the musical group whose name is nearly impossible to pronounce.

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Singing, dancing, and everything in between, Messa Voce (met-sä-ˈvō-chā) has been a musical group in the school for decades.


“It started in about ‘79, Mr. Eshleman started it, and it was called ‘Show Choir,’” Mr. Eric Poe (Faculty) said.


The organization practices countless hours throughout the week to ensure their music and choreography are to the best of their ability.


“We have them [practices] second period, and also in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:15 am,” Allison Collings (11) said.


They perform a few concerts every year, some at the school, during Arts in Action, and their most recent concert held at the Mercersburg Academy.


“They [the Academy] are doing a couple pieces, three or four, we’re doing four pieces, and we’re going to do three pieces together,” Poe said.


It has been a while since the two groups have come together for a concert.


“Before I got hired, Mr. Eshelman did a joint performance with the Mercersburg Academy,” Poe stated.


Poe explained that he had planned to do another performance with the Academy when he started directing Messa Voce, but with the group’s busy schedule, it was put on the backburner until the beginning of this school year.


“I was contacted by Jim Brinson, who is the organist over there,” Poe said. “He also plays the organ for baccalaureate, and in doing that has had a chance to hear Messa Voce the last few years.”


After Brinson heard the group perform, he decided to reach out to Poe.


“So he contacted me and was like, ‘Hey what do you think about doing a joint concert?’” said Poe. “‘I’ve heard your select group come and I think they’re excellent. It’d be really good for our students to sing with other students and kind of branch out, support things in the community, etc.’”


Both singing groups have practiced their songs and will put them together March 23.


“I’m really looking forward to it because it’s in the chapel, which has fantastic acoustics,” Poe said. “Mr. Brinson is going to play the piano for one of the joint pieces, and he’s a very fine accompanist.”


There are countless songs they perform each year, each chosen by Poe.


“They’re all my favorites, that’s why I picked them,” Poe said.


The songs may be a part of the show, but to those involved Messa Voce is more than just the music.


“Messa Voce kind of is my life,” Chelsea Wareham (11) said. “I’ve always wanted to join it since I was a little kid in elementary school, and when I finally came to high school, it gave me a chance to make friends with people that are just like me, and that’s kind of awesome.“

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Walk Up For a Cause

Going over the powerpoint, Mackenzie Layton (11) explains their cause for doing the Walk Up.

Going over the powerpoint, Mackenzie Layton (11) explains their cause for doing the Walk Up.

Going over the powerpoint, Mackenzie Layton (11) explains their cause for doing the Walk Up.

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Students across the country have taken a stand in what they believe by showing their support to the victims of the Parkland Shooting last month. On Wednesday, March 14, the survivors of the Parkland shooting, along with tens of thousands of other kids across the nation came together for a National School Walkout.

To remember those who lost their lives, Alyssa Blair (11) informs the audience of the students’ and teachers’ lives.


To show support to the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, James Buchanan held a ceremony to honor the students and teachers who lost their lives February 14, 2018.


Mackenzie Layton (11), Alyssa Blair (11), Aria Jewel Barnett (11), Kali Rotharmel (11), and Kiersten Siko (11) organized the ceremony during activity period, called Walk Up, Not Walk Out.  Students were able to go to the auditorium and watch a presentation focusing on the 17 lives lost a month before. Each victim had a poster with their name on it as well as a slide to remember their lives. Following this, there was also a moment of silence.

Posters for each of the seventeen victims were taped to the chairs.


Layton, Blair, Barnett, Rotharmel, and Siko organized plans for a walkout throughout social media.


“I went to Mackenzie, and asked her if she could explain the walkout to me when I saw it on Twitter,” Blair said. “She asked if I would be interested in planning and organizing a walkout, here.”


The girls went to the principal, Mr. Rodney Benedick (Faculty), to discuss their options when it came to walking out of school. He informed them a protest that disrupts the school day could result in disciplinary actions.


“We saw articles about kids getting in trouble, and we wanted to do it in a productive way,” Blair said. “We still wanted to make a difference so we went to Mr. Benedick about it.”


The girls and Benedick worked together to formulate a way to support the Parkland victims but not cause a disruption to the school day. That is when they created the idea of a Walk Up.

To explain their cause, Mackenzie Layton (11), Alyssa Blair (11), Aria Jewel Barnett (11), and Kiersten Siko (11) made posters

“We wanted to show that no matter your political view, we could all come together and prevent it from happening again in the future,” Blair said. “We wanted to slowly make a difference in our school.”


The Walk Up was created for students and adults to make a difference in other’s lives, by showing kindness to strangers or people you may not normally talk to.


“The Walk Up isn’t going to end today,” Layton said. “We want it to continue throughout the year and throughout the rest of your lives.”


Students were challenged to walk up to 14 new kids and 3 adults they may not normally talk to, disregarding differences. Students were challenged to walk up to the kid who sits alone and ask him to join your group, to walk up to the kid who never has a partner.


They did not just stop at kids, but also walk up to their teachers and thank them.

In this way, the students of James Buchanan came together to make everyone feel a part of the school community.

Hannah Mellott

Beware of the Ides of March

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There are countless superstitions in which people around the world believe. Some are knock on wood, black cats or birds, Friday the thirteenth, et cetera. There is one superstition that is known for this month: the Ides of March, or March 15. This superstition comes from the events surrounding historical leader Julius Caesar. Throughout March, Mr. Troy Hillwig (Faculty) and his 6/7 period students read the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar to celebrate the Ides of March.


The play, Julius Caesar, was written by William Shakespeare. According to, this term comes from the “ominous warning from the smoothsayer telling Caesar to not go to the capital.” Nowadays, March 15 is known as a solemn day filled with a negative connotation. Patrick Hicks (10) and Kylee Long (10)  do not believe in the Ides of March.


“I think for story-telling purposes that the Ides of March are unlucky for Julius Caesar because it works as a plot device,” Hicks said. “But in general I don’t have any superstitious feelings about the Ides of March.”


“If I lived back then [during Julius Caesar’s time period] maybe I would have believed in the Ides of March, but not really now.” Long said.


Compared to the students, Hillwig has a different opinion on the Ides of March.


I love the Ides of March. In fact, it’s a good day to have a party. I buy into it because that was when Caesar was killed.”

— Mr. Hillwig

As English class begins, Mackenzie Saunders (10), Madison Bailey (10) and Kylee Long (10) get ready to read the play.


William Shakespeare’s writing is more traditional than the writing students are used to today. According to Shakespeare Online, Shakespeare wrote comedies, histories, and tragedies. Julius Caesar is a tragic story about how Julius Caesar “fell” from power. To Hicks, Julius Caesar is pretty easy to follow along.


Julius Caesar is a very interesting story and overall I enjoy it. So far, I like in Act II the speech that Brutus gave about why Caesar must be overthrown and I think it is very powerful,” Hicks said.


There are students who catch on to stories and plays very easily, but for Long, it took some time to comprehend.


“I think that it is kind of confusing, but so far, it has been okay because Mr. Hillwig explains it very well and I think that most of the people in class are getting it,” said Long. “My favorite part in the play is when Cassius was explaining to Brutus why he should battle Julius Caesar for his power.”


To Hillwig, Julius Caesar is very detailed with it’s difficult language. He said that Shakespeare challenges everybody, including his Honors students. “I like for the Honors classes to be able to really analyze and detail the play and it is something that hopefully makes them think about the language and Shakespeare and have a better understanding of the play.”


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Showcasing Their Talent

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After the Christmas concert in December, Mrs. Sheryl Dieke (Faculty), director, and the Orchestra dug deep in the music library to acquire fun music to prepare for both their adjudication and District-Wide Orchestra concert that takes place this month.


The Orchestra will go to South Hagerstown High School to participate in an adjudication on March 13.


There are many other schools that participate in the adjudication. An adjudication is a formal judgement. The Orchestra gets the chance to listen to how other schools play. However, the James Buchanan Orchestra is one of the only schools that participates that is not eligible to advance to Districts or Regionals because it is in Maryland.


This is the Orchestra’s second year participating. The group will leave in the morning and go during the school day to play for a group of judges that will record them and then critique their performance.


“Intonation is just an ongoing thing that just comes with maturity and listening”, said Dieke.


However, Dieke has confidence that this year the orchestra is better prepared.


“Improvement is all the time”, said Dieke. “It’s still things we struggle with that we have to just keep pushing forward on.”


The Orchestra practices every day during second period and works through their music to ensure they are prepared as much as possible in order to receive a good score from the judges.


“We’ve been putting in a lot of hard practice lately,” said Rachel Kimmel (12). “I think it’s sounding pretty good so far.”


Throughout the adjudication, the students go through three different activities.


During the warm-up, the Orchestra will run through music, work out any last-minute details, and prepare for their performance.  


In the presentation area, the orchestra will play their selection of songs that they prepared for the judges.


The judges sit in separate parts of the room so that they aren’t distracting each other as they are judging. They record themselves making comments about the strengths and weaknesses that the Orchestra has while playing. They later give these recordings to the directors so that the students can listen to the judges’ evaluations in order to improve future performances.


Lastly, the Orchestra will go to a sight-reading room. Every student, along with the director is handed a folder. They have a couple minutes to study the music. They can analyze things like the key signature, look for incidentals, and tap out rhythms. However, the students cannot use their instrument to practice the music.


When time is up the director conducts as the students play the piece of music. There is one judge in the room who again, judges and listens as they play and gives direct feedback on how the orchestra sight reads.


“You hear and listen to the tapes but for a judge to actually talk to you, I think that gives you more feedback than just listening to some voice,” said Dieke.


Even though this is their second year participating, there is still going to be some pre-performance jitters, even from the conductor.


“I always take it as, ‘Did I prepare them enough?”” said Dieke. “‘Did I do what I needed to do to make sure that they were ready?’”


Students also experience some nerves as they prepare to play on stage because everything they do is judged. This is different from their normal routine of just playing at their concerts. However, to some, it’s more like a rush of adrenaline.


“I like walking up on the stage right before you play because you get this nice nervous, jittery feeling because there’s judges there,” said Kimmel. “It’s a good nervous, it’s a nervous that you want to do good and play your best.”


Despite the nerves, the orchestra will play at the adjudication and celebrate by ending their busy day out of school with lunch and treats at the Valley Mall.

Ready? Set? Race!

Who Will Cross the Finish Line First?

The teams race from the start line to see who will win the first event.

The teams race from the start line to see who will win the first event.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

The teams race from the start line to see who will win the first event.

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Ready? Set? Go!  Yells Ella Heckman (10) and the teams race off to tackle their first event.  The intensity increases as one teammate after the other races against the other teams to get a point on the board.  Ag Olympics hosted by the Ag department is a favorite for many students each year.  FFA Weeks builds the excitement for the finale on Friday for only one week out of the entire school year.

During FFA Week there are spirit days that lead up to the Olympics.  This year the spirit days consisted of: Camo Day, America Day, Farmer Day, Farm Animal Day, and Blue and Gold Day.  Each day had different criteria based off the theme.  Camo Day you were encouraged to wear any and all camo that you owed.  For America Day wearing an sort of red, white, or blue was fantastic.  Farmer Day you were to dress like a farmer.  For Farm Animal Day you were encouraged to dress like any farm.  Finally, for Blue and Gold Day you could wear any assortment of blue and gold.

“FFA chapters use National FFA Week to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities,” said Adrianna Durboraw (11).

Living in a rural community makes FFA Week so much more important.  This is a way to keep our community together through something the community is good at, farming, and something that everyone loves, fun.  

“We do Ag Olympics to have fun and get the whole school involved.  Everybody in the school gets to watch as teams participate in activities,” said Adrianna Durboraw, “ FFA week is to inform people about agriculture and FFA knowledge.”

This year there were six teams.The teams were Yearbook: Rachel Kimmel, Kirstyn Black, Macey Keefer, and Megan Rummel; The Dream Team: Shane Coursey, Heath Hissong, Cody Saunders, and David Clopper; The 717: Evan Clopper, Logan Miller, Trysten Hensley, and Caleb Wise; The Thrasher: Delanie Black, Madison Hock, Lacy Nolan, and Shayla Plantz; Brothers From Differ

ent Mothers: Moses Goetz, Logan Weaver, Alex Letterman, and Trey Settings; and finally The Teachers: Ms. Fox, Mrs. Swailes, Mrs. Chambers, and Mrs. Miller.  Anyone from the school can make a team and enter into the Olympics.  There is a limit of four people per team and everyone must participate in almost every activity. This year the games consisted of: Hay Bale Tossing, Corn Shucking, Apple Bobbing, Penny in a Haystack, and a Pie Eating Contest.  Each of these activities helps students that don’t have a farming background appreciate the community they live in and the work that they do.

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness,” said Adrianna Durboraw.

The community we live in is full of new agricultural opportunities.  Being able to bring them to school for students to learn while having fun is a rare opportunity.

JBHS Indoor Guard and Percussion: You may now take the floor for Competition

Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jarrett Iverson (11), Ashley Grove (11), Mason Younker (10), Sarah Funk (12), Noah Shank (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Deanna Grove (11), and Wesley Walls (12), act the part while performing at Conestoga Valley High School.

Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jarrett Iverson (11), Ashley Grove (11), Mason Younker (10), Sarah Funk (12), Noah Shank (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Deanna Grove (11), and Wesley Walls (12), act the part while performing at Conestoga Valley High School.

Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jarrett Iverson (11), Ashley Grove (11), Mason Younker (10), Sarah Funk (12), Noah Shank (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Deanna Grove (11), and Wesley Walls (12), act the part while performing at Conestoga Valley High School.

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As the tarp unfolds to cover the wooden gym floor, worn from the multiple ensembles and equipment, the crowd is imagining a beautiful show that will make them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. As James Buchanan takes the floor for competition, the crowds’ heads turn when they see: creepy bunnies and prisoners? WHAT? Going into their third year in Keystone Indoor Drill Association (KIDA) bracket, both groups practice twice a week to present their shows “Alice” and “The Noise Inside.”


“The Noise Inside” is the name of this year’s percussion show.  Dressed as prisoners the performers act the part as they would if they were in a real prison. “The Noise Inside” profiles the escape from imprisonment in one’s own mind, accompanied with chains, prison guards, and the words “get out.”


Under the direction of Band Director, Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), and percussion instructor Mr. Michael Seville (Staff). The percussion is led onto the floor by seniors Sarah Funk, Sean Martin, Noah Shank, and Wesley Walls.


The show starts out with Funk sitting inside a large cage that represents a prison cell. Cast as the stereotypical “scary prisoner,” her is hair teased a million ways, and loud shrieks of laughter come from her as she “tries to break free from all the noises inside her head.”


The percussionist also struggles from the noises, with crazy looks and lots of hair pulling in frustration. In the end, the percussionist are freed from the noises with a final tear of the prison stripes from the main character.

Back Row: Gabriel Bard (11), Cody Izer (10), Zach Slodysko (10), Noah Shank (12), Jarrett Iverson (11), Mason Younker (10), Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Sean Martin (12), Nathan Walls (11), Wesley Walls (12), Ashley Grove (11), Alex Younker (8). Row 2: Carly Ashway (10), Jynna Kent(11), Faith Mitchell (10), Abby Carbaugh (10), Harley Lane (10), Deanna Grove (11), Elijah Poe (9), Wyatt Mitchell (8), Hayden Mellott (8). Front: Sarah Funk (12).

The percussion has doubled from last year, having a total of twenty-three members. Expanding the grade level, the percussion is accompanied by three eighth graders: Alex Younker, Wyatt Mitchell, and Hayden Mellott.


“I remember the first time in 8th grade that they [the percussion] did a show, I watched them when they came up to the middle school and I thought was the coolest thing ever,” said Mellott. “I got the opportunity in eighth grade to do it, and I knew this was something I wanted to do.”  


Also following the dark and sinister act, the guard presents their version on the song “Her Name is Alice” by Shinedown.


Set in Wonderland, main character Alice, played by Sharlene Hunt (9), is taken by the white rabbits (other guard members) through a delusional enchantment of the mad world. Hunt tries to reach freedom by getting through the door but is taken in captivity by the “hare” raising- supernatural white rabbits.


Starting the show, Hunt is the only one seen on the floor, confused and scared for what’s to come. She then falls as Chelsea Wareham (11), is the first one to kick open the door and the rest of the members follow close behind. With sharp and aggressive movements, the guard portrays the characters to make the audience feel like they are sitting right in a whimsical yet dark world of Wonderland. The guard are led onto the floor by seniors, Pheylan Cooper, Caitlin Heise, and Katlin Shatzer.

Back Row: Chelsea Wareham (11), Pheylan Cooper (12), Kristen Louder (11), Katlin Shatzer (12), Gwen Hunt (11). Front: Caitlin Heise (12), Sharlene Hunt (9), Hannah Zomak (11).

“Evil and intimidating” are the words Caitlin Heise (12) used to describe the show. “The battle of the rabbits against Alice is the main theme.”


With only eight guard members, the team seems to bond like no other. Having communication is the key to any performance, staying in time and counting is what brings the whole show together.


“You’re gonna always consider them (the members) like your family,” said Pheylan Cooper (12) “ I feel like they are all my sisters.”


Under the direction of Rachel Deike (Staff), who is responsible for writing drill and routines for both the weapon and flag line, works each week on improving the show to impress the judges for a higher score at the next competition.


Both groups will be performing in Greencastle on Saturday, Feb. 24, going up against other competitors in their category.


Together, guard and percussion will work to improve their shows, for a high score and rank at the Chambersburg championships taking place for the guard on April 7, and percussion on April 8.

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