The Rocket Flame

JBHS Graduation 2020

Graduation for the Class of 2020 was anything but ordinary. The class spent their final months of high school at home and away from their classmates. Although everyone hoped that we would be back in school and back to normal life in time for graduation, that was not the case and the school had to find alternative ways to honor the years’ seniors and their accomplishments. 

“I did not think we would get here. I was not sure if we would ever get to this point… it took a lot of work to get here” says Mr.Chip Dickey (Principal).

The administrators of the district had to work night and day to assure that the 2020 graduates would not be let down and that they would get the recognition they deserved.

“None of us will ever forget March 13th, 2020; the day when all our expectations and plans for the school year were put on hold. We had to reimagine our year and how we go about this thing called school. This year, more than any other, has been about the importance of innovation, collaboration, perseverance, patience, and work as a team. It wasn’t always perfect but all of us, no matter what our role, students, parents, teachers, and staff rose to the challenge, and pushed through to the finish of what certainly would go down as one of, if not the most challenging school year of our lives, “ says Dickey.

The ending of the year threw everyone for a loophole, and left everyone changing plans and working to solve problems.

“Two graduation ceremonies were held this past summer.  The first was a “Graduation Parade” where each student arrived in a vehicle with family members, accepted their diploma, walked inside the building for a professional photo taken in front of their Class Gift and the JB Rockets and received a Class of 2020 Graduation yard sign. The second ceremony more closely resembled a traditional graduation ceremony.  Each student was seated with 2 adults of their choosing who were permitted to escort the student to the stage so the student could receive his or her diploma,” said class advisors Ms. Beeler and Mrs. Rife.

Not every graduate attended both ceremonies, but each ceremony allowed the graduate to receive their diploma with their friends and families watching.

“Most especially though we didn’t expect for us to not be able to break it down one last time on the dance floor for our senior prom, or to have our last moments with each other cut short. We thought the musical would go on, the class trip would endure, and that our graduation ceremony would be a bit more normal than it has been,” says Valedictorian Sarah Kimmel.

The class had no idea that they would never get to experience some of the simple things that they looked forward to most throughout their years in high school.

“My graduation impacted my view on high school by teaching me to never take anything for granted and that everything can change in the blink of an eye. I realized I shouldn’t have complained about waking up and going to the class I hated or complained about how I just wanted to be done as soon as possible,” says 2020 graduate Mallory Peck.

The pandemic changed the views of many people, but affected students directly because of the loss of all the things they took for granted such as Prom, sports, extracurriculars and graduation.

“When I realized that I would not be returning to the school for the remainder of the year, my initial reaction was what was going to happen to all the extracurricular activities that I was involved in. All the work and time I spent into these activities was all of a sudden put to a halt. Even though I did not know what would happen to these events that I looked forward to all year, I knew that we would all adapt and come together to overcome these difficulties,” said an anonymous 2020 graduate. 

Every person throughout the school district was impacted by the spring school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but seniors had a special moment in their life taken away from them. Despite those losses, our district managed to pull through with new innovative ideas to honor the seniors. Although not every loss was made up for, the work that the James Buchanan High School put in for the 2020 graduates left everyone feeling grateful.

Purpose In Preseason


Every sport has a designated season, but who says you can’t start workouts before that start date? As winter sports are coming to an end, spring sports are in full swing. Hard work is needed to be successful at anything, and that includes sports and the fundamentals within. Many sports at James Buchanan provide preseason activities for student athletes. At this moment, preseason activities for spring sports are in full swing. Boys’ and Girls’ Track, Softball, Boys’ Tennis, and Baseball are all spending time honing their skills.

“For preseason tennis, we go to the Mercersburg Academy, where they have indoor courts,” said Nick Alfree (12). “Depending on their availability, we play competitively, doing matches and individual drills so we have a head start.” 

Many teams have optional practices like this for students, which allows them to better prepare themselves for their upcoming season. 

“I enjoy this a lot because since freshman year, I basically started from nothing to now having a good handle on the fundamentals,” said Alfree.

Athletes  use preseason activities to further their skills and keep themselves in shape for the season ahead.

“We do more weight training instead of skills, said Coach Breanna Grove (Faculty). “Skills are more during the season, off season is more general training or general fitness.”

Off-season training allows for students to make decisions on what they need to work towards and what will make them successful in the future.

“Typically the students who attend our preseason workouts are the ones who are more committed to the team, so they work harder,” says Grove.

Attendance to these activities may affect how a coach views athlete commitment and determination for that sport. These activities can show the character of an athlete and what their position could be on the team.

Sports may be a very important aspect of a student’s life; it is their time to escape from the hustle and bustle of school work.  A preseason activity allows students to practice their sport before the season officially starts. These activities are viewed by many as a way to be prepared to work hard for their best season yet.


Tip-Off of the Big Season Ahead


After traveling out of bounds, the ball rests in the referee’s hands before being passed into play.



      A Day In the Life of Mrs.Czuprynski


       She is a common face if you go to the library during a study hall or spend a period in there for a class. You need copies, have a computer problem, or need a certain book for a class? Mrs. Joyce Czuprynski (Faculty) is the person to whom you visit. She spends her day working with all the people in the high school, and is always there to help.  Czuprynski has been working at JBHS for nine years as the librarian. She attended college at Penn State Main Campus and received a degree in Child Development. 

      Even before students arrive, Czuprynski’s day has already started. 

       “Usually when I get in here there is either someone already copying or maybe they already had a problem with the copier that I need to fix; maybe like a copier jam,” says Czuprynski.

      Issues like the one described are extremely common all throughout her day. Mrs. Czuprynski also deals with computer issues in the school. Students take their broken or damaged Chromebooks to her, where she then takes them to the technology department.  She also assists and advises students with checking out books that they need for assignments.

      The library is a very common place for students and teachers to work and collaborate with technology and knowledge.  Although the library is known to be very technological, it was not always this way.  

      “Basically it was a reader’s advisory, then helping people find things on the shelf, and then just checking the resources out,  tracking overdues,”Czuprynski said.

      Her responsibilities have changed tremendously over the years. Now Czuprynski is responsible for almost all of the technology in the school.  Often times when students come in for resources, they search for books and other resources online. Her day is packed full of technological problems and using it to assist students.


      To help her with all of these things, she has two service learners who often perform many of the same tasks that she does.  Elena McNulty (12) and Kamari Moser (12) devote part of their day to Czuprynski and the library.

      “We always fill the copier, we take care of students if it’s busy, we also troubleshoot with computers,” says McNulty. 

      McNulty also notes how important Czuprynski is to students and teachers alike.

      “Without Mrs. C, simple problems with computers would take longer to be resolved and during study halls, kids can come to the library in a quieter environment,” McNulty said.

      Czuprynski is someone who will have the resources needed throughout a student’s or faculty member’s day.  You can find her typing away on a computer or talking to a student in the library anytime you need her, and she is always willing to help.


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      Aleesha Cramer