The Rocket Flame

Science Days


The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale MIller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale Miller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

On May 16 and 17, The AP Chemistry class at James Buchanan High School went to TSD Elementary schools for a Science Days.  During Science Days, the Chem class walked the elementary students through two experiments to get them excited about science.  After the experiments JBHS students related what they did to a real-life problem and showed how scientists solve problems. On Thursday the students went to St. Thomas and Mt. View and on Friday they went to Mercersburg and Montgomery.  

The project was first introduced by the high schools Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Miller (Faculty).  She has been taking her AP Chemistry classes to the elementary schools for a little over ten years.

“I think we had a very successful day,”  said Noah Wise (12). “My favorite part was how excited all the little kids got when learning about science.”

Miller got the experiment ideas this year from the teacher’s science convention. During the Toothpaste Challenge, the students had to empty out a bottle of toothpaste and used their problem solving skills to see how much they could get back into the bottle.  

Hunter Gayman (2) and Chloe Shew (2) work together to get toothpaste back into the bottle during Elementary Science Day.

“The toothpaste lab was my favorite to do with the children because it was fun to see them use their imagination to come up with different ideas to get the toothpaste back into the bottle,” said Daniel Corcoran (12).

This was supposed to replicate when scientists have to quickly clean-up spills that can be harmful to the earth, people, or animals.  

The Copycat Challenge was used to show students how scientist are copycats sometimes when it comes to making new inventions.  An example given to the kids was how scientists got the idea of airplanes from animals like birds, butterflies, and bees.

“The copycat lab was my favorite to do with the kids because we had to remember the color wheel and experiment which colors would  show a desired color,” said Owen Stoner (12).

The challenge consisted of the children mixing different food coloring colors to mimic the color of soda.

Colton Pine (2) and Trey Shandle (2) work together to complete the Copycat Challenge on Elementary Science Day.

After the experiments were complete, the students had time to discuss how they were related to science.  They also had the opportunity to ask the high school students any questions they had about high school.

“It was really fun when the students asked us about high school,” said Corcoran. “We were asked questions from “ Is the lunch at the high school good?” to “ What are your plans after high school?”

In the future, Miller has hopes of expanding and continuing the project. Whether it be going to more grade levels or going to the middle school too.  The elementary science days have an impact on the younger kids and can be very memorable throughout the kids educational career.

Stay Busy Over Summer


Sarah Kimmel (11) monitors the pool, while on her lifeguarding duty.

As the school year is coming to an end, summer is quickly approaching.  Beginning in less than a month, many students are starting to make summer plans and figure out what they are going to do on their break.  Many students are considering summer jobs. If you are one of those people who doesn’t know where to start, here are some ideas on local summer jobs.


Camp Counselor

A camp counselor will take on many adventures while supervising children of all age groups.  Counselors are leaders and role models for all of the children within their camp. So keep in mind these main skills you will need to be a counselor: you should like kids, have patience, good communication, and problem-solving skills.  This is a perfect job for people that think they may want to work with children or go into education. If you think camp counseling is the job for you, some local camps are Cove Valley, Camp Joy El, Whitetail Adventure Camp, and Mercersburg Academy Adventure Camp.


Restaurant Work

There are many areas in a restaurant that high school students can fill: a host/hostess, waitress/waiter, busser, or dishwasher.  Usually, the host duties include greeting guest and escorting the guest to their tables. As a waitress your job includes taking orders from guests, answering guest questions, and delivering food and beverages.  Busser duties include cleaning off the tables once the guest leaves the restaurant and taking the dishes back to the dishwasher.  The dishwasher’s duty is to clean and put away dishes. Working in a restaurant helps give students valuable communication skills.

“My favorite part of work is the connections I make with my co-workers and the free ice cream I get as a benefit,” said Breanna Dukehart (12) who works at Lizzy’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop as a cashier.


Grocery Work

Elena McNulty (11), Shayla Starliper, Veronica Lemus (12), Brenna Hartman (11), and Owen Monninger (12), and Adam Lippy pose for a picture at Food Lion.

As a stocker at a grocery store, your job would be to stack and organize items on shelves.  A stocker may also work as a cashier for the day, scanning and packaging items. As a cashier, you must possess quick simple math skills to give back correct change. You must also have good communication skills when working with customers.

“I would recommend this line of work to anyone because they are very flexible, have good pay, and it’s easy work,” said Owen Monninger (12).

Sarah Kimmel (11) monitors the pool, while on her lifeguarding duty.



Lifeguards have a very serious job monitoring water while keeping people safe and happy.  To be a lifeguard you must be CPR- and AED-certified. As a lifeguard, you gain a lot of responsibility and become a very trusted person.  Lifeguards are depended on to ensure the safety of children and adults at the pool.

“I have learned that confrontation is something that you have to do no matter what even if you don’t want to hurt little kids feelings,” said Sarah Kimmel (11).  

The responsibility involved with lifeguarding means that they must put the safety of others above everything else, even if that means they can’t always be the nice guy.  This is a valuable life lesson because in life everyone isn’t always going to be pleased.


Farm Work

Another popular line of work around this area is farming.  Many high school students learn hard work and responsibility working on a farm over the summer.  Students can do anything from milking to bailing hay during their summer job on a farm. Work could start up to as early as three A.M., so this teaches many students the discipline of getting themselves up and ready on time to milk.

Now that you have some of the most common jobs for high school students, think about which one fits you. Get out there and apply so you can stay busy and get some money during your summer break.                                                                                                   

Spring Sports


Owen Cooper (10) stretches out before track practice.

JB's Spring Sports

Explore Your Major


On January 23, the JBHS College Ambassadors held their first Major Exploration Day.  Throughout the day the Ambassadors presented PowerPoint presentations and handed out pamphlets to inform students about different college majors and careers they may want to pursue.  Covering twelve different majors from International Studies to Health Sciences, there was information for everyone.

“At one of our weekly meetings the College Ambassadors choose different majors that they wanted to represent,” said Amy Violante (Faculty). “Then they made handouts visuals to share with the other students.”

The goal was to inform the student body about career paths you can choose and the different steps required to get there. Ambassadors were split up into four groups to collect information about careers and study up on various topics that they then would present to the student body.  

Cass Martin and Harley Rife (12) teach Hannah Zomak, Cormac Houpt, and Logan Williams (12) about Health Sciences.

“We had a lot of students come today interested in Nursing and Business,” said Cass Martin (12). “ We gave the students something to take with them so that they could go home and reflect afterward.”

Students came in and out of the library all day to watch the presentations and get the handouts created by the Ambassadors.  Anyone who participated in the Major Exploration Day by asking questions or listening to a presentation received a penate from the college of their choice.  Students were also added into a raffle for a chance to win a speaker or headphones as a prize.

“I really enjoyed getting to learn about my intended major, Animal Science,” said Rose Runyan (12). “Ms. Violante told me about the in-depth requirements and what I must do to achieve that major.”

Visuals shown during the Major Exploration Day showed schooling requirements for the intended careers. If there wasn’t a PowerPoint on a career selected by a student there was a bin full of miscellaneous careers that had information regarding the paths taken to get there.  The Ambassadors felt that they had a successful day with over 70 participants entered in the speaker raffle.

“The morning was a little slow, but thanks to some great study hall advertisement and some teachers who encouraged their student to come, we had a good turn out,” said Violante.

For more college advice and assistance, Ms. Violante will also be holding the next SATTea Time next Friday, February 1 for whoever is interested in registering for the spring SAT.  Also, there will be another FAFSA completion night on February 11 for any seniors who still need help completing financial aid packages.

Aria Jewel-Barnett (12) presents English and Education majors during Major Exploration Day.

A Day in the Life of Mr. Bradley


Mr. Thomas Bradley (Faculty) smiles for a photo at his desk.

Former JBMS Science teacher,  Mr. Thomas Bradley (Faculty) took the position of Assistant Principal of James Buchanan High School.  The transition from teacher to principal has been overwhelming but in a good way.

“The analogy I have been giving most people is that as a teacher I was able to control my day and now my day as an Assistant Principal is dictated by others,” said Bradley. “The part I enjoy the most is the interactions I get to have with all the different people.”

The hardest thing for Bradley was getting use to others commanding his time.  Now as Bradley fills his new role, no day is the same. As an Assistant Principal, Bradley communicates with parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

“Mr. Bradley is really nice,” said Brenden Wingate (10).“When I’m in trouble he’ll approach me and we will talk about it in a civilized way.”

Most people do not realize just how busy a day in the life of an Assistant Principal is, but in fact, it is jammed packed with meetings, phone calls, and many surprise incidents.  A typical day for Bradley is shown in the timeline below.

Diving In At James Buchanan


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

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

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

“Basically water is my life,” said Johnson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

get to change it up every day.”

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

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

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

How Do You Like That AppleFest?


Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

On October 20, The Downtown Business Council had their annual Chambersburg AppleFest.  AppleFest is a family tradition with lots of entertainment, crafts, and food vendors. The festival lasted from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.  The event is free and has many activities for the whole family. The Festival covered around six blocks of downtown Chambersburg with over 180 vendors.

Tony Diehl sells Denim Coffee at the Chambersburg Applefest.

“When we found out we could put a table outside and serve right in the community we jumped on it and we are happy to be out here! ” said Tony Diehl from Denim Coffee.

Denim Coffee is a roaster based in Shippensburg that is taking over C&C Coffee on the square of Chambersburg.  Many businesses use the AppleFest as a way to get out in the community and promote their products.

This is the case for Angela Martin, a first-year vendor at the Chambersburg AppleFest with her business Amenity Therapeutic Herbal Wraps.  

Angela Martin sets up her booth at the Chambersburg Applefest.

 “It’s going wonderful, I’ve been so busy this morning I haven’t had a chance to eat my lunch … I’ve always visited this Festival and then I started my own business in 2015 and I thought it would be fun to come sell my product,” said Angela.

Some of our own teachers were at the AppleFest, some would say it was a “JB reunion.”  James Buchanan Faculty Ms. Amy Violante, Mrs. Lynn Troutman, and Ms. Amanda Kuchinski were at the Apple Festival with their families and friends.  Watching the Mar-Le-Nie dance performance was a hit with the James Buchanan Faculty because Troutman’s daughter, Claira, performed.

Amy Violante (faculty) left, (Dietrich Troutman), Lynn Troutman (faculty), and Claria Troutman sit in the food court at the Chambersburg Applefest.

The food vendors were another big hit with the festival. “I’m coming back later today with my mom and I hope we’ll go to the Falafel Shack vendor… it’s my favorite restaurant.” said Violante.

Along with the Faculty, there were also many students from James Buchanan at the Applefest.  Mallory Peck (11) and Madison White (11) were just two of the many students participating in the Apple Festival.

“The AppleFest is tons of fun, it’s a family bonding experience,” Peck (11) said.  

Mallory Peck (11) enjoys a apple cider slushie at the Chambersburg Applefest.

  She has been going for many years and would even consider it a family tradition.  Peck enjoys walking around and looking at all the different products people are selling.  

Next October, put AppleFest in your calendar for a memorable experience.

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Alyssa Blair