The Rocket Flame

Dancing on Valentine’s

Roses are Red and Violets are Blue


The Setbacks Make for a Better Comeback


Kylee Long puts on her swim cap before her first race.

It was around a year ago student Kylee Long’s life was forever changed. What was thought to be just another hunting trip turned out to be so much more. Long suffered an accidental gunshot to her right leg that resulted in a month spent in the UPMC Altoona hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“They had to amputate above the knee because they didn’t have enough to keep my knee joint,” said Long.

She was released from the hospital on December 20, 2018, and, ever since that, has adjusted to her new way of life. Long had hoped to return to the soccer field this season, but ended up finding a new interest in the pool.

“I was looking for something to keep me in shape,” Long said. “I was talking to a swimmer who recommended coming to pre-season and trying it out.”

After attending the first pre-season training, Long had an interest in swimming and decided to join the team.

“I’ve really gotten the hang of each individual stroke,” said Long. “My favorite stroke is for sure [the] freestyle.”

Long has really enjoyed learning all the new strokes and getting to know her new teammates. She was even chosen to be a captain of the team.

“Kylee works so hard and is always cheering her teammates on,” said Coach Heckman. “She really deserved the position, she is a great role model.”

Long’s goal  is to improve all of her times by the end of the season. She always speaks about how thankful she is for all the support she gets from family and friends. After only a year, Long hopes to keep pushing her limits with her new way of life.

“It’s been a wild ride,” said Long. “I can’t believe it’s been a year since my accident, but the love and support has been endless through my good and bad times.”

New Teachers on The Block

New Teachers on The Block


    Decision Day


      A Journey to College


      Dickinson College

      Deciding where to attend college can be a stressful decision to make. There are many factors you have to take into consideration when choosing the school that is best fit for you. For instance “Do I want to go to a small school or large school?” or “Do I want to attend a school located in an urban or rural area?”


      On April 24, 11 juniors went on a college visit to Millersville University and Dickinson College. On their visit, they attended an informational session and got to tour the campus. This visit allowed students to maybe get an idea about the kind of school they want to attend and what to expect next time they go on a college visit.


      “College visits are important to allow students to see the different opportunities offered,” said Ms. Amy Violante (Faculty). “It’s important to experience the culture and what the college or university is all about.”


      The first stop was Millersville University. Millersville is a four-year public state university. They have about 7,000 undergraduate students and some of their academic programs include: Education, Meteorology, Engineering, Safety and Technology, and others.

      “I liked the larger school because it will give me more of an opportunity to figure out what I want to do,” said Sebastian Wise (11). “I think that having a bigger school will open more doors.”


      After Millersville, the next stop was Dickinson College. Located in Carlisle, PA. Dickinson is a four-year private liberal arts college. They have about 2,400 undergraduate students and some of their academic programs include: Biochemistry, Business, Dance, Pre-law, Sustainability, and others.


      “One thing I liked about Dickison was that since it’s a smaller school, it allows more one on one interaction with professors,” said Zach Slodysko (11).


      Deciding on a College or University to attend can be difficult, but visiting different schools allows you to explore your many options. Below are 10 tips to help ensure a successful college visit.


      10 Helpful Tips to College Visits



      • Research the college before you visit



      • Take the student-led tour of campus



      • Look into life beyond academics



      • Eat in the dining hall



      • Check out the dorms



      • Examine classrooms and lecture halls



      • Visit the admissions office



      • Take notes



      • Have an idea about what you like in a school



      • Ask lots of questions



      Marching Into Women’s History Month


      Chloee Keefer (10)

      Marching Into Women's History Month

      Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft


      English 10 teachers Ms. Kelley Reeder and Ms. Nicole Myers explore the world of gamification in their Keystone English class to spice up the literature circle unit and bring some engagement and competition in for their students.

      15 Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas


      Trees are being lit, cookies are being made, and presents are being wrapped. Christmas is fast approaching and the countdown to the big day is getting closer and closer. As you realize that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, you may find yourself still missing that perfect gift.


      “I have so many gifts to still buy,” said Lexi Palmer (9), “It’s so hard to find the perfect gift sometimes.”


      The Holidays can be expensive, from buying presents for secret santas to all of your family members, the only thing you may want to do is just save a buck.


      “I especially like to shop at TJ Maxx and Target because you can find good deals,” said Bri Cole (10).

      1.Monogrammed mug filled with sweets – $8 

      2. Fun Facemasks – $4

      3. Succulents – $12

      4. Festive Socks – $5 

      5. Watches – $15

      6. Inspirational Wooden Signs – $15

      7.  Local Gift Basket – $15 Bobbie’s Gifts, 11 W Seminary St, Mercersburg, PA 17236

      8.  Cosmetics

      9. Letter boards – $15

      10. Records – $10-$20

      11. Wireless Phone Charger for IPhone 8, 8  Plus, and X – $10-$20

      12. Lotion

      13. Scented Candles

      14. Gift Cards

      15. Cable Bites – $8

      6 Reasons why you Should Listen to Audio Books

      Technology is changing and advancing every day and something that is rapidly changing is the way people are reading books. Instead of reading books, people are listening to them through audiobooks. Audiobooks are a new form of reading and listening as a narrator tells the story.

        1. Allows you to multitask.


      Everyday people have to juggle many things. Students have to juggle homework, family, and extracurricular activities. All of these things make it difficult to sit down and read a book. Audiobooks allow you to be doing something while listening to a book at the same time.

      “It is harder during the school year to sit down and read a book,” said student      

      Alliah Fluent (10) “I have to spend more time doing school work and sports.”  


       2. More People are using audiobooks


      More and more people are using audiobooks. For instance, teachers in our school like Nicole Myers (Faculty) and Kelley Reeder (Faculty) have used audio tools called podcasts and incorporated them into their lesson plans.

      “I’ve done podcasts for two years now,” said Myers “It’s something a little bit different and picks up engagement.”


      3. Fits Right into your Pocket


      Since audiobooks are electronic, they are all read to you through your phone. This makes them easily portable. This lets you listen to a book anywhere at any time of the day.

      “All the books I read myself are mostly audiobooks,” said Myers. “I like the different kind of platform and experience it gives you.”

      4.  A thing to do when you’re bored


      Audiobooks can give you something to do when you’re bored and you have nothing to do. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or constantly checking your phone waiting for a Snapchat, you can occupy yourself with an audiobook.


      5. Great narrators can bring books to life


      Audiobooks are read to you by a narrator, the narrator helps the reader to get a better picture of the characters, setting, and what the book is all about. You also get to see and listen to different perspectives read aloud by the narrator.

      “The characters and narrators transport you to another time and place,” said Fluent. “It also helps you to get away from all the stress.”

      6. Helps to Improve Vocabulary

      When reading a book, sometimes there are words you may not know. Audiobooks can help with this, since the narrator is reading the book to you, you know the word is pronounced correctly. The word that you once didn’t know, you now do.



        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.

        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.

        A Disney Dance


        Decision Day 2018

        Titanic Sets Sail at JB

        Get Knowledge About College

        Preparing to go to college can be a scary and foreign thing for some students. There are many components to take into consideration when applying. For instance: “How am I going to pay for college?” or “How do I know this college is right for me?”

        Do not be worried because the College Ambassadors have your back. The College Ambassadors are students at James Buchanan who can help you answer some of these questions and inform you about any options that are available to you.


        “The college process can be very complicated,” said Ms. Amy Violante (Faculty). “It’s helpful for students to be able to turn to their peers about any questions they may have about financial aid or applications.”


        The College Ambassadors plan events to inform about the college process even more thoroughly. Their biggest event is Decision Day, which celebrates the seniors at the end of the year. The event focuses on their next steps in life, whether it is going into the military, college, or straight into the workforce.


        “Decision Day increases the college-going culture,” said Violante. “It’s nice for everyone to see what the seniors are going to do so you can get some ideas.”


        Since the school year is coming to an end and the seniors are preparing to graduate, Violante selected a new group of juniors to represent the College Ambassadors. The new ambassadors consist of Kayla Noll-Bader (11), Aria Jewel Barnett (11), Alyssa Blair (11), Amber Clark (11), Madison Dorsey (11), Ella Jones (11), Mackenzie Layton (11), Cassidy Martin (11), Harley Rife (11), Owen Stoner (11), and Madison Shupp (11).

        “I looked for students who had leadership experience and communication skills,” said Violante when describing the selection process of an Ambassador.


        Before school on Thursdays roughly every other week, the Ambassadors will meet to discuss what they can do to help others gain knowledge about college and plan their events. During the most recent meeting, they talked about the expectations for College Ambassadors, benefits of being one,, possible activities, and goals of the program.


        “My goal as a new Ambassador is to inform my classmates about the college process as best as possible,” said Jones.


        If you have any questions regarding college applications, financial aid, anything else, the college ambassadors is the place to go to gain some knowledge.

          IMG_0951 – Edited (1)


            Traditions of Hanukkah


            A growing holiday in the United States is Hanukkah. This holiday lasts for eight days.  and has six key components. The holiday is centered around the lighting of a menorah, foods prepared in oil, special songs, games, and gift exchanges.


            An article Better Homes and Gardens states “The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the hanukkiah, also known as the menorah.”


            The menorah holds nine candles. The center one is lit first and then is used to light the other eight candles. The eight candles represent the number of days celebrated during Hanukkah. When lighting the menorah,  the candles are lit from the left to the right. After the menorah is lit, it is typically displayed in the window of the Jewish home for everyone to see. Before candles, the menorah used to be lit with olive oil.


            “The miracle of the oil lasting eight days is not only celebrated through the lighting of the menorah, but also in the traditional foods that are eaten. The author Brynn Holland states two of the most popular dishes, latkes and sufganiyot


            The two main foods prepared for the Jewish holiday are called latkes and sufganiyot, states the The latkes are basically a potato pancake which are made by grated potatoes with eggs to form a batter. It is then poured onto a skillet where it is fried in oil. The other dish sufganiyot are a lot like jelly doughnuts. This is made by baking dough and inserting jelly into it, and topping it off with powdered sugar.  


            Hanukkah comes with its own set of carols that are sung within the household, to represent the meaning of their religion. Some songs include “On Chanukah, Sevivon,” “Mi Y’malel,” and one of the most famous, “I Have a Little Dreidel.” The carol “I Have a Little Dreidel” is so prominent because it is the song that is sung when playing the game dreidel.


            The game dreidel is almost like a gambling game. First the dreidel has four sides and each side has a hebrew letter on it. Any number of people are able to play. Each player is required to have the same amount of game pieces, things that can be used as game pieces are coins, raisin, and chocolate. Then someone spins the dreidel and depending on which side the dreidel lands on then each player has to either give or take a piece. The player who has the all game pieces first wins.


            The author Natasha Rosenstock states that Hanukkah gifts were not traditionally a part of the holiday, however it has become a huge tradition to get a gift each day.


            Since Hanukkah consists of eight days, each day a present is given from the parents to the children. Presents include puzzles, games, clothing, candy, and coins. Presents are given to keep the tradition of Hanukkah going and  to spend time with the family.


            Hanukkah has so many traditions from the lighting of the menorah, the food that is prepared, songs that are sung, games that are played, and the gifts that are exchanged.


              Happy Death Day Movie Review

              Happy Death Day (2017)

              Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Rachel Matthews, and Laura Clifton

              Director: Christopher B. Landon

              Synopsis:  Jessica Rothe stars as a typical college sorority girl named Tree Gelbman. On the day of her birthday she wakes up and goes about her day not knowing it will be the day she is murdered. The thing is she keeps reliving this day until she can find out who her murderer is and stop them.

              What’s Hot

              Christopher Landon brings a mystery/thriller to the big-screen. The film served as great entertainment. It was very motivating watching Tree adapt, take charge, and confront her situation, proving to be one of the movie’s highlights. The fact that Tree’s life isn’t bounded by the usual laws of time and physics prevents Happy Death Day from generating much suspense. It had a great theme and the acting were satisfactory.

              What’s Not

              If you’re not a fan of scary things that will haunt you, Happy Death Day some parts of the movie were very predictable making it less on the scary side. Which was disappointing because the previews portrayed the movie to be very terrifying.

              Bottom Line

              The movie was more of a comedy and a chick-flick, with some horror mixed in. It was very good and definitely worth a few hours of your time.



              What Lies Ahead for Rocket Football?

              James Buchanan football team pulls out first win in two and a half years.


              Hannah Kimmel

              Pictured above Brady Bigler (10)

              On Friday, September 29, the James Buchanan football team geared up to compete against the Clear Spring Blazers. After many tough losses and practices, the football team claimed a win. These two teams were set to face each other to create a local rivalry called the Mason Dixon Matchup. Whitetail Ski Resort donated a trophy to be awarded to the winning team. The night before the game, both teams ate spaghetti together in the Clear Spring cafeteria.


              “It was a good and enjoyable experience.” Brady Bigler (10) said. “I had never done anything like that before.”


              Under the Friday night lights, the football team achieved a win. This was the Rockets’ first win in two and a half years. Owen Stoner (11) scored four touchdowns and Jackson Ellis (12) scored one. With the Rockets coming out victorious with a score of 30-6.


              The football team also gave credit to the student section as they cheered them on. The student section made posters and sang chants to show their spirit. At the end of the game all the fans stormed onto the field to celebrate the victory.


              “It was a great feeling to have fans cheering for us.” Jaelin Carmack (12). “We couldn’t have done it without them.”


              This win has given a boost of morale to the team and everyone is anxious to see what they do next.


                James Buchanan Flag Football


                Hannah Kimmel

                Pictured above, Coach Stoner (left) and Coach Ellis (right) stand and observe a Saturday morning practice of flag football.

                American football is a physical game that requires lots of skill including, strength, agility, and mental toughness. With a great deal of hard work and practice, these traits develop over a period of time. So, it’s good to start young. This is exactly what Coach Stoner had in mind when starting a flag football program.

                This program was started two years ago. Every Saturday morning students from grades second through eighth grade, have the opportunity to play flag football at James Buchanan High School football stadium. Last year the program had 50 students, while this year numbers have increased to around 60 students. The participants are divided into groups that are led by some of the players on the high school football team.

                Daulton Bray (10) a player on the James Buchanan High School football team expressed his excitement for the sport by saying ¨It’s great to watch the kids play and having fun, I enjoy teaching them.¨

                Each group leader is given index cards with plays on them, then the students run over and learn the plays. For instance, they learn who to pass the ball to and where to run.

                Coach Stoner explained ¨Flag football is a great thing because it doesn’t have any tackling, allowing kids to slowly ease into the game.¨

                Coach Stoner is hoping for an even better turnout next year to get more kids involved and interested in football. He hopes for them to want to play football in middle and high school. Taking the experience they are learning now, to build on later to be stronger for future years.


                  Navigate Left
                  • Mamma Mia!


                    Mamma Mia!

                  • A Recital To Remember


                    A Recital To Remember

                  • Valentines Day in One Word


                    Valentines Day in One Word

                  • New Years Resolution


                    New Years Resolution

                  • Almost, Maine


                    Almost, Maine

                  • Christmas in One Word


                    Christmas in One Word

                  • Whats Your Number Mean?


                    What’s Your Number Mean?

                  • Tuff Puff


                    Tuff Puff

                  • Black Friday flyers


                    Black Friday

                  • Frozen 2 Movie Review


                    Frozen 2 Movie Review

                  Navigate Right
                  Activate Search
                  Hannah Kimmel