The Rocket Flame

The Setbacks Make for a Better Comeback

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

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.”

Baking, Building, and Bonding

Baking%2C+Building%2C+and+Bonding
Two of the gingerbread structures, a truck and log cabin, sit finished after the designing and planning.

Houses are covered in a dusting of soft, white snow around the neighborhood while icicles hang from the roof so elegantly that only a steady hand could have produced them. Gingerbread fills the air with an intoxicating aroma. Gum drops line the path to the front door that you have to twist a peppermint to- Wait, what? Are we talking about a gingerbread house here?  

Mrs. Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty) 3D Design class combined with Mrs. Horst’s (Faculty) Life Skills class to create gingerbread structures together. Taking up their time before winter bre

As they glue the pieces together with icing, Ashton Heckman(9) and Austin Shaffer(9) wait patiently for the roof of their log cabin to stick together.

ak, the two classes formed multiple groups of students from both classes to create the structure of their desire. While the 3D Design class worked on the design, the

Life Skills class baked and gathered the ingredients.

One of Chambers’ students in her 3D Design class gave her the idea for this project.

“I was like, gingerbread, great idea!” she said. “How are we going to accomplish that? I don’t have an oven.”

From there, Chambers-Matulevich approached Horst, who has an oven, and Horst loved the idea. Together, the two came up with the details to incorporate the skills taught in both classes to create the educational project.

Putting the pieces together of their train and police car, Chance Buchanan (9), Tristen McFadden(9), and Dustin Goshorn(11) concentrate on gluing their gingerbread together.

While the students look forward to the fun of building, designing, and probably nibbling on the supplies, Chambers-Matulevich sees it more as a life lesson.

“I think it’s just really great experience. Not only for her students, but for my students as well,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “You know, you have to communicate with lots of different people.”

Going away from the traditional gingerbread house, the students have decided to use the gingerbread in different forms.

“There’s castles, mansions, trucks, trains, police cars, train stations, trees, a cabin,” said Chambers.

Designing their gingerbread proved difficult at times for the students.

“I think the main challenge is just finding a simple enough pattern that we can make it in the time we have,” said Emily Palmerchuck (11), whose group made a pickup truck. “The original design we had had peppermint wheels, but the

peppermints we can find around here aren’t big enough, so we changed that to the colorful swirling lollipops.”

Currently, designing has been a trouble for the students, but there are worries for what also lies ahead when it comes to building.

“I’m really nervous about the building because I’ve never built a gingerbread house, and part of me can see like giant catastrophes ending in tears,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “I’m hoping it doesn’t go that way, but I am mildly afraid that it could be a catastrophe.”

Enjoying the less stressful part of building their gingerbread house, Alexis Crabtree (10) and Edward Leevy (9) put the gumdrops on the roof.

Even the students themselves are concerned about their structures holding up with the designs that they have made.

“The fact that we have to lift it off the ground with just candy is gonna be interesting, and I think the biggest thing with gingerbread houses is making sure the icing will dry and stick together,” said Palmerchuck.

Going along with the concerns for the building, one of Palmerchuck’s group members also has apprehensions with the design.

“The hood is sorta slanted,” said Adam Cramer (11). “The front piece is too short, and there is gonna be a gap in between the windshield and the roof.”

Although the students and teachers were worried about the outcome of the 3D Design and Life Skills classes gingerbread creations, they used loads of icing and plenty of decorations to achieve their goals. Castles, police cars, and log cabins alike, are all covered in gum drops and peppermints waiting for Christmas day to arrive. 

Navigate Left
  • A Day in the Life of an AP Student

    A Day in the Life

    A Day in the Life of an AP Student

  • On his last day at JBHS, Mr. Colby Sites (Faculty) shows off his crazy taco socks.

    Features

    ExSITESment Awaits For JB Alumni

  • A Day In the Life of Mrs.Czuprynski

    A Day in the Life

    A Day In the Life of Mrs.Czuprynski

  • A Day in the Life of the Cafeteria Staff

    A Day in the Life

    A Day in the Life of the Cafeteria Staff

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

    A Day in the Life

    A Day in the Life of Mr. Bradley

  • A Day In the Life Of Mr. Poe

    A Day in the Life

    A Day In the Life Of Mr. Poe

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

    Features

    Diving In At James Buchanan

  • Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

    A Day in the Life

    A Day in the Life of Life Skills: More Than Just A Class

  • Brooms, Mops, and Dustpans Oh My!

    Features

    Brooms, Mops, and Dustpans Oh My!

  • Mr. Rodney Benedick, Acting Superintendent of Tuscarora School District

    Features

    Where’s He’s Been, Where He Is, and Where He’s Taking Us

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School
Ashton Heckman