The Rocket Flame

A Monty-mental Performance

A Monty-mental Performance

Senior Awards Ceremony


All the award winners smile after the eventful ceremony.

On May 22, the James Buchanan High School honored the Class of 2018 with the annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Over $230,000 in awards were presented to the senior class with 70 lucky students able to partake in the Ceremony.

With the ceremony only lasting for about two hours, Claire Alfree (12) entertained the crowd as she played various pieces on the piano before the ceremony started.

“This is the first time we ever had live entertainment,” said program coordinator Mrs. Mary Cristofano (Faculty).


The program was packed with all different kinds of scholarships and awards, ranging from $50-$4,000.


Each department in the school presented awards to chosen students that went above and beyond. The awards can also be from progress throughout the four years of high school.


For students to receive scholarships, they had to fill out multiple applications and write essays. Each application required different amounts of information to coincide with what the scholarship entailed.


The well-known Glazier scholarship was the top on everyone’s list. With $44,000 being split 18 ways, each student received $2,444. The scholarship can renew with each year of college if the student keeps up with a certain GPA and fills out the renewal paperwork each year.

Back Row: Samantha Mills (12), Abby Horst (12), Maddi Hissong (12), Shelby Carbaugh (12), Haley Saunders (12), Mackenzie Runk (12), Brianna Hege (12), Logan Rockwell (12). Front Row: Kierstyn Martin(12), Sydney Jones (12), Kirstyn Black (12), Amber Brindle (12), Renee Sollenberger (12), Mackenzie Shughart (12), Annabelle McChullough (12), Emma Bafile (12), and Makenna Piper (12).

The Marshall Reeder scholarship topped all the others ones, giving $4,000 over 4-years totaling to $16,000. Megan Hoffeditz (12) was the lucky student to receive the scholarship. Hoffeditz is planning on going to Wilson College to work towards her teaching degree.   


Lenfest Scholarship winners were also announced. These award winners already knew that they were chosen, but Nicholas Garbinski (12), Logan Rockwell (12), and Renee Sollenberger (12)  were recognized for their accomplishment. For more information read Lenfest Scholars For Life.


Many scholarships are donated by people in the area to help out with students’ college expenses. Past students or teachers come to the ceremony to be a figurehead of any scholarship.


Some scholarships had certain criteria and were only presented for some students. Logan Rockwell (12) qualified for the Montgomery Elementary scholarship, where only people who attended the elementary school could apply. This can also go for the Lemasters scholarship, with the requirement of having a residence in the area.


Local businesses and organizations also presented at the ceremony. The local Rotary Club donated $4,500, as well as Whitetail Ski Resort due to the multiple employees that work there over the winter season. The Bank of Mercersburg, presented by Annalisa Ambrisco, gave Summer Sensinger (12) the scholarship on her behalf.


Memorial awards were also given out to represent certain people in their honor.


With one last roaring applause from the crowd, all 70 students beamed with excitement with multiple certificates and folders in hand. The night ended with Tea Time Tasties cookies and other refreshments provided by the JBHS cafeteria.  

Senior Trip to Cedar Point


Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

The senior class traveled six hours to Sandusky, Ohio for one last hoorah together May 23 to 25. The Senior Class trip was voted on by the class and Kalahari Resort and Cedar Point Amusement Park was chosen.


The senior class officers, Abigail Mackling (12), Renee Sollenberger (12), Saige Eckard (12), Rachel Manikowski (12), and Madelyn Hissong (12) worked to plan the best trip they could with the help of their advisors, Mrs. Lynn Fleury-Adamek (Faculty) and Mr. Matthew Riegsecker (Faculty).


“It took a lot of collaboration between all of us,” Mackling said. “We had to represent the whole class, not just what we wanted.”


The trip began with departing from the school at 6:30 A.M. on Wednesday. After one stop the class arrived at Kalahari Resort around 12:00 P.M. The resort consisted of an indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, an arcade, and several restaurants from which to choose. There was plenty to do to keep busy.


“I really enjoyed the arcade,” Claire Alfree (12) said. “There was a lot to do in the arcade like laser tag, bowling, and games.”


On Wednesday the day was spent in the resort for time to enjoy the waterparks and other attractions. The resort even held a private pasta bar for the class as a free meal.

Lobby of Kalahari Resort and Hotel


Thursday, the class then traveled to Cedar Point Amusement Park and spent the day there. Cedar Point is known as, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”


“We thought Cedar Point would be a great place to go,” Sollenberger said. “The park is huge and there are plenty of rides for everyone, whether you like roller coasters or not.”


The park had many attractions, including restaurants, roller coasters, games, and animals.


“One of my favorite parts of Cedar Point was the petting zoo,” Caitlin Heise (12) said. “It was very hands on you could pet goats, sheep, llamas, and even ride horses.”


Thursday night and Friday morning were spent in the resort. After a long day at Cedar Point, the class was ready to head back to Kalahari to relax. Departure from Kalahari was at 3:00 P.M. Friday, and arrival back to the school was 9:00 P.M.


The class officers saw all their hard work pay off after the trip with positive feedback from the rest of the class.  


“Everyone seemed to love Cedar Point,” Mackling said. “People also liked how we didn’t have strict schedules and we could do whatever we wanted.”


After months of planning and four years of fundraising for the officers and advisors, the trip was finally complete.


“I personally believe the trip went really well,” Mackling said. “Everyone was just there for one last good time as a group.”


After one last time as a class the James Buchanan Class of 2018 is ready to graduate and open new chapters in their lives.


Orchestra Welcomes the Christmas season with a “Cello”

After all of the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes have been eaten, all the pumpkins are carved and the leaves are done falling and changing colors, with all of these signs, we know a new season is quickly approaching: Christmas time! However, this is old news for the James Buchanan High School Orchestra.


Director Mrs. Sheryl Dieke (Faculty), and the Rocket Orchestra have been preparing for the Christmas season since the beginning of this school year. In September, the students received some of the selections of music that could be featured in the Christmas concert.


The orchestra’s Christmas Concert will take place in the high school auditorium on Dec. 16 at 3:00 p.m.


From the time the Orchestra received the music, they have worked and practiced every day during second period to perfect it.


“They just have a lot of basics under control” said Dieke. “They sight read phenomenally and understand key signatures very well.”


All violins, violas, cellos and bass must break the music down measure by measure with their sections to play their parts in the music successfully to be prepared to perform it for the concert. Each instrument plays an essential role in the orchestra because they all bring the piece of music together with their various parts.


“Being that we have put it into a classroom situation where we’re practicing every day, rather than hit and miss during an activity period, the only direction to go is up,!” said Dieke. “And the students prove that every day!”


Megan Hoffeditz (12), the Orchestra’s only viola player, has been playing since the fourth grade. She believes practicing is a crucial. She has also learned what it takes to get through difficult pieces and to succeed as the only viola.


“Just sitting down, playing through it really slow, working out the notes and then speeding it up as time goes on,” helps her explained Hoffeditz.


During second period, the students have been working on a variety of songs including “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Babes in Toyland,” “Ukrainian Fantasy,” “Sleep, Holy Babe,” and “The Christmas Waltz.” Practice is important to the orchestra, because they want to make sure everyone is able to play their part.


Lana Donahue (12) has been playing the violin for 8 and 1/2 years. She is first chair violin in the orchestra. She has learned what tips and tricks it takes for her to overcome difficult parts in the music.


“I play by ear so I mostly search the music online.” said Donahue. “Then I listen to it and I go home and I can just put earphones in and I just play the music by itself.”


There are also students who work on the music during their own time because they didn’t have enough room in their schedule to fit in Orchestra throughout the day. For the concert, both groups come together to play.


With a variety of music pieces comes a variety of difficulty. Pieces are rated for difficulty by grades. The grades range from 1-7, with 1 being the least and 7 the most difficult. The highest grade the Orchestra will be playing is a grade 4 piece called “Wizards in Winter.” The piece is by Paul O’Neill and Robert Kinkel and arranged by Bob Phillips. The song has many sixteenth notes and changes fastly from playing “arco,” or with your bow, to “pizzicato,” or plucking the strings with your fingers.


“Lots of things are happening layer on layer which is really cool,” said Dieke. “The tempo, the sixteenth-note runs, and all the little intricate pieces that are in there.”


“Wizards in Winter” will be the Orchestra’s closing piece. However, the group seems to have some tricks up their sleeves to intensify the closing song: the closing piece will also feature a light show.


The light show will be put together by Claire Alfree (12) and Hannah Mellott (12). Both Alfree and Mellott are in Sound and Lighting, taught by Mr. Eric Poe (Faculty). The girls are working on using their skills that they have learned from the class to make the lights “dance” with the rhythm of the music. They plan to make the song more intriguing to the audience and do something out of the ordinary.


Students know there are some things to still work out before the show. However, they have confidence they will perform nicely at the concert.


Hoffeditz says, “I feel we will do pretty well. We have a lot of solid songs so far.”


Although, the orchestra has shrunken in size over the last couple of years the director has no fear that the orchestra will be nothing but successful for their Christmas performance.


“The kids are great and have worked very hard,” said Dieke. “It will be magnificent! It will be a great concert!”

“Classical” Madness Takes Over the Rocket Band

JBHS Drum line, Noah Shank (12), Sarah Funk (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Sean Martin (12), Olivia Harman (11), watch the drum majors to stay with tempo. Photo Credit: Dean King

During the 2017 JBHS Marching Band field show, you get to watch the insanity unravel throughout the band as they perform, “Classical Madness.” As the story unfolds, the students’ seemingly cohesive minds turn mad with pieces of music that mesh and intertwine together, and tunes that never finish.


“Classical Madness” is a combination of 40 different pieces of music, including pieces from famous composers Beethoven, Holst, and Copland. The song is arranged by composer John Fannin.


The band is under the direction of band director, Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), assistant band director Mrs. Christine Metcalf (Faculty), color guard instructor Rachel Deike (Staff), and drill writer and percussion instructor Michael Seville (Staff).

Mrs. Christine Metcalf (Faculty), Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), Rachel Deike (Staff), Michael Seville (Staff).

“It’s the hardest show, us as a band, has ever done,” said Abby Carbaugh (11). “It pushes us in a good way.”


Led onto the field by drum majors Claire Alfree (12) and Ashley Grove (11), the first song of the show exhibits sanity. With only limited bursts of red, the band builds up for the absurdity to come. The featured soloists for the first song are Jarrett Iverson (11) on trombone, Kirstyn Black (12) on clarinet, Emily Newman (11) on mellophone, and Noah Shank (12) on snare drum.


The second song features dancer Chelsea Wareham (11) as she tempts senior soloist Macey Keefer with a flute to entice her, as well as the rest of the band, to join the “madness.” As the song progresses, Wareham will start to win over others, bringing them to the side of musical insanity.


At the beginning of the show, the Color Guard members are dressed with dark purple vests with black lipstick to accentuate the “madness.” The Color Guard opens their show with limited pops of the color red.

Spinning with swing flags Gwenhvier Hunt (11) and Phylan Cooper (12) anticipate their next move. Photo Credit: Dean King

As the show progresses, the color red is presented more to the audience. With the final push of the last song, the Color Guard switches their ascots that were once white, to dark red, to show the audience the exact moment they have been consumed by the “madness.” It is also accompanied by red flags and scarves that are used to dance with in the “tango” part of the third song.


The band also displays this theme, because what the crowd doesn’t know is that every band member has a red scarf tucked away inside their uniform jacket. Then at the given time, the band members drape the scarf out of their jacket and the color red coats the field.


The JBHS Rocket Band doesn’t just perform half-time shows at football games; they also travel to competitions in the area. Being part of USBands, the band competes against other schools in the 3A Division, which is determined based on the numbers of participants.


On Sept. 17, the band traveled to a competition in Urbana, MD, where the Color Guard came in third out of five and the percussion took home second.


On Oct. 21, the band traveled to Westminster, MD where the whole band came in seventh out of nine competing bands.


The band will continue to prepare for the USBands championships that will be held on Nov. 5, in Allentown, PA.


With three-hour practices on Mondays, after-school practices on Wednesdays, and the all-day competitions that take place on some Saturdays, the band members always find ways to bond and create memories.


“Last year Emily Newman broke her glasses and we taped them with duct tape and she wore them the whole time,” Dawson Green (11) chuckled as he shared his favorite memory.


As the 2017 JBHS Marching Band season is quickly coming to an end, Indoor Guard and Percussion sign ups are posted outside the band room. No previous music background is required for this activity. An Indoor Meet and Greet will be held on Nov. 14 at 6 P.M. inside the Band room for anyone who is interested.


Making Memories on the Green


Taking a nice swing Claire sends the ball towards the hole. Photo Credit: Maricris Alfree

Being the only girl on the James Buchanan golf team never stopped Claire Alfree (12)  from working hard and competing during her 2017 season. Not only was she the lone girl on the team, she was also the only person to make it to Districts to compete.Alfree considers herself an encouraging source on the golf team. Being a senior, she hopes her teammates listen to her advice and positive feedback.


“I’m more of a motivator,” Alfree said. “I know I’m not the best person on the golf team but I try really hard to make it enjoyable for everyone.”


Alfree has been playing golf on the James Buchanan team since her freshman year of high school. What got Alfree interested in golf her freshman year was her parents, but the beginning of that season was not her first time playing.


“When I was younger, my grandparents would take me out to hit a couple golf balls and see if they would go straight or not,” Alfree said.


She has been working to improve her skills in her four years of playing golf on the team, and that is how she made it from Mid-Penn’s on to Districts. Before she went to Districts on Friday, October 6th, she had to work hard on her physical and mental game, more so than she usually had to.


“I unfortunately hurt my shoulder at the last regular season match,” Alfree said.


Going into Districts with an injury, Alfree had to focus on the little things to get herself prepared for the matches she faced that day.


“I couldn’t really golf but I still felt like I needed to golf. I really focused on my short game, which is close around the green,” Alfree said.


Although she did not qualify for the last round at Districts, she was ranked well in the list of golfers.


“Out of 60 girls I was ranked 39, so that is pretty good for someone who hasn’t golfed for very long,” Alfree said.


In the group of girls she was golfing against, Alfree had the second lowest score, but it was only by a difference of two strokes. While in her match, she hit the ball from the T-Box all the way to the green, and almost to the hole, which is not an easy task. Sometimes it can take two to three or even more shots to make it to the green.


“Claire shot a 97, which was good considering she was playing injured,” Golf Coach Mr. Mark Wise (Faculty) said.


Although she will no longer be playing golf at James Buchanan next year, she has high hopes for them in the next season.


“It would be awesome if they had a winning record next year,” she said


To anyone that would like to play golf for James Buchanan next season, Alfree gives some tips.


“Don’t quit!  You’re supposed to be doing bad, and don’t let one single bad round ruin your game and stop you,” said Alfree.

Navigate Left
  • A Gentlemans Guide to Love and Murder Trailer Video


    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Trailer Video

  • Acknowledging Drugs and Vaping


    Acknowledging Drugs and Vaping

  • Bucket Brigade

    On Campus

    Bucket Brigade

  • Helping Hands at JB

    On Campus

    Helping Hands at JB

  • A Recital To Remember


    A Recital To Remember

  • Benches for the Community

    Off Campus

    Benches for the Community

  • FLO Interviews


    FLO Interviews

  • Back Row: Owen Cooper (11), Addy Crouse (11), Alliah Fluent (11), Meredith Iverson (11), Kace Dorty (11), Colby Starr (11), Macen Wilt (11), Carlee Jackson (12), Tanner Myers (12), Aleesha Cramer (11), Jaide Wolfe (11), and Hailey Embree (11). Front Row: Kaitlyn Ebersole (12), Cameron Flemming (11), Bella Shupp (11), Brynn Taulton (11), Kyla Shoemaker (11), Ashley Dukehart (11), Morgan Shughart (11), Emily Horst (11), Alyssa Sensinger (11), Maddie Akers (11), and Kierra Griffith (11).


    Lighting a Path for New NHS Members

  • Awards for the Keystone Kids

    Off Campus

    Awards for the Keystone Kids

  • A Community of Sound

    Off Campus

    A Community of Sound

Navigate Right
Activate Search
Claire Alfree