The Rocket Flame

Swim Season Gallery 2020


Swimming the 100 meter Freestyle, Alyssa Young (11) catches her breath.


Lighting a Path for New NHS Members


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).

Imagine yourself feeling anxious as you wait for your name to be called. Your hands are sweaty and your heart is pumping at a thousand beats per minute. When your name is finally called, multiple hands clap in unison as they recognize and acknowledge your academic achievements and induct you into a society. This society is known as the National Honor Society, which highlights students who do well academically as well as showing the four pillars that define the society.

On January 17, 2020, 24 new members were inducted into this organization. Before a student can get into NHS, they must first get an NHS invitation and this is the first step of the induction process.

“In November of the school year, Mr. Stull and I run the GPAs for juniors and seniors…students need a 3.85 GPA for this year,” said Mrs. Jenna Sheaffer (Faculty). 

This is one part of the criteria that everyone cannot meet, but the advisors have discussed a change that can impact the inductees for next year. 

“Next year, the GPA is going to go up since the weighting  system might change,” said Sheaffer. “We have discussed with Mrs. Troutman of maybe allowing the top 15% of the class to apply for NHS. Because we didn’t change the weighting system this year, we invited 40 students to apply. This doesn’t show how the inducted members are a selected group of students.” 

If a student reaches the GPA requirement, they must also reflect the four pillars that define NHS.  

“Everyone meets scholarship (that’s the 3.85). Character is the harder one to talk about because we want students who are well-rounded and nice people. The other two are service and leadership,” said Sheaffer. 

Once students fill out the application, the induction process is determined by the Faculty Advisory Committee, who help decide who is ultimately inducted.

“There’s one teacher from the four main subjects – Math, English, Social Studies, Science,” said Sheaffer. “Then we have Mrs. Johnson who does the pool area, and Mrs. Martin from the tech/art department, and both Mrs. Troutman and Mr. Bradley helps out.”

In some cases, there is a limit to how many students get in, so not all applicants may get in the first year. At this point, the committee has to choose the best candidates.

“It’s a goal to have all four pillars, but no one is perfect, so there are times where we take things into consideration,” said Sheaffer. “For example, someone could be at school 15 hours a day and not have as much community service hours so we try to weigh the pillars.”

When the final decision is made, acceptance letters go out to the parents of those students who got accepted. From here, the parents often decide whether they tell their kids or they try to keep it a secret.

“It was very exciting to hear that I got into NHS,” said Colby Starr (11). “I get to see all of the hard work that I put in over the years and how it finally paid off.”

After the acceptance letters go out, the induction date has to be set and from there the planning process for the ceremony takes place.

“The planning of the ceremony gets stressful sometimes because you are planning a school-wide event and you have to tell teachers and we have to send out an alternate schedule,” said Sheaffer. “Mrs. Amsley does all of the RSVPs because we need them to hold seats in the auditorium of all the family that’s coming. We also throw in a cookie and punch snack time afterwards, so Mr. Stull and I have to order the food. Then we have to set up the stage with the chairs, the podium, and the table with the candles…Mrs. Blair irons all of the covers for us.” 

At the beginning of the induction ceremony, Mr. Samuel Dickey (Faculty) started off by thanking the people who put the event together. Then he invited Nicholas Alfree (12) to the podium to read off the names of the newly inductees and explain what they are a part of both in and out of school. 

“I did a mission trip with my church and I helped out at retirement homes by playing the guitar and playing games with them,” said Kierra Griffith (11). “It was important for me to get into NHS because I value my academic achievements and I want to help people as much as possible.” 

Once all of the new members have been introduced, Kamari Moser (12), Sarah Kimmel (12), Paige Hartman (12), and Megan Rummel (12) explained what each of the four pillars mean. After they spoke, they lit a candle to represent each characteristic.

After presenting the pillar of Service, Paige Hartman (12) lights the last candle.

           Finally, Mr. Rodney Benedick (Faculty) had each member repeat the NHS pledge. The ceremony ended with pictures being taken and a follow up snack held in the cafeteria. 

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.                                                                                                   

Canning Out Hunger for The Holidays


During the holiday season, giving is a common theme. This is especially important to James Buchanan High School during their annual food drive.


Every year during the month of December, the James Buchanan High School Student Council holds a food drive, placing a holiday-wrapped box in each homeroom for students to fill with donations.


“The food drive is a way for us to give back to families in need and students in our school district by providing them with food and gifts,”  said Claire Kriner (10) one of the three co-chairs of the drive, “It’s been a tradition for many years.”


The food drive this year was organized by Hannah Kimmel (10), Claire Kriner (10), and Sarah Kimmel (10).  


“This is our first year on Executive Council and we’ve never done anything like this before,” said co-chair Hannah Kimmel. “ It is [the food drive] one of the hardest things to plan all year.”

Participation was a worry this year but the outlook for donation volume is looking bright.


“Last year plenty of food was brought in to feed all 32 families in need in the school district,” said Kriner.


To increase the competition and participation, Student Council has included a scavenger hunt aspect to the food drive.


“We have a scavenger hunt to bring in more of certain types of food,” explained Hannah Kimmel.


Student Council also added a reward for the homeroom that earn the most points. Homerooms gain points by bringing in different items that are worth a varying points based on the type of food.


“Whoever has the most points from the scavenger hunt gets a breakfast from Student Council,” said Kimmel.


For the scavenger hunt, items that have a higher-point reward are foods that are higher in demand for the holidays, such as canned meats and boxed meals .


Items that StuCo recommends bringing in would be non-perishable food items and good quality foods.


“When people bring food in, we just want them to be sure they are giving food they would want to eat themselves,” said Hannah Kimmel.


Foods that Student Council recommends bringing in would be boxed brownies, beans, peaches, and any canned- or preserved-meat products.


The food drive will run through the month of December, ending on Dec. 20 just in time to provide the families in need with food for the holidays.

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Sarah Kimmel