Journalism

The HHS Sign Language Club will host a fundraiser next week to raise money for assistance dogs.

The money will go to the nonprofit organization Dogs for Better Lives, which trains dogs to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

The club will hold the fundraiser in the mornings and during lunch March 18-21. The challenge is to guess the number of jelly beans in a large container.

“I’m hoping a lot [will participate] but then again, who knows?” Vice President Shelby Lyle said. “It would be great to have a whole lot.”

Deaf education teacher Deborah Conn said, “We don’t really know what to expect. We’re just trying to see what we get.”

Lyle explained that next year the club will probably set a goal based on the amount of money it raises this year.

And the prize for whoever guesses closest on the jelly beans?

“It’s the whole big old thing of jelly beans,” Lyle said.

Story by Nikki Pomohaci, Cheyenne Metelka and Alyssa Rieger

 

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The HHS Band of Gold dominated the competition at White House this week.

HHS student teacher Jon Earl said the band received “superior” and “excellent” ratings from the judges at the Wednesday event (March 13).

“They performed exactly as we expected them to,” said Earl, who works with band director Dr. Jeff Phillips. “We’re not tested by the state, so this is really our only assessment of the year.”

Senior Daniel Sutherland was pleased with the band's performance. 

“It went well, I think we did well,” Sutherland said.

Story by Emma Henley and Emily Smith

Everyone knows spring is the season for allergies, but it is also a bad time for migraine headaches.

The American Migraine Foundation reports that spring brings frequent swings in barometric pressure as the weather changes, and this shifting leads to migraines for some people.

Nurse Sue Buckberry estimates that HHS students and teachers miss school “a minimum of two to three times a week” because of migraine headaches, which the AMF describes as a neurological disease that is disabling for 90 percent of suffers.

“It’s very common,” Buckberry said of the attacks, which usually last between four and 72 hours. “Some people are more prone to them.”

The AMF states that 18 percent of women, 6 percent of men, and 10 percent of children in America experience migraines.

English teacher Carmen Watts said she has had migraine attacks at least since high school, perhaps since junior high.

“I do tend to get them at certain times of the year,” Watts said. “Early fall can be pretty bad, and also April and May.”

Spanish teacher Stephanie Braswell had her first migraine when she was only 12. Certain foods, sleep pattern changes, stress, and swings in barometric pressure can all lead to a migraine for her.

And once she has one? “Depending on where I am, ice packs can help, essential oils, just lying down somewhere dark, creams and medicines,” Braswell said.

Buckberry advises people who suffer from migraines to be alert: “I would say that as soon as you get a headache, take your medicine right away.”

Other tips to avoid migraines, according to the AMF, are to keep a steady schedule in eating and sleeping, remain hydrated and exercise regularly.

Story by Bella Tittle, Benton Stubblefield and CiCi Fisher

Students caught using Juuls or other electronic smoking devices in school will receive immediate out-of-school suspension beginning next school year, HHS Principal Bob Cotter said.

Currently, students caught with the devices receive in-school suspension. The policy change is county-wide, Cotter said, after high school principals decided the problem had become widespread enough to warrant the tougher penalty.

“I really think there’s this feeling that Juuling is better than smoking,” Cotter told The Ville News recently. “But, you know, you’re still getting nicotine. And you’re getting it at a higher concentration in a Juul than you are in a cigarette.”

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 1.3 million increase in the number of teen tobacco users from 2017 to 2018, mostly because of the surge in popularity of Juuls and other e-cigarettes, also known as “vapes.”

About 3.05 million, or 20.8 percent, of high school students and 570,000, or 4.9 percent, of middle school students said they had vaped at least once in the previous month, the CDC announced in February.

HHS School Resource Officer Joseph Hutcherson said that with all of the health risks and now the stiffer penalty for getting caught, students should think twice before vaping: “Moral of the story is it’s not worth it,” he said.  

Story by Nikki Pomohaci, Alfred Allen and Cheyenne Metelka

The Commandos baseball team will play its season-opener at home Tuesday (March 12) against Davidson Academy.

The game begins at 7 p.m. at Drakes Creek Park.

Coach Mike Hendrix said pitching should be a strength this season.

“If our hitting comes through like I hope it does, then I think we have a chance to have a really good baseball team,” Hendrix told The Ville News last week. “We’ve got to score some runs. Our pitchers cannot go out every game thinking they’ve got to throw a shutout for us to have a chance to win.”

The coach described this year’s seniors as "kind of a happy-go-lucky” bunch that will need to stay focused.

“They like to have a lot of fun, sometimes too much fun,” Hendrix said. “That’s the thing about baseball -  graduation is right around the corner, and I hope that they concentrate and that they want to have a good baseball season and not worry about graduation until it gets here.”

Two players, sophomore Spencer Garner and freshman Zach Zimmerle, said they have been working hard to prepare for this season. Garner even played for a summer team in the off-season to try to improve.

“The team can be great as long as we focus on our mental game,” Zimmerle said.

Story by Carson Briscoe, Savanah Williamson and Savannah Vaughn

Leonie Fuster, a German exchange student visiting HHS the past few weeks, had a quick answer when asked what she missed most about home.

Without hesitation, she replied, “the bread,” and her five classmates from Germany laughed and agreed.

It won’t be long before the students and their chaperon, teacher Tina Dietrich, are reacquainted with the thick, crusty bread of Ingelheim, a city of about 25,000, 30 miles west of Frankfurt: Their last day at HHS is Friday (March 8), and they depart for home Saturday.

It has been a whirlwind for the teens, who spent a few days in Atlanta before arriving in Hendersonville for three-and-a-half weeks. Each student had an exchange partner from HHS who served as host family; in turn, six HHS students will stay with the German students’ families when they visit Ingelheim in May.

The German students ate American food, watched American sports, shopped at American stores, visited American museums, and hung out with American teens.

Their conclusion? Americans and Germans aren’t all that different.

“All the people are very friendly to us and are happy to see us and ask us a lot of questions,” Clara Mazurek told The Ville News last week. “It’s cool.”

Clara said American products, movies and music are popular in Germany, so the culture shock isn’t as great as one might imagine.

“I think every German teenager wants to go to the U.S. once,” she said. “This is a great experience for us.”

But not everything about America is familiar. Jonathan Knewitz observed that “everything here is bigger” – the schools, the highways, the supermarkets. And, he added, “what we would consider a long drive is nothing for you.”

There are other differences, too. Most teens in Ingelheim don’t own a car; they ride bikes or use public transportation. Churches are more plentiful in America than in Germany, as are fast food restaurants. And the drinking age for beer and wine in Ingelheim is only 16.

Of course, there’s also the language barrier. Even though German students study English in school, there’s a big gap between what they hear in their classrooms and what they hear in our towns and cities, where native speakers often run their words together and talk really fast.

“Even for me as a teacher, it’s sometimes hard to catch the words,” said Mrs. Dietrich, who shared a story about watching a lacrosse game here and hearing someone shout “Watch the rabbit!” when they were actually shouting “Watch 11!”

“But you get used to it,” she said of the language divide. “Living with a host family helps a lot.”

Despite the differences, she and the German students discovered in Hendersonville what the six HHS students – Charlotte Bishop, Sebastian Bishop, Isabella Bolen, Tony Heerdt, Alexa Janesh and Emma Sneed – will likely discover in Ingelheim: It really is a small world in a lot of ways.

Story by The Ville News staff

The hockey team’s thrilling season came to an end Wednesday (March 6) with a 7-3 loss to Brentwood in the state championship game.

Despite the loss, this season is certainly one to remember. The team -- 23 players from Hendersonville, Station Camp, Beech and Merrol Hyde high schools -- won its first GNASH (Greater Nashville Area Scholastic) Cup and finished second in the state, its best showing ever in the Predators Cup state competition.

“It was 7-3, but Brentwood got two empty-net goals,” said senior Cameron Stevens, who attended the game at the Ford Ice Center in Nashville.

Stevens described the student turnout and atmosphere in the arena as “incredible.”

“Both student sections (Hendersonville’s and Brentwood’s) were in one section, and HHS’ fans filled two-thirds of it,” Stevens estimated.

Even though the outcome wasn’t the one he and the other HHS fans wanted, it was still a historic season.

Story by Joey DiStefano

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