Spring break is a time to kick back and relax for most. It helps us recharge for the EOCs, final exams and that last big push to summer. The Ville News caught up with several students and teachers this week to see what they have planned. Their edited remarks are below.
Story by The Ville News staff
Tickets to the April 12 prom are on sale in Room 229 before and after school as well as between classes.
Tickets are $50 each, but the price jumps to $65 on April 9.
Only juniors and seniors can buy tickets. To order, they need a school ID and, if they plan to bring a guest from another school, permission from the HHS administration.
The theme this year is “Starry Night.” Activities will be from 8 p.m. to midnight in the school gym. Dress is formal.
Story by AnnaGrace Anderson, Ava Craddock and Kennedy Payne.
HHS students traveled to Middle Tennessee State University this month to learn about new books and meet the authors.
The young readers attended the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival, March 7-9 at the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro.
Authors at the festival included S.E. Green, Ellen Hagan, Alex London and Mark Oshiro.
Held each March, the event aims to “encourage and develop literacy in young adults by connecting them with authors,” according to the organization's website.
Librarian Angie Woods said she invited 10 students and seven were able to make the trip.
“We go to panels (discussions), learn how to get published, stuff like that,” said senior Megan Craig, one of the attendees.
Story by Emily Smith and Emma Henley
Many students feel that high school involves a lot of “blood, sweat, and tears,” but some took it to the extreme last week by participating in the HOSA Club blood drive.
HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) worked with the American Red Cross to organize the drive on campus March 13.
Students who were a little skittish about needles had a huge incentive to donate - aside from wanting to help others in need, of course. Health science teacher and HOSA Club leader Paul Good explained it this way: “Students see it as a benefit to get out of class, so they (the Red Cross) always have good turnouts coming to schools.”
Unfortunately, figures were not immediately available for the number of HHS students participating or the amount of blood collected.
Story by Ava Heeren and Mandy Pirtle
You’ve all heard of the Commandos, but how about the Codemandos?
Led by computer science and engineering teacher Jeff Wilkins, Codemandos is the name of the HHS Robotics Club that meets after school Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The club is currently working on guiding a robot through a maze using code, which is essentially a script – written in programming language – that a computer can understand. The code tells the robot to do a certain thing or to perform in a certain way.
In a recent demonstration the robot moved almost perfectly through a tape maze spread over the floor of Wilkins’ classroom, which is a large open space filled with engineering tools, work tables and robotic supplies.
Wilkins, who also taught engineering at his last school in Fishers, Ind., said the club’s 10 members have to think creatively and problem-solve with technology – skills that help prepare them for the workforce.
“In 10 years, every job will involve computers in some capacity,” he said.
Sophomore Codemando Marcus Dumitrescu said the HHS club should be ready to compete in robotics against other schools next year.
“Definitely,” he said. “We plan on winning state.”
Wilkins wants to have a skinny block dedicated to the Codemandos. Students who are interested would “have to have been in some type of computer science or engineering class to join,” he said.
He also would like to see more girls in the club because the coding and engineering industries seek greater diversity. While college scholarships in robotics are very competitive for young men, he said, more opportunities are available to young women.
Ari Avant, a junior Codemando, is already headed in that direction. She intends to enter coding competitions “inside and outside” of school.
Who knows? Someday the Codemandos might be as well-known as the Commandos.
Story by Samantha Vickers, Lesley Parotta and Ava Kobus
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
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