Jane Banks: “It’s as if the wind blew you in!”

Mary Poppins: “It did.” 

- From the HHS production of “Mary Poppins”


Mary Poppins’ timely arrival not only changed the lives of the Banks family; it also made waves within the HHS student body Wednesday afternoon (April 3).

The performance - a trial run for students with public shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - seemed to excite everyone as it rekindled the childlike-wonder of this classic story.

So what makes “Mary Poppins” so special? “The story about the changes that take place and the importance of family,” said theatre arts teacher Carole Ann Everson, who directs the musical.

And then there is the flying. “Mary flies, Bert flies,” Everson said. “That’s something we have never done before, and that has been quite the experience.”

The show stars Cleo Graham and Carlye Morris as the “practically perfect” Mary Poppins and Aaron Brewer as Bert, the lovable chimney sweep.

Presley Calonge and Sergei Wright also star as Jane and Michael Banks, as well as Tyler Edwards and Carson Jackson as George and Winifred Banks.

“These kids - they are just incredible,” Everson remarked.

“Mary Poppins” also features Hendersonville High’s very own orchestra. All music, and many sound effects, are courtesy of the orchestra with help from Tim Ferguson and Thomas Spears.

The Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening shows will be 7-9:30. A Sunday afternoon performance will begin at 2:30. All tickets are $10 at the door. Be sure to buy tickets ahead of time or come early to guarantee a seat.

Story by Emma Henley and Emily Smith

The HHS Spanish Club held its annual Salsa Night on Tuesday (April 2) to raise money for a Yuda Bands scholarship for a Guatemalan girl.

The Yuda Bands organization provides educational scholarships to students in Guatemala and Africa. The group raises funds by selling handcrafted braclets through schools.

HHS raised about $800 from the braclet sales, and the Salsa Night brought in about $100 more, said Spanish teacher Jessica de Araujo Jorge, who helped organize the event.

The scholarship will help Rosalinda Balan Pumay, who lives in Xesuj, Guatemala, according to a biography on the Yuda Bands website.

"Here my family and I live with very few possibilities for professional success," Rosalinda says in the bio. "I work weekdays and go to school on Saturdays and Sundays. My parents cannot help me pay for school because my dad doesn't earn much and so I need to work and pay for myself.

"Unfortunately, in our country, there is a lot of delinquency among young people," she continues. "That is why I want to contribute to the improvement of my country, and I believe that is possible through education."

During Salsa Night, several students learned to dance Salsa with volunteers from World Champion Productions here in Hendersonville. Casa Vieja donated chips and salsa.

More than 60 students attended the fundraiser. Tickets were $3.

The idea for Salsa Night came from Mrs. Jorge.

“I had a friend who was a Salsa dance instructor when I first began teaching and we decided to give it a try,” she said.

Story by Nikki Pomohaci

If teachers see students glued to their phones this afternoon – more glued than usual, that is – they shouldn't panic: It’s probably not because kids are trying to cheat.

March Madness has struck, and HHS has got it bad.

The 19-day, 67-game Men’s NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament has already had its share of thrills (How about that Auburn-New Mexico game yesterday?), and there’s more in store when Tennessee (No. 2) takes on Colgate (No. 15) today (March 22) at 1:45.

“We talk about it all first block,” sophomore Keion Stafford said of the tournament. “I check the action between classes, whenever I can - sometimes during classes.”

It’s not just students, either; teachers are in on it too.

Science teacher Brannon Jones allows his classes to make their own brackets. Winners get a candy prize.

History teacher Alex Tummons goes even further.

“I offer extra credit to students if they win or beat me in the bracket, which they won’t,” Tummons said.

Game on.

Story by Kyra Hodge, Savannah Vaughn, Savanah Williamson and Carson Briscoe


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.


  • “Working and sleeping,” (Tariyah Pierce, freshman)
  • “A staycation and grading,” (Andrew Martin, English teacher)
  • “Going to Gatlinburg for the whole break,” (McKenzie Gibson, freshman)
  • “Camping for the weekend with my family at Edgar Evins State Park,” (Regan Cothron, Criminal Justice teacher)
  • “Flying to Tampa to meet a friend,” (Stevie Carmen, junior)
  • “Driving to Florida with my family,” (Caden Watterson, junior)
  • “Taking care of a friend’s dogs, going to visit ETSU on Friday and Saturday, then rehearsing for Mary Poppins every other day,” (Mason Mills, senior)
  • “Going to Disney World with my friends for my senior trip,” (Kelsey Dotson, senior)
  • “Heading to Fort Lauderdale with my family and going to the beach,” (Grace Glover, senior)
  • “Spending time with my baby niece and other family members and rehearsing for Mary Poppins throughout the week,” (Kaila Jones, sophomore)
  • “Hanging out with friends and my boyfriend and driving my Jeep,” (Holly Luckett, freshman)
  • “Taking a Disney Cruise with my family,” (Beth Walker, English teacher)
  • “Going to Gulf Shores with the HHS softball team for a tournament,” (Katelyn Wilson, freshman)
  • “I think I’m just going to get in the car and see where I end up. No, I really don’t have plans, but I hope to get away somewhere. I’m going to soak up the sun, get some Vitamin D,” (Angie Woods, librarian)
  • “I’ll be in Atlanta,” (Cheyenne Draper, freshman)
  • “Going to Chattanooga to look at the aquarium,” (Karla Cortez, freshman)
  • "Probably nothing. Homework. A lot of nothing," (Kaliegh Hubbard, freshman)
  • "Going to Gatlinburg, Dollywood," (Hope Norris, sophomore)
  • "I'm going to my grandparents' house and then they're taking me to Ohio," (Mallory Thomas, freshman)

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

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