Friday, September 14, 2012

Choir holds concert to introduce new members

            It’s that time of year again, the annual Meet the Choir concert.  It is being held on October 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  This year the choirs will be singing fan favorites such as “A Whole New World,” “I Bought a Cat,” and “The Rattlin’ Bog,” but those aren’t the only surprises the choir has.
            A new year brings new students.  The Mixed Choir has gained 47 new students, while Concert and Chamber Choir have gained a total of 4 new members.  Just because there are numerous new students, that doesn’t mean these amazing choirs aren’t skilled. 
            “How our voices blend together is one of our strengths,” said Alexis Lewis, a senior who is a member of the Chamber Choir.  Meanwhile, Lilly Corathers, the choir director, has her own ideas.
            “I feel one of the Concert Choir’s strengths is self-reflection,” said Corathers. 
            She also feels that the Mixed Choir has an energetic attitude.  Lewis’s goal for Chamber Choir this year is to “improve our sound as a group,” while Corathers’ goals for Concert and Chamber Choir is to place at the Martinsburg Concert and Show Choir Festival and to increase the audience attendance at concerts.
            Most students do not know the differences between these three awesome choirs.  According to Corathers, the Mixed Choir is open to all students at Ripley High School with music set for the choir’s skill level.  The other two choirs require an audition which is held at the end of the school year.  Concert Choir is usually chosen as an elective by experienced band and choir members due to their ability to read sheet music.  Chamber Choir is for advanced choir members, and it travels to more performances such as the Concert and Show Choir Festival in Martinsburg.
            Overall, it sounds like the Meet the Choir concert will be one to remember.  It seems like the Choirs still have some surprises up their sleeves for their next two concerts.  The entire student body will be excited to discover the surprises the Choirs have in store.

Run, in the forest, Run

Cross country team places in Autumn Classic

     The cross country team got off to a good start in the first race of the season in St Marys on August 25. The boys’ team took home first place while the girls came in the top ten, finishing eighth in place.  With five boys in the top 50 rankings for AAA, the team plans to be a strong contender this year.  The girls’ team has three girls in the state’s preseason top 100. With a strong start to the season, the girls seek to continue to get better and improve every race.
Levi Phillips spoke of how the team tries to improve, “We run anywhere from seven to ten miles a practice, if we can keep up the pace we should be O.K.”
            Both teams ran in the Autumn Classic and fared well.  Seniors Caleb Casto and Chad Longanacre finished in the top 10 and senior Ali Cunningham finished 7. Also contributing to the girls’ team was senior Melissa Hughart who finished 29 and Maddi Randolph finished 50.   The guys’ team had five finishers in the top 30. They were as previously mentioned, Casto, Longancre, junior Jake Casto, sophomore Levi Phillips, and senior Ryan Gregory. 
“We have a good chance at making the state meet this year, if we can keep this up we will definitely get there,” says Phillips.
            Coming up are some important races including the Geico Classic which is run at Cabell Midland is on September 1. The Chick-Fil-A Invitational is September 8 in Mineral Wells. The team is also hoping to travel down to North Carolina to run in the Great American Classic at the end of September.

Homecoming takes on entertainment

      Homecoming is a huge event at our school.  Between the parade, dance, and pep rally the students have a week loaded with school spirit.  This year’s homecoming parade will be centered on the theme of entertainment, which the Student Council is eager to tackle. 

   Cheyenne Casto, Student Council member said, “We are all very eager to start making progress on this year’s event.”
Student Council is supporting each grade in an effort to bring spirit back by having them choose class flags, colors, flowers, and animals.  Representatives for homecoming court were voted on but not released.
      Our school isn’t the only group excited for the continuation of this beloved tradition.  The community as a whole also highly enjoys the festivities that are involved, such as the parade.  The alumni band is one example of how the community gets former students involved.
   With the theme of entertainment, the floats will probably be open to more interpretation of what students really enjoy.  At press time the spirit day costumes were not available. One club in particular, the Hogwarts Club, is going to have an easier time with this theme because the club is an entertainment themed organization.  This year they are doing Quidditch
   Diana Gainer, club adviser says, “This year the club is very excited to take on the challenge of making the float an organized success.”
      So come down on down and support Ripley High’s annual celebration!

Volleyball team ready to start the year with a spike!

After their outstanding 2011-2012 season, the volleyball team’s notoriety has calmed a bit. Fans have been wondering questions like, “Who’s the Captain?”, “How many people are on the team,” and more. Kacie Whitney (junior and current volleyball player) had enough kindness so sit through an interview about the team and their goals.
“Dusti and I are the Captains for this years’ volleyball team.”, said Whitney. Being an 11th grade captain had to be a big deal, as her eyes lit up with excitement upon being asked. For those of you who don’t know Whitney, she used to play point guard for our middle school, and high school basketball team, and also plays volleyball. It wasn’t until recent years that she dropped basketball, and started focusing on volleyball.
“We have a smaller team this year, than last” with only having around 12 combined JV/Varsity girls. “With a smaller team, we’re mostly focused on building experience this year.”, said Whitney with confidence.
Whitney said, “I think if the rest of the girls including myself will sit back and keep learning from not only the coaches, but also the seniors, we will be a great contender next year.” She also stated, “I’m going to try my best, and give my best individual effort to help my team have a winning season, and build team chemistry.”
If you’re a volleyball fan, you shouldn’t hold your head low. Junior/captain Dusti Fisher, junior Alicia Boggs, and senior Lyndsay Anthony are still on the floor, and all have 3 or more years of experience. Although losing vital game-changers such as, Jarah Manns and Kelli Poling could affect them, they still have enough talent to impress.
Whitney’s final statement was, “We’re just going to do the best we can, and more, and go out thinking we can win every game”, with a smile.
So get ready student body, the girls’ are already 2-0, having beat Nitro and Oak Hill September 11. So continue to show your support, and get ready for a winning season!

Kicking off the football season

    Coming off a slightly disappointing 3-7 season last year, the Viking Football team looks to turn the page, starting with a nice win over Nitro last Friday.  With new players at several positions the team is optimistic about what they can accomplish this season.  Junior Kicker Caleb Jennings says,
“We feel like we can make the playoffs and are working hard to get there.”
    After losing the first two games of the season, the team blew out Nitro 48-20 and is looking to gain some momentum with games against Lincoln County and Woodrow Wilson in the coming weeks.  The Vikings will have to keep playing hard to achieve their goal of making the playoffs, and according to Head Coach Jim Frazier, this goal is still obtainable.  When asked if he thought the Vikings could make the playoffs, he answered a definite,
    The football team puts in a lot of work every week to make the playoffs a possibility.  They lift weights three times a week, which is three more times a week than I lift weights, and have practice every weekday.  Practices include strength, conditioning, and cardio workouts, along with going over plays.  I asked sophomore Defensive End Eldrick Millares about the practices and he said,
    “The work we put in at practice really helps us perform in our games.”
    Hopefully the team can continue to perform well all season and make our school proud.

Staff Spotlight- Sarah Allinder and Allison Grattan

We have a few new additions to the English department this year, and one of them is Allison Grattan.  She teaches 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English.
She wanted to become a teacher because, “I grew up playing a lot of sports, and going to the camps I always helped out the younger kids. I love working with children and I’m very excited to be teaching.”
Grattan graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in history and arts with a minor in English. We have the honor of being the first school she has taught at.  Her family lives in Pike County, Kentucky, so after graduation she looked for schools nearby and found Ripley High. 
She is an exciting and adventurous person who enjoys doing extracurricular activities.
She stated, “I love being involved in sports. In school I played basketball, volleyball, and softball. I’m also big into music, and I love to read.”
Sarah Allinder is another of the new teachers in the English department. Allinder has been a teacher for 15 years. She first taught in Mason County, and then went on to teach at a private school.
She grew up in her hometown of Point Pleasant, and then went on to college at Marshall University where she obtained a Master’s degree in English and a certification in social sciences.  Allinder enjoys being a teacher because she feels she can help to make a difference.
“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. If I went back I would always go towards education again,” she stated.
            Allinder’s hobbies include  traveling and reading. She has three kids and three granddaughters. 

Staff Spotlight- Deputy Clyde Armstead

It’s a new year and many staff members have joined the crew.  The Police Resource Officer, replacing Jonathan Penson, is Deputy Clyde Armstead. 
 Armstead grew up in Roane County where he attended a one room schoolhouse as a child.  Later he went to Spencer High School, but dropped out to join the military where he then obtained his GED. Throughout his life he has taken classes at WVU-P and Marshall. Armstead was in the Navy for four years. He also went to fight in the Vietnam War.
In 1979 he joined the Roane County Police, and then in 1989 he worked for the National Guard at Yeager Airport.  He was also a Division of Natural Resources Conservation Officer, from which he retired earlier this year.  Armstead has a total of 23 years of military experience and 33 years in law enforcement.
 “I have worked everything from a parts store, to a coal mine, to even truck driving. I have also worked about every county in West Virginia,” he said.
Armstead was offered and applied for the position of PRO Officer here at Ripley High. He stated that once the opportunity opened, he went for it.
“I love it here. The staff is wonderful and the students are great. Working with the students brings back memories of when I was younger,” the new staffer stated.                                                                       

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meet Logan

Hi people, I'm Logan Moore. I'm a senior this year, and the editor of the Feature section. I love to write, critique things, and all things that come with english. This is good thing, since I plan to major in English and teach it. I also love art, but don't ask me to draw anything unless you want a good laugh. I'm a little awkward, but I consider myself to be nice and approachable, so don't be afraid to talk to me. I detest spiders in all forms, even the ones no bigger than a fly. Also, I plan to run for president when I reach the age. Vote for Logan, 2035.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New social media policy for West Virginia schools

     Every school has a point of no return when social media begins to allow students to harass and bully  each other online.
  Last year, and every year before that, there were no legal limits to what students could do on social networks when it came to school. But, beginning this year, a new state-wide policy has been created and enforced on students, with a separate one for teachers and other faculty as well.
     This new policy was created due to the large and ever-increasing popularity of social networks like Facebook, twitter, and tumblr. Almost every teenager and adult in the nation has a Facebook profile. Digital Buzz Blog states that Facebook is used by one in every thirteen people on Earth and 250 million log on every day.
     It’s a huge responsibility entrusted to those who agree to the terms of the site and actually follow the rules, but not everyone does. This is the purpose of the new policy. It is there to warn and protect us.  It prevents students from harassing others and being harassed.
     According the principal, William Hosaflook, last year there were more than fifty cases of online harassment and in almost all of them the police were involved. With the new policy in work, the administrators have complete control over social media problems. The police aren’t involved unless something illegal is done.
      “If I can stop it the first time, I’ve made progress.” says Hosaflook.
     Though it can’t completely control our behavior, it does present consequences. Students need to remember that actions outside of school can get them punished in school.
     The summary of the new policy can be found in the student handbook or online.

Social Networking in the Classroom: Pros and Cons

            At one time we’ve all wished that we could use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ in the classroom. Teachers and professors in high schools and colleges across the nation are thinking of new and interesting ways to implement social networking into the school day to make assignments more social and less boring than they usually are. So what exactly is good and bad about the use of social networking and how can it affect students and teachers at school?

As every teenager and young adult knows, social media is now a part of our everyday lives. Without it we feel disconnected from the world and our friends which is why having it on our smart phones and other devices make it so accessible and easy to use at all times. Of course, social networking is not something that mixes with school well, seeing as people refrain from doing work and instead pursue the distractions that it creates. But what if we could use Facebook to organize and turn in our assignments? What if we could peer-view our classmates’s work on sites such as Google+? Would these resources make learning and assignments more exciting or would they simply cause problems?

Social media sites such as Facebook and Google+ can be used to allow anyone to be connected at all times. Concerning school, students who are friends/followers on said sites can easily contact each other about assignments. For instance, if you forgot your homework assignment in algebra, you can easily ask a classmate what it is. Depending on how connected to social networking the classmate is, your response could be nearly instantaneous. On the other hand, teachers can share information amongst each other and also with the parents of students. If a student were to be having a problem in his/her class, they could simply contact the student’s parents with a private message instead of having to find their number to call them.

To get more information on how social media can improve the classroom environment, I spoke to history teacher Tabitha Craddock who used to use Facebook as a way to connect with the students in her AP Psychology class. According to her, private messaging her students through Facebook strictly about school work seemed to help them with assignments. Craddock never posted on walls and maintained a professional relationship with her students which never caused any problems. Due to recent school policies, she is separating herself from students on Facebook.

Of course, not everything about social media is good. There are many people who use it in ways that will postpone the possibility of it ever being adapted in a school setting. Students can abuse sites by posting slanderous things about other students, teachers, or their school. Cyber bullying is something that all schools are concerned with and policies to control it are still circulating everywhere. Of course, teachers are not innocent when it comes to the correct usage of social media. Teachers being friends with students is something that every school is concerned with due to the possible outcomes. Schools are not the only places concerned with the internet usage of employees. Employers are beginning to prohibit the use of social media in the work place due to the low productivity level of workers when they are on it.

As of right now, social media in the classroom is clearly just an experiment. In the future specific sites will probably be built around school and work that have limitations preventing distractions. It’s still interesting to see that it is a possibility and can eventually become something that every school uses.

Staff Spotlight - Mr. Bright

Staff Spotlight

   Mike Bright is a new health teacher at Ripley High this year. This is his fifth year teaching, coming here from Greenbrier County. He’s married, has one kid, and lives in Spencer. He graduated from Glenville College.
   He is a coach, and decided to become a teacher to hold his coaching job. His intentions weren’t to be a teacher, but he quickly fell in love with it. When asked about his experience at Ripley, he said:
   “I love it here. This is a great school with a respectable school system. A good group of students that are eager to learn.”

By: Logan Moore

Advice to Freshman

By: Logan Moore
Advice to Freshman

   You finally made it! You’re in the big, scary halls of Ripley High School now, and whether you like it or not, you’re here for just four more years. By now, you’ve probably figured out where most of your classes are, and you probably assume you know everything you need. This could be correct, but a few helpful tips from a senior can’t hurt.
   1. When venturing through the halls between classes, the rules of driving apply. You, of course, don’t drive yet, so migrating through the halls is good practice for the future. Stay on the right side of the hallway at all times, and make sure the path is clear before turning into a class. Disrupting the hall traffic is a punishable offense. Just kidding, but please pay attention in the halls.
2. In regards to number one, remember that everyone around you is trying to get to class. Stopping in the middle of the hallway to mingle with your chums could result in someone behind you being late. Be considerate of those from all buildings, as some need to run to class, and some can take a school detour and still be there on time.
3. Do not even think about going through the Senior Doors. As an underclassman, I waited to go through them out of respect for each senior class. We expect you to do the same. It would be better if you didn’t even think about them, to stop that urge you may have. It’s the same thing with Senior Benches; just walk away.
4. Although you may be a few years away from this, parking in the senior spots is also a big no. It’s not like you won’t ever have these privileges; just not while there’s another senior class present. Please respect us, and we might not make you limbo through the hallways.

5. More important than other students are the teachers and other staff. Listen to them and do what they say. It will make your experience here much better. This doesn’t mean disrespect your peers either. Just keep respect in mind, and treat others how you would want to be treated.
6. Find a group of friends that will encourage you. This school is very diverse, and I’m sure you’ll find at least one encouraging friend in each group. If you hang around people that are negative about everything, chances are you’re not going to be Mr. or Ms. Positive.
7. Pay attention in class and do your absolute best. I know, you probably hear this from everyone. They are right, though. School is very important, and helps define what you will be when you’re an adult. Senior year seems so foreign to you now, and like it’s so far away, but the end is much closer than you think. Keep your grades up, and study for those big tests. I cannot stress enough how important it is to not slack off.
8. Get help with what you’re having trouble on. Personally, I have a lot of trouble in math. Something about a bunch of numbers scattered around with a bunch of letters, symbols, and imaginary things, doesn’t click. It took me awhile to realize it, but tutoring after school or during lunch can save you from the horrible downfall in the subject that you don’t understand.
  School is only going to be as good as you make it to be. If you tell yourself that you hate school and can’t stand the fact that you’re learning valuable information you will use throughout your life, your time here won’t be good. If you knock off that negative attitude and bring in a positive one, time will fly and this will be the best experience of your life. Focus in class, but don’t let yourself get too stressed out. Relax, have fun, and make sure to do everything you want to. Before you know it, you’ll be gone and in college, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sport, took that class, or did whatever thing. Take it all one step at a time, and be positive, and you will love high school.

Opinions on the State Social Media Policy

By: Logan Moore
New State Social Media Policy
   As most of us have heard by now, a new state-wide policy regarding social media has been passed and is now being enforced. What is it? The policy basically states that any form of harassment through a social networking website towards a student or staff member of the school that disrupts the education process is now being considered a punishable offense, even if the harassment was done outside of school.
   Some may feel that this goes against their rights as an American, or they just don’t feel comfortable with strangers monitoring their profile. Is this concern really valid? I don’t think so. If someone is nervous about what they put on Twitter, Facebook, the ghost town of MySpace, or other social media sites, why are they putting it on there in the first place? Everything entered on the internet is up for people to see and judge someone on.
   I believe this new policy is an “It’s about time” moment. Why should someone get away with bullying another student while hiding behind the curtain of the internet?  The answer is, they shouldn’t. Cyber bullying is a popular method of bullying others now, and since this is the case, schools should be monitoring it just the same as they do in-school bullying.

Meet Tabitha

      Hello there, my name is Tabitha…don’t ever call me Tabbycat. I am 18 years old and a senior this year (finally).  I enjoy the simple things in life such as drawing, sleeping, playing Skyrim for hours, growing tomato plants on my patio, and hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend. I like to work a lot, so I am usually pretty busy.  I Co-Op in the Annex Office, and after school I work as an apprentice at a tattoo parlor in Ravenswood.  I love both of my jobs and the people I work with.  My favorite color is sky blue, and my favorite animals are kittens. I am a pretty laid back chick, so don’t be afraid to say hey in the hallways. I am the head editor of the Newspaper, and I hope this last year is a good one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet Danielle

Hello everyone, my name is Danielle Vealey. I am your average teenage girl. I live on an alpaca farm, enjoy long walks on the moon, and Nutella is my boyfriend. I have a dog who is my best friend, and I live for music. Am I musically gifted? Absolutely not. Entertainment is my thing. I am pleased by the small things and try to befriend everyone. I don’t bite. This is my second year writing for the Viking Press, and I thoroughly enjoy giving Ms. Okes a hard time on a daily basis. Oh, and writing stories.