Monday, October 29, 2018

Girl's volleyball team prepares for next season

The Ripley volleyball team has had a challenging season this year. As a small triple A school we play some powerhouses. The girls have worked really hard, but they do think they will be better during the next season.

“We are not as good as last year, but we definitely have the potential to pass and serve better next year,” said junior Ella Casto.

Volleyball is a very tough sport. It takes a lot of practicing to make your passes, sets, and serves consistent. These girls practice every day after school to improve for this season and so they will be better for next season. The team stretches and practices passing before games, too.

“We usually work on our passing and serving a lot during practice and we do some running drills too,” said sophomore Olivia Banton.

There are only two seniors on the volleyball team out of 16 this year. They will definitely be missed. These seniors have had an amazing season for themselves and they have made a lot of great memories with the team and coaches, Dusti Fisher and Tabby Craddock.

“My best memory throughout these past four years would probably be all the friends I have made. I'm definitely going to miss them,” said senior Haylee Casto.

“The friends I have made and all the fun times we have had. Both winning and losing, on and off the court, we all have each others backs,” said senior Taylor Johnson.

The 14 other players can come back next year to continue growing as a team. They will be working hard and coming up with new drills to practice.

“I know we can work harder for next season and it will be better,” said junior Paige Nations. 

New "Halloween" movie is the same old story

The legend of Michael Myers continues! Or does it? The release of the newest “Halloween” movie has caused a debate whether or not it’s a good movie or a bad movie.  Many people think it is overkill since it is the 11th movie in the series.  Others thought it brought back the nostalgic feeling of the old movies.

“Halloween” as a movie series first started back in 1978. The first “Halloween” movie was set 15 years after Michael murdered his sister on Halloween in night 1963 and was sent to a mental hospital and escaped. He went back to Haddonfield to kill again. The next nine movies he keeps killing people. The newest “Halloween” movie in 2018 is about Michael (Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney) escaping another mental hospital and hunting down Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is the person who escaped his attacks four decades ago

I’ve watched the movie and all i’m going to say is that I did not enjoy it. It wasn’t scary enough since it is repetitive after all the “Halloween” movies. Same characters and the same problems keep happening. 

So I do not think it’s worth the time and money going to the theaters. However it could be an ideal movie to watch with your friends and families.  It is not that it is horribly filmed or that the story doesn’t make sense.  The ideas are not new. The reason it got so much hate was because of the fact everyone gets it, Michael Myers seems to not die and neither will the movies.

Monday, October 22, 2018

National Bully Prevention Month Brings Awareness

It’s October, which means it’s National Bully Prevention Month! Many people don’t know about this event which started in 2006.  This is the time of the year where everyone is reminded about the causes and effects of bullying to be more aware and stop violence.

This event was originally started by PACER Center, an organization that supports families of children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are often targeted with bullying so that’s how it was created. PACER has some very important and educational websites on different tips for teens, parents, and resources to use all year long.

They created this campaign to keep all youth safe from bullying and to be aware of it. It was originally started in 2006 whereas it was a week long. Then in 2010, they decided people should be aware more about it so they changed it from a week to a month long.

People who are commonly bullied have many reasons of why they could possibly be bullied for. Some are usually those who have more in life (such as family, love, or things) than the bully. Some reasons could be because of their weight; whether they’re “too skinny” or “too chubby.” They might be picked on by their style of clothing or being poor. Even the color of their skin or their religion might be the reason but those are not as common as other reasons.

One thing everybody needs to be aware of is bullying can lead to devastated and mostly long term effects such as low or no self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression. One thing to look for is not the profile of the person - what others expect - but the behavior change because it might be a lead to the occurence of being bullied or bullying.

For example, if someone has trouble or sees bullying at home, they might see it as acceptable or okay at school.

Bullies commonly have social power. They could be high in the popularity of the class or school. They sometimes could be concerned about their power as if they want more friends or attention just by bullying. Or people could expect the opposite, they could be more isolated, depressed, or aggressive. They might have a tendency to bully so they can feel better about themselves or they might have family issues at home that leads them to think bullying is okay.

Higher authority is always the way to go to report or stop bullying. If there is bullying happening, adults should be aware of where and who. Parents of the child and the bully should be notified. They could help by talking through the situation and try to solve it.

If you ever see any type of bullying going on, you should always tell a trusted adult. If it’s not too serious, you could step in and help out the victim and still tell someone. If it is serious, then you should stay out of it and tell someone. It might change the fact that they can’t just talk but there might be more action required out of the situation.

Meet the New Staff

The 2018-19 school year has brought new staff members to almost every department. Our new teachers include Kayla Dixon in math, Donell Haynes in special education, Mat Richards in science, Sarah Roark in foods and consumer sciences, Lindsay Quesenbery in Spanish, and Nancy Ullom in science. We also welcome our new secretaries - Debbie Barnette, Brenda Miller, and Connie Waybright.  

New Spanish teacher Lindsay Quesenberry loves it here at Ripley High. She teaches grades 9-12 and likes to spread a little culture through the school by showing different Spanish and Hispanic traditions. She has been married for 12 years, teaching for 11, and has two little girls. She has taught many other subjects in the past, such as family consumer science (foods and parenting), applied design, fashion merchandising, life skills, and international foods.

Quesenberry said, “The kids are awesome. I’m so blessed. I couldn’t imagine teaching somewhere else at this moment, this is my calling. This is where I’m supposed to be.”

Nancy Ullum, new biology and earth science teacher, teaches ninth and tenth graders. Ullum has taught every grade from kindergarten to seniors. She has been teaching for 19 years all together.

She said, “For 15 years I taught at Ripley Middle School and I was off a year when I was ill and now I’m over here.”

Although she is not originally from West Virginia, she has lived in Jackson County for 23 years. She has three sons who are now adults and one granddaughter. She graduated from Ooltewah High School from Ooltewah, Tennessee.

The school is looking forward to having these new faces and personalities!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Girl's soccer team goes to sectional's

The girls’ soccer team for Ripley high school has had an amazing season so far. There team has had 17 wins, 2 losses, and 3 ties. “We have won seventeen times, and each time we win we get even more excited,” said junior Grace Walsh. Soccer is a very active and tough sport, these girls have worked very hard this season. “We work really hard the whole season during practice, we like to win,” said junior Gracie Smith. There are five seniors on the team this year out of 19. Those five seniors are great leaders. Coaches Steve Gandee and Toni Carpenter and players are definitely going to miss them. “The seniors show leadership by helping the team keeping our heads up during practices and in games. We will miss the seniors a lot because they always know how to make us laugh and make us all closer,” said junior Olivia Broom. The seniors have made a lot of good memories these past four years. “My best memory would be being able to score my first goal during the championship game when I was playing FCLA in Greensboro, North Carolina,” said senior Allison Knox. “Probably when we were playing at Capital. The team picked me up and I crowd surfed because it was my birthday,” said senior Mackenzie Gillispie. The Ripley soccer team has definitely improved from last year in some areas like being able to pass better and learning how to pay more attention to the game.The team has worked very hard this year and there chemistry as a team has grew a lot. The girls all get along pretty easy so it makes them pass better on the field and makes them understand each other more. “We stay connected through social media, text, and hanging out outside of school,” said junior Olivia Gandee. There season is now over, they made it through the first sectionals game with a win over Parkersburg High. The second sectionals game they lost unfortunately against Parkersburg south. “We played a tough game, we tried and never gave up,” said Junior Sydni Cunningham.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

There Are Many Fall Events Coming Up

It’s getting to be fall time. Lots of things are happening in autumn than just Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many fun and spooky events are going on this and next month.

The Haunted Trail at the Jackson County Fair Grounds is happening October 26 and 27 from 8:00 to 11:00 PM. This year will be the 10th year they have been putting on this horror trail. The hike lasts a about a half a mile. Children 10 or under must have a parent with them. It’s not recommended for young children because the employees jump out at you wearing masks and scary costumes. The people running the trail are selling shaved ice and different snacks. The trail itself is $5 per person to get in. The wagon rides are less scary and cost $3 and the safe petting zoo for $1. They also have face painting and a photo booth.

The Ghost Walk of Downtown Ripley is happening October 31. It starts at 6:00 PM at the Courthouse. It is a good walking distance of a mile long. This experience includes stops talking about the death of Harry Ripley and the last hanging at Ripley in 1897. The walk costs no money and people of all ages can go.

Trick-or-Treat in Ripley starts at 5:30 PM October 31 and ends at 7:30 PM. Trunk-or-Treat starts and ends at the same time in the back parking lot of Ripley High School. Trunk-or-Treat is going to be run by the FFA. Even if you aren’t part of the FFA, you can still help out.

Gritt’s Farm in Eleanor, West Virginia has lots of wonderful, fun things to do during their Fun Farm event. They have a corn maze, wagon rides, a slide mountain, pumpkin bowling, hay mazes, a rope maze, bunnies, and goats. They also have places to get food. Nellie’s Kitchen has many sweets like pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie, caramel apples, and homemade ice cream. Nellie’s Kitchen also sells shirts and other merchandise. Gritt’s Gourmet Food Truck sells things like burgers, BBQ, fries, and drinks. Fun Farm is open until October 27 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekends. On weekdays, they are open until November 2 during the same times.

Only Freshman Girl on the Ripley High Golf Team

Although ninth grader Ashlyn Donohew is not the first girl to join the Ripley High golf team ever, she is only girl and freshman currently on the team. She jokes, “...and the shortest.”

She thinks golf is a lot of fun. She likes the new friendships she has been able to develop by being on the team. Donohew decided she wanted to try playing golf over this summer.

Donohew felt like playing golf would be a fun change from volleyball. She says she will not continue playing volleyball but she does plan on playing golf again in future seasons.

Her cousin taught Donohew how to play golf earlier this year. Donohew has only been playing since the beginning of the season. She tells us that it’s kind of weird being the only girl on the team, but everyone talks to each other.

The other golfers are all nice to her but some tease her in a big brother type of way. She did not know anyone on the team before she joined.

She has played her first all girl tournament ever this golf season on September 18th. She placed 38th out of the 52 girls who played.

She will eventually play tournaments with the boys if she qualifies. As of right now, she does not get as much playing time as the boys. They are all much more experienced than she is.

“I think it is a really fun sport and I think everyone should get involved,” says Donohew. She thinks it’s definitely a sport worth trying.

What Time is it? It's Election Time!

Election Day is coming up very soon and it’s usually on the Tuesday after November 1st. Votes goes to local, state, and national levels. In order to vote, you’ll need to be register and be the age of 18. This is a perfect opportunity for seniors, especially those who turn 18 right before November, to be able to vote. Find your nearest polling place and vote!

Important races, positions, or officials West Virginians will be voting for are the U.S. Senator and the U.S. Representative, your State Senate and State Delegate, and Amendments to the West Virginia Constitution that are being focused on right now in 2018.

This year’s U.S. Senate candidates will be Patrick Morrisey (Jefferson Co.), Joseph Manchin III (Marion Co.), and Rusty Hollen (Harrison Co.). Morrisey has been the Attorney General of West Virginia for the past five years and he is also a Republican. Manchin is the Democratic candidate; he has also worked on focusing on education. Hollen is a Libertarian Party candidate.

Our U.S. Representative candidates are Alex X. Mooney (Jefferson Co.), Talley Sergent (Kanawha Co.), and Daniel P. “Danny” Lutz, Jr. (Jefferson Co.). Mooney is a Republican candidate, Sergent is a Democratic candidate, and Lutz, Jr. is a Mountain candidate. All three candidates are running for positions of the U.S. House West Virginia District 2.

The State Senator candidates are Eric J. Tarr (Putnam Co.), Brian Prim (Mason Co.), and Amy Nichole Grady (Mason Co.). Tarr is a Republican, Prim is a Democratic, and Grady is a Non-Partisan Association candidate. They are running for the 4th Senatorial District.

Then, our candidates for State Delegates are Steve Westfall (Jackson Co.) and Missy Morris (Jackson Co.). Westfall is a Republican and Morris is a Democratic candidate. They both are running for the 12th Delegate District.

The Amendments that are being focused on right now is Amendment No. 1: No Constitutional right to abortion Amendment. The other one is Amendment No. 2: Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment.

The Abortion Amendment, which is No. 1, is to clarify that there is nothing in the Constitution of WV that secures or protects the right to abort or funding for abortion.

The Judicial Budget Amendment, which is No. 2, is set to be reviewed and understand the rights for the budget, including keeping track of it after what happened last time of stealing and misplaced or misused money of the Judicial branch budget.

For example, the whole WV Supreme Court has misused the money out of that budget only for redecoration that nobody will see. You can choose whether to support the Amendments or not to. Therefore, that is why we have that amendment set up for voting and also the ballot for some positions of the Supreme Court which you can find online or on paper copy at your nearest city building!

Be prepared for Election Day and make sure you know who or what you’re voting for!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

1st Female Principal at Ripley High school

Have you ever wondered about the new principal Bev Shatto? 

For the school year of 2018-2019, Shatto was introduced as the new Ripley High School principal. She had served as assistant principal for years at the school.

“It was time for a new challenge, and I wanted to go outside my comfort zone,” said Shatto.  

Before becoming principal, she had experience in other fields. Shatto had taught in every level including elementary, middle, and high school. She had three years in state training, several years working as an administrator, and had coached at seven different schools. 

Shatto decided she wanted to apply for the job in hopes of making a difference. Over the summer she explained how people were “coming to her, and at large people wanted me to take the job.” 

“I had to decide to do it for myself in the long run,” she explains. 

Being a woman has lots of challenges in today’s society also, and Shatto explains some of these challenges. 

“I was afraid people might not take me seriously, or might doubt my ability to do this job,” she said.

Luckily, she has not experienced this problem yet. 

Her goals for this school year include maintaining Ripley High School’s performance, making gains in mathematics, and expanding to more programs related to certain occupational fields. 

Shatto hopes her being principal will make a huge difference to this school, and bring a positive outlook to it. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Schools should prepare for lockdowns to save lives

No matter if it has only happened once in the entire history of the world, it would still be too many times…

This is a common saying after a school shooting happens.  Everyone believes it and people are trying to prevent more from happening, but it isn’t enough.

There have been at least 27 gunfire attacks resulting in injury or death on school grounds in 2018.

February 14, 2018 was Valentine’s Day. But also, the day that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a school shooting. Seventeen people died. There were multiple people injured. 
The shooter had been expelled from that school, so he was no longer attending.  He had just about as much access as any member of the public.  

We should care about the shooting months later because people lost their even though they knew procedure. 

Knowing procedure and practicing are two very different things. Marjory Stoneman Douglas students didn’t practice the Code Red very often. During the shooting, students were thinking fast. One girl decided to put books in front of their faces to shield them. Another girl played dead and got under an already dead boy to make it seem realistic. They had to come up with new ideas in the heat of the moment since they were not taught to them. 

Practicing is very important. Taking it seriously is also important which some kids didn’t do.

“Some kids were on their phones. A lot of kids were trying to snapchat everything because they thought it was a joke and it wasn’t.” said by another survivor of the Parkland shooting.

School has been in session for two months in Jackson County, but we still haven’t practiced our Code Red Procedure.  We need to practice so kids know what to do, they won’t have questions, and we will be prepared.

Here is how we can be better prepared in school:
Practice Code Reds often. Go through the plan of what needs to happen. It’s not just the students that need to practice. It’s the staff too, teach an updated ALICE training to students and teacher, and practice real situations instead of just locking down. It can be unexpected. 

Now, many schools including MSDHS have lines of tape in the corners of the classrooms showing where to stay so a shooter can’t see anyone from the door. If they had been less prepared, there would have been a lot more deaths. 

Things you can do to save yourself and others during a shooting:
- Shades down, doors locked, lights off.
- Move window to other side of door so can’t reach handle or make bullet proof. Or, get rid of the windows completely and use cameras to see outside the door or use peep holes. 
- Decide what students should be the fighters if you need it.
- Find things that you can use as a weapon on the shooter such as – a chair, hole puncher, something heavy and/or hard, etc.
- Find things to hide behind like a desk are a cabinet. 
- Make sure you have things to cover your body if you are in the view of the shooter so you don’t get seen or hurt.
- STAY OUT OF VIEW – as best as you possibly can. 

These things happen. “That doesn’t happen here” isn’t true. We need to be prepared.
If you agree, share this. Let people know. This needs to change

Monday, October 1, 2018

Mental health in teens should increase in importance

Mental health problems are increasing more each day for teenagers. According to Mental Health America, there are over 1.7 million youth with major depressive episodes that do not receive treatment. Also in a five year period, rates of severe youth depression grew from 5.9% to 8.2%. 

Mental health is about emotions and connecting with the world around us.  Problems happen when we don’t understand and deal with them.  This is a very serious topic and to this day we are seeing it increase more each day, especially in younger kids. 

“ My definition of mental health is the state that your mind is in,” said senior Taylor Miller.

“I think that mental health occurs mostly in ages eleven through your early twenties. Our brains aren't fully developed until we are in our twenties,” said senior counselor Tina Holley. 

There are several types of mental health concerns such as anxiety, ADHD, ADD and tons more. Anxiety and ADHD are the most common in teenagers.  

“I think anxiety is the most common mental health concern in teenagers because there is a lot of stress and peer pressure put on us teens,” said senior Jaylyn Sheppard. 

Mental health issues are increasing here lately because we have more stressors around us. Teens have always stressed about school, relationships, and friendships.  However, they stress more about drugs, sex, bullying, money, and violence than people before them.

It is important to do something about it so it doesn’t get worse.

Some people go to the doctor to get prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. Other people go to counseling and that seems to help them out too. Doctors like to make some of their patients do both; sometimes that works better for them. 

“If I were to have depression and anxiety I would probably like to go to counseling better than taking a pill everyday, “ said senior Hayley Gibson. 

Some things you can do to help decrease your stress before it gets to the point where you need professional help: exercise, read a book, draw a picture, take a deep breath, counting, and walk away.

Flooding Preparations in Case of Another Flooding

Hurricane Florence has taken on quite a toll of flooding in a lot of places. One thing we could do to prepare for emergencies is to plan a evacuation plan and make several accessible kits we could use at a time in need.

Many people know there’s a flash flood watch and a flash flood warning. It is important to know the difference between those two. If you hear there is a flood watch, then that means you have to keep an eye out for any flooding; that it is possible. A flood warning means there will be flooding soon or there is already flooding and you need to take precautions QUICKLY.

People can find easy ways to look for information or get help. You can listen to your local radio station or the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric) radio for any updates or preparations. There are also websites such as American Red Cross, TV stations about the weather you can look into, and some apps that can send alerts through the phone. If you need help, only if it’s urgent, then calling Red Cross or 911 would be the best option in case you’re stuck or in an emergency situation.

What should we do to prepare beforehand if we come across a flash flood warning? Make sure you have an emergency kit with you; always double check to see if you’re missing anything. Make another additional kit with supplies you think you might need; the only difference with this additional kit is you might run out or lose/damage supplies in your original kit. A few suggestions would be batteries, a flashlight, some canned food, and blankets. Store extra materials in your own car, too.

Always think ahead. If you have kids or pets, you would want to take some food and toys along with your kit to provide for them in case they go hungry or bored. Always check to make sure your car has gas. Different areas has different spots for higher ground or shelter to go to for flooding; make sure you know a place you can evacuate to so you are not rushing ahead and running out of time (and gas).

If you are most likely to lose things or have anything damaged, take pictures of everything of your property. Later on, if it is needed, insurance can help cover the costs and the loss of your items.

Never drive through water. You shouldn’t walk or swim in water either. Water is powerful enough to move a car or even a big truck even if it is only three feet or less. Water is strong enough to break the pavement or crack it. Avoid any contact with water; don’t drink it or use it because most chances it will be contaminated.

Keep an eye out. Be prepared. Stay safe!