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Whats in this is Issue Newspaper Staff: Editor In Chief: Jake Lyman Assistant Editor in chief: Taylor rentz layout & design editor: sarah hite Writers: Taylor donaldson kelly hernley trisha ravigopal sana ahmed shelby duncan hannah lee olivia lovelace sherknur mehsut noor singh section editors: laila latif dhara shukla newspaper advisor: stephanie moi

Knightlife

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Sports

Monroe Pg.3 Narnia Pg. 5-5 Agendas Pg.7-8

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Acrobatics Pg. 9-10 NFC east Pg. 11 Cheer Pg. 12 New coaches Pg. 13

Teen/Drugs Pg. 14 Earth Pg. 15-16

Features

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Ditching School Pg. 17 NOVA drivers Pg. 18

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Letter from the Editor...

Since I was in 7th Grade, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I joined the Roundtable Review just two years later and began my journey into the world of media. I was immediately drawn in by the feeling of writing about topics that interested me and truly being able to provide a well-written story to my fellow students. My focus was in Sports and I became the Assistant Sports Editor and then the Sports Editor over the next two years. However, the holistic approach to journalism drew me in as well as I saw the Editors- In-Chief, Connor, Maddie, and Paresha, not only approaching the publication from their favorite aspect, but from all of them. So I stuck with it despite being the only guy in the publication for two years running because I had a passion for news writing. That is what I hope you are able to see in the publication this year. We are students who interview, research, write, and edit all of these articles with passion and care. I hope you can see this in every issue, every article, every sentence, and every word, as we strive to bring fun, personal, and interesting stories to you, our classmates, about stories inside and outside of JCHS. We have worked for years to get the magazine to the quality it is right now. It was a long journey, but we finally made it.

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Monroe

Hannah Lee

Some students at John Champe High School have the opportunity to attend other schools every other day, one of which is called the C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg, Virginia. They offer more than a regular high school experience as passionate students apply to take challenging courses that specialize in career technological education. Miranda Marck, who now attends James Madison University (JMU) took the medical classes offered at Monroe. As a high school graduate, Marck said that the harder and more focused work load Monroe Technology Center offers her to adapt to the rigorous courses at JMU. She knew she wanted to one day follow the medical route, but Monroe Technology Center has helped inspire her to know exactly what she wants to do: specialize in health care. “It was amazing to be in an environment where everyone was passionate about their program. It offered more than a high school experience, allowing me to go on field trips, wear scrubs like a real doctor, and taking college-like classes, exposing me to what I’m doing now,” Marck says. “It has helped me become more accountable and learn time management very quickly in order to stay on top of my work. The MHS prepared me for future work in the medical field and I couldn’t be more thankful.” She continues to use what she learned in college and no matter how difficult balancing two schools was, she says, that looking back, it was so worth it. Ms. Sappington is a teacher/medical laboratory scientist at Monroe Technology Center and she has a technical professional license in teaching. She teaches both “Introduction to Health and Medical Science” and “Medical Laboratory Technology.” The curriculum, for the students, is also written for professionals that work in the health care field and keeps it current, especially because the health care system is constantly changing. She mentions how her students get to have a very hands-on experience, especially when in the lab as they perform the same diagnostic tests that are run in a real hospital lab and even get rare opportunities such as watching an open heart surgery. “Monroe is different in that we stress not only academics, but the skills necessary to be in the workforce such as discussing ethics and laws applied to the health field. It is more rigorous; all the classes within the health and medical science program are dual enrolled college courses,” Ms. Sappington says. “I chose this job because I wanted to show students how cool the lab and investigative work is in the laboratory field. It is also a great stepping stone as they further their education in the medical field (Med school, masters, epidemiology, etc.). “I love how unique this job is; having the op-

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portunity to teach a real world application and using the same methodologies and instrumentation that is used in clinical laboratories everywhere,” Ms. Sappington says. Senior Jordan Weber takes the culinary classes at Monroe. Weber got to know the school by attending an open house. “Because Monroe takes the place of all my elective classes, I have all four core classes in one day with no advisory. This makes the work load a little harder to manage, because all my homework is due on the same day; and I often have tests and quizzes right in a row. However, it is so worth it. Monroe goes beyond the textbook. In class, it’s all hands-on learning; you are learning skills that are specific to the industry you want to go into,” Weber says. In addition, Weber mentions how special Monroe is in guiding what you would want to do in your future. “You can learn about different career paths and decide whether the job you’re interested in is right for you.” Weber says. “There are lots of networking and employment opportunities at the school, too.” Weber also explains the opportunities offered outside of school. She is already accepted in the Culinary Institute of America and she gets to compete at a statewide cooking competition to even earn a scholarship. “I love the energy that Monroe has. Everyone is there for a purpose; to learn more about a specific job path,” Weber says. “It’s really nice to be in a class where everyone is interested in the same activities that you are. My class is also pretty small and you make friends pretty quickly from spending every other day together!”

C.S. Monroe may be different, but is qualified as unique. Students from all over the county have a chance to come together to study a future career they are interested in as well as balance studies like a college student, helping them become the most successful person they can be for now and the future. Students like Miranda Marck and Jordan Weber have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in something they are ardent about and they both encourage students to apply and experience something no one would regret. C.S. Monroe will now will also expand their program and will be moving to a bigger building, with the Academy of Science and Academy of Engineering and Technology. These three magnet schools were even in the recent election ballot, showing the importance of the opportunities these schools offer to high schoolers.

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Looking Through the Gates of Narnia Kelly Hernley Everyone’s favorite childhood book series came to life on stage November 16, 17, and 18. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe took viewers on a magical journey through the gates of Narnia. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a story about four children (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) who are sent to a country house to remain safe during the World War II bombings. Lucy finds a wardrobe which is the door into Narnia. The children try to help the giant lion, Aslan, regain his power from the evil queen. “The story follows their journeys, the battles and the eventual restoration of good,” said drama teacher Nichole Cabaniss. Some of the other main characters are Aslan (the lion), Centaur, Unicorn, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, the Wicked Queen, and Fenris Ulf (the evil wolf). A few of the other characters include Mr. Tumnus, White Stag, and the wood nymphs. “I love Lucy because she seems rather unassuming at first and very child-like, but her actions actually play a large role on her siblings and the other characters throughout the story, so it’s really cool to study her effects on the characters and the story,” said junior Casey Brewer, who plays Lucy. “It’s a bit tough to act like a young child though without it being cringey.” The show was selected in May 2017 to be the theme of the fall play. “It came after student suggestion and voting, as well as from me reading scripts and vetting them for use,” Cabaniss said. The auditions were over two days long, and students had to present a one minute monologue and answer questions. They were then scored based on this. After that, callbacks occurred where students read sections of the script and were judged based on their performance as specific characters. “We also do Improv to see how they work together and in that character,” Cabaniss said. Some students auditioned with a desire to play a certain role, and others just auditioned so they would have a role in the play and the drama department as a whole. “I am very happy with my role,” said junior Emma Marano. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people from being a wood nymph, and being an understudy is a really good experience.”

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The wood nymphs lining up on stage before the dress rehersal.

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver talking to the unicorn during the dress rehersal.

Planning for the play, and the whole season, begins the school year before, in May. Preparation and auditions begin about nine weeks before showtime. “We begin by getting to know each other and the characters,” said Cabaniss. “We also do a read-through of the entire play with the cast. From there, we block the show scene by scene.” The crew is divided up into different departments: costumes, set, make-up, lights, and sounds. Each of the departments have student leaders, and these departments complete the designs. The students work on this either after school or at home. “The department leads tend to divide projects up based on abilities and those people perfect the designs for approval by the head and by me,” Cabaniss said. Rehearsals were typically held after school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and sometimes Thursday from 4-6. “The week before show night is called ‘hell week’ and rehearsals are after school everyday and they can last three to four hours,” Brewer said. Actors had different approaches to learning their lines for the play. Some roles had more lines than others, which is why people have different methods to rehearsing. “It normally doesn’t take me that long to learn my lines since I don’t ever have that many and I do it very gradually,” said sophomore Millie Morris, who plays a wood nymph and an elf. “I find it very helpful to go over lines with other people or people you have scenes with.”

Working on the play was a rewarding experience for most people.

“What I enjoyed most about the play is being able to build friendships with others and improve my skills,” said junior Lexi Tenny.

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Agendas vs. Due to financial reasons, John Champe High School made the decision not to distribute agendas for the 2017- 2018 school year. Students are negatively impacted by this, because they are having a hard time keeping up with their school assignments and deadlines, as there is no place to keep them organized. Without agendas this year, many students feel as if their daily life is hindered by having a hard time remembering deadlines and at the same time being organized. The students, as a result, feel the need to buy their own agendas in order to stay on top of their deadlines. Along with keeping students organized, agendas served as helpful tools ranging from passes to classes, or as a reference tool for facts. Students felt as though agendas helped them with their daily assignments “as it provided common information on research websites and facts to reference to,” said senior Tanishq Bakshi. “Having agendas was pretty convenient for passes to classes and be organized as there was a designated place to write down your homework.” As planners cost just a couple of dollars for each person to have one, there shouldn’t be a huge financial problem. However, providing agendas for a school population of over 2,000 students can be pricey when many students either lose them or do not use them at all. Instead of spending money on agendas, the school decided to put this money towards something more cost-effective to which everyone can greatly benefit from, such as Chromebooks. “Being a senior there are a lot of crucial deadlines I have to meet and sometimes those deadlines are a matter of being able to apply to one of my dream schools or not,” said senior Rashmi Bojja. Agendas are “crucial to succeed in the classroom.” Now, there is an increase in the likelihood of forgetting deadlines which could be the matter of not only their grades, but their chances of getting into colleges. Many students have multiple conclusions about why this decision has occurred this year. However, Principal Gabriel explains the true reason to this decision. He points out that there is no reason to spend “several thousands of dollars on agendas on students who might not be using paper calendars and are much more digitally inclined.” He further explains that, “we spent $8000 on agendas when we can put that money towards Chromebooks.” Although many students would disagree with the new change this year, Mr. Gabriel supports this decision made by the school. He provides his opinion saying, “students are resilient and they will find other ways to stay organized as if they were using their agendas such as using the calendar or notes function on their phones.” Agendas have been a great concern amongst students not only at Champe, but at many other schools throughout the county this year. As a lot of people don’t support the decision that was made, students still want agendas to be a technique in keeping themselves organized.

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No Agendas

Noor Singh

Skipping school is a reoccurring problem with high school students throughout the nation and has been the extreme that teenagers have been turning to when the work and stress become too much. Skipping school has moved away from just leaving school to have fun, and into a break from all the work and stress school is putting on students. “Usually I skip because I’ve stayed up the night before trying to finish all my work for AP classes and I’m just really tired,” said an anonymous senior. Skipping school has very harsh repercussions in other states and countries. In England, skipping school is a criminal offence. Parents of students who skip can be imprisoned for up to three months since the passage of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act in 2000 in English Parliament. In larger schools in other states, parents can also be fined up to $500 for truancy, the official term for skipping. There was a case in 2008 in Los Angeles in which 12,000 students were ticketed for truancy. “I don’t really know what happens when you get caught skipping,” said an anonymous senior, “I’ve had friends that have gotten caught, but I’m not sure what happens.” In Loudoun County, the policy on truancy is as follows: “Truancy is a serious offense that warrants stern corrective action on the part of the school and the parents or other adults having control of the student. All cases of truancy shall be reported to parents.” “When I skip and go home, I either eat, sleep, or study,” said an anonymous junior. “I skip sometimes because I’m not ready for a test.” Almost all students interviewed say they are unaware of the consequences of skipping. Most teens are skipping because of the immense amount of work assigned to them in numerous AP courses. Many students complain that they are assigned multiple tests on one day and do not have enough time to study for all of them along with other homework. “I get so bored in some of my classes,” said an anonymous junior. “I feel like I could do other work or catch up on sleep at home, so I just leave.” There is no set demographic for students who skip, and unlike the traditional stereotype set by movies and society in the past, teens who skip are not only those who do not care about their grades. Intelligent students are pressured and stressed from their work and are unable to find enough time in the day to study. Some teenagers also say they skip because they feel that some of the classes they are required to complete will have no effect on their success later in life. The classes in school are not catering to the career choices that students want to focus on and they feel as if they are wasting time in certain classes. When speaking to Special Projects Administrator, Kimberly McDonald, she spoke on how truancy serves more as a safety issue.“We are responsible for students when they are here and so we just want our kids to be safe.” If students leave during school hours, the administration has no way of monitoring them and that could pose concerns on the safety of students. When asked about if there has been any problems at Champe with an excessive amount of students skipping, McDonald answered, “I think that every high school has that problem and it is a hard thing to control, but if we see it happen we try our best to catch it and deal with it.” Although skipping is not a huge problem at Champe, the reason why students skip is intriguing and should be an issue that is more directly addressed in increasing subject options so students do not lose interest in school. Skipping has become a reaction to boredom in school and is a matter that could be fixed if schools were to rethink the amount of stress students are being put under. “If I feel like that if we are not doing something important in class,” said an anonymous senior, “staying in school feels like I’m wasting my time.”

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An Acrobatic Taylor Rentz Addiction

For seniors Brenna Lawrence and Mackenzie Kennedy, perfecting death-defying flips and twists in the gymnastics gym is just part of a typical week. Though widely marveled at, few know just what it takes to compete at the Junior Olympic level of gymnastics, a lesser known world that has a language of its own. “Right now, I’m working on catching my Geinger on bars and front one and a half Rudi on floor,” said Kennedy. The vocabulary is just a side effect that results from rigorous training schedules and 20+ hours a week spent in the gym. However, the commitment is worth it to those who have fallen in love with the sport. “I’ve been doing gymnastics for about fourteen years now, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it has given me so many opportunities to travel and meet new people,” said Lawrence. During meet season, travel often includes destinations around the country such as California, Texas, and Disneyworld. Besides the thrill of competing in distant locations and travelling, the sport forges bonds between teammates that last a lifetime. “I get to spend all my time with my best friends and we know and understand each other so well because we share the good and bad days together,” said Kennedy. So, how do gymnasts balance the intense practice schedule with the everyday “struggles” of being a high school student? According to Kennedy, it takes a certain kind of person who is proactive in their studies and is willing to sacrifice some normal teenager activities. Early release is also an option taken advantage of by both Lawrence and Kennedy in order to spend more time training and studying for school. “Whenever I have a free moment I’m always doing something: homework or conditioning, but name any social event like a football game or birthday party and I guarantee I’ve missed it for gymnastics,” said Kennedy. All the hardships, injuries, and missed social events teach competitive gymnasts many life lessons such as patience, confidence, and determination that serve them throughout other areas of their lives. For this reason, competitive gymnasts are often well rounded and mature individuals. “Gymnastics changes you as a person because it makes you grow up fast,” said Lawrence. “It’s taught me so much independence, as well as trust in myself and my coaches,” When people understand exactly what goes into the flips they see gymnasts perform across a four inch beam or over the vault table, they are even more impressed at the strength of will such

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feats require. Many say that no other sport requires such dedication, flexibility, strength and bravery from such a young age. When asked what drew them to gymnastics, Lawrence agreed when Kennedy said, “Gymnastics is special. You need more than physical toughness, you need mental toughness too. Everything inside of you is telling you to stop, but you have to push past that mental reservation and overcome fear every single day.” Cheer is on the road to success and having the best season in JCHS history. Although they have had their ups and downs, teachers, students, and staff alike are all cheering for cheer. Both the cheerleaders and coaches put their blood, sweat, and tears into every competition and game. Many say coaching cheer is easy, but what they don't see is all of the behind the scenes work that goes into it. Coaches, cheerleaders, and parents all make up a little team of their own. They put in countless amounts of effort leading up to a game day or competition to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. “Coaching cheer is very similar to teaching,” said Coach Courtney Borgelt. “There’s some good days and some bad days but at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade my job for the world.” Coaching a Friday night football game and coaching a competition are very different. A football game is an opportunity for the girls to show off their skills as well as practice. Cheering on the football players tends to boost the overall morale and spirit of the team. By contrast, a competition is much more cut throat and high risk. A debate that has raged on is whether or not cheer is a sport. In generations past, cheerleading wasn't nearly as popular and most didn't see the value or “hype” in it. Today, most people agree that cheerleading is a sport but a different question is being asked, why isn't cheer an Olympic sport? “I agree in that cheerleading should be recognized as a sport worldwide,” said Senior Gianna Vastino.”I think it’s unfair that cheerleaders don’t have the option to reach that high level of success when cheerleading is dance, gymnastics, and then some all wrapped up into one sport or routine. It would be pretty cool to see cheer in the Olympics as well.” It has been discussed to add cheer to the 2024 olympics to acquire more viewers and give athletes the chance to compete on a global level. As the years progress, Champe continues to move up levels and divisions. Moving to 5A changed the mentality of every sports team here at Champe. Moving up a division means facing better teams and attending harder competitions. “Team bonding really helped us get our mind right for our first season in 5A,” said Senior Cheerleader Brittney Crosby. “Becoming closer to the girls helped to improve our level of competition on the floor.” Team bonding is a necessity in virtually every sport. In cheer, bonding is especially important to improve tricks and build trust to avoid injury. Although cheer didn't make it to states this year, they still put every ounce they had into each performance and competition. Seeing JCHS cheer grow and flourish this year and making it to regionals has been very rewarding and the team looks forward to more success in seasons to come.

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The Wild Wild Jake Lyman (NFC) East

The NFL season has flown by and now is over halfway completed and the league could not have been crazier over the past two months. The phrase “on any given Sunday” has been extremely relevant as fans have witnessed crazy upsets like the Jaguars beating the Steelers, an unbelievable amount of injuries to key players like JJ Watt and Aaron Rodgers, and most of all the unexpected turn of events in the NFC East. Heading into the season, most experts expected a two way race between the Giants and Cowboys, as New York had one of the best defenses and wide receiver corps in the entire league and Dallas was coming off of a 13-3 breakout year. New York has underperformed in a big way starting 2-10 and losing their top three wide receivers, including star Odell Beckham Jr. to injuries. With 2-time super bowl champion Eli Manning now benched for Geno Smith, the Giants now seem like a lock for a Top 5 pick in next year’s draft which could be used to begin rebuilding their shattered offensive line. “This was a very disappointing season as a Giants fan,” senior Gabe Yirga said “I thought they would be a playoff team again, but they are losing due to bad coaching and not filling holes in the offseason.” Dallas, on the other hand, has been average at 6-6 with losses to the Broncos in Denver, back-to-back losses at home to the Rams and Packers, and now three straight double-digit losses to the Falcons, Eagles, and Chargers. The Cowboys have taken advantage of playing below average teams including the 49ers and Giants, but have struggled to play up to their other opponents. “I have confidence that they can win enough games to win the wild card spot,” said senior Joshua Kim, a Cowboys fan optimistically “They’ve won a few games after their bye week and are picking up some momentum.” A playoff berth is a strong possibility for America’s team, but losing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to suspension for six games could threaten their dreams to play into January. The team that has emerged from this abyss of mediocrity is the Philadelphia Eagles and their young leader Carson Wentz. The Eagles are 10-2 with their only losses coming on the road to solid teams, the Seahawks and Chiefs. With a 4-0 divisional record, a four game lead, and the hottest quarterback on the planet, Philadelphia should be flying high all the way to the playoffs. “They have exceeded expectations by far,” said senior Eagles fan Andrew Tregear, “I think this is because they have built a family environment around the team.” The family gained another member at the trade deadline, when Philadelphia traded a 4th round pick to the Miami Dolphins for star running back Jay Ajayi, who should add to their already explosive offense. When it is all said and done, I expect the Eagles to run away with the division and a first-round bye, while the Giants continue to struggle and end in last in the NFC East. The Cowboys will continue to be average, along with their rival Redskins, as Ezekiel Elliott misses most of their remaining games. I only expect one playoff team from this division as the NFC West has two strong teams in the Seahawks and Rams, and the NFC South has three contenders in the Panthers, Saints, and Falcons. Out of those five teams, three will be in the mix for a wild card berth along with Detroit, and I don’t expect Dallas to be able to outplay all four teams down the stretch.

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Cheering for Cheer Shelby Duncan

Cheer is on the road to success and having the best season in JCHS history. Although they have had their ups and downs, teachers, students, and staff alike are all cheering for cheer. Both the cheerleaders and coaches put their blood, sweat, and tears into every competition and game. Many say coaching cheer is easy, but what they don't see is all of the behind the scenes work that goes into it. Coaches, cheerleaders, and parents all make up a little team of their own. They put in countless amounts of effort leading up to a game day or competition to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. “Coaching cheer is very similar to teaching,” said Coach Courtney Borgelt. “There’s some good days and some bad days but at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade my job for the world.” Coaching a Friday night football game and coaching a competition are very different. A football game is an opportunity for the girls to show off their skills as well as practice. Cheering on the football players tends to boost the overall morale and spirit of the team. By contrast, a competition is much more cut throat and high risk. A debate that has raged on is whether or not cheer is a sport. In generations past, cheerleading wasn't nearly as popular and most didn't see the value or “hype” in it. Today, most people agree that cheerleading is a sport but a different question is being asked, why isn't cheer an Olympic sport? “I agree in that cheerleading should be recognized as a sport worldwide,” said Senior Gianna Vastino.”I think it’s unfair that cheerleaders don’t have the option to reach that high level of success when cheerleading is dance, gymnastics, and then some all wrapped up into one sport or routine. It would be pretty cool to see cheer in the Olympics as well.” It has been discussed to add cheer to the 2024 olympics to acquire more viewers and give athletes the chance to compete on a global level. As the years progress, Champe continues to move up levels and divisions. Moving to 5A changed the mentality of every sports team here at Champe. Moving up a division means facing better teams and attending harder competitions. “Team bonding really helped us get our mind right for our first season in 5A,” said Senior Cheerleader Brittney Crosby. “Becoming closer to the girls helped to improve our level of competition on the floor.” Team bonding is a necessity in virtually every sport. In cheer, bonding is especially important to improve tricks and build trust to avoid injury. Although cheer didn't make it to states this year, they still put every ounce they had into each performance and competition. Seeing JCHS cheer grow and flourish this year and making it to regionals has been very rewarding and the team looks forward to more success in seasons to come.

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New Year, Olivia Lovelace New Coaches

During the 2017-2018 school year Champe will welcome new coaches to multiple athletic programs. Over the past five years,Champe athletic programs have grown substantially and with the help of new coaches, they will continue to see progress.

“Once the Champe job opened, I jumped on it because of all the students here. They all are dedicated and awesome!” said new varsity softball coach, Jamie Crisp. Crisp had been coaching softball at Rock Ridge High School for the past three years. Crisp hopes to see individual and team growth over the course of the season. She believes that high school sports aren’t just about winning or losing but about team, community, and learning life skills. “John Champe has given me the best chance to begin my career as the varsity head coach. With the rapid growth in the Aldie/South Riding area, I knew I wanted to be a part of the student-athletes’ growth at John Champe,” said new Varsity baseball coach, Michael Prince. “Being a young coach, I look forward to developing relationships with players, parents, and the community for the years to come.” Prince grew up in Loudoun County and played varsity baseball in high school and hopes to see his players succeed on and off the field. He hopes to provide the support and be the person that his coaches were to him, as well as teach them what he has learned. “I want my players to not only become better baseball players, but to become better people as a whole,” said Prince. “You don't win a championship in one day, it takes time, hard work, and dedication. If each player can buy into the system and play for one another, then the sky's the limit.” Having moved up to being a 5A school, Champe has and will continue to see a higher level of competition during the 2017-2018 school year. As coaches come and go, players are able to learn from many different people and the coaches are able to learn from their players as well. “Coming into a new school, I believe that it is important to establish a culture for the players to buy into,” said Prince. “I’m very fortunate to have a program that Coach McDonald built. He did an outstanding job creating a foundation for me to build off of.” Prince is not only grateful for the opportunity he has been given this year but for what previous coaches have given him to build off of. With new coaches coming in, programs are looking for even more ways to improve themselves. Softball will begin lifting in the mornings beginning on December 16th to prepare for the 2018 season. “I want to learn from them how I can motivate them each and every day to exceed on and off the field,” said Crisp. “I am so excited about being apart of a growing program. I see this program developing great athletes and winning a state championship.” JCHS softball team may have struggled last year, but with this new coach, attitude, and perspective for the team, they hope to improve and come back stronger than ever. The coaches aren’t the only ones anticipating the new season. Senior Hannah Shamblin hopes the 2018 season will be the best yet. “With this being my last season in softball, I can easily say that playing for Champe has been a great experience,” says Shamblin. “Champe has taught me how to be resilient and get back up when I get knocked down.”

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Teen Drug Use in Loudoun County

Taylor Donaldson

A local Loudoun County church sends teens on a mission trip to Sneedville, Tennessee over each summer. Sneedville, TN is one of the poorest towns in the United States and is plagued by drug use. There are people in the town missing teeth from drug use and every year mission participants learn about the residents from previous years, now in jail for drug related issues. Youth could not go into the creek, use the public restroom or play volleyball in the park because it is known that drug needles are deposited in those places. John Champe students can typically go to the park in their neighborhood and not worry about drug needles. It is easy to be left with a feeling of gratitude that teens in our county are safe from drugs. But are they really safe from drugs in Loudoun County? In the United States, as well as Virginia, alcohol is the most used and abused drug. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data shows that 52.13 % of the nation over 12, used alcohol in the month prior to their survey. It seems to be in the news all of the time that illegal drugs are a problem in the United States. In Virginia, marijuana, psychotherapeutics, and prescription medications are the most misused drugs. In the U.S, 9.27% of the population over 12 used illegal drugs in the month before the survey. “They probably think it is fun or are just curious to try them,” said junior Zayna Cosma. In this region of Northern Virginia, about 5% of the population 12 years old and older used illegal drugs. Region 5, which is around Richmond, Virginia uses the most amount of illegal drugs. The second largest age group that that uses the most drugs in the U.S. is between the ages of 12 and 17. According to the Loudoun Times, more than 80 people have overdosed from heroin since 2010, and 20 of those have died. Many people in Loudoun seem to become addicted to prescription painkillers after a surgery. These painkillers are very addictive which leaves people wanting more after the treatment is over. They typically try to convince doctors that they have other problems and then move to buying those drugs from other people. When that runs out, they end up trying heroin. Many teens start their prescription drug abuse by stealing from their parents prescription medication that are kept in their own home. “Teens that do this are definitely on a bad track for their future,” said freshman Sanjna Ramesh. There are many resources to help people with drug abuse living in Loudoun County and other parts of the nation. The three resources that are geared for teens is called www.abovetheinfluence.com , www.alateen.org and the local substance abuse treatment center for Loudoun County. Above the Influence offers a great deal of information geared towards teens. Alateen helps teens share experiences and learn effective ways to cope with problems and use the Alcoholic Anonymous 12 step program. The local Substance Abuse Center for Loudoun County is through the Community services board and can be contacted at 703-771-5515. There are others that are geared towards parents to help prevent their teen from using substances such as: www.drugabuse.gov/family-checkup, and www.drugfree.org/resources/6-parenting-practices.

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What is killing the

In the past century, global temperatures have been on the rise because of the large amount of carbon emission in the atmosphere. This has lead to the melting of icebergs and ice sheets in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, and is ultimately causing a drastic increase in sea levels. Many scientists believe that human activity has played a large role in these climate changes. The burning of fossil fuels by cars and factories has increased the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat, which results in higher temperatures. “We barely had any snow days last year, so I’m hoping we will have more this year,” freshman Kevin Singh said. As the amount of snow decreases each year, it is evident that global warming is affecting everyone. Furthermore, with 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees being cut each year, the carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere. Deforestation also causes other problems in the Earth’s soil. The disturbed soil and increased rates of decomposition in the Earth after a tree is cut down also releases carbon dioxide, thus contributing to the temperature increase. “It is obvious that the climate is changing because the summers have been getting a lot hotter in the past few years, ” said senior Shubham Machhi, president of Green Club. “Our society is built off of fossil fuels. We require fossil fuels for transport, building, and growing food. This reliance on fossil fuels has caused global increases in temperatures,” Machhi explained.

Environmental science teacher Dawn Buskey says, “The climate on Earth naturally fluctuates, so climate change on Earth is very normal. What is abnormal now is the accelerating rate at which the climate is changing.” Personal vehicles are the main cause of global warming. In the U.S., cars release an average of six tons of carbon dioxide each year. These vehicles make up almost one-fifth of all the emission in the U.S.. In 2015, 27% of all emissions in the U.S came from cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships. “Human burning of fossil fuels, and the subsequent release of large amounts of greenhouse gases, is the main contributor to the current unprecedented rate of climate change,” said Buskey. The largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions is the generation of electricity. Positively, the per person emission of greenhouse gases has decreased for the past few years due to other renewable sources of energy.

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Earth?

Sherknur Mehsut

“We [U.S.] are developing renewable energies but they are not fully developed or economical yet,” Machhi said. In order to be eco friendly, people are switching to electric cars. Although these cars release zero direct emissions into the atmosphere, they still produce some emissions. “In the near future, we need to implement economical renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels” Machhi added. Some solutions include fuel-efficient vehicles, electric cars, more carpooling, and solar panels. Students can help by recycling papers and plastic items. They can also carpool to school or take the school bus for transportation. “Last year, we talked to teachers about how they can help the environment by using less paper. We also made posters to hang around the school to raise awareness,” Machhi said. Some solutions include fuel-efficient vehicles, electric cars, more carpooling, and solar panels. Students can help by recycling papers and plastic items. They can also carpool to school or take the school bus for transportation. “I carpool with my neighbors, so I think that I am helping the environment a little,” shared Singh. The United Nations has addressed the global climate changes and has taken action through the Paris Agreement. This agreement says that each country is responsible for planning a solution and reporting their contributions. Recently, President Donald Trump has withdrawn the Unites States from the Paris Treaty, making the U.S. the only country not involved. Mrs. Buskey also emphasises that it is important that people are educated about this topic so that they can help prevent extreme conditions in the future. Mrs.Buskey concluded with, “Don't take what we have here in Aldie for granted.” Compared to other parts of the world, Aldie is not severely affected by global warming. If people work together to reduce harmful human activity, then the Earth is guaranteed a better future.

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Ditch Day Everyday?

Skipping school is a recurring problem with high school students throughout the nation and has been the extreme that teenagers have been turning to when the work and stress become too much. Skipping school has moved away from just leaving school to have fun, and into a break from all the work and stress school is putting on students. “Usually I skip because I’ve stayed up the night before trying to finish all my work for AP classes and I’m just really tired,” said an anonymous senior. Skipping school has very harsh repercussions in other states and countries. In England, skipping school is a criminal offence. Parents of students who skip can be imprisoned for up to three months since the passage of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act in 2000 in English Parliament. In larger schools in other states, parents can also be fined up to $500 for truancy, the official term for skipping. There was a case in 2008 in Los Angeles in which 12,000 students were ticketed for truancy. “I don’t really know what happens when you get caught skipping,” said an anonymous senior, “I’ve had friends that have gotten caught, but I’m not sure what happens.” In Loudoun County, the policy on truancy is as follows: “Truancy is a serious offense that warrants stern corrective action on the part of the school and the parents or other adults having control of the student. All cases of truancy shall be reported to parents.” “When I skip and go home, I either eat, sleep, or study,” said an anonymous junior. “I skip sometimes because I’m not ready for a test.” Almost all students interviewed say they are unaware of the consequences of skipping. Most teens are skipping because of the immense amount of work assigned to them in numerous AP courses. Many students complain that they are assigned multiple tests on one day and do not have enough time to study for all of them along with other homework. “I get so bored in some of my classes,” said an anonymous junior. “I feel like I could do other work or catch up on sleep at home, so I just leave.” There is no set demographic for students who skip, and unlike the traditional stereotype set by movies and society in the past, teens who skip are not only those who do not care about their grades. Intelligent students are pressured and stressed from their work and are unable to find enough time in the day to study. Some teenagers also say they skip because they feel that some of the classes they are required to complete will have no effect on their success later in life. The classes in school are not catering to the career choices that students want to focus on and they feel as if they are wasting time in certain classes. When speaking to Special Projects Administrator, Kimberly McDonald, she spoke on how truancy serves more as a safety issue.“We are responsible for students when they are here and so we just want our kids to be safe.” If students leave during school hours, the administration has no way of monitoring them and that could pose concerns on the safety of students. “When asked about if there has been any problems at Champe with an excessive amount of students skipping, McDonald answered, “I think that every high school has that problem and it is a hard thing to control, but if we see it happen we try our best to catch it and deal with it.” Although skipping is not a huge problem at Champe, the reason why students skip is intriguing and should be an issue that is more directly addressed in increasing subject options so students do not lose interest in school. Skipping has become a reaction to boredom in school and is a matter that could be fixed if schools were to rethink the amount of stress students are being put under. “If I feel like that if we are not doing something important in class,” said an anonymous senior, “staying in school feels like I’m wasti`ng my time.”

Sana Ahmed

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It was an accident!

Trisha Ravigopal

Residents and drivers in NOVA, BEWARE, for there are now dangers that lurk throughout the streets that are causing accidents everywhere. With the number of accidents increasing in the northern Virginia area, the reputation of NOVA drivers has become tainted with negative views on their driving skills. This stereotype is starting to become more and more accurate considering all the complaints of how dangerous it is driving in the area. “NOVA drivers are some of the most distracted drivers out there. It always seems like they’re paying attention to everything but driving,” junior Tara Sears said. “I constantly see drivers on their phones texting and I have even seen people reading books or painting their nails.” The distracted driving has resulted in multiple accidents that, sadly, could’ve been prevented if drivers were paying attention to the road. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, there is an average of about 65 accidents by noon per day, which is too many for just one area. “I feel like there are so many accidents around here because people are either too distracted or too impatient,” Sears said. “They either aren’t paying enough attention to what is happening or they aren’t patient enough to make smart decisions.” The real question is, who is to blame? Some say that the drivers are at fault for their actions, but others believe that it may be the fault of the road systems. There are many areas where stoplights should be put, but aren’t. This makes it harder for drivers who are yielding to turn when they need to. Junior Natalie Reader believes it’s the fault of both combined. “I think NOVA drivers aren’t the worst but they definitely need some driving lessons,” Reader said. “ I think the accidents are mostly due to the growing population in NOVA, they can’t keep up with the amount of traffic lights that need to be installed.” Others have a strong opinion on what is at fault. Drivers Ed teacher and Behind the Wheel instructor Kristin Thurston thinks it’s more of the drivers’ fault. “I think that there are many drivers on the road in our area,” Thurston said. “Also many people use time spent in traffic as a time to be on their phones, answering emails and text which makes for many distracted drivers.” In other areas and states, strict laws have been set in place about reckless driving, including states such as Delaware, North Carolina, and Illinois. Students who have driven in other areas clearly see the difference in road safety. “In California the roads are ten times busier and have crazy intimidating interstates, but everyone around you is a fairly good driver so I’m not as worried,” Reader said, “But here I am so scared to drive.” Some of the drivers are rude, as well. Most drivers honk at others for the smallest things that may actually be their own fault. Their impatience puts them at risk for an accident, yet they continue to blame others for their own mistakes. “I’ve had my fair share of angry NOVA drivers and they aren’t too friendly,” Reader said. “The first time I was honked at I cried.” Overall experiences have prevented people from wanting to drive. Drivers are now afraid every time they get in the car, because they feel in danger of getting into an accident. “I’m honestly scared when driving because I’m putting my life and others at risk,” Reader said. “Kids nowadays aren’t aware of how serious it is to drive recklessly until they actually get behind the wheel.”

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