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DACAmented – How a national debate about immigration impacts FFHS and OBX families.

WHAT’S INSIDE 4-5 – China Partnership, COA classes on campus 6-7 – Jewels By Jess, New club offerings, Play preview 8-9 – Kohlhafer comeback story, Jostens switch 10-11 – New faces Shaw, Winn helping around school


12-13 – Artists in the Spotlight Wills and Beckner

ighthawk News Magazine is published four times a year by the journalism classes at First Flight High School. The publication is distributed free to the FFHS student body, faculty and staff and to First Flight Middle. Approximately 4,000 copies are inserted in the Outer Banks Sentinel, while another 1,200 are distributed in various retail outlets on the Outer Banks. The Nighthawk News staff strives to provide informative and accurate coverage of individuals and events within the school and the Dare County community. The opinion pages serve as a forum for the publications staff and community. Views expressed in Nighthawk News do not represent the opinions of the faculty or administration, the Dare County School Board or its administration. Editorials represent the views of the staff; bylined columns are the opinion of the authors. Readers are encouraged to write letters to the editor on matters of

concern. Letters may be mailed to FFHS or delivered to Room B-214. They must be signed. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, grammatical errors or libelous content. Reach us by mail at 100 Veterans Drive, Kill Devil Hills, N.C. 27948, by phone at (252) 449-7000 or by e-mail at Advertising inquiries can be made by phone or email. Nighthawk News is a member of North Carolina Scholastic Media Association and the National Scholastic and Southern Interscholastic press associations. Our stories also are published online at Follow us on Twitter @FFNighthawkNews, Facebook. com/NighthawkNews, Instagram @FFHSNighthawkNews and Snapchat at Nighthawk.News. Target Printing and Distribution of the Fayetteville Observer prints our paper. Nighthawk News subscribes to Tribune News Service to provide national content.

14-15 – Fall features spooky fun on the OBX 16-17 – Scout lives new life in NYC, Whitfield in the lab 18-21 – DACAmented: How it affects the community 22-25 – Opinions abound in Letters to the Editor, columns 26-27 – Remember when? Embarrassing Halloween pics 28-31 – Sports stars: Schuster, Janybek, Mannon, Wagner 32-35 – Spearfishing, Riding a bike, Running with Rodman 36-37 – Homecoming photo gallery 38-39 – Nighthawk Sports Cards: Collect them all!

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n Sept. 5, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and #DefendDACA took over Twitter, the nation erupted in outrage. With over 100 students in Dare County Schools eligible for the program, we knew this was a topic we had to investigate. We set out to inform First Flight and the surrounding community about the effects of DACA’s rescission. About the 800,000 young immigrants at risk of being deported and having the futures they’ve worked so hard to attain ripped out from under them. About the students who walk the halls of our school weighed down by the knowledge that many of their peers view them differently just because they weren’t born here. About their parents, who flee violence and economic turmoil to provide a better livelihood for their children. About people who are demonized by phrases such as “through no fault of their own.” Covering DACA, we learned to approach journalism in a more

Photo submitted by Genesis Mejia-Jimenez Traveling on a bus to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with members of her extended family, senior Genesis Mejia-Jimenez (second from the right) embraces one of her many cousins she was able to reunite with because of DACA. Read more about everything DACA has done for the senior on Pages 18-19. serious fashion. With the potential legal troubles involved with writing about DACA students, we spoke with an immigration lawyer to ensure we wouldn’t put any First Flight students or their families at risk. Branching out into the commu-

nity, we interviewed the director of a local non-profit – Mano al Hermano – which works with the Latino community of Dare County. On an even larger scale, we were able to briefly speak with Sen. Thom Tillis. We are also excited to utilize the

help of our peers in designing the cover and the graphics featured on pages 18-21. In brainstorming with senior Karsen Beckner, she was incredibly open to all of our ideas and helped put a face to DACA. “It’s exciting that my interpretation of a DACA recipient can be seen by other people,” Beckner said. “I feel like I’m part of something bigger than just art class.” Using senior Hunter Snyder’s advanced Photoshop skills allowed us to present information in a more inviting and readable way. “There was a lot of stuff to do, but it felt good finishing it on time,” Snyder said. Working with these talented individuals made for a more visually engaging paper and opened new doors for future collaborations. Reporting on DACA provided a better understanding of our classmates and our community – national headlines became personal. Now, we truly grasp the impact of DACA’s rescission and we hope our readers can gain a similar understanding. – From the editors

A Slice of student life since 2008. Go Nighthawks!

Nighthawk News Magazine / / table of contents


International friendships build unbreakable bonds


By Julia Bachman Staff Writer

t a small gathering where students become familiar with each other, Chinese exchange student Apple gives junior Sam Fitzgerald a friendly hello kiss, and their relationship expands. In the few days that 26 students from China fostered friendships with Dare County residents, both groups of students explored attractions on the Outer Banks and introduced each other to different customs. Among the Outer Banks adventures were trips to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the Wright Brothers’ Memorial and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Fitzgerald participated for the first time this year and felt an instant connection with his partner, Chen. He enjoyed introducing his new friend to the American culture, and by the end of the trip, he felt that they had formed a lasting friendship. “I definitely enjoyed being able to show a kid my age and from another country what I do on a daily basis, exposing him to American culture, seeing how excited he was and how crazy he thought things were,” Fitzgerald said. “The biggest thing was seeing how contrasting our two cultures are. Makes me think about what I take for granted.” Susan Sawin, China Partnership coordinator of FFHS, organizes the program each year to help students learn from each other. The event took place at the end of September. Senior Summer Tonnesen has participated in this program for two years and loves the experience that the China Partnership brings. “I really enjoy getting to connect with all of these students from across the world, seeing how different and the same our lives are,” Tonnesen said. On the last day of the trip, students gathered to share what their favorite parts of the partnership were and reminisced over memories that they will never forget. “Everybody really enjoys the friendship ceremony at the end,” Sawin said. “The students take pleasure in getting up and talking to each other, putting into words how they’re feeling about the whole experience.” Tears were shed as Chinese students departed the Outer Banks to tour hotspots of the U.S. such as New York City and Washington. “No doubt it’s a lifelong relationship,” Fitzgerald said. “We have talked every day since he left.” In the past, FFHS has sent students to China every other year, but this year Sawin is hoping to build up more excitement and send even more students than previous years. “We spend about two full days of travel. For three days we stay at the school and then the other seven we spend going to other places like the Great Wall. We go up to Beijing and Shanghai. It’s amazing to see the Asian culture they preserve,” Sawin said. “We hope to enrich and deepen the partnership that we have.” Junior Julia Bachman can be reached at


Photo by Payton Gaddy/Shorelines Junior Cane Lige untangles a kite at Jockey’s Ridge. Lige and the China Partnership participants visited various attractions across the Outer Banks in order to experience the American culture.

Photos by Payton Gaddy/ Shorelines (Clockwise from above left) Junior Ansley Feltz makes a pinky promise to call exchange student Lou Yiyuan on their shared birthday. At the aquarium, senior Raiden Wise examines a shell with her new friend. Junior Daniel Olszewski rocks his new sunglasses with Howard at the Wright Brothers’ Memorial. Olszewski took his exchange student to Mom’s Sweet Shop and bought him several new clothing items. fall / / 2017

COA classes offer head start on future By Ashlee Geraghty Social Media Editor


umors of strict professors, demanding deadlines and heavy workloads make the thought of taking college courses as a high schooler seem intimidating. However, many First Flight students see this opportunity as a challenging way to better their academics, boost their GPAs and get college credit for free. College of the Albemarle is the local Outer Banks community college with campuses located in both Elizabeth City and Manteo. In recent years, many Dare County students have taken advantage of online dual enrollment classes offered through COA. This school year has set a record high for students involved in these courses. “I think it’s more than doubled from last year,” Distance Learning Facilitator Gloria Meads said. “It’s over a hundred. I have 90 myself, then Ms. (Linette) Zeigler has some, Mrs. (Monica) Penn has some.” Meads has been an instructor at First Flight since the school first started the dual enrollment program three years ago. A majority of the classes are online; however, some have recently moved to a classroom setting with a college professor teaching at the school. “I am taking American History I and I like it because it brings my GPA up without doing a lot of work,” junior Codie Patterson said. Dual enrollment classes have allowed seniors to earn the privilege of taking courses from the comfort of their own home. Although these students enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a real college sched-

Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News College of the Albemarle’s English 111 teacher, Maryjill Lettieri, leads the class in a discussion. Lettieri teaches the dual enrollment class at First Flight on Tuesdays and Thursdays. ule, with their freedom also comes responsibility. “Learn from this experience of taking here at school, because it’s only gonna help you when you get into college to know what professors are expecting from you once you get there,” Meads said. “There is a difference between what is expected in high school and what is expected from college professors.” With an influx of students enrolled in college courses, the num-

ber of modified schedules have increased as well. Senior Brittney Davenport enrolled in COA this fall semester and is taking psychology, medical terminology, and a college transfer class. With her modified schedule, Davenport is able to leave after first period every day. “I’ve been studying in a coffee shop and it allows me to socialize with others while also knocking my work out in the morning,” she said. “I also work 11 to 5 during the

day and do COA homework while working when it’s not busy.” Davenport finds that she benefits from taking college courses, citing the advantage of being able to manage her own time. “There is less busy work involved than high school classes,” Davenport said. “(Benefits are) being able to study where you want as well as doing it on your own time. It also allows me to work more during the school semester, which is a bonus for me.” Although virtual classrooms have their perks for some, it is often a struggle having to fully rely on technology for schooling. Davenport finds this to be a dilemma when it comes to accessing her professors in a timely manner. “(The biggest struggle is) having a question for the professor and the email response sometimes takes a while,” Davenport said. Technical mishaps are also common. Meads handles many of the situations when it comes to the technological aspects of COA courses. “I guess the main (struggle) would be if there’s any technical problems, then they can’t access (their courses) immediately,” Meads said. These classes seem to be teaching more than just academics, as students also learn the responsibility and maturity that comes with college. “I think it’s preparing them for college because if assignments aren’t turned in, they get a zero for it,” Meads said. “That just prepares them for college and how that really is gonna be.” Senior Ashlee Geraghty can be reached at

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New clubs bring new ways to get involved


By Koral Tucker Staff Writer

hen thinking of high school, your mind might not jump to the word “fun.” But joining a club can be just that by helping students meet new people, amping up their college resumes and teaching them to be productive. One of the new clubs this year at First Flight is Unity in Dance. Unity in Dance aims to bring the community together through dance. The club was started by juniors Melanie Gonzalez and Jia Fitzgerald. “Getting involved in high school and in the community is such an important thing, so I wanted to make getting involved fun and easy,” Gonzalez said. “The Unity in Dance Club is so perfect for that.” Gonzalez has been dancing for 10 years and her passion for dance is made evident through this club. “Unity in Dance does not require any dance experience, so it allows students to experience something new and get out of their comfort zone,” she said. The goal of Unity in Dance is to allow students to retreat to a fun and easy-going envi-

ronment and get involved in the community. “You should join whether or not you think you’re good or bad because everyone can dance and it all comes down to a passion for it,” Fitzgerald said. “The club can be beneficial because it promotes inclusion for all, teamwork and a fun way to work up a sweat.” Clubs bring more than just a few fun ways to express yourself – some bring educational opportunities. This is the first year First Flight has added Teen Democrats to the long list of clubs. Founded by seniors Emma Bancroft and Arabella Saunders, the goal of this club is to let students’ opinions be voiced and to unite students in political discussion. “Not too long ago, Arabella came to me and told me about the North Carolina Association for Teen Democrats, and the possibility of having a Dare County chapter joined with Manteo,” Bancroft said. “So her and I decided to start a club here at First Flight, sort of a sub-chapter to Dare County to work within our school specifically.” Young people’s interest in politics has increased over the years, and Teen Democrat hopes to keep those numbers rising. “The club is mainly to promote politics in young people and to help them develop their own opinions before they move on to college,

and I think that’s why people should get involved,” Bancroft said. “So many people are uneducated on what is happening in the world and they just take opinions from their parents or people around them, and I think it’s really important to know your own educated opinions.” Another new club this year is the Astrophysics club. Astrophysics was started by juniors Charlotte Tyson and Lorna Cameron. “We started the club because during lunch we would just end up talking about science for a lot of the time, and so we figured we might as well have a specified time to discuss new scientific innovations, specifically in astronomy and astrophysics,” Tyson said. Students are encouraged to join this club if they are also interested in science and if they would like to expand their knowledge of the subject. “So far we have talked about helping out with the elementary school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Day, but we haven’t done anything with that yet since we’ve really just been trying to get off the ground as a new club this year,” Tyson said. Junior Koral Tucker can be reached at

Canning finds more than sea glass when searching for beach treasures


By Meghan Savona Opinions Editor

ome students look forward to lunch because it’s a time to socialize with friends, study or just take a break from the school day. For freshman Jessica Canning, it’s a time to relax by being crafty. “I bring this little backpack to lunch,” Canning said. “I just do crafts the whole time, and occasionally I wrap sea glass.” Canning’s obsession with sea glass began in fifth grade when her mom won a jewelery-making class at a silent auction. Originally, Canning had no interest in sea glass or jewelry making. Now, she can’t stop. It doesn’t matter if it’s 40 degrees and windy – you’re likely to find Canning at the Hayman Street beach access picking through pebbles and other debris in search of the perfect piece of sea glass. Finding sea glass and making jewelry out of it has been a way for Canning to connect with many people. She often spends her time searching at the beach with her dad. After she finds the pieces she wants to use, Canning sits down by herself and wraps the glass with


Photos submitted by Ronda Canning Freshman Jessica Canning combs the beach looking for sea glass. Canning, who has been interested in all sea glass has to offer since she was 10, has made countless pieces of beautiful jewelry. wire into different shapes and patterns, eventually crafting her finds into earrings, necklaces and rings. “It’s a puzzle, you know? You put every piece together and eventually, boom! Finished product,” Canning said. While this may seem like a tedious task to some, Canning finds it to be relaxing and productive. It’s an outlet for her, an enjoyable

way to escape reality. “Winding sea glass helps me to unwind,” she said. “If I’m having a really stressful day I just pull out some sea glass and start wrapping and wrapping and wrapping.” Canning has sold some of her pieces at craft fairs and contests, but her favorite thing to do is gift her creations to people who are special to her. This includes many

of the teachers in the Dare County Schools system. Giving them a piece of her jewelry is a way to thank them for all they do for her. Canning has found a unique way to turn something she loves to do into a way to connect with people she loves. “Jessica is one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” FFMS teacher Marianne Lowe said. “I think the greatest thing about her is that she has no judgment on anyone. She’s always happy and smiling.” Senior Meghan Savona can be reached at fall / / 2017

Find yourself falling in love with this year’s fall play


By Caroline Jenkins Staff Writer

irst Flight’s fall play is taking a step back from last year’s “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” – a story about the Holocaust – with “Pride and Prejudice,” which embraces the lighter side of entertainment. Based on Jane Austen’s critically acclaimed novel, “Pride and Prejudice” follows the Bennet family and the complex relationship between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. It is a story of romance as well as humor. Senior Suzanne Harrison is playing the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet, who is a very strong and independent woman of the early 1800s, which is something very rare to find in those times. Harrison finds common ground with these feminist ideas. “She is pressured into finding a husWatch ‘Pride band, where I feel in and Prejudice’ high school you’re like, ‘I need to have on Nov. 9-10 a boyfriend’ because at 7 p.m. you see all these couand Nov. 11 ples in the hallway,” Harrison said. “The at 2 p.m. story was written in the 1800s and applies even now, that you don’t need a man to be happy. So I definitely agree with her philosophy.” Harrison is looking forward to opening night and hopes students and community members will come out and support the cast and crew, especially since many people know this classic already. “It’s fun because senior year you study English literature, so a lot of kids from my grade will be able to come see it and be like, ‘We read this’ and understand what they are seeing on stage,” Harrison said. “This play is definitely more lighthearted and fun than last year’s show, which also makes it more fun to perform on stage.” Alongside Harrison, senior Joey McNamara is thrilled to play Mr. Darcy, who is the love interest of Elizabeth Bennet. “(My character) is a very stoic gentleman who is looking to find someone to marry,” McNamara said. “I end up going to a certain person’s house and I end up not liking that certain person at first, but then something happens.” McNamara finds his role of Mr. Darcy somewhat relatable, but there are differences that cannot be ignored: “This man is a lot older than I am. He’s looking to get married and I don’t have that type of problem right now. I’m in high school.” Enjoy the talents of the dozens of cast members who play alongside Harrison and McNamara’s characters — including junior Chloe Futrell who plays Mrs. Bennet, senior Miles Kasten playing the dashing Mr. Bingley and junior Grace Hook, who plays Lydia Bennet. “This play is such a joy to preform and we’re putting it together slowly, piece by piece,” Harrison said. “At the end of putting all the pieces together, it’s going to be a wonderful show.” Junior Caroline Jenkins can be reached at Nighthawk News Magazine / / news

Photos by Suzanne Harrison/Nighthawk News Sophomore Hopelyn Kovacs (above) shows off one of her dresses for director Monica Penn. Kovacs was cast as Lady Catherine, the antagonist of this year’s fall play. Freshman Jonathon Davis (below left) chats with sophomore Quinn Ratti during a recent rehearsal.

Photos by Suzanne Harrison Senior Summer Tonnesen (above left) examines an outfit with parent volunteer Shelley Davis during an after-school rehearsal. Junior Christian DeMarco (left) tries on a costume for his role as Captain Denny. DeMarco also performed in last year’s fall play and spring musical.


Kohlhafer beats his way through recovery By Alex Rodman Editor-in-Chief


s boredom raced through senior Aaron Kohlhafer’s mind, he took a break from his two-day “Breaking Bad” Netflix marathon and reached for the skateboard propped beside his bed. Venturing through the arid Appalachian mountains of Massanutten, Virginia, with an old school cruiser in hand, Kohlhafer set out to find an adrenaline rush. “It was my stupid idea to bring a skateboard with me,” Kohlhafer said. “And I was going down one of the hills, where it was so big you wouldn’t be able to see the bottom of it if you were sitting at the top. Next thing you know, this one car comes through the oncoming lane, but it’s in the middle of the road. So, I have to dodge it and whenever I swerved I just got speed wobbles and eventually fell. I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up in the ICU three days later.” Suffering a hard fall and obvious head injuries, Kohlhafer was airlifted to the University of Virginia Hospital on June 11, where he was rushed into emergency surgery. With a brain bleed in all four quadrants, doctors shaped Kohlhafer’s skull to allow brain swelling and prevent hemorrhaging inside of the contained area. Using 3D printing technology, a polyethylene prosthetic mold was created to permanently cover the large indentation of his skull. After two days in an induced coma, he woke with music on his mind. “The first thing that happened (when I woke up) was, since I was so high off meds, there was music just running through my head, in the coma and out,” Kohlhafer said. “It started off with Pink Floyd, some classic stuff. It was one song, ‘Comfortably Numb,’ and that’s what I was. Knowing me, I guess I just managed to pick the right song at the right time.” Music has always played a significant role in Kohlhafer’s life. Sparked by his father’s musical inclination, he picked up drumming at a young age. “Around age 6 or 7, he had his midlife crisis and got a big drum set,” Kohlhafer said. “And I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is cool, I wanna do that.’ Around age 8, I managed to get myself started and I have been playing self-taught ever since.” Self-taught and successful,


Photo by Michaela Kelly (top)/ Photo submitted by Aaron Kohlhafer Senior Aaron Kohlhafer performs at halftime during the marching band’s Metallica show earlier this fall (top). Three months earlier, Kohlhafer was in an induced coma following a skateboarding accident. Despite suffering severe head injuries that led to a 13-day hospital stay, he now serves as drum captain for First Flight’s marching band. Kohlhafer’s affinity for the snare drum solidified his position as the band’s drum captain this year, an improvement from his role last year as co-section leader. But in the early stages of recovery, there was doubt that Kohlhafer would ever drum again – or even have mobility in his left hand. “(In a coma) you are in your subconscious, but you can hear what surgeons are saying or what anyone around you is saying. I heard them loud enough say, ‘He may never be able to use his left hand or to ever play drums again.’ I heard that and I am losing my stuff,” Kohlhafer said. “I think what helped the most was, since my aunt and uncle knew that I was a snare drummer, they went to the music store and got me a practice pad and some marching sticks. I was just doing it in bed, and that’s what helped get it (my hand motion) back.” Throughout his 13-day hospital stay and his six-month recovery period, Kohlhafer found strength in

his desire to return to the marching band. During physical therapy (PT), music coupled with marching band memories provided a source of motivation. “On the last day of PT, they got me walking around, and just to keep me going in a fluid motion I was just counting, ‘one, two, three, four’ in my head, doing the marching clicks, as I would if we were out marching and I was on snare,” he said. Though music has had a significant influence on Kohlhafer’s recovery, he also turned to his mother for support. “Whenever I was sitting in recovery the first few days, I had a more negative mentality, as in, ‘I’m going to be this partially handicapped person for the rest of my life,’ ” Kohlhafer said. “And she sat down next to me and told me that

I was going to be OK. My outlook was definitely changed from ‘I’ll never be able to do this’ to ‘I can definitely do this and make myself better.’ ” Kohlhafer notes that support from friends and family fostered a positive outlook. But in the end, it was music that guided him through his challenges. “Music itself is just an artform of expression and that is just the best way for me (to express myself) since I’m not necessarily a good expresser of emotions,” Kohlhafer said. “It’s helped me get through depression, anxiety, etc. It helped me basically feel stronger about myself and then gave me the inspiration to do everything that I’ve done in the means of recovery.” Senior Alex Rodman can be reached at fall / / 2017

Jostens switch promises memories that last a lifetime By Hunter Haskett Business Manager


keepsake you’ll want to hold onto forever” echoes in your ears as you find yourself staring off into space in the auditorium. Jostens, a memorabilia company, presented its take on class jewelry – and a whole lot more – to First Flight students this fall. If you don’t recognize the name, it’s because this is the first year First Flight has partnered with Jostens. Through an outstanding presentation and a different approach to working with the school, Jostens won over First Flight’s administrative team. “One of the big things at Jostens that we do that is a little bit different is we don’t just come in and try to sell a product, we try to come in and be a partner to the school,” Jostens rep Eric Harvell said. What makes Jostens unique from the other companies? It has a program that includes each grade level, not just the juniors and seniors. “We did a freshman ‘Commit to Graduate,’ we did a banner signing to kind of get them on board and kind of get them excited about graduating,” Harvell said. “Sophomore year, we come in and talk to students about social media and how it can affect college and getting into different programs, then junior year we come in and talk about the rings, then we talk about the senior stuff.” Not only does the company offer something for each grade level, but it offers more than just standard class rings. Along with hundreds of options to choose from, Jostens also features class bracelets and necklaces. “I really liked the necklaces and the video he showed with the lady (designer) from New York, I feel like a lot of girls liked that,” junior Cassidy Dietz said. With the interactive presentation given to the junior class, and the different pieces of jewelry offered, students were able to pick out and design a piece of jewelry truly individual to them. NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / news

Dietz was among the students who purchased class jewelry. She chose a class ring, deciding to stick to the traditional piece rather than a necklace. “I still wasn’t really sure if I was going to get one, but my mom was the main person that wanted me to get one,” Dietz said. “She was like, ‘I feel like it represents your accomplishments in high school, so I definitely want you to have one.’ ” Junior class sponsor Lauren Deal feels that purchasing a ring is a great way to remember your high school experience. “I think that a class ring is a good reminder of the good times about high school and it’s a one-ofa-kind keepsake that you can show your children and your spouse some day that shows what was important to you at that time in your life,” Deal said. While some think class rings are tremendously important to a person’s high school career, others don’t share the same sentiment. “I don’t wear rings, and I don’t think it’s a very good way of remembering something,” junior Kenan Reeder said. Students with similar thoughts as Reeder believe that in years to come, a high school ring won’t mean much to them, so why spend money on it now? Junior Taina Santana is in the same boat as Reeder on the issue. “I understand the purpose of it, a piece of jewelry you’ll see every day, you’ll remember it, but I think that if high school really was such a good time in your life, you shouldn’t need something physical and so superficial to remember it by,” Santana said. While this age-old debate will continue for years to come, Jostens is here to stay at First Flight, providing students with wearable reminders of their time spent and lessons learned throughout high school. “We just want to give every kid the opportunity to get a ring because we feel like everyone deserves a ring,” Harvell said. Junior Hunter Haskett can be reached at

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New adviser Shaw shows seniors the way


By Chloe Futrell Features Editor

t’s Monday morning, the first day of school, and students begin to flood the building. Sophie Shaw steps out of her new and somewhat empty office. Thinking back to her own high school years at a small charter school in central North Carolina, Shaw is taken aback by the busy hallways filled with students. “Oh my gosh there are so many students here,” Shaw said. “A couple of students were asking me to help them with their lockers and I was like, ‘I’ve actually never used a locker before, but I will try!’” Shaw is the newest addition to First Flight’s counseling center, filling Seth Rose’s previous role as college adviser. A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shaw received an email last year about the position through UNC’s College Advising Corps. “The hiring process is kind of interesting,” Shaw said. “It is a little bit like speed dating where they have this interview that takes up an entire afternoon. All the different representatives from the different schools that are interested in having a college adviser come to Chapel Hill and then all of the applicants to the position come.” After an entire afternoon of interviews, Shaw rated her top schools, and school representatives rated their top applicants. Her desire for a change of scenery and the insight she received from Rose sparked her interest in First Flight. In June, Shaw headed to the Outer Banks with Rose so she could explore First Flight.


Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Sophie Shaw (left) works in her office while being shadowed by Sloane Johnson, another member of the Carolina Advising Corps. “I got to see how he interacted with students and he kind of just took us around the building and around the area, so I did get to see a little bit of him in action,” Shaw said. As Shaw settles into her new position, she is excited about helping the students who want to come into her office to talk about college. “I understand sort of being intimidated by dropping into someone’s office, because I probably wouldn’t have done that as a high school student,” Shaw said. “But just know that when you come in here you don’t have to have a plan.” Shaw is also looking forward to making the college experience an option for all students. Equal opportunity for all students is something she is passionate about. “I started thinking about how there is a lot of different types of inequality that you can be interested in trying to alleviate,” Shaw

said. “It became clear to me that education is something that’s really important to me.” To Shaw, helping students find their perfect college fit is a top priority “I want to help students that know they want to go to college and find a college that they will really thrive at,” Shaw said. “It’s

one thing to get into college, but it is another thing to get in and actually stay and graduate. It’s terrible if you are in school for a few years and you rack up all these loans and then you end up dropping out because it’s not a great fit for you.” From freshmen starting to plan their future to seniors looking for help with college applications, Shaw’s door is always open. “I definitely want underclassmen to come in and chat about long-term things because you can start preparing as an underclassmen,” Shaw said. Shaw is ready to take on the year and ready for students to stop by her office in the counseling center with any questions. She is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments by visiting the counseling center or contacting Shaw at She is also leading college essay-writing workshops on Mondays after school in her office. Junior Chloe Futrell can be reached at

fall / / 2017

FFHS Winns with new assistant principal By Suzanne Harrison News Editor


s you speed through the student parking lot trying to make it to first period on time, you may notice a new face smiling at you from the sidewalk – Assistant Principal Lisa Winn. She is the most recent addition to First Flight’s administrative team. Winn has worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 16 years, but this is her first time taking on an administrative role. She views the job change as a new challenge. “The positive about being in administration is you have a voice in the culture and the philosophy in what a school should look like,” Winn said. “However, I do really miss being in the classroom.” Born and raised outside of Washington, Winn graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in mass communications and a minor in political science. Following her graduation, Winn married her husband, Jim, and moved back to the D.C. area to begin working in the hospitality industry. Three years later, she moved to Richmond and continued her work. “I kept working in the hospitality industry for the remainder of that 10-year time frame. My last position was with Hyatt Corporate, and they make all of their managers do community service,” Winn said. The community service Winn elected to do was volunteering within the local public high schools, teaching students about the business world. Within the first few weeks, Winn realized she belonged in the classroom. “After that experience, I went

home and I told my husband that I missed my calling,” Winn said. “I told him that I needed to be in education.” Following that experience, Winn began to work part time in the hospitality industry and went back to school to receive her masters in education. After receiving her degree, Winn was offered a position at Tuckahoe Elementary in Henrico County, Virginia. There, she taught third grade and fifth grade for 14 years, discovering she had a true connection with kids. “My husband and I were not blessed with children, but the school children then became like my children,” Winn said. Although she resided in Virginia most of her life, Winn is no stranger to the Outer Banks. For five years, she traveled back and forth from Richmond to the OBX any time her schedule allowed. After a little convincing from her husband, Winn applied for a

teaching position in Dare County in 2015. “My husband finally just said, ‘Why don’t you try to get a job in Dare County Schools?’ ” Winn said. “I had heard it was hard to obtain a position in the Dare County school system, but I got it. I taught reading for third and fifth grade at Manteo for two years

First Flight’s new assistant principal, Lisa Winn, greets freshman Tyler Sylvia during a recent Empower Time. Winn worked as an elementary school teacher for 16 years before transitioning to her current administrative role. Photo by Buzzy Staten/ Nighthawk News until I got the job here.” While Winn confesses that she does miss the classroom, she looks forward to getting to know everyone at First Flight and the new creative challenges her administration position has to offer. Senior Suzanne Harrison can be reached at

252-255-2275 5320 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina Nighthawk News Magazine / / features


A r t i s t s

Band snares new talent


By Dagen Gilbreath Staff Writer

eing a freshman isn’t easy. The adjustment from middle school to high school is a big one. Many freshmen lay low and take it slowly, easing themselves into the groove of high school life. Jonah Wills is taking a different approach. Wills is the lead (and only) drummer in the First Flight High School Honors Jazz program. Honors Jazz is a step above the regular jazz program at First Flight and is usually made up of older returning members. Wills has been playing drums with his brother, First Flight alumnus Sam Wills, since he was 10. “My brother, he’s in the Mustang Outreach Band and they needed a drummer and I was like, ‘Yeah sure, I’ll do that,’ ” Wills said. Although Wills recently got involved in music, he’s always been drawn to performing and playing. “I watched a lot of live music and it looked really cool to play drums. I wanted to be that good,” Wills said. “I’d like to think that I’m good at knowing the rhythm and playing with the band. I don’t try to overpower them.” Drumming has always been a natural pursuit for Wills, but the difference between playing in middle school and high school has proved challenging. “(Middle school jazz) was honestly kind of boring,” Wills said. “It wasn’t really that much fun. I was in it just because, ‘Why not?’ It’s something new.” Although Wills has been drumming in a jazz band for three years now, jazz is not his favorite genre. “I really like alternative rock and some types of blues,” Wills said. “My brother always said that it’s good to learn all different types of genres, and jazz band seemed like a really good way to do that.” Compared with his limited musical experience thus far, Wills feels much more challenged by jazz. “It’s definitely much more demanding. You really have to know how to play your instrument,” he said. “You can’t just cheese your way through everything. It’s just kind of complicated and confusing sometimes.” Wills has upperclassmen counting on him to queue them at the right time and keep a constant tempo; he has to be able to play every


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Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News/Submitted photo Jonah Wills drums away during rehearsal in the first-period Honors Jazz class (above). Wills’ passion for drumming started at a young age and led to gigs with the middle school jazz band as well. chart properly. He has no room for mistakes. “It’s really scary because if you’re not good at one genre, you still gotta play it. You can’t get embarrassed,” Wills said. “I’m nervous in the beginning, but once I start playing it goes away.” Despite the responsibility that comes with being the lead drummer, as someone with a lot of experience in a band, Wills isn’t too intimidated by older musicians. “I’m used to being around older people and playing with them. I was playing with all seniors when I was in eighth grade, so I’ve kinda gotten used to them and being at that level,” Wills said. “But it’s still scary to play with new people because there’s so many different skill levels and expectations.” As for what drumming really means to Wills, he has a hard time defining what draws him to play.

“It feels cool to be the drummer because drummers are just cool, you know?” he said with a laugh. “It makes me happy. I like it.” Even with the stress of adjusting to high school, and the pressure of being the backbone of an advanced jazz band, Wills seems content with where he is, and knows that he’s only going to improve with the band. “I didn’t really know what it was like to be challenged. Now that I’m looking back on (previous musical experience), it wasn’t that much of a challenge,” he said. “Now, I know what it’s like to really be challenged, I realized I was missing out on so much.” With all the uncertainty that comes with being a freshman and a leader, for Wills one thing is for sure: he’s going to keep on playing and getting better. Senior Dagen Gilbreath can be reached at fall / / 2017

the Spotlight

Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Surrounded by various pieces of her artwork, senior Karsen Beckner draws in her sketchbook. Beckner is currently enrolled in two AP Art classes.

Beckner paints her way through senior year


By Suzanne Harrison News Editor

hythm and balance may not be the first words to pop into your mind when you think of your high school schedule. For senior Karsen Beckner, however, her curriculum is based entirely on them. Beckner is currently taking two AP Art classes at once. “I’m taking AP Drawing, which focuses more on the line shapes, and 2D Art, which focuses more on principle and rhythm,” Beckner said. While some would view her rigorous artistic schedule as stressful, Beckner finds herself most relaxed when working on her art. “Art is the only school subject that I really like to do,” Beckner said. “I’m never like, ‘I don’t want to do this art project.’ It’s always different material that I’m working with.” Although art fails to bore Beckner, that Nighthawk News Magazine / / features

doesn’t mean her workload isn’t challenging. “I have to create 48 pieces of art this year. The work I put in will allow me to grow as an artist, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard,” Beckner confessed. Beckner takes on each project with a positive attitude, something she finds helpful, because it allows her to not get too overwhelmed. “The more you work on it, the better you will get,” Beckner said. “With each project there are different objectives and different guidelines, so I will be inspired by something new every time.” Time management is a huge factor when it comes to creating artwork. Beckner has to allow not only enough time to complete her art, but also enough time to do school work. Beckner views finding this balance as a creative challenge. “Luckily, the majority of my school work is art,” Beckner said. “The only other class I have that has a lot of work is AP Lit. I try to get that

done before I start working on a project because if I don’t, then I will never get to my (school) work.” Beckner hopes that art will be the main focus not only for the remainder of her high school career, but for her future career as well. “I’m leaning towards architecture and interior, with some sort of element of graphic design,” she said. “I want to attend either VCU or Savannah College of Art and Design.” Whatever path Beckner decides to take in the future, she knows that art truly shaped her into who she is today. “I’ve always been doing art. There was never a time when I wasn’t,” she said. “When I was younger, I used to draw on walls and write my name everywhere, and now my main focus is on art.” Senior Suzanne Harrison can be reached at


Horak delivers a scream-worthy performance on screen


By Chloe Futrell Features Editor

he night had fallen on the suburban neighborhood right outside of Alexandria, Virginia. All was silent until sophomore Damon Horak heard the word, “Action!” Last October, Horak had a unique opportunity to act in the short film, “The Ballad of Stingy Jack” by director Joseph Pattisall. “A grandfather is telling this kid about a legend in the town that they live in, and it is around Halloween,” Horak said. “It is kind of like the ‘Headless Horseman.’ ” Although acting in a film was new for Horak, it wasn’t his first time on camera. “I had done ‘Monster Madhouse,’ a TV show, for about three years. I played the son of the main character,” he said. “It was a very fun show. Everyone was all dressed up. It’s all unscripted.”

Getting cast in the short film was special for Horak because his parents were friends with the director, Pattisall. “My middle name is actually after him – him Horak and my dad were best friends in high school,” Horak said. Horak was also in a music video that was directed by Pattisall for the song “Demons” by The Darkest Hour. His role in the “Ballad of Stingy Jack” was just another fun opportunity offered up by the family friend, and Horak was ecstatic. However, acting in a film was entirely new territory for Horak compared to his previous roles in theater. “You have multiple chances and if something messes up, it was completely fine and you could just redo

it and no one would ever know,” Horak said. “But then on stage you have your performance and if you mess up during the performance there is no going back.” Unlike some of his younger cast members, Horak’s filming experience was unique. The other children acting with Horak were instructed to bring their own costumes, but due to the distinction of Horak’s character, he wore a special costume. “I had this black, really flowy outfit, full of fabrics, and this mask that was like the skull of an animal, and it was really freaky,” Horak said. To Horak, being in a film was more than just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the young actor was given the chance to expand on one of his passions. Horak not only likes to act but also finds joy in watching the production. “Unlike a show, you can get really into it and you can really focus

on it and tune everything else out,” Horak said. Horak loves film and finds it inspiring. He aims to make people feel just as in the moment as he does when he is watching something. When acting, Horak focuses on delivering his lines correctly and appealing to his audience. “If it is a funny line, then I want to make people laugh and make people feel happy like I did,” Horak said. “To see myself up there is going to be amazing.” On Oct. 6, Horak headed to the AFI theatre with his friends and family and watched the premiere of “The Ballad of Stingy Jack.” “We got there and we went in and there was one of the red carpet backdrops,” Horak explained. “We watched the movie, which was amazing, and it was so cool to be like, ‘Wow, that’s me, that’s crazy.’ ” Junior Chloe Futrell can be reached at

Chilling ghost stories haunt the OBX By Courtney Tillett Staff Writer

No law enforcement, no witnesses, nothing. It is rumored that the young man’s spirit has yet to leave the building. he couple sits at the nice restaurant “People are usually like, ‘Was there a bloodfor a late dinner looking over the menu stain on the floor?’ We tell them yes. They will to decide what to order — and then also ask where it is in the restaurant,” Riddle reads that the restaurant they are in explained. “It is right by our dessert case as you is haunted. Nightfall is at its peak with a full walk in, by the bathrooms. We have a bench moon shining through the window. After their over it that supposedly covers it, but you cannot delicious meal, the couple sees the bartender see it anymore.” across the room turn off the TVs and walk to There might not be anything to see, but his the back. But the screens flick presence still lingers. back on moments later, with “Our video camera behind no one there... the host stand sometimes People are usually Junior Lauren Riddle is a will go black and white. like, ‘Was there a hostess at The Black Pelican That’s a little creepy,” Riddle and is familiar with the alsaid. “One time when I left bloodstain on the leged bloodstain on the floor work late one night, the bar and the ghost that haunts the TVs wouldn’t turn off. All the floor?’ We tell them restaurant in Kitty Hawk. bartenders would turn them yes. “The story is on the back off and they’d come right – Lauren Riddle of our menus,” Riddle said. back on.” “There’s the legend on the This legend carries on as a back of them. People ask all part of the history of the Outthe time to take the legend er Banks, just as the stories home.” of many other spooky sightings live on to this Back when the building served as a life savday. Riddle said it’s more fun to tell the story at ing station, a young surfman named T.L. Daniels Halloween. antagonized his captain, James Hobbs, day in The Outer Banks, a place filled with tourist and day out. One day in July of 1884, having had attractions and fun days spent soaking up the enough of Daniels’ jokes, Captain Hobbs pulled sun, has many stories buried in the waves of the trigger on his loaded revolver. Daniels’ body time. The stories about what roams through was buried at sea and Hobbs was never convictNags Head Woods and lingers in local areas will ed of the crime. send shivers down your spine.



Are you familiar with the Goatman’s house? It is a little yellow square house that sits along the edge of Nags Head Woods. Many Outer Banks locals have grown up hearing the stories of Goatman. “Supposedly there is a guy named Goatman who haunts the house that sits on the edge of the road,” junior Maddy Beaver said. Rumors have circulated throughout the community that “Goatman eats children at night in his house” or he is the “ghost of the dunes.” From decades of sightings of this mysterious figure, there is a vivid picture that is depicted in the minds of locals when asked what Goatman looks like: a strange so-called “Party Animal” as described in a 2015 Outer Banks Milepost magazine issue. There can be many freaky and mysterious events that go on in Nags Head Woods during the chilling fall season, especially during nightfall. Recent graduate Stephen Hines has some experience on this subject, having seen demonic symbols scattered throughout the woods. “I have some friends of mine who are a part of the police department,” Hines said. “Police would find booby traps, witchcraft material, symbols formed by rocks, animals pinned to trees.” Whether creepy or fun, there are a plethora of spooky stories based on the diverse history of the sandbar we live on. Finding them is the interesting part. Sophomore Courtney Tillett can be reached at fall / / 2017

Tyson’s tribute to a terrifying holiday


By Hunter Haskett Business Manager

or most people, summer consists of endless beach days and munching down on watermelon while watching fireworks. However, junior Charlotte Tyson is not like most people: On a balmy afternoon in July, as her peers lounge around on the beach, Tyson spends her time daydreaming about Halloween. “Around July, I start thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s almost Halloween’ then I tell myself, ‘It’s not time to get excited yet, it’s entirely too early,’ so then I have to hold off until Labor Day,” Tyson said. With her love of Halloween beginning in middle school, Oct. 31 has become more than just a oneday celebration for Tyson. Nowadays, Tyson officially kicks off her Halloween season in September. “On Labor Day, I always make some kind of Halloween thing,” Tyson said. “I’ll make some sort of Halloween shirt or I’ll bake something.” The excitement for Halloween slowly builds up in her spooky lifestyle until the big day. “The first week or two I start incorporating spooky things into my everyday life. I decorate my room and the upstairs area probably the third week of September,” Tyson said. “After Labor Day, I’m starting to wear my Halloween clothes and starting to do some fun, gory makeup looks.” One of Tyson’s favorite parts of the haunted holiday is the interesting makeup. Throughout the month of October she likes to include fake blood and scars into her everyday looks. “It’s really fun to do SFX (spe-

Nighthawk News Magazine / / features

cial effects) makeup and it’s just another reason I really like Halloween,” Tyson said. “I really like doing makeup and costumes. I like creating things.” She doesn’t stop with decorating her face – Tyson also enjoys decorating her room and other areas around her house. “My parents think it’s tacky to decorate for Halloween, so they won’t let me decorate the house until two days before Halloween,” Tyson said. “After that, I carve up pumpkins, I put out a lot of cobwebs and I like to put out fake ghosts.” Tyson’s love of Halloween covers every aspect of her life from makeup to clothing, and even food. She loves to bake “spooktacular” goodies. “I really like making ghost meringues,” Tyson said. “I just take meringue and I put it in the shape of ghosts and I put little chocolate chips for eyes. It’s really fun.” As the calendar creeps closer and closer to the 31st, Tyson begins to get even more in the spirit by watching Halloween movies. She also spends her time making finishing touches to her costume and indulging in sweets. “The week of Halloween, I’m at 100 percent,” she said. “I have my costume ready, I’m watching scary movies every night and eating disproportional amounts of candy.” And when the big night finally arrives? One can find Tyson enjoying her favorite holiday with friends. “I usually will go hang out with some of my friends and we’ll watch a lot of Halloween movies, we’ll all dress up, usually just eat a lot of candy,” Tyson said. As Halloween is just around the

Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Junior Charlotte Tyson poses in her Joker costume and makeup – one of her many festive getups. For years, Tyson has indulged in many creative Halloween activities. corner, one can definitely say Tyson’s intensive, month long preparation for the haunted holiday is certainly a fun and interesting way

to get into the spooky spirit. Junior Hunter Haskett can be reached at


Beach girl walks into urban life


By Grace Sullivan Social Media Editor

he blast of club beats keeping in time with the rhythmic movements of girls stomping down the runway, fresh from backstage dressing rooms clouded by hairspray and powders – this visual has become a common sight for 16-year-old Scout Landry. Former First Flight students Landry and Sophia Dowless have both moved to New York City after years of pondering the idea. For Landry, the move was the easiest option for her to gain necessary experience in the modeling industry and further her potential career. “I’ve been acting and modeling for three years, but it was really hard to get jobs on the Outer Banks and my agency is located in Charlotte,” Landry said. “I’ve always dreamt of moving into the city and I’ve wanted to go to a college in New York for a while. On top of that, I see myself as more of a city person.” Landry went to New York with hopes of more modeling and acting opportunities being available to her, and she lucked out early on. Within the first three weeks of her move, she landed a job at New York Fashion Week. “I walked for a company called K. Clarke and the makeup artists were with Makeup Forever,” Landry said. “It wasn’t my first runway, as I walked in Charlotte Fashion Week and for a local show my mom put on, but this was the largest show by far I’ve ever done.” Though Landry is excited about the jobs she has been landing, there are still negative aspects of the industry that intimidate her. “There are definitely some scary parts of modeling,” Landry said. “A job I went to the other day, one of the other models was very skinny, and I’m not super skinny, I’m more of a fit model. It was very intimidating, though, because they were giving the skinnier girl these beautiful gowns and then I was being put in sweaters, which I was fine with, but it was still a little intimidating for me.” The main struggle Landry faces


Photos submitted by Scout Landry Scout Landry struts the runway while modeling for clothing company K. Clarke. During a photoshoot in New York City (right) Landry glances toward the camera as the photographer captures a shot to add to her portfolio. in this new job environment is the competition between the different size ranges; however, it’s proving to be less of a problem than she thought it would be. “It’s still pretty competitive with the skinny vs. fit girls, but the industry is obviously changing a lot,” Landry said. “For the runway show, there were tons of smaller girls, but none of them looked unhealthy. A lot of the girls had actual butts and actual thighs, and it felt so welcoming. I wasn’t intimidated.” While Landry is being exposed to the nitty-gritty of the real world, her mom Renee is still protecting her daughter from the harsh realities over 13 hours away. “I have to sign parental releases for every job Scout is chosen for, which is a guardrail already established in the industry for anyone under 18,” Renee said. “We also have a wonderful student from NYU who stays at the apartment to help with anything Scout and Sophia need.” For Landry, this dream-reality is hopefully not temporary. “I want to stay up here for at least two years, to finish high school, and then travel around or study abroad for a year,” Landry said. “The main goal for my modeling career is to be walking for huge brands like Chanel and Gucci alongside famous models like Kendall or Gigi.” Whatever Landry decides to do with the rest of her career, she’ll always have a team of support there for her.

“This is totally Scout’s journey. I’d be happy with any healthy dreams she wished to pursue. I am, however, thrilled she is learning so much about business and the fashion industry,” Renee said. “I hope

she is able to pursue the many new experiences New York City has to offer.” Junior Grace Sullivan can be reached at

Southern Bank proudly supports First Flight High School.

Visit Our Local Branch Locations: Kill Devil Hills | 202 S. Croatan Highway | 252-449-4499 Kitty Hawk | 4804 N Croatan Highway | 252-261-1326 Manteo | 704 S. Highway 64\264 | 252-475-3688 fall / / 2017

Whitfield treated to an eye-opening pharmaceutical practice By Hannah Ellington News Editor


eering into a microscope, senior Elijah Whitfield can barely make out the peculiar outline of the protein below him. Time and time again, he tries to get the result he is looking for, but keeps coming up short. There has to be some way to get this project to work. Nestled between the health science buildings, Whitfield works persistently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Ever since freshman year, he has held an interest in becoming a pharmacist, and now he has gained first-hand experience. Between June 19 and Aug. 9, Whitfield participated in the pharmaceutical program called The Young Innovators. The Young Innovators is a program in which students can get hands-on experience in research labs, engage in indepth thinking of pharmaceutical practices and learn what it is really like to be a pharmacist. “We go to football games in Chapel Hill and I started talking to someone at the tailgates who works in the pharmacy school at Chapel Hill,” Whitfield said. “She told me about this program they were launching which gives high school students from around the state a chance to come in and work in one of the labs.” After going through a heavy application process – writing a two-page essay, getting a letter of recommendation and setting up an interview – Whitfield finally received the call in May that he was accepted. He was one out of 24 to get in and one of 86 who had applied. While the project didn’t cost anything but time, he was paid $2,500 for his efforts, which was definitely a bonus. The project he worked on with two doctoral students was called “Phage Display.” “We were doing a project with these proteins that cause cancer. We were trying to find a way to inhibit the cancer,” Whitfield said. What they did was take a diluted protein and a bacteriophage – a type of virus – and put it into a plate with wells. This allowed the protein to bind to the bacteriophage and if it bound, that meant they found a “hit.” This “hit” would then allow them to construct Nighthawk News Magazine / / features

Photo submitted by Elijah Whitfield Senior Elijah Whitfield is hard at work in the pharmaceutical lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through The Young Innovators program, Whitfield spent two months of his summer engaged in research labs. something to inhibit the protein. “The only snags with it were that the way we were doing it, like putting the protein on, would sometimes not give the binding site,” Whitfield recalled. “We were trying to figure out a way to make that more of a guarantee.” Doing this project was an eye-opener for Whitfield. “I gained a lot of lab experience that will be valuable because when I’m in college, I’m going to have to be working in a lab a lot,” he said. “It taught me proper techniques with working the lab, how to use different chemicals, like where they would be.” Whitfield has already started looking and applying to colleges; however, this program has swayed his thinking. “After doing that internship, UNC is now kind of my No. 1 choice to go to. Before, it was Georgia Tech, and it still kind of is, but UNC is right there tied with it,” Whitfield said. In addition to altering his opinion in regard to college, Whitfield’s internship also solidified his love for science as well as his desire to pursue his passion as a career. “Ever since I became really serious about academics, I’ve always liked science pretty much more than anything,” Whitfield said. “But I think after doing this internship I got way more into it because I saw how cool and interesting it

was and that I could actually do it maybe as a career and make money off of it.”

Junior Hannah Ellington can be reached at

252 441-9009 | |



t h e fa c e s b e h i n d

13 years later, program paves way for family reunion in Honduras By Arabella Saunders Editor-in-Chief


wo envelopes and a breaking news alert have transformed senior Genesis Mejia-Jimenez’s life since immigrating to the United States from Honduras in 2004. The first envelope she received in October 2015 contained a letter, detailing her acceptance to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — President Obama’s 2012 executive order that provides young, undocumented immigrants with a work permit and protection from deportation after meeting stringent requirements. “I remember I started crying because just to know that I have the opportunity to make a living in a place where my parents came here just for me, it’s like, ‘Now, I can make my dreams come true,’ ” Mejia-Jimenez said. “It was a lot of emotions and it actually gave me a little faith towards the future.” The second momentous letter came after Thanksgiving dinner in 2016: the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had accepted her request for “advance travel parole” to Honduras. Come January, Mejia-Jimenez would be reunited with her extended family for the first time in 13 years. “I was reading (the letter) and they were like, ‘We’re giving you the permission of parole and you have to leave before January and come back before February,’ ” she said. “When I read that, I did not read the rest of the letter. I started crying. I was crying as if someone had died. I was crying like, ‘This is not true, this is not really happening.’ ” The chance to return to Honduras meant the world: Mejia-Jimenez had commenced the complex process of applying for advanced travel parole – a prerogative held by DACA recipients – upon learning her grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer. “I had the chance to go Honduras in January and the reason I had that chance is because of DACA,” she said. “When I got there, I started crying again and I hugged everybody. Just to see everybody made my heart so full. It


Photos submitted by Genesis Mejia-Jimenez Senior Genesis Mejia-Jimenez embraces her grandparents in Honduras (above) and poses with her cousins in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras. The DACA recipient was granted the opportunity to reunite with her family last winter through advanced travel parole. just brought me a lot of emotions because it was amazing to be back where I’m actually from.” For Mejia-Jimenez, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has not only allowed her to reconnect with family members, but prompted her to embrace her immigration status. “Before DACA, I was not open about me not being born here. Some people begin to point you out, they begin to treat you differently,” she said. “But after DACA, I realized that it’s important to know where you come from and what you can get out of it, so I was more open about the fact that I was born in Honduras and migrated here when I was 4.” Mejia-Jimenez spent close to four weeks in Honduras last January, traveling between neighboring towns to visit family members, indulging in authentic Hispanic foods and even trying her hand at milking cows. She was home and her heart was full – a stark contrast to her emotional state following a breaking news alert on Sept. 5, 2017, that the senior received while in her Spanish class at FFHS.

“I got a notification and opened it up. I remember it was like, ‘DACA is done. You have months to renew it before it’s over,’ ” Mejia-Jimenez said. “My heart dropped because I’ve never caused this country trouble, I’ve never caused my school trouble. I think as a person I’ve been pretty civil. I’ve never gotten in trouble with the law or anything like that, and I really do want to make a living.” Beginning March 5, 2018, if newly proposed legislation fails to replace DACA, roughly 800,000 young immigrants across the United States will lose the benefits the program provides, on a rolling basis. Hundreds of thousands of recipients will lose their protection from deportation, work permits, driver’s licenses, eligibility for college and more. A staple in Mejia-Jimenez’s life from a young age, family friend Elsy Compean was devastated when she learned DACA had been rescinded. “To have someone so close to me going through this is heartbreaking. She studies hard, she

goes to school, she is not anyone who is going to go do wrong or screw up her life. Someone like her should be able to better their life,” Compean said. “That’s what everyone comes here to do, whether they’re from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Spain, France, China. They all want to come here to better themselves.” Although she was unnerved after receiving that breaking news alert in Spanish class, the push to end the program was not the first experience Mejia-Jimenez has had with public opposition of her fall / / 2017

d e f e r r e d a c t i o n f o r c h i l d h o o d a r r i va l s

NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / news feature

‘More American than Mexican’ By Beverly Murry Editor-in-Chief

president. Paula and thousands of other immigrants were in the hands of a man who had openly opposed them on the campaign trail. Editor’s note: The name in this story has been “When I found out Trump was elected I was so changed to protect the identity of the student. sad, it hit me so hard,” Paula said. “I remember crying to (a teacher), getting picked up early, and findear and anxiety swirled. The one thing that ing an excuse to leave school. My dad told me not to makes her feel normal will be dismantled be upset because whatever happens, happens.” after March 5, 2018. With the world seemShe was faced with ridicule and jokes at her ingly against her, how is she supposed to own misfortune. The only country she’s ever called feel like the American teenager she knows she is? home was now rejecting her: “I didn’t want to be Her story is much like that of the other 800,000 at school because everyone was making deportayoung immigrants left in the uncertain wake of tion jokes. They were like, ‘So when are you gonna President Donald Trump’s announcement to end be deported?’ ” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Still coping with the shockwaves, Paula startprogram enacted by President Obama. ed to grow closer with one of her male friends. At 3 years old, Paula moved to the Outer Banks Despite their differences of opinion, his companfrom a town in Mexico. Her father had gone first. ionship helped her feel safe. Later in their friendOne year later, Paula and her mother joined in ship she realized he could help her on the road to search of a better life. One of her first experiences citizenship or even a green card. in America was her third birthday party: young and “I asked him jokingly if he wanted to get marinnocent, happy with her family. ried so I can get my citizenship. He “I had just turned 3 and I had said he would do it for me just so I a big birthday party. Looking at could get it,” Paula said. “So I was Having DACA the pictures, the cake was huge thinking about it, and then I asked made me feel like and it looked nice,” Paula said my teacher because I was really with a smile. close to her. She told me it was not a normal teenPaula went to school for the a good idea and that I could ruin my first time on the Outer Banks, life at a young age just for citizenager. participating in the Head Start ship. But I was really considering it.” program for three years and Then another blow on Sept. 5, -Paula learning English as a Second 2017. The Trump Administration Language by 5. Paula participathad ended DACA. The decision ed in ESL classes until middle school. meant that the benefits Paula had possessed only Growing up, being undocumented was a normal for a year would be gone in a matter of months. Applying for college or keeping her job seemed part of life. She never realized that such a trivial just out of reach. part of life would cause a nasty bite of backlash from her peers. “I got my driver’s license, which was really exciting. I finally felt like more of an American,” “I got into a fight with one girl because somePaula said with a meek smile. “Every kid around body asked her, ‘Hey, are you undocumented?’ and she was like ‘Me? Be undocumented? I’m not a my age already has their license, has their whole Mexican like her,’ ” Paula recalled. “ ‘She’s Mexican future planned, and I don’t even know if I’m going so she’s undocumented.’ That was when I really to college anymore.” With her dreams dashed, Paula felt at a loss. realized I had to be a U.S. citizen.” However, she is still persistent in applying to colIn the winter of Paula’s sophomore year, she began to take action and start the lengthy applica- lege. Private colleges are now much more appealing to Paula than they were a year ago, since they tion process to be protected by DACA: the Obamacan still offer the same levels of financial aid to era executive order that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation and provides means undocumented students without worry over losing to obtain a work permit. After three months of public funding. The future for Paula and 800,000 others is unhard work – looking for information dating back certain. Even with the difficulties Paula has faced, to 2005 just to prove her qualifications – Paula received the news she would be protected. she is still thankful for the opportunities she has “Having DACA made me feel like a normal gained. In Mexico, her cousins walk to school and teenager around this school. Growing up, I used to face extreme poverty. That easily could’ve been think I was so different from everyone else because her. “I should be really thankful for being here,” she I didn’t have a job and I can’t do half the things these people do,” Paula said. said. “My parents brought me here for a reason.” Senior Beverly Murry can be reached at murryFlash forward a year later to 2016. A year filled with political turmoil, the year Trump was elected


immigration status. “One time, we went into this restaurant and there was a big huge family and they were like, ‘Oh, the wetbacks are here.’ And they got up, they didn’t eat,” she said. “They were like, ‘We’re not eating where all these illegal people eat.’ ” With the end of DACA also comes uncertainty for Mejia-Jimenez’s future. Since Sept. 5, she’s remained hesitant when applying to college. “It really scares me because we don’t know what’s gonna happen. I’m even scared just to apply to a college. I’m not stupid, I have A’s and I have a good GPA, but just because I wasn’t born here, it’s like, ‘Sorry, we can’t accept you,’ ” she said. “That’s my biggest fear right now, and I’m still struggling with it because every time I go to apply to a college it’s like a 50/50.” Despite the prejudice she endures and the unpredictability of her future, the young DACA recipient is determined to remain optimistic. “I’m most hopeful for the kids that are with this program, that we can have some legal citizenship in this country,” she said. “The reason for that is because I feel like that way we can go see our families more often and just for us to have a better life. I know so many kids that are on this (DACA) that want a better living for themselves and want to go to college, and I’m one of those students.” In the wake of the rescission of DACA and with recipients’ futures in the hands of Congress, Mejia-Jimenez calls on her community to exercise empathy and acknowledge the hardships that entail life as an undocumented student. “I want them to know that for us it’s not easy coming to school every day, or just walking out in the community, knowing that we weren’t born here,” Mejia-Jimenez said. “For them to realize that we’re not a threat, that we’re people just like them, it’s just that we weren’t went born here. But we have rights as humans, we just want a better living and for our dreams to come true, and we want to show the American society that we can do it, too.” Senior Arabella Saunders can be reached at


Understanding DACA: the facts beneath the headlines By Arabella Saunders and Alex Rodman Editors-in-Chief On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama approaches the podium in the White House’s Rose Garden and announces a new Executive Order regarding immigration. Introducing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Obama assures the public that this temporary order will mend the nation’s immigration policies to be “more fair, more efficient and more just.”


he President of the United States decreed that this would happen,” said Helen Parsonage, adjunct professor of immigration law at Wake Forest University. “There was no law, Congress did not debate it, there was no congressional vote on it – nobody voted on it.” Under DACA, young undocumented immigrants are protected from deportation for a renewable period of up to two years. The executive order provided recipients with benefits such as a work permit and temporary Social Security number, which can lead to a driver’s license and eligibility for university, trade school and more. “It has made a terrific difference in many lives,” Parsonage said. “I guarantee, whether you know it or not, you know somebody with DACA because there are so many of them, because they’re in school and because they’re working.” To gain access to DACA’s benefits, immigrants first had to meet a number of requirements. Recipients had to be under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, and had to have arrived in the United States before age 16 and before June 15, 2007. They also must have continually lived in the coun-


Photo by Nelson C. Cepesda/San Diego Union-Tribune Vianey Martinez is a DACA recipient who came out to show support during a rally on the steps of the County Administration building in San Diego on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS) try since 2007. In addition, young people had to be at least 15 years of age, a current student or someone who received a high school degree or equivalent, and could have no misdemeanors nor felonies. Across the United States, over 800,000 young immigrants met these requirements and thus the title “DACAmented” was coined among recipients. Since it’s introduction in 2012, DACA has allowed individuals to better contribute to their families, their communities and the nation as a whole.

What happened to DACA? The U.S. Department of Justice

insignia emblazoned on the podium below him, Attorney General Jeff Sessions greets the mass of reporters during a press briefing on Sept. 5, 2017. “Good morning,” says the Attorney General. “I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded.” As Sessions continues with his briefing, across the country, breaking news alerts flash across phone screens. Twitter floods with citizens expressing their outrage – #defendDACA rises to the top of Twitter’s trending chart. That night, major news networks produce packages

explaining and editorializing the former executive order. As of Sept. 5, no new DACA applications will be accepted and advanced parole to travel abroad is no longer available. Recipients were given until Oct. 5 to apply for a twoyear renewal, establishing a “grace period” before DACA issuances begin expiring on March 5, 2018. “Starting on March 5, 2018, work permits and driver’s licenses are going to start expiring on a rolling basis,” Parsonage said. “March 2020 will be when the last ones technically expire and the program is gone.” With the rescission of DACA

fall / / 2017

comes losses to individual recipients and to the nation as a whole. “Hundreds of thousands of young people will have lost their jobs if these work permits expire. Hundreds of companies and small businesses will lose employees. Not just Apple and Microsoft, but mom and pop stores, small law firms, medical practices, you name it,” Parsonage said. “Thousands of students are at risk of being thrown out of school. Some of them, that degree is right within their reach.”

Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina has proposed one of these bills reminiscent of DACA: The Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our Nation (SUCCEED) Act. “For years, Congress has tried but failed to provide legal certainty for undocumented children who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own,” Tillis said in a statement sent to Nighthawk News. “The SUCCEED Act is a fair and compassionate solution that requires individuals What’s next for DACA? to demonstrate they are productive and law-abiding members of their As the nation erupts in debate, communities to earn legal status.” current and potential DACA recipWith Congress’ March 5 deadients and their families begin to wonline nearing and various proposed der, “What’s next for us?” acts on the table, it is unclear what Following Attorney General Ses- lies ahead. Despite the uncertainty surrounding sions’ announceDACA, Alma ment, President Frimpong, exTrump took to TwitI think one of the ecutive directer to comment on tor of Mano his administration’s things that the imal Hermano decision to rescind migrant community – a non-profit DACA. He wrote: organization “Congress now has needs is to know working in 6 months to legalize partnership DACA (something that people care. with Dare the Obama AdminCounty’s istration was unable -Helen Parsonage Latino comto do). If they can’t, munity – enI will revisit this sures DACA issue!” recipients of the organization’s While many hope Congress will continual support. act in time to aid current and po“Mano al Hermano stands betential DACA recipients, previous hind our DACAmented individuals fruitless attempts at immigration in Dare County, who worked really reform prove discouraging. hard to gain that status,” Frimpong “I have been watching the said. “We truly hope that very soon Dream Act surface and die, surface our nation’s legislators come up and die for the last 15 years,” Parwith a more permanent solution to sonage said. “I tell people, ‘I’m not holding my breath.’ There are some help these individuals remain in the country and pursue their dreams.” bills out there, some good and Seniors Arabella Saunders and some bad, some better and some Alex Rodman can be reached at saunworse, but they all are a variation and of some basic theme and they look a little bit like DACA.”

Graphics by Hunter Snyder/Special to Nighthawk News Info compiled by Alex Rodman, Arabella Saunders and Beverly Murry NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / news feature


Our View: Average citizen has no need for military-style weaponry

E Editors-in-Chief – Beverly Murry, Arabella Saunders, Alex Rodman Business Manager – Hunter Haskett News Editors – Suzanne Harrison, Hannah Ellington Features Editor – Chloe Futrell Online Editors – Trinity Harrison, Cassidy O’Neil Opinions Editor – Meghan Savona Photo Editor – Michaela Kelly Sports Editor – Sophie Johnson Social Media Editors– Grace Sullivan, Ashlee Geraghty Graphics Editor – Dagen Gilbreath Photographer – Buzzy Staten Staff Writers – Kristen Applebaum, Julia Bachman, Caroline Jenkins, Will McFarlane, Dair McNinch, Simone Midgett, Shelby Miller, Reagan Pearson, Izzy Requa, Courtney Tillett, Gray Tillett, Emmy Trivette, Koral Tucker, Kejsi Zyka. Adviser – Steve Hanf

Don’t wait for the next print edition in December – stay current at!

veryone currently in high ings since 2000. The gunmen were school has seen the phrase able to purchase weapons legal“deadliest U.S. mass shoot- ly, despite some of them having ing” make headlines in four histories of mental illness. It takes separate tragedies. a tragedy to spark a serious converFirst was the Virginia Tech sation about gun control, one which shooting in 2007, where a perpetra- usually ends soon after the incident. tor robbed 32 of their youth. Opponents of gun control reform Then came Sandy argue that the Second Hook, the first mass Amendment extends to shooting we were old protect a citizen’s right enough to clearly reto obtain semi-automatic member. We can recall weapons. However, when learning an estranged “the right to bear and STAFF gunman took the lives keep arms” was impleEDITORIAL of 26 elementary school mented, it would’ve been children and their difficult for our foundteachers. ing fathers to foresee weaponry Next came the 2016 Pulse shoot- progressing much past flintlock ing, where in the midst of a counfirearms. Almost 250 years later, try making great strides toward the typical gun doesn’t need to be marriage equality, a homophobe reloaded after one shot – it can be hatefully gunned down 49 people at modified to fire hundreds of rounds. The U.S. has the highest rate a gay nightclub in Orlando. of gun violence in the world, and Fast forward to Oct. 1, when 58 not coincidentally, some of the people were killed when a gunman opened fired on 22,000 concert-go- least stringent gun laws. Countries like Japan – which require exteners from the 32nd floor of a casino sive background checks, drug and in Las Vegas. He was found dead in mental health tests, and gun safety his hotel room with a stockpile of courses to purchase a firearm – have 23 weapons. nearly eradicated gun violence. It’s easy to focus on possible reasons for shootings – the media The average citizen has no need usually delivers a profile humanizfor military-style weaponry. There’s ing the perpetrator after the shoot- no need for anyone to harbor a stash ing, where, depending on their race, of 23 weapons. Citizen-owned guns they’re depicted as a “lone wolf” are intended to be used for personal who grew up bullied and struggled defense and hunting, not for war – with mental health issues, or as a or killing college and elementary terrorist who hated America. students, or citizens out for a fun What the media doesn’t talk night on the town before their lives about are the similarities between were so brutally and suddenly taken the four deadliest U.S. mass shootfrom them.


Hawk Talk: With local elections arriving Nov. 7,

“More involvement with the Hispanic community and doing more things as a whole and not as segregated.” – senior Jamie Angel


“There should be a lot more soccer fields that are bigger and nicer so the soccer players have a field to play on.” – freshman Skyler Graham

“Nothing, really. I kind of like our community the way it is.” – junior Summer Bowman

“I think more awareness on how to actually drive on the beach because no tourist knows how to do it.” – senior Isabella House fall / / 2017

Readers sound off in letters to the editor

Citizens must embrace knowledge to improve the plight of society


ight now, I am overwhelmed. Right now, I am saddened, scared, devastated. In the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, I sit here in tears, knowing now more than ever that I am living in a country that needs change. I live in a country where people, men in particular, are freely given the right to purchase and own guns, while women are disgraced for considering abortion or forms of birth control. I live in a country where people are being ripped from their families and childhood homes simply because they weren’t born here. A country that is currently controlled by a man I can’t even say I have the slightest respect for as a person – let alone my president. A man that tells Puerto Rico that they’ve “thrown our budget a little out of whack,” and that they should feel lucky that hundreds haven’t died in a “real catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina.” Knowing that he genuinely cares more about football players standing for the national anthem than discussing gun-control laws after a tragedy makes my stomach turn. Even though Trump is the opposite of what I believe a president should stand for, he is one person. The people of our country and our world are the people that matter – and that’s where I am finding trouble, in our youth especially. The thing that makes me most upset is that so many people are not educated enough on real-world problems and politics that they blindly follow his leadership. That is what I want to change the most. I want people to understand. In the past year, I have learned that so many of the young people I am surrounded by every day are oblivious to the world around them, and that scares me. Recently, I have become more educated on DACA, as a powerful school newspaper article develops about the program and its effect on our school specifically. Seeing people come forward – the same people I grew up with, went to math class

Something on your mind? Submit a letter to the editors to Opinions Editor Meghan Savona: every day with, ate lunch with – sharing their story and their fear for their future has opened my eyes even more. Despite the financial struggle my family has seen as I was growing up, I know that I am extremely privileged. I have grown up as a white child, living in a beach community where some of our biggest worries were if we really had to put on a shirt or shoes to go into a restaurant in the summer. Luckily, I have grown enough to see beyond where I live, and see that life is not that simple. The amount of times I have heard, “Wait, what is DACA?” around my school, and from adults, is frightening. It is hard to think that some kids who are dedicated to their schoolwork and bettering themselves in every way are at risk of being deported, while others are skating by in life, worrying about if their SAT score is high enough to get into their top college or stressing about which new car their parents are going to buy them after they wrecked their last one. These are “problems” I witness people complain about every day and it infuriates me. It is scary to think that we are going off to college, where we are on our own, surrounded by people vastly different from us, and some students still can’t develop their own political ideas or opinions. It is important. It is the world we live in, and if we don’t care about it, nothing will change. I do not want to live in a country where Republicans and Democrats are arguing about whether people should be able to buy as many guns as

they want, where defeating terrorist groups overseas is the main focus of our president when people of our own country – against all stereotypes of a terrorist – are killing and injuring close to 600 people in 15 minutes. We need to learn, we need to understand, and we need to care, or we will never grow. – senior Emma Bancroft

Criticism of article about pep rally shows misplaced priorities


onestly, in my four years attending FFHS I never really liked the pep rallies that we had every couple of months. It was just an excuse for everyone to get together and have the seniors yell at the juniors, juniors yelling at the sophomores, and so on. Not to mention the same speech is given every year at every pep rally and the students go through the same motions every time. After leaving high school, I found that the small little world we were exposed to at FFHS never really gave me a proper outlook on how big the world is. FFHS could easily put together cultural events, expand research opportunities, and bring in guest speakers/alumni that have experienced the world several times over. Imagine students celebrating the Indian holiday Holi (the festival of colors), building better friendships by throwing paint on each other. Picture students actually using the knowledge they learn in classes by doing research and developing relationships with actual professionals, or even having a veteran come talk about his experiences. When I was at FFHS, I was president of the French Club and we had plenty of opportunities to celebrate traditional French holidays. I was the president of the Phytofinders and presented a paper at an international conference. I was even able to get a hands-on training experience at NOAA through this research. However, See Letters, Page 24

what would you vote to change in our community?

“To have more people be informed about things like beach nourishment and aspects of the environment.” – junior Heidi Sabatini Nighthawk News Magazine / / opinions

“The dredging and offshore drilling. It’s bad for our environment and it is causing more erosion.” – sophomore Gabby Murillo

“Working at the water park over the summer, we had to pick up trash and I got to see how much trash was outside. Not only is it gross and ugly, it is bad for the environment.”

– sophomore Madison Lester

“Environmental issues are the most important and we need to vote for someone who has good standards.” – senior Isabell Eckard


What’s the buzz?


ll right, let’s face it – bees are scary. If you hear one buzz past your ear, you can’t help but swat at it. Our natural reaction is to avoid bees, but if you look past the stinger, you can see just how great they can be(e). I recently had the opportunity to go into a beehive. I pulled frames out, extracted some honey from the frames, and even got to taste the fresh honey. It was a very sweet experience – no pun intended. Before this experience, I didn’t even know that bees did more good for the world than just pollinating pretty flowers. In reality, they’re actually responsible for pollinating the foods that we eat every day. From fruits and veggies to nuts and beans, bees are the reason that we have such a diverse plate every day. Imagine life without all the fruits, vegetables and oil seeds they pollinate. Imagine waking up groggy from studying all night for that chemistry test and realizing you won’t be able to face the day without your daily cup of coffee. Sounds pretty horrible, right? This would be reality in a world without bees. Let’s not forget about all the honey that bees are producing. According to goldenblossomhoney. com, one hive can produce more than 60 pounds of honey a year. A lot of hard work goes into this long process. Bees fly around 55,000 miles to make one pound of honey – that’s equivalent to 2.2 trips around the world. Fresh honey is amazing. Most of the honey you see on the shelves isn’t the real stuff. I highly recommend buying local honey. You can put it in tea, on a cracker or even jazz up your PB&J.

Photo submitted by Sophie Johnson Sophie Johnson tries her hand as a beekeeper, learning all about the many benefits of bees. She pulled out the frame to reveal hundreds of honeybees working hard to produce some sweet syrup.

Nighthawk Notions Sophie Johnson Once the bees make enough honey, beekeepers pull the frame and “spin” the honey out. The frame is the part of the hive the bees build their honeycomb on. To spin the honey out, you simply place the frame in a honey extractor spinner, and all the honey is drained out. You can make candles, lip balm, lotion, butter and mustache wax out of the leftover wax. Bees are amazing little insects

that do a lot for the environment and humans. But on a sad note, they are dying at a rapid pace. According to, in 2006 honeybees were disappearing from hives all across America, with 30 to 90 percent of the bees gone from the total population. This strange occurrence has never been seen before, and scientists coined the phenomenon colony collapse disorder (CCD). After years of research, the cause of CCD is still unknown. Although there is no single catalyst of CCD, scientists have recently discovered new factors responsible for the demise of bees such as decreased nutrition, diseases and viruses, unhealthy management techniques by beekeepers, poisoning from pesticides, varroa mites and habitat modification. There isn’t a single factor that is causing

bees to die – it’s a combination of multiple factors. With the bee population diminishing at an alarming rate, it’s now more important than ever to take part in simple ways to help save the bees. Plant some beautiful witch hazel or goldenrod this fall to entice our flying friends to pollinate. Limit the use of harmful pesticides to help bees and many other insects thrive. You can even go the extra mile and purchase a few bee hives. The task may seem daunting, but the effects will be far reaching. The local bee population will be more stable, plants will be healthier – and who doesn’t love waking up to a cup of hot tea with fresh honey every morning? Junior Sophie Johnson can be reached at

Letters, From Page 23 the most impactful event in my four years was having a holocaust survivor come and talk to us about his traumatic experience. The best part: All of these events helped form me into a more diverse human being and certainly a more understanding and empathetic one. Looking back on high school, you remember the events that expanded your horizon while also developing a relationship with your peers and those in the community. I barely remember the pep rallies saying that “I am somebody.” Most of us know


we are an individual, but frankly, we might as well all be the same person at FFHS. The pep rally opinion article is very open minded and the writer definitely has a very good understanding of what is going on outside of our little sandbar. I beg of you to continue to expand your horizons and never let the weight of the world get you down. You have only just peeked through the keyhole of the door leading into our world. Continue learning every day on subjects you might not even have an interest in!

Work with your school to make people aware of what is really important and not what they think is important! Most crucial, though: Never let other people change your opinion! Even now, people don’t share the writer’s thoughts on the pep rally; throughout the next couple of years you’ll meet people who do not share the same opinion as you. Try to understand their side, but don’t compromise your beliefs to satisfy them! – Benjamin Lam, FFHS Class of 2013 fall / / 2017

Hayrides and Halloween: Fall is the best time on the OBX


guaranteed to be a good time. Howl-o-Scream he smell of candy apples and pumpkin in Busch Gardens comes back. Costume parties pie wafts through the air of the local take place all over the beach. Haunted housGrandy Greenhouse. Screams of people es are another great way to at haunted houses spend your weekends this fall echo through the air and can season. be heard for miles. Chatter With fall comes sweater of Halloween costumes flows weather. Finally, I can wear a through the school. Pumpkins nice sweater and feel comfortare being carved and football able wearing it. The weather is being played. is in between the intense Fall is finally here. heat of the summer and the The closer we get to fall, freezing temperatures of the the closer we are to Friday Nighthawk Notions winter – it’s perfect. What night lights. Football games comes with the changing allow the student section to Shelby Miller temperatures are the differcheer on the team, marching ent colors of changing leaves band kids can perform their and the stunning sunsets. The sky turns a deep well-practiced halftime routine, players can orange and pink tint every evening, matching play the game with all of their heart, and the the beautiful fall and autumn color scheme cheerleaders can cheer on the sidelines. During perfectly. fall, there’s something for everyone to love. In addition to football games, the other acFrom pumpkin-flavored coffee to the return of hot chocolate, hot drinks always make their tivities that come with this amazing season are

comeback in the fall. After playing outside in the leaves with siblings or walking my dog after school on a cool evening, coming inside to a cup of hot chocolate is always a sure way to bring me joy. Fall also includes my favorite holiday, Halloween. It’s the one night I can eat as much candy as I want and not feel bad about it. It’s also the one day of the year that everyone can be as weird as they’d like in their unique costumes. There are so many ways to experience the Halloween fun. Everything in the fall is easier. From picking out an outfit to finding something to do on the weekends, life is good. The tail end of fall brings another great holiday, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving allows us to find time with family, eat a great meal and play some football outside with cousins. For all these reasons and more, this time of year on the Outer Banks is truly the greatest. Junior Shelby Miller can be reached at

Movie remakes: never better the second time around


Nightmare on Elm Pennywise looked like a whole Street,” “The Karate Kid,” different clown. I spent more time “Footloose,” “Friday the laughing at the appalling special 13th.” What do all of effects than I did screaming and these movies have in common? covering my eyes in terror. The They were all “Bewitched”-ly original “IT” sent people running remade. for the hills at any sight of a clown. How could one possibly mess up The new one? Not so much. a classic? Apparently, very easily. One of the biggest cinematic For example, take “IT” – the iconic debates around is whether the 1990 horror film based off of Steoriginal or remake of “Charlie and phen King’s novel. the Chocolate When I heard Factory” is better. there was going to For me, this is a be a remake, I was no-brainer – defiexcited to see how nitely the original. the producers were The remake is going to refashion almost painful to such a well-known watch. movie. “Willy Wonka I walked into and the Chocolate Nighthawk Notions the theatre with Factory” feels like Hannah Ellington some heavily a movie you would buttered popcorn want to sit down and high expectations. After sitting with your family and watch, bunthrough the 135-minute film, I real- dled up with nostalgic feelings of ized I should not have set the bar so childhood. As for the one starring high. Yes, it was decent – probably Johnny Depp, I would only watch one of the better horror movies I it if it was the only thing on late at had seen recently (but that doesn’t night. say much) – but in retrospect, it was According to Rotten Tomatoes, very fake, something many horror “Charlie and the Chocolate Facmovies seem to achieve despite tory” has an audience score of 51 advancements in special effects. percent; however, the audience The original looked fake, but score for “Willy Wonka and the for good reason: It’s an old movie! Chocolate Factory” is 86 percent. Old movies are forgiven and often That’s a large difference for a movrevered for their out-of-date SFX ie that’s supposed to be basically and makeup. It’s what makes them the same thing. memorable. But in the remake, Consider “Planet of the Apes.” It Nighthawk News Magazine / / opinions

Photo by Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros Bill Skarsgard performs as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 2017 remake of the original 1990 movie ‘IT.’ (Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros./TNS) was good because it almost seemed like it could happen. It was made during the Cold War, when nuclear weapons were a threat to the United States and the rest of the world. For viewers, the thought of nuclear mutations was so real that perhaps apes could take over the world. The remake was unnecessary and not relatable – sticking with the original would have been just as easy. In the end, my advice is to let classic movies stay that way: classic. Movie remakes are never what you want or expect them to be. Is it too hard for filmmakers to come up

with something unique? Something that the people will love and deem in the future to be a classic? Instead, they resort to remaking movies that almost always end up as flops. In the words of Canadian journalist Graydon Carter, “I think the movie business is in trouble. It’s all movies that you’ve seen before. Everything’s a remake; they want things that are familiar rather than things that surprise you.” Junior Hannah Ellington can be reached at


Too old to trick or treat? Don’t accept defeat


ou have officially ditched your candy bag and your silly costume, and you’re going through the emotional stage of realizing that you’re too old to beg your neighbors for candy. Although you may be too old to trick or treat this year, there are still some fun ways to spend your Halloween. Try a horror movie marathon with your friends – who doesn’t love seeing “The Conjuring” for the 10th time? Or, you can get your friends to watch the new season of “Stranger Things,” slated to come out Oct 27. You can bust out the popcorn, get comfy with some blankets and try to keep your eyes open through all those scary

Nighthawk Notions Kejsi Zyka scenes. If it’s a quiet, chill night that you want on Oct. 31, then a movie night is perfect for you. If you don’t want to stay in your pajamas, who said you couldn’t still dress up as a vampire or a banana? If you’re itching to leave the house this Halloween, go to a

costume party. You could even host your own! That way, you can invite whoever you want and you can organize the whole thing yourself. It’s a perfect opportunity to dance all night and avoid thinking about all that candy you could have gotten. Another fun thing you can do this Halloween is bake some sugary treats. Baking is an excellent way to eat all that sugar that you could have gotten from trick or treating. Making cupcakes with cool pumpkins or bat designs is a great idea. You could even make gingerbread men with red frosting oozing out of their legs. Pinterest is filled with awesome ideas and really cute recipes for you to try

out this Halloween. Of course, you can always do nothing and just relax the whole day. With no set way to celebrate Halloween, there’s many ways you can make this holiday special to you. If these options still don’t fill your Halloween expectations and trick or treating is what you want, then go ahead – there is no age limit for something that fills you with joy. It’s not like your neighbors are going to make you pull out your ID, anyway. Do whatever makes you happy this Halloween! Sophomore Kejsi Zyka can be reached at

Chasing clouds: negative effects of popular habit


e’ve all been there: those boring school assemblies detailing the dangers of smoking, seeing countless ads about how nicotine kills, hearing the correlation between lung cancer and cigarette use. You may have thought,”What’s the point? I know the dangers of smoking, I’m not an idiot!” They never said anything about vaping though. You could argue that vaping replacing smoking is a good thing because it’s a healthier alternative to cigarettes. While many people addicted to cigarettes have turned to e-cigarettes as a way to manage their addiction, in many instances, vapes have created addiction. The real problem with vapes isn’t whether or not it can help people quit smoking, but how it can get people to start smoking. The rate of smoking among high schoolers has dropped from 16 percent to 8 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most would agree that this is great. However, smoking hasn’t disappeared. Cigarettes have just been replaced by vapes. While the rate of smoking among high schoolers has gone down, the rate of vaping among high schoolers has gone up. Although vapes don’t contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine – a very addictive substance that can cause heart and lung problems after prolonged use. In addition to the nicotine, there’s a vague substance in


Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS Surrounded by about 100 custom flavor juices and sample tanks, 20-year-old Mallory Immethun vapes while awaiting customers at Stella Blues Vapors in Fenton, Missouri.

Nighthawk Notions Reagan Pearson e-cigarettes known as “vape juice.” According to a study published by Tobacco Control, a high exposure level to certain chemicals found in vape juice such as propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) can cause respiratory problems. While these chemicals have been approved by the FDA as safe

to eat, the effect of smoking them is likely very different and dangerous. When these substances are inhaled, there’s no telling what they’re doing to your body – and no real study been conducted. “The point is that when e-cigarettes manufacturers talk about these things as being food grade or food-like, they are sort of suggesting that use of flavors is equivalent to using them in foods,” Portland State University professor James Pankow said. As if the negative health effects of vaping aren’t appalling enough, the amount of money people spend on vapes is scary. The average vape can cost anywhere between $40 to $80, and some can actually cost more than $100. After

buying a vape, you still need to buy the vape juice. A 30ml bottle usually costs $22. Depending on what size one uses and how often they vape, vaping can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,400 per year. This expense can cause some to seek out cheaper vape juice or to make it themselves. However, cheap juice often contains harsher chemicals that are associated with the development of “popcorn lung.” Popcorn lung is when the airways of the lungs are obstructed due to inflammation and can cause dry coughs, shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue. The long-term effects of vaping are still unknown. While healthier than smoking, that doesn’t mean we can just overlook all the effects it can have on health. Teens aren’t using vapes to quit smoking – it’s getting them addicted. Vapes are still dangerous. Throughout the 1900s, nobody knew the true effects of smoking. Only years later did research reveal the scary truth. We look back in awe at this time: How strange it was that people didn’t know how harmful smoking can be. With vaping becoming more mainstream, studies on the health effects of vapes are becoming increasingly necessary and needed. Who knows: In the future, maybe people will think it was strange that there was even a time when we didn’t know how harmful vaping can be. Sophomore Reagan Pearson can be reached at fall / / 2017

Throwing it back to embarrassing Halloween moments

(Left) Junior Sam Fitzgerald dresses as a taco: ‘I was flexing on all the vampires and devils. I remember getting a picture with a whole bunch of college girls!’ he says. (Middle) Sophomore Alex Conley poses proudly as Dora the Explorer. ‘I actually felt really cool wearing it,’ she recalls. Junior Codie Patterson stands embarrassingly as a supposed witch: ‘I remember almost crying because I looked so ugly, but looking back at it, it’s really funny,’ Patterson explains.

(Left) Junior Holly Brothers strikes an endearing pose as a bumblebee. ‘Looking back at the picture, I think it’s super funny and cute!’ she says. (Middle) Senior Leslie Jennings adorns herself in a vampire princess outfit. ‘This was the point in my life where I thought I was the baddest second grader. No one could faze me in my vampire princess costume,’ Jennings recalls. Sophomore Dylan Blake (left) dresses as John Cena next to sophomore Tyler Witt. (Left) Sophomore Emily Beacham (far left) dresses as a glow girl for Halloween next to sophomore friends Stella Nettles (middle) and Caitlyn Jernigan. ‘I wasn’t really embarrassed, I kind of thought it was cool,’ Beacham says. Junior Caroline Murray works the camera as a geisha girl before trick-or-treating. ‘I probably thought it was super cool back then,’ Murray said. ‘Now it just cracks me up.’ Photos collected by Grace Sullivan Reporting by Gray Tillett Nighthawk News Magazine / / opinions


Alone on the green, Schuster sets herself apart By Emmy Trivette Staff Writer


t Augusta National, preparing to be filmed on the Golf Channel, the girls each wait behind a pyramid of golf balls. Katherine Schuster doesn’t stand out from the 10 other players because of the scars on her legs; rather, it’s the air of confidence and focus she holds on the field that sets her apart. The scars are evidence of numerous surgeries from Multiple Hereditary Exostoses. MHE is a rare non-cancerous, tumor-causing disease, which returns over and over again. For Schuster, a 14-yearold freshman golfer at First Flight, there has been both pain and patience in order to arrive at the level of excellence she’s at today. At age 11, Schuster was whisked away after several painful experiences to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This is when she was diagnosed with MHE. She recalled the pain as “unimaginable.” “Before, I was walking about 18 to 36 holes a day. Some mornings, it was so terrible that I couldn’t even get up out of bed and walk downstairs. It was so painful,” Schuster said. “When I went out to the CHOP again, a year later, the doctors said one leg was longer than the other by three-fourths of an inch, but they said they could stunt the growth. So, they went in, performed the surgery and stopped the growth plate from developing.” Even with that bump in the road, Schuster has gotten up and gone on with her game. She’s made golf one of the most important things in her life. As the only student who came out for the women’s golf team, Schuster has to compete the ol’

fashioned way: every woman for herself. “I like representing First Flight on the women’s golf team. Hopefully I can help grow the game and other people will become interested, because it really is a lot of fun and challenging,” Schuster said. Golf has come naturally to Schuster. She is already ranked ninth in the state and 444th nationally, and just won the 1A/2A East Regional with a 2-under-par round of 69. Believe it or not, she has only been playing golf for four years. “I practice every day I can with my coach, Corey Schneider, and if I’m not practicing with him, I’m practicing with my dad,” Schuster said. “My dad is the one who put a golf club in my hand and pushed me the most at what I do.” Every year, Schuster plays several different golf tours ranging from Maryland to Florida, sometimes competing against 90 other girls. Her primary tours are the American Junior Golf Association, Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour, Carolina Golf Association and the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. “I play a lot of tournaments, about two every month during the school year,” Schuster said. One of the greatest experiences she has ever gone through in golf would be the Drive, Chip and Putt competition. It’s a national tournament for kids 18 and under. “If you qualify for local, sub-regional, and regional, you get to go to Augusta National,” Schuster said of the home course of the world-famous Masters in Georgia. “It’s the most beautiful course. There’s not a blade of grass or pine needle out of place.” Augusta National is one of the biggest tournaments Schuster has

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Photo submitted by Katherine Schuster Freshman Katherine Schuster poses with her golf gear during a match. Schuster is the lone member of First Flight’s women’s golf team. played in. Throughout the competition, Schuster was filmed and interviewed by a camera crew for a week. The clip was played on the Golf Channel during the competition. “When I was playing in the tournament, there was a camera directly away from me – that’s what my mom said – but I was in my own little world, I didn’t even notice. I couldn’t hear anything, I just wanted to focus on getting the ball in the hole,” Schuster said. “Watching myself in the clips brings back the thoughts that went through my head while I was playing.” This year, Schuster will get to compete at Augusta National again, after ranking first overall in all three qualifying categories:

local, sub-regional and regional. As good as she’s been on the putting green – her putter carried her to the victory in the NCHSAA regional, where she carded five birdies and just two bogeys – there is one set of greens where Schuster does not stand out. Ones that include neon-colored balls, pirate ships, mine carts and aliens. “I’m terrible at mini golf,” Schuster said with a laugh. Luckily, she’s at her best with a Titleist, a bag full of clubs, treelined fairways and closely mown greens. Sophomore Emmy Trivette can be reached at

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Paddle With Respect Choose to Learn – Learn to Choose Initiate and Be Bold Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Junior Ulugbek Janybek sports his green glasses during the Homecoming pep rally. After starting school in a new country, Janybek has become accustomed to many new American traditions.

Janybek journeys across the globe By Sophie Johnson Sports Editor


he first day of school can be nerve racking for any student – unfamiliar faces crowding the halls as you walk to first period, palms sweating as you take a seat next to classmates you’ve never met before. Now, imagine doing that after traveling across the globe to our little beach. Although the journey sounds daunting, junior Ulugbek Janybek did just that. Hailing from Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, Janybek transferred to First Flight this year as a foreign exchange student with Nacel Open Door, a program that aims to improve students’ English language skills and allows 15- to 18-yearolds to gain a cultural experience by attending school in America. “I’m staying for a year and I decided to come here because I like this place,” Janybek said. “I just like this school.” Moving to a new place is always going to sound scary, especially living with someone you’ve never met, going to a new school and learning a new language. Although Janybek has settled in well at First Flight, he still experiences periods of homesickness. “It’s really different for me here, sometimes it’s really difficult,” he said. “I’m trying to NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / sports

improve my English.” Not only has his English improved since moving to the United States, Janybek has also improved on his athleticism. After playing soccer at his old school, he decided to try out for the JV soccer team. “He really tries his best out on the field,” coach Joel Mount said. “He is a good addition to the team. I’m glad he decided to play.” It can be frightening playing with teammates you don’t really know, especially with an unfamiliar – and often loud – crowd watching from the sidelines. However, Janybek didn’t let this stop him from playing soccer. “I really like playing on the soccer team. I played at my old school,” he said. “We won some competitions.” Soccer isn’t the only thing keeping him busy. Janybek is also involved in several other extracurricular activities. “I also play basketball and sometimes I play volleyball,” Janybek said, smiling. “I’m also taking drama next semester and I like to draw.” From starting at a new school in a new country to joining the soccer team, Janybek has come a long way since his move, and it is only the beginning of the school year. Junior Sophie Johnson can be reached at

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Photos submitted by Maddy Wagner (Above) Board in hand and bag filled with supplies, freshman Maddy Wagner prepares to ride some waves at this year’s Easterns. Also this fall, Wagner took first place in an annual local competition, the Throwdown Surf Classic (below).

Wagner surfs her way to success By Kristen Applebaum Staff Writer


hile paddling out on her surfboard in search of the perfect wave, freshman Maddy Wagner allows every one of her worries to be washed away by the salt water. To Wagner, surfing has always been a way to escape from reality for a few hours. “The salt water always has something special about it that just always makes me feel better if I’m in a bad mood,” Wagner said. Wagner’s love for surfing started at just 3 years old, after her father thought it would be fun to bring her with him on one of his surfboards. “My dad would just take me out on his old longboard and push me in the water until I could stand up. He still helps me out in competitions,” Wagner said. The freshman began to surf competitively at 11. Since then, the excitement she feels while competing has only increased with each year. “I love that (when competing), I always want to better myself,” Wagner said. “Every time I try to do better than my other contest results. It always inspires me to keep going like that and do better than last time.”


She still remembers her first competition, which took place at the Eckner Street beach access. With the luck of the good waves at her first surf competition, Wagner won first place in the girls U-14 division. “The waves were really good so I thought that every contest from then on would be like that,” Wagner said. “That got me started and I realized I wanted to keep doing this.” Although the young surfer didn’t win for another three contests, she was determined to keep improving. From then on, she used both her wins and her losses to encourage herself to become a better and more experienced surfer. One of the main challenges that presents itself to Wagner is the fact that she is one of very few girls competing. Sometimes, she is even the only girl surfing the open divisions. “We don’t have a lot of girls, so I surf one of the open divisions and I’m the only girl in there,” Wagner said. “Usually the prizes for the boys are like sunglasses and boards and the girls get clothes.” At the 2017 Eastern Surfing Association Championships, Wagner was able to show off her best surfing yet. It was only her second year competing in these champion-

ships and she placed sixth overall and scored a 7.5 out of 10 on one of her waves. As a team rider for Whalebone Surf Shop, Wagner has been provided with role models to look up to as well as many opportunities to advance in the sport. “They’ve not only supported me with gear and encouragement ever since they began sponsoring me three years ago, but they’ve become part of my surfing family,” Wagner said. Surfing has always been a huge part of Wagner’s life and it has led

her to making many friends and memories. She plans on keeping up with the sport for as long as she can. “I would like to go to the World Surf League where the professionals compete. That is really hard to get into, but one day I hope to get there,” Wagner said. “My goals right now are to get better and learn from every contest, and to do well at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships this spring.” Junior Kristen Applebaum can be reached at applebaumkr0910@ fall / / 2017

Bad break leads to Man(n)on the sideline By Will McFarlane Staff Writer


he hot summer sun beats down on senior Mannon Haynes’ black jersey as he lines up at wide receiver for a route. A simple slant pattern, he’s run it countless times with no problem. The ball is snapped as Haynes starts his way across the field. His eyes narrow on the ball. His focus is on nothing else as the ball sticks to his hands like glue. He starts his way up the field and suddenly – the sharp sound of his knee popping makes him stop in his tracks as he falls to the ground. “When it first happened, I was really confident because I could walk on it,” Haynes said. “I just thought, ‘Oh, this is nothing serious.’ ” As the day went on, despite his feelings of discomfort after the scrimmage against Northeastern High School, Haynes tried to convince himself he was fine. It wasn’t until the night after he got hurt, when the pain became excruciating, that he realized his injury was serious and rushed to the hospital to receive an MRI. “I had this subconscious thought that this was not good at all,” Haynes said. “An injury like this has always been one of my worst fears, but you never really expect your worst fear to actually happen.” All hopeful thoughts he had going into the doctor’s office vanished once the MRI revealed he had completely torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). “My parents and I didn’t believe it at all,” Haynes said. “I don’t know how I could walk with a completely torn ACL. It didn’t make any sense.” It did not take long for word to spread fast about Haynes’ injury. “Everybody knows about it,” Haynes said. “My friends and my family all support me and try to bring positivity into my life. They know there are things I can’t do because of my injury, and they make sure to do things that I can take part in.” Even with the injury occurring in his senior season of football, Haynes is still optimistic about continuing to play after high school. With such a dominating junior season, he has the attention of college coaches. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in college,” Haynes Nighthawk News Magazine / / sports

Senior Mannon Haynes helps stretch out a teammate during a game. Due to an ACL injury, Haynes has had to learn to play a much different role on the football team than the one he used to. Photo by Alex Rodman/ Nighthawk News said. “I want to try it out when I go. I really want to.” Even though Haynes can no longer play on the field, that doesn’t mean he has stopped supporting the team. With the injury, the Nighthawks were down a receiver, but with the outstanding play of junior wide receiver Noah Nurney, they have barely missed a beat. “(Haynes) taught me how to be competitive,” Nurney said. “During practice and in games, he showed me how to play mentally along with physically.” With a strong friendship both on and off the field, the news of Haynes’ injury took a toll on Nurney. Knowing that he’ll never get to play football with one of his closest friends again makes Nurney work even harder to make Haynes proud. “It sucks knowing that I’ll probably never play alongside him again,” Nurney said. “It gets emotional on Friday nights when I look over to the sideline just to see him standing there.” Although Haynes is out for the season, he still helps out with the team as much as he can. Football coach Jim Prince has been through an injury like this before, and relates to Haynes’ struggle. “To go down like that in your senior season is devastating,” Prince said. “It happened to me in college so I can not only sympathize, but also empathize. To see someone like Mannon (get hurt), who has put so much work into his game, is heartbreaking.” Despite his love for the game,

the hurt of being unable to participate keeps Haynes distant at some practices. However, he is still committed to helping out as much as he can. “I wish he would stay involved,” Prince said. “He can’t come to

practice every day because it hurts him too much to watch. I’ve felt that pain before so I know what he’s going through.” Junior Will McFarlane can be reached at


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Photo submitted by Shane McKenna Junior Shane McKenna dives toward the 2nd Street shipwreck with his GoPro and spear gun in hand. McKenna enjoys exploring the many shipwrecks along the Outer Banks and spearfishing.

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By Dair McNinch Staff Writer

ith the undeniable connection to the ocean that kids growing up on the Outer Banks have, First Flight students have delved beneath the waves for the next source of adventure the beach provides: spearfishing. So what makes voluntarily inserting yourself into the same food chain as a great white shark worth it? “Being able to actually hunt is so much better than just fishing. It feels like a sport,” senior Braxton Hughes said. “It’s good exercise, it’s fun to get together with your friends and cook the fish on the beach and just have a great time.” Juniors Daniel Olszewski and Noah Campion shared similar opinions. “There’s a lot of freedom down there,” Olszewski said. “I like it a lot more than regular fishing because you have to go and find the fish yourself.” Campion is more into the practical aspect of the sport: “I think it’s fun to get to catch and eat your own food,” he said. There are also those who love the process above anything else, not just the payoff. Senior Scotty Burton enjoys the mystery of what lies beneath the surf. “The best part of it all is the thrill of getting in the water when you don’t know what’s down there,” Burton said. One of the reasons the sport is gaining popularity is because of the convenience of having several great shipwrecks to explore, spread out from northern Duck all the way to Oregon Inlet and beyond. “The best spot no doubt is the Duck Research Pier,” Olszewski said. “It seems super eerie and there’s a lot of sharks, but the variety of fish makes up for it.” Whether it’s the mullet in close to the beach or the schools of triggerfish offshore, you can count on each location providing a different variety of fish, drawing people to certain areas over others. “My favorite place would probably be the Luke Street wreck,” Campion said. “It’s pretty shallow there,

which makes it easy to go out and catch stuff.” Sometimes, people have special memories at a spot that will always draw them back to it later. “The 2nd Street wreck is awesome, but the Huron definitely holds a special place in my heart because it was the first spot I went to,” Hughes said. Just like any other sport, spearfishing comes with a number of mistakes and frustrations. “A huge three- to four-foot striper I shot at Kitty Hawk Pier was so strong it tore the line on my gun when it swam away,” Olszewski said. “I was so mad.” While variations in surf conditions and the presence of marine life can determine how successful a trip will be, human error also plays a big role. “At the 2nd Street wreck I dropped my sling from a kayak and when I dove down to get it I slid my hand on one of the fuel tanks and sliced my finger open,” junior Shane McKenna said. “The worst part was I never got my sling back.” No matter how long you’ve been spearfishing, at some point the ocean is going to remind you to stay on your toes. “My dad and I were offshore once and he speared probably a 30- to 40-pound amberjack only to have it taken off the line by a goliath grouper,” Burton said. “I had to get out of the water until I got enough courage to get back in.” It’s always a good thing to keep in mind that there are animals out there bigger than us. “It was a pretty murky day and after I swam out with a couple friends, a six-foot shark swam right in front of us,” Hughes said. “It was pretty scary and we all kinda freaked out, but it was all good.” Regardless of the risk, frustration or difficulty, these students would rise to any challenge in order to be as close to the ocean as they can. “It’s just a part of you,” Campion said. “ If you grow up on the OBX you’re always gonna be connected to the ocean, it’s always there.” Or, as Olszewski put it, “Being landlocked just wouldn’t feel right.” Junior Dair McNinch can be reached at fall / / 2017

Athletes go the extra mile to pursue their passions


By Simone Midgett Staff Writer

magine juggling AP and honors classes while traveling an hour and a half – or more – to practice after school. This busy schedule proves normal for some students at First Flight. It may seem like a challenge for most students, but doing what you love makes it all worth it. Senior Brayleigh Jones has been playing soccer for Virginia Rush since the seventh grade. She makes the lengthy trip to Virginia Beach three times a week for practice. “In sixth grade, my dad looked up teams in Virginia because the team I was on wasn’t as advanced,” Jones said. Being a senior and preparing for college while focusing on an outof-state sport could be stressful, but Jones manages. “If I have a lot of homework that I need to do, I either have who I ride with drive up, or my mom or dad will drive me and I do it on an iPad or my phone,” Jones said. “Occasionally, there’s been times I had to skip practice, but normally, I don’t.” Sometimes, the traveling aspect proves even longer. Jones has had tournaments in places as far as Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania. “Some of our games, we would drive to Ohio for one game, then drive to Indiana for one game and New Jersey,” Jones said. “Tour-

naments and showcases vary but normally they are pretty far.” Now imagine juggling AP and honors classes, driving to Virginia Beach three times a week and trying to maintain a social life. “Its very time consuming, so when someone says, ‘Hey do you want to go do this after school?’ I have to say, ‘Oh no, I can’t.’ I’m busy all week and all through the weekends,” Jones said. Another student who travels to Virginia for athletics is senior Liam Stuart. He has been playing lacrosse since he was 7 years old. As he got older, he dedicated more time to the sport and began traveling to play on Great Bridge’s club team. “There are better opportunities to get scouted and you get different advice from different coaches,” he said. “It keeps you on your game in the offseason and you are playing with different skill levels.” In the end, juggling the lengthy car rides and demanding practices with schoolwork is all worth it. “You get to make friends and have friendships with people that you typically wouldn’t be friends with or even meet,” Jones said. Jones hopes that playing both high school and club soccer will help her further her soccer career. “I’ve been planning on playing college soccer so hopefully we’ll see how that goes,” Jones said. Sophomore Simone Midgett can be reached at




Photo submitted by Brayleigh Jones Senior Brayleigh Jones chases the ball upfield during a club soccer game in Virginia. Since seventh grade, Jones has traveled from the Outer Banks to Virgina Beach for various practices, games and tournaments. Nighthawk News Magazine / / sports



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Gale takes off the training wheels


By Izzy Requa Staff Writer

t’s like riding a bike” is an expression we’ve heard many times growing up, but what if you never learned how? Most people can remember the first time they rode a bike, but for Spanish teacher Nitzia Gale, the first time was this year. “I guess I rode for the first time about a month ago. The little training wheels didn’t touch the ground. It was very funny,” Gale said with a laugh. “But I like it. I think I will learn how to do it.” Gale has never been the type to back down from a challenge, so when her friends asked her to compete with them in a triathlon relay, she readily agreed. “I like physical events, and I have friends that like to do the same things and some of my friends are good at cycling and running, and so we put all of our skills together,” Gale said. Two things that have always been a routine part of Gale’s life are swimming and running. Gale, who grew up in Panama, explained that “I didn’t know that swimming or running were sports because I had to walk or run to school. I just thought that it was a part of life. My family didn’t have running water because we lived in the village, so when we’d go to

do laundry or shower, we would go to the river. I used to swim for showers and I used to run to school. I didn’t know those were sports until I was older and moved to the city.” For people who grew up riding a bike, it’s hard to believe that others didn’t have that same experience. But in Gale’s village in Panama, there wasn’t an opportunity to. “When I was growing up, there were no roads, so it was pointless to have a bike because there was nowhere to ride it,” she said. Like most beginners, when Gale attempted to ride a bike for the first time, she faced some challenges. Even with a late start to learning how to ride a bike, Gale is determined to meet her goal and complete the OBX Sprint Triathlon by herself next year. “When I do the Sprint next year, I don’t want to be the last person,” she joked. Despite the challenges she may face, Gale is determined to reach her goals and continue what she loves to do most. “I want to be able to do my swimming faster and the running faster,” Gale said. “My goal would be to finish and be able to ride a bike; that’s the main goal, that’s what is stopping me.” Sophomore Izzy Requa can be reached at

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Photo submitted by Nitzia Gale Spanish teacher Nitzia Gale celebrates after participating in a team triathlon. She swam and her partners did the cycling and running. Gale is still diligently working toward learning to ride a bike and finishing a solo triathlon. fall / / 2017

Rodman races toward stardom in the Ivy League


By Cassidy O’Neil Online Editor

enior Alex Rodman is running even farther than usual, and this time, the finish line could be in Columbia, Yale or Harvard. Rodman is a five-time state champion – winning the 1000 meter indoors her sophomore year and the 1000 meter, 1600 meter and 4x800 meter indoors as well as the 4x800 outdoors her junior year. However, Rodman didn’t start off on the path she’s currently running. “In middle school, I played soccer. Soccer was my passion and I loved it,” Rodman said. Since women’s soccer is a fall sport, Rodman decided to try out track during the spring to stay in shape, and was placed in the distance group. “I started winning races and getting decent times,” Rodman said. “That’s when I realized this is a thing and I should probably start to take it more seriously.” Although Rodman has continued to play soccer throughout high school, the sport really took the back seat her junior year. “I realized if I wanted to be a D-I track athlete that I would need to focus on track a lot more,” Rodman said. After winning three state titles for indoor track, Rodman believes she made a wise decision to focus on track. “Winning put me on the radar for a lot of people and got my name out there,” Rodman said. This allowed Rodman to train and run more, and soon after, she began qualifying for national races. Her time of 2:57.57 in the 1000-meter run qualified her for the New Balance Indoor Track Nationals in Harlem, New York, last March. “I have always wanted to go to one of the New Balance meets. It’s always been like if you are anyone in the track world you’ve been to New Balance,” Rodman said. “When I finally got there it was just so exciting. I loved every aspect of it.” With an 800 meter time of 2:15, Rodman placed sixth in the New Balance Indoors Emerging Elite Division – one step below the Championship division. “Honestly, I never would have thought that I’d be competitive at the national level, or even make it to nationals,” she said. “But I don’t Nighthawk News Magazine / / sports

Photo by Aaron Jennings/ Special to Nighthawk News Senior Alex Rodman puts her talent to work to help First Flight win another cross country meet earlier this fall. even really think about it, it’s just kind of a natural thing now.” Although she’s secured five state championships for track, the three-sport athlete finds running cross country to be an entirely different experience. “It has been difficult for me to adjust to,” Rodman said. “The high mileage and pain cross country brings makes it possibly the hardest sport I have ever competed in.” Despite the difficulties she’s encountered with cross country, the senior has still managed to secure record-breaking times as well as multiple championships. In a recent meet at Pasquotank High School, Rodman ran an 18:55, surpassing the school record of 18:58 as well as her own personal record of 19:25. “It’s been a long time coming. For four years, I have been chasing this record,” she said. “It’s been a goal but I didn’t even know I was breaking it, but once I finished everyone was hugging me and saying congratulations. My coach and dad were really happy. It’s really nice to have that record. It makes my legacy at First Flight more permanent.” With Rodman’s many accomplishments, it seems like she has now found her stride. “I feel like there’s a sense of confidence,” Rodman said. “I’m a lot more comfortable.” To Rodman’s peers, her confidence is present, but never an overwhelming force.

“She’s so successful, but she’s also really humble,” senior Crewe Douglas said. “So many people don’t even know about her accomplishments. It shows her humility in a huge way.” Thanks to her athletic ability and her dedication to keeping her grades up, Rodman has the unique opportunity of being scouted by multiple Ivy league schools, a chance many Nighthawks do not get. ”Start of junior year, I reached out everywhere, then I had a really good junior season, so they ended up replying back like, ‘Yeah, you’ve hit some good times, we see that you have a lot of potential, we will keep in touch,’ ” she explained. “Then, my senior year they all started offering me visits, which is kind of like the equivalent to they want you to come here.” As for Ivy League schools, Rodman has completed official visits at Columbia, Yale and Harvard. She also had an official visit at UNC-Chapel Hill. “NCAA regulations allow you five visits, and you spend 48 hours on campus with one of the girls on

the teams and you shadow them, you go to class with them, go to practice and see what it’s like in their life,” Rodman said. Although she was recruited because of her athletic talent, Rodman places a heavy focus on her academics as well. Narrowing her search, Rodman plans to keep her scholastic passions in mind. “I have no clue what I want to study in college, but I’m looking forward to trying out a bunch of different classes,” she said. “All the schools I’m looking at have such a range of studies, I’m sure I’ll end up somewhere interesting.” Despite plans to commit to a university by the end of October, her future academic and athletic career certainly hasn’t sunk in yet – leaving the beach for an Ivy league school was not the starting plan. “It’s crazy,” Rodman said. “I never really thought any of these schools would even be interested in me, and I still don’t really believe it.” Junior Cassidy O’Neil can be reached at o’


Devils and jokers and headless bears, ‘Oh my!’

Photos by Michaela Kelly, Buzzy Staten, Madison Murry, Simone Midgett/Nighthawk News & Shorelines (Clockwise from top left) Senior Homecoming king and queen Braxton Hughes and Savannah Wallace enjoy their moment in the spotlight at halftime of Friday’s football game. Floats in the parade included the ‘Spooky Seniors’ and members of Project Unify. Junior cheerleader Hayley Miller soars in a stunt. Reagan Pearson wears a bear suit for the junior float. Freshmen Gabi McClary, Sadie Owens and Acy Davis cheer for their class. English teacher Joel Mount smiles after ‘winning’ the pie-in-the-face contest. Sophomore Sam Kuhn plays the trumpet during the band’s pep rally performance. Senior Tyler Love wears a devil mask on the senior float. Juniors enjoy a fun moment in the stands after the parade – just before the rain chased everyone into the gym.


fall / / 2017

Nighthawk News Magazine / / sports


First Flight Fall Spotlight: A Q&A with

Camden Crook Sophomore

How long have you been running? Since I was 11. What has made you keep running all these years? I like that it gets you in shape for other sports and it’s fun to do with friends. Have you won any awards from running? In the half marathons I’m the only one in the age group, and in 5Ks I’ve won some awards in those. What has been the best thing about running? I like how the team runs together and we get better as a team throughout the season. What’s your favorite band? The Beach Boys. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be, and why? Bora Bora because I love the beach, and Bora Bora looks like a really fun place to visit. What would you do with a million dollars? Donate some, travel around the world and help causes around the world. What’s your favorite type of smoothie? Coconut pineapple. Would you like to watch a scary movie with your friends at night or during the day? At night time, because it wouldn’t be as scary during the day. If you could have any exotic animal as a pet what would it be? A monkey, because they are really cute.


Reece Pritchard Sophomore

What’s your favorite thing about cheerleading? Cheering at the games and getting the crowd going for the football team. Have you ever experienced a cheer horror story? In seventh grade, my flyer fell out of the stunt and got a concussion and I couldn’t do anything to help. What are your other hobbies? Going to the beach, drawing and riding horses. What’s your dream job? Working at my own restaurant. What do your weekends consist of? Hanging out with my friends and family.

What’s your favorite movie? “The Last Song.” Who is your celebrity dream date? Definitely Cole Sprouse. He is a beautiful person. What is your favorite subject? English with Ms. Deal. Where is your favorite place to eat? Rundown Cafe for the Rundown Noodle Bowls.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Australia – Byron Bay. What would you do with a million dollars? I would keep some for myself and give some to the ASPCA and go to third-world countries or places that got hit by the hurricane and help them.

Emma Strickland Senior

When did you start to play tennis? I played a little bit when I was younger, then I stopped because they didn’t have tennis in middle school. I didn’t play freshman year but did in 10th grade. Do you have any plans to play tennis in the future? No, not really. I’ll continue and play for fun because I like the sport. What is your favorite thing to do before games? I like to hang out with my team and talk about how the match is going to go. What is your best tennis memory? All of the bus rides to the matches. What is your favorite pregame snack? Cheez-Its. What is your favorite show on Netflix? “How to Get Away with Murder.” What genre of music do you listen to? All types, from rap to country to musical soundtracks. What is your favorite movie? “The Blind Side.”

Cam Liston Sophomore

What is the best team bonding experience you’ve had? Probably just all the practices and the team getting together and having a good time. Who is the player you look up to the most and why? Probably Stephen Cash, just because he’s such a good player. What’s your favorite thing to do before or after practice with your teammates? We always listen to music before and get hype and then after we always talk to Coach. What’s the best place to spend time with your friends? Just in the neighborhood running around and doing whatever. What is your favorite beach access? Avalon, because the waves are pretty good there. What would you do with a million dollars? Pay for my parents’ house, buy a nice car and save the money for anything else I need in the future, like a house.

Who is your celebrity crush? Thomas Rhett. His family is so perfect and his little girls are precious.

What is a lifelong dream of yours? To play for a college team for football, I don’t really care where I would play – anywhere that’s D-I.

What is your dream vacation? I want to study abroad in Spain.

What is your favorite NFL team? Washington Redskins.

What is your favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love the food, and seeing my family and all of the decorations.

What is your favorite OBX restaurant? Plaza Azteca for Taco Tuesday. I get tacos. fall / / 2017

Nighthawk student-athletes

& more!

Maddie Ball Senior

When did you start playing volleyball? In sixth grade at a Parks and Rec volleyball camp. What is your favorite part about volleyball? Definitely hitting, because I suck at everything else. It’s a good stress reliever. What is your favorite memory from this season? Beating Northeastern twice for the first time in five years. What song do you listen to before every game? Fergalicious. Where is your favorite place to eat before or after a game? Chick-fil-A or Bojangles. When I’m at Chick-fil-A I get chicken tenders with fries, a large Coke and a small chocolate milkshake. At Bojangles I get the homestyle chicken tender meal with mashed potatoes, a large Pepsi and two Bo-berry biscuits. What is your favorite beach access? Ramp 1 of Cape Hatteras National Seashore: That is where my family, the Bachmans and McFarlanes would always go for Father’s Day. What is your dream job? To love what I do and to make a lot of money doing it. What would you do with a million dollars? I would donate to charity, or go out to dinner a lot more than I usually do, or get the iPhone X.

Noah Turbitt Senior

How long have you been playing soccer? Since I was 4 years old. What position do you play? Defense. What’s your favorite memory about soccer? Winning a state championship. That was awesome. What is your favorite local restaurant? Viva is amazing. The burritos are super good. If you could only bring three things to a deserted island, what would they be? Definitely food and water because I don’t want to die out there, and maybe some sunblock. It gets a little toasty. What is your favorite pregame snack? Jersey Mike’s subs. What’s your favorite TV show? “The Office.” I think it’s everyone’s. Who is your celebrity crush? Jennifer Lawrence. She’s super hot. What is your biggest pet peeve? Small talk. I hate small talk. Who is your favorite artist to listen to before a game? Frank Ocean.

Garland Seward Junior

What is your favorite pre-race snack? A Nature Valley bar, Oats and Honey flavored. Who do you look up to the most on the team? Without a doubt, Zach (Hughes) because of his energy. What is your favorite type of shoes to run in? Nike. What is your favorite Outer Banks restaurant? Barefoot Bernie’s. I get the chipotle chicken wrap.


(252) 261-5510 On the pond at the Waterfront Shops in Duck DUCKSCOTTAGE.COM

Walk, bike, boat or drive your way to the Best Homemade Sandwiches in Town! Open Late Every Night!

What’s a fun fact about yourself? I am left-handed. Who is your celebrity dream date? Kate Upton. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have three things, what would they be? I would have a helicopter to get off the island, some food and I don’t know what else. What is the first thing you’d do if you won a million dollars? I would buy a mansion in L.A. What are your favorite breakfast foods? Pancakes and bacon. What is your go-to Tropical Smoothie Cafe order? A turkey bacon ranch sandwich and a Paradise Point smoothie.

Photos by Buzzy Staten and Shelby Miller; Reporting by Julia Bachman, Ashlee Geraghty, Trinity Harrison, Gray Tillett, Alex Rodman, Beverly Murry and Shelby Miller. NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / sports

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Nighthawk News Magazine / / fall / / 2017

Fall 2017 Nighthawk News Magazine  

Nighthawk News Magazine is the student-run newspaper of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. This edition was produced by 30 s...

Fall 2017 Nighthawk News Magazine  

Nighthawk News Magazine is the student-run newspaper of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. This edition was produced by 30 s...