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ike Stone loves Christmas. So much so that he has collected roomfuls of Christmas decorations. These include, but are not limited to, a horde of Pier 1 Imports ornaments, at least 30 fake Christmas trees and a fullsize sleigh with two life-size plush reindeer to lead the way. When an empty storefront became available at Southern Shores Crossing, the perfect idea arose: decorate the space and provide free pictures with Santa. That idea inspired Marcie Warner – who works for Stone at Southern Shores Realty – to contact newspaper adviser Steve Hanf: If students from the FFHS publications classes wanted to dress festively and assist families with getting their pictures taken, any donations would go to the yearbook and newspaper programs. We were in. Several of us needed service hours anyway, and why not benefit our own program? With the money donated over the course of three Saturday photo shoots, we were able to buy a much-needed lens thanks to the generosity of Southern Shores Realty and the parents who came through to get their 8x10 print and digital copy. Best of all, we had a lot fun helping children get pictures with Santa Claus, something most of us recall fondly. We saw dozens of gleeful kids run up to Santa with a smile that went from ear to ear as they told him about the doll or scooter they desperately wanted for Christmas. We saw parents look on as their newborns got their very first picture with Santa – something that will be cherished for years to come. We saw ourselves in the little kids and it reminded us of how special the Christmas spirit is. The warm and fuzzy feelings we got from volunteering inspired our staff with the idea to have our cover include Santa and the people featured in our most festive stories. We could spread the Christmas cheer through our writing and help our readers feel what we felt. On the day of the shoot, sophomore Izzy Requa came with a menorah, junior Lauren Law brought the most festive sweater from her vast collection, and substitute teacher Clare Strickland showed off her beloved sea glass candy. And of course we had the star of the show, our beloved Outer Banks Santa. Photo editor Michaela Kelly shot our cover as we all laughed

Photos by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Santa gets a hug from history teacher Cassidy Mascio’s children during the special photo sessions at Southern Shores Crossing. Below, editors-in-chief (from left) Alex Rodman, Arabella Saunders and Beverly Murry enjoy a ride on Santa’s sleigh during the event.

and tried to appropriately place everyone around Santa. After trying out several poses, we got the perfect shot of all four people laughing and sharing a joyful moment.

From all of us on the Nighthawk News staff, we wish you a holiday season full of joyful moments with family and friends. – From the Editors winter / / 2017

SSR'18 First Flight Newspaper Ad_Layout 1 12/1/17 11:09 AM Page 1

WHAT’S INSIDE 4-5 – NHS scholarship, Multicultural club, SPCA tips 6-7 – New exam policy, Band heads to Outback Bowl 8-9 – Allergies during holidays, Will’s jewelry, Rotary grant 10-11 – Serving up more than lunch, Jonny Waters rocks 12-13 – Nifty to be thrifty, Students seek to study abroad 14-15 – Artists in the Spotlight: O’Neils and Kasten 16-17 – Haley in the Nutcracker, 23 sweaters of Christmas

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18-23 – Celebrating the holiday season

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24-25 – Our view: Sexual assault, Letters to the editor

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26-27 – Sex Ed, Sibling rivalries, Winter book review 28-31 – Paris Accord plea, Double holidays, Secret Santa

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36-37 – Cheerleaders to London, Coach Head recovery

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Enjoy that fuzzy feeling of fostering furry friends By Hannah Ellington News Editor


he smell of freshly baked sugar cookies wafts into your room, causing you to wake up from visions of sugarplums dancing through your head. Soft music plays through the house when you suddenly remember, it’s Christmas day! Shooting up from your bed, you rush out to the living room in your reindeer pajamas. You look toward the brightly decorated Christmas tree and see the large wrapped box sitting underneath. All of a sudden, a soft little yelp comes from within. Eyes wide, you rush toward the box and without a care in the world begin to rip it open. Inside sits a wriggling puppy – the cutest one you have ever seen. But the puppy grows up. You don’t play with it as much as you used to – dogs are not as much fun as puppies. Your parents decide maybe it is not right to keep the dog anymore and eventually return it to the pound. The dog is left wondering where its owners went and when they will come back. How could anyone do such a thing, you might wonder? According to the United Kingdom’s Metro newspaper, “More than 600 pets were abandoned around the festive holiday in 2015, some of them just discarded like old wrapping paper.” Because scenes like this unfold around the world, shelters suggest that before buying a pet for the holidays, you ensure all parties involved are willing to be committed to the animal. “You want to be sure the person wants the animal,” local SPCA shelter manager Lisa Bridge said. “Maybe the kid wants an animal, but the parents aren’t ready for it.”

Photos by Michaela Kelly (left) and Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Visit the Outer Banks SPCA to volunteer with or adopt some animals in need. The shelter is looking for those willing to provide a safe home for cats and dogs.

Graphic by Hunter Snyder The OBSPCA accepts donations year-round. Above is this year’s holiday wish list for shelter cats and dogs. The shelter also highly encourages bringing home a pet during the season, even if it is just to foster the animal for a short time. “We have possibilities for them to foster puppies, foster kittens, foster older dogs. We just want them to have a nice holiday,” Bridge said. “Nobody wants to be in the shelter during Christmas. It’s like being the last toy on the shelf.” If you are looking to adopt, head over to the Outer Banks SPCA located at 1031 Driftwood Drive in

Manteo. If you’d prefer to volunteer or foster an animal, SPCA offers those options as well. “We like them to be (from) around here so if there’s a problem we can get the animal back in time, but we encourage fostering a lot,” Bridge said. Bringing an adopted pet into its new home can be stressful for both the adopters and the animal. One way to ease the stress is by having a place that the animal can go to feel safe during the multi-

tude of festivities. “All the presents and the people and the food can be a little overwhelming to them,” Bridge said. “A nice upper room, a laundry room, some place where they have a crate they can go and just kind of get away from the madness – sort of how I would like to be around the holidays!” And it doesn’t have to be a dog. Cats are just as easily fostered and can be great company, despite people thinking they just hiss, scratch and lead solitary lives. “People kind of think cats aren’t as important as dogs and cats sometimes get a bad rep,” Bridge said. “I have one that sleeps right by my head and she puts her paw on my shoulder and it’s like, ‘OK, time to go to sleep.’ ” Don’t have time or space to foster an animal? Consider donating to the non-profit SPCA to give back to those pets in need. Dry food and canned food are especially needed around the holidays. “We accept donations all the time. We get a lot of animals and so we will usually put out a call and say we need this and suddenly we have a lot of it, which is great,” Bridge said. By adopting from your local shelter and helping animals in need, the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from the joy of the holidays could be even greater. Many times, shelter animals need homes more than those pets being bred for sale. “Don’t buy. There’s so many animals here that need homes,” Bridge said. “So, maybe they’re not the designer mix for the day. These guys are mixed and they are usually healthier than the ones being bred.” Junior Hannah Ellington can be reached at

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NHS provides scholarship for DACA student By Koral Tucker Staff Writer


irst Flight’s National Honor Society has decided to take on a tremendous project this year to give one lucky student a scholarship. As part of their required, school-wide service project, members of the honor society will be raising money throughout the school year to award a scholarship to one or two seniors who are part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). NHS president Arabella Saunders and secretary Emma Strickland came up with the idea of giving a student a scholarship. “When I was writing the DACA story for newspaper I was thinking of how expensive it would be for them since they don’t qualify for grants, and doing my own application I realized how hard it is,” Saunders said. “So I presented the project to NHS.” Biology teacher Angela Gard, the sponsor of NHS, said her goal for the service project was for members to feel proud of their work, which

is why she gave them the freedom to create their own project. “Arabella came to me about it. I let the students decide what they want to do so that way they have more ownership,” Gard said. “Last year, they did things like cleaning the bleachers after games, so they wanted to do something more.” The goal for the scholarship is to raise at least $2,000 through fundraising and donations. NHS plans on doing multiple events throughout the year, such as a cookie dough fundraiser, a coin drive, a car wash, a scrap metal fundraiser and bake sales. “We’re also planning on doing a video game competition with games like Just Dance and Wii Sports, and possibly a womanless beauty pageant too, so that should be a fun way to raise money,” Saunders said. For their first fundraiser, NHS is selling $10 tubs of gourmet, ready-to-bake cookie dough through Jan. 4. The idea for the fundraiser was first presented by senior Kira Foster. “I found the cookie dough selling fundraiser on a website and looked into the details about

profit. It seemed easy because everyone loves cookies, especially near the holidays,” Foster said. NHS plans to release the scholarship application in February. The application will consist of general information about student life and academics as well three to four short-answer questions. The student selected for the scholarship will be chosen by a panel of teachers who believe that student qualifies the most based on their outstanding academics and merit. The scholarship winner(s) will be announced on scholarship night in May. If NHS raises over $2,000, it plans to award a first-place winner as well as a runner-up. The group will either split the money between the two students chosen, or award $2,000 to the first-place student and $1,000 to the runner-up if they reach $3,000. “I think it’s great they’re doing something this big for their service project,” Gard said. Junior Koral Tucker can be reached at

New club hopes to bring the community together By Trinity Harrison Online Editor


alking down the halls, you hear laughter between friends, the rustling of papers and slamming of lockers. But what you might not always hear are the hate comments and derogatory name-calling that takes place in the halls every day. The Multicultural Club is a new group at First Flight that aims to eliminate the common stereotypes and racist comments that some experience regularly. “I feel like it would be a step forward to stopping racism and stupid comments and stereotypes. And it would be a step closer to

everyone getting along and world peace,” sophomore club president Jada Cardenas-Salazar said. The club has already started to plan fundraisers to not only support club activities, but help the community. Members plan to inform residents of the community that even though there are cultural differences and language barriers, they all desire a better future for coming generations. “Fundraising will go toward supporting our club and to help us look like a team so we can eventually benefit the community,” Cardenas-Salazar said. The club plans to create togetherness by hosting events that are appealing to high schoolers. “One of our main goals is to

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raise awareness that anyone can do everything, and to stop limiting ourselves to one thing,” CardenasSalazar said. In establishing this club, the members hope to create an image that they are mature students who have valid points and want to make a difference. They plan to accomplish this by campaigning to the community that you don’t have to fit into the mold that is considered normal to contribute positively to society. “We want to be taken seriously,” Cardenas-Salazar said. “Not have people look at us as just a bunch of kids saying random things, but that we are a club looking toward benefiting our community.” Senior Tea’ Davis joined the club

not only to work in the community, but also in the hope of having a safe space to talk about her experiences. “I’ve personally heard a lot of stereotypes throughout the school and I think that it would raise a lot of awareness to watch what you say,” Davis said. “And to just show people that it is OK to have diversity.” With all of the members having their own experiences with prejudice, they want it to be known that anyone can join. There are no requirements, but they hope new members are accepting of diversity and open to the idea of change. Junior Trinity Harrison can be reached at

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ou’re sitting in dead silence after dreadful hours of testing when, suddenly, you remember you forgot a note from your parent to be able to leave early. Picking up your pencil, you start to write “To whom it may concern…” on the bottom half of your scrap paper. Forged notes from students, questions from friends about “does this look like my mom’s handwriting?” and the huge crowd racing to leave the rotunda will no longer be a problem at First Flight. New Superintendent John Farrelly, with the recommendation of Dare County Schools principals, has decided to change the exam policy for the upcoming semester exams, which fall on Jan. 18-19, the final days of first semester. “The superintendent has decided instead of making it mandatory for students to stay after midterm exams in January, he has made it optional for students to leave after their exams without a note,” Principal Tim Albert said. However, students who wish to stay after to review for the next day’s exam will have that opportunity. “Instead of having all these notes and things like that to try and get out right after exams, the superintendent, along with the principals, decided that there was no need for that, there was no need for students to have to stay after exams,” Albert said. Students seem to be excited for this change to the exam policy; however, there could be disadvantages for some. “Some kids won’t feel obligated to stay because some reviews you don’t do much for,” senior Robby Amoruso said. “But some kids won’t take advantage of the reviews for the classes they do need to stay for since we can just leave after.” In past years, students who ended up staying after an exam have found themselves walking into a classroom for a review with very few people. And those who do stay often try to find ways to leave before 3:15. “Whenever I left early there would always be a line,” Amoruso

Instead of having all these notes and things like that to try and get out right after exams, the superintendent, along with the principals, decided that there was no need for that. – Tim Albert

By Simone Midgett Staff Writer

said. “I stayed for chemistry last year and there was only a handful of people there and people would end up leaving halfway through.” Junior Isabella Warner found herself in a similar predicament when she was forced to stay for an exam review session her sophomore year. “One time I had to stay because my parents wouldn’t take me out and I was the only person in the classroom, and it was horrible because the teacher didn’t do anything,” Warner said. Since the announcement of the policy change, there seems to be a positive reaction throughout the school. “I think what was happening was we became a holding tank for students,” Albert said. “There was nothing positive coming out of that second half. It is sort of a reward for students because of the hard work and effort they have put in all semester.” Administrators are testing out the change with semester exams and hoping it works well enough to continue as an official policy. This is not an official half-day for Dare County Schools, and buses still won’t run until 3:15, so students who don’t have a ride home will end up staying for the afternoon. “We are actually ‘piloting’ this right now. If it works fine and everything runs smoothly, then that’s what will happen at the end of the year,” Albert said. Sophomore Simone Midgett can be reached at winter / / 2017

G’day, Nighthawks! Band set for Outback Bowl By Kristen Applebaum Staff Writer

Come ride the wave


he chatter of nearly 70,000 adoring fans can be heard as hundreds of high school band members take the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. This is all so much more than a regular high school football game halftime performance. On Jan. 1, 2018, members of the Nighthawk marching band will be performing in front of thousands of football fans at the Outback Bowl. Game officials announced earlier this month that the bowl will pit Michigan against South Carolina. The nationally televised game on ESPN2 will kick off at noon. Senior Brooke Kelly is one of three drum majors in the Nighthawk band. This is her second year leading the band as a drum major and she will get the opportunity to conduct with other high school drum majors at the Outback Bowl. Marching alongside the Nighthawks will be as many as 25 to 30 other bands. “Since I’m a drum major, I felt like it would be really good for me to go and experience that with the rest of the band, and I’ll get some professional experience in front of a lot of other bands,” Kelly said. Kelly and junior Zane Fish will both be front and center on New Year’s Day while their classmates and hundreds of others march in formation to a variety of fun songs. “Drum majors will also be doing different things like conducting and learning basic leadership skills for band,” Fish said. “We’ll be playing some music as well as gathering together with students from other bands across the country and combining ourselves into one massive super band.” Since not all the band members are able to attend the trip to Tampa, band director Bob Ebert will be preparing the students who are going by reviewing the halftime show music with them during Empower Time. FFHS is sending 30 students on the trip, with Manteo adding about 20 band members. “I just thought it’d be something nice to do for the kids, because unless you go to a big school or Division I college, you’re not gonna get a chance like this again,” Ebert said. The band will be traveling overnight to Florida by bus on NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / news

Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Junior Kayla Hymiller plays away on her clarinet during one of the halftime shows this football season. Many FFHS band members will be marching one more time this school year, at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

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Pre-order the 2018 Shorelines yearbook for $55 the rest of this semester. Photo submitted by Stacey Hanf Senior Zachary Serfling stands ready to march alongside his fellow band members at the Christmas Parade in Manteo. This annual tradition is another opportunity for the band to perform for the community. Dec. 28 and then returning home on Jan. 2, an over-night drive immediately after the bowl game ends. Over the course of six days, there will be only two rehearsals involving all of the high school band members participating in the halftime show. When they’re not practicing for the big game, the band members will have the chance to spend time at the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and even a whole day at Universal Orlando. Ebert is hoping to provide his students with a positive experience

by giving them an opportunity to travel and to showcase their skills. For many members, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform in front of a large crowd. “I think they’re really going to have a better appreciation for it after we get back. I mean, we’re gonna be playing in front of about 70,000 people live,” Ebert said. “For pretty much everyone in this band, that will be the largest audience they ever play for.” Junior Kristen Applebaum can be reached at applebaumkr0910@

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Tip-toeing around allergies during the holiday season By Hunter Haskett Business Manager


s you bite into that pecan pie loaded with whipped cream or scoop another helping of stuffing onto your plate, you’re probably wondering how anyone could not eat any of these delicious holiday treats. But sometimes, people like sophomore Madison Lester don’t exactly have a choice. Lester learned she was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts after she visited the doctor post-peanut butter sandwich. Since then, she has been careful to avoid certain foods, especially during the holiday season, but accidents can still happen. “At the beginning of the school year I had an allergic reaction, a severe one, and I had to go to the hospital,” Lester said. “I used an EpiPen and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.” Not realizing walnuts were in the food she was eating, Lester immediately noticed the symptoms of an allergic reaction. “I got really sick, then I threw up and then my tongue started to go numb, so I thought, ‘Probably should use an EpiPen,’ so someone stabbed me with it,” Lester said. Knowing she has to be attentive during the holidays, Lester’s family helps her stay away from food she shouldn’t eat, even if she’s itching to try it. “I always want to try everything with peanuts in it. One day I hope they find a cure for allergies and I’ll be able to eat it all,” Lester said. Reese’s Cups and pecan pie are among the foods she’s always wanted to try, and Lester is determined to be able to eat them one day. “I’ve always wanted to try one (a Reese’s Cup), so I’ve told my friends that on my death bed they have to feed me one just because I want to try it,” Lester said. Junior Hannah Ellington, who is also allergic to peanuts, was tired of watching her relatives eat mouth-watering pieces of pecan pie. After years of longing, she devised a plan to see if she could eat it this year. “I decided I was just going to take one nut in one hand and my


EpiPen in the other, then just try it and see if I was allergic to it,” Ellington said. “It was terrifying, but I eventually found out that I’m only allergic to peanuts, so I can finally have that pecan pie.” Her experiment worked, but was one that could have gone seriously wrong. “It was terrifying. I remember I was trying a walnut or a cashew and my EpiPen was right on my thigh and I was like, ‘If I go into anaphylactic shock right now this is not going to be good,’ but then I found out that cashew is my favorite nut,” Ellington said. Thanks to her careful – and possibly catastrophic testing – Ellington was able to finally try a piece of ooey-gooey pecan pie, although it wasn’t quite what she expected. “I tried pecan pie for the first time over break and my final verdict is that the worst part about it was the pecans,” she said. “But the rest of it was good, like the sugary filling underneath.” So was all her experimentation worth it? “I tried it, didn’t like it, but you know – at least I didn’t die,” Ellington said. Junior Cassidy Dietz has different allergies than Ellington and Lester, which leads her to live life gluten- and dairy-free. With the holidays in full swing, Dietz has found alternate ways to make some of her favorite dishes. “A lot of the time, certain foods that I can’t have, they almost always have a way to make it so that I can have it,” Dietz said. Being able to use gluten- and dairy-free ingredients allows Dietz to still enjoy the flavors of the holidays without getting sick. “I use Pinterest for everything I make, especially during the holidays – like any sort of cookies I want or some sort of casserole,” Dietz said. “I just go on Pinterest, type in gluten-free, dairy-free, and there’s always something.” To others, it may seem like having allergies could be a setback for holiday fun, but these students have found ways to have fun, eat good food and not get sick while doing so. Junior Hunter Haskett can be reached at

Illustration by Karsen Beckner/Special to Nighthawk News

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First Flight Rotary grants carpentry students real-world experience


By Chloe Futrell Features Editor

he smell of sawdust and the sound of hammering could be heard and smelled within the halls of First Flight last spring. Carpentry students diligently worked to perfect their final projects – one-of-akind handcrafted tables. “(First Flight) Rotary gave us a grant that came to the participants in the design, production and marketing of the woodworking project that the kids built,” Carpentry teacher Skip Saunders said. “The furniture was designed by Ms. (Camie) Romano’s Art II class when she was teaching 3D design.” The First Flight Rotary is a civic organization that meets weekly to discuss how it can help the community, schools and businesses. The generous grant enabled Saunders and Romano to purchase needed supplies, while FFHS journalism students got microphones and other recording equipment to help expand their multimedia capabilities. “After several years of research, they thought the best thing they could do was to assist high school and college students to learn skills and to learn business practices,” Saunders explained. Students from the Carpentry,

Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News First Flight Rotary member and avid woodworker David Warner visits with senior Scotty Burton during one of Skip Saunders’ classes last year. Art II and Publications classes worked together to create and advertise carefully crafted and designed pieces of furniture. “This was the first (grant) under this economic development focus to support student education in technical skills and business skills,” First Flight Rotary member Carl Classen said. Saunders works with his students to help them better develop these technical skills, letting them experience more “real-world” scenarios. Saunders also brings in woodworkers to mentor the students, so that they can get a better understanding of the carpentry field.

“The mentors come in and meet them,” Saunders said. “They talk about what they do well, they get to know the woodworker and what their background is.” But students gain more than just carpentry experience: Saunders tries to better his students’ writing skills as well. “Each week on Friday they write a reflective journal on that previous week,” Saunders said. “When I edit and grade the journals, I can try to improve their writing and their ability to compose the written word.” Saunders uses these journals to gain a better understanding of the students and how they are doing

in the class so he can better attend to their needs. After the tables are completed, the students give a presentation about their work in front of their peers, mentors and faculty members. The Rotary members are also part of the process when it comes to the tables. Classen was able to see the students in action and see the final product. The tables were purchased in a silent auction held at the Oktoberfest choral concert, with the money going back into the Carpentry program. The self-sustaining aspect of the table-building project is just one of its unique aspects. “It was really interesting to see the student artwork (designs) they came up with and then to see how the carpentry students turned those ideas into actual products,” Classen said. Saunders’ students enjoy taking the designs from paper and turning them into real-life creations. “All of them were in over their head,” Saunders said. “In fact, they would have liked the whole school day to be involved with that kind of work, and they got a chance to apply the knowledge they learned in the classroom.” Junior Chloe Futrell can be reached at

Where there’s a Will there’s a way ... to get great jewelry


By Ashlee Geraghty Social Media Editor

alking through the halls of First Flight, there seems to be a common trend among many girls: pairs of hoop earrings with a crystal stone dangling from their centers. These accessories have recently been made popular by English teacher Hunter Will. The jewelry is from her newly created online company, The Beach Road Boutique. Will started down her path as a jeweler early on. In high school, she worked in a jewelry store and learned many skills she uses today. “I changed watch batteries, strung pearls, called customers and worked the retail end of the shop,” Will said. Will graduated from Virginia Tech with a minor in art and a passion for creating new things. It wasn’t until this year, when her jewelry had a high demand by students and faculty at First Flight, that she started selling her pieces. “It just kind of happened organically,” she said. “I noticed a style of earring that I liked and wanted to make them for myself. I started wearing them to school and students and teachers asked if I would make them a pair.”

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When she started making more and more earrings by request, Will realized it would be best to put everything online. With the help of a few students, she created a website, Instagram and Facebook page to showcase her work to the community. “I suggested a website to Ms. Will and she loved the idea,” senior Isabell Eckard said. “We spent a few days making it and it turned out really good. We took pictures of her earrings and listed them, and we’re working on getting everything up and running so that you can buy the jewelry directly from the website.” Even though she is often making multiple items at a time, the process behind creating the jewelry is quite extensive. Will starts off with a similar style, and then branches off to give each piece it’s own unique qualities. “I think about the size and shape and what will look good. I make sterling silver and goldfilled hoops and drops,” Will said. These accessories were instantly sought after by many of her students and co-workers. Senior Maddie Ball found herself gazing around one of her favorite local boutiques when she came across a pair of earrings similar to those of Will’s. “They’re really cute,” Ball said. “I saw ones like them at Foxy Flamingo, but they were like

$65. Then I found out Ms. Will was making earrings that looked very similar to the ones I found at Foxy, but they were only $10, so win-win.” If her business continues to flourish, Will hopes to move from an online store to an actual building, and expand her merchandise to consist of more than just earrings. “I just ordered a vintage ring-making kit with lots of neat tools. I took a class at Cloud Nine in order to learn how to make rings and to solder,” Will said. “I have ordered a few supplies in order to practice what I have learned. I am nervous because it involves a torch, but I plan to take necessary safety precautions and start slowly.” No matter what the future holds for Will and The Beach Road Boutique, it is safe to say that the full-time English teacher and parttime jeweler has gained a huge following for her creations, and has the support of the school behind her. “I love to see people happy and smiling and they just look so beautiful. I just love my First Flight family,” Will said. “Thank you so much for always being there and supporting me and my passion for making jewelry.” Senior Ashlee Geraghty can be reached at


Photos by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Cafeteria staff members Adelina Duro (left) and Cheryl Black serve up a hot lunch to students and are responsible for feeding 250 students every day.

Lunch bunch serves more than just a school-baked roll By Dair McNinch Staff Writer


ith First Flight undergoing constant change in recent years, students can find a comfortable familiarity by knowing there will always be a warm lunch and a smile waiting for them come third period. Those smiling faces have been at work since six in the morning, cooking breakfast for the students who come in earlier and prepping lunch for later in the day. “I come in and we start cooking. We have to cook for 250 kids, so we start pretty early,” cafeteria manager Amber Dodge said. With only a handful of workers on the clock each day, the lunch ladies have a wide range of duties to keep the cafeteria up and running. On top of cooking, Dodge also manages the inventory and the paperwork that goes along with it. Lisa Simpson is going on her 24th year working in the cafeteria, where she runs the register on the right lunch line almost every day. Her job doesn’t stop there, either. “I mainly cook and keep Amber straight,” Simpson said jokingly. “She gets paid the big bucks for that,” Dodge added. Dodge worked at First Flight Elementary for five years before she applied for the manager position


at the high school four years ago. Although Simpson jokes about keeping her straight, there was a comically difficult transition period for Dodge when she came over to her new job. “The very first week Amber got here, one of the days was corn dog nuggets and tacos,” Simpson said. “She only had ordered about a fourth of the corn dog nuggets we needed. We didn’t even make it through first lunch.” “I seriously had no idea high schoolers were going to like corn dog nuggets,” Dodge explained. “I learned that day.” Dodge’s first few days at the high school saw not only learning experiences, but some funny situations as well. “My very first day here I saw those kids coming and they were like three times the size of an elementary schooler, so I hid,” Dodge said. “I was scared to death I would either run out of food or they just wouldn’t eat it. I hid back there the whole day with my eyes closed and wished it would go away.” Dodge got over these feelings quickly, as she describes her favorite part of the job being the children she gets to see every day. “Not only do I love the children, but I feel like I don’t lose touch with my own kids by being around their age group,” Dodge said. “I’m not here because I love to cook, necessarily, but I love to cook for

the kids. That’s what makes it fun.” Simpson also loves the atmosphere of the cafeteria. “The people, the kids, cooking, it’s all OK,” Simpson said, smiling. “If I didn’t like what I did, I wouldn’t be here since the school opened.” Adelina Duro has been working in the cafeteria for 11 years. She has more of a variety of duties, including prep for salads and snacks, serving, running the register and washing dishes. With a slightly different agenda each day, Duro is just as excited to be here now as she was when she first started. “My favorite part of my job is waking up in the morning and having one (a job). I wake up and get

to thank God that I’m working and for being here,” Duro said. While the lunch ladies all share a love for being where they are, the feeling is reciprocated by the student body. “They’re just constantly looking out, whether it’s asking me how my day’s going or telling me to stay out of trouble,” junior Jasper Dean said. “Plus they can whip up some grub.” While the food choices may be different each day, junior Caroline Murray describes one thing that the lunch ladies never let change in the lunch line: “They always find a way to put a smile on my face.” Junior Dair McNinch can be reached at

winter / / 2017

Jonny be good: Teacher by day, rocker by night By Caroline Jenkins Staff Writer

agement. Teaching definitely cuts back on weekday performances, but I’m still able to perform enough to assion. noun. Strong and be relevant and to fulfill everything barely controllable emotion. I need to.” Athletes exude this as they Performing means more than dive into the water, hit a just putting on a show and playing home run or score a touchdown. in front of people. Waters values Painters embody this as they how he is perceived on stage and finally finish an intricate piece believes in being authentic, above of artwork. For English teacher all. Jonny Waters, this emotion shines “A lot of people, when they get through while playing music. in front of people they put up this Waters is part of the Jonny front, this fake persona. People Waters & Company band. Perform- catch onto that,” Waters explained. ing around the Outer Banks and “I think that being genuine in front writing his own music, the newof people is the key for both.” est member of the FFHS English Waters loves every part of perdepartment does more than just forming and playing for a crowd, teach in a classroom. but he especially Having an english loves everything teacher who also involving guitar. Visit jonnyspends much of his “Soulful guitar to time with music leads solos are my favorite to some more interpart of it,” Waters find out more! esting class time. said. “When I’m im“It’s really cool provising and everyhaving someone thing’s just clicking thats not just here to teach, he and working – there’s a physiologwants to do something musical ical thing that athletes talk about, too,” freshman Grace Topping said. when you’re in a zone, and there’s Before he started teaching, Waa moment like that for musicians, ters served in the military, where especially with improvisation. he began writing his music. Those moments are definitely my “I’ve been writing music since I favorite.” was in the military,” Waters said. “I Waters works twice as hard to wrote some of my first songs when be great at both teaching and being I was serving in Iraq and Germany, a musician. Although finding a and that was 2005.” balance can be especially difficult For Waters, teaching and being at times, he believes the payoff is in a band involve the same eleworth the extra stress. ments. Balancing these two can be “It comes down to really good hard at times, but is manageable time management,” he said. “Just with an open mind. making sure there’s no time wast“Both are performing, for the ed, and that way everybody gets most part,” Waters said. “You have the best version of me they can.” to be good with people, you have to Junior Caroline Jenkins can be be good with public presentation, reached at jenkinsca0616@darepublic speaking and crowd


NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / features

Photo provided by Outer Banks Entertainment Jonny Waters hits all the right notes on the stage and in the classroom. Waters is new to the English department, but is a well-known figure around the OBX.


Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Junior Sophie Johnson thrifts for finds at the Goodwill located in Kitty Hawk. With many thrift stores on the OBX, FFHS students like Johnson enjoy the thrill of thrifting as they strive to find good deals.

It’s nifty to be thrifty By Cassidy O’Neil Online Editor




Treehouse 12


acks full of random strangers’ clothes, from T-shirts to longsleeves, pants to jackets, for less than $10. Sound appealing? Welcome to the world of thrifting. Thrifting refers to actively checking thrift stores for stylish clothes, good deals and unique finds. In recent years, going thrifting and wearing retro clothing has seen an increase in popularity due to the fashion of the past becoming fashionable once again. Stores such as Something Old, Something New and Mom’s Sweet Shop specialize in vintage resale and have played a big part in students scouring for old-school threads. “Over the past year and half, there’s been more of a spike and a higher demand,” Mom’s Sweet Shop employee Jacob Crume said. “At first we had a core clientele that would come in looking for vintage. Now it seems more like the average customer is interested in it, or at least checks it out when they come in.” These stores find the best from thrift shops and put them all in one place, making it easier to find a piece for you. Although, if you’re

up for a challenge, jump in your car and head down to your local Goodwill, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters or Hotline thrift stores. “You have to be very patient to do it,” junior Skylar Gravitt said. “A lot of the times you won’t find anything good, but when you do it feels like you found a hidden gem.” Although it can take several tries to find that diamond in the rough, for junior Lorna Cameron it’s worth it. “I do it for fun because I really like fashion, and I think it’s cool to find things that not everyone has,” Cameron said. “It’s so much cheaper, better for the environment and you’re finding stuff that’s more individual to you.” Not only does buying secondhand cut down on waste, thrifting also gives shoppers a unique experience of sorting through racks to find that one item that stands out to them. “It’s also the thrill of the hunt, you’ll never know what you’re going to find and if you do find something dope it might be your size, and it’s just fun,” Crume said. “The whole aspect around it is pretty dope to me.” Junior Cassidy O’Neil can be reached at o’ winter / / 2017

Nighthawks take flight with dreams of traveling abroad By Suzanne Harrison News Editor


or most high school students, the adventure that is “grown-up” life begins the moment they step off the stage in June. For senior Kira Foster, her adventure begins in early February. Foster is graduating a semester early to travel around the world for four months – by herself. “I’ve always been really passionate about traveling, and the idea came to me when I realized I had enough credits to graduate my junior year,” Foster said. “I don’t see a point in staying in high school when I could finish it early and go on to

other opportunities out there.” Foster plans on leaving in February and returning stateside just in time for graduation. Her first destination is 8,531 miles away from the Outer Banks. “First, I’m going to New Zealand, where I will be for a month, then my plan is to go to Australia for a week or so to see the Great Barrier Reef, then I’m going to Costa Rica to meet my parents there, then I’m going to Bolivia,” Foster said. Foster knows that graduating early and traveling all over the world is unconventional, but she believes the experiences she gains will benefit her in more ways than any of her classes could. “Traveling gives you real-world

experience and knowledge that you can’t learn at school. You can learn in school, but you can’t apply what you know to the real world when you’re stuck in a classroom,” Foster said. Foster also will obtain a sense of independence. “I’ve never traveled completely on my own. I think a lot of people in society feel that they can never be alone, they have to have a boyfriend or girlfriend or be on their phone,” Foster said. “But when I’m traveling, I will end up being more independent and feel that I will have a different view on life.” Foster is not the only student taking advantage of graduating early to travel abroad. Senior Jillian Hix plans on taking a year off after high school and will be studying psychology at the Polytech University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for six months. Although Hix is graduating a semester earlier than the Class of 2018, she entered high school only three years ago. The transition from living on the Outer Banks to living in Russia

will be a big one for Hix, but she won’t be doing it alone. “I’m studying with the program AIFS and it’s a really great study abroad program. I will either live in the dorms or I will live with a host family off campus,” Hix said. The choice to study in Russia was not an easy one for Hix. She found herself going back and forth between Spain and Russia. “It was so hard to pick between the two. I want to travel the world and I had to keep narrowing it down. Russia’s location allows me to travel all over,” Hix said. The choice to study abroad before heading to college is a hard decision to make, but Foster and Hix feel it is the right decision for them. They encourage anyone who is considering traveling to pursue it. “I think that anyone who is thinking about traveling abroad definitely should,” Foster said. “You’re only benefiting yourself by taking time off to explore the world.” Senior Suzanne Harrison can be reached at

Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Seniors Kira Foster (left) and Jillian Hix pack their bags as they prepare to study abroad. Hix looks forward to studying in Russia, while Foster anticipates the journey to her first destination, New Zealand. Nighthawk News Magazine / / features


A r t i s t s

Sister Act


By Emmy Trivette Staff Writer

lways having your sibling with you doing the same activities and going to the same places could become tiring. For sophomore Tara and senior Brigid O’Neil, however, it’s just the way things have always been. “We do most of our activities together, so we’ve gotten close,” Brigid said. Both O’Neil sisters have been involved in the arts since they can remember. Tara started the violin when she was 4, and Brigid began playing the cello when she was 11. “We do a lot together, and it’s usually fun,” Tara said. Even though her family is more involved in music, Brigid is better recognized for her artistic talents. Although she has been painting since middle school, she didn’t take art seriously until high school. “I think once people started to notice it and say I was good, I really started to get into it,” Brigid said. “Now I still just mess around with it and experiment with different mediums.” Brigid’s artwork has gained momentum since seventh grade, and now she’s taking more advanced classes like AP 2D Design. Her favorite medium to use is acrylic paint, and just this summer she sold her first painting. “I sometimes commission artwork, so if someone asks me to do something they give me their idea and I paint it,” Brigid said. After high school, Brigid plans on going to college for studio art and get a bachelor’s degree in the fine arts. She hopes to become a tattoo artist after. “Just this week I was thinking after high school I could get an apprenticeship with a tattoo studio,” she said. At some point in each of their school careers, Tara and Brigid both participated in band, with Tara playing the alto saxophone and Brigid the trumpet. While Tara is involved in band and marching band, following in Brigid’s footsteps, she is more devoted to the violin than the saxophone. “I would love to go to college and study performance on the violin,” Tara said. “Then music education – I could perform and come back and teach lessons like my teacher.” Every morning except Wednesdays, the two meet at 7:10 with the rest of the high school orchestra to rehearse. Tara and Brigid practice a range of music, from classical to Christmas, with the First Flight orchestra. In addition to the school orchestra, Tara


i n

Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News O’Neil sisters Brigid (left) and Tara pose with their instruments, showing off just one of the many artistic talents they pursue at FFHS. takes lessons from Leslie Ericson, and in a few months she’ll be auditioning for the Senior Regional Orchestra. Similar to one of her inspirations, the PUBLIQuartet, Tara enjoys playing chamber music that can be improvised. Brigid, however, has always wanted to branch out of classical music and try jazz on the cello. Although the O’Neil sisters are both involved

in the arts, they each have their unique preferences. Despite their differences, both enjoy sharing a passion for art and bettering their skill sets. “It’s a little overwhelming sometimes, but it’s always a lot of fun to do it together,” Brigid said. Sophomore Emmy Trivette can be reached at winter / / 2017

the Spotlight

Insecurities melt away for confident Kasten By Cassidy O’Neil Online Editor


s someone who describes himself as introverted, senior Miles Kasten surely pushes the boundaries. You can find Kasten on stage almost 24/7, whether it be for his performances in the musicals, plays, band, jazz or Hawkapella. Being raised in a family focused around the arts, Kasten was exposed to the limelight early. “My dad played in jazz band and loved jazz and he always pushed me to play an instrument,” Kasten said. Kasten’s mom also has experience in the fine arts. Deb is an opera singer who has performed with the Virginia Opera, and she has helped Kasten perfect his voice from an early age. “I have always liked to sing and I have my mom to take lessons from and singing is just very important to me,” he said. “Singing is very emotional. You have a very good connection with it.” Although he began music and voice lessons at a young age, Kasten didn’t get involved with theater until he was 13. His decision to act was sparked by insecurities about something that made him different from most of his classmates. “I got hearing aids when I was in fourth grade and I was really scared to show them,” Kasten said. “I grew out my hair really long to cover them.” To combat his newfound uneasiness, Kasten went searching for someplace he could feel safe to be himself. That’s when his sister suggested he try Shadowplayers, a local theater group run through the Dare County Parks and Recreation. “My sister did it and she said it was cool, and these kids knew my sister and I thought they would like me, so I signed up,” he said. “But I was super scared to go through those doors.” What Kasten experienced inside those doors changed his life for the better. “I found a group of people just Nighthawk News Magazine / / features

Photos by Arabella Saunders/Nighthawk News Miles Kasten works with dance teacher Simone Endres to perfect his posture and learn the correct positioning for his arms. Below, Kasten reaches for the stars as Endres guides him to the right pose during a lesson at Infinity Dance. like me who enjoyed the same things I did,” Kasten said. Despite his initial hesitation, Kasten was cast as the lead of his very first show, “Peter Pan.” But even with the confidence the cast and crew showed in him, he was still nervous to take the stage. “I thought I was crap and that I couldn’t even act. I was so scared to go on stage on opening night that my mom had to come backstage and tell me that I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to,” Kasten recalled. “But I realized that the show must go on.” After facing his fears and making it through his first opening night, he found a feeling that he had never felt before. “I was so scared, but all the clapping and support made me say, ‘Wow, this is awesome, I can’t believe I haven’t felt this anywhere else,’” Kasten said. Following his debut, Kasten has participated in multiple performances. Since entering high school he had roles in “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” “9 to 5” and “Pride and Prejudice.” To audition for a musical, there are three different requirements to meet: acting, singing and dancing.

To help expand his theatrical talents, Kasten recently began taking dance lessons at Infinity Dance in Kitty Hawk. “Every time he comes to class he is focused and takes his corrections seriously,” Infinity Dance studio director Simone Endres said. “I’m really proud when he shows me what he was working on throughout the week. As his teacher, that shows his dedication, and he improves every week.” Kasten is enjoying learning and perfecting his dance skills, and has found himself wishing he realized how fun dancing can be earlier in his life. “I thought dancing is something that girls do, but after I started getting into high school I realized it’s not for girls, everyone can do it,” he said. “You can do whatever you want. It’s your own spin on stuff.” His journey into the arts doesn’t end there. Kasten plays saxophone in both jazz band and marching

band. One note, one line, one move at a time, Kasten continues to find ways to be himself thanks to the arts. “Acting and the arts is just expressing myself in a different way between other people,” Kasten said. “Also, you just get to meet a whole new group of people that understand how you feel. You can just be natural around them. You don’t have to be a different person and you can just open up to them.” Junior Cassidy O’Neil can be reached at o’


Haley en pointe with performance in Richmond Ballet By Julia Bachman Staff Writer


he curtains open. The conductor raises a baton. The familiar music begins as dancers grand jeté, tour jeté and pirouette across the stage. It’s a scene that happens for hundreds of dancers each holiday season, but this year, senior Cierra Haley was among the lucky few to perform in the Richmond Ballet’s adaptation of the famous ballet, “The Nutcracker.” “Dance is something that I want to do when I am older, and so I thought this would be a great opportunity to perform with a professional company, the beginning of my career,” Haley said. Haley has been dancing for 15 years and always looked up to her late dance teacher, Victoria Toms, who had an immense impact on her life. “I aspire to be like her,” Haley said. “She was very successful with her passion, and I strive to be as successful as her. I learned all of my technique from her.” Haley put what she learned to good use when she auditioned for the show in September. The audition process began by separating the dancers into groups to assess their skills. “We had to audition to be a soldier, a cavalry soldier, an angel, a Chinese attendant,” Haley said. “Based on our height and weight and proportion of your body they decided what part you got, along with the talent and poise you had.” Haley learned she had been cast for two roles in the ballet, her first chance to dance with a professional company. Rehearsals began before the school year started. “I am a regiment soldier, which I dance on pointe shoes, and basically our job is to fight off the mice and kill the Mouse King and protect Clara and all of the dolls,” Haley said. “I am also a Chinese attendant, and from what it looks like, we are the celebration at the end of a victory.” Rehearsing for the ballet came with many challenges. Haley quickly learned that her fellow dancers had an advantage over her, as their school schedules were specifically made to help them excel in dance. Haley drove to Norfolk every Sunday and rehearsed for the show from noon to 4 p.m. “Definitely the hardest thing


Photos submitted by Cierra Haley Senior Cierra Haley poses with her fellow soldiers (top) before their first performance at Chrysler Hall. (Bottom left) Haley puts the finishing touches on her makeup before taking the stage and poses en pointe for a quick photo. was that the girls that I was dancing with do this every single day,” Haley said. “We don’t get that opportunity here. They know the names of a bunch of different steps and I don’t, so I had to look off of them to know what it’s called and what to do, but I got the hang of it.” Through her involvement in the Nutcracker, Haley has gained invaluable experience that will no doubt benefit her future in dance. The show took place the first weekend of December, and Haley continues to impress all who watch her perform. Throughout her experience with the Richmond Ballet, Haley’s fellow dancers at Atlantic Dance offered

support and encouragement. “Cierra is one of those people that really gives it all she can during a performance,” junior Cassidy Joyce said. “She is full of emotion and really gets into character, which is a hard thing for some dancers to do. It is inspiring to see her become better throughout this experience.” Atlantic Dance teacher Mila Smith loves to see her students broaden their knowledge of dance. She was thrilled to learn one of her own dancers was performing with a professional company. “As a teacher, you always want to see your students excel. Cierra has taken this opportunity with the Richmond Ballet and done just

that,” Smith said. “Dance teaches so much more than just how to do a pirouette: The dedication and commitment that she has shown through this process proves that.” With this experience now behind her, Haley will continue to soldier on to motivate her fellow dancers in becoming the best they can be. “Cierra is a year older than me, so I look up to her and she inspires me to be a better dancer,” Joyce said. “I want to be on the same skill level as her. We are good friends and she pushes me to my potential.” Junior Julia Bachman can be reached at bachmanju@daretolearn. org. winter / / 2017

Queen of Christmas By Hannah Ellington News Editor


ou might have your own Christmas traditions – baking cookies for Santa, opening up one present on Christmas Eve, decorating the house with lights or religiously watching Hallmark movies. Around this point, you would say you have Christmas spirit. But it’s unlikely you have as much spirit as junior Lauren Law, who starts getting into the festive mood well before Halloween. You might know her around the halls as the girl with the Christmas sweaters – and that’s because she is. With 23 sweaters and counting, six T-shirts, two pairs of leggings, 40 pairs of earrings, six bracelets, five necklaces, a pair of shoes, two purses and 21 pairs of socks, Law has a whole lot of Christmas. “I didn’t start obsessing over it until freshman year of high school,” Law said. “In eighth grade, there was an ugly sweater day at the middle school the last day before Christmas break and I had one sweater that kind of fit. I saw everyone wearing their sweaters and I thought it was so cool.” In order to fit in all her outfits before winter break, Law wears different sweaters each day to show off her Christmas spirit. At the rate she’s going, she’ll have to start in October in future years. “Freshman year I had a week’s worth of sweaters, and then sophomore year I had a month’s worth of sweaters,” Law said. “This year I had to start two weeks before Thanksgiving to fit it all in and I still don’t have enough days to wear it all.” Law has a special system she goes by for wearing her festive sweaters. She plans out each day in advance and already has plans to wear her favorite on her birthday, Dec. 14. “I try to wear the more subtle ones first, like one that has red and white stripes like a candy cane,” Law said. “It gets gradually tacky as the month goes on, so I save the tackiest stuff until the week before Christmas break. Those are the sweaters that have bells on them and they jingle.” Sometimes, Law worries that by wearing her sweaters so early, people could get offended. But that doesn’t stop her. “I don’t see anything wrong with eating a Thanksgiving dinNighthawk News Magazine / / features

ner next to a Christmas tree in a Christmas sweater. The turkey tastes the same – no problem with me,” Law said with a laugh. The junior has gradually grown her collection of sweaters with help from her grandmother as well as by browsing thrift stores, yard sales and eBay. “When I first started collecting them, my grandmother had gotten them for my birthday because it is also in December, and I got a few for Christmas,” Law said. “A few of them my grandmother gave me were hers in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Most of them are vintage. I prefer the vintage ones over the new ones.” In fact, her most expensive sweater is vintage. “(It’s) a Charlie Brown and Woodstock one. It was $40 on eBay. It’s vintage and rare, so it could go for $80 if I wanted to resell it,” she said. Law also puts in a lot of creativity with her outfits by decorating her own shoes and creating her own earrings. “I got a pair of Christmas ornaments from Dollar Tree that I’m going to make into a pair of earrings,” she said. Law’s Christmas obsession also shines through in her decoration skills at home. “I try to always take charge of decorating the Christmas tree. I try not to be too bossy about it, but I want it to look perfect,” Law said. “My parents want to throw all the random decorations we have on there and make it look like a normal Christmas tree, and I want an in-the-magazines, picture-perfect Christmas tree.” But when it comes down to it, there are compromises that have to be made. “You get up close and you see all the little pictures from kindergarten with the decorated frames and the ones with all the pets in them, and my parents have these ornaments they got on their honeymoon they always put on there,” Law explained. “Never matches my theme, but I can’t force them to not put them on there.” Many times, her parents do not want her to decorate the house before the “appropriate” time. Despite that, Law takes matters into her own hands and secretly does it while they’re gone. This year she went with a gingerbread house theme with icicle lights. Law hopes that one day she can

Photo by Michaela Kelly/Nighthawk News Junior Lauren Law displays her array of Christmas sweaters – she now has 23! – at the most festive store on the OBX, The Christmas Mouse. go all out with her outside decorations. “I would like to go as intense as the Poulos’ house. That’s my dream. One day that will be me,” she said with a smile, referring to the Outer Banks’ most famous festive family. Holiday traditions are also prominent in the Law household: opening one gift on Christmas Eve, baking cookies, laying out carrots for the reindeer, watching movies (especially “Elf”) and even going out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner. “One year, our grandma tried to cook us a turkey,” Law recalled. “It was on a glass pan and she put it on top of the hot oven where it was so hot and it exploded, so there was turkey and glass all over. It was the funniest thing. We were just like, ‘Fine, we’ll just go get Chinese food again.’ ” For all their Christmas spirit, even the Laws have their flaws. Most often, those flaws are packaged on a sleigh fueled by the power of procrastination. “We always go last-minute Christmas shopping because my family is very last minute,” Law said.

“It’s Dec. 20 and they’re like, ‘We don’t have any gifts for anyone.’” Even after all those presents have been opened, the Christmas spirit lingers for Law and her family. They leave their tree up as long as possible and only reluctantly put away all the decorations until next year. Law’s obsession with Christmas has even led her to think about a future in which “it’s Christmas all year long.” “I have dreams of marrying into a Christmas tree farm,” she said with a laugh, only partially joking. “I think it would really suit me. I think it would be really fun to help people find their perfect Christmas tree.” The outfits and accessories are certainly ready. There’s no doubt Law has Christmas in the (giftwrapped) bag. “I love Christmas because it’s such a great time of the year,” she said. “Everyone is happy and it’s really hard to be sad during this time of the year, especially if you’re wearing a Christmas sweater.” Junior Hannah Ellington can be reached at


Strickler spreads sweet cheer during the holidays


By Alex Rodman Editor-in-Chief

he ladies at the library, the employees of Food Lion, the office staff, students, close friends, distant family, pleasant neighbors – all share an endearment for Clare Strickler’s homemade hard tack candy that she distributes throughout the holiday season. “It’s a recipe that’s been around forever, because originally it was called hard tack candy, kind of a Northern thing,” Strickler said. “The first time I had it was when I lived in West Virginia. The kids down here call it sea glass or beach glass candy.” Strickler has been a Dare County Schools substitute for 10 years after retiring from a teaching position in West Virginia and moving to the Outer Banks. Her sweet, bite-size square candies have been circulating around First Flight for over five years, and have developed into a staple of Strickler’s substituting reputation. “I started making it just to give it as gifts, because I always give food gifts. And I had some extra so I brought it into school and the rest is history,” Strickler said. “(The kids ask) ‘Are you bringing it in again? Are you bringing it in again?’ So I tell them, only from Halloween to Christmas. It’s not hard to make, but it is sort of labor intense.” From October to December., Strickler dedicates her Sundays to candy crafting and football. Amidst touchdowns and interceptions, she rotates baking and cooling her three traditional flavors: wintermint (blue), spearmint (green) and cinnamon (red). “I only make three flavors, but you can make any number of flavors,” Strickler said. “I’ve made root beer, I’ve made anise and I’ve made butter rum. Eh, they were OK, but these are what I call traditional flavors. Particularly red and green, it’s Christmas. I just do color coding for identification. Some people don’t like cinnamon: If you don’t like cinnamon, don’t take a red one.” Already having made roughly 40 pounds of candy this season, Strickler has four half-gallon bags filled in her kitchen ready to be separated and gifted. But, these


seemingly absurd quantities are justified by their high demand – especially from Strickler’s students – as her candy spreads far and wide over the holidays. “I bring it here to school. I give it to all my neighbors. I take some to the ladies at the library. I take some to the people at the Food Lion – they are always very nice to me. And I send a lot to my family,” Strickler said. “My one sister lives in Martha’s Vineyard and she has neighbors who keep asking her when I am going to send the candy. So yeah, it just became a thing.” Strickler’s vibrantly colored and flavored candy is a “thing” that has grown to be appreciated by many. “I think the whole mentality changes when you have her because it’s like a positive thing to get the candy,” senior Mattie Huband said. ”She’s very giving and looks out for others.” Among her students, Strickler ensures that her candy is earned. The candy is sweet, but students must be sweeter if they desire a piece of the mouthwatering treat. “They don’t get candy unless they say please and thank you. I will stand there and wait, and they’re looking at me saying ‘Blue.’ I said, ‘Did you forget something?’ (They reply) ‘Oh yeah, please.’ I have had days when they (the classes) have not been good and they don’t get any candy,” Strickler said. “So, it’s kind of a carrot and a stick.” Though distinguished for her delectable candy, students also know Strickler to perform headstands in class. “Actually, when I first started teaching I used to do them every day and then I decided, I’m getting too damn old. Too darn old,” Strickler quickly added. “And now I only do them on Fridays. It’s just because I like the surprise factor. People don’t think I can do them. I’m 71 years old. So you figure it out. But I do it because I can.” Strickler’s talents aren’t limited to acrobatics or candy making. She also bakes Christmas cookies and peppermint bark – reportedly just as delicious as her candy – for a select few during the holiday season. Though Strickler enjoys baking, she is most delighted by the way her treats touch so many and help them get into the Christmas spirit.

Strickler’S Sweet treatS Beach GlaSS candy

Ingredients: 2 cups of sugar 3/4 cup of corn syrup 1 cup of water 1 tbsp. of powdered sugar 1/2 tsp. flavoring oil (of your choice) 10 drops of food coloring (optional) Mix first three ingredients and cook to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (use candy thermometer). While the candy is cooking, cover a large board (20”by 30”) with foil and spray with cooking oil, wiping off the excess. Remove from the heat and add the food coloring and flavoring oil. Mix well. Pour mixture on the board. As it is cooling (almost immediately), start scoring the outer edges with a pizza cutter. As it cools, cut across the pan forming bite-sized peices. When it has cooled, completely break at scoring marks and shake all pieces in a bag with one level tablespoon of powdered sugar. Store in a tightly closed bag. “The people like it and I am a nice person, contrary to popular belief,” Strickler said with a laugh. “It’s just sort of almost become a tradition here, because when I bring it in, I just sort of spread it out in the office and pass it around

to people. I turn into a cooking fool at Christmas. But it’s fun. I enjoy giving food and watching people like it or not like it.” Senior Alex Rodman can be reached at

winter / / 2017

Fitzgerald granted the gift of a lifetime By Grace Sullivan Social Media Editor


ne morning two days after Christmas, junior Sam Fitzgerald received a gift much more significant than a bike or a trampoline. “I was outside playing with my new Razor Rip-Rider I had gotten, and my parents talked to me about getting a little sister,” Fitzgerald said. The news of this new addition came from a phone call Fitzgerald’s parents received the night after Christmas; however, the family first considered adoption years after their youngest son was born. “I was 6 years old and we found out we were gonna have a third sibling. Fingers were crossed for it to be a girl, because my little brother and I were wreaking havoc,” Fitzgerald said. “And ‘Star Wars’ was not my mom’s favorite. We found out it was going to be a boy. We weren’t upset or disappointed, though.” Even after the birth of Fitzgerald’s youngest brother, the family never gave up hope on having a little girl. ”Years went by and my mom really wanted a little girl still and was thinking about adoption,” Fitzgerald said. “She felt like she had been called to adopt and had been praying about having this little girl.” Following the birth of Fitzgerald’s youngest brother, his family moved from Georgia to Kentucky, where his mom, Brandie, began working in a group home for young moms. While there, Brandie developed a relationship with one of those mothers, and kept in touch with her even after moving to Virginia in 2011. Although Fitzgerald and his family moved, they had yet to move on from their dream of having a little girl. Then, however, the Fitzgerald’s got the call of a lifetime in 2013. “We were at my Grandma’s house for Christmas and my mom gets a call from the girl she had kept in touch with,” Fitzgerald said. “She was saying how she was having another baby, but wouldn’t be able to take care of it, and was asking if we would like to take care of her.” Nighthawk News Magazine / / features

Though this was the end of the search for a little girl and all of the problems seemed to have been solved, it was the beginning of a new – and oftentimes complicated – journey for the family. “We got an adoption lawyer and everything was set up, but it was back and forth toward the end if the mother wanted to keep the child or not. We had everything ready and were picking names,” Fitzgerald said. “My mom was going to pick Lila up, but the birth mom was really indecisive and had thought she came to the conclusion that she didn’t want to give up the baby.” Four months of back-and-forth decision making between the two mothers finally led to the adoption of Lila for the Fitzgeralds. Since her adoption, Lila has taught her family a wealth of lessons. “It put a whole new perspective about having open doors and being able to accept people that aren’t really like you, which is funny now because she has definitely adopted all of me and my brothers’ personality traits and is one of us,” Fitzgerald said. Lila hasn’t just become a new part of Fitzgerald’s family, but has become one of his biggest fans, too. “After every sports game she is always watching, and my dad points me out to her and she’ll say, ‘Go Nighthawks!’ and then after the game she’ll come up to me and give me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald’s friends have also fallen in love with Lila. “When I go over to Sam’s house, I walk in and Lila yells, ‘Hey Parker’ and I’m the only friend whose name Lila knows,” junior Parker Sylvia said. “She also has an imaginary friend named Parker, which is so funny. It’s so great because I just love hearing her yell my name and everyone gets so mad when she doesn’t know their name.” Though Lila has only been a part of his family for a few years, Fitzgerald’s life has been changed forever. “This has been such an awesome thing, it’s something I’ve thought about doing when I’m older for sure. It has positively shaped almost every aspect of my

Photo by Emma Strickland/Shorelines Junior Sam Fitzgerald hugs his little sister, Lila, on the sidelines after a football game. Lila is the littlest member of their family, but Sam’s biggest supporter. life,” Fitzgerald said. “The family has changed in less of a sense in blood but more along the lines of whoever you’re super close to in

life is considered family.” Junior Grace Sullivan can be reached at

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Kill Devil Hills (MP 5.5) ~ Nags Head (MP 10.5) Grandy ~ Manteo ~ Corolla ~ (252) 489-4677


Holiday traditions and memories


By Kejsi Zyka and Izzy Requa Staff Writers

ALL ABOUT the Menorah

The Menorah is lit during Hanukkah to honor the anniversary of the e-watching Christmas classics, finding a hidden rededication of the Second Temple in 2nd Century B.C.E. pickle, lighting the menorah and hunting hogs for the holidays – these are all Christmas Eve traditions Who lights it? held by students at First Flight. The “shamash” (helper) The menorah can be lit Freshman Teresa Stanley can’t wait for the month of candle is lit first in order by any member of the December and the fun activities that come with it. to light the other candles. household. It is viewed as Stanley’s Christmas Eve traditions consist of prepping a mitzah (good dead) for for her family’s holiday meal. anyone to light a menorah. “We usually butcher hogs to have the hams for When is it lit? Christmas,” Stanley said. “We love to go fishing The menorah and hunting on Christmas Eve. It’s our big family Blessings: is lit on each of thing.” Give thanks for the eight nights Stanley’s preparations don’t start early, and the blessing of of Hanukkah. once the big day arrives, there is still more to do the lighting of It burns at least before everything is ready. the Hanukkah one half-hour “I’m the only girl that goes hunting with the candles guys, and when we come back, the girls into the night. fix Christmas supper while the boys Give thanks for clean whatever we killed,” Stanley the miracles said. performed for The word “menorah” Although Stanley is excited about our ancestors means candelabra in her tradition, sophomore Laurel Hebrew. “ChannukGive thanks for allowing Perrin is not exactly looking forward us to reach this moment kiah” is the 9-branch to her family’s favorite activity this in time (recited on first candelabra used during Christmas Eve. night) Hanukkah. “We always watch the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ because it’s Graphic by Arabella Saunders/Nighthawk News my dad’s favorite movie,” Perrin said. “We have been doing this tradition for over six years, and after watching it so many times, it doesn’t appeal to me anymore.” Most churches hold special Christmas Eve services that include favorite hymns and the telling of the birth of baby Jesus, the angels and the Wise Men. However, for sophomore Madison Murry, the service isn’t always filled with heavenly peace. “During the candlelight service at Kitty Hawk United Methodist every year I get the candle that drips scalding hot wax onto my hand,” Murry said. “We don’t light the candles until ‘Silent Night’ at the end of service, but as soon as we start singing the candle wax starts dripping down my hand and I have to forcefully shove the candle into my mom’s hands so I don’t start screaming in the middle of the service.” Some traditions may get tiresome year after year, but when your holiday season includes two religions, there’s plenty of room for creativity. Sophomore Alan Layton’s Christmas Eve brings some unique traditions to the table. Layton celebrates his biological mother’s belief in Judaism as well as his adopted family’s belief in Christianity. “We have this pickle ornament that we put in our Christmas tree,” Layton said. “My siblings and I have to find it, and whoever is the first to find it gets $30. It’s really hard to see the ornament because we’re all trying to pick around a Christmas tree.” For the other part of Layton’s holiday season, he celebrates the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. “I light the candles in a menorah, one for each night, and I get a present,” Layton said. “Since I do not technically consider myself Jewish, the presents don’t really have to be religious. Normally I will get an Xbox one night, and the next night I will get something else that means something to (the) religion.” For Layton, celebrating both holidays gives him a chance to be part of different customs and to connect with his heritage. “My family celebrates Christmas, and I want to do the same, yet I feel obligated to celebrate Hanukkah because my biological mother was Jewish,” he said. “I guess I’m trying to find my roots, in a way.” No matter the tradition, just about everyone can agree that it really doesn’t matter how you celebrate the holidays: What’s important is that you’re doing it together. “Friends and family really make the holidays the most wonderful time of the year,” Layton said. Sophomores Kejsi Zyka and Izzy Requa can be reached at zykake0914@dareGraphic by Vega Sproul/Special to Nighthawk News and


2 3


winter / / 2017

(Above) Overwhelmed with excitement, senior Emma Strickland tears off wrapping paper to see what Santa brought her. “I don’t really remember it, but my parents told me I was the only grandchild, so Christmas was fun for me because I got all the attention and everyone just watched me open my presents,” she said. (Left) Junior Caroline Murray reacts to a gift on Christmas morning: “I was around 5 years old and I woke up super early to open all the presents,” she said. “This one was a Bluetooth princess neck pillow that you could listen to music out of and I remember I would bring it everywhere.”

(Left) Senior Mattie Huband and her sister pose for a silly picture: “Every year, Bailey and I have matching pajamas or outfits for Christmas. My mom always takes thousands of pictures, so of course we had to make a funny face,” Huband said. (Right) Junior Grace Hook poses with the bike she has received as a Christmas gift: “That Christmas, all of my older brothers and I slept in the same room. Well, when we woke up, they sent me out to see what presents were out there. Time and time again, I’d be sent out and come back with a report of all my toys and presents. Finally, Mom and Dad woke up and Christmas morning began,” she said. “I still have this great memory of my dad pushing me down the hallway on that bike.” (Left) Senior Leslie Jennings gets excited about her new gift: “I was really over-dramatic as a child, so that was my reaction to everything I opened,” Jennings said. “That easily could have been socks.” (Right) Sophomore Darci Kenny poses with her new Troy Bolton cut-out during Christmas 2008: “I remember being so happy about getting that because ‘High School Musical’ was my favorite thing in the world and I was definitely in love with Troy Bolton,” Kenny said. Nighthawk News Magazine / / features


2017: JULY

Construction workers damage transmission cables on the Bonner Bridge, knocking out power across the Outer Banks. The outage was coined “OBX Blackout.”


On Aug. 21, people put on protective glasses and tilted their heads to the sky to watch the “Great American Solar Eclipse.” The last time a total eclipse traveled this path was in 1918.


Hurricanes Harvey and Maria devastated Texas and Puerto Rico. Harvey ultimately caused $180 billion in damage, becoming the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history. Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico.


winter / / 2017




On Jan. 20, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Trump’s first month in office stirred controversy with his executive order banning travel from certain Majority-Muslim countries, his fiery tweets, and his attempts to repeal Obamacare.

The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, 34-28. The Patriots rallied from a 25-point deficit, making it the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

North Carolina repeals the highly controversial bathroom bill, HB2, that required transgender people to use bathrooms of their assignedat-birth sex.




On June 1, Trump announces that the U.S. will begin the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement – an international pact to combat climate change by cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

On May 22, a suicide bomber kills 22 and injures 512 at Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena in the U.K. The world was shocked as it watched Grande’s young fan base become a target for international terror.

A passenger on a United Airlines flight was forcibly removed after refusing to give up his seat after being bumped. A security guard dragged the man by his arms down the aisle, sparking a national debate over the treatment of passengers.




Facial recognition, edge-toedge display, glass body, no home button and even wireless charging: The new iPhone has it all. Released Nov. 3 with a price tag of $999, the iPhone X is the most expensive phone Apple has ever produced.

Time Magazine names “The Silence Breakers” for its “Person of the Year.” This is a nod to the #MeToo movement and the millions of people who have come out to speak about their stories of sexual harassment and assault.

A gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas – killing 58 people and injuring 546.

Graphic by Dagen Gilbreath/Nighthawk News Information compiled by Hunter Haskett and Sophie Johnson/Nighthawk News Photos by Tribune News Service Nighthawk News Magazine / / year in review


Our View: Nighthawk News stands with assault victims


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


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,, 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.

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


mid the rush of sexual ed that U.S. Senate candidate Roy harassment and assault Moore sexually assaulted a 14-yearallegations flooding the old girl when he was 32. Al Franken mainstream media, there’s was accused of sexual misconduct one thing that’s been avoided: as well, and on Dec. 7 announced addressing what “sexual assault” he would leave the Senate. actually is. There’s no clearcut anOver 20 women have publicly swer. The elusive term has escaped accused our president of sexual haany satisfactory definition. rassment, and there are a number Sexual assault has of videos of him throwbecome synonymous ing around derogatory with rape, and there’s terms lightly, jokingly. been a dismissive Arguably, one of the attitude toward any most shocking cases was talk of sexual assault against former “Today considered less severe Show” co-anchor Matt STAFF than rape. This attitude Lauer. NBC announced EDITORIAL has created a culture in Laurer’s termination on which women are afraid to speak Nov. 29 after accusations of sexual up, fearing backlash from strangmisconduct in the workplace. ers, friends and family alike. Even with these high-profile Sexual assault is not limited to cases, people tend to refer to sexual rape: It is the uninvited comments assault as an abstract idea, a foreign made at a gas station that create an concept, something that could nevuncomfortable, and even frightener happen to them or in their coming, atmosphere. It is the catcalls on munity. But on a local scale, sexual the street that reduce women to a misconduct happens here, too. word. It is the way men expect their The OBX economy is based off sexual advances to be met gracious- the happiness of tourists and the ly, and how women are often afraid satisfaction of customers. Many to defy men because their right to local restaurants employ teenage regulate their own body and feel girls making minimum wage in an respected may be met with violence. atmosphere that subjects these girls With accusations and evidence to pedophilic comments from older of sexual assault come consequenc- men at the bar. es – sometimes. Consequences get This leads to a difficult question handed out arbitrarily, inconsismost 16-year-olds don’t know how tently and often not at all. This to answer: Do they uncomfortably leads to a gray area surrounding laugh it off and awkwardly walk sexual assault. Clemency sets a away, contributing to the notion precedent for the way cases will that men can do and say what they be dealt with in the future, leading want? Or do they speak up, pomany to take these accusations tentially costing the restaurant a lightly. Whether it’s an unwarrantcustomer and themselves a job? ed comment or rape, all aspects of Although sexual harassment is sexual assault deserve to be dealt still widespread, we’ve taken the with in a serious manner, and it’s beginning steps to reduce it. On time to stop asking what the victim Dec. 6, Time Magazine named its was wearing or how she was acting. Person of the Year the “Silence This conversation regarding Breakers” – men and women who sexual misconduct was first sparked had the courage to speak out in October with a New York Times against their assaulters. This valiarticle citing decades of allegations dation is indicative of the progress against Hollywood icon Harvey that has been made and the progWeinstein. From there, the #Meress that is yet to come – but that’s Too Movement was born – a viral the thing, it is still to come. hashtag that Time Magazine deOften we look at publicized scribed as “an umbrella of solidaraccusations with a sense of deity for millions of people to come tachment, forgetting that sexual forward with their stories” of sexual harassment is happening every harassment and assault. Countless day, every where. Raising the next stars were accused of everything generation to be intolerant of any sexual misconduct is a start in from groping to rape. Powerful eradicating the pandemic that’s journalists resigned amid allegaplagued our society for decades. tions. The Washington Post report-


winter / / 2017

Something on your mind? Submit a letter to the editors to Opinions Editor Meghan Savona: savoname0701@


Dear Editors, am a victim of a sexual assault case that took place over four years ago. The time is not what matters about sexual assault cases, and that’s what I think is important for everyone to know as stories emerge on a daily basis about public figures being accused of sexual harassment and assault. Whether an incident happened five years ago or one hour ago, it still is an event that occurred, and one is just as important as the other. For me, it began as sexual harassment and continued until leading to assault. It was not a one-time event, but a series of events that occurred over a time span that I cannot completely remember. (This wasn’t a man who worked in my school or did anything at all for Dare County Schools.) In my particular case, I didn’t seek legal help until at least a year after the assault occurred. After a year passed, I was confronted by someone who had suspicions of the incidents, and this led me to seek legal help. But first I had to confront my parents about the situation, which was the hardest part. How do you tell your parents that for a long duration of time you were enduring some sort of awfulness and never spoke out while it was happening? My parents weren’t the only ones to figure out what happened. Some girls I knew were still around the assaulter. I didn’t want to start anything – that wasn’t my motive. The only reason I came out about my incident was because I

thought it would prevent it from happening to others. At this point, girls and parents began to talk about me, saying things like, “She is just trying to get an innocent man in trouble.” I was 12 years old – ruining a 35-year-old man’s life was not on my agenda. Then again, neither was getting sexually assaulted. The remarks of these parents and peers brought me down. I didn’t think that would be the outcome of the situation. It seems simple, but it is not: Sexual harassment and assault aren’t black and white, but rather gray. There isn’t one way to handle a situation: Every situation is different and requires different approaches. The legal help that I initially sought was pathetic. I spoke with a detective, showed the messages I received from my assaulter and shared my experience. It wasn’t until other victims came forward and this individual was arrested that I tried again. My first attempt to tell my story was at least a year earlier, and since that time I had blocked everything out and carried on with life trying to not think about what had happened. A story on local media was posted and shared all over Facebook, calling for others who had been involved to contact law enforcement, and I did so. At this point, it had been almost four years since the incidents began and I had mentally blocked most of the events, so of course I couldn’t give exact times and locations. Everything is a blur to me, but I know what happened and that the interactions between the individual and I were not what I wanted them to be. I left the interviews that day wondering if I was at fault. Had I done something wrong? Was it my fault that this happened to me?

Eventually, the individual was charged with indecent liberties with children and statutory sexual offense in September 2015. In December of 2016, he was sentenced to an active maximum sentence of 32 months. Some people were outraged that his sentence was only two and a half years. I was also upset when I first heard this, but my feelings are different now. Nothing that was done to me or the others involved was right. I cannot speak for the others who were involved, especially since I have no clue who they are. But there is something I can say that I’ve never said before: I forgive my sexual assaulter for his actions directed toward me, as well as my peers and their parents who thought I was lying, for they were just as wrong as the man who did what he did. Forgiveness is a conscious act, and for me, this is the only way to carry on with my life. I hope that he knows what he did was wrong, and by pleading guilty I feel that he understood this. I still have a fear of seeing him in public. I do have some emotional scars from the situation, but this does not define me. I am not just a sexual assault victim. I am so much more than that, to the point that I forget about what has happened to me. I don’t enjoy talking about or thinking about what happened, but it feels right to share my experience in the hope of letting others know that there is no time frame on when you can share an experience, and to not give up on seeking help. This happened to me in the past, and that is that: I will not let it hold me back and prevent me from experiencing the fullest life that everyone deserves. – Anonymous

Illustration by Lauren Kerlin/ Special to Nighthawk News Nighthawk News Magazine / / opinions


Sex ed conversations should continue throughout school


s the projector turns on, photos of discuss sex, their bodies and their relationships gonorrhea and herpes flash upon the thanks to informative presentations taught by screen while middle-schoolers glance Dare County Department of Health employuncomfortably around the room. The ees, such as our school nurse, and other guest “sex ed” curriculum in the state of North Caroli- speakers utilized in the health classes. na consists of making fear synonymous with sex The fact remains, however, that sex ed still in the minds of 13-year-old children. needs to be altered. In middle school, I could Sex ed is given in midname every STD and teen dle school, when less than 4 pregnancy horror story there percent of students 13 and was to tell. What I couldn’t exunder report having had sex, plain were the advantages and according to – the disadvantages of birth control Resource Center for Adolescent and how to talk to your parents Pregnancy Prevention. The about getting it. I knew all same study shows that a year about The Big A – abstinence – later, that number dramatiNighthawk Notions but was never told about how cally jumps to 16 percent. By sex is coupled with emotion. senior year, that number about Meghan Savona A year later, when I got triples. to high school, I remember being shown picWhile the early approach is a good start, our tures of the same STDs and being given a short schools need to be revisiting sex ed at a more aplecture about sex – especially the dangers of it – propriate time – a time when more students are before being dismissed to play basketball. actually having sex or thinking about having sex. Slamming students who have barely hit To me, it feels like our educational approach puberty with terrifying images of mutilated consists of scaring kids into not having sex, genitalia and stories of teen moms who’ve been which works – until it doesn’t. When the time abandoned by their family and turned into ancomes three or four years later, kids will have other dropout statistic isn’t how sex ed should questions about sex, but many don’t know work. Instead, teenagers should be educated where to turn. This leads to many kids feeling and informed by having an adult conversation. isolated and unwilling to ask any questions. Throughout high school, students need to For me, these sex ed lessons came four and be reminded where to get appropriate contrafive years ago. Now, a sexual education curricception, how to prevent STDs, where they can ulum from the state that includes lessons on abstinence, contraception and healthy relation- find an adult to talk to and how to cope with the emotional side of sex and relationships. Instead, ships is in place. Today, students can maturely

the sex talk stops where it begins – eighth or ninth grade. Students are learning about all the ways that sex can go wrong and not learning enough about how to prevent those same potential issues. While certainly our sex ed curriculum is better than the 11 states that teach “abstinence only,” it’s still not as expansive as it could be. The conversation needs to start at an early age and continue with students throughout high school. We’ve taken a conversation that should be happening maturely and instead turned it into something that kids are scared to talk to their parents about. By taking an inappropriate approach to sex ed, our state is putting a lot of teenagers at risk in many ways. If we start the conversation at a young age and consistently talk about it through high school – and even college – hopefully students will feel more confident and comfortable with themselves. In college, kids are on their own and it’s up to them. Talking about sex should be empowering, not intimidating. Questions about sex, your body or relationships? Here’s who you can contact: • Visit the Dare County Health Department at 109 Exeter St. in Manteo or call (252) 4755003 for more info on Women’s Health and Planning Services and STD screenings. • Stop by Nurse Robyn’s office or contact her at • Text “PPNOW” to 774636 to get answers about pregnancy, contraception, STDs and more. Senior Meghan Savona can be contacted at

Books to avoid your obligations over break


hen picturing the perfect afternoon during winter break, books may not be what first comes to mind. Even so, no break is complete without one. Books can make us laugh, cry – and even help us avoid our family during holiday gatherings by claiming you have a book report due next week! Whatever your reason for reading, here are the top five books you don’t want to miss out on this holiday season:

“Every Last Lie” By Mary Kubica. “Every Last Lie” follows the story of a seemingly picture-perfect family, and the dark secrets that lie underneath the surface. Clara Solberg’s world is shattered when her husband, Nick, dies in a car crash, leaving behind a bankrupt Clara and their two children. The crash is ruled an accident, but Clara begins to unravel the truth, and learns that there may be someone to blame for the death of her husband.


Nighthawk Notions Suzanne Harrison “Turtles All the Way Down” By John Green. The newest release from John Green is one of his best books yet. This book tells the story of Aza, a 16-year-old girl who is trying to learn how to become the perfect person. As she tries to become someone she is not, billionaire Russell Pickett enters her life, and the mystery surrounding him changes her life. Must read! “A Gentleman in Moscow” By Amor Towles. My mom actually challenged me to read this book. At

first I was hesitant, but after only a few pages, I was hooked. “A Gentleman In Moscow” takes place in 1922 as Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a luxurious hotel for the rest of his life. He is trapped inside as some of the most heartbreaking historical moments in

Russian history take place right outside his door. There is a reason this book topped the New York Times best-seller list for many months. “Today I Will.” By Carmen Warrington. This book brings messages of hope, creativity, love and medwinter / / 2017

Yes, I have a sibling. No, we are NOT the same “Five minutes, you’re going to be late!” “We both have features that are the same in some way,” Courtney said. “I know that almost every time you cry I will cry too, but whenever I cry it has no effect on you.” Although Courtney may be younger than me, hese are questions that my twin Courtshe is taller by about two and a half inches. She ney and I get daily. Just because we are may be the twin with the longer legs, but that twins doesn’t mean we are the same doesn’t matter because I am older by four minperson – I can assure you, we have utes. (Fun fact: If she was five minutes younger many differences. than me, I would be a day older). We are fraternal twins, meaning that we I may be shorter, but I can assure you I have developed from two different eggs, unlike a more outspoken personality. When it comes to identical twins who were developed in the talking to people, I am defisame egg. Although we look nitely the twin who talks more. similar, it isn’t too hard to tell I have no filter when it comes us apart. to being around people. Even I feel like the term “twins” if I don’t know the person I am is commonly misinterpreted talking to, I will speak what is for many people. Sometimes on my mind, while Courtney people perceive twins as havis a little more conservative ing inherently few differences, about what she will say around whereas Courtney and I have others. lots of differences – especially Nighthawk Notions regarding our personality. I may have to work on that – In fact, Courtney and I are she definitely is better at watchGray Tillett polar opposites of each other ing what she says. in many ways. While I dominate the conversa“For sure, you are definitely the kind of tion at dinner, Courtney often sits more quietly, person to say whatever is on your mind. Someobserving. She has a high voice when she sings, times I never know if it is a blessing or a curse,” whereas mine is low. Courtney said with a laugh. I may not be able to stay up late, but if I do I Despite my outgoing personality, I have will not sleep in the whole day like Courtney. If trouble speaking in front of people. If I have I have to stay up till 3 a.m. doing homework, I to read something out loud, I tend to stutter will make sure I am up in the morning ready for and slur my words. I definitely don’t have stage school. But if Courtney is up at 3 a.m., she will fright. I just have trouble reading out loud. If I most definitely lay in bed until our mom yells, were to read something out loud perfectly, just Do you have twin telepathy? Do you feel pain when she feels pain? Were you born on the same day? Do you have the same thoughts?


know that I practiced reading that piece at least 50 times before. But Courtney has the ability to read anything in front of everyone as if she has read it a million times. That’s why, for example, at Bible study I am never asked to read a passage, while Courtney is asked to read almost every chapter. Although Courtney and I are different in many ways, we certainly have our similarities, too. When it comes to athletic ability, we are pretty equal, although this past year with tennis I was the No. 1 on the team while Courtney was No. 4. But when we challenge each other, we are each other’s biggest competition. Although the rankings on the team may say otherwise, we both definitely have our days. There will be times when she will serve me (no pun intended), and I have days when I will ace her. Yes, we do sometimes play doubles with each other. When watching us play doubles, it is not uncommon to hear one of us yelling “you got that” or “yours” or “smash it!” We tend to communicate the whole time we’re on the court together. We also both share the interest of becoming criminal justice lawyers. We share a love for traveling, especially when it involves being gone for a long time. But even in our similarities, we have some differences. That’s what makes us unique. And that’s why people need to realize that, just because someone has a sibling or is a twin, they are not the same person. Sophomore Gray Tillett can be reached at Don’t forget that you don’t have to buy all your books! Students have access to a growing online library:

itation tips for times when life and stress begin to build. It is one of those books you want to keep by your bedside table when you know you have mountains of homework that night. This is definitely a book you will hold on to forever. NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / opinions

“Big Little Lies” By Liane Moriarty. This is my favorite book on the list. “Big Little Lies” surrounds the lives of mothers Jane, Celeste and Madeline. These women put the “B” in baggage. They struggle with abusive partners, failed marriages and

workplace romances. Together, they discover a heart-wrenching secret, turning every single one of their lives upside down. Senior Suzanne Harrison can be reached at

1. Go to the FFHS home page, 2. Scroll down until “Quick Links” are visible on the left-hand side. 3. Click on “Library.” This navigates to the school’s online title database. Click on “First Flight High School.” It would be a good idea to bookmark this page for later use! 4. In the search bar, type in “overdrive.” This will filter all of the ebooks out, as they are the only titles that use the OverDrive system. This keyword can also be added to a title search to find a specific ebook. 5. Select a book by clicking on the title. Next, click on the “Open” button at the top right corner to access it. 6. Students will be taken to a login screen, where they type in their NCEdCloud login. 7. Next, click the “BORROW” button in the middle of the page, and follow the instructions to go to the cart. 8. Here, students can choose whether they would rather read the book in the OverDrive app or web reader, or to check out the Kindle ebook and read it on a Kindle device or app. For Kindles, you will need to connect to your Amazon account. 9. Happy reading!


War-torn Syria (but not US) joins Paris Accord? Thanks, Trump


he Paris Agreement is a unification and legal document between 195 countries (not including the U.S.) to ensure that the global temperature does not rise more than another two degrees Celsius. “The ravages of climate change are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible,” a press release regarding the Paris Agreement said. According to the Climate Science Special Report: • “Human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” • “Global average sea level has risen by about 7-8 inches since 1900.” • “A (sea level) rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out.” • “Over the next few decades (2021–2050), annual average temperatures are expected to rise by about 2.5°F for the United States.” • “The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, the three warmest years on record for Graphic by Hunter Snyder/Special to Nighthawk News the globe, and continued decline in arctic sea.” The facts above are from a government report supposed to run our country the next four years. that the plan itself wouldn’t work, it’s just that released in November recognizing global warmSince our change in government, the United it might not work in the amount of time we need ing as a real threat to the earth, and not fake States has become the self-centered, spoiled, it to. We need to stay active as a nation with the news. Understand how big rich child of the world. EsParis Agreement. If not, then we lose another of a deal this is. The governpecially after our new preschance to slow the climate change process. ment released this. It was just ident’s most recent decision “We’re closer to the margin than we think. last summer when President in withdrawing from the Paris If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time Obama had to use executive Climate Agreement. left,” said Adrian Raftery, lead researcher of action just to sign the Paris What I want to know is: Natural Climate Change. Accord, because the oppoWhy? Why would the U.S. Trump has made it clear that the U.S. is not sition in Congress wouldn’t (more specifically, Trump) regoing to have any involvement in the Accord, even listen to a sentence with fuse to support an agreement but apparently California doesn’t agree with or the word “climate” involved. that is supposed to help save have any intention of following his decision. Nighthawk Notions On June 1, the United our climate? Global warming In 2018, San Francisco will be hosting a cliEmmy Trivette States, under Trump’s adminis real, it’s happening. If you mate change gathering apart from the U.S. This istration, began the process want more evidence, I recomis the first time a state will be hosting an interof withdrawing from the Paris Accord, and will mend looking up the Climate Science Special national meeting separate from the country. be fully withdrawn by 2020. However, Syria – a Report to find your proof. Gov. Jerry Brown has taken it into the metaphorcountry devastated by civil war – has emerged In today’s world, you’d be hard pressed to ical hands of California to create a better name from the ashes to become the 195th signatory find a single environmental academic who can’t for the U.S. in regards to renewable energy. on the Paris Accord. tell you there is some kind of change going on “He (Trump) doesn’t speak for America,” When I heard this announcement, I was with the earth’s climate. Brown said in an interview with Rawstory in July. shocked. How can you deny the validity of “The entire country is FREEZING - we desThe United States – the country with all the climate change? There is proof. It’s here. It’s perately need a heavy dose of global warming, resources in the modern world at its disposal happening. Climate change is real, and we (the and fast! Ice caps size reaches all time high,” and a billionaire businessman as its president, U.S.) have the opportunity to do something President Trump tweeted in 2014. can’t make a civil democratic decision as a naabout it, but instead we’re going to do nothing On June 12, 2017, 12 days after Trump antion to come together to sign a treaty that has but sit and watch 195 other countries try their nounced the U.S. was going to withdraw from a chance to stop the temperature climb another best to save our planet. the Paris Agreement, NASA reported that “an two degrees Celsius. Rather, as a nation, we’ve Here, the government is releasing reports iceberg the size of Delaware” broke off part of resolved to just sit in our comfy, cookie-cutter that have actually recognized global warming Antarctica’s main ice shelf. houses and do nothing but watch the ice caps as an issue. Surprising, when you consider our Those are two statements that strongly melt as a state government desperately tries to recent change in leadership. contradict each other, and I think I’m going to save our climate and our reputation. “The concept of global warming was created believe the one supported by evidence. And Syria, the war-torn country that is much by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. If we withdraw from this agreement, the less developed than the U.S., can put aside its manufacturing non-competitive,” President nations supporting the accord will lose some of (did I mention this?) civil war to sign a treaty that Donald Trump tweeted in 2014. their primary funding and resources. could help make a difference on a global scale. This astonishing tweet came from the (small) The plan’s main goal is to help less-develWe need to remain in the Paris Agreement. hands of our president. President Trump (I’m oped countries become more energy efficient, We need to start a protest and take it to Washtrying to process this) said that China invented so without U.S. funding the accord just lost one ington. Our withdrawal is unnecessary and our the concept of global warming. Just think about of its primary sources and also the support of a elected officials need to know that we want that: This is the man we elected to run our coun- powerful delegation. them to do something about it, not just the try and deal with international affairs, and he’s Some experts, however, have suggested that great state of California. going around saying China created the concept even with the U.S., there is still only a slim Sophomore Emmy Trivette can be reached at of global warming? I have no idea how Trump is chance that this agreement could work. It’s not


winter / / 2017

I was supposed to write a headline, but I have senioritis


n Oct. 31, at approximately 5:08 p.m., my brain checked out. It packed its bags and headed to the airport with a warm tropical destination in mind, leaving my body in limbo. School work and essays pile up, but there’s no one home to do them. My brain checked out and who knows when it’ll return. Back at home, my body started to succumb to illness: a dangerous disease that infects the whole body, especially the brain. First was a glazed-over look that everyone started to notice, but I brushed it off and attributed it to a lack of sleep over four long years. Next came a wave of lethargicness. I no longer felt the need to do my work and, eventually, try at all. Finally, I entered a zombie-like state, where I could barely make myself do even the smallest task. Writing my name on a worksheet or checking my email was something I look pride in. I finally mustered up the strength to talk to my doctor. I told her about my symptoms and my missing brain. She walked out of the room with a concerned look on her face. She came back in, sat down and said she had horrible news. I sat on the white crinkly paper and looked at the floor. “Beverly, you have...” she cleared her throat. “You have ... senioritis.” A single tear fell from my eye

Nighthawk Notions Beverly Murry onto the cold tile floor. How would I tell my teachers that I simply couldn’t do work anymore? I had worked so hard the last three years that my brain just couldn’t handle it anymore. I decided to let my friends and family know one by one. They all accepted me with warmth and told me no matter what they’d still love me. At school, my classmates came up to tell me they too had senioritis. I was so relieved. I was not alone in my battle. Then I started getting college acceptance letters. When the first one came in the mail, I felt a wave of intense nausea and almost fainted on site. My motivation was already in the negatives, but somehow started to plummet even further. I could barely get out of bed in the morning, but I managed to soldier on. A few weeks later I got my second letter. As soon as the crisp envelope was ripped open and the

letter inside was read, I passed out and started having convulsions on my kitchen floor. What happened next NAME: Beverly Murry was a blur. SEX: Female AGE: 17 While BIRTH DATE: 3/16/2000 in a coma, I CLASS: Senior HEIGHT: 5’2’’ had horrible nightmares of past school work. ChemiSYMPTOMS: Persistent fatigue, glazed-over eyes, lethargic, cal equations, zombie-like state, showing signs of being allergic to failed quizzes, homework, emails, and extracurriculars SAT questions I didn’t know, Diagnosis: “Frankenstein,” Poetry Out Loud. These and more terrifying ideas swirled in my head, scaring me so badly I awoke with a loud Graphic by Vega Sproul/Special to Nighthawk News gasp. I looked ly on her computer next to me. around me. I didn’t recognize This must be a dorm room. It was the room at all. It was small. The all just a nightmare. I made it to walls were adorned with pictures college – so clearly, I overcame my haphazardly tied to the Christmas affliction and finished my senior lights that surrounded the cinder year. block walls. Below me, throw pilSenior Beverly Murry can be lows and clothes littered the floor. reached at murrybe0316@dareAnother girl was working

Don’t be trashy: a letter from your Environmental Club


tems the Environmental Club has found while recycling: cheese, gum, apple sauce, an ice pack, a moldy smoothie, a used Band-Aid. All of these things are disgusting. None of these things are recyclable. Every Monday and Thursday afternoon, members of the Environmental Club weave in out of classrooms, grabbing recycling bins and separating paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard. In a perfect world, recyclable materials would be the only things we’d have to touch, but for reasons we cannot fathom – laziness? Ignorance? Resolute indifference? – the Environmental Club spends a good portion of its time picking out candy wrappers shoved into empty water bottles or throwing away tissues carelessly dropped in our soda-stained bins. Although it may seem like a NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / opinions

Nighthawk Notions Arabella Saunders mindless task, the time the Environmental Club spends recycling each week adds up: I’ve jokingly begun referring to us as the Recycling Club. At least twice a week, Environmental Club members devote their Empower Time periods to organizing recyclables into their respective bins and – sadly – sorting out people’s trash as well. It’s true, sometimes sorting out trash can provide entertainment.

We’ve played “What are the Odds?” to see who would have to drink spoiled milk (they both chose 26). We’ve transformed into detectives to decipher what kind of prescription medication was buried at the bottom of a blue bin. We’ve created our very own Environmental Club Trash Myths (members claim they once found a condom wrapper). Although it can be amusing, the majority of the time, sorting trash out from the recycling proves irritating. The Environmental Club’s mission is to aid FFHS in becoming an eco-friendly school. Recycling is important, but we wish to accomplish a variety of goals — a school greenhouse, a community compost pile, fundraisers, beach clean-ups and more. Unfortunately, many of our goals never make it farther than a Google Docs brainstorming session due to the time and effort

we spend not only recycling, but sorting out trash. We’ve decorated posters, we’ve printed step-by-step guides (we’ve even laminated them), we’ve spoken to teachers, we’ve spoken to peers. The Environmental Club has taken multiple steps to assist First Flight in becoming a more eco-friendly place. But all we really ask is that students and staff take a few seconds before throwing something away and ask themselves, “Is this recyclable? If so, should it go in the blue bin or the brown paper bag?” Those few seconds on your part can save the Environmental Club a crucial amount of time – time we could use to transform Nighthawk-blue FFHS into a greener place. Senior Arabella Saunders can be reached at


‘Wanna do a classroom Secret Santa?’ Bah! Humbug!


ome people truly enjoy exchanging gifts flawed in that it assumes that the patrons have with strangers, but for others the mere an established connection that will allow them thought of it is stressful. Secret Santa is a to genuinely meet each other’s wishes. The common classroom activity in which class- anxiety incurred by this presumption leads to participants asking for simple mates are paired at random to gifts that don’t reflect their give each other gifts, assuming real wishes or desires. Partners that a group of surly teenare selected at random for agers who only really know Secret Santa, and most of the each other through school will time they have no real shared happily put down money and friendship to be in a position effort for one another. to give or receive gifts to one This is only true for a mianother in a satisfying manner. nority of Christmas fanatics, those who will do anything to Gifts are an intimate reflecNighthawk Notions fill the gaping hole of childtion of a relationship between Dagen Gilbreath hood Christmas nostalgia friends or family – they are to that eats at them once a year. loved ones from loved ones. To clear the air, these remarks do not reflect on Gifts are unique to both the recipient and the Secret Santa as a whole, but are just in reference giver. Whether it be the content of the gift or to the classroom brand of Secret Santa. When per- the context it fits, gifts are sacred. In a classformed by a friend group or family, it is a fun twist room setting, Secret Santa violates the sanctity on conventional holiday celebration. Classroom of gift-giving as a whole. Secret Santa, however, is a different story. The tradition of giving presents to loved Classroom Secret Santa is fundamentally friends and family is turned into a mere gesture

that mimics the aforementioned holiday. It’s nothing more than a hollow husk of an activity, a feigned gesture with no more meaning to it than the passively wished for presents it incurs. It is cruel and impersonal, a mockery on the students it is supposed to benefit. Of course, this entire argument implies that Secret Santa is a serious thing, which is false. Secret Santa holds about as much importance as you let it; however, being coerced into participating is, on its own, enough to discourage the success of it as a whole. Like many other things, creating a forced structure around a fun activity essentially dooms it to become a less genuine shadow of what it represents. Much like mandatory Valentine’s Day cards, Secret Santa is a compulsory gesture that makes nobody feel particularly great. The only way a person can come out of Secret Santa and feel some pang of satisfaction is by lowering expectations to a minimum, and expecting name-brand candy at best. Senior Dagen Gilbreath can be reached at

Celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah makes December twice as nice


ights fill the room. In one corner of our living room stands a tall Christmas tree decorated with colorful lights and shiny ornaments. In the other corner is a different kind of light – the warm glow of lit candles that are slowly dripping wax all over the Menorah and the table beneath it. Both lights tell the story of an important part of two different religions, two religions that are intertwined in my life. My mom’s side of the family is Christian, and my dad’s side is mostly Jewish. Though I consider myself more of a Christian, I have been able to grow up being taught about both religions. In a lot of ways, Christmas and

Nighthawk Notions Izzy Requa

Hanukkah are very similar. For starters, they both celebrate a miracle; for Christmas it was the birth of Jesus, and for Hanukkah it was oil that was supposed to last one day but was able to last eight. Both holidays are centered around lights. For Christmas, it’s the tradition of stringing up lights

around a tree and pretty much anywhere else you can put them, or putting a star on top of the tree to symbolize The Star of Bethlehem – the light that led the Wise Men to Jesus. Similarly, the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, where candles are lit in a Menorah, celebrates the victory in the Maccabean Revolt. Both holidays also involve gift giving, but not in a traditional sense. Giving gifts during Hanukkah has grown recently because Jewish parents didn’t want their kids to feel left out while everyone else was celebrating Christmas. But since we celebrate both, we usually save the gift giving for Christmas, and spend Hanukkah just hanging out together. While Hanukkah

was never meant to be the Jewish equivalent of Christmas, it’s popularity has grown because it is celebrated in December. I enjoy both holidays, from decorating the Christmas tree and lighting the menorah to baking cookies for Santa, and unwrapping Hanukkah gelts or chocolate coins. Both holidays create a very peaceful atmosphere – unless, of course, you’re frantically running around shopping for gifts. It has been a great experience to learn about two different religions. It is nice to have two times the light in the dark month of December. Sophomore Izzy Requa can be reached at

Hawk Talk: With the holiday season in full swing,

“ ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’ It gets me excited for the Christmas season and I know the words.” – junior Cassidy Joyce


“ ‘Carol of the Bells.’ It’s a Christmas song but it feels suspenseful, too.” – senior Kaylee Story

“ ‘Feliz Navidad.’ It brings a little bit of culture into the holiday mix.” – senior Logan Haas

“ ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.’ It’s a good song with funny words.” – freshman Ingris Jimenez winter / / 2017

I never see winter coming


uddenly, everything goes dark. I stand in the freezing cold hoping to find a hand to hold on to, reaching out for someone, anyone, to lead me in the right direction. The fog is everywhere. And that’s when I have to do it. I force myself to remove my glasses. I stumble around basically blind, leaving my warm car behind to face the frigid temperatures. Having glasses during the winter months is, essentially, a real-life horror movie. One minute I’m sitting in a toasty car, home or store and the next Nighthawk Notions I’m being Suzanne Harrison thrown out into the freezing cold with fogged-up glasses. Weather: I’m already punished enough by having terrible eyesight: Why must you hurt me more by making me take off my glasses in order to allow me to see? Isn’t that the point of them? Some days it’s almost better to go blind. Waking up in the dead of winter to a freezing room means that the moment I place my glasses on my face, the tip of my nose will automatically freeze up as well. Not the best way to start the day. I understand that I could wear contacts and this problem would go away, but I would rather wear the painfully cold glasses than stick a finger in my eye any day of the week. Right behind cold temperatures, unpredictable weather follows. The first snow of winter may bring excitement to most, but for me, it

Illustration by Jackie Kuhn/Special to Nighthawk News means constant snow landing on my glasses, leaving a wet streak behind when I try to wipe the snow away using only gloves. This process leaves me not only with wet glasses and wet gloves, but scratched lenses as well. As with anything negative, there are always positives that go with it, and winter is no exception: two weeks off of school, holidays to celebrate, fun vacations. This year, in an effort to fit in as much fun as possible before the year is over, my family is going on a ski trip. I love skiing, but I wish I could appreciate the beauty of the white blob that appears in front of my

face. Racing down a mountain and loose glasses do not mix. Then again, I’m not an amazing skier, so being able to blame my lack of coordination on not being able to see actually works in my favor. The winter months are hard no matter what the circumstances. But if you’re one of the unlucky few stuck wearing glasses during the upcoming months, I wish you the best of luck – and I can’t wait to see you in spring. Senior Suzanne Harrison can be reached at

what’s your favorite Christmas song and why?

“ ‘Silent Night’ by Michael Bublé: The song sets the mood for Christmas, and Bublé is a really good singer.” – sophomore Joe Davidson Nighthawk News Magazine / / opinions

“ ‘Silver Bells.’ My mom always sings that song to me and we play it when we decorate our tree.” – freshman Alexius Drake

“ ‘Mistletoe’ by Justin Bieber. It’s a really cute song about being lonely but has a happy rhythm.” – junior Taina Santana

“ ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’ It has a cool beat.” – sophomore Shawna Cottrell


‘Outerbabes’ surfing the Outer Banks By Shelby Miller Staff Writer


alking down the beach, the feeling of sand between her toes, the warm sun on her skin and surfboard in hand, freshman Acy Davis is ready to jump in the ocean and practice her new surfing techniques. Once a week, a group of four freshmen girls known as the “Outerbabes” meet at the beach to do what they love most. Their skill levels vary, but they have one thing in common: their passion for surfing. “I really enjoy surfing with other girls,” Davis said. “I usually only surf with guys and I don’t really like it. And the leader of the club is really cool. It’s really fun because not many other girls surf.” First Flight alumna Bri Vuyovich is the club leader and a surfer herself. Motivated by her desire to help other girls better their surfing, build character and make memoPhoto submitted by Bri Vuyovich ries in the ocean, Vuyovich created First Flight alumna Bri Vuyovich (top right) and other ‘Outerbabes’ enjoy art journaling following an afternoon surf Outerbabes. session. Outerbabes is an all-girl club created by Vuyovich centered around character-building and surfing. “This has been a dream of mine art and surfing and who have made for a long time,” Vuyovich said. “I a difference in the world. We talk thought of the surf school about about the traits they carry and why five years ago. I’ve been traveling they are so successful.” the world for the past few years, While Vuyovich’s goal with the but breaking my ankle has sort of club was to teach, she actually has forced me to be home. It gave me learned a lot about herself since time to finally start this.” starting Outerbabes. Although the club has only “I feel so lucky with the group been meeting for a month, the girls I have. They are always so eager have learned a lot very quickly. Wishing you and your family a Vuyovich films the girls surfing and to be in the water regardless of the conditions. If it’s flat, they still together, they study the videos to Happy and Healthy New Year! go surf. If it’s improve. messy, they go “We’ve gone Nags Head Office surf and catch over so many Join Outerbabes Pediatric & some aweways to surf and Adolescent Care Only today, girls! Email some waves,” I have learned to (252) 449-5200 Vuyovich said. better my skills,” 100 East Dune Street briseaart@gmail. “They’ve taught Davis said. Christian Lige, MD me to be excit“We talk about com and check out Kill Devil Hills Office ed to be in the different surfing the club’s Instagram water again and techniques.” Pediatric & Adult Care (252) 261-1304 surf no matter The club’s @outerbabessurf. 400 S. Croatan Hwy what.” activities don’t Phillip Austin, MD With Outonly consist Kellie Flock, PA erbabes only of surfing and consisting of four girls, Vuyovich learning new maneuvers. Vuyovich Kitty Nags Head Office is eager to get the word out about has thought of some other ways to Pediatric & Adult Care teach the girls how to be successful the club. (252) 255-5321 “I really want people to know out of the water. 5107 N. Croatan Hwy, that it’s open to anyone. Any girl “We also do art journaling Suite 102/202 Jennifer Halloran who loves the water and loves to because it’s a great way to get your Todd Feltz, PA thoughts down on paper,” Vuyovich surf should join,” Vuyovich said. “I Erin Caffrey, PA wish I could do this every day.” said. “It revolves around getting Junior Shelby Miller can be character and learning who you are Accepting New Patients! reached at millersh0814@dareas a person. We also look at other Find us on Facebook or Visit women who are really successful in


winter / / 2017

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Star athlete brings new look to wrestling room By Arabella Saunders Editor-in-Chief


beam of light from the small, square window of the wrestling room glints off the practice mat as the lone female grappler calls out drills. “Down block!” “Down block, shot!” “Sweep!” Sprawl!” The wrestlers halt. “Ninety seconds to cool down,” assistant coach Jay Hawes says. The seconds pass quickly before the wrestlers are back in their starting positions — knees bent, sweat dripping down their faces to hide beneath layers of cotton warm-ups. Senior Alex Nguyen continues to call drills, gliding across the mat with seemingly endless intensity and grace. The boys persist with heavy breaths and slower movements. She laughs, mistakenly calling “down block” in the place of “sprawl,” and soldiers on. Although Nguyen transferred to First Flight from Clarksburg High School in Maryland only weeks ago, her transition into the the FFHS wrestling program has proved seamless. “She fell right in, fell right in place,” head coach Russell Kepler said. “She doesn’t mind working hard and we love that about her.” News of Nguyen’s move traveled fast. She arrived as an accomplished wrestler, going 24-4 her junior year, as well as earning multiple national placements in competitions such as the Super 32 Challenge and Body Bar Women’s National Championships. “My first impression of her got to me before I even got to talk to her,” Kepler said. “It traveled pretty quickly that she was going to be moving down to this area and even before I met her I was pretty excited.” Nguyen first began wrestling in the sixth grade. She progressed through the middle school program, placing sixth at a state-level wrestling match. By her junior year at Clarksburg, Nguyen had earned the title of team captain. Despite her talent for wrestling, however, Nguyen is best known for a different form of grappling. “Jiu-jitsu is my passion,” she said. “It’s my sport.” After abandoning judo due to changing rules and a dimming desire for the sport, Nguyen first picked up jiu-jitsu when she was 9. “I started competing in jiu-jitsu NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / sports

Photo submitted by Alex Nguyen Senior Alex Nguyen (left) celebrates her victory at Jits Revolution – an all-women submission grappling event – with a fellow competitor. Nguyen has been competing in jiu-jitsu since she was 9. Her training has allowed her to excel in wrestling as well and she is the newest addition to the Nighthawk wrestling program. about two months after I started. It was just a local tournament, but even then the losses just made me want to keep pushing and keep on doing jiu-jitsu,” she said. “I learned from my losses, and still do today. I guess that’s my drive, learning from the sport.” While losses once proved beneficial, chances for those learning experiences are growing slim. Nguyen is a two-time world champion in jiu-jitsu. In the juvenile blue belt division, she’s taken first at International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) in 2016 and Jiu Jitsu World League in 2017. She also holds first-place titles from IBJJF American Nationals and Pan-Americans, as well as countless other regional and state competitions along the East Coast. “She’s won everything she’s entered since the day I met her,” Maryland-based coach Greg Souders said. “Under me, she’s only lost I think two matches. One was against a heavyweight girl who outweighed her by almost a hundred pounds and the other time was to a rest decision when we were competing under a tournament with a newer rule set for us.” With the help of teammates and coaches, as well as adequate rest periods and a healthy diet, Nguyen is able to successfully balance jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Although she manages well today, it was her setbacks that ultimately prompted

her to alter her intensity. “I learned the hard way that I can’t do both at the same time. When I did that I actually tore my quadriceps muscle. I was wrestling for two hours and then I went to my gym to lift and then I went to jiu-jitsu,” she said. “That was a month right before (wrestling) States. It was really upsetting that I didn’t get to go, but I’ve learned my lesson now, so I guess it’s a good thing.” In addition to finding a balance between wrestling and jiu-jitsu, Nguyen has also had to overcome the hurdle of oftentimes being the only girl on the mat. She recalls past experiences of entering a foreign wrestling room that is clouded by both intimidation and embarrassment. “I always come in a little shy and kind of quiet, but I just let my actions speak for myself until I get comfortable with the guys and build a friendly relationship with them,” Nguyen said. “Once they realize that I take the sport seriously, I get respect back. It just takes a while to get used to.” Even with the challenges of balancing two male-dominated sports, Nguyen has emerged victorious. Not only has she secured international recognition, but she has recently been sponsored by Murilo Santana — a world-renowned grappler best known for his success in the jiu-jitsu middleweight division. “Murilo Santana is a very

famous guy in the jiu-jitsu community, he’s like Simone Biles in gymnastics,” Nguyen said. “I feel honored that he’s gonna sponsor me and help me out. He’s just gonna help me with free membership training and work with me one-onone to help me achieve my goals.” One of those goals is to become a black belt world champion. Nguyen is currently a purple belt, two steps away from a black belt, but with plans to postpone her secondary education, she hopes to attain her goal in her early 20s. “Once I complete that, I do plan on going to college and getting a degree in engineering or something because I really like math,” she said. “I don’t want to be a jiu-jitsu bum and rely on my sport to give me income. I really want to actually have a career that I like.” As far as wrestling goes, Nguyen has her mind set on a state championship. “I do really want to go to states this year. I’ve never been to states before,” she said. “Jiu-jitsu is my main passion, so I’m mostly doing wrestling to boost my jiu-jitsu up, but since it’s wrestling season I have a set goal of making it to states or becoming state champion.” However, her goal of earning a state title carries with it many challenges. Senior captains Arien Leigh and Jeremiah Derby are two state champions who hold spots on the Nighthawk team, and both Leigh and Derby wrestle the two weight classes Nguyen hopes to compete in: 113 and 120. “I feel pretty confident that if she wrestled her weight class at any other school but this one, she would make it to states no problem,” Kepler said. “But if she has to wrestle at 126 she’s gonna have a tough time making it to states, but she can do it and I believe that she will do it.” Although her chances of winning a state championship may be unclear, one thing is certain: Nguyen’s addition to the wrestling program has benefited the entire team. “She’s made everyone see that they need to work harder,” Leigh said. “She’s good at encouraging people, she stays on task, she works harder than almost everyone in the room and I think she just helps boost our morale.” Senior Arabella Saunders can be reached at


Steyn jumps into SCAD equestrian program By Trinity Harrison Online Editor “Not a lot of people can get on another animal with a mind of its own and know what it’s going to do before it does it – so you can stop it if it’s something you don’t want to happen.” – Trinity Steyn


his complex challenge is something senior Trinity Steyn accomplishes regularly. Starting at the age of 8, Steyn has held a special place in her heart for the equestrian world that has only grown as she’s gained more experience in the sport. Now, she has the potential to compete at the collegiate level. Equestrian – the sport of riding horses – contains several disciplines. Steyn’s skills are in hunting, where the horse and rider are judged on the horse’s performance, soundness, suitability and manners. “You try to go the perfect speed and you try to look like the jump is not hard, basically effortless,” Steyn said. “That is why everyone thinks it is so easy, because you’re supposed to make it look that way.” Creating the effortless-looking jumps comes from hours of traveling and training in Virginia. “I go to Chesapeake three or four days a week during the school year just to train,” Steyn said. “During the summer, one week out of every month, I go to Manakin-Sabot, Virginia.” Extensive traveling coupled with countless hours of lessons makes horseback riding an expensive sport. “My biggest challenge is definitely being able to afford it, especially not having your own horse and not being able to afford buying a $100,000 horse,” Steyn said. “To overcome that, I am a working student at my barn along with having a job here at the beach. When I go to Virginia, I work before I ride.” Steyn’s job as a working-student entails tasks like cleaning out stalls and riding horses for the trainers. This helps the trainers as well as the horses, and in the long run, benefits Steyn financially. Having to work hard to make it possible to follow her passion, Steyn has found a role model in the equestrian arena that had struggles similar to hers. “I look up to Beezie Madden,” Steyn said. “She is one of the No. 1 women riders and she didn’t really


Photo Submitted by Trinity Steyn Senior Trinity Steyn sits atop Penelope for a photo with trainer Heather Kimnach at Deep Run in 2016 when Steyn earned a championship in the three-foot jump division. A journey that began when Steyn was 8 will continue in college. come from a lot of money. She just really worked hard.” Madden is an Olympic and World Cup champion who got her start on a smaller stage just like every other standout athlete. For Steyn, equestrian awards started rolling in during the summer of 2016, when she received the champion title at every show she competed in with her horse Penelope. “Things like that are a really big confidence booster before you go to compete on the college level,” Steyn said. And her accomplishments don’t stop there. Steyn was accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and received a $20,000 scholarship, creating major potential for her future with equestrian. “That’s what every rider wants to do, to get into school and to get a scholarship for riding,” senior rider Kayla Chamorro said. “And it’s pretty cool that she got one of her dreams.” With her dreams coming together, Steyn continues to challenge herself with more strenuous aspirations. “I want to get on their varsity riding team. That’s definitely one of my major goals,” Steyn said. “They also have a huge equine business program I want to get into.” With plans to major in equine business and minor in either interior design or fashion, Steyn hopes to pursue a career in equine realty. That unique field involves the

buying and selling of property with barns and acreage as well as the buying and selling of top performance horses, Steyn explained.

With dreams of entering the equine real estate business, her acceptance into SCAD was an emotional experience for Steyn. “I was actually sitting in Mrs. (Crissie) Weeks’ class, and I had actually logged into my computer to start applying to other colleges,” Steyn said. “I looked at my email and I started crying in class because I got accepted.” When she announced the news to her family, her mom had a similar emotional reaction after having been with her daughter through all of her struggles and successes. “My mom cried when I told her. She has always been there for me and she has always driven me to Virginia when I couldn’t drive, and she has just been through the whole process with me,” Steyn said. The process may not have been easy, but it has definitely been worth the effort. “It was definitely a big moment for me because I finally get to do what I want to do after a lot of hard work,” Steyn said. Junior Trinity Harrison can be reached at

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Stultz takes biking to new lengths


By Sophie Johnson Sports Editor

t started as routine rides with friends. Then came longer trips to the beach. And a goal to bike 100 miles. And then 200... “It’s really mental more than physical,” freshman Sean Stultz said. “It’s more mental to keep going for 170 miles.” Stultz’s passion for biking began two summers ago when he and his friend made the journey to Walmart. Eventually, he began biking 10 to 15 miles from his house to the beach. “Day by day we were getting around 40 (miles), maybe 45,” he said. “We’d go all over. At first I just did it to hang out with friends.” For many, 45 miles is more than enough to bike. But it wasn’t enough for Stultz. He and his friend, eighth-grader Riley Stokes, decided to bike 100 miles. “The first attempt we brought a lot of stuff with us and we didn’t do it because we ran into some friends,” Stultz said. They weren’t discouraged by their first attempt. The next time, they decided to try again starting at 7 a.m. “He lasted 64 miles, which is pretty good because he had to be home at 4:30 and he was super tired,” Stultz said. “We actually stopped to jump into the sound to wake us up. I finished the rest of it and got home at 11 or so.” When the goal of biking 100 miles was reached, Stultz did not stop there. He decided to bike 200 miles, but this time he was solo –

with his parents following close behind. “I started from my house at 4:30 in the morning and when I got to the Nags Head sign I texted my mom because she wanted to be behind me. By the time we met up, we were close to the bridge,” he said. Stultz’s plan was to bike to the end of Hatteras, then head north towards the end of Corolla and back to his house to make the round trip of 200 miles. However, the wind was blowing too hard on the way back so he hopped in the car with his parents and drove to the end of Corolla. “From there, I biked to the bridge again, which is 150 miles,” Stultz said. After about 22 hours, he ended the trip at 171 miles. But falling short of his 200-mile goal didn’t discourage him, it only made him more determined. “I thought I could do it, but I didn’t really train much because now that school is starting it’s harder to bike as much,” he said. Stultz is already planning to make more trips this summer: “He wants to get to 200 before his 18th birthday,” Sean’s brother Skylar said. There doesn’t appear to be a finish line in sight for Stultz’s cycling ambition. “I’m gonna try for the 200 again and once I get that I’m gonna keep going up to 250, 300 hopefully,” Stultz said with a smile. “Hopefully get higher than that, that’d be crazy.” Junior Sophie Johnson can be reached at

Photos submitted by Sean Stultz Freshman Sean Stultz pedals across the Bonner Bridge during his 171-mile biking journey across the Outer Banks. Stultz traveled on his bike in front of his parents, who followed him in the car to keep an eye out for trouble.

Basketball fans get ready for front-row show


By Courtney Tillett Staff Writer

he bleachers: a place that isn’t always the comfiest when it comes to watching a sporting event. Antsy teens know the struggle of being stuck in a classroom all day and then shifting to hard plastic seats at night to cheer on the basketball teams. Starting in January, though, students can watch games from the most comfortable seat in the house thanks to a fundraiser sponsored by history teacher Karen Head. A couch will be courtside near the student section, and three lucky winners from a raffle ticket drawing at halftime of the boys games will get to sit there. Nighthawk News Magazine / / sports

“The tickets are going to be sold through the girls game, and then through the first half of the boys once everybody really gets there,” Head said. “The price for the tickets will be something like three tickets for a dollar.” Head got the idea from her husband, Mike, the girls basketball coach. His former high school in Virginia did this at events to raise money. Funds will go toward Head’s Civics class trip to the courthouse, or the two clubs she sponsors: Multicultural Club and Leo Club. “When we take the Civics class to court I always got a grant, and we didn’t get it this year because the grant I got from Target is hard to come by and I got it two years in a row,” Head said. “So this would help pay these things.”

This fun and comfy front-row seat just adds another bit of fun on basketball game nights. Boys basketball coach Chad Williams looks forward to seeing fans cheering on his team from their first-class seats. “We are always looking to try to get our kids more involved. Our team plays really hard and we want to have a good crowd to support us,” Williams said. “We want the ones in the stands to cheer us on the right way and I think this is just another way we can promote that. Anything to promote interest in the student fanbase and build some excitement in the gym, I am all for.” Sophomore Courtney Tillett can be reached at


Juniors (from left) Hayley Miller, Koral Tucker and Shelby Miller look forward to traveling to London to cheer in the London Varsity Tour on New Year’s Day. Photo by Caroline Murray/ Shorelines

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London calling ... FFHS cheer By Will McFarlane Staff Writer


etting to travel across the world for doing what you love might be a distant dream for some people, but for juniors Hayley Miller, Shelby Miller and Koral Tucker, this dream is becoming a reality. This past July, the Nighthawk cheer team participated in a Universal Cheerleaders Association camp at the College of William and Mary. While they were there, an opportunity arose for them to travel all the way to England for the London Varsity Tour. “The Tour is where about 1,800 cheerleaders from around the United States gather in London to march in the New Year’s Day Parade,” Shelby said. The tryout consisted of a cheer, dance and chant which competitors had to learn that day. The judges assessed the cheerleaders’ ability and determined whether or not the girls were eligible for the trip. Six Nighthawks earned the honor, and this trio accepted a challenge that is both exciting and nerve-racking. For Hayley, neither emotion has set in yet. “When I first found out I made it for the trip to London I was just like, ‘Oh cool, another thing to do for cheer,’ ” Hayley said with a smile. “I guess it hasn’t really hit me yet.” The feelings for Tucker were a little different, though, as her emotions showed right away. “After we had tried out they were announcing all of the names of the people who made it,” Tucker said. “I was kind of losing hope. When I heard them call out my name I was so excited and relieved.” The trip is not a cheap one, but the girls have already done fundraisers with cheer coach Cindy McNeill to try to cut down the cost.

“We went to tailgates before ECU football games and sold candy bars,” Shelby said. “One time, two guys bought $60 worth of candy bars each.” With the trip approaching quickly – it is scheduled for Dec. 26 to Jan. 2 – the girls are looking forward to every part of the experience, from exploring the city to cheering in a parade with 1,800 others. “I can’t wait to see all of the old buildings,” Hayley said. “But I’m most excited to get to cheer in the New Year’s Day Parade with all of the other girls from around the United States.” While the cheerleaders are there, they will take a full-day guided tour of London – visiting Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben and other famous places throughout the city. They they will spend the whole day of Dec. 31 practicing for the New Year’s Day Parade. “I’m most looking forward to seeing all of the major landmarks in London and just walking around and taking everything in,” Tucker said. “I’m sure it will be overwhelming, but I can’t wait.” Shelby, on the other hand, is excited about the little things, specifically embracing the culture. “The accents – I can’t stop thinking about it,” Shelby said. “It’s like, when I land in London, will the pilots have accents? I don’t know. I’m excited.” The girls look forward to making memories together that will last a lifetime. “I wouldn’t want to go to London with anyone else,” Tucker said. “Getting to travel with my two best friends is a dream come true. I’m sure I will never forget this experience.” Junior Will McFarlane can be reached at winter / / 2017

Coach stays aHead of injuries By Reagan Pearson Staff Writer


fter recovering from not one, but two devastating car accidents, coach Mike Head is now moving forward to do what he does best – coaching at First Flight. Head is both a defensive coach for the varsity football team and head coach of the varsity women’s basketball team. While most coaches are busy stressing over wins and losses, the simple fact that Head is back on the sidelines is a major victory that every Nighthawk can celebrate. In June of 2016, Head was driving a group of basketball players to a summer event on Highway 158 in Currituck County when a driver from the other direction crashed into their SUV. One second, Head was enjoying friendly small talk with senior Braxton Hughes about Head’s high school baseball career. The next, he was bracing for impact. “I remember thinking, ‘I hope this car has an airbag,’ ” Head said. “(I thought), ‘We’re going to collide, we’re going to hit, hope this car has an airbag.’ ” When he woke up, Head looked around in the driver’s seat of a totaled car trying to come to his senses: “I was pinned with the dashboard into my waist. My No. 1 concern was, ‘Please, let me stay calm, something bad has just happened, I hope I can stay calm.” It didn’t take long for word of the accident to spread. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash died, while Head and a number of basketball players suffered severe injuries. “My initial reaction was fear,” said Jim Prince, Head’s fellow coach and long-time friend. “I’ve probably spent more Fridays with him than my wife. We’ve grown as close as brothers can be. As I learned more about the accident and as the minutes went on, then the fear came that I didn’t know if he would ever recover.” After many medical procedures, including having metal rods inserted in his leg, Head began a steady recovery and eventually returned to coaching. Prince was not surprised to see Head returning to the sports he loves. “This was the same guy that when I coached with him in Virginia had two stents put into his heart on Monday and was back at the

game on Friday,” Prince said. Months into recovery and happy to be coaching football again, Head seemed to have finally moved on from the accident. Then, he got into another car accident. “That was my fault,” Head said about his second accident, which occurred as Head was on his way to see a doctor about his leg, which was still recovering from the first accident. Head was taking insulin at the time. Rather than eating before taking the insulin, he took the insulin, then ate food and started to drive before it could digest. “I pulled up on Kitty Hawk Road to go the back way to get off the island, and then I started to feel woozy,” Head said. “I was aware enough to know that something wasn’t right. I realized that I had to pull off the road.” As he tried to pull of the road, he blacked out – and woke up in an ambulance. The news was even worse this time around: Head had fractured two vertebrae in his back. “They did a kyphoplasty on his back, where they shoot liquid cement into your back and build your vertebrae back up,” social studies teacher Karen Head said of her husband. “It was like a nightmare repeated.” After three months of treatment, Head was able to walk again and was back to driving – but not without caution. “He fusses at me if I go too fast,” Karen Head said. “He grabs onto the handle if any car darts from out of nowhere. He’s really nervous on the road.” While some may consider it unlucky to have gone through two major car accidents, Hughes doesn’t see it that way. “We got lucky, ya know? We all could’ve died,” the senior said of the first accident. As he prepares for a new basketball season, he doesn’t dwell on the past or let it affect him. He’s just happy to be back on the court, working with a mix of experienced players and newcomers who have a bright future. “It’s a young team, but they are doing a fantastic job,” Head said. Undoubtedly, Coach Head will have to fight more challenges in his life, but everyone around him is ready to see those battles fought on the field and on the court rather than in hospital beds or physical therapy clinics. And everyone

Photo by Buzzy Staten/Nighthawk News Coach Mike Head gets the Nighthawks ready for action in a game against Riverside earlier this month. Head has recovered from two major car accidents and is happy to be back on the sideline doing what he loves. knows there will never be anything that keeps him away from what he truly loves – coaching at First Flight High School. “It is really cool to see from last year to this year, because last year he was always in pain and stressed

out,” sophomore Judy Williams said. “But this year he is happier and more excited for games and practices.” Junior Reagan Pearson can be reached at

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C 37

First Flight Winter Spotlight: A Q&A

Cecilia Cortez Junior

How long have you been swimming? 10 years. I started swimming when I was 7. What would you do if you didn’t swim? I would have a lot of free time, so I would sleep a lot. My grades would be really nice. How many days a week do you swim? I swim 10 times a week, two practices a day from Monday to Friday. What events do you swim? For high school I swim the 100 fly and the 100 back. Do you have any other hobbies outside swim? I don’t really have time for hobbies because of swim. What’s your favorite meal after a meet? Hamburgers, 100 percent, and nice greasy french fries. What’s your favorite movie? “Top Gun.” It’s so good. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I really want to see the Northern Lights, so probably Iceland. Any future plans for swim? I plan on swimming for college. Favorite holiday? Definitely not Christmas. Either Halloween or Thanksgiving. Do you have in special talents? I can solve a Rubik’s Cube.


Bryce Pugh Senior

When did you start swimming? In third grade, but it’s been on and off for the past couple years. What is your favorite swim memory? One of my newest memories is the new guy’s team that we have this year. Every week we’re dropping new times. Last year we qualified for states and that was such a cool step. It’s only the third week of swim so that was definitely a great memory, and I plan to make more. What do you like most about swim? All the good times we have. We just go out and have a good time swimming and it’s a good competitive sport that keeps you in shape. It’s a win-win all the way around. What is your favorite stroke? Breaststroke, because it requires a lot of technique. It’s just very versatile. I have fun swimming it. What would you do with a million dollars? I would reinvest a large amount of it, then have some more “for fun” money. Do you have any hidden talents? I’m pretty good at Chinese yo-yo’s. What’s your dream job? I want to fly airliners so I can travel the world and be paid to do it. What’s a fun fact about yourself. I’m 99 percent done with getting my pilot’s license.

Evan McCrory Junior

What got you into wrestling? I’ve always been a super fan of WWE-type wrestling and had a few friends get me to try it last year. I haven’t stopped since. What’s your favorite music to listen to in the wrestling room? Usually stuff like Metallica, Tupac, Lecrae and Andy Mineo. What’s your favorite aspect of wrestling? I would say getting my hand raised at the end of the match because that tells me that the hard work is paying off. Also, the bus rides with the team are pretty fun. What’s the worst part about wrestling? For me it was when I dislocated my knee. It’s happened twice, both times in the wrestling room. What’s your favorite “don’t have to make weight anymore” meal? Olive Garden. What would your celebrity dream date have to be? Jennifer Lawrence.

Lydia Surprenant Freshman

What is your favorite thing about cheer? Getting the crowd hype for the games. How long have you cheered? For three years. What was your favorite movie growing up? The “Halloweentown” movies. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would go to Italy to trace my family roots. What is your dream job? To be a journalist for a big magazine company like Teen Vogue. What is your favorite TV show? Definitely “Arrow.” Who is your celebrity crush? Harry Styles. What is a fun fact about yourself? I can pogo stick with no hands and one foot.

What’s your dream job? I want to be a sports anchor for ESPN.

What is your favorite place to eat on the OBX? Mama Kwans is probably my favorite. They have really good rice.

Who’s your role model? Jesus and my dad.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Chunky Monkey.

What’s your favorite movie? “Forrest Gump.”

If you could go on a road trip with one person, who would it be and why? Lauren Montgomery, because she is really funny.

What is your dream vacation? Rome, so I can see the Colosseum. Who is your favorite teacher? Mrs. Lewis.

What is your favorite movie? “Safe Haven.” winter / / 2017

with Nighthawk student-athletes

Zyon Demers Sophomore

Zach Hughes Sophomore

Isis Cater Junior

How long have you been playing basketball? About six years.

How long have you been running? Since freshman year.

What position do you play? I’m point guard.

What position do you play? Wing.

What is your biggest track accomplishment? I’ve won several awards, and knowing I have them with my team is great. I love running and I love the competitiveness.

How long have you been playing basketball? Seven years.

What is your favorite track memory? The first meet of this season. We had a bunch of people qualify the first day, which was a really good feeling.

What do you usually do before a game? We usually just listen to music and get pumped up.

What is your favorite memory about basketball? When I broke this kid’s ankles at Ocracoke. Who is the player that you look up to the most and why? He’s not on the team anymore, but it was Devyn Dodson because I like the way that he plays and he is hardworking. Who’s your celebrity crush? Kylie Jenner. What would you do with a million dollars? Buy my mom a house and then I’d buy myself a house. Who is your favorite player in the NBA and why? Isaiah Thomas, because he’s an animal. What is a fun fact about yourself? I’m pretty good at FIFA and ping-pong. If you were stranded on an island and could only have three things, what would they be? A smoothie, stuff to make a fire and a spear.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? An indoor track and a nice workout room.

What’s your favorite part about playing basketball? The bus rides. They get pretty lit.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite Christmas movie is probably “Elf” because it reminds me of myself.

Emma Byard Sophomore

Why did you decide to do indoor track? Because I like hanging out with the people on the team. Which indoor track race do you like the best? I’m going to say the two mile because you don’t have to run as fast. What type of shoes do you like to run in? I don’t really have a favorite. I guess New Balance. What is your favorite pre-race snack? Granola bars. What is your favorite breakfast food? Waffles.

What is your favorite OBX restaurant? Miller’s.

What’s your favorite holiday? Probably Christmas, because you get free stuff.

What is your go-to Tropical Smoothie order? I think it’s called Beach Bum (with dark chocolate).

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? A cheetah, because they’re fast.

What’s your favorite food? Anything. Just put it on a plate and I’ll eat it.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? Something awesome. I would get ice cream.

What is your favorite Netflix show? “Supernatural.”

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Costa Rica, because I’ve heard that place is really pretty. I wanna go there sometime.

What is your favorite Outer Banks restaurant? Kill Devil Grill. I get one of their salads.

What is your dream job? A marine biologist. Who is your celebrity crush? Selena Gomez. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas. It’s just so magical.

Who do you look up to the most? Jacob Sartorius probably. He’s my idol. Who is your celebrity crush? Channing Tatum, because who doesn’t like Channing Tatum?

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate.

Who is your celebrity dream date? Cole Sprouse. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Hawaii, because I love the beach.”

Photos by Hayley Miller, Michaela Kelly, Buzzy Staten and Izzy Requa; Reporting by Dagen Gilbreath, Caroline Jenkins, Kristen Applebaum, Courtney Tillett, Alex Rodman, Grace Sullivan, Dair McNinch, Koral Tucker, Sophie Johnson, Will McFarlane and Simone Midgett. NIGHTHAWK News Magazine / / sports


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Nighthawk News Magazine / / winter / / 2017

Winter 2017 Nighthawk News Magazine  

Nighthawk News Magazine is the student-run publication of First Flight High School on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The quarterly news...

Winter 2017 Nighthawk News Magazine  

Nighthawk News Magazine is the student-run publication of First Flight High School on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The quarterly news...