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Friday 4.16.2010


Vol. VIII Issue 7 - Prince George High School - 7801 Laurel Spring Rd - Prince George, VA 23875 - 804-733-2720

. d e r i w trn om c

How many lies do you tell? p. 18 Junior Chase Coalson hands in a paper to English teacher Quinn Kliebenstein. Photo by Alison Brown.

Rule 47: Are you in violation? p. 9 Plato’s Closet opens Earth-friendly shop p. 6&7 Spring musical Gypsy to be performed p. 25 The Spring musical, Gypsy, looks back on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer from California and her hard-driven stage mother, Mama Rose.

National teen pregnancy rate sees increase p.15 The rise in teen pregnancy forces teens to face tough issues sooner than ever. The increase could be (Left to right) Senior Andrew Hyden and junior Patrick Crutcher prepare caused by many factors according to be inspected. The JROTC command inspection was held March 24th. to county social worker Jessica The battalion received a grade of 98.5., which continues the prestigious Belk. tradition of high scores. More on p. 12. Photo by Alison Brown.

Only on trnwire Prom night highly anticipated at Ft. Lee Prom is fast approaching. Find out where prom will be located and how to get there, only on

Page 2 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


Op/ED Warm up to the idea of fitness and sun One night is all seniors ask!


he warm weather is rolling in and making the transition from staying indoors to soaking up some sun can be a difficult one. Cell phones, XBOX live, the Internet and television tend to give us more excuses for not getting up and getting active. According to University of Michigan Health System, over 12 and a half million young people were overweight in 2003 and 2004 and the number is on the rise. It is quite obvious that staying active has numerous benefits. For one, keeping your body in good shape makes you feel better. It also reduces your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes. It simply keeps you healthy and increases your life span. The Wii Fit is a great creation. It allows people of every age to work out indoors and under several levels of difficulty. The board is also a scale so you can weigh yourself and keep track of your progress with balance and your BMI. The combination of video games and getting active was brilliant, but it can only take you so far. Going outside and getting active has more benefits. Not only are the great outdoors a better venue for exercise, but you get to soak up all the nutrients from the sun. Although you can get Vitamin D from milk and supplements, the sun is still a main source for people to get the vitamin. It helps to protect against breast, colon, kidney and ovarian cancers. According to medpagetoday. com, studies also show that Vitamin D benefits bone health, prostate cancer and your body overall. It is often thought that your skin absorbs Vitamin D, but in reality, it is your body that makes it. According to Dr. Michael Holick from an interview in The New York Times, it is important to expose your legs more so than your face. 18 percent of your skin surface is on each of your legs, while your face is only 9 percent. However, it is important to practice safety in the sun, even as you gain its’ benefits. Using proper sunscreen and spending less than 30 minutes in direct sunlight are precautions you should take to prevent the harmful effects of sun exposure, such as skin cancer. As spring break approaches, the opportunity to shake off the laziness of winter as well as the extra pounds we gained from holidays appears. So, get out there, get active and don’t be afraid to show some skin.



ur mission as the school newspaper for Prince George High School is to provide a form of media that represents all aspects of student life. The goal is to present factual accounts of newsworthy events in a timely manner. Our publication will be informative, entertaining and reflective of the student body’s opinions. It is the desire of the staff to reach every student and tell as many of their stories as possible. We invite your commentary: The Royal News Opinion page is a forum for public discussion and shall be open to all students. The Royal News will print as many letters as space will allow. The Royal News reserves the right not to print a letter. The Royal News publishes a wide variety of opinions. Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, The Royal News, PGHS, 7801 Laurel Spring Road, Prince George, Virginia 23875, or bring them to room A6, or e-mail them to cwaugaman@pgs.k12. We reserve the right to edit for clarity, brevity, accuracy, legality, spelling and grammar. Please include your name, address and phone number. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. 500 word maximum. Please submit letters to the editors by May 12 for the May issue. Section Editors Jami Davis-News; Mia Norman-Op/Ed; Delbria Walton-Features; Katie AdamsAmpersand; Kelsie McDaniels-A&E; Amir Vera-Sports; Devyn Pachmayr-Double Truck; Colby Eliades-Photo; Janai Cunningham-Ads Manager; Jessica Lee-Circulation; Sarah Moats-Editorial Cartoonist; Laura Young-Web Editor/Copy Editor; Sarah HabermehlWeb Editor/Facebook Editor

Editor-in-Chief Kayla Carneal



Chris Waugaman

The Royal News, PGHS 7801 Laurel Spring Road Prince George, Virginia 23875 804-733-2720 The Royal News is printed at The Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia

Alisha Holmes-Laura Young-Sarah Habermehl-Christy Hardin-Jessica Stainback-Autrey Jackson-Tasa Hattori-Gabrielle Wittington-Brittany Thacker-Alison Brown-Kimberly CarnealJake McQuiggan-Jessica Marshall-Rachel Waymack-Olivia Tritschler-Mariah Blystone-Malikah Williams- Wayne Epps, Jr.- Rachel Youmans - Emanuel Guadalupe

Professional affiliations & awards Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Gold Medalist 2009 Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Online Gold Crown Award 2010 Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Newspaper Silver Crown Award 2010 National Scholastic Press Assoc. Pacemaker Finalist 2009 Virginia High School Association Trophy Class 2009 SIPA All Southern 2010


enior year is the last year 12th graders have of high school to make memories and is the last chance for those students to be with their friends and prove to everyone what they can do before stepping out Jessica Stainback into the real world. Throughout senior year, thoughts of graduation and the end of the year bash cross the minds of students. However, the one thing numerous seniors envision during their last year is prom. Prom has not been just for seniors over the last few years. Juniors are also permitted to attend, as well as invited sophomores and freshmen. This is not how I pictured my senior prom. Last year, I will admit I did not attend the Junior/Senior Prom even though I was a junior. I believe that prom is a right of passage for seniors as much as Ring Dance is for juniors. I am pretty sure there were no seniors crashing Ring Dance this year. If seniors did attend, it was due to them being invited by a junior. I sat the 2009 Prom out because a senior did not invite me, so therefore I felt it was


not my place to attend. This year is my turn to celebrate my right of passage into the big ‘ol world (just like the rest of the Class of 2010). I feel I do not want a surplus of underclassmen taking up space. The Regimental Club, in which we hold our prom, is not the size of the school cafeteria and cannot house an excessive amount of students. The building will bust at the seams! As this occurs, dancing and mingling space dwindles as we know it. Sooner or later, we will end up looking like the vibrating particles of a solid. (Yes, I did learn something in science class.) I can only hope that this year’s prom is one event I will want to remember and I want to proudly tell others about, saying that everything went perfectly. I wrote this not to bash underclassmen in any manner for attending prom this year. I simply want to express that prom is a memory thousands of seniors look forward to. I long for one night I can spend with my fellow class members, dancing and celebrating the ending of our final year of high school. One period of our lives is ending while a new one begins.

Making The Grade


After prom tickets

have been sold with great success. A total of 392 tickets were sold, almost reaching the maximum amount that Swaders could hold, 400. The excitement for unlimited games at a new venue has obviously made its mark.

SGA candidates

work to gather the most amount of votes by forming facebook fanpages. This is good for publicity but can put pressure on students to vote for a certain candidate, and may give an unfair advantage over students who do not use the popular website.

Mandatory senior meetings

are inconvenient not only to students who have so many other things to balance as graduation approaches, but also to the parents who have to attend.

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 3


Pro/Con: Should seniors have more privileges? “


ncreasing the number of senior privileges will force seniors to act like adults and make serious decisions about their education. Is there anything that is solely reserved for seniors only? If you can think of anything, it probably is not much. Getting out for lunch early is great… that is if your teacher does not teach to the bell and actually lets you leave. Even the senior privilege that many of us take advantage of, sitting outside during lunch, is slowly being taken over by juniors and sophomores. It is the student’s decision to take advantage of senior privileges and whether that means missing more school or leaving the campus for lunch, it is up to the student to get good grades in order to graduate. There has been debate about whether seniors should be able to leave early in the afternoons like they get out early for lunch. Teachers who teach higher-level classes may want to take advantage of the entire period. It should be up to the student if they are taking one of these classes if they want to leave early and miss part of the lesson. I am sure that most students care enough about their grade that they will stay. It is important, however, to have the privilege offered. It gives students the opportunity to make a decision about their education. More privileges such as being able to leave campus during lunch and ETEH, having an excused senior skip day and using our cell phones during lunch would encourage seniors to make wise decisions about their time spent in school. If the teachers and the administration are truly supposed to be preparing us for the real world, they should be teaching us responsibility as well as how to write a pristine essay. Senior privileges give us the opportunity to exhibit our responsibility and show everyone that we are prepared to take on real decisions and make choices as adults. Let’s face it, when we become seniors, it is really no different from any other year of high school. We have spent twelve years in school already; do we not deserve a little bit of a reward other than a diploma?


Sarah Habermehl

kimberly Carneal

Privileged Truancy “Not having to be in school all day could cause students to want to skip more days.”

Our Responsibility “It should be up to the student if they are taking one of these classes if they want to leave early and miss part of the lesson.”

reward for what? “All students have to attend school but not all students have to take honors classes. Is that not a better reason for more privileges?”


eniors have the ability to go to lunch early, eat outside during lunch and have the opportunity to not take a sixth or seventh block. Now the question is, should seniors have more privileges? I think seniors have enough as it is. Seniors are not more special than other students in the school. It gives them a reason to be lazier and care less about their work in school to have more freedom. Consequences of more privileges could lead to students failing because they care less or they are not in school long enough. Not having to be in school all day could cause students to want to skip days more often. Seniors should be prepared more for college but if they are less focused on learning and more concerned with getting out of high school then they might just forget school all together. Your senior year can affect you for the rest of your life. If it is not taken seriously enough, it could ruin students’ chances to get a good career and make a life for themselves. Priority for academics at our school is high and should stay that way. Lowering the school’s standards to give seniors a few more privileges is not fair to the alumni of Prince George High School. I would not want to have graduated from a school with high standards, then years after I graduated find out the school has lower standards. If the school gave seniors more privileges for the years they have put into school, should the honors students not get the same privileges for trying hard to get good grades in school? Then they would be giving those students unfair treatment. So why is that not the same for giving seniors more privileges? All students have to attend school but not all students have to take honors classes. Is that not a better reason for more privileges? Seniors already have graduation to look forward to. Other students have years more to wait for graduation so why not give sophomores or juniors more privileges? Give more freedom to the students who have more years to come so they will want to come to school.

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Ecology club cleans up questions about Earth Day

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 5

News briefs

Elections for the 2010-2011 Student Government Association will be held during all lunch blocks on Wednesday April 21 and Thursday April 22.

Junior Megan Philpot and senior Erin Winn display different ways that recycling opportunities are provided in classrooms. Photo by Gabby Whittington


Rachel Waymack trn writer

arth day aims to be the one day a year people care about their effect on the planet. A major component of Earth day is recycling, but there are doubts to the effectiveness of recycling. It takes energy to recycle products as does creating new products. “We may waste a little energy to do it [recycle] but in the end it’s for a greater cause,” President of the Ecology Club senior Erin Winn said. The ecology club shares this belief and recycles all kinds of materials here at the school. The waste the ecology club recycles includes all paper products, some cardboard and plastic water bottles as well as their screw-on caps. The ecology club is also catching up on the times; they have started to recycle items that have become a bigger issue in recent years. “We have also begun to recycle old cell phones and digital cameras,” sponsor of the ecology club Mary Hallman said. The ecology club does not hold all of these materials; they send them to other places to actually be recycled. The plastic bottles and cardboard products are transported to the county recycling bin. What is done with the water bottles’ screw-on tops is something very

different. “The plastic caps are either donated towards cancer research or sent to a cosmetic company that recycles and reuses the plastic [caps] for their products,” Hallman said. The paper products recycled by the ecology club serves two main purposes. “The paper is reprocessed into new paper and cardboard products,” Hallman said. “Which saves on the amount of trees that need to be harvested [for paper].” The newspaper that is collected by the ecology club is picked up by the SP Recycling Company from the bin in the teachers’ parking lot. The other paper products are currently dropped off at the recycling center behind the police station, but SP Recycling soon may pick them up along with the newspapers. The ecology club refutes skeptics who say that recycling paper is not worth the energy and effort. Winn believes that it is completely worth it to recycle because it pays off. “Any amount [of recycled paper] is worth it because any amount we recycle can save trees,” Winn said. The cost of recycling versus dumping the waste has also been brought up as an issue. Whether the cost of recycling is more or less than dumping depends on different circumstances, like oil prices and distance to the closest recycling center. Some believe that it is not worth

the price. Junior and vice president of the ecology club Megan Philpot defends the ecology club’s recycling despite the cost. “I think it is worth it to recycle because you’re using materials that have already been used so you don’t end up wasting materials,” Philpot said. There are facts to back up Philpot’s stance. According to, PET plastic pellets that are made of recycled plastic only cost 58-66 cents while the pellets made from nonrecycled materials cost 83-85 cents to produce. Hallman agrees with Philpot and points out that the cost of recycling does not affect the average individual, but instead the way taxpayer’s dollars are spent. Hallman also explained that since recycling reduces the amount of solid waste, it might even reduce the cost of disposing of it. “Individually, the minimal effort and monetary cost it takes for us to recycle should not stop us from doing the ‘right thing’,” Hallman said. Despite the skeptics and doubts about recycling, Winn stands by it and believes that it is defiantly a worthwhile cause. “[Recycling] is worth it because we can use it to get reusable sources of energy and because if we keep using up our resources, there will not be any left,” Winn said.

Mandatory SeniorParent meetings will be held Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 27. Seniors must attend one of the madatory meetings with at least one parent or guardian. The meetings will be held in the auditorium at 7:00 PM. A dance team interest meeting will be held on Monday, April 19 at 6:00 PM in the commons for anyone wishing to try out for the 2011 PG Dance Team. Tryouts will be held May 10 to May 14. The deadline for PGTV applications has been extended and completed applications are due as soon as possible.

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Plato’s Closet creates a new way to go

o green

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 7

Recycled clothes provides opportunities to purchase name brands Sarah Habermehl trn writer


he new motto throughout the country is “reuse, reduce, recycle” which is the basis of Colonial Heights’ new resale store, Plato’s Closet. The grand opening for the store will be April 8, 2010 in the shopping center near K-Mart in Southgate Square. In preparation, the store has been buying “stylish gently-used clothes, shoes, and accessories for teens and young adults for on the spot in cash,” Plato’s Closet’s store website said. “Eight weeks ago the store was bare, and then four weeks ago we had everything ready to go to start buying clothes. We opened to buy on February 25th and we are three-fourths of the way there,” owner Christian Tefel said. Plato’s Closet is a green business that sells stylish clothes for less than retail cost. “The business takes used designer clothes and resells them for a lower price for people who cannot afford the regular priced items at stores,” senior Lindsay Warren said. In the current economy, resale stores are becoming more popular. It provides people with other sources where they can find designer clothing. “From a business standpoint, there is no Abercrombie, Hollister, or even a Gap in this area. There is a demand for these brands,” Tefel said. “I also found that this was a good fit for the economy at this time. I wanted something that was going to be recession resistant or even recession proof.” The recession has been helping

Junior Alyssa WIlkerson looks through the assortment of clothing options at Plato’s Closet. Plato’s Closet will be opening on April 8. Photo by Colby Eliades .

business owners such as Tefel get a head start on brand name clothing stores. “This industry just keeps growing, but especially during slow times,” Adele R. Meyer, executive director of the 1,000member National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops (NARTS), said on the SmartMoney’s Small Business Site, “Once people find that great bargain, they’re hooked.” Stores such as these have also prompted teenagers to use their money more wisely. “The economy is struggling and more people need to find better deals on the things they want and need,” Warren said, “When I go to stores, I will start looking for good deals on things.” A recent survey of NARTS members found that 66.2% of the stores saw sales climb from January through August 2008, compared with the same period of 2007. The average increase was 35%. The survey found that 85.8% of stores have seen an increase in new customers and 74.5% are seeing new suppliers or donors (statistics from SmartMoney’s Small Business Site). “People are more likely to shop in a consignment store because it is a good way to get the same clothes for a lot less,” senior Alex Sleeper said, “People can also sell their clothes and make money.” Every article of clothing is inspected to insure that customers are only getting the most gently-used and highest quality clothes. “We examine every square inch of clothing. Zippers have to zip and buttons have to stay closed. We look at the condition but most importantly the style. We want clothes that have been in stores in the last year,” Tefel said. Senior Beth Kendall has been to Plato’s Closet to sell her gently-used clothing. “I think it is really smart. I went there to sell some clothes that I have never even worn before. It is more likely that I will sell my old clothing and use that money to buy new name brand things,” Kendall said. “But the fact that it is green is really appealing to a lot of people.” Beyond the business being “green”, the owner takes extra steps to ensure that everything is being reused within the store. “We don’t have to recycle here, but we break down every cardboard box and reuse bags that sellers bring in. We also use environmentally friendly products,” Tefel said. “One of the most important things to me on a personal level is that we are a green business. Outside of style value, people really care about the environment now more than ever.”

Going Green


180 Southgate Square Colonial Heights, VA 23834

Phone Number: (804) 524-4914

What makes Plato’s Closet GREEN: Plato’s

Closet recycles gently used designer clothing and sells them at a discounted price.

Fee: Prices are

reasonably lower than that of retail and department stores carrying the same types of products. Also, individuals may sell their gently used clothing to Plato’s Closet for reimbursement.

Page 8 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


Peerage would like to congratulate to the new additions for 2011 Joy Arakelian Danielle Duncan Kris Harrison Elizabeth Hopkins Kayla Hubert Rachel Hudson Abria Humphries Jasmine Jones

Sam Marshall Jessica Mitchell Olanrewaju Olubusola Caitlin Poppell Rachel Pugh Chelsea Saunders Dallas Smith Kaitlyn Snover

Rebecca Soon Jessica Taylor Jordan Thompson Melissa Tomlin Lindsay Varga Curtis Williams

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 9


Rule 47 - Public Display of Affection

Senior Danny Amos and junior Megan Flanders demonstrate two different forms of PDA. Photo by Colby Eliades

Laura Young copy editor Students have caught spring fever and are hugging a little tighter and lingering on kisses a little longer. This makes administrators, teachers and even students ask the question: “How much is too much?” “Excessive and/or inappropriate public display of affection” is prohibited by rule 47 on page 14 in the student handbook, with punishment possibly resulting in suspension or even expulsion. Teacher Susan Brafford says that the amount of “PDA” that she sees in the building really depends on the time of year. “I see a lot more cases in the spring, especially in the last month or so,” Brafford said. “I see about 20 per day, but about one or two that I would consider excessive or inappropriate.” The administration sees the cases that get reported to the main office, which

average about 6 per week. Teachers have the ability to judge what justifies a trip to the office. “If it is just a quick peck and then going to class, I will not stop it because it is not distracting or disrespectful,” Brafford said. “If it is excessive, as the rule states, I will stop it; anything beyond a peck is inappropriate.” Assistant Principal Chris Romig recognizes how blurry the line may be. “I usually judge it based on length and the suggestiveness of it,” Romig said. “It really is subjective.” Punishments vary as much as the acts of affection. “There are students that have been suspended [because of excessive PDA] but those were repeat offenders where it became an issue of defiance,” Romig said. “We usually warn them the first time, contact the parents, then detention or Saturday school if it keeps occurring.” Sophomore Samantha Slate participates in PDA with her boyfriend in school. I think open mouth kissing is too

much PDA,” Slate said. “My boyfriend and I just do pecks, it does not bother me to see other people doing what we do.” Though Slate says she has been approached by faculty about her participation in PDA five or six times, she does not think she is doing anything wrong. “I do not think it is bothering anybody,” Slate said. Senior Bianca Gonzalez and her boyfriend choose not to engage in public displays of affection. “I think it is awkward,” Gonzalez said. “It puts you in an awkward situation when you see other people doing it, so I don’t.” Gonzalez feels that there is a time and place for excessive PDA. “I just do not understand why they have to do it in front of everyone,” Gonzalez said. “There are places to make out and there are places not to make out.” Junior Russell Slouffman is more of an observer than a participator in PDA at PGHS.

“I see it more than enough,” Slouffman said. “Some of it is okay, but groping in the hall is too much.” Slouffman thinks that he would feel uncomfortable speaking to another student about their excessive PDA. “That is their business,” Slouffman said. “I can close my eyes.” However administration has noticed not all students take a passive approach when they see excessive PDA. “This rule is mainly enforced through teachers in the hallways but the student body really enforces it too through negativity towards it,” Romig said. “When students say things like ‘get a room’, it just shows that many other students do not want to see it either.” Brafford feels that there are simple ways for the inappropriate displays of affection to tone down. “I think if everyone enforces it all the time and is consistent then it can be enforced, just like any other rule in the school,” Brafford said. “It requires consistency on the part of the administration and the teachers.”

Page 10 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


JROTC JUNIOR ROTC PROGRAM EXCELS DURING ANNUAL FORMAL INSPECTION The “ROYAL BATTALION” came close to a perfect score in their recent Command Inspection on March 24th, 2010. With a total score of 98.5% the Battalion excelled in virtually every area of the inspection. This included the staff briefing, in ranks inspection, staff area evaluations, the color guard, and drill performances. According to LTC Chandler, Senior Army Instructor, the 98.5% is the highest score the unit has received.

PG JROTC “SWEEPS” RICHMOND JROTC DAY On March 31st selected cadets from the JROTC unit competed in their first effort in Richmond’s JROTC day. Competing against 12 other Army JROTC units in the greater Richmond Area the Royals took away first place inn color guard, armed regulation platoon, armed exhibition squad, unarmed exhibition squad, armed regulation platoon, and marksmanship. The unit placed third in the academic challenge. Congratulations to all cadets for a super effort!

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Cancer creates different path for senior Jordan Dickey beats Stage 3 Testicular Cancer to return to teenage life

Defining Cancer Jargon Ultrasound: It is a test

that uses reflected sound waves to produce an image of organs and other structures in the body. It does not use X-rays or other types of possibly harmful radiation.


s a sophomore, one of the biggest worries students have to deal with is the stress that comes from high school. Unlike students who stress over class schedules and the layout of a new school building, senior Jordan Dickey was coping with a battle for his life. “Two years ago I got an ultrasound because of some chronic pain I had been having and they found a tumor. After that I was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer,” Dickey said. The condition not only required Dickey to spend the majority of his time in the hospital, it also meant he would need to go through many rigorous procedures. “I had to get two major surgeries, the second leaving me with 45 staples. I had what was called an RPLND (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) where they had to take my intestines and stomach out temporarily during the surgery to remove the cancer from my lymph nodes,” Dickey said. “It was during my surgery that I was in the hospital the longest, for eight consecutive days. Before then I had missed the second half of my entire tenth grade year and the entire summer because I was in the hospital for around six days out of every week.” Although the surgeries took an intense toll on Dickey, going under the knife was not the scariest part for him. “The scariest part during the whole situation was waking up after my first surgery and finding out that the cancer had spread to my lungs and that I needed intense chemotherapy,” Dickey said. This fear would not have been possible to overcome without the supportive friends and family that stayed by his side through this ordeal. Dickey’s parents traveled to Indianapolis with him for his first round of chemotherapy, where he was treated by the same team of doctors who had worked with Lance Armstrong. “I think my parents were in shock at first, but they stayed strong for me the whole time. Some of the best support I received came from my best friend, Ben Hall. He

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 11

STAGE 3: The stage of

a cancer is a descriptor (usually numbers I to IV) of how much the cancer has spread. The stage often takes into account the size of a tumor, how deeply it has penetrated, whether it has invaded adjacent organs, how many lymph nodes it has metastasized to (if any), and whether it has spread to distant organs.

Chemotherapy: In its

Senior Jordan Dickey shows his tattoo that he got in honor of his successful fight against cancer. Dickey endured surgery and chemotherapy during his high school years. Photo by Gabby Whittington. took me fishing, sailing and kayaking, and just helped keep my mind off of everything that had been going on,” Dickey said. Although the ordeal is now over and his cancer is in remission, the thought of a relapse is a hard situation to consider. “My biggest fear now is the cancer coming back one day. It would be so hard to go through everything again, I don’t know how I would do it,” Dickey said. However, Dickey does not let this fear hold him back. He faces a chance of lessened fertility and constant check-ups with a positive attitude. Persevering through this

situation has given him the strength to see life in a new light. “At the time, my condition interfered with my life, but now I am healthier and stronger than before I got diagnosed. Going through this has made me realize that life is too short to sit back and do nothing, and that you really have to enjoy every day that you are alive,” Dickey said. “If I had to send a message to someone that is in the situation that I was in, I would just tell them that even though things may seem really bad, it will get better. Just don’t give up, and keep fighting.”

most general sense, this is the treatment of disease by chemicals] especially by killing micro-organisms or cancerous cells. In popular usage, it refers to antineoplastic drugs used to treat cancer or the combination of these drugs into a cytotoxic standardized treatment regimen.

Lymph Node: It is a small

circular ball shape organ of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels.

Page 12 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


JROTC commands with 98.5 percentile LEFT: Sargent Wilson inspects the cadets, followed by senior Keith Barber. BELOW: Freshmen Brooke Cambell and Andrew Hyden stand at attention while being inspected by a high ranked sargent. RIGHT: Sophmore Kierra Sweetenburg, senior Tyler Yates, sophomore Garry Coleman, sophomore Stephanie Clairmont, and junior Paris Maxey are all part of the Color Guard, standing with pride, waiting to be inspected by the sargents. BOTTOM LEFT: Senior Andrew Hyden prepares his cadets to be inspected.

LEFT: Cadets stand at ease as they wait for inspection. No one is to move while the rest of the battalion is inspected.

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 13


Yearbookies throw out old for new 2011

Yearbook students cut clean of old designs, need fresh ideas for a fresh year Malikah Williams trn writer


s the school year winds down and the yearbook goes to press, the Yearbookies are hard at work creating the 2011 yearbook. In a project designed to help the Yearbookies become familiar with the different design programs, they must design the whole yearbook for next year now. Their yearbook packages will then be put in the running to be the yearbook for next year. “They are all creating their own yearbook package, so then at the end of the year we will decide which one we like,” yearbook advisor Alison Heath said. “We

may take a cover from someone, someone’s verbal/visual theme, and then we come up with a package for the next book.” The students received this project around March 12th and they have been working non-stop ever since. When the project was first presented to them, it was met with mixed emotions. “There was some excitement but I think that there was some angst at the same time because some of them are not creative in a design aspect,” Heath said. “This will really force them to become familiar with InDesign.” Many of the Yearbookies are enthusiastic about this project because it allows them a chance to express their creativity. “I like it and I think it’s tons of fun,” sophomore Courtney Brockwell said. “It makes me feel special because my book could be chosen to be the yearbook for the school; I could see it and know that that’s my idea.” There are multiple steps that go into making a great yearbook that all take a vast amount of time to complete. “First, you have to come up with a theme and after that, spin-offs are made for the different sections of the yearbook,” junior Kaitlyn Johnson said. “At last, you design the cover, the end sheets, title page, dividers, opening and closing.” The verbal/ visual theme of the

yearbook is the most important and most difficult aspect in creating the yearbook. “My idea is 2011 Pieces,” Brockwell said. “I thought about a puzzle and how you need pieces to complete the puzzle, kind of like high school.” This project was not only designed to help students show their creativity, but also teach them new features of InDesign and Photoshop. “They have to explore [these programs] and figure them out themselves,” Heath said. “By them [Yearbookies] figuring out 50 new things to do, we get 50 more skills that we did not have before.” While the students think that this project will help them with the process next year, there are still some problems with designing the yearbook now. “It will relieve the stress for the yearbookies next year,” senior copy editor Rebecca Marshall said. “But the only bad thing about this project is that maybe the designs that are popular now are not popular next year or if something major happens next year, it could impact the theme.” By creating the yearbook now, it gives the Yearbookies time to reflect and change things from the previous book. Also, designing it now gives them time next year to change things next year. “I want the yearbook to be better for next year. I think that we should look back, progress, and look at what we did wrong,”

Seniors Laura Aguliar and Amanda Tomlin work in the yearbook room. They prepare designs for next year, starting with all new templates. Photo by Gabby Whittington. Marshall said. Though the Yearbookies enjoy designing the yearbook, their peers often do not get their intense passion for this class. “Nobody can understand this class until you have been on yearbook or have been an editor,” Johnson said. “It’s amazing.” The yearbook is not just another mundane memento for students to get during high school. Yearbooks are a connection to the past that people tend to cherish as they age. “You hear about people’s houses burning down or flooding and people go back in and get their high school yearbook,” Heath said. “I don’t know what it is about that book that’s so special to them; I think it’s that connection to your past.” Regardless of when the yearbook is created it will hold a special place in the hearts of the people who get one when they get it and for years to come. “A yearbook reminds you of easier times, but also you realize that life wasn’t so tough back then,” Heath said.

Page 14 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010



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From teen to adult in nine months Delbria Walton trn feature editor


ccording to the Virginia Department of Health the latest statistics in 2008 for teen pregnancies are averaged at 520 for district 19, which includes Petersburg, Hopewell, Dinwiddie and Prince George and 13,000 for the state of Virginia. Over the last four years teenage pregnancies have risen in the U.S since 2006. This fact reported after almost a 14-year decline and as the number of pregnancies grow, so does the concern of the community. The sudden increase in teen pregnancy could be attributed to many things. The rise in sexually explicit things shown on television such as: 16 and pregnant, Teen Mom and The Secret Life of the America Teenager could be a contributor as well as the lack of knowledge taught in school and even family dynamics. “It is my belief that the number of pregnant teens has risen due to the breakdown of the family system as a whole,” Prince George social worker, Jessica Belk said. “ With the demands of society and the fast paced environments that we are raising our children in we do not take the time to adequately prepare our children for these issues.” Some may see the ideal time to have a child is when they are well established mentally, emotionally and financially. “Even as an adult with a stable job and income it very hard to care for a child. The expenses and responsibilities that come with parenthood are very demanding, especially their first two years of life,” spanish teacher Paola Jones said. “Sleepless nights, lots of diapers and formula, day care, endless doctor’s visits, clothing and much more. I could not imagine doing all that without having my husband by my side and having a steady income.” Stability at work and home would seem to be the perfect scenario to have a child, but with teen pregnancies on the rise this is no longer the case. “In my work with adolescent parents the most common misconception is that having baby will make her partner love her more and will make the relationship last,” Belk said. “Adding a baby to a relationship can complicate the relationship and could eventually destroy your relationship.” Senior Jasmine Allen was 13 when she had her son. Having a child so early on in life meant Allen was forced to grow up and to do it relatively quickly. “My son has changed my life so much I can not hang out with my friends as much because I know he is home. I am more focused on my schoolwork. I want something better for me and for him,” Allen said. To have a child at a young age changes everything. Because a child is a living, breathing human being, it takes a lot of time and effort to raise, which means less free time. “I never regretted having my son because he has changed my life for the better. I often find myself wondering where would I be if he was not born,” Allen said.

There is much needed to be able to raise and support a child. During teenager years, most do not posses the materials in order to properly care for another human life. “Being a parent is a huge responsibility and I think that a teenage girl is not emotionally and/or financially ready to take on such a big task. I strongly believe there is a time in life for everything,” Jones said. “ A teenage girl should not have to worry about raising a child, instead she should be going to school, enjoying her teenage years. There will be a time in her life to become a parent and she will be able to enjoy it and embrace it.” In Prince George there is a club devoted to teaching teenage mothers and mothers to be how properly take care of and to prevent more pregnancies. “In the parental group we offer supportive counseling to new and expectant adolescent parents. The group’s goal is to is to both decrease the number of teen pregnancies and encourage proper prenatal care,” Belk said. “The group cover a wide variety of topics to include parental as well as self care, social emotional development of children, importance of play and bonding with children as well as maintaining healthy relationships.” The parenting group does its best to try and prepare its members the best way it can, but the truth still remains once another life is involved, growing up is more than a distant idea, it becomes reality. “As I was registering my son for day care one of the fields asked for the age of the mother and as I saw the number 13 I was taken aback and it took me a while to realize what it was saying. I was 13 years old, my childhood was spent raising a child,” Allen said.

Know the facts: 3 out of 10 teenage girls in the United States get pregnant at least once before the age of 20

2/3 of all teen pregnancies occur 18-19 years old 8/10 teenage fathers do not marry the mothers of their child

2/3 of families began by a young unmarried mother are poor

1/4 of teenage mothers have a second child within 24 months

3x more likely to become a teenage mother if their mother was one

2x more likely if you are a son of a teen mother to end up in prison

facts found at

Page 16 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010



One in 150 people across the United States are diagnosed with autism

Written by: Devyn Pachmayr

utism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills and cognitive function, as defined by the National Autism Association. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure activities. Along with restricted social abilities comes many positive traits such as a meticulous eye for detail, a lack of interest in gossip or social expectations, a terrific memory and a passionate outlook. “The autism spectrum is evolving every day, they are finding out more information and broadening the levels of autism,” Intellectual Development Program teacher Brenda Clary said. One in 150 people, and increasing, across the United States are diagnosed with having a form of autism. “We all have the opportunity to respect people for who they are,” Clary said. “It is very prevalent here at Prince George High School. Prince George is very supportive in getting students to socialize and allowing them to develop. They provide the students the opportunity to grow.” Autistic students are often misunderstood as being unintelligent, helpless, or “weird”. Their lack of eye contact, facial expression, and ability to develop relationships force the students into seclusion. “It’s not as bad as people assume it is, my sister can do everything we can do, just at a different pace,” senior Brittany Myrick said about her autistic sister Kristen Myrick. “It’s hard on my family; it is frustrating for my family and for her. I can not relate to her like a normal sister.” Individuals with autism enjoy being in “their own zone” .They often have one talent that they excel at. “Kristen is great at drawing. She does not trace or copy images that are in front of her, she draws from memory, and the details are in-

Adjusting to changes in their home environment can be difficult for autistic children

Avoiding overcrowded or noisy areas can prevent overreactions from autistic individuals

Myths About Autism 1. Autistic individuals are all alike. Fact:

Autistic people are all different. The only elements they ALL share are unusual difficulty with social communication.

2. Autistic individuals don’t

3. People with a

Fact: People with autism are capable of

Fact: It is very likel

have feelings.

feeling and expressing love. They are often far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express emotion in unusual ways.


relationships with the Many autistic people through shared passi

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News -Page 17

ding Autism credible in her drawings,” Myrick said. “She is also talented with technology. She beats video games with no problems.” Clubs such as DECA, BETA, SADD and FBLA sponsor school socials and dances for students in the Intellectual Development Program. The student sponsors often volunteer to bring food and to dance and interact with the students. “We have social dances in our class to help them develop social skills. We dance, eat and play games. For autistic students, this allows them to socialize in their domain,” Clary said. The ID students often go on field trips out to lunch, to shopping centers and other public places to help them adjust to being placed in “real world” situations. “Her education is completely different from ours,” Myrick said. “Kristen learns how to function in everyday situations. She learns how to wash dishes, do the laundry and do other chores.” Autism does not affect life expectancy but there is currently no cure. But with early intervention and treatment, the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved. “My sister has a chance at getting better,” Myrick said. “She can get to a point where she is happier, where the autism is not as bad. I stay hopeful.”

ly that they will have solid eir close family members. build strong friendships ionate interests.

Many children with autism either crave or over-respond to sensory input, resulting in “bad” behavior.

Climbing a rock wall, swinging on a tire swing, or wrapping them tightly in a blanket can calm an autistic child down

Facts provided by

autism can’t build

Paying attention to what they are sensitive to, such as sound or close approaches can help you find out what upsets them

4. Autistic people are dangerous

5. Autistic people can’t do

Fact: Many autistic individuals exhibit

Fact: Individuals with autism can

to society.

violent behaviors when frustrated or experiencing physical or sensory overload. It is very rare for a person to act violently out of malice.


achieve great things if supported by the people in their life. Their creative outlook can blossom with a little encouragment.

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 18


Liars prepare for National Honesty Day Students reconsider their dishonest habits on April 30th

“Most of the time we know the answers to the questions before we ask and sometimes we ask questions we already know the answers to so we can see if they’re dishonest,” said Pearson. Not only do teachers see indicators of dishonesty but they have also heard a lot of dishonest stories. There are always two sides to any story and Officer Pearson has heard it all, from the simplest stories to the most extravagant. But Rhodes often hears this old line from her students, ‘I didn’t do it!’ This excuse is often used when students are caught doing something they are not supposed to be doing. 77 out of 105 students admit that they lie when they are caught doing something inappropriate. Sophomore Denisha Black had first hand experience with this issue. She was texting in class and got caught in action. Black figured she could lie her way out of the situation. After going back and forth with her teacher for about ten minutes, she got sent to the principal’s office. Black stuck to her story about not texting and got issued to a day in Saturday school. Even though students prove to be very dishonest creatures, it is good to know that someone still has faith in them. “I believe that people are basically good and can be truthful for one whole day,” Rhodes said.

Ciara Ward trn writer


or the last ten years our world has been filled with small fibs and false statements,from celebrity scandals to schoolyard lying. For some people being honest comes naturally, but for others, not telling the truth becomes second nature. For one day we dedicate our lives to being honest and not telling lies. The founder of April 30th’s National Honesty Day, M. Hirsh Goldberg, chose this day because the first day of the month, known as April Fools, is all about fooling others, playing pranks, and lying through your teeth. He believed that the month should end on a “high moral note”. A recent student study conducted at this school by the Royal News shows that 66 out of 105 students admit that they lie on a daily or weekly basis. Teachers have a definite perspective on the issue. “Most of my students are honest with me. They say ‘I’m not going to lie to you Mrs. Rhodes, this is what happened…,’” National Honors Society sponsor Karen Rhodes said. Meanwhile the same survey says that 70 out of 105 would actually tell a lie to their teacher for an extension. Being in a school environment you are taught early on that telling the truth is better than being dishonest. Most students think that it is best to lie to benefit themselves, than be truthful with their teacher. Lying can benefit the students but can have a negative affect on the teacher. “Internally I have a hard time understanding dishonesty and I’m sometimes angry,” Rhodes said. Students and teachers agree that students are dishonest so they avoid trouble and consequences for their

Junior Chase Coleson turns in his work to English teacher Quin Kliebenstein. Honesty plays a big role in school with such things as the Honor Pledge and plagarism are a big focus . Photo by Alison Brown actions. Officer Pearson feels that it’s frustrating when he knows the truth and a student continues to lie about the situation. “Sometimes they believe that they can lie their way out of a situation or reduce the damage, but it usually makes it worse,” said Pearson.

The previous survey mentioned showed that 30 out of 105 students do most of their lying at school. Often students feel as if the teachers aren’t smart enough to figure out if they are being truthful or not. Little do they know, the teachers know just how to find the truth.

“Most of the time we know the answers to the questions before we ask and sometimes we ask questions we already know the answers to so we can see if they’re dishonest,” Officer Pearson


of students admit that they lie on a daily or weekly basis


of students would actually tell a lie to a teacher to get an extension


of students admit that they lie when they get caught doing something inappropriate

Page 19 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010

d o o eG


Last Dance For Seniors

Going To A Fancy Restaurant


AmPersand R O M

Restrictions with Dancing

Spend a lot of money for one night

Spending Time With Friends

After Prom at Swaders

Getting Dressed Up

The B ad

Watching People Dirty Dance

Run out of tables to sit down

Lot of pictures for memories

Senior Countdown

39 Days

Location of Prom, too crowded Waiting in line for pictures

The building is hot

Page 20 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


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Prom becomes meaningful reality

PGTV brings high tech video to classrooms

Alisha Holmes trn writer


he sound of typing the script on the computer, the countdown of time before the video camera records is an average day in the school television newscast, PGTV. What some people do no appreciate is the time and hard work put into providing the school with the news daily. Prince George Television, or the more commonly used name PGTV, has been on the air since 1999. During this time the staff did not have a lot of the high quality equipment that is used today. PGTV advisor Lisa Britt remembers a time where things were a little bit harder for the staff. “In 1999, when PGTV first started, we only had one dinosaur camera and two VCR’s, that’s it,” Britt said. Since then the PGTV production team has come a long way. Three years ago Britt remembers having to plead for grants from different organizations for funding for the then new project. Just recently she has received a budget for PGTV. “I just received a school budget about three years ago so I do not have to write grants anymore,” Britt said. With this new budget came newer and better equipment. Instead of the oversized cameras and outdated VCR’s, the staff now

has five Mac system units, which is specifically used for video production, iMac’s, video cameras, a teleprompter, and tri-pods. All of these new things are expected to be handled with care by the PGTV staff. “The PGTV staff has to learn how to use the equipment, edit the four different kinds of software, and the fundamentals of off all the video composition. They each have to graduate on the usage of the software before being able to handle it regularly,” Britt said. Choosing the best staff possible is a challenge Britt faces every year. A lot of evaluations and time is dedicated into putting together an effective staff. The key things that Britt is looking for include, a decent application, enjoyable audition, and the potential PGTV staff members’ attendance record. “I have to ensure that the future staff will be here regularly because this is a student ran production so attendance is mandatory to make sure that the team can work to its full potential”, Britt said. The PGTV staff this year has shown that they were fully capable to show their ability to live up to the standards of the staff before them. Senior Givonie Johnson is new to PGTV this year but is mastering all the skills needed to succeed. Even though there are a lot of things to learn Johnson still manages to have fun while on the staff. “The best part about PGTV is filming different projects because you can be creative with the people you work with,” Johnson said.


Senior Joanna Santiago reads her script from the teleprompter. Anchors are responsible for preparing and broadcasting announcements daily. Photo by Alisha Holmes. The staff members are faced with many foreign tasks but with the guidance of Britt and support from their fellow producers they accomplish these task in a timely manner. Even with all these support factors the PGTV staff still may become a little flustered at some tasks. “Difficulties I face in PGTV are finishing projects in time because in this semester the guidelines are harder,” Johnson said. Some people are doing PGTV because they want to pursue this further in college while others did it as more have and entertainment course. Junior Albert Williams wanted to be apart of the PGTV staff for many different reasons. “A lot of my friends did it so I thought that it would be something cool to do. I also wanted to be on television.” Williams said. Even though the reasons for joining PGTV vary, the over all feeling about being on the PGTV staff remains consistent throughout the whole staff. Senior Joanna Santiago expresses that she really enjoys being on staff and working with her fellow staff members. “I really enjoy the people I work with, we always have fun doing different project, I also love working with Mrs. Britt,” Santiago said.

rom has finally arrived. The time where girls get pretty and guys get handsome. Where Prom King and Queen are announced to all that are present. A time for the seniors Kelsie McDaniels to remember forever. I have been to prom all three years that I have been in high school. The dresses, the corsages and boutonnières, limos and the dates. All have been special and now this is the last one. I think that Prom is one of the best times of a girl’s life. We have to get our dresses and our nails done. Dare I forget about the hair. My Prom shopping started when I received the first dress magazine in the mail. I instantly knew what dress that I wanted to arrive in. My mom and I ordered the dress and when it arrived at the store it was not how it looked in the magazine. I think it was false advertising. I had to look through the vast numbers of gowns that the boutique had in stock and I came across the one that I have now. Having to find one as a replacement and having it fit was a miracle. I wanted a long dress but finding one is hard because I am tall. The one that I found was long enough and that made me really happy. Many of the preparations are last minute like nails, hair, and shoes, but in my case all of them are last minute. Fortunately the date and the restaurant are all taken care of. Transportation to the venue with a car that has military stickers on it was a plus too. Now that my last Prom has finally arrived it is bittersweet. All my friends and I will sit at the restaurant and reminisce about the time in high school together. When the last dance comes on I might shed a tear or two. Then I will walk out the door hand in hand with my date, and look back on one of the many memories of my last year in high school.

Page 22 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010


Thank You Patrons! Super Patrons

Leslie Eliades The McQuiggan Family Gail Vargo

PG Athletics William Havard William & Cynthia Young

Gold Patrons

Quinn Kliebenstein Wayne and Janet Marburger Alex Cain Digna Vera Autrey Jackson M Jackson Tom & Peggy Wood Avery Eliades Jane Eliades, Ingram & Acoss. Leslie Eliades Carolyn Hardin

Dorothy Plum Ron Hardin Bonnie Patillie Roger Vargo Tim Elmore Janie Williams Dianne Overstreet Louise Thornton Daryl Phillips Alex Sleeper Beth Andersen

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Green Patrons Kendall Warren Janet Carr Diana Brown Lindsay Warren Kandie Brashaw Barbara Plum Monica Curtis Delbria Walton Polly Williamson

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Thank you patrons for donating to the Royal News. Your gifts help us continue to produce the best publication we can offer to the PGHS students. Super Patrons donated $50 or more, Gold Patrons donated $20 or more, Green Patrons donated $10 or more. If you would like to become a patron stop by A6 or email

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April 19, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 23


Teachers reveal life outside of school Cars, dogs, ghosts take up free time of faculty Christy Hardin trn writer


arcia Skiffington, D a v i d Pollard and Susan Brafford are known for the classes they teach, however, when they step out of the realms of the high school world, they transform into individuals that have unique forms of entertainment, outside of their primary job. Walking into a nursing home, Brafford brings her dog Breyden into the room of a non conversant ninety-year old lady. She places the lady’s hand on top of Breyden’s head, and she moved her hand as if to pet the dog, responding to stimulus for the first time. “My goal is to make a difference with my dog. Quality of life is not determined by who you are, but what you do,” Brafford said. Brafford, with her dog by her side, has trained for the moment when they can enter into someone’s life and make a difference. She travels to different local hospitals and nursing homes offering her dog’s services to people that have been placed in places where animals are not allowed. She gives them a chance to spend time with her dog where she can make a difference. “The bigger gift is to be part of something like that,” Brafford said. On his off time, Pollard enjoys attending and participating in many different car shows. He also restores vehicles to show at these events. “My dad and I have several old vehicles that we take to the car show. If I do not have time to take a car or the show is too far away, then we will just go to the car show. We will look at the cars to get ideas or just enjoy them,” Pollard said. The outing with his father bring new

opportunities to both of them as well as for their cars. “We will see people we know or meet new people. We will also get parts for the project that we are working on at the time.” Pollard and his father have worked on many projects and have restored many cars. He has restored a 1934 Ford Fordor sedan, a 1956 Chevrolet Bel-air-four sedan, and three Chevrolet trucks. “Restoring cars is relaxing most of the time, but it can drive you crazy sometimes. It gives me a lot of satisfaction, when the vehicle is finished and it looks as good as it can for the amount of time and money spent on the vehicle,” Pollard said. Most know Skiffington as a French teacher, however, in her down time she works from the first day of May through Halloween as a tour guide for Haunts of Richmond in which she leads tours through Richmond. The routes range from Capitol Hill to Shockoe Bottom, in which each route has various creepy stories to be told. “I have always been interested in ghost stories, ever since I learned to read. I have also had my share of paranormal experiences so it’s fun to share stories with people,” Skiffington said. Not only has she done local tours, she has also traveled abroad to explore the ghosts of other states and countries. “I have been on some great ghosts tours in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Wilmington, North Carolina. I thought it would be a great summer job,” Skiffington said. Being a tour guide out side of school have taken Skiffington to new heights in the paranormal field. “I am also a folklore specialist for a local group that does paranormal research and investigation. Reviewing evidence is not nearly as much fun as it looks on TV, but it’s really cool when you catch something.” She not only enjoys being a tour guide and going on ghost tours, but she also uses each experience as a fun way to learn. “Usually they are walking ghost tours, and the idea is to take people around the historic buildings in a particular area of a city and tell them about the history and creepy things that people have experienced in those locations,” Skiffington said. “I look at is as an opportunity to learn some history as well as the scary stories.”

“’s fun to share stories with people,” French Teacher Marsha Skiffington

French teacher, Marcia Skiffington begins to prepare her tourists for a frightful night. She works with Haunts of Richmond as a tour guide. The tours last from the first day of May through Halloween. Photo courtesy of Marcia Skiffington.

Page 24 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010

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Gypsy dances onto stage Expectations for Players heightened for spring musical Brittany Thacker trn writer


his year’s student spring musical Gypsy launches at Prince George High School on May 6th, 7th, and 8th at 7:30 PM. What was once a Broadway show and a motion picture now comes to life through the students. Gypsy reflects back on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer from California and her hard-driven stage mother, Mama Rose, who is determined to make it big by pushing the vaudeville career of her younger daughter June. “Mama Rose tries so hard to make it big for her daughter but in the end loses sight of her future and her other

daughter’s future as well,” junior Russell Slouffman said. In the beginning of the musical, Rose concentrates solely on her talented younger daughter, June. Her less talented older sister Louise was left in the cold. June becomes tired of it runs away and gets married. Rose then turns her hope and attention to Louise. Eventually, Rose’s dream is accomplished when Louise is successfully transformed into a famous burlesque stripper known as Gypsy Rose Lee. However, Rose suffers a mental break down when she realizes that she is no longer needed in her daughter’s career. In order for the play to reflect the professional productions that were done on Broadway, the directors had specific qualifications for the students who auditioned. “During the auditions, you had to sing a song without music, do a cold reading, and learn a dance which you had to perform in front of the director,” senior Jennifer Harrison said. Although the play was approved for the school, some modifications were nec-

essary for it to be school appropriate. “This play could be considered risqué,” Harrison said. “Gypsy does not take off her clothes but she gives an image that she is going to.” Even though the actors concentrate on their roles, they take their free time to mingle with the other cast members. This allows for the work to get done in a fun and timely fashion. “I’ve made new friends and this helps keep me busy and active,” Slouffman said. “I have had a lot of fun.” Building for the musical puts a creative mind to what is behind the scenes of the play. The technical crew builds the set needed for opening night. This includes all of the steps and platforms to be shown when the show opens up. The imagination of the crew can only go as far as the budget will allow. “We are recycling the wood from previous production due to costs. The old props are also being reused,” senior Alex Alexander said. Costumes for the actors are drawn up to make the production seem as real

“Gypsy does not take off her clothes but she gives an image that she is going to”

Juniors Sara Williams and Miyoshi Speller and sophomore Mara Barrett wait for the next dance move during rehearsal. Gypsy will be performed on May 6th, 7th and 8th at 7:30 P.M. in the auditorium. Photo by Alison Brown . as possible. Sizing and other factors play a role in how well the ending image will look. “A lot of modifications were needed to look like the 1930s,” Beth Houlihan said. “One of the costumes actually lights up.” Certain modifications were also needed for the manuscript. “We had to alter some of the language because some of the terms are not common language anymore,” Houlihan said. “We also had to change the genders of some of the characters.” Each day hard work is poured into preparation for this spring musical. Countless hours have been spent on creating, transforming, and producing the best possible for an extravagant presentation to the students. It is a lot of hard work but the vision of praise from the audience is what makes this musical possible.

Page 26 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010




Students help without playing

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 27

Senior Spotlight

Team managers do more than just get water Kim Carneal trn writer

Devin Porter Boys Soccer


tudents, parents, and teachers attend sports games but they never realize the effort it takes to make those games function. Team managers put forth much time and effort towards their team. Every student has the opportunity to become a team manager. The main requirement to be a manager is having dedication. “Brandon Carroll [former junior varsity volleyball coach] approached me because I participated in the volleyball camp and one of my friends mentioned I was fit for the job,” sophomore volleyball manager McKenzie Pierce said. Not being the most athletic does not keep them away from being apart of the team. “I am not the best athlete so I wanted to be the manager that way I am still a part of the team without actually playing,” Pierce said. An injury can keep a student from being an athlete on the team but influences them to be a team manager. “Two years ago in field hockey I was hit with a field hockey ball in the knee which stopped me from being able to run track,” senior track manager Britney Ceney said. “Which led me to becoming a manager of the team because I love being a part of the athletic environment.” Developing an interest in the sport without having to play also sways managers to want their job. “I was happy to accept Coach Tomlin’s [former football coach] request to have me as a manager,” senior football manager Jazmine Lewis said. “I love watching football especially because I watched my brother [graduate LaRoyce Lewis] play for several years.” Other school activities influence these students to have the drive to become a team manager.

(Front) Senior Britney Ceney waving the starting flag to the official during a track meet, with senior Eric Sutton (behind) recording the times. Photo by Amir Vera “I am in the National Honors Society and we need community service hours and being the manager counts as part of my community service,” senior track manager Eric Sutton said. Coaches could not get all their needs accomplished if they did not have team managers. “My managers deal with practice organization and they help provide water for the kids. Also they prepare ice baths for the athletes after practice,” Coach Bruce Carroll said. Team managers are as big an asset as the athletes because they make it easier on the players by dealing with equipment. “Mainly, I deal with the equipment by bringing it out and putting it away,” Lewis said Managing time can be quite difficult for these team managers. “I attend every practice, home and away games for both the J.V. and Varsity teams,” Lewis said. Some managers have a bigger

responsibility than others. “I attend every practice and game,” Ceney said. “In a way I am an ‘assistant coach’ because I have a group of my own during practice who are distance runners.” Going to all the practices is not always necessary for every team manager. “I only come to practices when Coach Gilbert tells me to,” Pierce said. “She only needs me at practice when she has paper work for me to do, like copy the libero sheets.” Even though Ceney acts as an assistant coach, she still also does the job of a manager too. “I make sure every athlete is eligible to be on the team by checking their VHSL physicals and grades. During the games I take times,” Ceney said. One on one with coaches is an important role in being a team manager. “I talk to the coaches after practice to tell them what to expect for next practice and further on,” Ceney said.

1. How long have you been playing soccer? “Since I was about 5 or 6, playing recreational soccer.” 2. What inspired you to start playing soccer? “My parents started playing me and then I got serious about it in 8th grade, trying to make the Varsity soccer team.” 3. How do you train outside of school? “Travel soccer teams, playing in the backyard with friends.” 4. What position do you play? “My position is Center mid.” 5. What are your pregame rituals? “Listening to music and eating good.” 6. Do you eat anything specific before a game? “I try not to eat anything 3 hours before the game and I eat some bananas and water.” 7. What do you enjoy most about soccer? “The freedom to do whatever you want on the field.” 8. What has been your best game? “The most memorable game was when I started my freshmen year against Thomas dale and the district semi finals; we lost 5-2 but I started as a freshmen.” 9. Do you plan on playing after high school? “Intramural leagues in college and just work on travel leagues.” 10. Coach’s Corner (Coach James Harrison): “He’s a senior leader on the team. He is the quiet-lead-by-example kind of guy. He’s a quick shooter, most of the guys dribble close to the goal, he’ll shoot it from anywhere.”


Page 28 - The Royal News - April 16, 2010

Dodgeball tournament leads to victory First annual competition successful for all


Autrey Jackson trn writer


he team christened by its members as “Things That Rhyme With Orange” beat their competition to become the champions of the first annual dodge ball tournament on Friday, March 26. The tournament consisted of different rounds that teams competed in. Matches between teams in the first round were only one game, while each round after that was best two out of three. Eliminations only took place once a team had lost two rounds, so teams that lost their first game came out even more ready to win. “Things That Rhyme With Orange” came out to have fun in a friendly competition and ended up being the first winner. “I thought we would win the first round, but ended up losing. I was just there to have fun,” sophomore David Mendoza said. Since the idea of the tournament came from the senior class, it is not certain that there will be another one next year. Although he plans on having it again, the decision will really be in the hands of next year’s senior class, according senior class sponsor John Pelter. The champion team’s name and members were all very simply picked. There was one person who did not think they could do well because of who was on their team. They were also slightly intimidated by one team in particular, but they overcame it in the end. They used the strategy of the Hollywood hit Dodgeball. Now they have a prize that they can share and another for each individual to use how he wishes. “We got a big trophy and a 10 dollar card to Swader’s for each team member,” team captain Jamar Johnson said. Some teams went in with no plans for

Is victory ever certain?

Celebrating their victory over “Diesel”, “Things That Rhyme With Orange” hold up their trophy triumphantly. Photo by Janai Cunningham how to win, but Things That Rhyme With Orange was prepared. “Our strategy was the five D’s: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge,” sophomore Tyler Mace said. A few of the guys on the team agreed that they were not sure how they would match up to one team that looked fiercer than the others. “M.O.S. was all athletes so I figured they would be good, but we beat them twice,” Mendoza said. One member of the team was taunted by one of his classmates, and he used that to play harder. “Since my team was soccer players, my friend called us a bunch of grass fairies, so I wanted to hit him,” Mace said. The captain did not trouble himself with any complicated way of picking his team and name. “I just picked my friends that I knew could play, and I went through my iPod and found a random song for our name,”

Johnson said. The whistle blows and everybody runs to the centerline to fight for a ball. Each person is on his own to keep from getting hit and to help their team in any way they can. The teams battle back and forth until only one team is left standing as the victor. Ultimately, only one team can claim the title of the championship dodge ball team. In the past, the student-faculty basketball game that was played lost spectator interest. The new dodge ball tournament went over pretty well this year. “The tournament went very well, and we got good feedback from everybody,” Pelter said. Depending on how each senior class votes in the upcoming years, the dodge tournament could stick around for quite a while. There is one team that will be looking forward to potential tournaments in the future, and that is the defending champion, “Things That Rhyme With Orange”.

inning. It’s something all athletes strive to do. Victory. It is something all athletes want. A championship. Somewhere all Amir Vera athletes want to go. However, none of this is EVER guaranteed. This was shown Saturday, March 20, as many NCAA basketball fans’ brackets, including mine, were thrown up in flames. The ninth seeded Northern Iowa Panthers defeated the number one seeded Kansas Jayhawks 69-67. This was known as the biggest upset in the NCAA “March Madness” tournament this year. Everyone expected the Jayhawks to come out on top, maybe even blow out the Panthers. I am sure no one expected Ali Farokhmanesh to make the winning three-pointer at the end of the game. On the other hand, I know the Panthers did not go into the game expecting to lose. They did not go into the game playing mediocre, they did not care that they were about to face the team who was expected to win the national title this year. The Panthers are known as a “Cinderella” team because, as stated earlier, they were seeded ninth facing a number one team. But, like Cinderella, they came out on top unexpectedly. This should be very inspirational to all teams, especially in high school. My reason for telling this story is because in the last few years, there have been teams who have not had the best record. As a result of this, you go into the locker room, and might hear athletes say, “we can just chill, we’re not going to win anyways.” I have literally heard this and it disappoints me because it may only be a few pessimistic team members doing this, but that kind of attitude affects the whole team. Instead, they should have the same attitude the Panthers had. They should play with that same intensity the Panthers played with, even to the last crucial moments of the game, as Farokhmanesh did.

April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 29

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April 16, 2010 - The Royal News - Page 31


Senior decides to switch out the cleats for spikes Former soccer player Bobby Yocum chooses different sport for senior year Olivia Tritschler trn writer


ime flies for those who anticipate June 11, 2010. Senior year comes with the thrill of proving oneself, not just academically but also in extracurricular activities. For senior Bobby Yocum, he had less than 180 days to establish his worthiness to be called a track star. After playing soccer for eight years on rec leagues and travel teams, Yocum was accepted for the boys J.V. soccer team his sophomore year and then recruited for varsity his junior year. In an unexpected decision, he selected track for his spring sport instead of soccer this year. It is common for students to stay with a sport throughout their years in high school, so a change right before graduation was shocking. Yocum now moves forward with his goals for the oncoming track season. He runs the 800 meter and the 4 x 800 meter relay, with hopes of taking medals in the 800 meter. “I just wanted a change,” Yocum said. “I felt I would have more success in track.” With anything new there is always the problem of fitting in and finding the right people. On a sports team this also comes with the hard work that is involved in physical

activity. For Yocum it was just finding the right team to be a part of. “I am a lot closer with my friends,” Yocum said. “I feel more at home with track.” The choice to switch to track was something that only Yocum could make. His love of running was the main influence that took his mind away from soccer. “I started running just to run last year,” Yocum said. “I felt like I found the part of me that was missing and it makes me feel like I made a change.” Joining a new sport comes with a new coach who may have different coaching styles. Getting use to the new techniques and understanding the limits of the coach is all part of becoming use to the team. Yocum left the thrill of the game on the soccer field and picked up the speed and endurance on the track. According to Yocum he would have switched to track earlier in his high school career. With any change in life there may be regrets about what has ended. The years spent in high school is the time to make mistakes and to have fun. “I regret leaving soccer a little,” Yocum said. “But not enough that if they asked me to play that I would.” Yocum has the adventure and excitement of a full track season ahead in his last stretch of high school. By his side he will have the company of his fellow track members helping him run to victory. “I love it like nothing else in the world,” Yocum said.

Senior Bobby Yocum warming up for the 4x800m relay against Colonial Heights Tuesday March 31. Yocum would also run the open 800m and 1600m. Photo by Amir Vera



Girls varsity soccer defeated the Meadowbrook Monarchs 5-0 Tuesday, Apr. 13.

Boys varsity baseball travels to Petersburg Tuesday, Apr. 20. Come support the Royals!

Girls varsity tennis beat Meadowbrook 9-0 Tuesday, Apr. 13.

Girls Softball determined to defend title Returning players refocus outlook on journey to states Wayne Epps trn writer


he g re en g r ass, the ping of the bat, the thud of the ball in the glove; these are the sights and sounds of softball. This season, however, they may be even sweeter as the varsity softball team tries to defend their Central Region title. Last season, varsity softball made it all the way to the VHSL Group AAA state semi-final game where they lost to Great Bridge. They were the first team in any sport in school history to make it to the AAA state semi-finals according to The team’s final record was 21-5. “Getting to the state-semis was really exciting for everybody, because nobody had experienced that before, and nobody expected us to go that far,” senior pitcher Lauren Vinson said. “Getting to the state-semis was a great journey, a great ride. It is always nice to finish on top in your region, and actually win a game in the states as well,” varsity head coach Pat Waguespack said. The run to the state semi-finals last year included a good memory of the crazy regional game. “My best memory from last season, was the regional game; winning the region. We played twenty-one innings, and that is just amazing,” junior third-baseman Kaitlyn Johnson said. After last season, opponents know the potential of the team. They know how good they can be, and that puts them in a different position. “This year, there us a lot more stress put

on us because we know that everybody is out to get us, everybody wants to beat us. So we have to work extra hard,” Vinson said. “I feel like we have a title to live up to, and we should go far again this year,” senior left-fielder Sarah Cook said. The team has not changed much from last season, losing only two players. Despite having mostly the same players, the team’s outlook is different this season. “I think as a team, we will do good, because we worked together last year and we know how everybody plays and what to expect out of everybody,” Vinson said. “I think our attitude is a little bit different. We expect to do good this year,” “I feel like we could take it all the way to state again, and we could win this year,” Cook said. The individual players plan to work hard this season and improve themselves to help the team as a whole. “My goal is to just get better as the season goes on, instead of staying at the same amount of talent,” senior second-baseman Maggie Roberts said in a Facebook interview. “I just want to be able to go out there and help my team as much as possible.” “I know that there are things that I need to work on, and I am continuing to work on them, and I expect a lot out of myself because I do not want to let my team down,” Vinson said. The softball team has their eyes set on the prize; they not only want to be able to repeat last season’s success, but they are looking for even greater rewards. “It felt great to have gotten as far as we did, but we still are not quite satisfied with our performance. There is always room for improvement and we have been working harder than ever to try and make a repeat happen,” Roberts said.

Senior Maggie Roberts dashes for first base in the game against Matoaca Tuesday Mar. 30. The lady Royals defeated Matoaca 1-0. Photo by Wayne Epps.

April Issue  

The Royal News Aprill 2010 Edition