2news • FFA members are selling onions during all three lunches in March. • Ski Club member junior Audrey Huff placed fourth at a snowboarding race at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley. West’s team ranked sixth overall. • Distributive Education Clubs of America members are scheduled to plant flowers and pick up trash around the campus in March. • The Mock Trial teams competed at the Buncombe County Courthouse on Feb. 20. Both teams won their first two rounds. Senior Jessica Tobin and freshman Diane Gromelski were named best attorneys. Senior Ashley Roy and junior Stephanie Watkins were named best witnesses. • Concert band members will compete at festival March 26 at Brevard College. • The orchestra and chorus classes will have their joint pre-festival concert on March 23 in the auditorium at 7 p.m. • On April 15, both Pride and Junior Civitan will be helping out with the Special Olympics at Hendersonville High School. They are also sponsoring a special speaker in March that will speak to the entire student body. • Foreign Language Club members are learning the Cajun Two Step dance. They are also having rehearsals for the Foreign Language Competition at Western Carolina University on March 23. • Falcon Idol auditions will be April 19. Student government will also be having class competitions to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims on April 23 and 30. • Health Occupations Students of America are collecting oven mitts for patients with dialysis, loss of feeling in their hands. This is to help keep patients’ hands protected from frostbite and to help those who do not have adequate circulation. • Key Club is sponsoring a stuffed animal drive for the Henderson County Police Department and MainStay. Donations will be accepted through spring break.
Calendar changes implemented because of seven snow days
Hailey Johns Feature Writer
Manager Kathy Johnson said. “I’m the attendance lady; it’s supposed to be 100 percent every day. I think that’s what Mr. Jones expected because he said he thought we’d t was a bitter cold Thursday night in December — typi- have around 78 percent.” While some students said it was strange to be at cal winter weather. As students prepared for the last day of school before Christmas break, they knew that school on a Saturday, freshman Taylor Morrow said otherwise. forecasters were calling for a light snow. “I heard from people before that they weren’t going When they got up on Friday morning to get ready for school, they were surprised to find one of the heaviest to show up and that attendance was going to be really snowfalls of the past decade. School was cancelled for the low, but a lot of people were here,” Morrow said. “Coming back here on a Saturday definitely took away from my first of seven times this winter. “It’s just been a wet winter. Not only has it been a wet weekend, but it was also nice to have that new experiwinter, but also it was a wet spring and a wet summer. If ence.” The Henderson County Public Schools used Saturday you think back several years ago, we had a drought. We were all just hoping for any type of precipitation and now school instead of taking a day out of spring break. Saturday school is an option in a we have an abundance of it,” Principal week when a missed day occurs. “The Dean Jones said. “I think it’s just a problem with Saturday school is that weather pattern that we’re in, but it is anyone who is an hourly employee, nice to see that we still have snow in custodians, bus drivers, administrathis area even though winter can somewhen will the missed tive assistants, teacher assistants — times be harsh.” school days be made up? will all have to be paid overtime. So The secondary roads that buses you’re talking about thousands of travel create most of the concern that Dec. 1 » Jan. 22 dollars extra, which in a budget year leads to cancelling school. seems quite unreasonable,” Jones “The buses are the main reason Feb. 1 » June 9 said. “When you make up a day you school would be cancelled. There are have to take into account the teachalso student drivers, many 16 and er’s contract as well. So if we have to 17-year-olds, and they’re very inexpeFeb. 2 » June 10 go to school on a Saturday, then it rienced,” Jones said. “The roads are the would be a day that the teacher didn’t main factor, which leads us to the quesFeb. 5 » March 26 have to work because that teacher is tion ‘Are the driving conditions safe?’ only employed for so many days that That’s primarily the concern.” Feb. 15 » May 31 year.” Because of the severe weather, the Not only are there certain cirschool calendar has been adjusted to cumstances and rules that apply to allow for make-up time. North Carolina March 2 » March 6 Saturday school, but both the teachstate law requires that schools operate ers’ and students’ personal lives also 180 days and at least 1,000 hours of inMarch 3 » June 11 have to be taken into account when struction between August 25 and June considering Saturday school. 10. The combination of this law and an “Saturday school was strange uncommon number of snow days comin a word and yet the consolation of plicates the process of making up days. “Right now we have very little control over make-up being able to just stay a half-day and not give up spring days because our calendar is so condensed,” Jones said. break was OK. It was just different. I would absolutely “We just have to put them in the calendar wherever they not say that it was just like a normal school day,” English can fall. We don’t have a lot of options in the future other teacher Cliff Searcy said. “I think the worst part about it was leaving here on Saturday afternoon thinking 36 to 40 than having a shorter spring break.” During the first week of March, Henderson County hours we’re going to be right back here doing this again. experienced more snow, leaving the county with Saturday I don’t have plans to be gone during spring break, so it school to make up one of the two days missed during that didn’t matter much except for just the idea of it.” School officials have decided to extend the school week. Saturday school took place March 6 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with more than 75 percent of West’s students in at- year to June 11, past the state-mandated date of June 10 to make up the second day missed in the first week of tendance. “Mr. Jones said that about 75 to 78 percent of the stu- March. Graduation has been moved to June 11. The option of taking away days from spring break dents attended. We have 1,040 students enrolled, and I believe it was around 258 that were absent,” NCWise Data could be considered an option if necessary.
Photo by Karen Williams
Clubs stay active in March
Photo by Lisa King
wingspan • march 19, 2010
Let It Snow
On Jan. 1, junior Emily Williams (top) walks down the Blue Ridge Parkway with her family. The snow from Dec. 18 was the first of several heavy snowfalls during the school year. Going down the bunny slope, senior Shane Courtney (above) snowboards with friends on Feb. 21 at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley. Courtney and his friends went with a church group on a ski trip to Cataloochee.
Haiti (continued from page 1) years to rebuild. With Haiti’s limited resources, it will take even longer. “Something that people don’t understand is there’s the American way that we do things and then there’s the Haitian way. They don’t have the resources that we have,” Cope said. “Repairing the damage is going to take years and years because as far behind as they are now, yes, they can have things like blocks and cement shipped in, but they’ve always built things by hand, even molded their own block.” Amidst the setbacks, however, Haitians are making progress with the help of the United States and other countries that have rushed to their aid. At its peak, 20,000 U.S. troops were stationed in Haiti to supplement the limited government resources. Save the Children opened the first post-earthquake education center to help Haitian children continue their education and regain a sense of normalcy despite the continued instability. These classes are held in temporary structures and tents that are designed as safe environments for children to learn and play. “They’re learning how to cope with it, how to deal with it, how to have all the people in the right places along with the Americans,” Cope said. “Everybody
across the world is trying to lend a hand in every way, from our military to military from other countries. It’s brought us together, closer to Haitians. As a world, as a country, it has brought all of us closer together.” As the Haitian government attempts to get back on its feet and the need for military help dwindles, more American troops are being pulled out and sent home. The local military has stepped up to take over the responsibilities that foreign troops are now leaving to them, and the government is working to rebuild the crumbling foundation of the country. “My prayer is that they (Haitians) will rebuild and become a strong country. It’s a long way yet, but it’s going to take more of us to put hands on. We can pray and we can pray, but most any time you have to put hands and feet to those prayers,” Cope said. “It just seems as though Haiti has brought this out of us all. It can make not only a country a much better place, but it will make you a better person.” West faculty and students recently came together to help Haitians in need by organizing a change drive and a T-shirt drive. “Change for Haiti” raised $839 over a two-week period in February. This money was sent to Samaritan’s Purse, a relief or-
ganization that coordinates supplies to be sent to poorer countries or countries that have suffered natural disasters. “With everything that has happened, it’s tragic,” math teacher Michael Hale said. “I’m just grateful to the student body for doing their part.” Hale and science teacher Beth White held a competition between their third period classes to see which could raise the most money. White’s class won by $300. “Most of our money came from a one-day push. Ms. White’s class handily won that competition. They won by about three to one,” Hale said. “That put us at about $600 dollars just for that day.” Cope said Haitians need not only physical help with obtaining resources, but spiritual help as well. “I believe that we are all called by God to help the world in situations like this. We have been blessed in a lot of ways, but now it is time for us to give back,” Cope said. “Haiti is something that can’t be explained. It can only be experienced. There are Third World countries, but then there is Haiti. That’s how poor Haiti is. You have to experience something like this and let that experience allow your heart to move and help these people. It’s a great experience, something I will never forget.”
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show. These dances include the Charleston, the Tango, tap dancing and the Susie Q. Dolbee is working to help the students learn their dances. She has taught more than 20 girls who previously had no tap experience to tap dance together. She said she enjoys watching them learn this new dance style. “Thoroughly Modern Millie is set in the 1920s, so it has been great to create dances from a certain period of history,” Dolbee said. “I’ve tried to teach the kids about the history of a lot of the steps and make it a history lesson as well.” The cast is receiving additional help in the choral department from vocal coach and pianist Steve Carson, the director of music at Mills River United Methodist Church. “We’re very fortunate to have his expert help,” Cooper said. “The kids already know their songs; they don’t even have to look at the words.” Other students of the cast include senior Kyle Keith as Jimmy, senior Drew Adams as Trevor Graden, junior Kara Hamilton as Miss Dorothy, junior Katie O’Shea as Mrs. Meers, juniors James Loder and Eric English as Ching Ho and Bun Foo and sophomore Alisha Carland as Muzzy.
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