Friday, August 30, 2013

New Lunch Schedule Causes Problems


     At Rural Retreat High School, there has been a new schedule change. This new block schedule now makes all high school students eat together in one lunch period.  Middle school students have different lunch times.  One big problem at lunch is that we have little time to eat.  Lunch is from 11:35 – 11:56, so we only have 21 minutes; that’s not long. 
     Part of the reason for this change is that a lot of people don't eat lunch, so Mr. Neal revised the schedule.  Now, however, our principal is thinking about adding about five minutes to lunch. As a whole, the student body is hoping this happens. Two students, a sophomore and a senior, said lunch this year has one flaw: it’s too short.  It feels rushed.  Sophomore Robert Fallon said, "I really hope we get five more minutes added to lunch because then I won’t feel rushed. Also, I really don’t think five minutes is going to kill anyone.”
     A large number of students feel this way, so let’s hope this change does take place.

New Faculty: Mrs. Harrison

An Interview with Mrs. Harrison

1.  How do you like RRHS so far?
- I think it's great.  Everybody has been nice and welcoming.

2. Where did you teach before coming to RRHS?
- I was the gifted resource teacher for all of the elementary and middle schools in Wythe County.

3. Where did you get your teaching degree?
- I got my degree at Ohio University.

4.  Where did you grow up?
- I grew up in the Cincinnati area.

5.  Did you have any other career plans before becoming a teacher?
- No, I have always wanted to be a teacher.

Overall, Mrs. Harrison is very excited to be here at Rural Retreat High School and is looking forward to a good year!

- Jessie Ritz

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Faculty: Mrs. Brown

Interview with Mrs. Brown

Where did you graduate High School?

            - Virginia High School in Bristol.

Where did you go to college?

            - Virginia Tech.

Where did you teach before you came here?
            - Patrick County High School.

Do you like teaching at Rural Retreat High School?
            - I love it.

Why do you love it?
            - It’s a good atmosphere. The students are excited                           about learning.
What made you want to teach two foreign languages, French and Spanish?
            - I just really enjoy studying all languages.

Was it hard?
            - It was confusing at times, especially with the                                 differences between the two.

Have you ever been to France, Spain, or both?
            - Both.
What did you like about it?
            - I just love Europe. I like seeing the architecture, and I                       like the history.

If you could teach another class, what would you teach?

            - Probably work and family studies. My students say I                         would be good at it.

- Dylan Crigger

College Affordability: A Better Bargain for the Middle Class

     President Barack Obama is hoping to make one of the most drastic changes to the federal student aid program in decades.  His plan will link federal dollars to new Department of Education ratings of community colleges and universities, giving students better-rated educations, with more inexpensive loans and larger grants.  If the Department of Education feels as if schools aren't doing enough to control expensive costs, give a quality education to all, or enroll students from economically diverse backgrounds, those schools will lose federal financial aid.  In addition, the amount of financial aid given to schools will be decided not by the student head-count, but rather the outcome of the students.


     Many families are questioning if this new program will limit student options for schools, but, says the White House, there is no need to worry.  Students are free to choose any school they please, though they should be aware that the schools with better ratings will receive the most tax dollars.

     Obama is hoping to put these words into action in only a couple of years.  Within the next year, Obama wants to publish college ratings.  These ratings will determine eligibility into colleges by 2018, so that any quirks in the new program can be fixed.

     One question is still unanswered: Will the College Affordability Plan pass in Congress?

- Jessie Ritz

Source: Associated Press

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Career Coach Update

A few updates from our career coach, Mrs. Aymer:

- College Day will be held at WCC on Thursday, Sept. 19. Over 40 colleges will be on campus to share information.

- WCC's Open House will be Friday, Oct. 4 from 10:00am-2:00pm.

- There will be a Financial Aid Meeting in the RRHS Library on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:00pm.

Mrs. Aymer is at RRHS all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and on Thursday mornings.  Her office is located in the hallway behind the auditorium-- sign up for an appointment today to talk about your future.

Mexican Train Derailment

     On Sunday, a cargo train nicknamed "The Beast" derailed in rural southern Mexico while carrying 250 Central American migrants.  According to NPR, no official death count has been released, as federal authorities and state governments have been working to lift the eight train cars in search of more victims.  An estimated death count is at around five, while at least 20 people are injured.   Reports say the train derailed on account of heavy rains moistening the ground beneath the tracks, causing them to shift.  Efforts to help victims of the crash include using the locomotive and first car (which didn't derail) to transport the victims to Veracruz, where the nearest hospital is located.  The Red Cross has also sent soldiers and civilian workers to help in the area, as ambulances are unable to reach it.  Diplomats from Honduras and Guatemala traveled to help identify bodies and get the injured medical attention.  Our hopes go to the families affected by this tragedy; may the worst of this situation be over.

-Kevin Brown

2013 RRHS Varsity Football Preview

The school is ready for another season of football as the Indians will take on the Fort Chiswell Pioneers to start the season. The Pioneers look like a well-rounded team and seem to be a good opponent, so it might be a challenge for Rural Retreat. The Indians are coming off of a blowout loss against J.I Burton and a 16-6 loss to Castlewood. Last year, Rural Retreat went 8-6, and was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by George Wythe. Fort Chiswell went 11-3, and was eliminated in the third round of the state tournament. The Indians’ schedule goes as follows:

2013 Varsity Football Schedule

vs. Fort Chiswell

@ Bland

vs. Grayson

@ Marion Senior

vs. Narrows (Homecoming)

vs. Patrick Henry



vs. Northwood

@ George Wythe

- Blake Holmes

New Faculty: Mrs. Morris

     Mrs. Morris is one of the many new faces you may see in the hallways of Rural Retreat. Mrs. Morris, a former graduate of George Wythe High School, has recently joined our science department, where she teaches ecology and earth science, and is the assistant coach of the cheerleading squad. When asked what she thought of our cheerleaders, she said “I am very excited to be working with such a good group of ladies.”
     Mrs. Morris got her bachelor's degree in science at Virginia Tech, and her master's, also in science, at North Carolina A&T State University. In a recent interview she told us that she loves Rural Retreat so far, and that her favorite part of our school is the kids. When asked if she would rather teach any other subject, she responded with “No, I love science.” Although if she had to choose, it would be agriculture. 
     So, if you see Mrs. Morris in the hallway or during class, be sure to say hi, and welcome to Rural Retreat!

-Kellie Bass

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

School Safety Precautions

     August 22, a school shooting took place in a Georgia elementary school. The school had practiced for events like this, and every teacher and student knew what they must do. This elementary school had a plan, and Rural Retreat High School also has a plan.

     Each day at RRHS, teachers and staff are taking the next step towards protecting their students. All doors, except the main entrance beside the office, are supposed to be locked at all times. If any student or adult needs to get inside after the tardy bell, they must check in at the office. That isn’t all RRHS does daily in case of emergencies. Deputy Brian Vaught, more commonly known as Cheeseburger, has his office directly beside the school entrance, and also patrols the school during school hours. Even the custodians take part in protecting the school by making sure all doors are locked, and aren't propped open for any reason.

     During a lock-down, all classroom doors are expected to be locked, all windows are covered on doors and on the walls, and all students are hidden out of view from the door. The school practices lock-downs, and Mr. Neal is checking to see that everyone is following instructions. Some teachers hold their own mini practice runs. Everyone is doing something to keep the school safe. This way, if anything were to go wrong, we would be prepared.

     Although Rural Retreat High School has a plan, is it enough? In Georgia, the shooter was able to get inside the school by following a parent inside the front door. Luckily, no one was harmed, but it was almost too easy for the gunman to get inside. Even simple things, like teachers posting their schedule on their doors, or students leaving their books on their desks during a lock-down, are major pointers that students are in that classroom. Mr. Neal says that every student and teacher needs to take practice lock-downs seriously, as if they were real. Only then can we fully benefit from them.

     So is Rural Retreat High School safe enough from intruders? Let’s hope that we never have to find out.

-Dylan Crigger

Frightening First Day of School in Decatur, GA

       For McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, it was a scary first day of school.  McNair is a small school outside of Atlanta that has only 870 students. On August 22, their world was rocked when Michael Brandon Hill, a twenty year-old, came into their school with an AK-47, saying “Let me talk to a police officer.” In this situation, it wasn't the police officers who played the role of hero, but a school bookkeeper. Antoinette Tuff was calm during the situation. She began talking to Hill and telling him about her own problems.  She also told him just to turn himself in, and that she loved him, reported Fox News. After a firefight, Hill surrendered to police without hurting anyone. 

     We need more heroes like Antoinette Tuff in this world: people who make a difference in someone's life.

- Jacob Wynn

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sports Fatalities

Deaths in high school sports are quite a controversial topic. According to a 2011 football injury research update, there had been 678 deaths from 1931-2011 connected directly to high school football. Alongside that, there have been another 484 fatalities tied indirectly to the high school sport. With the sport being safer than it was in 1931, the death rate has been at a decline, at least in some ways. Most studies show that over 10 people per year are killed playing football at the high school and college levels combined.

As of August 20, 2013, there had already been four football-related deaths in high schools throughout the United States this season, according to NBC News. The most recent fatality was a 16 year-old cornerback from Georgia. During a scrimmage two weeks ago, he broke on a passing play to the opposing team’s tight end and as he made the tackle his body became limp, said the opponent’s head coach after the game. It is said that the victim of this fatal injury to his neck, DeAntre Turman, was a third-year varsity football player, and already had a scholarship to the University of Kentucky.

Turman’s coach said he made a clean, textbook tackle, so it was expected to prevent injury rather than inflict it. Aside from Turman, the other three deaths this summer were from heat (2) and unknown heart problems (1). Being a fan of football myself, I think it is safe to say that with further studies and game plans against the heat, this death rate should continue to decline.

- Isaiah Addair

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Big Indians Give it Their All at Jamboree

The Indians gave it their all at the Jamboree (even leading for most of the second game), but alas, it was in vain. 

In the second game's coin flip, the Indians pulled out on top and received from the Castlewood Blue Devils. The Indians ended up going for a pass on the 4th down to gain 1st, but it was no good. Jordan Corvin really pulled out the stops during the game as the major ball carrier for the Indians; he even caught an interception and ran a touchdown. The kick for the point was no good though, so the score was 6-0, Indians-Blue Devils. After the Devils received the ball, they got a yellow flag penalty for a false start. With 5:50 left on the clock for the first quarter, it was the Indians' ball. The Indians got a yellow flag for 1st and 16. Chase Heldreth threw the ball for a 1st on the 2nd down. The Indians then called their first timeout. On the 2nd down, a pass to Skyler Miles ended up complete, but a yellow flag was called for the Indians on account of holding. The Indians then passed to Skyler, who missed the ball, causing a 3rd and 14. Chase then threw again, but the ball was intercepted by the Devils. It was 1st on the Indian 43. A complete defense was needed against the Devils, brought by Stone Mullins. It was 1st on the 33, with Will Montgomery stopping the Devils on the 27. The Devils got another yellow flag on account of delay-of-game. Jackie Burton stopped the Devils on the 28 and in the next play, the Devils got another yellow flag for an illegal procedure. That ended the first quarter, with the Indians leading 6-0. 

Thus began the second quarter. Stone once again pulled defense, causing a 3rd and 4th down with a tackle and sack (with Tyler Woodward) respectively. The Indians received the ball, but got an incomplete pass. Corvin then ran the ball again, gaining one yard. Heldreth then passed to Jeremy Davidson, who failed to catch it, causing a 3rd down. Another pass was attempted but intercepted by the Devils, who gained 17 yards, scored, and got a successful 2-point conversion. 8-6, Devils to Indians. It was then 1st on the 30. On the 3rd play, the Devils recovered a fumble from the Indians, then ran a play for a 19-yard touchdown, and once again got another 2-point conversion. The score was then 16-6. Corvin carried the ball only to be tackled on the 28. The Indians called another timeout with 5:59 left in the second quarter. Corvin carried another play, then Heldreth threw a bad pass for a 4th down, with a very successful punt by Miles. Devils were on the 45 for a 1st down, followed by another stop by Montgomery for a 2nd down. On the 3rd play, the Devils fumbled the ball and the Indians recovered. The Devils then called a time-out. Corvin carried a play, then Mullins for a 3rd play. Stone once again carried the ball to a 1st down to the 37 yard line. Another bad pass for a 2nd down, and a yellow flag was called on the Devils for a face mask when they sacked Chase Heldreth. An official timeout was then called before Heldreth ran the ball for a 2nd down, then threw another interception. It was a 1st and 10 on the 48 for the Devils. They tried to run it but Devin Wilson let them gain 0. Then, in the final play of the game, a group tackle by the Indians prevented more yardage. The game ended with the final score 16-6, Blue Devils to Indians.

Even though the Indians lost both games, they gave it their all in the second one. With a loss by two touchdowns both games, it still looks like a good season ahead of them. But they weren’t the only ones who lost both games; George Wythe also shared that fate. I guess we’ll see who comes out on top during the inevitable final game of the normal season. Good luck to the Indians team on all their future games.

- Kevin Brown

Friday, August 23, 2013

Meet the Staff: The Whole Crew

Meet this year's RRHS Arrowhead staff-- 

Check back Monday for a report on tonight's jamboree against J.I. Burton, and more!

Meet the Staff: Jessie Ritz

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

     Jenessa Marie Ritz, also known as Jessie, has lived by this saying since the third grade.  Jessie feels that there is too much hatred in this world, and trying to be nasty back will not cure it.  The only way is to kill it with kindness.  She believes that everyone should do their part.
     When Jessie finishes college, she is going to law school to be a lawyer.  She feels that being a lawyer will bring justice to people.  Also, Jessie wants to read to and play with childhood cancer patients.
     Every year, Jessie has done something during the school year to help the community.  Honestly, she didn't know what she was going to do this year.  Jessie didn't know anyone to do community service for.  Then she found newspaper.  She joined the newspaper staff to help everyone finds news.  She loves to help people, and will continue to help make the world a better place.

Meet the Staff: Catherine Cober

     Catherine Cober is a pop-culture savvy extrovert with the heart of a dreamer and the mind of an artist.
     Her favorite writing topics include entertainment, pop culture, the rich and famous, and current events.  She also has a passion for rock music and collecting merchandise.  If it exists, Catherine probably knows at least something about it.  She's also internet savvy, and knows meme culture, from Grumpy Cat and Trollface, to Bad Luck Brian and Tumblr.
     Catherine is also experienced in art, doing traditional and digital artwork in her spare time.  Another part of her personality is her temper, and she knows karate.  Mess with her, and you'll never mess again!

Come back at 7 to meet the final member of our staff- new to Rural Retreat, freshman Jessie Ritz!

Meet the Staff: Jacob Wynn

     If I could describe Jacob Wynn in one word, it would be awesome! He could also be called a real life Superman. He works hard every day to achieve his goals and dreams. 
     Jacob is a wrestler whose goal is to become Rural Retreat's first three-time state champion. He also has another goal: three undefeated seasons. He tries to stay extremely focused on wrestling and weightlifting. He knows that all this will not just be given to him; he will have to earn it. Whenever his training gets hard, he goes by this quote from Tom Brands: "[You] don't deserve anything, the only thing you deserve is what you earn."  
     Besides wrestling, he also tries to stay focused on school. Jacob always has a goal in everything; he wants to be the best, or more importantly, the best that he can be. So his goal in school is straight A's. He did it last year, and he wants to do it again. Jacob says “without school there is no wrestling.” 
     Jacob is also a family man. He loves his family, and he says that there is nothing better than family time. He says “it's family first, friends second.” 
     So, what is his goal in life? He says it's to live a godly one. To do that, he says, your life has to be uncommon. You have to surround yourself with people who have the same desires and goals as you do. Jacob says he wants to be remembered as someone who loved God, his family, and wrestling.

Come back at 6:30 to meet our next staffer- Catherine Cober.

Meet the Staff: Blake Holmes

     Blake Holmes is a sophomore, and his favorite subject of journalism is sports. Last year he covered many sporting events for the newspaper, and he is excited to have another chance to write for it again this year. He is interested in covering golf, football, basketball, and baseball. He is so interested in covering sports because he goes to many sporting events as it is, so this will not be a huge hassle for him. He also just loves sports because he finds them fun, interesting, and challenging.

Come back at 6 to meet our next staffer- Jacob Wynn.

Meet the Staff: Isaiah Addair

     Who is this guy?

     Isaiah Addair is not from around these parts. He is from Bluefield, West Virginia. Having family in the small town of Rural Retreat, Virginia, his family decided to move there during his 8th grade year. Many people know him. He fits in with most crowds around school, having played football his freshman year, and being a so-called nerd. At one time, it had even gotten to the point where his brother and cousin called him a jerk, combining the words jock and nerd. Now, during his sophomore year, he has taken on the challenge of writing for the school newspaper.

     On one note, a lot of people wonder why he no longer plays football. Isaiah was born with a minor scoliosis; it was just discovered by the doctors in January of 2013. From January to August it worsened, so doctors suggested that Isaiah not play anymore. However, he keeps his head up. He still misses walking from the locker room to the practice field each evening. He would love to hear the sound of the cleats skidding across the asphalt as the players go down to the game field for the game. Yet, everything does happen for a reason, right?

     Isaiah Addair’s priorities are no different than they were at that time. God comes first for him, then his family. Academics are one of his top priorities, for he believes futures are based on how one performs in school. This guy’s passion for sports still looms, so now he has taken it to the media.

Come back at 5:30 to meet our next staffer- Blake Holmes.

Meet the Staff: Anna Brown

     Anna Brown is a junior at Rural Retreat High School.  She is very kindhearted.  Anna is a fun person to be around. She does have her bad days, but that is only when she has had a bad morning.  Anna is a good person and would love to be anybody's friend. 
     She is really excited to be a junior because that means she graduates next year.  Anna  makes good grades and tries her best at everything she does. She has big plans for school this year: she wants to try to get all A's and B's this year. She also really excited about being on the newspaper staff.  Anna is also on the marching band color guard. She loves it because of the other people who are on it.
     Anna enjoys hanging out with her friends when she is not busy with work and band activities.  Anna tries to be friends with everyone; she has four best friends.
     Anna also has a huge family. She loves every single person in her family, even though they might fight. Anna has wonderful parents who love her a lot and want the best for her. Anna's mother is the custodian in the middle school.
     She wants to be come a radiologist when she gets older.  She is still trying to figure out what college she wants to go to, but she has two in mind. One is Radford University. The other is Armstrong Atlantic State University. They both offer great courses.  

Come back at 4:30 to meet our next staffer- Haley Burden.

Meet the Staff: Dylan Crigger

     Dylan is a bit different than other teenagers. He is a junior this year, and while most of his friends are driving, he continues to ride the bus to and from school. And that’s another thing-- Dylan actually likes school. Who does that? He does seem a bit different from other teenagers, but different is actually good.
     Dylan plays snare drum in the marching band, and also runs cross country. You can tell he enjoys doing them. Even though they require a lot of effort and practice, he knows that it will pay off in the end. When he plays his drum on the field, you can see he is giving his absolute best. When sweat pours down his face while running cross country, you can tell he is pushing himself to the limit.
     What Dylan enjoys most of all, more than marching band, cross country, and even school, is writing. He loves the way a pencil feels in his hand. He enjoys the sound of words being scratched down onto a piece of paper. He often can’t wait to sit down at his computer and type. No matter what he writes, he simply enjoys doing it. If Dylan could choose to be successful in anything, he would choose writing. That is his dream.
     Dylan enjoys marching band, cross country, and he even enjoys going to school. Most of all, he loves writing, and although it may seem odd, who’s to say we aren't all odd in some way?

Come back at 4 to meet our next staffer- Anna Brown.

Meet the Staff: Kevin Brown

     Kevin Brown loves his middle name, Steel.  He has been in the SCA for two years, including serving as the reporter this year.  He’s been in the band since 6th grade, although that may end soon.  Kevin doesn't play sports, although he played two years (oh man, two years, so much experience) of soccer.  He plans to go to Radford University or Emory & Henry College when he graduates high school next year.

     Kevin (along with many teenagers) doesn't like school. He does like to read, and is getting better at writing his own stories, although they’re not that good. He is terrible at starting conversations. Kevin doesn't like parties all that much, and especially doesn't like dances, so he probably won’t be going to prom this year.

     Kevin’s favorite thing to do is play video games. They serve as a release and escape for him. His favorite game is Crash Bandicoot 3.  Kevin has no preference on cats or dogs and sees them both as good pets. Kevin’s favorite movie is Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  He loves classical music, techno, dubstep, and classic rock. In fact, Kevin wishes he could go back in time and experience the classic rock period of the '60s-'80s. 

Come back at 3:30 to meet our next staffer- Dylan Crigger.

Meet the Staff: Kellie Bass

     Kellie Bass is a 17 year old senior at Rural Retreat. She is a member of the English MACC team, the varsity softball team, FBLA, FCCLA, and forensics. In her spare time she likes to ride horses, play with her crazy puppies, and read. Her favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She enjoys learning new things, except in math. Her favorite subjects in school are English, history, and Spanish. Kellie enjoys to draw and paint, but isn't anywhere close to an artist. She works at Virginia Heights as a waitress, and really enjoys talking to new people. 
     Kellie is very outgoing and has plans for a bright future. She plans to go to college at Lenoir-Rhyne in the fall of 2014. There, she plans to major in pediatrics, with a minor in sports medicine. Kellie would like to make her way out of Rural Retreat eventually, make a good a life for herself, and do everything she can to make her father, Mike Bass, proud. Although she isn't quite ready to grow up and be out in the real world, Kellie is very excited about this year, and being a member of the newspaper staff. She is very excited to work with all of her classmates to bring you all the best news stories throughout the 2013-2014 school year. She also wants to wish all her fellow Indians a great school year.

Come back at 3 to meet our next staffer- Kevin Brown.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meet the Staff

To celebrate the end of the first week of school, the Arrowhead staff will be introducing themselves here tomorrow.  Stop by our page and meet our bright young journalists!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome Back!

On August 21, school begins for all students in Wythe County.  As The Arrowhead welcomes its first-ever full-time staff to class, we look forward to posting regularly about world, local, and school news.  Stay tuned!