Thursday, May 22, 2014

"To My Dearest Mother"

Mother’s Day, May 11th, the Rural Retreat Middle and High Schools performed their spring concert, entitled “To My Dearest Mother.” Throughout the concert, a student from each available band read a portion of a poem also named “To My Dearest Mother.” Parents and teachers alike found this year’s spring concert to, again, be a huge success.

To kick things off, the seventh grade band performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” They also preformed works called “The Thunderer” by David Schaffer, “Shenandoah,” an American folk tune, and “Furioso,” written by Robert W. Smith. Next, the sixth grade band preformed songs like “El Capitan” by famous march composer John Phillip Sousa, and also the popular jazz song “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

After a brief intermission, the Rural Retreat Percussion Ensemble, made up of eighth grade and high school students performed their piece, “Baja,” arranged by Richard Schory. They were conducted by percussion instructor Mr. Jared Perdue. The Rural Retreat Color Guard then twirled to “Hey Brother” by Avicii.

Next, the Jazz Band played popular tunes like “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, and “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago. Soloists included Cameron Bear, Trevor Tidwell, Kaitlyn Whitehead, and Laura Makolandra. Finally, the concert band played a Halloween-themed song called “Hocus Pocus” by James Syler, and also a piece reflecting a great battle in World War II called “Moscow 1941” by Brian Balmages.

Overall, the concert was a success. The audience listened intently to a wide variety of music, and most began to bob in their seats to the popular jazz tunes. What made this concert most important was its dedication to all the mothers who represent the band, but most importantly, their children. The band would like to thank all the mothers who made the concert worth performing.

-Dylan Crigger

Dylan's 5 Tips to Better Writing

If most do not know by now, I love to write, and I feel it is very important in defining the essence of humanity itself. However, to some, writing can come across as difficult, but I am willing to share a couple of tips I find useful. Without further delay, here are my five tips to better writing:

1. Read as much as you can.
One of the first steps to becoming a better writer is basically reading anything you can get your hands on. Even if the books you read aren’t similar to your writing style, it doesn’t matter. The point of reading so much is to open your mind to a variety of different styles, and in turn, your writing will become more versatile.

2. Observe the world around you.
This might seem somewhat odd, but it can be really important. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, sci-fi or fantasy, some of the best stories you will ever encounter are the ones you see throughout your day-to-day life. Life is full of ups and downs, and ups and downs are what make good stories, so it is always a good idea to get inspiration from the world around you. It will certainly benefit in the end.

3. Be yourself.
Just because the most popular books in the market are books about lame vampires doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you have to write about. Even if your genre is unpopular, don’t give it up. Write what you want, not what others want. This will create a passion for writing because you write about what you enjoy and feel most comfortable with. 

4. Practice as much as you can.
It might sound cliché, but it is cliché for a reason. It works. Most of the time, the easiest way to get better at something is to practice as much as possible. If that means two hours or fifteen minutes, pick a schedule that suits you. Writing is supposed to be something you enjoy, so there is such a thing as doing too much at once. Work at your own speed, and your writing will surely grow stronger.

5. Try searching for more advice.
I am not the only writer in the world, and most certainly am not the greatest or most experienced. If you think you want help outside of my tips, feel free to search for other writer’s guides. There are plenty of authors who put helpful guides to aspiring writers on the internet. You might just find something that better suits you, and helps you most.

These are only my five tips to better writing. I believe all these tips can help aspiring writers in their endeavors be become great writers. You might just be the next bestselling author, and this guide might set you on the right course to get you there. Thanks for reading!

-Dylan Crigger

Championship Rings Have Arrived!

2014 Academic Awards

1.      Addair, Isaiah
Highest average in advanced English 10; most dedicated-newspaper staff; highest average in algebra II, block class; highest average in Spanish III; Science MACC
2.      Addair, J.T.
Highest Average in Office Administration; Highest average in English 10; best writer in English 10; highest average in French II
3.      Addison, Hunter
Excellent achievement in government; highest average in English 12; Wythe County Ministerial Association Scholarship
4.      Addison, Jacob
Most improved in English 10
5.      Anderson, Tevin
High Achievement in Art V
6.      Bailey, Bethany
most outstanding student in English 12; district forensics: poetry interpretation
7.      Bass, Kellie
District Forensics: Humorous Duo Interpretation; English MACC
8.      Bear, Cameron
English MACC; highest average in French I
9.      Bear, Cassidy
Governor’s School
10.  Belcher, Alisha
highest average in art 2
11.  Bowman, Paulina
Family/Consumer Sciences pre-professional certification
12.  Brown, Kevin
Science MACC; All around MACC; VHSL Scholastic Bowl
13.  Brown, Thomas (8th gr)
Social Studies and All around MACC
14.  Caldwell, Sara
Most dedicated member of the annual staff
15.  Caudill, Anna
highest average in 2nd semester health and PE 10
16.  Caudill, Brandon
Governor’s School; social studies MACC; Capt., all-around MACC; VHSL Scholastic Bowl; Early College Scholars; Top 10%
17.  Caudill, Lilly
highest average in Spanish 3; Governor’s School; English MACC
18.  Chandler, Breanna
Highest Achievement in Art V; 2nd place, district Forensics: original oratory; most outstanding student in Appalachian studies; Early College Scholars; Top 10%; WCC Foundation Scholarship
19.  Church, Tiffany
High Achievement in Art IV
20.  Cleveland, London
High Achievement in Art V; 3rd place, district Forensics-serious duo interpretation; Early College Scholars
21.  Cobo, Andre
Early College Scholars
22.  Cook, Emily
highest average in 2nd semester health and PE 10; social studies MACC; all-around MACC; VHSL Scholastic Bowl
23.  Copenhaver, Kaitlyn
academic achievement in individual development; highest average in 9th grade health and PE
24.  Cornett, Jacob
Best reader, English 10
25.  Crigger, Dylan
2nd place, district Forensics: humorous duo interpretation; highest average yearlong chemistry; pre-calculus: highest average and awesome math student; highest average and achievement in writing-Advanced English 11; Highest average-French III; Capt, English MACC; All-Around MACC; VHSL Scholastic Bowl; Rotary Club Foreign Language award
26.  Crockett, Dalton
Early College Scholars; Top 10%
27.  Dalton, WK
Governor’s School
28.  Davidson, Jonathan
Early College Scholars

29.  Davis, Jacob
highest average, earth science (yearlong); outstanding student in health and PE 9
30.  Deel, Matt
outstanding achievement in US History
31.  Dix, Emily
outstanding achievement in world history; best writer in advanced English 9; highest average in geometry; English MACC
32.  Dowell, John
Most improved student-English 12
33.  Ellis, Emily
outstanding achievement in world history; academic achievement in independent living; highest achievement in art II; highest average-advanced English 9; highest average in geometry; highest average in earth science (semester class); highest average in health and PE 9; highest average in Spanish I
34.  Ellis, Nathan
highest average-2nd semester floral design; highest average in ecology (yearlong); highest average, awesome math student in pre-calculus; Early College Scholars; Top 10%; Wythe Rotary Scholarship
35.  Endicott, Casey
District Forensics participant: humorous duo interpretation
36.  Ford, Quante
Most improved-English 10
37.  Grubb, Kassandra
certification in family/consumer sciences
38.  Hackler, Katie
best writer, English 10; 1st place, district Forensics, storytelling; most improved in health/PE 10
39.  Hagerman, Cody
2nd place, district forensics-humorous duo interpretation; Science MACC; all-around MACC; certification-family/consumer sciences
40.  Hagerman, Emily
highest average in ecology (semester); outstanding achievement in English 11
41.  Heldreth, Chase
Early College Scholars
42.  Henley, Amanda
most outstanding English 10 students
43.  Henley, Lindsey
Academic achievement in independent living; 2nd place, district forensics, impromptu speaking
44.  Holmes, Blake
Science MACC
45.  Huffard, Haley
US Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete award; Early College Scholars
46.  Hyler, Kelleigh
most improved in health and PE 10
47.  Jarvis, Jade
academic achievement in individual development
48.  Jones, Brittanie
best average, English 12
49.  Justus, Alison
4th place, district Forensics, humorous duo
50.  Justus, Gabrielle
highest average, 2nd semester floral design
51.  Kegley, Rebeckah
highest average in yearlong earth science
52.  Kennedy, Maggie
Highest average, algebra I; district forensics-prose interpretation
53.  Long, Mallory
highest average in marketing; Early College Scholars
54.  Makolandra, Casey
social studies MACC
55.  Makolandra, Laura
awesome persistence in algebra II; science MACC
56.  Marshall, Miranda
highest average in 5th period biology; highest average in 1st semester health and PE 10
57.  Matney, Ashtyn
Early College Scholars
58.  Miller, Courtney
highest achievement in Art I; 3rd place district forensics in serious duo interpretation; Early College Scholars
59.  Mitchell, Kelsey
highest average, algebra I

60.  Morris, Haley
WCC Local board Scholarship; most outstanding student in dual-credit English 12; excellent achievement in accelerated government; highest average in advanced market; highest average in 1st semester floral design; highest average and awesome math student in dual-credit applied calculus; outstanding student in dual-credit biology II; Early College Scholars; Top 10%
61.  Mulgrew, Mason
certification in family/consumer sciences
62.  Musser, Garrett
outstanding achievement in world history
63.  Nicely, Mary Kate
highest average advanced English 10; district forensics in poetry interpretation; highest average block 2A biology; highest average in algebra 2-awesome math student; highest average 1st semester health and PE 10; highest GPA and outstanding performance in dual credit accounting; highest average in Spanish II; science MACC
64.  Patton, Angela
outstanding achievement US history; district forensics 3rd place, storytelling; highest average English 11
65.  Patton, Connor
US Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award; Early College scholar; Top 10%; Foundation for Excellence Cindy P. Jarmul Award of Distinction Scholarship
66.  Patton, Savannah
Governor’s School
67.  Pertee, Ashely
excellent achievement in government; 4th place district forensics, serious duo interpretation; outstanding student in dual-credit anatomy; Early College Scholars
68.  Peters, Kelsey
anatomy/physiology-yearlong highest average; excellent performance in dual credit accounting
69.  Pike, Dara
highest average in English 10
70.  Pike, Micah
credential in family/consumer sciences
71.  Prater, Morgan
highest average in geometry
72.  Reasor, Emily
highest average in advanced US history; Governor’s School; social studies and all-around MACC; VHSL scholastic bowl
73.  Reffitt, Beth
district forensics, serious dramatic interpretation; Early College Scholars; science MACC

75.  Robinson, Storm
outstanding achievement in US history; outstanding achievement in English 11; highest average in semester ecology
76.  Rohner, Elizabeth
Governor’s School; English MACC; all-around MACC
77.  Sage, Dustin
highest average block 4B biology; PE 10 & Driver’s Ed outstanding student
78.  Smith, Jordan M.
highest average in design, multimedia and web technologies
79.  Snider, Dakota
Excellent achievement in accelerated government; Governor’s School; Early College Scholars; Top 10%; Salutatorian
80.  Sowers, Jackson
Excellence in Appalachian Studies
81.  Stallard, Morgan
highest achievement in art IV; highest average and outstanding achievement in advanced English 11-1st semester
82.  Stevens, Beth
excellent achievement in accelerated government; Governor’s School; Early College Scholars; Top 10%; Socials Studies MACC, Capt; All-Around MACC; VHSL Scholastic Bowl; E&H Scholarships; Edwin D. Harrison Math/Science Scholarship; Valedictorian
83.  Story, Emily
academic achievement in nutrition and wellness
84.  Taylor, Marshall
Highest Average in fundamentals of marketing
85.  Terry, Brandon
Early College Scholars
86.  Terry, Jenna
3rd place, district forensics, Region participant: prose interpretation
87.  Tibbs, Hannah
High achievement in Art I
88.  Tidwell, Trevor
“A” average in Algebra II; science MACC; all-around MACC; VHSL scholastic bowl
89.  Umberger, Ashley
Academic achievement in nutrition and wellness
90.  Upchurch, Dakota
highest average in English 9; highest average in AFDA
91.  Walker, Kelly
High Achievement in Art V; Early College Scholars
92.  Willard, Ashton
Governor’s School
93.  Wingo, Kara
Highest average in Art II
94.  Wyatt, Sophie
Best writer, English 9
95.  Wynn, Jacob
highest average in CIS; highest average in Algebra II