2020-21 Archives

Living: 11/6/20

How has Online School Impacted Students’ Mental Health?

Brooke Bandy

Online school is something that has been a struggle for many students across the world. It’s hard for students to do their work alone without getting distracted, or missing their friends. 

According to USA Today, around 3 out of 10 parents reported that their student began struggling with their emotional and mental state due to schools moving to fully remote classes. 

Students are losing motivation to do their homework, finish college applications, get up for their conference calls, and more (USA Today). 

In some cities around the country, schools are working with support services to help students and their families cope with the trauma brought on by the pandemic. Teachers in El Paso, TX  are working on having times set up for their students to work on emotional and social skills every week. 

Gooden Center Website

For NCLA senior Mary Dehart, online school has made her feel a little lonelier than usual. 

“Online school has honestly made me feel a little more lonely and less comfortable. I have felt more stressed lately trying to get assignments turned in and also not knowing what the rest of my senior year holds or my life after high school with Covid still around,” Dehart said. 

For extroverted students, having to learn on their own and not being able to see people has been a real struggle, but it’s a little better being able to go into school part time. 

“I am an extrovert so I typically like being in a setting where I can talk to friends face to face. However, I’ve been getting used to online school and I’ve noticed it impacting my mental health less this year than the end of junior year,” said NCLA senior Megan Queen. 

I think getting to see people in settings such as sports and the couple of days at school makes it easier to handle sitting in a room by myself doing school hours a day. I still notice myself getting lonely and distracted though with online school.”

Making sure to include breaks for some social interaction is a great way to keep a level head when doing schoolwork at home. 

“I also allow myself brain breaks whenever I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I don’t get anything done when I’m panicking because I feel like there’s too much to do … I also make sure to talk to friends often. It always makes me lose the lonely feeling afterwards,” Queen said. 

“Mental health is equally as important as physical health you know.”

Taking up new hobbies is a great way to destress and take care of yourself. 

“I have recently gotten into cross stitching, I know that’s such an old lady thing but it’s relaxing,” Queen said. 


Senior Feature: Levi Antieau

Lindsey Allen

Levi Antieau has been a student at The NCLA for seven year starting in sixth grade and is graduating this spring.


How would you rate your senior experience on a scale of one to 10 and why?

“I’d say like a six. I’d much rather be in school all year, instead of having the hybrid schedule thing. Senior year is supposed to be about socializing and all that stuff and I haven’t really had the chance to do that yet,” Antieau said.

What has been the best part of your high school experience?

“There are so many, but the best part was probably leaving for lunches last year. We made a ton of memories just going places and doing stuff,” Antieau said. 

Has there been any hobbies/people/things that have been getting you through the highs and lows of this year?

Levi said, “I’ve been learning how to paint, which has been fun. It has helped me kind of forget about the stuff going on this year.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“Probably four year college. I have a choice between three colleges, which are N.C. State, Virginia Tech, or the University of Minnesota. I plan on going for mechanical engineering,” said Levi.

How Students Show Their Style

Cade Shoemaker

At the NCLA, students are expected to follow a strict dress code. As a result, there are only a few ways students can express their personal style. 

Students are only allowed to wear collared shirts of either red or light blue, sweatshirts with the school logo or colors, and khakis or navy pants which seems harsh for some. 

“I think teachers and staff can get too caught up in the little things like how big the logo on our jackets are, or why our shirts are not tucked in.” Said Junior Elle Gruer. “Also I don’t understand what the purpose of a belt is if my clothes already fit. ”

Yet other students disagree, and think that the rules are not too controlling.

“I don’t think our dress code is that strict, because we are given the choice to wear any type of shoes we want,” Said another Junior Karston Keomaylathong. “We are also given the freedom to wear any outerwear we desire as long as it abides by the logo sizing rule.”

“Most importantly, wearing a polo shirt and khakis all day is not uncomfortable.” He said.

Due to the limitations of the dress code, students really only have one way to express their individuality. This comes out through their shoe game.

Though some students just prefer basic footwear like running shoes, most people decide to wear shoes that fall under a few categories. 

The first category of shoes is the comfy, lifestyle shoes. Crocs, the Adidas Boost line, and MND’s are very popular. 

“I like to wear Crocs to school when I’m running late because I can just slip them on.” Said Sophomore Rebecca Avila. “Also I wear them because I just want to feel comfortable.”

The next category would describe the “seasonal” footwear. This is like wearing Birkenstocks during the first quarter and into the fall, Ugg boots during the winter, and low top Vans for the spring.

“The reason I wear Birkenstocks is because they are comfy and trendy.” Said Abigail Brannan

NCLA Dress Code
Cade and Troy Shoemaker’s shoe collection Credit: Troy Shoemaker

For the final two categories there are hype shoes. First is the mid-high tier hype which are shoes that have high popularity and year round wearability. The shoes that fit this category the best are: Air Force 1’s, Air Max’s, and Chuck Taylor Converses. 

Each shoe is worn on a daily basis by a ton of students, with the Air Force 1 being the most popular shoe at the NCLA, right now.

High Schooler Maria Fleak, explains why she thinks the Air Force 1 has become so popular. “They are super versatile, and are relatively cheap at only $100. Also, their all white color makes it easy to wear with our school’s dress code.”

Lastly, the really hype tier. These shoes are hard for students to get their hands on. The shoes or colorways of the shoes sell out in minutes which makes them extremely valuable, like Jordans or the infamous YEEZY’s. Students either got lucky enough to buy them when they drop, or spend a lot of money on resale prices.

“The cleanest shoe I have seen people wear at our school is a Jordan.” Continued Fleak. “I believe if you wear them right they can really bring out your entire outfit.”

Make sure to check out the official dress code and student resources.

Thanksgiving: COVID Style

Christine Parker

The pandemic will continue through the holiday season and make Thanksgiving look a little different for many this year.Families are taking extra precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting the number of relatives, hosting thanksgiving outside, and not giving hugs.

“I am upset about Thanksgiving this year since it is one of my favorite holidays,” Senior Megan Queen said.

Although families want to be together during the holiday’s, many people value their relatives who are  at risk rather than having big gatherings.

“My mom didn’t want to have a Thanksgiving because my nanny is 80 years old and we do not want to subject her potentially to COVID,” high school English teacher Mrs. Kerr said.

A poll on Instagram asked: How will your thanksgiving be this year?

29% Covid Thanksgiving

71% Pretty normal Thanksgiving

Many people were looking forward to the holiday season with hopes of this year returning normally. 

“It’s really upsetting honestly. I look forward to that all year. I love seeing my dad’s side of the family,” Senior Becca Nordstrom said. 

Compared to a normal year of traveling for the holidays, Queen said, “It is recommended that you do not travel this year. Depending on the year, we would go up to New York where we have 20 family members and we have thanksgiving with them,” 

Since families are gathering in smaller groups the grocery stores will be demanding smaller turkeys and a lot more of them. The problem with a high demand for small turkeys is that the birds are engineered to reach a specific size by Thanksgiving. Famers do not have the ability to cut off the switch for turkey size production.

“I can’t cook so it won’t be the same as the good cooking my mom makes,” Mrs. Kerr said. 

Smaller turkeys may run out quickly but some restaurants will still be open on Thanksgiving as a plan B.Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel, and Buffalo Wild Wings are a few that will be open. 

Zoom is another way that can bring the whole family together during the harsh times going on. 

“We usually do open house all-day but this year we’re planning to leave a zoom open all day,” sophomore Lindsey Allen said.

Is it Too Early For Christmas Decorations?

Ellie Gibhardt

It’s finally the time of year where we can ask the question: “Is it too early to start decorating for Christmas?” with less than 50 days until Christmas. Some might argue it is too early, but there are also many NCLA students whose families are already starting to put up their trees.

Too Early for Christmas Decorations
Skylar Maness’ Christmas tree

“Me and my family actually decorated for Christmas before Halloween! We enjoy being able to look at the Christmas trees and lights for a long time. In a way it makes all of the work we do for Christmas worthwhile,” said Skylar Maness.

Halloween may seem too  early to put up a tree, it definitely begins to get everyone excited for the holiday season as December approaches. 

“My mom and I agreed that with all of the stress and negativity from this year it would be a good idea to start embracing the Christmas spirit a little early,” said Maria Fleak. 

Deciding when to start decorating may bring up an argument or two, as some people want to celebrate Thanksgiving first, while others can’t wait to get into the Christmas environment.

Too Early for Christmas Decorations
Lindsey Allen’s Christmas tree

“We had a few arguments in the house about when the decorations should be put up, but we decided the sooner the better. If we waited until the day after thanksgiving the tree wouldn’t even be up for a full month leading up to Christmas,” said Lindsey Allen.

Hanging ornaments on a tree, hanging colorful lights, wrapping presents and making holiday themed treats is something that many can agree and look forward to even during a pandemic. 

“I do like the warmth that Christmas lights bring… but I do not like setting up Christmas trees and cleaning up after them,” said Abby Brannan.

News: Nov. 7, 2020 

Veteran’s Day Plans 

Rebecca Avila 

The Drive of Honor has been an event held by the school since 2013. This year, COVID has put a damper on any events the school holds throughout the year. 

The Drive of Honor is held in remembrance and celebration of veterans who have fought in the name of the U.S.A.

Each year, a guest speaker is appointed and talks about their time in combat and

Photo by Rebecca Avila

their journey throughout their time in the military. Last year, the speaker was Sgt. Ray Lambert, a medic that served in Normandy during World War II. 

With a Pandemic still going on, large group events are still advised against. “Large gatherings of people are not wise”, said Mrs. Faenza, as it has been decided that there will not be a Drive of Honor this year. 

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is also a major incorporation during the Drive of Honor. Everyone in CAP takes the event seriously and prepares weeks in advance so that during the day of the event, everything runs smoothly.  

Civil Air Patrol’s role in the event has been canceled as well because “due to the precautions that the State of North Carolina, the NCLA, and Civil Air Patrol all have in place for everyone’s health”, said Capt. Hathaway. 

When the veterans who attend make their way to the gym, cadets line the hallways as a sign of respect. Cadets stand “At Ease” throughout the entire duration of the event to really show the discipline that had been engraved into them.

“I felt honored to be around such honorable men and women. They inspire me to strive and achieve my goals and be the best person I can be”, said Etornam Agbemabiese.

The school has also encouraged students to run in Kernersville’s 5K Race for Heroes that is done every year on Veterans Day to remind and commemorate what they have sacrificed. There has been no word if the event will still continue this year.

“Although I was pretty young at the time, it felt good that I was participating in something that would honor those who had fought bravely”, said Maria Fleak. 


The NCLA’s First Time Voters

Nora Wood 

With the election being kicked into gear, a few of The NCLA’s Alumni and Seniors were able to vote for the first time in their lives. Seniors Emma Moser, Mollie Lomax, Emily Vroom, and NCLA Class of 2019 Alumni, Layla Wood, all shared their experiences and excitement about voting. 

“I was super excited to vote this year because it was my first time and this election is a pretty big deal,” Layla Wood shared. 

Overall, each individual pointed out how unexpectedly fast their voting experience went by.

Election Day Photo
As people walk into vote, they

“My voting experience was great! Although I went early voting, I thought there was going to be a really long wait. Surprisingly, my family was one of the only people there. I walked in and out,” Mollie Lomax said. 

“I did early voting so the line wasn’t really long at all. I didn’t know what to expect but overall it was good,” Emma Moser said.

“I went today [November 3]. The overall experience was good but I would say that it was a little different than i had expected because the voting process was so quick. There were no lines,” Emily Vroom said.

Although there wasn’t much excitement happening around these voting cites, Wood encountered live entertainment in a slightly longer line. She said that she had to wait for about 20 minutes before she could vote. However, that is still not that long. 

“My voting experience was great. There was live entertainment, kind people, and all around a safe environment. This is kind of how I expected it to be. The voting part in itself went as planned but the other interactions surprised me,” Layla Wood said. 

Voicing an opinion in government is a huge deal, especially for the younger

NCLA's First Time Voters
Sent in by Emily Vroom. Those were her voting stickers.

generations who are really getting into politics. 

“I think it’s very important to vote. By voting, you are able to express your opinions and have a voice about the country you live in,” Lomax stated. 

The importance of voting was reiterated by all four individuals who believe that there is value in voicing their opinions in a civil way. 

“I encourage every person who has the privilege to vote to do so. Let your voice be heard,” Wood added.  



The NCLA’s Defense Against the Pandemic 

Cydney Leister 

This past week all of NCLA, High School, Middle School, and Elementary, went remote as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 pandemic. The school is doing everything possible to keep students and staff safe during these concerning times. 

On Oct. 23 the elementary portion of the school decided to enter remote learning until Nov. 4, as a result of a possible Covid-19 case. This was only a few days into the elementary students returning full time.

A few days later, on Oct. 28, the middle school was instructed to go remote for two weeks, as a response to a staff member being diagnosed with Covid-19. The red students are scheduled to return on Nov. 12 and the blue students will return Nov.16.20200917_122433

The high school was shifted to remote this past week from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6 and are supposed to return to the regular blue and red schedule starting Monday. This was simply a precautionary measure as Halloween was occurring and many students had plans to go out.

The school has changed many aspects of the school day this year to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Plexiglass barriers have been put in place in the office areas and student gatherings, such as field trips and assemblies, will not be occurring this year. There are daily Covid-19 screening questionnaires and temperature checks before entering the buildings and hand sanitizer is made available throughout the buildings.

There is a one way walk pattern in the schools with entrances and exits clearly labeled. Water fountains are turned off and there are daily cleanings throughout the school. 

Staff and students alike are required to wear masks throughout the school day, with the exception of being seated during lunch. Seating is socially distanced and desks are cleaned at the end of every class period. The sharing of any items is limited as much as possible. 

Anyone feeling sick or unwell is strongly encouraged to remain home.

This pandemic is a serious issue and it is being handled as such. These are only a portion of the measures being taken by the NCLA to ensure the safest possible environment for everyone. 


Presidential Election Results 

Skylar Manness 

With new election details coming in by the minute, both sides are anxiously waiting to see who will win this close presidential race. 

The battleground state of North Carolina had a record-breaking voter turnout this election.

About 75% of registered voters showed up to vote in NC. 

Ballots are still being counted, but voting turnout for 2020 is likely to surpass the records set in 1960 when John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were both running for president.

This year, there was a total of 64 million mail-in ballots turned in. This is twice the amount from the 2016 election.

These ballots are causing a slight delay as counting continues into Friday, November 6th.

Most are saying that all of these mail-in ballots should be tallied up by Friday.

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump said, “As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” referring to the 2020 presidential election. 

These words led to an outrage of both democrat and republican people. Many news organizations such as AXOIS, Forbes, CNN, and The New York Times have published this saying “ The Trump campaign has falsely declared victory!”

It seems like the results from Nevada will be the deciding factor of the whole election. Nevada is definitely taking its time counting up the ballots. Nevada still currently has 12% of ballots to count.

Election Results

Bidens lead over Trump in Nevada has been widening as he is now 12,000 votes ahead.

In North Carolina, Trump currently has a lead over Biden by about 76,000 votes. Yesterday, NC reported to still have 170,000 ballots left to count.

Georgia is now leaning left after thousands of ballots were tallied since tuesday. Atlanta news said “Biden won 87% of ballots tabulated between late Thursday night and Friday morning.”

Biden is also projected to win Pennsylvania, he now has over 5,000 votes and the gap between Biden and Trump is expected to grow exceedingly by the end of today.

If Biden ends up winning Pennsylvania, then he will have won the election. If he wins Georgia, he will be one electoral vote away from winning. 

Trump continues to hold onto hope. Early this morning President Trump said, “So now the Democrats are working to gain control of the U.S. Senate through their actions on John James, David Perdue, and more. Would End the Filibuster, “Life”, 2A, and would Pack and Rotate the Court. Presidency becomes even more important. We will win!”

During these stressful times, many people are still choosing to spread positivity instead of division on social media.

 This message was put on social media: 

“After the elections are over, your neighbors will still be your neighbors. Trump won’t be there to ring up your groceries; your neighbors will. Biden won’t be there to fix your car or help you out with yard work; your neighbors will. Trump and Biden will still be in their wealthy political world, and the rest of us will be in ours. They’ll both be doing their thing, while you and I live together, work together, learn together, shop together, eat together, worship together, and pump our gas next to one another. We the people are what make a country great. We are the ones who choose to be decent, loving, caring, and compassionate human beings. Vote for whomever, BUT ALWAYS CHOOSE KINDNESS.” – source unknown.

North Carolina Election Results

Eliana Cotten 

2020 has been one of the craziest years in history, and this election does not make it any less insane. National elections this year include the Presidential election, and the United States House of Representatives. State Wide elections for North Carolina include the Governor, state senator, and the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. There is also a Mayoral run for Winston Salem. 

With the spread of the Corona-virus, mail in votes have become very popular in the voting community. More than half of voters have used mail- in ballots this year, which has definitely caused a delay in the final results. 

The only elections that have been decided is the Governor, which Democratic candidate Roy Cooper won, and the Mayor of Winston Salem, which Democratic candidate Allen Joines won. The NC Superintendent of Public Instruction was also decided, and Republican Catherine Truitt won. These elections were completed earlier than the national elections because there were not as many votes to count, and not as many mail-in ballots to wait on.

North Carolina’s senator is  yet to be decided. Republican candidate Thom Tillis is currently in the lead, with Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham as a close second.

 As of right now,  Joe Biden is in the lead with electoral college votes, with Donald Trump not far behind. In order to win, the candidates must have more than 270 electoral college votes. Most states’ votes have been counted, but Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina have not finished counting all of the votes. This is a result of the increased number of absentee ballots.

There have been protests happening from both Democratic and Republican parties due to accusations of unfairness and “cheating” because of mail-in votes. Some protestors have even taken camp outside of the White House. Nevertheless, votes are slowly but surely coming in and being counted.

Arts: Nov 7 2020

Capping Out on Service Hours!

Cameron Warren

November 7 – Coca-Cola Rewards is allowing students and members of schools to enter codes from their Coca-Cola bottle caps to earn their school money during each quarter. Each bottle cap earns the school at least 5 cents and can range up to 38 cents. The company intends for this money to be used for extracurricular activities such as, sports, technology, art, and school supplies at schools.

“This is a simple and easy way that our school earns money every quarter from Coca Cola,” the Falcon Community Supporters said in a release. 

The NCLA is participating in this event and is allowing students to earn service hours by entering codes into the website. Students at the school are required to have 25 service hours by the end of the year.

So far the NCLA has made $80 from these bottle caps. The schools bottle cap donation page can be found at this link.



Clouds Movie Review: The heartbreaking story of singer-songwriter Zach Sobiech

Lexi Antieau

November 7 – A couple of weeks ago, the movie Clouds was released on Disney+ and received quite a bit of attention. Focusing on an 18-year-old boy diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, this movie brings to light another heart-wrenching story of a child fighting their battle with cancer. 

Based off of the memoir Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way by Laura Sobiech, the movie’s storyline consists of a young teenage boy ridden with bone cancer who goes from a regular high school boy to a big time internet star. 


In this story, the main character Zach Sobiech, played by Fin Argus, has terminal cancer that will eventually kill him at the end of the movie. Despite the fact that he goes through several rounds of chemotherapy and has a low quality of life, he remains positive and enthusiastic. Arguably, this is the Zach that the viewers connect with the most.

The movie starts out in 2011 where you’re introduced to Zach and his best friend, Sammy Brown, who is played by Sabrina Carpenter. They both make up the band A Firm Handshake and they post videos of the songs they’ve written and recorded on YouTube. 

About halfway through the movie, Zach finds out Sammy has a crush on him by reading her diary, which she told him not to do. Though Zach doesn’t feel the same way, they continue to write and sing songs together. Eventually, they release a song called Clouds which blows up all over the internet and exposes Zach and Sammy to the biggest producers in the music industry. 

cloudsThis is when the movie really kicks into high gear. The two teens are successful in gaining interest from big time producers, specifically one who wants to officially release their song. Clouds eventually becomes number 1 on the top charts, shedding even more light on Zach’s tragic condition. 

The song itself is Zach’s way of saying goodbye to everyone he loves since he knows he won’t be able to defeat his cancer. One of the lines of the song is “We’ll go up, up, up, but I’ll fly a little higher,” which is Zach’s way of explaining to his listeners that he will eventually leave them and go up to Heaven. 

Before Zach died, he went through 20 rounds of chemotherapy up until May 2012, when doctors told Zach he had up to one year to live.

Not only did Zach release a song that was trending for months, but he also did a great deal on raising funds for childhood cancer with his new publicity. He started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which focuses on raising funds for the kind of bone cancer that Zach had. Osteosarcoma is a common type of bone cancer found predominantly in children that is usually terminal. 

At the end of the movie, Zach dies shortly after having performed his song live for hundreds of people. The movie ends with Sammy and her friends taking a picture on the beach, and in the back of the picture there is a “Z” written in the clouds. 


Throughout the entire movie I was a mess. Normally I’m not affected by movies like this, but this one got to me for some reason. 

First off, the fact that this was a true story and that the characters actually exist in real life made it so much more believable. At the end of the movie while the credits were rolling, the directors put in real-life videos of Zach and Sammy, which made me tear up a bit. Knowing that Zach Sobiech was a real person and had to go through everything the movie illustrated made it very hard to keep my cool. 

Secondly, the song Zach wrote makes your heart ache for the people he had to let go of. Not only are the lyrics incredibly touching, but they make the watcher realize that this wasn’t as easy for Zach as he made it look. Though he was full of life and joy, he was suffering under all that happiness, which makes the viewer long for the chance to console him and tell him everything will be okay. Though he didn’t say it in the song outright, listeners can tell he was trying to express the fact that he was hurting, despite his outward appearance. 

Lastly, the directing of the movie was beyond my expectations. The directors used both clever and strategic ideas when filming the movie, which helped portray an emotion that otherwise can’t simply be portrayed through words. Director Justin Baldoni used his ideas to create a mix between the typical Disney ooey-gooey movie and the sentimental/emotional movie that comes with the story of a terminal illness. He achieved this flawlessly by entangling both scenes of joy and despair throughout the movie. 

The part of the movie that touched my heart the most was whenever Zach and his mom were talking about his funeral. Zach mentioned that he wanted bagpipes played. Throughout the rest of the movie, the watcher can see Zach deteriorating, until eventually the screen goes black and all you can hear is bagpipes. This is where I really fell apart. 

The movie sheds light on every aspect of the lives of not only the terminally ill patient, but also their loved ones who take care of them. Zach’s parents went through lots of struggles financially and emotionally, Zach himself had fits where he didn’t want to suffer anymore, and everyone around Zach kept trying to help but didn’t exactly know how. Zach’s story shows everyone how the ups and downs of a terminal illness can affect everyone imaginable. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend that everybody watches this movie. It sheds light on the fact that terminal illnesses do exist, and they affect people of all variations.

It helped broaden my perspective on what an illness can do to a person, along with how an illness can both positively and negatively affect surrounding loved ones. It’s a 5 star rating from me!


The “Among Us” Take Over

Alyssa Pickle

November 7 –  The new video game Among Us has jumped to popularity in recent weeks addicting students and teachers.

The game consists of little astronauts called crewmates on a spaceship or a space base where they run around trying to complete tasks. However, there are one to three imposters who kill the other astronauts while trying not to get caught. If the crewmates catch all of the imposters or complete all of their tasks they win, but if they do not catch the imposters before too many people die or get voted off the imposters win.

“I love Among Us because it is so addicting and when you play it you go crazy. I like the suspense of being the imposter, and when I am a crewmate I like getting to figuring out who it is, it ́s like being a detective,” Sydney Lohr said.

Recently, the game was attacked by hackers who turned the lobby where you wait

Among Us
Game Logo Image courtesy of Innersloth

to enter the game dark and flooded the chat with the hacker’s youtube channel name and pro-Trump spam. The game’s creators have worked to remove all hacks that have affected the game since this occurred in late October.

“My friends introduced me to it and I have been playing it with them ever since,” Hunter Wilfong said.

Many students and even some teachers play Among Us at home, even at school when they have free time.

“It’s fun because it brings people together through the game because I can play with friends I have not seen in a while,” Ms.Kerr said.

The game can be downloaded for free at the APP store.

“I like it because it’s fun to play with friends and I get to kill people and let out my inner rage,” Mya Massood said.


Countryside Cinema Shutdown

Grayson Bright

November 7 – In Kernersville there are many attractions, one of the most popular was the Countryside Cinema. It was most well known for its more affordable movie ticket prices that started at three dollars. Due to the Covid-19 outbreaks movie theaters were forced to shut down temporarily. However, for the Countryside Cinema it has shut down for good.

During the Covid-19 outbreak many places had to close and people were told to stay put at home. This included movie theaters and they still had to pay rent and other taxes. The Countryside Cinema had run out of funds to keep the movie theater open.

The Countryside Cinema had opened in the early 1990’s with only three screens available at the time. But as the movie theater grew older they had given renovations to tattered seats and upgraded screens and projectors. Then a fourth screen was added later on in the mid 2000’s. But now Kernersville locals will have to say goodbye to cinema after almost 20 years of being open.

When long-time Kernersville local Hailie Perez asked about the shutdown she said, “Literally a childhood hang out gone just like that,”

“It’s sad for real because that was such a place of nostalgia for me,” said Ivor Tamindzija, a Kernersville local.

Corporate Companies such as AMC had a very difficult time trying to keep all locations open. They have been having such a difficult time that they have predicted they will be out of money by the end of 2020 and the whole company would have to shut down.

AMC’s chief financial officer, Sean Goodman said, “Our ability to be predictive is uncertain due to the unknown magnitude and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.”.

AMC had an offer for people to rent whole theaters out for just only 99 dollars. Whoever rented the movie theater could play any movie they had wanted. But the customer had to bring their own movie, snacks, and clean after they were done with the theater.

The future for movie theaters is starting to look more and more cloudy as more of them just keep shutting down. But there may be a brighter future for movie theaters once they open back up. But only time can tell what will happen to the theaters.



Ariana Grande: Album Review

Olivia Brown

November 7 – Ariana Grande is known to be one of this generation’s greatest singers. She has made many hit songs such as Thank U, Next, Danger Woman, 7 rings, etc. On Oct. 30, she released her sixth album titled Positions, the album has 14 songs in total. Her album is on Billboard #1 with 98.4 million streams and has over 44,000 downloads globally. According to Billboard, Ariana is the first female artist to top the Global 200 on her own. 

One of the songs on the album is titled Motive featuring Doja cat, the song has a strong funky type beat but it also has a little bit of a trap beat as well which gives it an energizing vibe. Her background vocals,like usual, compliment her voice very well.

In the song she says “You want me if you can keep comin’ back for me. Might have to curve you if you can’t talk straight (Just say)”, what I think she’s saying is if the person whom she’s in a relationship with or a person who she likes can’t be genuine and honest with her then she’ll curve (dodge) or ignore them. Doja then comes into the song, her raspy voice contrasting Ariana’s nicely. 

Ariana Grande's Album "Positions"
Photo from Ariana Grande’s twitter

The next song on the album is Just like Magic. This song is a song where Ariana brags about the accomplishments in her life such as her success,money, career etc. In this song Ariana Grande sings in the pre-chorus “Good karma, my aesthetic. Keep my consensus clear, that’s why I’m so magnetic. Manifest it, I finished it”.

In these lines, Ariana ist walking about manifestation techniques and keeping her mind and body positive so that she can get what she wants, if she doesn’t think positively or has a bad attitude towards certain things then she’ll probably have bad things happen to her in the near future. 

The last song on the album POV, Grande has a somber and relaxing instrumental that brings out her equally soft and gentle voice. This song builds up with percussion and string instruments.

In this song, she talks about how her significant other loves her for her despite her many flaws, she would love to see herself through her partners eyes and see a reason as to why they love her.

Ariana sings in the chorus  “I wanna love me. The way you love me. Ooh, for all of my pretty and all my ugly too. I’d love to see me from your point of view,” she would love to see herself from the person she loves point of view so that she can love herself even with her flaws but it would also help reassure her about the relationship and how she wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Personally I don’t think this is Ariana’s greatest album she’s released but it is still up there. It sounds like some of the sounds from the previous album’s like Thank U, Next and Sweetener.

I would personally like to see Ariana do something more out of the box such as jazz, rock or maybe even country, I just don’t want to listen to something I have listened to before. I would give this album a 7/10. My favorite songs on the album would have to be “Just like Magic”, “POV” and “West Side”

HS Sports Almost in Full Swing

Jackson Faenza

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

Right now volleyball is underway with workouts with their first tryouts being on Nov. 4. The team has been hosting workouts in October, but with a limited number of people.

“We’ve had open gyms twice a week for the past month. These have been well attended and the girls seem excited to be playing again. We are gearing up for our season starting with tryouts on November 4th and 5th and then getting ready for our first game on November 17th,” said Coach Hilliard.

They will play a 12 game season with their first game being on Nov. 17. Against South Stokes High School. Their season will last into the beginning of January 2021. 

“Due to COVID, the number of games we are allowed to play is limited. Compared to 20 games last year, our schedule this year will be 12 games. In addition, there are numerous safety precautions taken to ensure that athletes and coaches are staying safe. We take everyone’s temperature before they enter the gym and ask them COVID screening questions. We also take frequent breaks for players to use hand sanitizer,” replied Coach Hilliard.

Cross Country’s official season will start on Nov. 5. They have been holding practices since the end of september and have been strengthening and conditioning for the season ever since. 

“We are getting ready for our season as we usually do. Getting our mileage up and running hills and sprints,” said Coach Rickert.

The teams first meet will be on Nov. 17. At Ivey Redmon Park in Kernersville, North Carolina. The number of spectators should be no more than 100 people in an outdoor facility. The season will consist of about 5 meets and should last into January 2021.

“This season will not be too different for us. Of course, we will be running in colder weather, which is a good thing as we usually run in very hot weather. The one goal that I hope to achieve is to see all athletes get faster with each race.”


Kauffman Just Keeps Running

Tyler Haynes

On Oct. 24, a sophomore at the NCLA, Will Kaufmann, smashed his seven-mile personal record at the Salem Lake Seven Mile Trail runs. Kauffman ran seven miles around Salem Lake in 49 minutes and 11 seconds.His time was 7.02 minutes per mile. 

 Kauffman says “It went really well for me cause I’ve improved from last year.”

Kauffman’s 7-mile time last year was 52 minutes and 47 seconds. This may not sound like a lot of time but shaving 3 almost 4 minutes off of your time while running is very hard to do. File_001

“I honestly enjoyed running the course cause it’s right by Salem Lake”

Salem Lake is a popular running and biking spot in Kernersville. Kauffman said he had practiced there a little bit.



Falcons Serve up a new Season

Laura Ritchie

As the month of November is starting, the NCLA HS volleyball team will officially start their first practice Friday Nov. 6. after having tryouts on Nov 4 and 5.

Throughout the month of October open gyms were held two times a week for an hour and a half.

As there were about 14 players showing up to every workout, says the head coach Mrs.Hilliard.

In order to continue having open gyms and now move into having practices the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Masks must be worn entering the gym and exiting the gym.
  • Temp. must be taken before entering the gym.
  • Screening questions must be asked and answered before entering the gym.
  • After every workout balls and any other equipment used must be disinfected.
  • Social distancing is a requirement.
  • Coaches must wear masks at all times.

During a volleyball game the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Balls will be frequently disinfected throughout a game.
  • Masks  must be worn by anybody not on the court.
  • Coaches and players will sit socially distanced on the bench.

Starting Friday Nov. 6. practices will be held monday through fridays for two hours everyday.

Our HS volleyball team’s first scheduled game is Tuesday Nov. 17. at South Stokes High School.

“As we start to play against other schools there is definitely a possibility that there would be an increase in cases, but I hope that following the NCHSAA guidelines and making sure we are doing what we need to do to contain the spread of the virus will allow us to play our season uninterrupted”, Mrs. Hilliard said.

This years roster includes:

  • Ariana Elliott- 9th grade
  • Emmy Guldberg- 9th grade 
  • Jordan Moore- 9th grade
  • Kimberly Wyramon- 9th gradeIMG-6830
  • Jenna Clayton- 10th grade
  • Julianna Peters- 11th grade
  • Emma Ware- 11th grade
  • Nora Wood- 11th grade
  • Maura Perkins- Senior
  • Megan Queen- Senior
  • Selah Smith- Senior

“I really don’t have a solid answer about how the season is gonna work. I know there will be fewer games than usual and more hand sanitizer breaks throughout practice, but I don’t know what precautions will be taken once other teams arrive,” junior Nora Wood said.


Coastal is the team of the Carolina’s

Elaina Pascavage

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have made history this season. In the 2020 college football season. Coastal has made it into the AP Top 25 for the first time in the school’s history.

 This football team has continued to make history ever since they made it to the Top 25, they have only gone up from there. This past weekend the Chanticleers played Georgia State. The final score was 51-0, allowing Coastal to not only keep their undefeated record but move to spot number 15 in the Top 25. 

With Coastal now being ranked 15th, they surpass the previous Sun Belt record of 19th, which was set last season by Appalachian State. 

High Point native, Mason Bowers, plays offensive line for Coastal. “I think it’s great being a top 25 team in the country,” said Bowers.download (2)

“It really shows all the hard work and preparation the team has put for this season to be successful,”

Some may say that Coastal’s come up has brought them to be the best team in the Carolina’s. “I believe we are top 4 in the Carolina’s including all the ACC schools,” said Bowers. 

With The Chanticleers becoming one of the best football teams in the Carolina’s, the players, the coaches, and the fans have all helped them in order to be the best they can be.


HS Sports Almost in Full Swing

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.

10/23/20 News

Thoughts on Returning to High School 

Rebecca Avila 

The return to high school has been on many minds with the recent news of the state allowing kindergarten through fifth grade to return to school. There are still many concerns because the fact of the matter is, COVID cases are beginning to rise again which puts a damper on any possible thoughts of moving forward.

Kindergarten through fifth grade has just returned to school full time on Oct. 19. Many have seen that move as “ A test, and if we’re able to handle it there, we’ll be able to handle it in the high school,” Mr. Sparks said. 

Others believe that it is just safer to not allow high school students come back at the moment because many drive, go to friends houses and do small social activities. There is always a concern because anyone that students may encounter could possibly be a carrier or have been in contact with people of COVID- 19.

“The data from the (younger) people was showing that transmission rates from children to adults were lower than teenagers which are more at the adult height,” Mrs. Hartzell said. “They were maybe thinking that was one of the factors that was contributing.”

The rumored time frame among some for a possible high school return is sometime after the second semester. Many factors would have to be taken into consideration, like the fact that the second semester will begin, flu season will still be at its strongest.

“We have to take into account the comfort level of students, I think that decision is best left to probably how comfortable students feel in the environment and the parents, as well, I don’t think that it will be a mandate”, said Mrs. Hartzell.

The desire of having everyone back in the classroom is present. Being able to keep everyone socially distanced and safe is still the main concern.

“I absolutely would love, and I think it’s the best for us all to be in a classroom from an educational standpoint. It’s just not the healthiest option right now,” Mr. Landphair said. 

Gym class, being located in a larger experience than a classroom has made it one of the top reasons many would like to return. 

“We have the facilities and the cleaning products and brainstorming specific games to play,” Ms. Richardson said. 

Many students do agree in the matter of allowing all of high school to come back. According to an NCLA Instagram poll with 35 participants, 67% of students want to come back full time in person while 37% said no. 

Juliana Peters believes, “Online school is detrimental to my mental health.”

Maria Fleak said, “High schoolers aren’t struggling with online school like some of the younger kids are, like my younger brother.”  

All Remote Students: Point of View 

By Elizabeth Gibhardt 

At the start of this school year, families were given the choice of whether or not they wanted to send their students to school. Due to the pandemic, the two options were either to go to school two days a week (the days depending on which group you were assigned) or do all of your school work at home virtually.

There are several challenges introduced when doing work fully remote without any face to face interaction. Some students find it to be more difficult and some students find it to be very simple.

“It’s a little easier because you can focus better without as many distractions. You get one on one help from a teacher instead of the teacher helping the whole class at once,” said Dana Spivey. 

You have to be good with time management, as well as communicating and reaching out to your teachers for successful online learning. Sometimes, you may even need to reach out to another student in order to get help with work. 

“So far online has been good, my classes aren’t hard at all. I like that I don’t have to get up at 6 and get ready for school, I can go straight from my bed to my desk or just stay in bed to do my work,” said Rylee Pratt.

It is also good to have a routine, not just for fully virtual students, but for everyone. 

“What I usually do is wake up at 8 a.m. and log into Canvas because that’s how teachers take attendance for us, then I’ll just sit at my desk and do homework until I’m done,” said Pratt.IMG-2863

Virtual students explain how difficult school can be trying to constantly communicate with teachers, despite how great it is to be able to work in bed all day. 

“What I don’t like about online is that if I have a question with the homework or class work, I will email my teachers and then some of my teachers won’t email me back. Also I don’t like that I can’t see my friends and I haven’t seen them since quarantine happened in March,” Pratt said.

Other students agree making similar comments on how it is difficult communicating and emailing teachers every day.

“It’s good because there isn’t much work but it’s also bad because it’s hard to communicate with the teachers,” Pierce Lewis said.  

Another downside of doing all of your school at home is not being able to see close friends. Friends make the school day go by faster, so without them work can be a little harder. 

“On the down side, not as many social interactions, more of a work load, and a little more stressful but it’s not too bad,” Spivey said. 

Regardless of the pros, students look forward to going back to school like normal and having a routine again. 

“I think it will be easier when we go back to school like normal again,” Lewis said. 

Meet a Few New students!

Christine Parker 

As a growing school, the NCLA is excited to welcome all new students! This year in high school there are 32 new students and 20 of them are freshmen. 

NCLA Students in the hallway changing classes

According to Mrs. Stanley, NCLA accepted more this year than ever, well accepted for the first year.

Monica Truhe is a freshman this year who was previously at Phoenix Academy, where she had been going to since kindergarten. 

“NCLA has been a nice change of pace and it has been easy to adapt,” Truhe said.

High school has a total of 251 students, the largest class being the freshmen.

Megan Saxon is a freshman who came from Southwest Guilford. Megan plans on being involved in girls soccer this upcoming spring.

 “I like the smaller class sizes,” Saxon said. “I really love NCLA. It’s really cool!”

This year, the NCLA accepted over 200 hundred students due to the expansion of the new high school and middle school buildings.

New upperclassman, Elaina Pascavage left her previous school, High Point Central, due to the “bad area and the good teachers that left.” 

Elania Pascavage is a new student this year in the 11th grade

NCLA accepted more 8th graders this year than ever before. The total number of middle school students is 287.

Freshman Shelby Rutledge says she likes NCLA. She came from a Christian school, Wesleyan Christian Academy. 

“It is different from what I am used to,” Rutledge said.

Another freshman, Brecklyn Wison, came from Summerfield Charter Academy. She switched schools because her previous school only went to 8th grade. Wilson says she is unsure if she will participate in any clubs or activities.

 “We will have to see. It depends on if they start to reopen sports,” Wilson said.

 Elementary has a total of 480 students, Kindergarten is the biggest with 88 students.

Senate and House Elections 2020 

Laura Ritchie 

As the election is around the corner, candidates are doing as much as possible to get themselves nominated for the position they are running in.

The ballot for 2020 comes to be two pages long, consisting of a variety of positions from the biggest being federal, to state, to the smaller, but still important position, being local. 

Some of the bigger roles that control a larger portion of an area being in the category of federal positions are NC Senate, US Senate, and the 6th and 10th district NC House of Representatives, and US House of Representatives.

NC State Senate

District 6: 

  • Isaiah Johnson (Democratic Party) In 2018 Isaiah Johnson ran for District 14, North Carolina State House of Representatives. Isaiah Johnson was also a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, District 3 in 2019. He is also a candidate for this year’s 2020 election running  for North Carolina State Senate, District 6.
  • Michael Lazzara (Republican Party) In 2005 Michael Lazzara became the Mayor of the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina. He is now running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 6.

District 10: 

  • Vernon Moore (Democratic Party) It is Vernon Moore’s first time running in a political party as a candidate, he is running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 10.
  • Brent Jackson (Republican Party) Brent Jackson was the North Carolina State Senator in 2010.He was also a member of the South River Electric Co-Op Board. He is now running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 10.

U.S. Senate

Thom Tillis is running for the position of the US Senator for the Republican party, as he was the Senator in 2014. From 2003 to 2005, Thom was a Commissioner for the Cornelius Board of Commissioners. He was a Representative in the NC House of Representatives, District 98, from 2006 to 2014. Tillis became the speaker of the NC House of Representatives from 2011 to 2014. He was also a former minority whip for the North Carolina State House of Representatives.

Shannon W. Bray is running for the role of US Senator on behalf of the Libertarian party. As he has not had much background information, being a candidate for the US House of Representatives, district 3 in 2019. 

Cal Cunningham is a 2020 candidate for the US Senator position. Cunningham, in 1996, was a consultant in the Democratic National Committee. In 1998, he was a part of the steering committee in the DG Martin for the United States Senate. Cal Cunningham was also the Senator of the North Carolina General Assembly from 2000 to 2002.

Kevin E. Hayes is the last candidate running for the role of the US Senator for this year, In 2014 and 2018, he ran for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

NC House of Representatives

District 6:

  • Tommy Fulcher is a Candidate running for the NC House of Representatives, District 6 representing the Democratic party. He has no other previous Political experience.
  • Representing the Republican party, Bobby Hanig will be running for this year’s 2020  NC House of Representatives, District 6. As Bobby Hanig is the former representative  for the NC state House of Representatives, district 6 from 2019.

District 10: 

  • Carl Martin is running for the NC State House of Representatives, District 10 on behalf of the Republican party. As he has no other Political information.
  • John Bell is running against Carl Martin, for the position of the NC State House of Representatives, District 10 as he was also a Candidate for the same position in 2018. In 2012 Bell became a Representative in the NC State House, District 10. John Bell was also the Majority Leader of the NC State House of Representatives in 2016.

US House of Representatives:

District 6: 

  • Running for District 6, of the US House of Representatives is Lee Haywood representing the Republican party, as he has had no other political experience.
  • Kathy Manning running for the US House of Representatives, District 6 was a former candidate for the US House of Representatives, District 13 in 2018.

District 10:

  • Patrick Mchenryis running for the District 10, US House of Representatives on behalf of the Republican party.  Mchenry was a Candidate for the NC State House of Representatives, District 109 in 2002 as he then became the Representative of District 109 from 2002- 2014. Patrick Mchenry has been the Representative for District 10, in the years: 2004,2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 as he is now trying for the year 2020.
  • Representing the Democratic party in this running of the 10th District of The US House of Representatives is David Brown, who ran in 2018 for District 10.
Campaign Signs in Kernersville Photo by: Eliana Cotten

Meet The NCLA’s New Yoga Teacher

Alyssa Pickle 

Meet Ms. Lawson, the new yoga teacher at the NCLA, who is teaching Spanish, movement, and yoga classes to mainly middle and high school students.

“We start off with intention setting,” Lawson said about the yoga class she teaches, which is a new elective to high schoolers this year. “Then we do a short meditation and focus before we begin our warm-up with a practice called sun salutations. After that, we continue with a set of standing poses and finish with seated poses, such as a corkscrew pose for relaxation. We finish and close the class with a short meditation and a bow.”

Mrs.Lawson doing a yoga pose taught in her class.

Lawson said there are several exercises and studies that she teaches to her students.

“We focus on things such as physical practice, learning poses, certain techniques, meditation, history of yoga, a little bit of anatomy for injury prevention purposes, and the history of yoga,” Lawson said.

There are many benefits from learning yoga. “We learn about controlling our breathing and heart rate to relieve stress that school can cause, and it can additionally benefit our posture and help athletes with their alignment. It is also great exercise.”

Ms. Lawson began teaching dance when she was 19 and was a professional tutor,

Mrs.Lawson doing a more advanced yoga pose.

 but this is her first time teaching at a public school.

 “I am very much enjoying it, the students here are   highly motivated to learn and all the other teachers   here are very friendly and nice,” Lawson said. “I love   teaching to share my passion and knowledge about   dance, movement, and the Spanish culture. I enjoy   seeing students develop a love for what they’re   learning.”

Aside from teaching, Lawson has a lot of other interests.

“When I’m not teaching I love dancing, working on a new project of mine, reading detective novels, and hiking,” she said.

10/23/20 Arts

Are you Scared of the Dark? NCLA Student’s Scary Stories

Nora Wood

October 23 – As the spooky season finally makes its comeback, NCLA students have graciously shared their experiences with paranormal activity. 

Rebecca Nordstrom, Senior

“I was at the neighborhood market Walmart in High Point with my family, or as we call it, the small mart. This [paranormal activity] was right when it opened so the store was brand new. We were walking around the store and stuff just randomly started falling off of the shelves, like boxes of noodles and salad dressing. I first thought that maybe the shelves were not level until I watched a bag of rice lift up and fall to the ground. I really have no explanation for that. To this day, I do not go into that Walmart unless I have to because it still gives me a weird feeling.” 

Mckenna Porto, Junior

“There is this hallway in my house that goes into the basement. When my brother and I were little, my mom used to open it thinking we got locked down there because she would hear noises coming from it. However, there was no one there. One time, she even pulled it shut and then immediately heard knocking on the door only to find nothing behind it. On Christmas Eve around 5 years ago, we were telling my grandpa about the knocking that we always heard. It was kind of freaky because it wasn’t just the house settling. It was a very human-like knock. When we told him, he said he did not believe it. Right when he said that, something knocked so loud on the door that it sounded like something was pounding on it. We were all in the living room.”

Ian Arnold, Junior

“I was in my room one night and out of nowhere, my lamp fell off of the table.

Spooky Pictures for Students Spooky Stories
Credit: Kathryn Meehan, Junior

I went to pick it up and then go to the bathroom. I then heard a thud and my bible was laying on the floor exactly where the lamp had fallen. This was around a year or two ago. Nothing else has happened other than this. However, I will sometimes find my stuff moved around when I wake up in the morning. I now sleep with my door locked.”

Dylan Coltrane, Junior

“One day, I was at my house when I was 7 years old right after my grandpa had just died. It was one of my first times staying home alone since my mom was just going around the corner. I was already kind of paranoid. Then I heard ‘Dylan?!’ from upstairs but it was in a man’s voice. I was very confused so I went upstairs to check, but nothing was there. When I went back downstairs, all of my dogs were in the room that my grandpa had stayed in before he died.”

Riley Green, NCLA Graduate ‘19

“I moved into college last year and one of my suitemates was a witch. She grew up as a Christian but decided she didn’t like it, so she became a Wiccan. She liked crystals and rocks and did tarot card readings. She also liked to do spells. I don’t remember a lot of what they were, but I know she wrote on bay leaves a lot and did some things with them. One night, there was a full moon and she and my other suitemate, and my roommate had to go outside and do something with them (I still do not know what, though). She also made a sweet jar once and it had some sort of herbs, sugar, and honey in it. She made it because she and the other suitemate and roommate wanted the RA to date one of them (and therefore be sweet to them). The girl who was a Wiccan decided she wanted to convert back to Christianity and joined a Christain sorority. I moved out shortly after that so I do not know if she is still practicing or not. The Wiccan’s roommate was the one who brought a demon with her.

She told us out of the blue one night and said ‘guys, I think I brought a demon to college with me’.

She further explained that an old lady would appear over her bed at night and act as if she was going to strangle her. They did research and figured out it was a sleep paralysis demon that she was seeing called the Night Hag. However, nothing exciting really happened with this. Occasionally our doors would close but I am 99% sure that was because of the air. Our string lights would also occasionally turn on and off sometimes but that is most likely because they were $3.00 from Target.”

Hailey Fox, Freshman

One night, I woke up around 3:00-4:00 am. I turned over and saw something that looked like a person. It was not a coat hanging or anything else. Just an empty corner with a figure. I went under the covers to hide and waited there until I built up the courage to sprint out of my room into my kitchen. However, as I was laying there, I heard breathing noises. I now leave my TV on throughout the night.

Halle Jenkins, Junior

“I just KNOW that my old house was haunted. One night, I did all of the dishes but an Italian dressing glass jar was still dirty so I put it in the sink. This dressing jar was put into the bottom of the sink since it was the only thing in there. Around 2:00 am, I heard a very loud noise so I texted my dad. He was in my parent’s bedroom and my brother was in his room while my mom was out of town. He said ‘Was that you?’ to which I said ‘No, I thought it was you’. We both went out to investigate the kitchen and somehow the dressing jar was shattered on the far left side of my kitchen. There was absolutely no way it could have gotten out of the sink. It almost looked like someone had thrown it. But, no one was on the side of my house that this happened in. Even my dogs were with my dad. My dad also swears up and down that he would see an old, creepy man standing on our fireplace on multiple occasions.”

Allee Davis. 8th Grade

“When I was little, my mom would hear little footsteps in the attic. She told me that once the creaking of the wood stopped, I would wake up, go get my toys, and proceed to play with an imaginary friend. His name was Johnny and no one else could see him. The scary part is that you could see the toys being moved around when I was probably a foot away from them. I basically had a ghost friend when I was 3.”

The Life of a Journalist

Brooke Bandy

October 23 – Journalism is one of the most crucial and widely known fields in the world. Journalists have to get important, accurate information out to the general public in a timely manner to keep them in the know. 

Brent Campbell worked for WGHP Fox 8 and WPDE-ABC 15 in Myrtle Beach as a reporter and anchor. 

“I liked to write. I’ve always been a writer and a reader and I think the ability to convey a message through words was really what drew me to it [journalism] and I like to tell stories. I like the power of a good story, so that’s what a journalist does ultimately is tell someone or something’s story in hopes that they tell it in a way that the outcome is changed for the greater good, or can draw highlights to or help the person by telling their stories. So telling stories is what drew me and I still enjoy that,” he said.

Brent Campbell

“I got my degree in communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism from Appalachian State. From there, I got my first job in television news at WPDE-ABC 15 in Myrtle Beach, SC and I worked there for four years. I ended there as a morning anchor, and from there I came back to North Carolina and worked for WGHP Fox 8 as a reporter and an anchor for 15 years,” said Campbell. 

He covered pretty much everything, from local news to disasters to national events. 

“You name it I probably covered it. I probably covered everything from horrible car wrecks to major hurricanes to two presidents to local news and school boards and county commissioners to city councils and crime sprees,” Campbell said. 

“I actually did enjoy covering education and showing how education was changing, and I won a couple awards for education reporting. I also enjoyed consumer reporting and working with folks to figure out why maybe they didn’t get the rebate or the refund, or something along those lines, where they deserved it., so I enjoyed stuff like that. Crime stories, accident stories and stories about death were not something I enjoyed,” said Campbell. 

Journalism has changed a lot in the past decade with the advancements of technology and people’s constantly decreasing attention span. 

“It’s changed a lot in the past several years. Today it’s much more competitive in terms of finding the right audience. Journalists today have to tell stories very differently than they did 15 to 20 years ago. There’s less time to tell stories and today’s journalists have to be able to capture a reader or a viewer very quickly, within the first few seconds, or they move on,” said Campbell. 

A very recent struggle for newspapers has been the movement from print journalism to online media. 

“It varies from place to place, but right now, most newspapers are struggling. More than half of the cost of a newspaper is traditionally paid for by advertising rather than subscriptions, but as the internet has grown, advertising dollars have moved from newspapers to the internet,” said Winston Salem Journal Editorial Editor Michael Scott. 

Scott began in journalism in a bit of an unconventional way.

 “I have a Master’s degree in Library Science and had worked in libraries for a couple of decades when I took a part-time weekend job on the Winston-Salem Journal’s obituary desk, just for fun and to make a few extra dollars,” Scott said. “After about a year of doing that, the full-time position, during the week, opened up and I was invited to take it. I accepted, thinking it would be an interesting change of pace.” 

Almost three years ago, the position of editorial page editor came open and I was invited to take it. I’ve been very fortunate; I had a lot of on-the-job training and opportunities became available to me based on the quality of my work. It’s almost unheard of for a journalist’s career to go this way.”

Another big struggle with journalism and the media is getting accurate information out to the public quick enough. 

“Today’s journalists have to be someone that’s able to get quick information out fast,” Campbell said. “Information, and accurate information, and sometimes they’re dealing with inaccuracies that are reported, so a journalist has to be able to set their stories apart from other stories that may not be as accurate or as factual,”

As the press continues to move towards online sources, print newspapers have taken hits, but organizations that have moved online are beginning to thrive. 

“The industry is in decline and practically every newspaper has experienced downsizing of personnel and content. Nobody seems to know how to stop it,” Scott said. “At the same time, news is still essential and valued. The Journal has more readers than ever, about half of them online rather than print.”

People will always need news, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need newspapers.”

Journalism is a field where every minute matters. There are deadlines everyday and you have to get your work done by the end of the day. The best thing about this is that there’s no homework or due date hanging over your head. IMG_4736

“That’s one thing about TV news. Every day is a deadline, every moment is a deadline,” Campbell said. “Now the nice part about that, or the part that I liked, was that when your day was finished, you were finished. You didn’t go home with homework or with projects hanging over your head or things to do down the road each day. You kind of got to start fresh work on something and finish it.”

Anyone looking to be a future journalist should be someone who is dedicated to their craft and knowing exactly what you want to do and who you want to work for. 

“Take a long hard look at the world today and make sure that’s the path that you want to get into in terms of being entrenched and how it all works today … be careful about where you work or where you want to start your path and figure out where you want to start your craft and what kind of stories you want to tell,”Campbell said. 

Scott added, “Tomorrow’s journalists will need to have a background in a lot of different topics and they will need to be flexible, able to work with language and with technology. They will need to be dedicated. It’s a demanding industry that is not always financially rewarding.”


NCLA Elementary Library is Open!

Lindsey Allen

October 23 – For the first time in NCLA history, we have a library on campus. 

The NCLA elementary school library has been in the works since fall of 2019, withIMG-7261 the big motivator being Ms. Turner, a first grade teacher.  

“I started thinking about it at the beginning of the last school year, and then we did the fundraiser in the fall,” said Turner. “It has taken us until this year to get everything rolling.” 

“Last year I came up with the Read-A-Thon Fundraiser, where all the kids got donations for reading,” said Turner. 

With the money raised, she bought books, bookshelves, and even a computer system to scan and keep track of the books. About half of the books they have in the library were bought, and the others were donated by families in the school. 

They are still taking book donations in the front office. 

One of her goals for this year within the library is to do more fundraisers. 

“We will have to update some books each year for wear and tear purposes, and then we will get new things just to add to our collection,” said Turner.

Mr. Whitmore, who has high functioning autism, is the new Librarian. He is excited to share his love for books with the elementary students during the new library special, every morning. 

He has planned different lessons and books to read based on the months and the seasons.

For the month of November we will be studying books with a food theme, so we will be reading Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, The Old Man Who Loved Cheese by Garrison Keillor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Blueberries for Sal, will be read in that period of time, DW the Picky Eater,” said Whitmore.

“For the older grades during that period of time I will be reading for 3rd graders I will probably be reading with them Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers, one of the Bailey School Kids books for 4th grade I will be reading them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and then for 5th grade I will probably read them James and the Giant Peach kind of to tie it all together because there’s so many picture books and food related books.”

He has packed his lessons for this year to the brim, as he is also hoping to teach about award winning books, short book series, and legends and tall tales.

Some of the other themes I’m looking forward to doing this year are Arthur, Amelia Bedelia, Berenstain Bears, for sure Curious George, some of the Stephen Kellogg books,” said Whitmore. “I’m hoping to be able to do a legends and tall tales kind of theme, and do some of those, but probably my favorite one I’m looking forward to doing is the award winners, the Caldecott Award winners, and also the Tommy de Paula because he’s always one of my favorites.”

Some of the benefits of having a library on campus are that Mr. Whitmore can help them learn how to search for books in a library and how the books are categorized. 

“A lot of the kids haven’t ever been to the public library, and so this can help them get that important experience and just learn about libraries.”

What’s New on Disney+

Olivia Brown

October 23 –Recently Disney has released new trailers for their original series, The Mandalorian. The trailer shows scenes between baby Yoda and the Mandalorian being chased by enemies, who want to take baby Yoda away and return him back to his own kind. the-mandalorian-season-2-poster

In 2019 the show beat Stranger Things, in streams during the weeks between Nov 17 and Nov 23 with 100 million streams. The Mandalorian will be releasing on October 30 on Disney+.  

Disney has also released trailers for their other shows such as Clouds that was recently released on October 16. Based on a true story, the trailer shows a seventeen-year-old boy named Zach, starting his senior year, who has recently asked out his crush and is having the time of his life until it all comes crashing down on him when he finds out that he has cancer and has six months to live. 

With him having a little amount of time left, Zach and his best friend Sammy decide to write an album, which Sammy posts on social media and goes viral. As his cancer gets worse, he is then faced with the realization that when he dies he will be leaving everyone he loves behind including his girlfriend. After some thought, he opts to make a goodbye song titled “Clouds” which is also a hit song. 

Lastly, Disney released a trailer for their short film, Once Upon a Snow Man, which is the untold origins of Olaf from Frozen. The film shows Olaf’s sweet and funny personality as he has just been created, it also follows with him having a problem with self-identity and trying to discover who he really is just outside the snowy mountains of Arendalle. This film is set to be released on Today.


Best of Halloween Movies

Skylar Maness

October 23 –

New Halloween movies:

Hubie HalloweenHubie Halloween was released to Netflix on October 7.Halloween Movie pictures Since then, it has had more views than any other show or movie for the past few weeks. 

Hubie Halloween is rated PG-13 and described as a comedy-horror film.

In the movie Hubie Halloween, the main character Hubie faces mockery from people in his town who he is devoted to. However, Hubie will turn into a hero and save his town and Halloween.

 “I think that this was a great movie, it was pretty funny,” Ava Gonzalez, a sophomore at the NCLA said.

A Babysitters Guide to Monster HuntingA Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting was released on October 15. This movie can be found on Netflix as well. 

In A Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting, a brave babysitter is on a mission to save the child she is watching who was taken by monsters.

Although this movie was rated TV-PG, the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board rating indicates that “this program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.” 

“This movie was kind of slow and the plot was strange, but the movie overall was okay.” Zoe Encore, who is a fifth-grader here at the NCLA said


Halloween movie pictures 2Ghostbusters: The original Ghostbusters movie came out on June 7, 1984. 

Since the original Ghostbusters movie, there has been a Ghostbusters 2, and another Ghostbusters movie that came out in 2016. There will be another Ghostbusters movie called Ghostbusters Afterlife that will come out on March 5, 2021.

The Ghostbusters theme song alone has around 210,225,200 views on youtube.

 Ghostbusters show the journey of three kooky scientists who lose their jobs and follow their passion for ghost extermination.

Ghostbusters is a classic that me and my family enjoy together about every year. It never fails to make me laugh!” Abigail Brannon said

The Haunted Mansion is a 17-year-old Halloween classic starring Eddie Murphy.

In this movie, a realtor and his family are summoned to a mansion that they find out is haunted. This teaches Jim (the father, husband, and main character of this movie) the importance of family and reveals how he has neglected them in the past.


Celeste Paradis, a 10th grader at the NCLA said “ My favorite Halloween movie would probably have to be Coraline because I love the creepy but childish dream factor of the story.”Hallowen movie pictures

Kylee Coster, a freshman at the NCLA said “My favorite Halloween movies include Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas because they remind me of the excitement of Halloween when I was little.

Colby brown, a sophomore at the NCLA said “My favorite Halloween movie is Hubie Halloween because it’s hilarious.”

10/23/20 Living

What are Your Halloween Plans?

Emily Viers

Due to the pandemic this year, most Halloween plans are looking a little different than normal; as it can be tricky to use the necessary precautions for the safety and health for all concerned. Don’t forget to wear your mask, social distance, make sure to wash your hands often, but most of all have fun! Hope you receive more treats than tricks. 


Julie Davis

10th Grade

“I am going to have some friends over for a sleepover and a small bonfire. It is a little sad not having the average Halloween but we’ll make it work.”


 Leslie Blanco

10th Grade

“I am going to hang out with friends and watch scary movies.”


Jenna Clayton

10th Grade 

“Due to the conditions of the crazy world we are living in right now, I have not made plans for Halloween. I personally dislike Halloween. I get excited about Halloween because it means we are getting closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like to see my little sister get all excited to dress up, but I am not even sure they will be able to do anything this year. I might even have to go into work on Halloween, time will tell.”


Ariana Elliott

9th Grade

“I haven’t made definite plans for Halloween yet but I’m hopefully going trick or treating with a bunch of friends and then hang out after. Obviously, we would be corona safe due to unfortunate conditions.”


Brooke Taylor

9th Grade

“I haven’t made plans but I really want to trick or treat for a little bit and then go to a party with my friends.”

COVID Halloween Costumes

Cade Shoemaker

With Halloween less than two weeks away, students are picking out costumes and making plans for the big holiday.

This year’s halloween will occur during a national pandemic, which means many people across the country are drawing inspiration from the time they spent in quarantine.

Yet, the classics may also be returning. The simplistic ghost, using a white bed sheet, has made a popular resurgence, becoming a viral trend among teens on TikTok and Instagram. The ghost trend has been brought back as a photoshoot where kids are dressing in bed sheets and taking photos doing everyday things. 

These ideas include some costumes like dressing up as Joe exotic, or Carol Baskin from the show, “Tiger King”. People are also making costumes that reflect life during quarantine. Whether it is dressing up as a roll of toilet paper, or becoming the modern businessman, who wears no pants for his ZOOM meeting.

Julianna Peters, a student at the NCLA has tried the ghost trend for herself.

“I figured it would be a fun way to get into the season, and it was trendy and easy,” she said. 

Of course Covid-19 will still be out on the streets, areas may be requiring kids to wear masks while they are trick or treating. This idea has prompted some creative costume designs that incorporate the mask.

Among these, is actually the game “Among Us”. A recent, and super popular video game that has also been trending lately. The game has characters who are little astronauts. Each astronaut has a specific color, and the simple design of the game has made for an easy costume.

To recreate this people are using a solid color hoodie of their choice, but are putting it on backwards. Then taking the hoodie, they cover their face and place a surgical mask over the hood. This creates a pretty easy Among Us  costume in a matter of seconds, as seen in the video below.

Still, most people see dressing up for halloween as a must. However as students get older they start to age out of the lore of dressing up for the holiday. On the Falcon News Instagram, we ran a poll asking students if they are planning on wearing a costume for halloween. Out of the 36 participants the results are as follows:

Are you planning on dressing up for Halloween?

Yes: 22 (61%)

No: 14 (39%)

Not only will halloween occur on a Saturday this year, but it will also have a full moon, and even more importantly an extra hour of sleep. November 1st is daylight savings time, so kids and parents will have even more time to sleep off the sugar rush from the trick-or-treating candy.

The Halloween Candy Chute Craze

Lexi Antieau

Families all over North Carolina are figuring out ways to give their children a normal trick-or-treating experience amidst COVID-19 restrictions. 

One popular idea that arose was to make a homemade candy chute rather than trick-or-treaters ringing doorbells asking for candy. With this chute, parents can easily slide candy down to their visitors while maintaining social distancing regulations. 

Though this seems like a great idea, building it is an entirely different story. But nonetheless, here is everything you need to know about making your very own Halloween candy chute.  


  • two 10 ft. PVC pipes of any color
  • four tee PVC pipe fittings that match the thickness of the pipes
  • PVC primer
  • PVC glue
  • Black duct tape
  • Orange duct tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Tape Measure
  • Decorations


  1. Measure from your front door to see how long your pipes will need to be.
  2. Cut your 10-foot-pipes into smaller pipes.
    1. Using your hacksaw, take the first pipe, cut it into two sections, one 6 feet long and one 4 feet long. One of these pipes will be the chute and the other will be one of the legs. With the second pipe, cut it into a 3-foot-section and four 1-foot-sections. The 3-foot-pipe will act as the other leg, while the remaining four pipes will act as supports for the bottom of the legs. Measurements may vary, depending on your front porch size.
  3. Taking one pipe fitting, put one 1 foot PVC pipe into one hole of the fitting.
  4. Repeat this same step on the opposite side of the fitting. 
  5. Put your 3-foot-pipe into the remaining hole of the fitting (the leg should now be able to stand up on its own).
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other fitting and pipes (two 1-foot-pipes and one 4-foot-pipe).
  7. Now, you should have two legs that can stand up on their own. Make sure to face them towards one another before moving on.
  8. Next, make sure you have a 6-foot-pipe and two fittings remaining. Attach these fittings to the tops of the legs created in steps 3-6, then fit the 6-foot-pipe into one side of the fitting so that the legs are facing each other. 

Now, you should have a general idea of what your chute will look like.
Photo by Lexi Antieau

  1. Cover any holes that may steal your candy (see picture for reference)
    1. With this design, one hole in the fittings will lead to the bottom of a chute leg, which will end up stealing your candy forever. I chose to duct tape the hole to make sure my candy wasn’t stolen by the legs, but I would not recommend this method. I went through five stripes of duct tape trying to get my hand inside the pipe. Try at your own risk. 
  1. Test this design out!
    1. Though it may fall apart multiple times while you are trying to see whether your chute works or not, it’s important to make sure candy can get down the chute properly. The chute must be long enough to maintain social distancing. If you find a pipe is too long or too short, you should have extra pipe to solve this problem. Hopefully, it doesn’t fall apart 11 times like mine did.
  2. Once you’re happy with how your candy chute looks and performs, it’s time to put everything together… permanently.
    1. Using your PVC primer and glue, follow the instructions on the cans to make sure everything stays connected the way you would like it to. Directions may vary between certain PVC primers and glues, so follow the instructions provided for your supplies. 
  3. Time to decorate!
    1. This is where you get to express your creativity during this project. Decorate this chute as much as you want, and don’t be shy! I used black and orange duct tape to give it a more Halloween feel, but I would not recommend doing this since it took me 2 hours of pain and suffering. All I’m gonna say is this: duct tape really does stick to everything. 
  4. Put it at your door and watch the kids’ faces light up!
    1. To deliver candy down the chute, simply push a piece of candy into the tube and let it slide down. If you have trouble delivering the candy down the chute, you probably did it wrong – no offense.

Photo by Lexi Antieau

Overall, making a candy chute is a lot more work than you might initially think. It isn’t just putting PVC pipes together and calling it a day. Make sure you set aside lots of time and patience for this project, but have fun with it! 

Jack Skellington Oreo Pops

Eliana Cotten

Halloween is about the costumes, the candy and spider webs, but what about the food? Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, Halloween doesn’t have a signature dish to serve at your Halloween dinner party. Here is a yummy and easy treat to serve to all of your friends.


  • 12 Halloween oreos (I would get double stuffed)
  • Two cups white chocolate, melted (melt by putting in the microwave in 15-30 second increments, then stir and repeat until melted)
  • Two teaspoons coconut oil 
  • Black icing (best if it is made for decorating and lettering)


  1. Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. I used no stick cooking spray. 
  2. Mix coconut oil into white chocolate and dip Oreos into chocolate until completely coated. I put a fork in the cream of the oreo, and it helped me dip more easily. 
  3. Place onto the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Using the black icing, draw Jack’s face on the Oreos and let it cool slightly. Jack’s face is basically two rounded triangles for eyes, small thin lines for nostrils, and a smile with some thin lines.
Jack Skellington Halloween pops made by Eliana Cotten

I had a fun time cooking these, and they were surprisingly easy. They only took about 30 minutes, and all of the steps were very easy to understand and accomplish. My family loved them, and they tasted delicious. I definitely recommend making these yummy treats for you and your family!
Recipe from:  https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55618/jack-skellington-oreo-pops-recipe/

Fall Break at the Beach!

Fall Break Photo by Nora Wood

2020’s Rare All Hallow’s Eve Moon

Cyd Leister

Halloween this year holds a remarkable feat: a full Moon, and not just any full Moon but a Blue Moon. This event is quite a rare occurrence. 

Full moons occur on Halloween roughly every 19 years in a pattern referred to as the Metonic Cycle. This pattern was believed to be discovered in 432 BC in Greece.

The pattern dictates that a phase of the moon will occur on the same date every 19 years, however; it isn’t entirely accurate due to variations in the Moon’s orbit. The cycle is only accurate within a day, according to farmersalmanac.com.

All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween is originally a Pagan holiday and is believed to be the time of year that the barrier between the world of the living and dead are the thinnest. The full Moon is believed to be a strong source of power and magic, which leads many to believe that a full Moon on Halloween is a very magical and powerful moment.

Moon Photo

Taken by Cyd Leister

A Blue Moon is a second full Moon within the same month. This year will consist of 13 full Moons, with two falling in the month of October.

The Blue Moon is considered to be a very rare and folklore heavy event. However, this is actually false as the term “Blue Moon” referring to a second full Moon that appeared in 1988. 

According to skyandtelescope.org the current use of the term is a modern item of lore that has been masked as something much older, as a result there is little true significance of the term in older history and culture. The event is also not very rare as it normally occurs within every 2 to 3 years. 

Neither of these events are actually the rarest portion of this full Moon. The Moon will also be the Hunter’s Moon in all time zones. The last time a Halloween full Moon appeared in all time zones was 1944. 

Regardless of one’s belief in the spiritual or mythical aspects of the event, it will be a rare event to be witness to and experience this coming Halloween. 

Where has Dr. Pepper Gone?

This year has gone through its ups and downs. The most recent struggle is that there is a highly significant reduction of Dr.Pepper

According to a Falcon Staffer’s Instagram poll, 35% of responses said they would drink Dr. Pepper for the rest of their life over any other drink.

Many began questioning why the product is becoming more difficult to find in stores.

The company responded on Twitter, “We know it’s harder to find Dr. Pepper these days. We’re working on it – hang tight!.”

Dr Pepper Storage

Mr. Landphair’s fridge

The soda is in high demand and production is not able to catch up. Dr. Peppers second quarter sales in 2019 was $2.81 billion while this year, the second quarter reports $2.86 billion.The company also stated new flavors like Dr Pepper Cream Soda, increased the overall sale of packaged beverage sales by 6.2 percent due to the high demand during the pandemic.

Many canned drink companies have not been able to produce as much either. The ongoing aluminum can shortage began before the pandemic but the demand has increased tremendously during the shutdown. This soda shortage is not as severe as the toilet paper shortage earlier in the year. 

“Welcome to the club” “We feel your pain”, said the Charmin Twitter account in response to Dr. Pepper.


Middle School Season During a Pandemic

Jackson Faenza 

With a High School sport season being confirmed and currently getting prepared for the season in some parts of the state, there were still many speculations around a Middle School season. There were even more quotations around our middle school sport team because we are not even in a conference either.

“There will be middle school sports, we will not host all of them, and right now the ones that we know are not going to be playing cross country for one. But for sure we are working on schedules for volleyball, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Wrestling is the other sport that is still in the air due to it being such a high contact sport,” said NCLA athletic director Coach Mac.

With the North Carolina Athletic Association making guidelines on how to play safety during the pandemic, no guidelines have been set for middle school. Coach Mac clarified that the middle school teams will follow the NCHSAA guidelines put out.

“A few teams are getting ready for the November start of the season, in fact volleyball was having their first workouts this week actually,” said Coach Mac. 

The Middle School season will be delayed and shortened, just like high school and will be following the same guidelines set for the high school. Another detail is that NCLA will not be hosting many games for the various sport seasons. 

Maria Page, 8th grader

“For middle school, there will most likely not be any championships or postseason games due to the way things have had to be adjusted. We are still not in a conference, we’re hoping that we are getting in a conference for next school year. It is looking pretty good that we will be in a conference next school year,” stated Coach Mac.

Coach Mac explained how they have to be flexible with the trend of what is going on with Covid-19 currently. She also explained how the coaches and players will be under the same guidelines that the high school is under to keep families and everyone safe.

“We are going to be monitoring and sanitizing everything just like the high school is doing under the NCHSAA guidelines. The only difference is that the calendar does not have to completely match up with the high school, so some of it is going to look a little strange.

Coach Mac is working hard everyday to get some of these seasons finalized and working on a schedule. Although there is not a finalized, ready to publish schedule, there will most likely be more games in the middle school season, than in high school.

“Our main focus was to give the middle school to play and compete, and it’s our feeder school. So we want these kids to have a season and get them prepared for coming into the high school season. Hopefully we will not have to sacrifice any more sports, because losing one is too many.

NBA Bubble is a Success

Tyler Haynes

Due to the Coronavirus shutting the country down, it also meant many professional sports seasons were cut short and postponed. Leagues scrambled to come up with ways to continue their seasons during the midst of a global pandemic. 

The solution that some professional sports leagues came up with was the idea of creating a “bubble”. The bubble would house all the players and coaches in it for the time that the rest of the canceled season would take to finish it.

In the bubble, players were not allowed to leave until their season is over. They were apart from their family and friends for all of the time needed to finish their seasons. Some players opted out from playing in their sports respective bubbles because of the separation from their families or fear of the virus.

In the bubbles, all their necessary precautions were taken to keep the players and coaches safe. When outside of their rooms the players wore masks and also had meals delivered to their rooms daily. 

Photo Credits: NBA.com

But life in the bubble was not just playing basketball or hockey. In the NBA bubble, there were many things to do for the players. The NBA bubble was in the Wide World of Sports in Disney World in Orlando. In the NBA bubble players could Swim in the many pools in the complex, along with fishing and other activities. There were even places like barbershops made just for the bubble. 

Did the Bubble work? The NBA bubble had zero cases throughout the rest of the NBA season and playoffs. This was a success. In the playoffs, players were allowed to bring their families in to watch their games and still ended with no cases of covid known to the public. Considering other sports like the MLB and NFL coming back and each week having another team shut down for 2 weeks due to Covid it just further proves the success of the bubble in sports.

What is Going on in the NFL

Grayson Bright 

The year 2020 has been very interesting for everyone, but with sports coming back there comes complications. Games have been moved, cancelled, or postponed, what does this mean for the future of the 2020 football season?

During week four of the NFL season, two games were postponed and 20 cases of Covid-19 and 13 of the cases coming from the Tennessee Titans. Cam Newton was one of the victims of the outbreak. Most players later on had continued to play after being cleared to play.

Photo Creds: ESPN

During the post season of the NBA season had seen the use of the “play-season bubble”, the bubble being an area where players can’t leave and have to stay in the area. The NFL is considering this postseason bubble.

”As long as I can keep watching or if they still happen,”  said Zach Donath, sophomore at the NCLA. But the concerns over the mental health of the players has the NFL most likely to rule out the idea.

With the return of the NFL also has the return of the football season. During the return of college football there have already been 33 games cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks in certain cities or teams. Throughout the college football return there have been many cases of Covid-19 in the Big 12 conference Kansas’s rates had grown from 57% -75.2 per 100,000 residents. 

“Kinda sucks, college ball is still happening, that’s what really matters,” said Donath.

 Even though there are college teams having games cancelled, colleges top prospects are still projected to declare for the 2021 draft. But there are questions still wondering around Trevor Lawrence whether he will declare for the 2021 NFL draft, not due to Covid-19 concerns but due to the team with the first overall pick.

”It wouldn’t be smart because he would still get paid NFL money,” said Donath.

Over this season there have also been many season ending injuries for star players. Most injuries happening between week three or four most happening during games. These players are out for the rest of the season being Nick Bosa, Saquon Barkley, and Matt Ioannidis. Other players such as Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, and Austin Ekeler were given weeks before returning. But luckily for Panthers fans and fantasy football owners Christian McCaffrey is expected to return in week eight. During week five of the 2020 NFL season Dak Prescott had suffered a season ending injury, this being his last year on his contract will his contract be extended or will he be a free agent this offseason?

Upcoming High School Sports update:


Nov. 2: First of day of practice

Nov. 19: @ Bishop-McGuinness

Nov. 23: @ Reidsville

Cross Country:

Nov. 4: First Day of Practice



Whitmore Key to New Library

Brooke Bandy

October 2 – Ricky Whitmore, 32, is the brains behind the new elementary school library at the NCLA. 

He started the library over the summer and is continuing to build its inventory. 

“The library isn’t finished yet, books are getting donated everyday,” said Whitmore. “I started scanning in the books with the help of Mrs. Shoemaker and my mom starting this summer actually and then we’ve been going at it ever since.”IMG_4530

His inspiration for starting an elementary library at the school came from a former teacher of his. 

“What inspired me to make a library here is, actually, I’ve always had a dream of running a library, but the person who really gave me the inspiration to organize the library the way I did was a former staff member from a school I went to back when I was a junior in high school. Her name was Mary Autry, she was the elementary school library assistant,” Whitmore said. 

“She taught me, along with my mom, all the different types of series books, honor books, how to break open a book, like how to bend it to crack open a new book, and also different ideas for themes and sections of the library.”

The kickoff lesson at the new library is a study of Tommy de Paulo

“To start off the year we’re going to be studying the works of Tommy de Paulo because he’s a very well known author and illustrator and he’s absolutely  one of my favorites and I thought it would be a great way to honor his memory,” said Ricky. 

His favorite part about working in the library is being able to share his love of books and reading with the students. 

“I always have, ever since I was a child and when I used to work at an inner city daycare in Minnesota a long time ago,” he said. 

“The kids favorite part of the day was when I read stories to them and one of the reasons I love working in the library is so I can show kids the many different adventures that can be found in a book. I’m going to do that by sharing with them some children’s books that they might not have heard of from my childhood and other classic children’s books.”

Whitmore is able to use his life experiences and knowledge to help drive what the students learn throughout the year. He’s especially looking forward to this spring.

“The theme I’m really looking forward to is, in April, I’m gonna share with the students a little bit about autism and my experience with autism because I have autism myself. I’m also going to use April to read books about differences,” said Whitmore.  

“I’m going to use the book, It’s Not Easy Being Big by Sesame Street. For the older kids, I’m going to be reading to them Who is Temple Grandin because it’s Autism Awareness Month. I will be reading to the elementary students We’re All Wonders, the Wonder book. I’m also going to be reading them I Am Helen Keller to kind of tie it all together. I’m also hoping to read them Beethoven Lives Upstairs because I thought that would be a kind of  a neat tie in with being different.”


The Dixie Classic Drive Thru

Rebecca Avila

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October 2 – With the fall season approaching fast, many North Carolinians think of the Carolina Classic Fair, well known as the Dixie Classic Fair. In previous years, the event has been packed full with fun rides, games and food. This year should be no different all while trying to keep everyone safe. 

The Carolina Classic will be celebrating 138 years this year and it’s the second largest fair in North Carolina. The animals, the music, the rides, the games and the food of all things always kept many coming back every year to experience the family fun.

The fair will be hosting a Drive Thru Fair from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 from 11a.m.-7p..m. This year’s fair will be far from normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic but they are doing what they can. A  virtual tour has been posted on their website for many who would like to view the outline of the fair. 

There will be no parking and everyone who plans to attend shall enter the fairground through 27th Street and enter through gate nine.

Tickets will be free this year with the suggestion of bringing 5 canned items to support Crisis Control Ministries who have been hit hard this year.

According to Executive Director Margaret Elliot in an interview with WXII she said, “ we will not get approximately 70,000 pounds of food that we use every year…during the heavy months, you know the fall and winter months”, she also said if “the organization were to buy the food, it would cost then about $90,000 and would be a huge financial burden.”

The fantastic food will be at the Drive Thru with 12 venders who will be serving fair favorites that will be delivered to your car. 

The Drive Thru will be hosting a  “Loose Change” game sponsored by the Salvation Army where many are able to give any loose change and all proceeds will be donated directly to charity. Upon exit there will be the “Road Bump” ride to comenerate people’s time at the Drive Thru. 

On Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. movie screening at The Drive will be happening with tickets for kids at $8.50 and adult tickets at  $10.50 as well as the addition of fireworks. 


Upcoming Fall Activities in North Carolina

Nora Wood

October 2 – Although pumpkin spice lattes, perfect chilly weather, and trick-or-treating are all defining aspects of the Fall season, the annual festivals and other fun activities are what makes Fall feel complete.

While festivals such as the NC State Fair, Autumn at Oz, the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, Wilmington Riverfest, and many others, are canceled, there are many other fun fall activities taking place with special restrictions due to COVID-19.

If you can’t go without your favorite Lexington BBQ, the Annual Tour de Pig Bike ride will still be taking place on October 1-10 for a virtual bike ride through Lexington. While the BBQ festival itself cannot happen due to COVID-19 restrictions, the website encourages participants to share their experiences on social media: “Participants may ride along any route they choose. Share your enthusiasm by sharing photos and videos from your Tour de Pig adventure with us!”

If bike riding is not your ideal weekend fun, other fall attractions such as the Carolina Classic Fair and Kersey Valley remain open.

The Carolina Classic Fair is going to look quite different this year due to the pandemic. With virtual and drive-through components, the fair will limit as much physical contact as possible. The drive-through will go from October 1 to October 4 and will include games, 12 food stations, and other fun vendors typically seen throughout the event. 

“I don’t know what to expect. I just hope it’s not boring,” said sophomore Rebecca Avila who is planning on going to the Carolina Classic Fair this weekend. 

As the spooky season begins to creep up, attractions such as Kersey Valley and ogimageWoods of Terror are also opening. Kersey Valley’s Spookywoods attraction and Woods of Terror are both great ways to get into the fall spirit. By limiting the interactions between participants and scarers, requiring masks, and limiting group sizes, both attractions are focused on the safety and health of each participant. They are ready to go for the season.  

“I am so excited for Woods of Terror! I can’t wait to sing my Christmas songs at the evil people,” said junior, Katie Carpenter, who plans on going back to Woods of Terror this fall. 

If none of these options spark your interest, do not worry. There are still plenty of other ways to get into the fall spirit.

Gathering in groups of people may feel uncomfortable due to the rising numbers of the pandemic. So, activities like hiking in new destinations, pumpkin carving with your closest friends and family, and getting lost in a corn maze are all great ways to avoid crowded areas. 

“During fall I like to go to the spirit halloween stores with my family,” said sophomore Ellie Gibhart, who shared how she gets into the fall spirit.


Netflix’s Age Rating System Raises Questions

Cyd Leister

October 2 – Many avid Netflix watchers have likely noticed a change in the streaming service’s age ratings and warnings. These changes sound great in theory as trigger warnings are now being considered, but there are a lot of problems with this new system.

It appears that the criteria for the age rating system, PG, TV-14, etc, has changed. netflix-rated-tv-maSome of the most notable changes can be found in the True Crime and Anime categories. Most if not all True Crime content is now considered TV-MA and many animes have had their ratings upped to TV-MA as well. 

It is unclear what exactly is the criteria for this new age rating system. One would think that looking at the warnings would indicate some form of a pattern. However, no such thing can be found and considering the warnings the age ratings make even less sense. 

Forensic Files is a true crime series about forensic science and released episodes starting in 1996 up to 2011. The show was previously rated TV-14, but is now considered TV-MA. The warnings mention smoking and language. 

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a documentary series released by Netflix in 2019 about the disappearance of a young girl. It is rated TV-14 and has a warning for language.

Comparing these two titles it appears that smoking is enough to put a show into the TV-MA category, which is mostly true since most titles with the warning of smoking are now in TV-MA. That alone makes little sense as smoking should not be that vital of a decider for if it is eligible for 14 year olds vs 18 year olds and the aforementioned smoking is often minor. 

Forensic Files discusses some adult themes as it is about crimes; however it is never explicit. If that was the deciding factor for the show being now classified in TV-MA then it likely should have been mentioned in the warnings. Also, discussion of death, violence, and crime should be warnings for both shows even if that may appear as common sense. 

Kakegurui is an anime released by Netflix in 2018 and is about a school built around gambling. The show has an age rating of TV-14 and warnings of sex and language.

Fairy Tail is anime about a world full of magic and wizards and was released in 2009. It has recently had its rating changed from TV-14 to TV-MA with warnings of nudity and smoking.

This is confusing as Fairy Tail is an anime targeted towards teenagers and does consist of fan service, but is mostly focused on action and comedy. The warning makes it appear as if nudity is a common thing, while at most the show has the occasional partial nudity. 

Kakegurui on the other hand consists of heavy amounts of sexual themes and gore. A warning of sex would make one assume it should be automatically upped to TV-MA. It is also concerning that there are no warnings about the violence and gambling in the show.

These are only a few examples of this new age rating and warning system. The main issues are the lack of continuity of this system and incomplete warnings.

Parents and even individual viewers often have topics they wish to avoid in the items they watch. For whatever reason it may be Netflix is performing an injustice by putting out these false and incomplete warnings, as well as not making these new age ratings consistent. 

“I think that Netflix should do better with ratings and warnings, in case something unexpected comes up and scares someone or causes them to freak out,” shared NCLA Senior, Lily Davenport.


Xbox X vs PS 5

Tyler Haynes

October 2 – About every 7 years Sony and Microsoft release their new game consoles, it is that time again. With the PS4 and Xbox One becoming old and outdated, the 9th generation of consoles is on their way. The Sony Playstation 5 and the Mircosoft Xbox Series X are set to come out in November of this year.

What is the difference between the PS5 and Xbox Series X?

  • What is the Price?

 The PS5 and Xbox Series X both start at 499$. Both consoles also offer cheaper versions with fewer features. 

The PS5’s cheaper counterpart is a digital-only version meaning you cannot use PS5 Imagedisks and have to download your games. This version will be 399$, this is a great deal because many people have not bought disks for years. 

Microsoft’s cheaper version is called the Xbox Series S. This version is a lot less powerful than The Series X and retails for 299$. This seems like a no-brainer to buy at first, but looking into it more it is about as powerful as the last generation console The Xbox One. So basically it would be the same as playing the new console’s games on the last generation’s hardware which is not how they are meant to be played. 

  • Which is More Powerful? 

This question is asked with every new console release but the answer is always ewWyuHdJkRFWtGy47o8TfHsimilar. Every time a new console releases everyone is quick to compare the specs that are inside. In this generation of consoles, both are very powerful and pretty close to each other in power. One Console is better than the other in some areas and vice versa. With all of the technology and development, they put into these consoles the games will look and play the same on each one.

  • Which will have better games?

This is another question that comes up every year. Microsoft and Sony both made games that will only be available for their console as a selling point. 

The PS5s exclusive games consist of a new addition in the God of War franchise, which has not yet been named, Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, and a few new series of games that do not have much known about them.

The Xbox Series X exclusives are, Halo Infinite, State of Decay 3, and Forza Motor Sport. There is also a few new franchises of games that do not have much information known about them.


PlayStation 5

Xbox Series X



399$ (Digital Edition)


299$ (Series S)


Supports 8k

825 Gigabyte SSD

16 Gigabytes of RAM

8x Zen Core 2 Processor

Supports 8k 

1 terabyte SSD

16 Gigabytes of  RAM

8x Zen Core 2 Processor


  • A new God Of War
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Halo Infinite
  •  State of Decay 3
  •  Forza Motor Sport.

When asking students which they were going to buy, 70% said they were going to purchase the PS5. This is not a surprising number because the PS4 was much more popular than the Xbox One so many people would want to stick to the brand that they already know and have not to mention they can still play their PS4 games on their PS5.


IOS14: Show Off Your Inner Aesthetic!

Olivia Brown

October 2 – Recently, Apple came out with their new update to their Phone IOS14. Over the years Apple has had many software updates to their phones, each one helping the phone improve and each update being better than the last, but recently Apple has come out with their latest update, I OS14. Many people were anticipating this update, but no one thought about customizing their home screen. 

“I love my home-screen now, it looks very cool and cute,” said Kayla Satterwhite.

The IOS14 update allows Apple users to personally customize their homescreen by allowing them to change the icons of their apps using an App called “Shortcuts”. 

People would go to the Shortcut app, click on the plus button where it takes them to this screen that says “New Shortcut”, then they would press add action and type into the search, “open app”. From there they would chose the app of their choice, it will then take them back to the screen that says “New Shortcut” then they click on the three button in the corner and name their shortcut, add it to home-screen, name the shortcut again (to the app that it is) and click on the little icon in the corner to select whatever photo they want the icon to be and then press add. 

This feature has boosted Apple’s sales and popularity and has gotten the attention of many people. Countless people have bought iPhones because of this trend since their phone couldn’t personally change the icons to their apps.

Numerous people have made their iPhones icons for the apps into things they like, some have made their icons their favorite color,some have set their icons to anime’s etc. 

“I wouldn’t change my wallpaper and icons to my apps because that’s a lot of work and it seems stressful, but the idea of it sounds cool,”  said Shaniya Myles.

This update also has many cool features such as an apple library, where you can find all your apps, a new siri interface where instead of siri taking up the whole screen, it only pops up at the bottom while still being able to see your screen and a message thread where you can long press the message and reply to it, making there be a bracket connected to the original message and list of how many replies to the thread.


Start Getting Excited for These Movies

Eliana Cotten

October 2 –

The Croods 2: A New Age

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Croods find themselves in need of a newpasted image 0 place to live, after surviving many beasts and disasters. They stumble upon a paradise populated by people they did not know existed, the Bettermans. The tensions grow as the families spend more time together and the two daughters, Eep and Dawn, decide to travel beyond the walls, forcing the two families to join forces to find them.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it is set to come out in theaters on Nov. 25.

I am personally excited for this new movie. It looks very fun and energetic, and I am looking forward to watching it.


Black Widow

pasted image 0 (1)According to the Marvel website:  Forced to look back on her past when a dangerous conspiracy arises, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) is pursued by a force whose only goal is to bring her down. She must come face to face with her broken relationships and upbringing as a spy.

According to The Cinema Blend, the movie was originally set to release on May 1, 2020, but was then moved to Nov. of 2020 due to COVID-19. As conditions of COVID-19 got worse, the release date was moved to May 7, 2021.

I am excited for this movie, and am glad that she finally got her movie after all these years. 


No Time To Die

According to IMDb, James Bond’s peace from retiring is short-lived when an old pasted image 0 (3)friend from the CIA  asks for help, leading Bond to the trail of a villain armed with dangerous technology. 

The movie is said to be released on Nov. 20, 2020 for the US, and Nov. 12, 2020 for the UK.

According to cheatsheet.com Daniel Craig, the current actor for James Bond, is tired of being in the movies and says this movie will be his last. 

“If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money”, said Craig in an interview with TimeOut. 

I personally do not really have an opinion on this movie, because I have not watched any of the other James Bond movies, but I will probably end up watching it anyway.


A Quiet Place Part II

imageAccording to IMDb, the Abbott family is forced to venture into the unknown, where they realize the monsters that hunt by sound are not the only dangers beyond the sand path. 

According to Variety, the movie was originally set to release on Sep. 6, 2020 but due to COVID-19 restrictions it was pushed to April 23, 2021.

A Quiet Place and  A Quiet Place Part II  were both written and directed by John Krasinski, who also starred in both movies. His wife, Emily Blunt, also stars in the movies.

I am looking forward to watching A Quiet Place Part II, because I loved the first one, and i’m excited to see how this movie will compare to the first movie.


News 10/9/20 

Breaking: NCLA Virtual Appalachian Tour 

The NCLA is having a virtual private college visit for Appalachian State University on Wednesday, October 7 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. It will be held by an Appalachian State admissions officer who will be able to answer questions about App State and it’s a great opportunity for any high school student interested. 

If you’re a red group student and would like to attend the event, go to the big classroom next to Mrs. Wood’s office at 12:30 and log onto the virtual visit. 

NCLA Elementary Moves to Plan A

Lindsey Allen

For the first time since March 13, the elementary students at the NCLA are returning to classrooms full time. 

On Sept. 17, Governor Roy Cooper announced that elementary schools would be able to move forward into Plan A as of Monday, October 5.

This means that North Carolina students that are in grades kindergarten through fifth will be in full capacity classrooms. Governor Cooper left the option to continue with Plan B or C, if that was best fit for a certain schools’ situation.

“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Gov. Cooper in a Sept. 17 press release. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works.”IMG-1053

What exactly does this mean for NCLA? 

“Plan A means all students K-5 have two choices. They can virtually learn five days a week at home, or they can come to school five days a week,” said Mrs. Guldberg, Elementary Vice Principal. “We’re not going to do the hybrid option anymore, because that is just too much to keep organized, but the majority of our students are planning on coming back”. 

In reference to precautions the NCLA will be taking, Guldberg said, “They will still have to wear masks and we will still have some social distancing guidelines in place.”

“They have little spots on the floor in the hallways and they have little dividers in the classrooms between the desks to help them.”

The major concerns that have been brought up regarding the introduction of Plan A at NCLA are: how the elementary students will handle wearing masks all day, the transition to going to school five days a week, and the new routines for the students dealing with bigger classes.

“Our elementary students have done so good, way better than I thought they would do,” said Guldberg in regards to elementary school students with masks.

“They remind each other to pull their masks up, they’ve just done really good with the masks, and are trying to keep their distance in the hall.”

Full capacity classrooms bring problems of their own. How will lunch be handled? Will all of the students still get recess on the same playground? 

“Recess already looks a little different in that we spread out over other areas than just the playground,” Guldberg said “Lunch for right now we’re going to keep in the classrooms, and maybe slowly start to transition one or two grades into the cafeteria.”

“I really feel confident that if we wear our masks and keep washing our hands that we’ll be okay,” said Guldberg about potentially moving backwards into Plan B because of an outbreak.

“One good thing that has come out of Covid is that the kids realize that they do like being in school.” 



The NCLA Loves its Custodians

Skylar Manness 

Friday, October 2 is National Custodians Appreciation Day. Many times, the hard work of custodians can go unnoticed.

It is certain that our school would not be able to function during this COVID-19 pandemic without the hard work of custodians. “Our custodians have gone above and beyond with the new safety guidelines to make our school a safe place,” Mrs. Wood remarked.

Wood also said, “NCLA’s custodians are super honest. They have found money, and jewelry then they take it to the front office. The custodians at this school are detail oriented, and take their job seriously. I take pride in having them here!”

Members of the NCLA’s custodian team include Mrs. Patricia, Mrs. Sarah, and Mrs. Zoe.

mrs patricia
Mrs. Patricia, one of the custodians at the NCLA. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Shoemaker

Mrs. Patricia:

Mrs. Patricia has worked at the school for about 5 years. “Recently, we have been working longer hours to keep the school clean, but I don’t mind it one bit,” she said. Mrs. Patricia is proudly a mom to two girls. She added, “My favorite thing about being a custodian at this school is the smiles I receive from the little kids. Even though you can’t see the smiles right now with the masks, you can still tell.”


“I love this school, and I plan on staying as long as they want to keep me,” she continued. 

Mrs. Sarah:

Mrs. Sarah is a mom to three kids at home. She has been working as a custodian for the North Carolina Leadership Academy s for over two years. She said, “The coronavirus has changed everything,” and “I have been working longer hours than usual.” Just like Mrs. Patricia, it does not bother Sarah one bit because she loves working at the NCLA. Mrs. Sarah stated, “I don’t have a favorite part about working here, I enjoy every day.”

When the topic of NCLA custodians was brought up, Emily Viers, a sophomore at the NCLA, said ,“I remember a Cinco de Mayo event that was hosted a couple of years ago. The night before the party, my family, and some family friends were decorating. We didn’t finish the decorations until about 1 am the next morning. As we were leaving, I went to the bathroom and noticed that the custodians were still cleaning the classrooms. Our school definitely has some hard-working caretakers to keep everything clean for us.”

 Many times while students are in class, school custodians can be found cleaning things like stair rails, doorknobs, toilet seats, and pretty much anything else people have contact with that can be found inside the school. To eliminate exposure to COVID-19, custodians now clean every chair that someone has sat in after lunch.

The CDC recommends that schools “frequently disinfect objects that could encounter contamination.” The CDC also states that “cleaning and disinfecting all areas” must occur.

There were many NCLA students that had positive things to say about the school’s custodians:

“I love our custodians! They are always happy and smiling.”- Zoe Encore

“I can tell that custodians at the NCLA are very hardworking”-Layla Gonzalez

“I love that they’re so committed to their jobs even during difficult times such as COVID-19, and how happy to help they are”- Sydney Lohr

On Friday, some of the school’s students and staff plan to show the custodians of NCLA some love for everything they do to make our school a better, and safer place.

“To any custodian or caretaker of our school who is reading this… Thank you for all that you do, you are greatly appreciated!” said sophomore Ava Gonzalez. 




Election 2020: The Local Races

Laura Ritchie

The election season is in full swing and many have a ballot that comes to be two pages long.

As this year’s 2020 ballot consists of Federal Office positions, such as the presidential preference, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives District 6. There are also state and local races, such as Mayor, Governor, Lt. Governor, and School Superintendent.

Mayor Position:

Allen Joines is running for re-election for the mayor of Winston Salem NC, as his term from 2001 has ended (Democratic Party)

Running against Allen Joines for the Mayor position of Winston Salem NC is, Kris McCann (Repulican Party)

As Mayor of Winston Salem, you have certain duties that must be taken care of such as, carrying out special responsibilities during emergency situations, being present at all meetings of the council, providing leadership on policy problems, recommending meetings to the city boards and commissioners, vote in case of a tie, and representing your city at official functions.


Al Pisano is running for NC governor (Constitution)

Roy Cooper will be running for re-election as the NC Governor position (Democratic Party)

Steven J. DiFiore is also running for the NC Governor Position (Libertarian)

Lastly Dan Forest Is running For the NC Governor Position (Republican)

As Governor of North Carolina, there are a good amount of duties and responsibilities that are mandated by the States Constitution, which include: The State’s budget, serving as Commander and Chief, running special legislative sessions, put into effect the laws of the state, granting pardons, reducing prison sentences, issuing warrants,etc.

Lt. Governor:

Running for Lieutenant Governor for the Republican Party we have Mark Robinson.

For the Democratic Party we have Yvonne Lewis Holley running for the Lieutenant Governor position.

People may think the Lt. Governor position isn’t as important because it has less responsibilities, but this position is very important.

As the Lieutenant Governor, some of the duties are, that you serve as the President of the State Senate, and you have the ability to cast tie-breaking votes, you serve as a member of the Governor’s Council of State, you have unique role between Education and Economic Development, you serve on the State Board of Educations, the NC Board of Community Colleges, The Board for State Economic Development, and lastly, the Lt. Governor is the only elected official to serve at both the executive and legislative level.

NC Superintendent of Public Instruction:

This year’s ballet running for the position of the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Republican Party is Catherine Truitt.

Running for the Democratic Party for the position of the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction is Jen Mangrum.

In the position of the NC Superintendent Of Public Instruction, there are duties and responsibilities that come with this position. These duties are: they have the power to regulate grades,the salary, and the qualifications of a teacher, and they also have power to supervise and administer the Public School System.

At the end of the 2020 election ballot, there are two Referenda’s that minted two very big decisions.

The first one states (Guilford County School Bond Referendum): “SHALL the order authorizing $300,000,000 of bonds secured by a pledge of the faith and credit of the County of Guilford to pay capital costs of providing school facilities, including the acquisition and construction of new school facilities, the improvement and expansion of existing school facilities and the acquisition and installation of furnishings and equipment and the acquisition of interests in real property required therefor, and a tax to be levied for the payment thereof, be approved?”

The Second one states (Guilford County Local Sales and Use Tax):”Local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter percent (0.25%) in addition to all other State and local sales and use taxes.”

Voters must answer these Referendum’s with a simple yes or no.


Meet a Pair of new NCLA Teachers

By Elizabeth Gibhardt 

This year at the NCLA, we have several new teachers and staff members. It has been harder to get to know each other this year, especially with a split schedule and alternating days, but now new teachers are starting to warm up and feel comfortable with all of their classes. 

With the help of students and staff, they have felt more welcomed despite the abnormal school routine. We are thankful for all of our teachers and how they have adapted this year to help us learn like normal. 20201001_115309

Mrs. Hall, one of our new middle school teachers, said, “The staff is great and the students are amazing. They work hard and are very respectful. I am very happy to be here at NCLA and am looking forward to having all my students back in the classroom.” 

20201001_115127Mrs. Evans, another new teacher, was asked the same questions. She said, “I absolutely love working at the NCLA! My students are amazing. They are well-mannered and hard working. The staff was so welcoming, too. I am so happy to be here!” 

During the pandemic, teachers have been working with half of their students at school and the other half at home online. 

“Teaching during Corona is challenging. I do feel fortunate that we have half our students here at a time. It makes it feel more normal,” said Mrs. Hall. 

Teaching this year has been more difficult than others, as many activities and interactive materials have not been allowed. But with these limitations, teachers have been able to learn new technology and find new activities to help us learn. 

“I did learn some new things about teaching during COVID that have improved my practice. If COVID did not happen, I would not have had the opportunity to learn new technology and some new ways of teaching!” said Evans. 


Student Council, Will It Return?

Cameron Warren 

Student council represents the students of the NCLA and they plan activities and fundraisers for the school, but sadly, with this year’s Covid restrictions, that will not be possible as of this fall. 

“At this point, student council is not a possibility,” says high school English teacher, Kelly Kerr, the advisor of the student council. With the Covid restrictions, student council will not be possible until social distancing restrictions have been lifted. 

Some of the students here at NCLA have different opinions on whether or not having a student council is a good idea. “I don’t think student council is a good idea for this year at least because we are barely even in school,” said junior Lauren Manness.

“I think having a student council is a good idea because it allows students to be involved,” said Dylan Coltrane. 

However it is still possible for student council to return in the spring, if Covid becomes better. But as Mrs. Kerr said, “I remain hopeful that we will be able to resume in the spring”.


There are Still Plenty of Ways to get Hours

Emily Viers

The pandemic has affected both the student body and the staff, as well as the community. At the NCLA, leadership is a core value. The mission statement is,“Developing tomorrow’s leaders today.”

 Volunteer hours are one of the ways the high school student body can represent and implement their leadership skills. The NCLA requires high school students to have 25 community service hours each year. “Last spring, we changed the requirement from 25 to 15 this year. We are going back up to 25, but we are aware of the circumstances and we can meet with the students to help find opportunities. We are trying to help get it out early and hoping to keep it to 25,” stated high school counselor Mrs. Hilliard.

NCLA Students at Lily’s Epilepsy Warriors hosted by Kisses 4 Kate

25 community service hours offers the opportunity for students of the NCLA to influence the surrounding community about our school. 

Each student has had different opportunities to serve during the pandemic some more than others. 

“So far, I have not had trouble getting service hours during the pandemic. If I’m being honest, service hours have not been the first thing on my mind. With all of the school work we are given it is hard to find time to get those service hours,” said sophomore Jenna Clayton. 

“This year, it hasn’t been easy to find service opportunities, but at the same time, I feel like the school is doing a good job of providing them. At first, I didn’t know how I was going to get 25 hours with so many things being closed, but I think the school had this in mind and have therefore been offering opportunities. I’m actually more ahead on my hours this year than I was last year. It’s pretty easy to just sign up for things that pop up on your remind” stated Julie Davis.

On the student services website along with the Remind app, you can find updated opportunities such as campus cleanup days.

Everyone has a different definition of service. Here are some of the NCLA students and staff definitions. “I think simply services are helping others. I think it’s important to have that requirement to help students look outside themselves and step out of their comfort zone. That way students can be well-rounded citizens and I think service helps students find that,” Hilliard said.image_50590209 (1)

“My definition of service is sacrificing your time to do something that will help make someone’s day a little better. These acts of kindness don’t have to be huge, but they impact people a lot more than it would seem. Even if it’s going out of your way for five minutes to make someone a card or buy them a cupcake or something, when you choose to think selflessly with your time, it can mean a lot,” said Julie Davis. 

“Service is a selfless act of helping others. By this I mean that you are not paid for helping someone else or doing it for the benefit of yourself,” said Jenna Clayton.

Service hours provide students with the opportunity to perform selfless acts of kindness. During this pandemic, you may have to be creative and research opportunities and you may never know when someone is in need to reach out and give a helping hand to our community. So step up and serve your community. The smallest act of kindness can transform the world. 


Flu Season Adds to Covid Concerns

Cameron Warren 

“Getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever,” said the CDC as the flu virus and Covid virus spread at the same time. 

As we approach this year’s flu season, many concerns arise about quarantine and shutdowns. As of now, there are no shut-downs and everything is continuing like normal. Many professionals hope that because of the precautions everyone has been taking, there won’t be as bad of a flu season this year. 

“It is possible to have the flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time,” the CDC reported.

In a poll, 59% of the people said they were planning on getting their flu shots, while the other 41% said they weren’t. Conducted among 34 people, most believe that it is important to get their flu shot this year.

“The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year,” said the Indian Health Service.




Living 10/9/20

Falcon Garden Remodel 

Alyssa Pickle

The NCLA began remodeling the Falcon Garden as part of the September campus beautification initiative. 

Amanda Anderson, person running point of the remodeling project, “The garden was in need of some fixing up after it had been neglected for a while,” she shared, “The goal is to make the garden a space for outdoor learning and break periods. It will also become a teachable garden where students can learn about the value of growing and sourcing their own foods and eventually take responsibility in the garden.” 


Anderson stated, “The renovation process started early in September and will hopefully be finished by winter break. However, the maintaining and nurturing of the garden will continue until the end of the year”.

I talked to Julie Davis, a volunteer at the last clean-up session about her experience. 

What did the garden look like before you started to clean up? 

“Before we started to clean the garden, it was definitely really messy and disorganized. All of the plant beds had a ton of weeds in them, and most of the bushes and things that had been planted were dead. Also, in a couple places there were too many plants growing in one spot, so it just looked like a jumbled mess.”

What type of work did you do to clean up and fix the garden? 

“To clean up, we did a lot of weeding, spread fresh dirt in the places where plants will go, covered all the beds up with new mulch, trimmed back most of the bushes, and ripped out anything that didn’t look good anymore.” 

How much progress did you make in the garden? 

“I think that we made a lot of progress. After just three hours, it was surprising how much we got done, but I guess that’s because we had about 50 people there. The NCLA had rented a huge dumpster for all of the trash and weeds, and by the time everyone went home, it was overflowing a little bit.” 


What was your experience volunteering? 

“I had a pretty good experience volunteering. It was very organized, it was nice to always know what I was supposed to be doing, and the people in charge were very helpful. It was good to be helping the school and getting a bunch of volunteer hours in too.” 

Are you excited about the new garden? 

“I am, It will be really nice when the elementary classes will be able to go out and have class there sometimes, and they wouldn’t have to be inside all day. I think it’s going to look amazing once they are finished with it, and will be the perfect place for gatherings and events.”

Donations are accepted to help obtain the proper resources that the garden is in need of. There will be many opportunities to help with the garden as the years goes on and starts to come to an end.The next available time to volunteer is Oct. 3.


What the Class of 2021 is Missing Out On

Lexi Antieau

The class of 2021 is facing non-traditional yearbooks, limited sports seasons, and a strictly regulated final year of high school. 

NCLA Principal Mrs. Faenza explained that there will not be yearbook photos or class pictures taken this year. Nor will there be the traditional classroom photos.

“I am disappointed that we aren’t going to receive a yearbook,” senior Mollie Lomax stated. “Since Kindergarten I have been looking forward to having my family make me a senior recognition ad. I had already been picking out pictures I wanted to use for it. The yearbook was one last hope that we would get something “senior” like.”

The class of 2021 will miss out on many typical senior activities, including senior quotes, drape pictures, and a tangible memory of their last year at the NCLA. 

story 3 picture #1
Credit: Lexi Antieau

“I think the seniors should still get one,” senior Macey Green said. “We will be missing out on the typical senior year experiences such as drape pictures, senior quotes, and a yearbook to remember our senior year. I think a small yearbook with the typical senior inclusions is better than no yearbook at all.”

NCLA administrators are having some difficulty figuring out how a traditional yearbook could be done. With only elementary school returning to full in-school learning after fall break, there’s difficulty in trying to highlight the middle and high school experiences through yearbook this year.

When asked about implementing a more traditional format for a yearbook, Wood said,“… only half the kids are here each day, it would be difficult if not impossible to get everyone’s picture.  We have many full remote students.”

story 3 picture #2


Photo of Macey Green

Some NCLA families have discussed making a virtual yearbook for seniors so that they don’t miss out on these experiences altogether. The virtual yearbook may include pictures of seniors taken during the school year and portraits they have had done outside of school. The format of the yearbook could be a collage of special pictures, a book format similar to traditional yearbooks, or a fully online yearbook. 

“I would rather have a physical yearbook because it’s one of those things that in 20 years you can show your kids your senior yearbook,” senior and former student council president Annie Ellis said.

The school decided that seniors this year will not have their pictures taken in a tuxedo or drape due to sanitation restrictions. However, they may take pictures on their own outside of school to remember their senior year. 

With the exclusion of senior drape pictures, Ellis said, “That’s probably what I’m most disappointed in so far because that’s something that literally every senior has had for who knows how long. When people talk about high school when they’re older they always talk about that senior drape picture and I just feel like it’s a let down for our class to not be able to get them.”

story 3 picture #3


Credit: Lexi Antieau

Seniors are also looking at the exclusion of senior quotes, quotes typically found next to a portrait of a senior taken outside of school. 

“I think it takes away from our senior experience and expressing ourselves. Senior quotes are a way to either say something meaningful, funny, or important to you and I believe seniors should be able to display them in the yearbook,” said Green. 

Many seniors had quotes already picked out for the yearbook, including Senior Emily Greene who was going to say “daddy I made it.” in remembrance of her father, who died in 2016. 

Besides yearbooks and senior activities, school activities in general have been greatly affected by COVID. NCLA sports have been affected in many ways, including the fact that they are starting their seasons much later than normal.

“Sports are currently looking like they will happen.  Our new athletic director started today and several of our teams have started workouts and practices,” said Mrs. Wood. 

The sports setbacks still have a great effect on the senior class because it will be their last high school sport season and now, some sports are still undecided if they will return at all this year. 

Senior volleyball player Megan Queen shared, “I’ve played since my 6th-grade year and I feel like I need one last season for closure on that chapter of my life!”

Missing sports and social events during their last year of high school are the seniors main concern. The school administration has said sports and social events may be able to happen in the future depending on the state regulations. 

“I’m afraid of missing out on the social aspect like being in school full time, sports, and the school events,” said Macey Green. “We also won’t have sports seasons this year with fans. I think it would be nice if the seniors would be allowed to come to the games while socially distancing themselves.”

Sports, social events, and yearbooks aside, the senior class is facing the inability to say one last goodbye to their peers and teachers throughout their last year of high school. 

Senior Levi Antieau described how he wishes seniors were able to go to school every day rather than only two days out of the week, since the class only consists of 44 members.

Mrs. Faenza stated, “We are going to try to do everything we can to make this year as special as possible for seniors.”


Tale of the 40 Year-Old Donut

Elaina Pascavage

In the basement of the UNCG library there’s a glass case lined in black velvet. The case holds part of the most memorable story on the UNCG campus, the 40-year-old donut.


According to UNCG employee, Audrey Sage, “The story goes like this. A staff meeting in 1980 saw a plate of donuts being devoured. But being a civilized lot and folks who appreciated manners, no one wanted to be the one to take the last donut, so, it sat.

“Until one night when two gentlemen were trying to tune a radio to the campus radio station but were having no luck. One of them said get that donut and stick it on one of the antennas. He did and the radio station came in clear as a bell. It stayed there for a few years but by then the donut became a legend. And every 5 years we celebrate its anniversary.”

Going to visit the donut for myself was a much more difficult task.

After 30 minutes of looking for the library, I discovered that I needed permission from the board of directors. The donut is kept in a room in the basement of the library only brought out on its anniversary. 

The next time this donut will see the light of day is in 2025.

Kernersville Museum Adds Village


Credit: Christine Parker On Sept. 21, The Kernersville Museum introduced the Historical Village with a ribbon cutting.

A Very Covid Halloween

Grayson Bright

Halloween is the one day of the year when many kids dress up and go around neighborhoods and towns trick-or-treating while others attend parties or go to haunted attractions enjoying the spooky night.

Halloween is approaching fast and many are questioning if the spooky holiday is possible due to the pandemic.

Halloween attractions such as, Spooky Woods, Woods of Terror, and Scarowinds have mixed feelings on when they plan to open. Scarowindswill remained closed till Oct. of 2021. Spooky Woods and Woods of Terrorplan to open Friday, Oct. 2.


Emily Viers said,“I feel as if they could make it work. You can be social distance and wear a mask like anywhere else!”

Spooky Woods has established a new system with time slots that allows every group to be separated as well as reducing the capacity to 50%. Guests will have to be with friends or family, with the option of wear protective gear.

Woods of Terror is also using a technological system of separating guests by designated time slots. Guests will be required to wear protective gear throughout the trail with hand sanitizer available at 15 different locations throughout the trail.

Trick or Treating for many communities will be completely different than previous years. Los Angeles county has already banned trick-or-treating, haunted houses and large social gatherings. Other states have decided to continue with the holiday.

“Honestly that stinks! I could see why they could be concerned but you can always take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Emily Viers. 

If going out and celebrating the holiday, health officials have advised many to wear their masks, keep groups small and maintain a 6 foot distance.


Pumpkin Everything

Christine Parker

The leaves are starting to change, the air is beginning to cool, and the sight of pumpkins are all around. We know that fall has begun.

Although this year has been a little different due to the global pandemic the flavored pumpkin items have not failed to make an appearance.

Grocery store are filled with pumpkin flavored ice cream, cereal, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, truffles, cookies, hot chocolate, grounded coffee, marshmallows, Jell-o, poptarts, protein shakes, bread, almond milk, popcorn, protein bars, mac and cheese, and even pumpkin spice SPAM. 



Kernersville Lowe’s Foods pumpkin-flavored item display

A Instagram poll showed that out of 46 people, only 41% said they liked pumpkin flavored things while the remaining 59% said they didn’t like it.

Here’s what a few students said about pumpkin flavored things.

“I like pumpkin flavored things and the Little Debbie pumpkin delights are my favorite pumpkin flavored item,” said 11th grader Mckenna Porto

Late September, Kraft mac and cheese held a sweepstake with the chance to win one of 1,000 limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Kraft Mac & Cheese products.

“I do like pumpkin spice flavored things. It reminds me of fall which is my favorite time of the year,” Freshman Allie Hodges said.

One item that was released this year was Boar’s Head Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus. Some ways you can eat this hummus is topped on graham crackers or on top of cupcakes. 

Sophomore Myles Pugh said, “I like some pumpkin things but I do not think that brands are taking it too far with all the pumpkin spice flavors.”

NCLA Welcomes new Athletic Director

Jackson Faenza

Stephanie McCormick has been named the new athletic director for the NCLA the school was announced this past weekend.

She is very excited to get started this school year and is ready for sports to start to play again.

“What drew me towards the NCLA was really the small atmosphere, I’m actually from North Carolina. It’s good to be back and be back with my family. Then to get that family atmosphere here, then probably one of the greatest things would be the potential for growth and the potential for change,” said McCormick.IMG-4753 (1)

McCormick is not new to the sporting world, she has been coaching basketball for 27 years, and some of those schools include Coastal Carolina, UNC- Wilmington, UNC- Charlotte,  and NC State. She was even head coach of Western Carolina for four years.

When asked about what she is most excited about the school year, ecstatically she replied, “There are so many things, but probably it is getting to be around and getting to know the students and coaches and being able to mentor them. Also to watch young people succeed in their craft and watching kids participate and play, and i’m really excited to see the kids play!”

Throughout the interview, McCormick exemplified that her main passion is sports and helping kids achieve their goals. Her favorite sport is football, but her favorite sport to watch is basketball.

“I haven’t played anything but golf in awhile. I am not very good at it, but I do like it when I can just play and relax. But I’m a sports fanatic,” said McCormick.

The one big important goal for her is to make NCLA known and she wants to start a legacy here.

“I want to be put on the map, and when you say I graduated from the North Carolina Leadership Academy, I want that to mean something. A Lot of that recognition can come from sports, and that’s a big thing I would like to achieve this season,” said McCormick regarding her long term goals.

Coach Mac cannot wait to get the sport season started and for kids to be playing again. With everything going on this school year, she is hoping that everything will work out this year. She also mentioned how she is very appreciative of the teacher and administrators working so hard this school year.

“I just feel like the sky’s the limit here, the ceiling has not even been close to being set. So it’s pretty exciting to be on the grassroot level of that and be the start of something.”

High School Workouts are Back

By Cade Shoemaker

After a long period of absence, sports have returned to the NCLA. Workouts began for the cross country and basketball teams this past week.

Cross country, coached by Mrs. Rickert, has been working out Monday through Thursday for an hour each day. Their main concern right now is getting back in shape after the long quarantine period.

“Students are very out of shape,” Rickert said. “To build up stamina we are trying to do conditioning drills like hills and intervals, so we can eventually build up to 6 miles.”

The workouts are open to all high school runners who are interested in competing this year, with Rickert highly encouraging anyone who wants to come out to try.

“There have been about 10 people coming out each day, majority being lower classmen,” Rickert added.IMG-0219

As for the restrictions for COVID-19, students will still have to wear a mask and social distance while they are at practice. However when they are running they are far enough away from people that there is no need to wear a mask. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to wear a mask at all times.

“Kids only have to wear masks while we are in a huddle, or while we are closer than six feet,” Rickert said. 

There is a question of weather affecting runners’ performance during the winter. “The runners should do better because of the colder weather,” Rickert said.

“Running in the cold is a lot better than running in the 90* heat we usually have during August. A good temperature for running is between 40 and 50 degrees.”

The workouts from the past weeks have gone very well with no problems occurring from covid or anything else.  As for basketball, the men’s team has been having workouts twice a week with the option of doing workouts Monday through Thursday.

Just like the cross country workouts, basketball players are required to wear masks when they enter the building, but not while they are playing. However these workouts are not full contact yet, meaning that players still have to stay 6 feet apart and cannot compete in offense vs defense drills.

“We are now able to pass the ball to each other, which is an improvement from the summer workouts,” said Coach Shoemaker, the head coach of the men’s basketball team.

Also like the cross country workouts, these basketball practices are focused on getting players back in shape, along with knocking the rust off of anyone who has taken some time off during quarantine. 

“We are trying to get players back to game speed, while also focusing on their shooting form,” Shoemaker said.

Cross country and volleyball are the first sports set to start for the school year. Both projected to begin on Nov. 16. As for basketball, official practices do not begin until Jan. 4.

 Football Back on for the West Coast

Jackson Faenza 

This past week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences have reversed their plans on sitting this football season out due to the global pandemic. The Big Ten will begin their season in mid- October. They announced that it would be an eight game schedule with the Big Ten championship game in December.

This qualifies Big Ten for the National Championship selection which begins on Dec. 20. On Sept. 27, the AP Poll was released with the new rankings which included the Big Ten teams playing.

The four teams were Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State, which had a chance at winning the National Championship this year. 

The Pac 12 will start their seven game on Nov. 6.

“This has been the result of what we said back in August — that we’d follow the science, follow the data, follow the advice from our medical experts, and that we know how badly our student-athletes want to compete, as student-athletes for the Pac-12, but that we would only do so when we felt that we could do so safely,” said Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott.

The only Pac-12 team in the AP poll was Oregon who again has a chance for the national title this year.

Top Recruit Moving to Charlotte

Cade Shoemaker

Mikey Williams is one of the top highschool basketball players in the country for the class of 2023. On Sept. 21, Williams posted a message to his Instagram that said he was transferring schools to play basketball for a high school in Charlotte, NC.

“Going to keep this short… Man… Just so everybody knows, I am transferring to Lake Norman Christian in Charlotte NC.,” read the screenshot Mikey had posted to his Instagram account with over 2.5 million followers.

“Leaving SoCal was hard! Especially growing up there… Sometimes you have to do things for the better, understanding the bigger picture.”

This is a pretty large deal for national recruiting. Mikey Williams was listed as the 3rd best player in the ESPN 100 recruiting class of 2023, though he is the heavy favorite to be the best in his class by his graduating year. download (1)

Williams is a 6’3” point guard who averaged 29.9, 4.9, and 6.7 as a freshman, and those numbers should easily increase this year. 

His move to Lake Norman Christian is not the only high profile transfer the high school is receiving. On Tuesday, the school announced that Trey Green will also be transferring to play for the Lake Norman team. Green is another high profile high school player from North Carolina.In an interview on Williams’ instagram, he was asked why he considered moving to Charlotte, NC. 

“I used  to live in the Charlotte area, and I have a lot of family here. I truly believe that it is the best fit for me and my family.”

Like all other High Schools in the NCHSAA, the Lake Norman Christian storm will not be able to start their season until late December.

Donald Trump to Ban TikTok Downloads on Sunday 

President Donald Trump is officially banning downloads on the apps TikTok and WeChat. Government officials claim that the apps, created from China’s company ByteDance, pose a national security threat. Concerns surfaced in August 2020 surrounding the popular app being a tool for spying and collecting personal information. A company called Oracle agreed to create a headquarters in the U.S. in order to keep TikTok in the United States. If ByteDance wants to keep majority of the control over the app, Trump will refuse an agreement. 


What’s It Like in the National Guard? 

Brooke Bandy 

The NCLA is about honor, leadership and service and for a chosen few they have decided to further those ideals by enlisting to serve their country in the U.S. National Guard. 

The National Guard is a branch of the U.S. Army. It was created in 1636 to help keep the inside of the United States safe. Lots of the members are college students or have civilian jobs while also serving in the military. 

NCLA Senior Amber Matias joined the Guard over the summer and plans to go to Basic Training the summer before her first year of college. She is going to be a Horizontal Construction Engineer.

“The plan is I’m gonna apply to Appalachian right now and then I’m gonna go to training and then I’m gonna go back to App for the spring semester, so I’ll be missing a semester for training,” said Matias. “Then the plan is, so far, I’ll only serve six years, that six years started last month, so I’m already two months into service. By the time I graduate college, I’ll only have a year of service left, so at the end of that last year of service I’m planning on being done with the military, but with the Army you really never know and I might just reenlist if I like it,” she continued. 

Before enlisting, there is a recruiter that must be met with to go over paperwork and requirements. The process is filling out a contact form, taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, enlisting, getting ready for Basic Training, and getting sent up to training. If one enlists while still a junior, they can pick a split training option, in which they would go to training between their junior and senior year. 

“I started meeting with the recruiter and it all just felt right and so I just kept going back and giving him the paperwork and stuff and then by the time I knew it I was in Charlotte enlisting, like I never really thought about it, I prayed about it a lot, but I never really stopped and thought about it,” said Matias, “The whole process was like three or four weeks from when I met the recruiter to when I enlisted, so there really wasn’t a lot of time for like stopping and pausing on it even though I knew it was the right decision.” 

While looking into what she wanted to do, Amber’s brother, who’s in the Army Reserves, had an influence on her decision to join the National Guard. 

“My brother, he’s in the Army Reserves, so it’s a little different, the benefits are a little different, like how they pay for college and stuff … I’ve seen how it pays for his college and stuff so I was like, “Yeah,” because nothing is guaranteed with scholarships and it was stressing me out … but with the Army you’re guaranteed to have tuition at least,” said Matias. 

NCLA Alumn Natalie Peters has been in the National Guard for a year and four months and is a Horizontal Construction Engineer (12N). Her rank is E-3; PFC. A typical day in the life of a Horizontal Construction Engineer typically involves drill once a month and using equipment to dig trenches, roads, bridges, and more.IMG_4377

“Basic was awesome. People thought I was crazy, but I liked it. I loved having something to do all the time, the physical growth I experienced. I learned so much about myself and our country. Tough, but very worth it,” said NCLA alumni Natalie Peters. 

Lin Dixon has been in the Indiana National Guard for two and a half years and may stay in for longer. “Really is kinda time dependent but you know I potentially could sign up for a second term which is just another six years, so I’m on a six year contract now and then that would be twelve years and if I go over the 12 year employment I might move into the 20 year retirement portion,” said Dixon. 

He is an 11 Bravo Infantry. “I am an 11 Bravo Infantry, which includes weapons squad … rangers, paratroopers, all that type of good stuff … it’s a really broad spectrum for 11 Bravo, and my rank is an E-4,” said Dixon. 

There are a lot of benefits that the National Guard provides, including paying for education and not deploying students until at least their junior year of college. “For the first two years I’m in college, I can’t get deployed because there’s a certain benefit I have that says you can’t get deployed until your junior year, so that’s really nice, I don’t have to worry about that till my junior year,” said Matias. 

IMG_0783Though students can’t get deployed until at least junior year, the National Guard has a high deployment rate. “We missed a 9 month deployment to Afghanistan last year so that was a scare, so that would’ve been a 9 month deployment or longer. We missed that one bc we got two or three newbies that came through and so they switched us with somebody else. We had been on call for  Iran when the whole missile crisis stuff was going on and they would send out troops bc we’ve got the best shooters in my unit which is pretty hilarious because when you look at those guys you think those guys can shoot … other than that we’ve got on missions, not deployment, but missions to do riot control and some pretty interesting stuff,” said Dixon.

Matias took the ASVAB, which is a standardized test for entry into the military, and had a difficult time choosing where she wanted to end up in the military. 

“Going into choosing a job was very difficult for me because I was qualified for all of them. My ASVAB score was the highest NCLA’s ever had, so I was really qualified for anything I could ever want to do, like even in other prestigious branches, like the Air force and Intelligence Air Force and stuff, but I decided to be an engineer,” said Matias. 

Going into her service, Amber isn’t too worried. “Not really, I’m excited to learn how to do big cool things with big trucks, that’s fun, but I’m excited really like training sometimes stresses me out, but other than that I’m not too worried,” said Matias, “I’m excited to learn new things, I’m excited to drive big trucks.”

Basic training for the National Guard is a ten week long program to mentally and physically prepare soldiers. After Basic Training, soldiers go through Advanced Individual Training, or AIT, where they begin to study their MOS, or Military Occupational Specialty. 

“Physically it wasnt that tough for me. I did get in better shape. I wasn’t much of a runner but when i got out i was a very good runner pushups situps and pullups were some stuff that wasn’t very strenuous … it was pretty much a cakewalk if you go in there and you’ve been eating mostly twinkies and ding dongs the whole time before you went off to BCT you’re going to have a rough time and we’ve had some crazy people going through that had a really rough time,” said Dixon, “

A way Matias has been preparing for Basic Training is through Crossfit. “Crossfit is definitely one of the preps I’m doing just to prepare physically. For mentally, honestly Crossfit is a really good prep as well because you’re competing against yourself a lot and you’re competing times and so you’re trying to go as fast as you can. You’re really pushing yourself and then the trainer is saying, “Amber go faster,” and so you’re really getting encouragement and strictness like beating everyone else and beating your past times and stuff,” said Matias. 

While ending Basic Training was an exhilarating feeling for Natalie, it still had its tough moments. 

“The forge was an awesome experience but very cold, wet and tiring. It was the last field exercise to graduate basic. We had a lot of training in the field and then we had a ceremony where we got our graduation patch and had a decent meal. It was in the 20s everyday and at night it was about 10 degrees and we were in the cold, dirt in the woods,” said Peters. “It also rained, we had a few pairs of clothes and one pair of shoes. It sucked, but we knew we were almost done and that was the last “sucky” event. We did what the army calls “embrace the suck” which I used all through training. Which means complaining will get you nowhere, you signed up for it so just stick with it and embrace the moments that suck,” said Peters.

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For Natalie, leaving basic training was a bittersweet experience. “Leaving the last night and seeing the trailer come up the hill to pick us up was a sight I’ll never forget. I sat down and knew I had done it. I had graduated with no injuries, sicknesses, or any really bad experiences. It was the best feeling that we were all exhausted together, but so happy and ready to be done,” she said.

While Basic is something great for some, it’s a daunting task for some others. “I get scared sometimes when I’m going to training, like I start thinking, “How the heck am I going to do this?” but then I just kinda think there’s been millions and millions of girls that have made it through and there’s people that go in and can’t even do a pushup and they’ve never ran a mile and they’ll go in and make it, so if they can do it, then me, who goes into CrossFit at 5:30 every day, can do it,” said Matias. 

One of the most daunting things surrounding Basic Training is the mental challenge associated, but for Lin, it wasn’t too difficult. “Mentally, I was kind of in a different place than most people … I was mentally prepared for what was going to happen. I was ready for the challenge, so I went in there with a pretty good head on my shoulders. It’s easier to learn and be a part of the military and its ways. I mean there were certain portions of it that were kinda unnerving, which is leaving everything you know and you have and, I mean, you’re talking no phones no nothing. You’re listening to the person that’s in charge of you and if you’re not prepared, it could be a major flip turn in people’s worlds,” said Dixon. 

Though the mental aspect seemed easy for him, there were definitely some things Lin struggled with. “One portion of it that was kind of hard was that I had just lost my uncle and my best friend, so it was kinda like a back to back thing. I didn’t really get to mourn with it ,so I really used the combat training to get all that out, as well as mourning. It was a good release, it was super positive being away from home and just learning what the Army has to give,” said Dixon. 

The National Guard is a great career path if you’re looking for something with a lot of structure. “I like being a part of really organized things, so the military is really good about  organization and responsibility,” said Matias.

“On a regular day you gotta do your weapons checks, your supply maintenance, you go through all that stuff, and then you get ready to go into the field and when you go out into the field you’re working on troop leading procedures and movements, coordinated movements and bounding … which are different types of movement procedures as you’re going through different terrains … you also do land navigation, either daytime or nighttime navigation, nighttime is exactly what it is there’s no flashlights, you’re going out there, so you’re hit in the face with a bunch of branches, and it’s a wonderful great time, it’s actually pretty fun, once you get the hang of it you start finding all these little markers and it’s a really great time, once you’re done with all that, … you clean, you do weapons maintenance, load them up, and take them back to supplies and you go home,” said Dixon. 

A negative about being in the National Guard is that it’s a lot of going and stopping. Peters says, “A lot of hurrying up and waiting, sometimes there’s not always a lot to do.” 

“For the downsides definitely missing some of those personal birthdays and they do understand about weddings, I got off for my wedding so that was pretty cool, they could’ve said no but they didn’t … deployment, missing those personal days, and  when is super extremely hot sometimes the army isn’t good about taking care of their troops well, like water rations food rations making sure we get all the right equipment and sometimes the money can be really delayed,” said Dixon. 

IMG_4374One good thing about enlisting in the National Guard Reserves is that staying at home is an option. “I love that I can live at home and go to college while serving,” Peters said.

“The awesome portion, that I would say, is being appointed as team lead … that is super awesome. Joining the national guard was a good decision. It’s an awesome balance between civilian life and military life, it’s not too much of either or … sometimes the National Guard can get in the way and you do miss those birthdays and you could possibly miss Christmases, and they have a high deployment rate, so you gotta be prepared to just get out there and do your job. In the infantry, there’s a saying in the Army that goes around that says the only real job is the infantry because we do all the work we get things done and then everybody else is just trying … it’s a fun little saying,” said Dixon. 

“When you’re in the military and the National Guard and you have that blue cord under your shoulder you know you’re apart of a brotherhood and its neverending it’ll never go away because no one can ever take that away from you and the awesome portion about it is the infantry offers so much to all the way to …warrant officers to officers to sniper schools … airborne rangers … you’ve got anywhere you wanna go, the infantry and the National Guard provides that so that is the coolest portion,” said Dixon.  

There are a lot of jobs in the Guard, and it can be overwhelming at the beginning having to look at everything. 

“I just started narrowing jobs down. When I first met with him [the recruiter] I had an idea of what I wanted to do, it was with people and stuff that would pertain more to my degree, more people oriented and helping public affairs and stuff, but soon that stuff just fell off and I just decided those were not good and I didn’t want to do any of them. He listed out all the ones that had a signing bonus and which trainings were the shortest. That was a big part because I didn’t want to miss two semesters,” said Matias. 

Being in the National Guard means you’re in a family and someone has your back. “We were on a 15 miler on a rough part, wearing a ton of weight on your back, maybe 60 pounds. It says 32 pounds worth, but they like to bump it up to 60 pounds and you walk at a very fast pace. If your rucksack breaks, you’re in tough crap, and this little dude, his strap broke, and everybody just passes him up the hill. I mean, we were going uphill, it was hard enough,” said Dixon. 

“I made it a point. I told him to keep working, I took his bag up onto my shoulder and I kept pushing and kept walking and I tied all of his stuff up and made sure he was all tied down and squared away. I squared him away as we were walking up the hill and that really taught everybody else a lesson, as far as not leaving your buddies behind, because he became one of our biggest assets later down the road after when we were running a night mission and we were doing an ambush on a big building. So you never know who’s gonna be your brightest shiners, and it might be the smallest guy,” he continued. 

“No matter how small the guy is, no matter how weak, I don’t care who they are, if they’re a weak link, make them a priority. We had this little guy in our group that was pretty much useless, he couldn’t shoot, he couldn’t run, he couldn’t do push ups, but the thing he had the most was heart and attitude. The drill sergeants loved him because of that and I love him just as much because of that,” Dixon continued. 




President Donald Trump Visits Winston- Salem

Christine Parker

On Tuesday, September 8, 56 days before the election, President Donald Trump made an appearance around 7:00 p.m. at Smith-Reynolds Regional Airport.

It was estimated 14,000 people attended the rally and a few were NCLA students. The gates opened at 4:00 p.m. for the seating. IMG_1206

“It wasn’t super hard to get into the rally, but I do think some better crowd control and better use of spacing would have helped everything flow a little easier .” says NCLA Junior Juliana Peters.

As Trump walked off the plane, the crowd was filled with excitement as “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood played in the background. 

Eager to win over the North Carolina votes, Donald Trump reminded the crowd of November 3, voting day.

“So on November 3, America faces a very simple choice. Do what you want, vote for the candidate backed by violent left wing rioters if you have to, or do what you want to vote for the candidate backed by the selfless heroes of law enforcement and just about everybody else,” said Trump. 

Trump states if he is re-elected then the next year will be one of the greatest years economically.

“But next year is going to be one of the greatest years in the history of a country economically, unless the wrong person gets in and quadruples everybody’s taxes in which case you will see a depression the likes of which you haven’t seen,” Trump declares.

Donald Trump promises that the future children will be taught to admire and honor America.

“We’ll teach our children to love our country, honor our history, and always respect our great American flag. And we will live by the timeless words of our national motto, In God we trust,” says Donald Trump. 

Trump mentions in his speech if the left side wins then charter schools will be gone.

“And he [Biden] has stated if he gets elected, charter schools are gone. He said, they’re gone. And they’ve been incredible.” Trump adds

Juliana Peters states that her favorite part of the rally was his speech. 

“His speech and the crowd cheering. His speech was really good, easy to understand, and funny at times. Being in the crowd and cheering with them was really cool, it’s an experience you can’t get while watching from your TV,” she said. 

She also adds “ The thing that stood out to me the most at the rally was how nice everyone was, they are also very supportive and excited. It was good to have a sense of community and shared beliefs.”

Although many people attended the Trump Rally, many were unable to show up but still watched from their TV.

“I did not go to the Trump rally because of previous plans and I unfortunately could not get my hands on tickets, although I would have loved to have gone.” says NCLA Senior Noah Richardson. 

Mollie Lomax adds she felt her life might be in danger if she went to the rally. Instead, she just decided to watch his speech on Fox News.

IMG_5846“I wanted to go to the Trump rally so bad! I thought it would be a memory of a lifetime to be able to see Trump, the 45th United States President, I am voting for,” said NCLA Senior Mollie Lomax.

President Donald Trump’s speech impacted many people and a few things that stood out to some NCLA students whether they watched in person or on tv.

Mollie Lomax says the things that stood out to her was when Trump said, “So get your  friends, get your family, and get your neighbors, and get your co-workers, and vote.” 

In Trump’s speech, he talked about the statistics of his supporters. 

“They [the news] said women don’t like Trump. I said, I think they do. I think they do. They said women don’t, and then we did great with women. And remember that great. Was that one of the greatest evenings ever? Four years ago. That was one of the greatest. Now we’re doing really well. African American vote, much better Hispanic vote, much better.” 

“He proved he has done what he said he would do in 2016. And he Now talks about what the He would do for another four years. Not only what he would do but how he would do it and that’s what separates him from the others” says Richardson about what stood out to him.  

Donald Trump ended his 75 minute speech with, “And together with the incredible people of North Carolina, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again, and we will make America great again. Thank you North Carolina. Thank you.” IMG_5842

As this was Trump’s 2nd visit to North Carolina in the past month, he plans on making his 3rd appearance in NC this month. He will be in Fayetteville, NC this weekend, Saturday, September 19th. 

This affirms what President Trump said at his Winston-Salem speech. “This is the most important election in the history of our country.” 


North Carolina’s new relief bill, plus a COVID-19 restriction phase update

Lexi Antieau 

On Sept. 10, the North Carolina state legislature passed a $1.1 billion spending bill, using up the last of North Carolina’s share of federal COVID-19 relief money. The Senate passed the bill on the first day of the brief session on Sept. 9, with a vote of 44-5, five democrats voting against it. The House then voted on Sept. 10, with a vote of 104-11, meaning the bill was approved.

The bill includes $72 million designated for funding of personal protection equipment, $10 million designated to internet connectivity for remote learning, and $6 million for food banks.

Gov. Roy Cooper made the following statement: “This budget followed my recommendations on school enrollment funding and invested in important areas like high-speed internet access and disaster relief, but legislators should have done more to expand Medicaid, support small businesses, pay our educators, assist with rent and utility relief and further help unemployed North Carolinians. Obviously I don’t agree with every provision, but the funding for pandemic support in this budget is critical and must move forward.”

walmart floor signs
Photo by Lexi Antieau

This bill, also called the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0, gives all North Carolina households with children 17 years of age or younger a $335 stimulus check. This check is intended to help parents with costs associated with online learning. If approved, checks will be given out on Dec. 15 to parents who have filed their 2019 taxes. Those who didn’t file their taxes from 2019 can apply for it, but will only receive a flat amount that doesn’t take into account how many children are in the household. 

Both Gov. Cooper and Reporter Becki Gray for the Kernersville News don’t agree with the division of the bill. Gray explains how unimpressed she is with the bill’s decisions on opening the state back up, along with her opposition to the choices Cooper made on how funds should be allocated.

She says, “He shut the state down in March. Unemployment soared, businesses closed, every student was homeschooled, people died alone in hospitals, North Carolinians were terrified to leave their homes. Flatten the curve, he told us. Well, we’ve flattened the curve. Yet businesses remain restricted or closed altogether, thousands of people are still unemployed, education at all levels is delivered over the internet and people are still scared. With Cooper’s opening plan stuck on pause with no end in sight, North Carolinians are increasingly frustrated and angry.”

walmart face coverings
Photo by Lexi Antieau

Senate leader Phil Berger commented to the press that he knows $335 isn’t enough for parents right now, but, “All I know is they need it; they deserve it,” He later stated that this money, though it isn’t enough to pay a month’s mortgage, can be used by parents to hire a babysitter and go somewhere without their kids. 

Along with the new bill being passed, a phase update has also been mandated in North Carolina. Called Phase 2.5, it includes fewer restrictions on social gatherings, along with more places opening up. This phase was mandated on Sept. 4 and will last until Sept. 22. 

Phase 2.5 includes:

  •  Mass gathering limits increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  •  Playgrounds can open.
  •  Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.
  •  Gyms and indoor exercise facilities can open at 30% capacity.
  •  Indoor entertainment facilities must remain closed.
  •  Large venues must remain within the social gathering limits.
  •  Outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities.
    •  To participate in this update, nursing homes must not have a current outbreak, have a testing plan, and an updated written Infection Control or Preparedness plan for COVID-19, along with having adequate personal protection equipment.

In an official statement, Gov. Roy Cooper explains, “Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus. Safer at Home Phase 2.5 continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing some restrictions. We can do this safely only if we keep doing what we know works — wearing masks and social distancing. In fact, a new phase is exactly when we need to take this virus even more seriously.”

lindsey allen

Photo by Lindsey Allen






Back to School: High School POV

By Elizabeth Gibhardt

After being in school for just two days, high schoolers have already had to take two weeks off and do all remote learning. Following the current state reopening guidelines, it was decided that the high school would close for two weeks after several students got the coronavirus. There are many different opinions coming from our NCLA high schoolers right now about what they think of all of this. 

For the freshman, this year already came with many challenges, as they started their first year of high school. However, there has been a lot of change this year, not only for the freshmen, but for all other NCLA students and staff as well.

Freshman Allie Hodges says, “This year definitely is a lot different than I expected it to be and it’s weird not seeing everyone in my grade at school. I was definitely not surprised when I heard we were getting out for two weeks because I figured someone was going to get it at some point.”ellie story 2

Another Freshman, Nathalia Ward, says, “Virtual school was okay. Some days I liked it and some days I hated it. It is definitely weird because we have so many precautions because of the virus.”

The sophomores had similar opinions as well. Most students are saying something along the lines of how it is so much easier to do school in person than online. Other students say they aren’t surprised we’ve had to take two weeks off already.

Maria Fleak says, “I’m glad we came back to school but the transition from fully remote to a split schedule has been challenging.” Some say the workload has been more intense when we are at home working independently.

Ethan Baker says, “Honestly, I say give it another week for schools to close down again.”

Upperclassmen seem to favor being in school more than anyone. After talking to Junior Nora Wood, she shares that, “I am so much happier to be back than I ever thought I would be. Throughout the all online learning process, it seemed like I was getting buried under loads of work, which became overwhelming.”

Karston Keomalaythong, another Junior, agrees saying, “I think going back to school is beneficial for many because some students, such as me, learn better that way.”

Even though online learning has been a difficult adjustment, as well as having a split schedule, slowly we are all starting to get a little more comfortable with it. Students and staff are hopeful that next semester will be a little more normal so we can get back into our old school routine. Until then, we are all following the state guidelines and doing our best to stop the spread of the virus. 

The Truth About Disney’s New Mulan

Skylar Maness

September 18 – The movie Mulan was released on Sept. 4. All in all, I did not necessarily like the movie, however, there are some aspects that weren’t bad. 

Before I get into the bad and good of this movie, I need to address the ugly.

A couple of weeks ago when the movie first started streaming on Disney+, people found something very worrisome in the credits. Disney thanked eight government bodies in Xinjiang of western China where about 2 million Uighur Muslims have been held in concentration camps by the Chinese government.

In these camps, people are being forced to undergo psychological indoctrination programs, such as studying communist propaganda and giving thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

When Disney filmed this movie two years ago, they were aware of Beijing’s plan to “reeducate” Uighurs with Communist Party doctrine.

All of this has led to the #BoycottMulan social media movement in hopes that Disney will lose money on this film which had a 200 million dollar budget. 

Disney only received more backlash after many people found out that the lead actress Liu Yifei shared a post supporting the Hong Kong police last year.

[Editor’s Note; The following movie review does not take these events into consideration and is simply commentary on the movie itself.]

The first minor letdown from Mulan was the cost you have to pay Disney+ in order to watch it. Before this movie was released, there was nothing on Disney plus indicating that it would cost 30 dollars. 

If movie theatres were open, you could go to the movies, buy a movie ticket, popcorn, and a drink before paying 30 dollars in most cases.71Sq2YIbNSL._AC_SL1500_

Mulan will be available to watch with a standard Disney+ subscription by Dec. 4. 

Another disappointment this movie brought was the absence of the classic Mulan songs that people, like myself, grew up on. Mulan director Niki Caro claims to have reasons for not including them. 

I mean, back to the realism question – we don’t tend to break into song when we go to war. Not that I’m saying anything against the animation. The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have. But we do honor the music from the animation in a very significant way,” stated Niki Caro. 

Before I move onto the positive aspects of this movie, I think it’s important to address another thing that the movie producers decided to leave out. Cri-Kee the cricket and Mushu the dragon were not included in this film.

When Niki Caro was asked why she didn’t want to incorporate these two characters, she responded with “I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable.”

 Any Dance Moms fan would know that “everyone’s replaceable”- Abby Lee Miller, but I digress.

There was also a new character added to this movie named Xianniang who played a powerful witch. Xinjiang was an ally of the villain Bori Khan in the live-action Mulan. Mulan later helped her realize that she’s her own person and embrace her powers for what she believes in.

One thing I will have to say is that Liu Yifei fits the role of Mulan very well! 

Alongside with great acting in this film, the costume aesthetic was right on point.

The movie also contained a stunning set for its audience to really take in. I also think that it’s important to note that many times the acting did not take away from the breathtaking views, but instead added them.

The theme of this movie is to be loyal, brave, true, and family-oriented. These are very important qualities to possess.

Overall, there were good and bad aspects of this movie, yet, I’m not a fan of the movie and the messages it portrayed.


McDonald’s Goes Sicko Mode

Elaina Pascavage

September 18 – As of Sep. 8 a 28 year old rapper, known as Travis Scott, partnered with McDonald’s in making his favorite special order it’s own meal. The “Travis Scott Burger” is a regular quarter-pounder with cheese, lettuce, bacon, and tangy barbecue sauce. 

Last Friday, Sep. 11, Nora Wood and I went to see if the burger was receiving the recognition it deserves. 

“I need a napkin” said Nora Wood after her first bite of the burger.IMG_1236

“It’s really good actually, the onion to lettuce ratio is great” said Wood after cleaning her face with the napkin. 

Later that night I went again with a group of friends to hear their opinions on the burger. Most people came to an agreement that the “Travis Scott Burger” was overpriced. 

“The Travis Scott Burger is just a regular bacon quarter pounder with fries and barbecue sauce, only thing that makes it special is the name and the cactus jack merch” said Blake Page. 

The big discussion is not about whether the burger is good or not, but is the burger worth the six dollars. After posting a poll on instagram receiving 106 responses, 55% said the “Travis Scott Burger” is not worth the $6. While the other 45% said it was at a good price for what it was. 

This meal is only being offered limited time and is available until Oct. 4. In my opinion the burger was really good, but I don’t feel it is worth $6. If you want to try the burger and develop your own opinion head down to your local McDonald’s and try it out for yourself. 


NCLA Gives Students a Chance to do More With New Electives!

Eliana Cotten

September 18 – Among many other things this year, the electives have had a big change. Last year’s electives included many interesting options, such as Parent and Child Development and Latin.

20200917_122720Electives give students a chance to explore new hobbies, and could even help them decide on a career path.

When registering for classes last spring, the school released a course catalog listing all of the possible electives and classes you could take, and a short description of what the class would be focused on.

Some of these options were removed over the summer.20200917_122433

Electives that were removed and a short description taken from the course catalog:

  • Advanced Studio- “A course taken beyond Beginning Art where students are invited to participate in artistic exploration, self-improvement and self-assessment with guided instruction and critique.”
  • Speech and Debate: “Learn the basic techniques of public speaking, including poise, use of body and voice, and oral interpretation. Study the elements of debate, including beginning argumentation, interpreting resolutions, and evaluating arguments.”
  • Latin (I, II, III, IV)
  • Zoology- “Study the origin of animal life: animal development and reproduction; classifications of the major animal phyla; and the basics of ecological niche.”
  • Current Events- “This course will give the students an understanding of current issues in many areas of a political, social and economic nature.”
  • SAT/ACT Prep- “designed to help students prepare for the rigors of taking the SAT and/or ACT tests.”
  • Foods And Nutrition- “Emphasizes the relationship of diet to health and the selection of foods to satisfy needs.”
  • Parent and Child Development- “Introduces students to responsible nurturing, parenatal care, basic child development stages and problems associated with young parenting.”

“The main reason we didn’t have certain electives is because not enough students signed up to take a particular class,” said Mrs. Hilliard, the middle school and high school guidance counselor.

Philosophy is a great example of a new elective that The North Carolina Leadership Academy offered this school year.

The course catalog describes the class as aiming to “lead students to reflect on and question the basis of knowledge and experience; develop a personal mode of thought based on critical examination of evidence and argument; formulate rational arguments; and be aware of subjective and ideological biases.”

20200917_122554“Philosophy really gets my brain turning, and I’m really excited to see what I’m going to learn this year” said Camryn Earnhardt.

Another new elective added this year is Yoga, where students learn to correct posture, and practice breathing and stretching to become more aligned with their body.

“I think it’s a really good class to just relax and take a break from the day, and it’s something I look forward to” said Lindsey Allen.

Drafting I and II were also added this year, introducing the use of simple and complex graphic tools used to communicate and understand ideas and concepts found in the areas of architecture, manufacturing, engineering, science, and mathematics.


Netflix: What’s New? What’s Gone?

Nora Wood

September 18 – With the increased time spent at home, Netflix has become a hobby for many. Shows come and go but recently, it seems like Netflix has completely lost their game when it comes to what they should keep versus what they should let go.

Shows and movies such as That 70s Show, Once Upon a Time, Cold Case files, Christopher Robin, The Witch, Sarah’s Key, Train to Busan, Karate Kid (I and II), and 45+ more are already gone or on their way out this month. By collecting data from an Instagram poll, of the 90% of people that said they watch Netflix, close to 36% had something to say about the disappearance of That 70s Show.

“I’m so angry at Netflix for taking That 70s Show off. I could punch a wall,” said student, Halle Jenkins. 

Although quite a few fan favorites are leaving Netflix, there are so many new shows and movies that are on their way this month. Some new movies and shows to look out for include the Back to the Future Trilogy, Grease, Muppets Most Wanted, The Boss Baby: Get That Baby!, The Muppets, The Smurfs (1 and 2), The Good Place (Season 4), and over 100 more new options. 

“I am so excited about both Smurfs one and two coming to Netflix!” Senior Rebecca Nordstrom exclaimed. 


Football Games in Today’s World

Grayson Bright

September 18 – This year football has been changed in many ways, but what seems to be the most impactful change is the fans not being in the stadium cheering for their favorite team. During the normally scheduled Sunday afternoon games fans were not able to attend games, as a result most teams had crowd noise play during the game.

During the first game of the season, Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs had allowed under half capacity which is 17,000. On Sunday, most teams have not allowed fans to attend the games in person but they instead allowed some players to sit in the stands and watch their team play.

Some of the most crowded areas in football stadiums besides the stands are the sidelines which hold the trainers, coaches, and players. The coaches and trainers were required to wear masks but some coaches and staff did not wear the masks correctly or did not even wear a mask at all.

The Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent had issued a memo and a section of it was about masks and he had included in the memo saying “The NFL-NFLPA Game Day Protocols…requires all individuals with bench area access, including coaches and members of the club medical staff, to wear face coverings at all times. Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs.”

 “I think it’s unnecessary because of the testing they have already gotten before the games. Shouldn’t force them to wear a mask,” said Colby Brown. 

For now all teams have decided to keep stadiums closed and coaches and staff will still have to wear masks.

New NCHSAA Playoff Seen as “Unfair”

Jackson Faenza

On Sept. 8, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released the new regulations for how playoffs are going to be run. The memo that was released stated that most playoffs will have a 50 percent cut of teams qualifying. One major rule for playoffs this year is that teams can only qualify for the playoffs if they compete in conference play. 

The tricky part is that there was nothing said about the handful of schools in the state that are not in the conference. 

“The association has not said anything about what to do for the schools that are independent,” said Renee Faenza, principal of the NCLA who is currently an independent school in the NCHSAA.

Junior, Scott Stanley, playing goalkeeper, with some of the NCLA Boys Varsity Soccer Team Credit: Karston K.

In the past the NCLA has been able to participate in sport playoffs, such as Cross Country and Golf. The Cross Country team had one runner, Giovanni Torres, even make it to the State meet. In past years, Cross Country could qualify for playoffs individually and Golf could qualify as the best independent scoring team in each classification and get an autobid.

“So we have not been in a conference for a few years now but XC is different and you can qualify individually as far as I know,” said Rickert coach of the Cross Country team.

Other NCLA sports such as soccer and basketball could not make the playoffs anyways because you have to be in a conference to participate in those sports. The one thing that will affect these sports though is the amount of games they can play due to them not being in a conference neither.

“We had a 29 game schedule this season trimmed down to 14 games and instead of playing games in Nov and Dec we will start in January.  As far as the playoffs, until we are in a conference for team sports, we cannot enter the playoffs.  Hopefully next year once we get into a conference all of that will change,” said Shoemaker, coach of the NCLA boys basketball team.

As far as preparing, there is not much these independent schools can do other than just wait and see what the association will say about them playing this offseason. Many schools, such as the NCLA, think it is unfair that the NCHSAA is not allowing the independent teams to play in a playoff this year. 

“I don’t think it is fair because you don’t have an opportunity. Plus it is gonna be difficult anyways to find games due to it being a limited play season with half capacity,” said Faenza.

Swim Meets During a Pandemic

Rebecca Avila

Sports are beginning to come back into the picture after months of not knowing if teams could return safely to practices and competitions. Safety is the number one priority on the minds of coaches and officials, the new guidelines implicated may be too hectic compared to the old normal environment. 

Last weekend on Sept. 5, a swim meet was held for for the first time since Mar. The meet was not sanctioned by USA Swimming; it was a test run for the Greensboro Aquatic Center team to see if they could hold meets and follow health guidelines at the same time. 

There were four teams swimming that day but they split the teams in two: two teams in the first session and two teams in the second session. By the time of arrival, everyone had to have their masks on and if it wasn’t off in time, you were not swimming. One team would go into the pool first and 15 minutes later the second team would follow.2C15D5CD-40D0-4F5A-8763-F353A6C3495D

No spectators were allowed, swimmers, coaches, officials, and timers were the only people on the pool deck. If anyone else wanted to stay, they could sit outside because they would be broadcasting the events and times over the loudspeaker. The locker rooms were also closed, they could not change in and out of our techsuits, swimsuits that can take up to 30 minutes to put on, and they really didn’t like people using the restroom except for if it was an emergency. 

During warm ups, one pool was given to one team, and the other pool was given to the other team compared to normally when all four teams would have shared one pool. Before entering the pool every swimmer had to rinse themselves. When it came to lane assignments, normally there would be 12 people per lane, now there could only be three, two on one end and one on the other. 

When it came to the actual meet, there were three checkpoints. At each checkpoint all swimmers in the same event  would gather and already get put into lane order so by the time we would get to the blocks, we would just have to take off our mask, get on the blocks and go. 

Personally, I didn’t like that we had to have our mask on till the very last second before diving off the blocks because before one of my events, they blew the first whistle to get onto the bocks, and I was still behind the blocks trying to get my mask off because it would not get out from under my cap. Not to mention the fact that once we finished swimming our race, we would get out and automatically have to put our mask back on when we’re trying to gasp for air. 

Stone Maxey’s take on the meet was this: “ I think that it was good except for the mask portion because you have to put your cap and goggles on; your mask would be under so it would be hard to take it off. After you race you would have to put it back on, it’s already hard for you to breathe so it would be twice as hard. The locker rooms were a reasonable rule because you don’t want that many people in the locker room at the same time and the rotation of the swim meet went well too. I do think that they will have sanctioned meets in the next month or so because we might have more meets before then and if it goes smoothly, meets will be sanctioned.”

According to Tara Maxey, a USA Swimming Official, “ I completely enjoyed the meet. The meet was a little hectic because of the new procedures. Managing the face masks was challenging for the swimmers. I would recommend that swimmers be given a little more time to take their face masks off when they reached the blocks. I think we will have sanctioned meets again. Most of the swimmers followed the rules. The coaches and volunteers now also know the expectations. Overall, I think the meet was a success. It shows that swimming is a sport that can continue to practice and be able to compete during the pandemic.”

To Stink or Not to Stink That is the Question

Emily Viers

As we all know we have adapted to the new pandemic PE. It has taken an effect on both students and teachers. The big debate is student’s opinions on whether or not they should be able to change out for PE, and how this has taken effect on the PE coaches specifically Mr.Weigel. 

The opinions on changing out for PE are very diverse. According to an Instagram poll, 55% of students said that they liked changing out, 45% said they did not prefer changing out for PE. Mr. Weigel on the other hand agrees with the no-change out policy to ensure we keep students safe and healthy. 

“Due to small locker rooms, it is difficult to maintain social distancing with no supervision,” said Mr. Weigel.

Photo Creds: Emily Viers

NCLA students proceed on to say “Not good, we are already having to wear a mask, and wearing our school uniform just makes it more uncomfortable,” Moser said.

“I think since we are doing things that get us sweaty, we should be able to dress out” Shoemaker stated. Other students say “It gives us more time to do fun PE activities, rather than wasting time changing out” Gonzalez stated. As we can see the opinions are very assorted. 

The new rules and regulations take a toll on the gym teachers as well. “They definitely affect our ability to do conditioning with students due to the mask and following the guideline of not getting the student’s heart rate up”, said Mr.Weigel. “I understand the policies of not changing out for the respect of safety and smaller locker rooms” Stated Coach Weigel. Although it is harder to plan workouts according to pandemic guidelines the teachers seem flexible and understanding, we are so lucky to have such awesome teachers here at the NCLA. 

When asked about the gyms in the area being opened and it possibly affecting our gym class, Weigel replied “No, because the school has different policies rather than a private gym. As far as we know this will not affect our school currently but could it in the future that is unclear.”

As NCLA is altering classes due to the pandemic it can be hard on both teachers and students. As the policies and guidelines are forcing students to wear masks and uniforms and teachers to modify their lesson plans it can be difficult. It is also important to better understand that this pandemic is a challenging obstacle to work around.

COVID-19 making history in MLB

Laura Richie

As the global pandemic kept increasing its spread to all of the world causing companies, restaurants, schools, etc. to shut down, the pandemic finally reached the point where the place most people escape to get a break from stress, which is sports has finally shut down. 

As Major League baseball was about to kick off on Mar. 12, the decision was made and announced that the MLB 2020 spring training games had been cancelled and the start of the regular season had been pushed back for two weeks, meaning that opening day would not be on Mar. 26.


On March 16,2020 MLB announced that the regular season would now be pushed back to at least the middle of may. As the year continues COVID-19 is causing many games, camps, etc. to be delayed,and the MLB association is doing everything in its power to have a 2020 season.

in order for there to be a 2020 regular season and playoffs there has to be changes to the rules to make it safe. There are many new rules set for the 2020 season.

Managers and players are expected to keep a six-foot distance between all umpires and the opposite team at all times if possible. Any player or manager that addresses the opposing team or umpires and comes within six-feet to argue or engage, will be immediately ejected from the game and punished, but there will also be a fine to pay and a suspension.

Pitchers are required to have their own personal wet rag, to add moisturizer to the ball, inplace of the licking fingers. The rag must stay inside the dugout, and should not be taken out to the rubber. Nothing but water should be used on the wet rag.

For the first time in history the National League games will now use a designated hitter.

There is only a minimum of 26 players on the roster. Due to the limited amount of players on the rosters any player may appear as a pitcher. NO spitting is allowed (including NO sunflower seeds, or chewing gum). 

At every team’s ball parks there must be additional space for dugouts and bull pins provided. Players are encouraged to distance themselves from the runners when there is a ball out of play. First and third basemen coaches are required to stay in or behind the coach’s box, at any time a coach should never approach the opposing team, baserunners, or umpires on the field.

Players on the opposing teams are permitted from socializing with other players on the opposing team at all times. Line-up exchanges at the beginning of the game will not happen, line ups will be posted through the MLB mobile application. Each team will be limited to 60 games in their regular season. When a doubleheader takes place and the active roster is 26 players, both teams will be allowed to pick one additional player.

Each team is required to have 3 additional taxi squad players, meaning that these players will travel with the team but when it comes to game time they will not be in the dugout, nor be in uniform. These players are required to practice with the team but at a different training site. Every other day MLB players are required to get tested. Face coverings are required in dugouts and offices. Lastly, no fans will be allowed in the stands.

As many rules have been placed to have a 2020 regular season, on Jul. 23, MLB held the opening day with two teams playing July 23, and the other teams playing the Jul. 24, and planning to end the regular season in Sept.

Outfielder and designated hitter for the New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton, was asked to express his words on the delay of opening day.

“The most important thing right now is just the safety and health of everyone all across the whole world, not just here. To be honest, this has been in my head pretty much all the time the past several weeks. The team and organization are talking about how to prevent the sickness, and when you turn on the TV, it’s usually something about the coronavirus, especially in the sports world with all these games and seasons shutting down. So it’s been on my mind a lot,” said Stanton.

NBA Bubble was a Success

Cade Shoemaker

Usually Oct. is the beginning of the NBA season. Pre-season games are beginning to take place and teams are preparing for the 82 game regular season. However this year, the NBA finals will be starting in Oct. as the longest season in NBA history will finally come to a close.

After the Denver Nuggets game seven upset win over the Los Angeles Clippers on tuesday night, there are only four teams remaining. Yet, before we can talk about this, we have to go back six months before the season is postponed.


Mar. 11: Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Seconds before tip off, in front of a large Thunder home crowd, officials gathered at mid court. The discussion took place for a few minutes before both teams were sent back to the locker room and fans were told to go home.

“The game tonight has been postponed… Take your time leaving the arena tonight, thank you for coming out.” Said the OKC public address announcer, as boo’s rained down from the crowd.

This was the first of two games that would be postponed on that Wednesday night. The reason being that Rudy Gobert, the Jazz center had tested positive for Covid-19 and out of an abundance of caution the league decided to cancel play.

Each day it seemed like new cases would pop up from players on each team, and the season looked like it was in jeopardy. It wasn’t until early June when Adam Silver, the NBA’s current commissioner, proposed a plan for a bubble location. The idea suggested that teams who were still in the playoff hunt would collect at one location to finish off a modified regular season, and postseason. The location, Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Fast forward to late July, and 22 teams were in Florida ready to resume the season. 10 teams from the east, and 12 teams from the West were competing for seeding in the NBA playoffs. 

July 30: The first “Bubble” game was finally underway between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz. It went as smoothly as any other game this season, with coaches and players sitting six feet a part and masked up while on the bench. That same night Lebron led the Lakers past Kawhi and the LA Clippers. Again, this game also was played without a single problem and it was looking like basketball was going to be a success.

Jordan Crawford, a shooting guard for the New Orleans Pelicans said life in the bubble felt like his highschool days. “I don’t feel it’s hard at all. (It’s like) an AAU tournament.” 

August 15: With the regular season complete and seeding finalized, the playoffs were ready to begin. The first game was actually a play in game to decide who would play the Lakers in the first round of the western conference. The Grizzlies, led by Jah Morant, played the red hot Portland Trailblazers. It was a very close game throughout, but Damian Lillard had the last laugh, scoring 31 and earning the 8th seed with a 126 – 122 victory.

Eastern conference 1st round results:

Bucks 4 – 1 Magic

Raptors 4 – 0 Nets

Celtics 4 – 1 76’ers 

Heat 4 – 0 pacers

Western conference 1st results:

Lakers 4 – 1 Trailblazers

Clippers 4 – 2 Mavericks

Nuggets 4 – 3 Jazz

Rockets 4 – 3 Thunder

Each series for the first round of the playoffs went as most people predicted. All #1 and #2 seeds moved on for both the East and Western conferences. There were no major upsets. The western conference did have two long seven game series,with the Nuggets coming back from being down three games to one.

Eastern Conference 2nd round:

Heat 4 – 1 Bucks

Celtics 4  – 3 Raptors

Western Conference 2nd round:

Lakers 4 – 1 Rockets

Nuggets 4 – 3 Clippers

The second round was the excitement fans wanted. The eastern conference lost both the number one and number two seeded Bucks and Raptors. The favorite for many, Milwaukee was unable to stop the Heat’s Jimmy Butler. Butler led the series in scoring, while Giannis suffered an injury in game foue, and Kris Middleton struggled.

The raptors the second seed out of the west also fell to a hot celtics team. Jason Tatum has played great in the bubble as the Celtics look like they are heading toward a finals run.

As for the West, the Rockets took game one over the Lakers, but “Playoff Lebron” was not going to have it. James and Davis both had a great series, with Lebron averaging just under a triple double. For the Rockets, life wasn’t easy. Russell Westbrook struggled to score, and had problems with turning the ball over. Harden, the league’s leading scorer, was unable to produce enough for the Rockets to get by the Lakers.

In probably the best series so far, the Nuggets came back from down 3-1 to upset the Clippers on Tuesday night. Jamal Murrary seemed unguardable to a team that has 3 former NBA defensive players of the year. Kahwi Leonard seemed to have no help all series, as Paul George played well worse than his all star and NBA all first team status. It all came down to a game seven however. The last chance for the Clippers to clinch a western conference finals (for the first time ever). This was not the case, as Murray went off with 40 points blowing out the western conference favorites. The Nuggets became the first team ever to come back from being down 3-1 in two series in the same year.

After the game Jokic told ESPN, “Nobody wants us here… we’re like dogs, we fight, we have everything we need.”


Now it’s set. Only four teams remain as each conference holds their championships to decide the representative that will play in the finals. Personally, I have been watching NBA games all year, and have at least watched one bubble game every night. 

To me, the Miami Heat seem red hot and full of confidence. They showed last season that they are able to score against the best defensive player in the league (Giannis),  and also shut down a monstrous big man (also Giannis). As for offensive efficiency, Butler has been scoring every way possible, and Bam Adebeyo seems like the best big man in the world right now. Though the Celtics aren’t going to be easy. Tatum has played nearly perfect in the bubble as well as Kemba Walker. I do think that Boston has enough scoring to stay with the Heat but defensively I don’t believe they will hang.

My prediction: Heat 4 – 2 Celtics

I think the Lakers versus Nuggets will be the series to watch however. Lebron even at age 35 doesn’t seem like he will ever play bad in the playoffs. Coupled with an All Star center in Davis, the Lakers are also scoring with ease. The only problem the Lakers are facing right now is the inconsistent shooting from Danny Green Kyle Kuzma. If these two guards get hot, the series may be a sweep. As for the nuggets, Jamal Murray may be the best player in elimination games. His ability to get buckets whenever they need one is a scary sight for Laker fans. Nikolo Jokic has also had his best games of the season in the bubble, which makes the center on center matchup even more interesting between him and Davis.

My Prediction: Lakers 4 – 2 Nuggets

By early October we will have our two Finals teams. If my predictions are correct then it would be the Heat against the Lakers. If this is the matchup that goes down then I think this may be a really good series. These two teams matchup very nicely with each other. Each team has All Star big men, in Davis and Adebayo, as well as elite perimeter shooting.

This will be a long series to say the least, but I see the Lakers bringing home the Larry O’brien trophy. If this happens this would be Lebron’s third Championship, and he could also be the first person to win finals MVP for three different teams.My prediction: Lakers 4 – 3 Heat

The NCLA Needs Your Shoes

Olivia Brown

The NCLA is known for doing blood drives, having opportunities for volunteer work, and many different types of fundraisers. This year, the school has decided to do a Tennis Shoe Donation.

The donation is sponsored by Got Sneakers. All around the world, they give shoes to the less fortunate and keep them from being thrown out and going to waste.

“The main purpose of this fundraiser is to recycle older pairs of shoes so that they can stay out of landfills but the company that we are partnered with takes the shoes, repairs them and ships them off to 3rd world countries to give to people who basically have nothing to protect their feet,” said Mrs. Guldberg, assistant principal of the NCLA elementary school.


At the beginning of August, Mrs. Guldberg was informed by a parent about the fundraiser who thought it would be a good opportunity for the school. So far there have been 13 bags filled with shoes, each bag holds at least 20 pairs. Over 260 pairs of shoes have been recycled and donated, the NCLA expects to reach a  goal of 350 pairs to be donated. The fundraiser is to continue throughout the rest of the school year.

“For the NCLA it is a win-win situation when it comes to recycling and doing something good to help others,” said Mrs. Guldberg.

The Return of Students This School Year

Alyssa Pickle

When the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools all over the place transferred to online learning.

As the new school year began, many had hoped to return back to the classroom, but with the pandemic still around, many schools have opted to continue online learning to keep students safe. However, not all schools are fully remote, many schools, including the NCLA have decided to have students return to school in the safest way possible.

Most schools have implemented measures to keep students safe like wearing  masks, reduced class sizes, designated spacing that is six feet apart, washing desks, desk dividers, and taking students temperatures during arrival. However, a couple schools have come up with more creative ways to keep students safe. Some students are given hula hoops to stand in or hold on to keep their distance from one another, and some are having classes outside in tents or in the school’s gymnasium for a greater space of airflow.


The NCLA has put many of these safety measures in place including temperature taking before entering the building. Almost all schools are doing this procedure each day before students may enter the classroom.

Many are also requiring students to wear masks but certain schools allow students to take their masks off once in the classroom. Along with other schools, the NCLA has opted for a hybrid approach with partly online and partly in-person schooling.

This is a popular option for schools to reduce class sizes and the classrooms can be cleaned during online days while still maintaining some valuable in-person learning.

Zoom classes are a popular option for online teaching. Some schools have students attend all of their classes through zoom. Online learning has required teachers to get creative by finding virtual learning platforms for classes.

For in-school students, they have seen sport seasons postponed and unsure if they will be able to return to playing. Gym class also looks different with low impact activities that don’t require heavy breathing.

We have seen schools that have reopened suffer outbreaks because of a lack of proper safety measures in place. The NCLA has already dealt with a small outbreak even with all the new health regulations in place this school year. Two full weeks of remote schooling took place before students could return part-time. However, some schools have faced bigger outbreaks forcing them to transition from in-person to completely remote.

Even though we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic classes must continue in the safest way possible whether that is through zoom or desks placed six feet apart.

Insight Into NCLA’s Duel Enrollment Life

Cyd Leister

The NCLA has been offering the opportunity to upperclassmen to take college courses at FTCC through dual enrollment for a few years now. This year has been different in many ways and NCLA’s dual enrollment students are not exempt from these changes.

In the past, dual enrollment students would participate in FTCC’s classes in person, but with the current pandemic all classes this semester have been shifted to online.

“So last year I took more Human Science classes, like psychology and sociology so I thought that was not too hard, because we were able to watch lectures in person and to work on a smart book or whatever. But this year it’s a little bit harder, because you don’t get that personal connection with a professor,” commented Senior, Mercy Newnum.

“The teacher is really helpful at working with us and she posts really informative videos that help so I really like how the class is done.  I like that it’s independent and you just watch the videos and do it on your own time. And the only thing is since stuff is due on Tuesday it’s like a weird time frame of how the week was but that’s all right,” shared Senior, Amber Mattias.

Most students take the classes to knock out classes they may not wish to take in college.

“I’m thankful that I did classes like Speech at Forsyth Tech, because everyone in the class was from NCLA and I knew everybody versus if you went to a very big college you would be in front of a bunch of people you don’t know. It’s more intimidating. It’s just like easy classes like that. If you go to college and you are required to take an appreciation class like I took an Art Appreciation class and it was super boring but at least I got it out of the way and got the credit,” said Mercy Newnum.

It is unknown what next semester will look like for dual enrollment students, whether classes will continue to be online or return to in person.

Next Semester Classes:

Senior Feature: Annie Ellis

Tyler Haynes

Annie Ellis has been at The NCLA since the very first year the school started in fifth grade and is graduating this year. I asked her a few questions about what it is like to be a Senior in a year that is alternating in and out of school.


What is the hardest part of being a senior in a year like this?

Annie Ellis said, “the small things like not being able to have normal day to day interactions with everybody.”

If there is anything that will no longer be a possibility this year what will miss out on? 

Annie said, “was supposed to go to Africa on a mission trip, but because of covid that couldn’t happen”

Are you okay with the format this year as a senior?

Annie replied, “It has its perks and downsides” and she is “ just taking each day at a time.”

I moved away from COVID-19 related questions and more to the overall senior experience.

What was your high school experience at The NCLA rated one to ten. 

She responded with a “ten,” plain and simple.

What do you plan on doing after high school? 

Annie plans on “going to Liberty University with a major in Nursing and a minor in Global Studies.”

Annie Ellis is one of many seniors graduating during this unprecedented year in High School.

A Look at the New Taco Bell Menu

Lindsey Allen

On July 17, Taco Bell announced the heartbreaking news that they were saying goodbye to 12 menu items.

Grilled Steak-Soft Taco 7-Layer Burrito Nachos Supreme Beefy Fritos Burrito Spicy Tostada Triple Layer Nachos Spicy Potato Soft Tacos Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes Loaded Grillers (Cheesy Potato and Beefy Nacho) All Chips and Dips Breakfast Mini Skillet Bowl Quesarito

When the news was broken, questions emerged. Most of the vegetarian items were removed, what are they supposed to order? Is this change really going to happen? What caused this?

Taco Bell said,“ we will be simplifying our menu.This evolved menu approach comes after months of analyzing the new way we are running our restaurants…a simplified menu and innovation process will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and even opportunities for the return of some classics on a limited time basis. ”


On August 12, these changes went into effect, 11 out of the 12 items are gone for good. The one survivor, the Quesarito, was taken off of the menu, but can still be ordered through the app.

As of November 5, just when all of the changes were thought to be over,  we will be “saying goodbye to the Mexcian Pizza that might help you rest is that removing it from our menus helps us work towards our commitment to leave a lighter footprint on our planet,” said Taco Bell.

In a September 3 press release, Mike Grams, Taco Bell President said “While we know fans may be understandably sad to see some of their favorites go, this evolution of our menu truly paves the way for fresh new ideas. The creativity and innovation in our kitchen hasn’t slowed down at all, and we look forward to rolling out new fan favorites”.


The “new fan favorites” that Grams is speaking of are Chicken Chipotle Melts and the Dragonfruit freeze (both offered nationwide), the Green Sauce (regional), the Quesalupa (testing in Knoxville, TN), $1 Beef Burritos, and $5 Grande Nachos Box.

In the September 3 press release, it ended with quite a cliffhanger, saying “With these changes, we look forward to providing our guests with a more seamless Taco Bell restaurant experience, and even more exciting new innovations to come”.

What does this mean for the loyal customers? Are more fan favorites going to be ripped out from underneath us? Are more new items on their way?

Taco Bell assured us that these were the last changes happening in 2020, but made no promises for the future.

President Trump Visiting Winston Salem 

President Donald Trump will visit Winston Salem, NC, next Tuesday for a campaign stop. He will be speaking at 7 P.M. at the Smith Reynolds Airport. Tickets are required to enter, first come first serve, and doors will open at 4 P.M. 

For more information, go to: 


The NCLA Handles the Coronavirus 

Brooke Bandy

The NCLA has been working very diligently to keep the school safe. Going back to school during a pandemic is a very unique experience, but with this experience comes a lot of new regulations and procedures to keep everyone safe. 

Before some schools went back this summer, there were jokes going around on TikTok about how younger kids were going to act having to wear masks during school, but there hasn’t been too much of a problem in the NCLA elementary school. 

Elementary School Principal, Mrs. Guldberg, said, “Honestly, no.  We had to talk to a few of the older students on the first day and occasionally we have to remind someone to pull their mask over their nose (it can slide down if it’s a little too big).  But there really have not been any issues!”

The elementary school has been handling all of the new procedures extremely well and are having fun with it as well. 

“The younger students have been handling all of the new safety measures way better than I expected,” said Guldberg. “The kinders walk with their arms straight out in front of them to keep some space, they have been troopers about wearing masks, and they are doing a fantastic job using sanitizer and washing hands!  They also walk around the school in a one-way cycle, which gets a little extra movement in during the day.” 

There have been a lot of changes to the school and how everything works because of regulations set in place by the North Carolina government. 

“Having different processes for the students has been a big change. Everything from lunchroom protocols, to one way hallways, etc. Volunteer hour requirements are still the same and it’s awesome how many of our students have so many already,” said High School Principal Mrs. Wood.

“We will always be very cautious and err on the side of that caution every time we make a decision that involves the health and safety of students and faculty,” she continued. 

One of the largest changes in procedures school wide is the sick policy. “The sick policy is another change that’s been necessary.  Now when one person in the family is sick, we require everyone in the family to stay home to ensure school safety,” said Wood. 

Because of these new procedures, the students haven’t been able to switch between buildings as much. 

“It’s definitely weird not to see the hustle and bustle around the building.  Kids generally stay in their classrooms and the teachers move between rooms to limit movement.  This makes the halls seem very quiet and empty,” said Guldberg.

Remote learning for the students is difficult for students, but it’s also especially challenging for the teachers. 

“Teachers have an incredibly hard job this year with all the changes and keeping up with all the students both here and remote.  We need to make sure they know how much they are appreciated for the increased amount of work they are having to accomplish each day,” said Wood. 

Guldberg continued on the challenges of remote learning for both students and teachers, saying, “I think having to do virtual learning is challenging for both the teachers and the students.  We are thankful to have a few days with the students each week, but learning at home is stressful for everyone.”

Since the high school’s closing for the past two weeks, the school has been pretty empty. “For me, it’s not seeing the kids these two weeks.  All of us work in schools because we like kids.  When the halls are empty, it makes it harder to remember why we are putting in the countless hours of work. We can’t wait to have the high schoolers back,” said Wood. 

Students Dealing With Virtual Learning

By: Alyssa Pickle

Are students truly learning online? And how does it affect their mental health? The Falcon asked two groups of students about their views on virtual learning, and this is what they had to say.

Because of the Coronavirus, schools shut down in early March and they continued classes partially virtual or full-time online learning. 

The first group of students answered as such surrounding the new virtual learning environment:

Q: Do you like virtual learning?

A: Out of 91 people asked, 71% said “No” and the other 29% said  “YES”.

Q: How has virtual learning been going?

A: Out of 94 people asked, 35% said,  “Great,” and the other 65% said, “Could Be Better.”

On the topic of improving their online learning experience, some said: 

“go back to how online classes used to be [in the spring] certain classes for certain days,”

“The workload,” and, “Too much work.”

There were also responses about the desire to go back to in-person classes. The second group of students seemed to not enjoy virtual learning either:

Q: How much are you learning through virtual learning?

A: Out of 34 people, on a scale of 1-5, the average answer was 3.

Q: Do you think there is more or less work than in school?

A: Out of 36 people, 25 voted more, and 11 voted for less.

Q: Would you prefer the schedule now or a block schedule?

A: Out of 32 people, 19 voted for now, and 13 voted for a block schedule.

Q: How enjoyable is remote learning?

A: Out of 35 people, on a scale of 1-5, the average answer was 2 and a half.

Overall, students don’t seem to be enjoying the online learning very much and find it more stressful than anything. 

“̈Extremely stressful. I used to be so happy and now I’m crying myself to sleep every night.”

“I wish I could go back to school. I hate this so much.”

“So much work!!”

“Too much busy work.” 

“It’s not as organized as I’d like it because I miss assignments I didn’t even know were there.”

“It’s exhausting.” 

Jacob Blake, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and Winston-Salem protests

Lexi Antieau

Over the past 2-3 months, a lot has changed, including the lives of black people in the United States. The #BlackLivesMatter movement that started in 2013 recently blew up even more, gaining the support of multiple companies and celebrities, including Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and Ariana Grande.

The movement gained a resurgence of popularity from the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Floyd was a black man who was held down by an officer’s knee on his throat, causing him to lose his ability to breathe. This event sparked outrage all across the country and brought increased attention to matters like social injustice and systematic racism. 

Since May, there have been multiple protests and riots demanding social justice for black people. In Winston Salem, locals marched for two days back in May in response to the death of George Floyd.

16-year-old activist Olivia Moore led these protests in Winston Salem. Ahead of the event, one of the demonstrators said, “It’s not a wrong versus right, it’s just right. That’s what we want to stand for. We’ve had police out here come walk with us, so everything has been pretty peaceful. It’s a very tragic time going on.”

blm protestsMore protests occurred later in July demanding social justice in Winston Salem. There was an incident at one of the protests where 15 protestors were arrested for violating the city’s laws. A local police officer explained that peaceful protests can occur, but protestors must abide by city laws. 


On August 24, Jacob Blake was another important name circulating in the news. On Sunday, August 23, in Kenosha, WI, local officers responded to a call for a domestic incident. The officer in charge had an outstanding warrant for Blake’s arrest. After resisting arrest, the leading officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake in the back seven times. After he shot, the other officers rendered aid and Blake was flown to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where medical professionals concluded he was paralyzed from the waist down. 

Recent news in Blake’s case reported that there was a knife found in his car, causing him to be handcuffed to his hospital bed. 

milwaukee blmThe shooting of Blake caused multiple protests in the Milwaukee area. Rioting and looting resulted in extensive property damage. In response to these damaging protests, Blake’s dad said, “Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing,” he told the crowd. “Stop it. Show them for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.”


President Donald Trump recently said he was visiting Kenosha on Tuesday to assess the damage of the riots and protests that took place. He said little about the shooting on Sunday, but when asked about if he thought the officer who shot Blake should be charged, he said, “Well, I’m looking into it very strongly. I’ll be getting reports,” adding that he “didn’t like the sight of it.” Damages appear to be storefronts and streets being destroyed, but we will know more when Trump visits.store front blm


This event, although tragic, brought upon even more support for the BLM movement. Specifically, the Milwaukee Bucks led an “NBA strike,” saying they were not going to play in support for Jacob Blake. Instead, they decided to postpone their games or cancel the season in solidarity with the movement. The Oklahoma City and Houston NBA teams followed their example, along with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. nba blm

In support of the strike his team was participating in, Lebron James tweeted, “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.”


Former President Barack Obama took to twitter and said, “I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.”

In trying times like these, it is important to stick together as a community and remember what is important to you. All the violence going on is a reminder to stay safe and be protective of yourself and your loved ones. If you are out protesting, stay safe and remember that the laws still apply to you. 

UNC System has new requirements for applicants  

Elizabeth Gibhardt

According to The Daily Tarheel, loosened admission requirements are affecting future and current UNC applicants. The Daily Tarheel article by Emily Orland gives us a brief description on what’s going on in Chapel Hill. 

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, UNC students were required to have “a weighted high school GPA of 2.5 and a combined SAT of 880 or ACT of 17.” Now, after their new policy has been set, students are expected to have “a minimum weighted high school GPA of 2.5, or an SAT of 1010 or ACT of 19.” 

This new policy does not make submitting test scores optional, but it does loosen the requirements of what those scores are. Students are still required to apply with some form of standardized test score. Applying students who do not meet the GPA or standardized test requirements will still be eligible as long as they meet one of the original requirements.

According to Adam Schmidt, the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, this policy has actually been planned for a while now. Originally, the policy was expected to go into effect in the fall of 2021, but due to the Coronavirus, dates were moved to the fall of 2020. 

Schmidt says this new policy will benefit incoming fall applicants whose original testing plans have been altered due to the pandemic. The students who had fewer opportunities to raise their scores will now have another chance on their UNC Chapel Hill admissions. 

Story source:


Student Homework and Zoom Opinions

Emily Viers

The biggest question surrounding schools nowadays is how do Zoom meetings and homework affect students’ everyday life? Zoom meetings seem to be one of the main ways for communication between teachers and students. As we all know, homework also has always been a big part of school. Let’s find out how the students of The NCLA are dealing with what appears to be the new normal. 

P1000254Colby Brown and Ava Gonzalez are sophomores at the NCLA. Both Brown and Gonzalez attend Zoom meetings on a weekly basis and undertake daily homework. 

“I don’t mind the homework, it just seems like extra work added on to our daily classes,” said Gonzalez. 

It’s hard to manage both the responsibility of our everyday classwork and homework.  Usually, we have our teachers at our fingertips for any questions or concerns. Now students are having to set up a Zoom meeting or send them an email in order to get answers or help, which sometimes can take a while for responses to come through. 

“This also comes with the thought of being an inconvenience when the teachers are also doing the best they can to manage this crazy new way of life themselves,” Gonzalez stated.

Both Brown and Gonzalez find Zoom meetings very helpful. They’re an easy way to communicate with your teachers about any questions or concerns you’re having. They also help the teachers better understand your progress during this crazy time. 

Most students preferred online learning because they can work at their own pace. “In Canvas, they have everything laid out so you can work as needed,” Brown stated. 

Overall, Zoom and online conferencing is the new virtual classroom of today. All virtual resources help students develop time management skills, organizational skills, and manage homework assignments. Look at it this way,Zzoom allows you to attend class virtually anywhere! So where’s your favorite place to “ Zoom In”?

Conspiracies in the Age of the Coronavirus

Tyler Haynes

In the age of the CoronaVirus, there are a lot of different theories floating around that have little to no facts to back them up. During times like a global pandemic, people will always ask questions on how something can start. If they do not like the real answer they will always come up with their own.

It’s said that the origin of the virus is from a wholesale market in Wuhan, China. In that market, people were selling and eating bats that carried the CoronaVirus. This explanation was not enough for some people, so they decided to come up with their own.

The first conspiracy theory is that Covid-19 was engineered in a laboratory in China. These conspirators say that it was made as a bioweapon to be used against the United States.  In Wuhan, there is a maximum security bio lab that gained international attention after the outbreak.

After this theory emerged, scientists looked closely at the virus and found there was no genetic engineering done to the virus. This proved to be wrong, but it does not stop people from still believing in this bizarre theory. 

Another widely accepted theory is that the virus was made by the world’s wealthy elites for the gain of wealth and power. The theory goes that people like billionaire Bill Gates and other global powers like himself intentionally spread the virus throughout the world.

They spread the virus to capitalize on the fall of the economy and also be the first ones to create the vaccine. The theory says that in this vaccine, there will supposedly be a tracking chip. This chip will be activated by the growing 5G network.

This theory has almost no credibility behind it and it started from a woman’s Facebook video that went viral.

A global Pandemic is a conspiracy theorist’s playground. Anytime the entire world is asking questions, there are going to be bizarre theories. There are many more theories out there that are even more outlandish than these.

The Wuhan Biolab Conspiracy and The Bill Gates Conspiracy are very interesting because of the number of people that believe them and the fact that some parts of these theories are believable.

Tiktok vs. US

Rebecca Avila

Sept 4 – TikTok is firing back at the Trump administration by suing the U.S. TikTok vs. US story picturegovernment for its executive ban of the social media site.

TikTok, formally known as Musical.ly until 2018, took the world by storm when it began to really hit the trending scene back in August 2019. Known for its variety in content and algorithm, it tracks your likes and dislikes and creates the perfect homepage that keeps you scrolling for hours.

“I like TikTok because it gives me the freedom to express myself and it isn’t as suffocating as instagram,” said Maria Fleak. 

President Trump has been very vocal on the notice of TikTok being a national security threat for lack of information privacy and on Aug. 6 an executive order went into effect regarding TikTok. 

“Actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order,… any transaction by any person,… subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” according to the Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok.

TikTok responded to the executive order two days later with a lawsuit stating that the executive order was “unconstitutional” for not allowing them to make a proper response and the grounds that the app is a national security threat is “based on pure speculation and conjecture.”

President Trump’s 45 day time limit has extended recently to Nov. 12. Microsoft and Walmart have teamed together to make negotiations with ByteDance but are having complications with Chinese regulations.

“If China lets ByteDance see TikTok, I do think Microsoft and Walmart will buy its U.S., Canada, Australian and New Zealand business. I love TikTok but its national security concerts cannot be ignored,” said Etorman Agbemabiese. 

BTS Detonates Youtube World Record

Olivia Brown

September 4 – Famous boy group BTS has broken the Youtube record for most viewed music video in 24 hours with their new song Dynamite. Dynamite was released on Aug. 20 and has sold over 265,000 copies and is BTS’ first english song. 

“A reason why I got so into BTS so quick is because of such good people they are. A lot of western artists and artists in general take their fans and lifestyle for granted, but they are so, so humble. I am so proud of them for breaking the world record because of how deserving they are as artist and as people,” said Mckenna Porto.

In the first 20 minutes the music video had 10 million views and by the first hour they had already had 20 million. In 24 hours, they had 101.8 million views, making it the fastest music video to get that many views, previously held by kpop girl group BLACKPINK when they released their music video for their song How You Like That, released in June, with 86.3 million views. 

“To be honest, I don’t really care.  I never really cared when idols break records and this isn’t just for BTS, it’s for every group. Records and wins don’t matter to me, though I am happy that they archived that record,” said Kianna Satterwhite.

This is not the first time BTS has broken the record for fastest viewed music video. In 2019, they released a music video to their song Boy with Luv within 24 hours it had 74.3 million views. 

Recently, Dynamite has earned their first No.1 on Billboard Hot 100’s. Their song is the 109th No.1 in the Hot 100’s 62 year history.

Cyd’s Thoughts on DC’s 2020 Trailers

Column by Cyd Leister

September 4 – DC has released multiple trailers for movies and video games in 2020. There are five movies consisting of Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Black Adam, and Justice League: The Snyder Cut, as well as two video games Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights.

Wonder Woman 1984

This movie is supposed to release on Oct. 2, 2020 and is directed by Patty Jenkins. Wonder Woman will be played by Gal Gadot, who was first introduced as the superhero in Batman vs. Superman. 

The trailer isn’t bad, but feels repetitive and not really unique. Personally, I was not super engaged by the trailer, but I am interested in seeing the movie regardless. 

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is a new interpretation of the antihero group that is different than the Suicide Squad from a few years back which disappointed many fans. It is supposed to release on Aug. 6, 2021 and was directed by James Gunn.

TheSuicideSquadPosterThere are two trailers: one that is a behind the scenes setup and another that is all the characters. These trailers give little away about the movie and I love that. They left me wanting to know more and wanting to see the movie as soon as possible.

These were my favorites of the movie trailers due to them actually getting me excited for the movie. 

The Batman

The Batman is announced to release in the US on Oct. 1, 2021 and is directed by Matt Reeves. Robert Pattinson, often known from Twilight, has been casted to play this new Batman. 

This trailer only furthered my concerns about this movie and hatred for casting TheBatmanRobert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. Personally it was the most upsetting of the trailers for me to watch. 

The color palette is dark, which is fine and fits with Gotham, the problem is that it was done poorly and makes it difficult to make out the scenes. It also appears that the main villain is the Riddler, which is one of my favorites, but they have no green in the trailer even though that is his staple color.

This appears to be very early Batman, which again I have no issue with, the problem is that Pattinson is very much fitting the emo boy vibes to a level that doesn’t fit Bruce Wayne. Early Batman is angry and violent and moody, but he is not a emo teenage boy, which is what Pattinson looks like with his dark sunken eyes and long hair that I have never seen with a depiction of Bruce Wayne.

There also was no appearance, at least that I could notice, of Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, and staple of Batman and the franchise. He is extremely important to early Batman and Bruce and the fact he made no noticeable appearance in the trailer is extremely concerning. 

I personally do not have high hopes for this movie as a Batman fan. 

Black Adam

BlackAdamThis movie is intended to release Dec. 22, 2021 and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film is meant to serve as a prequel to Shazam!. 

Black Adam is a DC anti-hero, who will be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He also narrators the trailer that mainly consists of comic style art. 

I really enjoyed the way the trailer was done. It is different then a lot of trailers that are now made that are just clips and background music. I am not someone who is very invested in Shazam or Black Adam, but I am excited for this movie. 

The Justice League: Snyder Cut

This is a new cut of The Justice League movie that is releasing Sep. 5, 2021 only on HBO max. Personally this just feels like a money grab.

The trailer is super confusing as it depicts random scenes with the song Hallelujah and nothing else. 

I don’t think it is going to be worth getting HBO max simply for this.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

This is a DC video game announced to release in 2022 and will be a part of the Batman Arkham series. It is meant to be available on PlayStation, Xbox X, and Microsoft Windows.

The trailer introduced what I assume are the main characters, which consist of most notably Harley Quinn. I can not currently find any released gameplay yet and the exact concept of the game is unknown.

The animation looks amazing and I am personally excited for more information to be released.

Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights is a video game based in the Batman universe that is meant to release for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Microsoft Windows. There is a trailer and early gameplay released for the game. 

The game is focused on Gotham after Batman’s death and the heroes he leaves behind. The main characters are Batman’s former proteges Nightwing(Dick Grayson), Batgirl(Barbara Gordon), Red Hood(Jason Todd), and Robin(Tim Drake).GothamKnightsGame

This was my favorite trailer of all the ones I watched. I am a huge fan of Batman specifically all the heroes Batman raises either as his official or unofficial children. This being said this video game is beyond exciting as most of Batman’s proteges don’t get the attention they deserve so seeing a video game dedicated to four of them is thrilling.

I personally can’t wait to play this game.

Curly Girl Method (Quarantine)

Lindsey Allen

September 4 –During quarantine, many people dyed their hair or cut bangs, while some people took a safer route and attempted to make their hair curly, using a method called the Curly Girl Routine. 

The Curly Girl Routine is a routine that is supposed to perfect people’s curls, or for many people during quarantine, create them.

The routine took flight on Tik Tok, making it a trend, and making everyone with any wave or frizz to their hair want to try it. 

The routine itself, more widely known as the Curly Girl Method, was created by Lorraine Massey. She first shared it with the world in her book titled “Curly Girl: The Handbook”. 

There are quite a few steps in Massey’s Curly Girl Method, starting off with things you need to avoid to have healthy curls. This is because curly hair has a natural tendency towards breakage and frizz than any other hair type. 

To try and tame that, things you need to avoid are sulfates in shampoo. Sulfates are harsh chemicals that can strip the natural moisture and oils out of your hair. You should also avoid conditioners with silicones, since the only way to completely remove them from your hair is with sulfates. Along with both of these, curly hair should not be washed as often, so washing your hair less often is a necessity. 

The real work begins once the hair is washed. Depending on your personal curls, there are various ways to style the hair. It is recommended that you brush your hair while in the shower, so you don’t risk breaking the curl pattern once your hair is partially dry. 

To style your hair, you begin with flipping your hair over your head and blotting it dry with a microfiber towel or a cotton tee-shirt. Once the hair is partially dry, you take hair gel, and start to scrunch your hair, starting with the bottom layers, and working up.

Lastly, if you want to lock in the curl, you can lightly diffuse your hair with your dryer to dry the gel. To avoid heat and frizz, turn your dryer onto the lowest and coldest setting. 

An added step that was popular on Tik Tok was plopping your hair in an attempt to lock in the curl. You do this by flipping your hair over into a soft tee-shirt, and then tying it and leaving it for a few hours to overnight. 

Of course, the Curly Girl Routine doesn’t work for everyone. But you can personalize it and add more steps, or subtract the ones that don’t work well with your hair type.

Fortnite Banned: Epic Game Sues

Eliana Cotten

September 4 – Fortnite is a battle royale game, catered toward every type of video game player. There is building, fighting, and many other unique aspects. Fortnite came out Jul. 25, 2017, and blew up in September of 2017. 

fortniteFortnite is a free game, but makes money off of in-game purchases, such as V-Bucks, which is an in-game currency. Apple and Google both take a 30 percent cut from all of the developers profit, but Fortnite designed a way around it.

According to Cnet, they made purchasing V-Bucks cheaper through Epic, convincing many players to play the game on Epic rather than Apple or Google. 1,000 V-Bucks was priced at  $9.99 in the App Store and Google Play, but they were $7.99 through Epic Games.

Fortnite was then taken off of both the App Store and Google Play store. If you have an iOS phone, and have already downloaded Fortnite, you still can play the game, but there will be no way to use the new updates or upcoming seasons.  

According to BBC, Epic Games is now suing Apple for anti-competitive practices for app distribution and app-related payments. They are asking that Apple allow fair competition in their App Store.

“To reach iOS users, Apple forces developers to agree to Apple’s unlawful terms contained in its Developer Agreement and to comply with Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, including the requirement iOS developers distribute their apps through the App Store. These contractual provisions unlawfully foreclose the iOS App Distribution Market to competitors and maintain Apple’s monopoly,” stated Epic’s case filing.

According to Cnet, on Aug. 24, there was a hearing for Epic’s request that Fortnite be put back on the App Store. The Judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, issued a temporary restraining order, not allowing Apple to block  the developers who used Epic’s Unreal Engine tools.  

Judge Rogers found it unreasonable that two companies, both with billions and trillions of dollars, were fighting over something that would cause each of them to lose a minimal amount of money. The restraining order will remain in effect until the court issues an order on the motion for preliminary injunction, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 28.

Life After The NCLA

Nora Wood

Watching the class of 2020 excel and move up in their education has brought a lot of excitement to see what the future holds for current NCLA students.

While the circumstances are not the most ideal when it comes to new beginnings, class of 2020 graduates Brody Harrell and Beth Davis gave their take on how to make the best of moving forward during the pandemic. 

Both students attend college, Brody at Campbell University, and Beth at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their social lives have increased due to the lack of time spent in class. Although social events are scarce, the schools pre-planned events to take proper precautions.

“Going to the activities they had pre-planned were really fun because you could meet a bunch of people at one time,”Davis said.UNC Chapel Hill

Students attending Campbell University and UNC-Chapel Hill have had to take precautions including mandatory mask-wearing while outside of your dorms, social distancing in the classrooms, occupancies reduced, limits on social gatherings, temperature checks, and more for COVID-19. 

However, due to the amount of outbreaks on campus, UNC-Chapel Hill, and a few other North Carolina schools have had to send their kids home, Beth being a part of that. Brody and Beth agreed with the ways their campuses have handled the pandemic more can always be done.

Beth did not like how Chapel Hill’s Greek Life did not take any precautions, stating, “There should have been more strict guidelines for the gatherings off-campus.”

Classes at Campbell University are still half-and-half but classes at Chapel Hill are fully online. Virtual classes seem to be hit or miss depending on the student. On one hand, Beth does not mind the aspect of online school because it gives her more time in a day to balance life and school work. However, Brody feels as if he learns better while being in the classroom. 

Although their experiences transitioning into college have gone pretty smooth, they both shared some issues they ran into along the way. 

“I did not plan very well for college, make sure to keep a planner,” Brody said. 

Beth also found it challenging to stay focused and organized: “It was hard for me to find a balance between work and fun. In high school, you work all day. Because all of your classes are online in college, it’s up to you to get your work done and not hang out with your friends all day.” 

All challenges aside, both students admitted that the NCLA has set them up for future success when it comes to college. 

Brody and Beth both mentioned that they have found it easy to retain information from high school. “The NCLA has taught me how to effectively work, good study habits, and how to retain necessary information. I also have learned throughout high school how to not waste my time when it comes to working,” Beth said. 

Finally, Beth and Brody shared their biggest tips of advice for our NCLA Falcons: 

“Make sure you know how to stay organized and manage your time well so you have time to work everything else out,” Beth stated. 

“There will always be a bright side to what life brings you. Make sure you keep organized, stay in school, and don’t do drugs,” said Brody. 

Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Are They Actually Good for You? 

Brooke Bandy

Pumpkin spice lattes, the infamous fall Starbucks drink that is known for its sweetness and calorie count could actually be good for you.

Technically, the drink isn’t exactly  good for you. However, the actual pumpkin spice has some health benefits. Pumpkin spice can be sold in its own containers or homemade with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.


According to Food Network, nutmeg contains a little bit of fiber and Vitamin B. Cinnamon has lots of antioxidants in it, and there have been studies done that suggest that cinnamon can help diabetics to regulate their blood sugar.

There’s no real health benefit to allspice, but ginger has a ton of very nutritious minerals in it such as iron, zinc, and potassium, and has been proven to help with some digestive issues. So, does this mean that Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes are good for you?


If they use actual pumpkin spice in their drinks, then there’s a tiny bit of health benefits associated, but not enough to truly improve someone’s health.

A grande pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks has 370 calories, 15g of fat, 46g of sugar, and 11g of protein. Many health professionals suggest around 25g of sugar everyday, which a grande pumpkin spice latte nearly doubles. According to Healthline, experts also say that these drinks are more like a dessert, like a milkshake, rather than a coffee to drink before you start your day every morning.

According to Healthline, if you’re still craving that delicious pumpkin spice taste, using a pumpkin spice creamer allows you to control how much sugar and everything like that goes into your coffee while still giving you that satisfaction.

Quarantine has brought tears, stress, boredom, and fear. However, staying at home also comes with the freedom of eating whatever you want, whenever you want.

Snacks at the Ready

Skylar Maness

Quarantine has brought tears, stress, boredom, and fear. However, staying at home also comes with the freedom of eating whatever you want, whenever you want.

Many people have discovered their true food identity over the course of the last six months.

COVID pandemic survivalists find that packets of tuna and unsweetened applesauce aren’t all that bad, while others never gave up fast food.

image1 (2)

When the pandemic first hit, certain foods like bread, cereal, and canned foods were nowhere to be found. Families couldn’t rely on cereal when no one felt like cooking supper, and this forced members of the household to step up and prepare meals for the family.

Some people learned that they could actually cook, but that only lasted for a while as many people gave up on the long process of cooking as the weeks went on.

“Go-to quarantine snacks” are nuts according to Google. Many people were interviewed for this story and not a single person said they enjoy nuts. [editors note: I do!]

This is just another reason why people can’t trust the internet.

Zoe Enscore a 5th grader at the NCLA stated: “I don’t have a go-to snack” and that is ok. Quarantine has encouraged people to learn more about themselves and discover their likes and dislikes.

Cheez-its (10 votes)

Chips and Salsa (8 votes)

Chex Mix (6 votes)

Popcorn (2 votes)

Honorable Mentions: Pirates Booty, Pretzels, Goldfish, Black Olives, Doritos

Seniors Predictions: “It is what it is”

This global pandemic has changed the perspective for a lot of teachers, students and others for this school year. Seniors have been the most impacted, for their traditional last year of high school has completely changed.

Not knowing if school could officially resume until a couple weeks before school started, Maura Perkins and Noah Richardson are two seniors giving their perspectives and outlooks for this year.

Richardson said he was upset not for the aspect of school but for the aspect of being with his friends and teammates for one last year.

Second semester rides on if there are any improvement of containing and stopping the spread of the virus. Richardson thinks that this year is going to be the same as it was at the end of last year.

“Even though it is what we might not want but not getting what we want is just another part of life,” Richardson said.

Maura said that she believes there will be a graduation but sports and non-school related activities will not happen or will be very different with strict regulations.


“The rule on having to wear a mask while we are at school will most likely not change this year,” Perkins said. “We will be remote for a good portion of the year.”

Noah said overall grades for people may fluctuate more than normal. He explained how it is alot harder online to simply ask a question if students don’t understand an assignment, they can’t just raise their hand like normal.

Teachers also have it hard because they will get so many emails for assignments, having to explain themselves in case s student needs clarification.

As seniors rap up the final year of high school, they have a lot of wisdom and experience under their belt and that’s beneficial on their next steps in life.

“We didn’t come this far to only come this far, we came this far to be strong enough to go farther,” said Richardson.

Food Review: Mama Mia’s

Review by Cameron Warren

Mamma Mia’s classic Italian menu has a variety of choices. From subs to  stromboli, to pizza and calzones, it can be difficult on what to decide.


Skeptical on how the food might be, I went with the safe route and picked a pepperoni pizza which cost $12.

Surprisingly, it was a perfect pizza.

There was the right amount of crispness, not too much sauce, and the cheese didn’t slide off when I picked it up. The sauce on the pizza tasted authentic and made in house. The pepperoni was spicy and not bland, giving the pizza a kick.

I came here a couple years ago and the food was nothing compared to what it is now. There were some huge changes done over the years because this place has had a major upgrade.

I would definitely recommend it to others and I give it four out of five stars.

High School and Middle School Sports Pushed Back due to the Spreading Virus

Jackson Faenza

On Aug. 12, 2020, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the amended schedule due to the ongoing global pandemic. It pushed back the first days of practice back at least a month for each sport.

For example, cross country and volleyball start in November, and basketball’s first game is not until Jan. 4. Football and wrestling were pushed to the springtime.

“There has been no additional news put out other than what the NCHSAA had announced the other day when they released the schedule,” said Renee Faenza, Principal of The NCLA.

Before, the NCHSAA was waiting to see if Governor Roy Cooper was going to let the state into Phase three, but unfortunately he has not allowed that. So the Association had no other choice than to push back the seasons. 

“We put the calendar together based on the guidelines from (N.C. Department of Health and Human Services) as it relates to how we could perhaps play sports. We know this is very fluid. It is our hope that as we move forward, and because the calendar doesn’t start until late end of fall, actually right around winter beginning, we hope that the conditions in our state as it relates to this pandemic will have gotten to that point that whenever we hear Dr. Cohen talk, she will be satisfied with those percentages and that the numbers are where they need to be in North Carolina,” said NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker in an interview with thetimesnews. IMG_4690

Although Middle School sports are following this same timeline, the types of schools that do not have to abide by this are Private Schools. The North Carolina Independent Schools Association gave the okay in August for their school to begin practices, but they did make an executive announcement that would allow for football games to start on Sept. 11. There are about 19 NCISA schools that play football in the state. 

“I think there’s a level of optimism with our football coaches, and there’s a desire to play, but there is also caution and concern for the health and safety of student athletes. When you’re dealing with unknowns, it’s a reason for people to pause,” said Executive director Homer Ramirez  to the Charlotte Observer.

Although there is still a lot of hope with sports playing at the proposed dates, it is not definite that those will be the definite start dates. With cases still rising across the United States, no one is sure if they will be able to play contact sports during this pandemic.

When asked if she thinks sports will return, Faenza replied with, “Who knows because High Schoolers don’t know how to social distance and wear masks. This virus is going to keep going like a roller coaster.”

A New Way to be a Sports Fan

Christine Parker

 As many sports began returning from coronavirus cancellations, the question arose about fans attending the games. Becoming a virtual fan surfaced and was first seen in UFC then the NBA, MLB, and WWE jumped on the bandwagon as well. 

Becoming a virtual fan is easy and it is completely free! For the NBA, all you have to do is sign up through the team’s site and you will be considered to be invited to the zoom call where you might be featured on TV.Tim-Hardaway-jr (1)

 The downside to being a virtual fan for the NBA is that there are only 320 slots available so there is a possibility you will not be chosen to be featured in zoom chat as a virtual fan.

Just like being a fan in the stadium, you can be kicked out for inappropriate behavior. Other rules consist of only one person per virtual seat, no inappropriate messaging, and no distribution of game data.

The NCLA News instragram put a poll out and the results were very interesting to see. 62% of the followers who responded said they watch tv on sports while only 30% have actually been a virtual fan. 

Virtual sports fans are a great way to keep fans in the stands while staying safe and following all the precautious necessary.

NBA Trading Card Boom

Cade Shoemaker

The Coronavirus has made many everyday objects become priceless. First, it was the toilet paper scare of Mar. and Apr. Then the meat shortage around the same time throughout early May. The next item, NBA trading cards.

And no, I’m not referring to the boxes of 1980’s Panini NBA cards you have stored in your dusty attic. There are certain brands of current NBA players that are worth up to thousands of dollars as of right now. The reason being two freak occurrences in nature. The first is the coronavirus, and the second… Zion Williamson.IMG-1108

I, like many others, have jumped on the Zion bandwagon and never looked back. The high demand for the rookie’s NBA card gave Panini and other card sellers a good business. However it hasn’t been until recently, that you cannot find them in stores.

The reason being that during the quarantine in March, brands that produced player basketball cards had to close due to the virus. Thus stocks of these cards began to go down, until early June. when workers returned. I

n the meantime the demand for these cards grew as players were entering the “Bubble”, the NBA’s season restart site in Orlando. The low supply and high demand created some outrages in resale value on otherwise ordinary pieces of paper. Zion Williamson and Ja Morant 2019 rookie cards can reach prices up to one thousand dollars.

My brother-in-law, Ryan Ward, is a sneaker reseller. This means that he buys shoes for a retail price, and resells them for however much people are willing to spend. This is a regular business for many people, and a hobby I am trying to get into.

The same principles apply to this NBA card market. Retail for some boxes containing up to 24 cards, is about $20. However once they sell out, you will have to pay a steep price of $300+ from a random user on the internet if you really want your hands on them.

Why? Well it’s pretty simple, no cards are available online, and cards are only restocked at certain stores on certain days. For example, my local Walmart restocks their cards on thursday and friday mornings. However, by the time they put out a fresh couple of boxes, they are all bought in less than an hour.

I know this because I have been on a personal mission to find these cards and make some extra cash.

I was told about this craze about a month ago by my brother-in-law, but not until recently have I started searching for them. He has been giving me tips about when I should go, what brands I should buy, etc.

He has been very successful in his local Walmarts buying up to a whole stock in one trip, and reselling most of it all the very next day. 

“I just picked up a cartfull, of NBA cards,” he texted me one day, accompanied by a picture of his shopping cart. 

By the next morning he had already made four times what he had spent. Personally I have not been as successful. As of right now I have ventured into the same two Walmart and Targets a total of 12 times.

Every time, the same result.

A lot of Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards surrounding a barren section where the NBA cards should be. 

“You just got to get lucky,” Ward told me.

Eventually I hope I will get lucky enough to find them, and when I do all the research and driving will be well worth it.

How to Play Football During a Global Pandemic

Grayson Bright

This year is going to be very different especially for returning sports such as football this being the biggest question this year. Many football teams have held training camps in the NFL. The NFL this year has continued the scheduled regular season games but they have cut the preseason games.

The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years,” said Roger Goodell NFL commissioner to sportsbusiness.com.

Another reason this season will be very different from the past years is because some teams will not allow fans in their stadium at all, an example being the Washington football team. In fact, most of the teams in the NFL are not going to have fans in their stadiums for the first two home games that each team hosts.

UNC Chapel Hill
UNC Chapel Hill Empty Football Stadium Picture Credit: Beth Davis

One of the biggest shockers this offseason of football was when the Big Ten conference decided to cancel or “Opt out” of the season altogether. Other conferences have continued on with their games just with limited capacity.

The NBA has continued the playoffs but with no fans, recently they had just started allowing families to watch but most players haven’t allowed their family to watch due to safety concerns. The NCAA has continued pushing back their season now to November 25th and they will not allow fans in their stadiums either. 

This year is going to be crazy for major sporting events but as the NBA comes to a late close and the NFL starts with a late opening we could possibly be allowed back into stadiums and games eventually. 

AP College Football Poll

Elaina Pascavage

The Associated Press Poll, (AP Poll), provides weekly rankings of the top 25 NCAA teams in Division I college sports. Rankings are decided by votes from sportscasters and reports from across the country. 

Pre-season AP Polls began Aug. 24.  No surprise to see Clemson University in the hot seat for number one. Ending their last seasons with a record of 14-1, however they did lose the National Championship to the number six spot on the poll, LSU. 

The top three picks for this year is Clemson, Ohio State coming in at second, then for third is Alabama. Both Ohio State and Clemson ended their season with only one loss, both of their losses being in the play-offs for the National Championship.

Credit: Collegefootballnews.com

My top three picks for the 2020-21 college football season looks different than what others might have picked for themselves. Starting off with my first pick I have Louisiana State University whose 2019-20 season ended with them leading all the conferences for total yards.

Next my pick would be the Ohio State Buckeyes, at the end of their season last year the team had a total of fifty-one sacks. Lastly my third pick would be the Georgia Bulldogs, although they ended their 12-2 the bulldogs have a total of 2,591 rushing yards as a team, leading the SEC. 

News 9/4/2020

A Senior’s Story: From our Class of 2020

Mason Harmon

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Dear NCLA,

First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for pushing me every single day. Thank you for giving me the confidence I have today. Thank you for providing a safe place to learn and grow and ask questions. Thank you for giving me some of my best friends. The NCLA holds six of the best and most formidable years of my life. I went to the NCLA in seventh grade, the second year for the school, and while it took until my senior year, I grew into a different person. Through the NCLA I have the best of friends and the best teachers. Teachers that I will love and cherish forever, teachers who have allowed me to be myself and have helped me grow in my confidence in and out of school. While the NCLA has been tough, looking back on it now I realize there was not one day where I did not smile while I was there. The school opened up opportunities that led me to my major in elementary education. I have never been to a school that has openly cared as much as the NCLA does, without the faculty and atmosphere I would not be where I am today. Even though my six years of happiness were cut short, I will always remember the best times, times with sword fights in the hallways, or wearing a crazy wig to scream at fourth graders in the NCLA’s first production, or crying at every single chorus concert. I am truly blessed to have gotten the time that I did at the NCLA and while I am devastated that it is over, I will always cherish the time I had. Thank you. 

Emma Wallace

Dear NCLA, 

Needless to say, my world was basically flipped upside down during the last few months of my eighth grade year. I had planned my whole life to go to Glenn High School and graduate as a Bobcat. I was so excited to continue learning about myself and making new friends and doing new things in high school. Instead, my family decided to take a leap of faith and move across the country to Dubuque, Iowa where my dad had a job offer. It was so hard. Eventually, I began to settle in, but at that point, my family had decided to uproot what little we had grown in Iowa and go back home. My mom had seen what my sister and I been through and wanted our adjustment to be easier this time. She put us in the raffle for the NCLA, a smaller school where a few friends of mine attended. And just like that, my life changed again. This charter school that took up a single hallway became a home. The Falcons took us in, even my mom. While not always perfect, I finally found a place where I could feel comfortable being myself. I had a voice here. Friendships were built, some fell apart. We complained, we laughed, we got in trouble, and we goofed off in the halls. My sports teams allowed me to meet with kids from every grade, all supporting and loving one another. As the school grew, I did too. I tried new things, like joining the student council, playing soccer, auditioning for the school play, and even asking a guy to be my prom date! Dances were nights for my girlfriends and me to let it all out. Games were where I played with my teammates or cheered from the bleachers. All of these things became my haven. It wasn’t always wonderful, I wasn’t always happy, and I received scars along the way. But joy could be found at the NCLA. Assignments I found I could like, creative opportunities where I could express myself. Inside jokes, accidents, and shared worries created friendships I’d cherish. Teachers that love us and have fun with us. These kids I see in the halls and on the field, or as my chemistry partners. The people I’ve grown to know deeply or just on the surface. They have become those I love and look forward to seeing. That is the best part of what NCLA has meant to me … an unplanned, imperfect, and unexpected joy. 

Jodi Rickert

Dear NCLA,

The NCLA family has been a part of my life ever since I was accepted into the lottery of the school when I was in seventh grade. It was a different environment at first, but I grew to love the people that I got to call my classmates. Everyone has such different personalities and interests, but we all seem to be united like a family. We are all super close, and we all care for one another. NCLA has helped me find some of my closest friends that I hope to continue relationships with. The school has also prepared me for college with all of the teachers and administration helping me choose the most rigorous classes and expecting my 100 percent at all times. I am even thankful for the times where I was involved in such challenging classes, that I was overwhelmed with stress. This helped me grow into a stronger, smarter individual that has the ability to overcome any task coming my way. All of the AP classes and honors classes that I have taken during my time at the school have made me feel confident in my abilities coming into college next fall. I am extremely grateful for all of the teachers and administration that have helped me get through my six years at the NCLA. I am also thankful for all of the teachers that have had an impact on my life by just being themselves. An amazing thing that students at the NCLA get to experience at school is the student-teacher relationships. All of the teachers care about their students and try to build personal relationships with their students. I am so glad that I had the privilege to be a part of that with the teachers that are there now and were there in the past. The greatest thing about the NCLA is the people, and how everyone is always there for one another. Lastly, I am grateful for the administration. Everyone involved is super helpful, and always willing to help you out so that you feel like you are important. They help ensure that you are cared for, and they make sure you are showing your greatest potential. Overall, the NCLA has helped me grow into the person I am today, and I am glad to say that I am not only a part of a school but a community of people who care for one another. We all have each others’ backs and want what is best for each other. I hope that future generations can experience the connection between the students and staff because it brings a sense of community between everyone. 

Olivia Pulliam

Dear NCLA,

For me, the NCLA has played a huge part in the past six years of my life. Since I came to the school in seventh grade I have been able to find so many of the things and people that I love. The school has given me people that I can trust and count on, and people who truly believe in me. A lot of the students and teachers at the school have been like family to me and they all mean so much to me in so many different ways. I have made some of the strongest relationships and friendships with the people I have met at school, and I know that I can count on some of them even after we leave. I have never made friends as easily as I did at the NCLA. Being at this school has made it so easy to find people who I know really care about me, and I have been able to meet amazing people who want to be around me and who I want to be around as well. The school has shown me some of the most supportive teachers I have ever had, and I am very grateful to have had teachers who would stop at nothing to help their students succeed. They support us educationally but also personally, checking in on us when we need it and making sure that we know they care. They all truly believe in the students and it means the absolute world to me knowing that my teachers really want to help me succeed to the best of my abilities. So much has happened in the six years I have been at the NCLA, but with everything that has happened, I know that there were people there that truly believed in me and cared. Leaving this year is definitely scary, but not as much as I always thought it would be. Knowing that the NCLA has helped prepare me for the future in nearly every way possible, I am able to look forward to my future with high hopes. 

Mackenzie Campbell-Hunt

Dear NCLA,

I have been a part of The North Carolina Leadership Academy since its inception. Over this time, I have grown an appreciation for the school, and all it has to offer. Having small classroom instruction, providing an exceptional education for me. It is because of the NCLA that I have thrived during my middle school and high school years. Adding in the Civil Air Patrol program, in with the superior educational foundation, created what I needed to begin my educational journey. I am thankful for the NCLA for setting me up for success in my academic career.

Isabella Ammirati

Dear NCLA,

When I first started at the NCLA in the seventh grade I was very shy and did not want to be there. As the years went on I started to become more outgoing and made many friends. Being at the NCLA I have been able to excel in academics as well as athletics. I am so thankful for all of my teachers and especially my coaches who were always there for me and pushed me to better myself. The NCLA has taught me how to be a leader and to stand up for what I believe in. I have made so many amazing friendships and have learned so much at the NCLA and I would not trade it for anything.

Kyley Perkins 


For me, I have been to a few schools throughout my education, and a few were not the best. They all taught me great lessons but none really felt how the NCLA has felt. To me, the NCLA is a place where the teachers feel like instructors but also friends, we can talk and even joke, some even feel like a second mother or father. They care so much about our education and our potential that it inspires us to do better. For me the people at the NCLA are some of the brightest people I know, they make it feel like a family. I know not everyone in my grade may feel like this but in truth, I feel like my teachers and all my classmates are a family. Even if I do not know many of them, I do still believe in them and hope that the future brings them happiness.

For the teachers, they have been a vital part of my growth and not just in academic fields. They have pushed me to grow my interest in things that I all but gave up on. And even more than that they have been some of my best friends. To talk and simply enjoy our own quirkiness. These teachers include Mrs. Kerr, Mrs.Weikert, Mr. Landphair, and even Mrs. Orenstien during D&D Club. They became our best friends and even our closest teammates. I know this paper was supposed to be about what the NCLA has meant to me, but to me, the NCLA is not a place but the people who each and every day strive to expand our learning and help us grow as people. Thank you for every moment, good and bad, we have been through. The NCLA has been one of, if not the best school and place I have been to. Thank you for everything The North Carolina Leadership Academy.

Jaden Peters

Dear NCLA,

For me, the NCLA is like a second home. I have been going to the NCLA since the first year the school has opened. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people over the years who have become family. Sure, we all dislike the school at times because who likes school? But having my senior year cut short has definitely hit differently since I am not getting to say goodbye to some amazing people and the place that has felt like home for the last seven years. I am thankful to say that the NCLA has set me up for the next chapter of my life and I can confidently say that it has prepared me to start Western Carolina in the fall. I will definitely miss the NCLA and all of the people who I have met through it. I will definitely be back to support and watch the basketball teams win some more games though. 

Courtney Floyd

Dear NCLA,

Since the very day I walked into this school I knew there was something different about it. What I did not realize was that I had found my new home and my new family. For the past four years, I have been living out the dream of what high school is supposed to be, a time in life where you are pushed to be your best and make lifelong memories that you will look back on with pure nostalgia. I had to work my hardest at the NCLA, but I would never give it up for how well it has prepared me for college. Along with this hard work were the memories made that I will look back on and reminisce with joy and fondness in my heart. The most important part of the NCLA, though, is the friends that I have made. The people you meet here are those you will never forget and will never lose contact with. They are life long friends and they are what define the NCLA. It is not the building that makes a school, it is the people in it. For me, these people are family. They will forever have a special place in my heart. It is because of these people that I am writing this. If it was not for the efforts of my teachers and my peers, I would definitely not be in the place I am today. It is for these that I also grow sad. For most, high school graduation is a time for celebration, and it is for me as well, but it is also a time for goodbyes. A time when I have to say goodbye to my closest friends and teachers and move into a new life without them. Of course, I will see them in the future, but this is the close of an amazing chapter of life with them all. So for this, I say a bittersweet goodbye…goodbye to the school that made my teenage years. 

Mason Harmon 

Dear NCLA, 

With the time allotted by this pandemic, I wonder how my fellow classmates are taking this departure from the traditional senior year. I’m sure most of them are absolutely crushed that they didn’t finish the year, they didn’t get their final prom, nor did the spring athletes get their highly anticipated senior night, and the mortifying fact that they might not physically be handed a diploma. These are disheartening thoughts, however, with introspection I see this being part of a larger pattern of unique and all be it memorable experiences within my time at the NCLA. Our school has been home to many of my greatest experiences and treasured moments.  I have never been an outgoing kid and before going to NCLA, I was much more of a loner.  However, the amazing friends I made, along with the exemplary teachers I met throughout my journey at NCLA, brought me out of my shell and made me the man I am today. I thank all of them for their help and support because NCLA is more than just a school; it is a close-knit community and I will miss every moment I spent there. 

Brody Harrell 

Dear NCLA, 

By far the greatest impact NCLA has had on me is definitely the friends and friendships that I have made over these last few years. Especially in the last year, I began to have a bad case of “Senioritis” and I was ready for school to be over with. It was the friends I have made at NCLA who kept me accountable and encouraged me to finish strong. The people around me made school enjoyable though we may have had many assignments and deadlines approaching, I could always count on that in the hallways, at the end of a class, or at lunch that there would be people around who would make me laugh and help me forget about the stressful things in life. I’m thankful to have made many memories at NCLA, but I couldn’t have made them without those around me.

Trey Payne 

Dear NCLA, 

NCLA has been a crucial piece of my life in the past many, many years. It’s a place where:  I have made amazing academic and athletic success, a place where I have connected to the community, a place where I have grown, and most importantly, the place where unforgettable friendships and incredible bonds were formed. Because of the people, particularly my volleyball coaches, who truly invested their time in me at the NCLA, I was able to reach some of my biggest life goals. It will always have a special place in my heart, and I could not have been where I am today without the numerous lessons I have gained at the NCLA.

Lydia Saunders 

Dear NCLA, 

I’ve been at the NCLA for the past 5 years and Have met so many great people and made so many great friendships. The NCLA is a big family. I was always bad about saying I’m ready for school to be over but now that it actually is all I wanna do is just go back and finish out senior year. The one thing that made our school so great was our teachers and faculty. They made every day enjoyable and they also built relationships with every student. By going that extra mile to create friendships with us it made school ten times more enjoyable. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities that I’ve had at the NCLA and all the teachers pushing me to do my best.

Chloe Glover 

Dear NCLA, 

NCLA has meant so much to me over the past 7 years. It has brought me my best friends, taught me so much, and pushed me to work hard. Every year has presented its own challenges, but our class always seems to find a way to overcome them by working together. I will miss my friends and teachers, but I know that they have helped make me who I am today.

Beth Davis 

Dear NCLA, 

While writing this paper about NCLA I have so many mixed emotions about it. I was at NCLA from day one, the days where we had classes at the bridge and our “gym” was a garage. The school gave me so many opportunities to be the best that I can be, help me build friendships, a family, and most importantly taught me leadership. I was kinda devastated when I realized that I will never have classes at NCLA anymore, and most importantly, that I lost my senior baseball season. I was looking forward to this season, but life happens. I’ve built friendships with kids that I never even thought I would even talk to. I have so many friends from the freshman class to even the senior class and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I can not wait to come back to the school to watch some of my friends grow up and accomplish the dreams they have. I would never have thought that NCLA would change me into someone that isn’t afraid to speak their mind, and someone who takes charge when it needs to be done. I used to be the shy kid but now I feel like I am a pretty talkative and outgoing person. I willI definitely miss my teachers, my friends, and most importantly I will miss NCLA. I’ve built a family at NCLA, and I can not believe that my high school years are over. I will truly miss NCLA and the memories I’ve built there. As a student of the Class of 2020, I can truly say, do not take anything for granted. Live your best life, do what makes you happy, and remember to have fun! School is important, but once high school is over you’ll regret the things you didn’t do during that time.

Joe Stoops 

Dear NCLA, 

The NCLA was the perfect opportunity for me to get a fresh start. I came from a school where I had known everyone since I was five, I was ready to start over and meet new people. That was what made the NCLA special, we all got to start over and have a clean slate.

I have made incredible friends that have made a huge impact on my life and the way I see myself. My teachers challenged me, taught me the importance of determination, and were always available if I needed help. This was the perfect place for me, I grew up here. I am sure I would not be going to my dream school (ASU) without the help of my teachers and friends at the NCLA. I owe the NCLA everything and I will always cherish the relationships and friendships I made here.

Adrianna Overby 

Dear NCLA, 

Being at the school for just about six years makes it very hard to walk away from it. I am of course excited about what lies ahead, but in these past six years, I have made so many great memories and have grown alongside the most amazing peers. Without the NCLA, I know I wouldn’t have even met half of the kids in my class. This is very hard for me to think about as I would not like to imagine my life without many of my classmates. Watching friends who you have been with for years decide their next path and prepare for what has only been described to us as “the real world” is an emotion that is mixed with happiness, excitement, as well as heartache. At any school, watching those who you have gotten close with leave is heart-wrenching in itself, but because of our smaller class size, at the NCLA we have been able to connect more with our peers to the point where it almost feels as if we are all family. Of course, this atmosphere could not have been made without the help of the teachers and staff. For many, myself included, the teachers became more than just “my English teacher” or “my science teacher.” They became confidants and friends. Always willing to help and give up free time just to help one individual.  Because of these reasons, I am very glad to be a part of the NCLA.  I know many people complain and discredit the school’s stride, remarking that as students of the NCLA we don’t get the “real high school experience”. Though this may be true, we get something so much better: a community and relationships that I will remember for years to come.

Kya Hargan 

The Return of Mr. Sparks

Ellison Schuman 

Our beloved history teacher Mr. Sparks has finally made his return after 8 long weeks. After 9 days in the hospital and 3 surgeries later, he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Stage 4 is the most advanced stage.)

He was actually sick a month before he left from December 2 to February 5. The cancer has been spreading through his body during that time.

“Basically, this is a cancer that directly affects your immune system. It spreads through your lymphatic system.” said Mr. Sparks

Because of this diagnosis , he will be taking chemotherapy every 3 weeks, causing him to miss a few days now and then. Sparks expressed how much he missed being in the classroom:

“It feels so great to be back. I was going crazy at home because I was so bored. I didn’t miss grading papers, but I really missed seeing everyone.”

Mr. Sparks has gotten so much better over the past couple weeks. He’s gaining back the  weight he lost and is still in his normal high spirits.

He was overcome by the support and donations given by the students and their families: 

“I personally want to thank everyone that donated during the Genes Day. It really meant a lot to me.”

New Backpack Rule Causes Debate in Middle School

Brooke Bandy / Ellison Schuman

There has recently been turmoil in the middle school over a rule stating that students are not allowed to carry their backpacks unless they are going to class in another building. The students are currently trying to overturn the rule by asking for support from administration and the high school student council. 

“This is something they’ve been doing for the whole year, it started when some of them were in the other building about creating space and keeping space and not having things too crowded in the end and now I think with moving into the new building with everybody’s lockers here they’ve wanted to try and maintain that. Actually I’ll take that back it was this way because the lockers were so spread out earlier in the year they were allowed to have their backpacks and now they’ve come in here and  the lockers are all close so they’ve wanted to keep backpacks in the lockers so that space is kind of saved IMG-5596and that makes it easier to walk around,” said Middle School Principal Mr. Lebrecht.

“I think some of the issues came up when some of the middle school students had classes out in the high school I’ve talked to several students who have classes out there, say they have first period out there and come back here for second period and then back out for third and back in for fourth, so it was becoming an issue of back and forth with that, so we’ve tried to work with those students to help with that and ease that,” said Lebrecht.

As a result of the back and forth, some students might have a harder time remembering everything they need for a certain class leaving them without their required materials. 

“Some kids in middle school are not organized enough to know what they need for every class and then they find that they don’t have what they need, but the other side of that being that they [backpacks] don’t fit in the lockers  and so you see the lockers have not been closing so that’s an issue as well,” said High School Principal Mrs. Wood. 

This is a rule that has been put in place and enforced by middle school teachers, not by the school’s administration.

(“It is more of a teacher rule it’s definitely not a school rule … we’re going to give the students a chance to voice their opinions and see how that works,” said Lebrecht.)-Boxed Bolded

“I’ve always been one that never really worried about backpacks. When I taught, backpacks never bothered me. I just asked students to keep them under their desks and I think that if a student should want to carry their backpack they should, so we’ll see what happens,” Lebrecht continued. 

According to students that The Falcon spoke with, most dislike the rule and want it to be overturned. 

“The rule is so stupid because I am always forgetting things in my locker so I’m here without my laptop and notebooks sometimes,” said eighth grader Ariana Elliot. 

The Falcon reached out to multiple middle school teachers, two of which had no comment, but Mrs. Kawalec went on record to discuss the issue. 

“I can see both sides of the issue. On one hand, the bags clutter the classrooms and students have easy access to their phones and snacks. And on the other hand it would be more convenient for students to carry stuff from room to room,” said Mrs. Kawalec. 

According to sources, there does seem to be a resolution on the way. 

“I think there’s lots of solutions. I think if the teachers and the kids work together they’d probably be able to come up with one. Like I said, not everybody wants one, so if you only have some kids in the class with bookbags, the ones who don’t need one probably won’t have as much and if there are rules in place for no lunch bags and no string bags, I think that would work out,” said Wood. 

“I think we should be able to come up with a solution, honestly, if the teachers and students work together they’ll come up with something that works.” <-I’m not sure who this quote is from? Likely Wood

What It’s Like To Be In The Coast Guard

Brooke Bandy

The Coast Guard is a crucial branch to the U.S. Military. We’ve seen movies about it, seen them on the news, heard their stories, but what’s it really like being in the coast guard? 

Matt Leggett joined the Coast Guard in 1994 and remained a part of it for eight years. “I joined in 1994. I was eighteen,” said Leggett, “I was in for eight years.”

Leggett was a boatswain during his time in the Coast Guard. “I was a boatswain, which is someone who captains smaller boats and is in charge of deck force and also can be incharge of small boat stations. I loved it.” Specifically, he was an E-4 Boatswain in the Coast Guard. “I was a E4 Boatswain, that was what I got out as, like a petty officer third class,” said Leggett.  

Matt went into the Coast Guard thinking he would be a Boatswain, and he ended up also being a rescue swimmer. 

“And being a rescue swimmer was a job of mine while I was on the ship. I didn’t have a choice, so when I first joined there was a huge Cuban Haitian migration happening at that time period and the ship that I was on, the swimmer transferred off to go to his next unit, so they basically pulled me out of the pool and said ‘Hey you’re going to be a rescue swimmer out of bootcamp.’ They knew what unit I was going to and they told me right out of bootcamp that I was going to rescue swimmer school.” said Leggett.IMG-8295

Though being a rescue swimmer seems like a scary job, it might not be as bad as we think.   

“Looking back at it, it was probably one of the least scary things. You don’t really think about it when you’re in the moment because you’re too caught up in it that you don’t really think. You don’t have time to think whether or not you’re scared if that makes sense,” said Leggett. 

Being in the Coast Guard doesn’t mean just lounging on a ship all day. It requires lots of hard work.

 “You’re always training and you’re always getting ready for that next thing … there would be times when the Captain would come tap me and say, “Come grab your swim gear,” and we would do man overboard drills 200 miles out at sea and that would be testing the new people who had just gotten to the ship from the academy,” said Leggett. 

 Being in the Coast Guard involves many jobs, including marine law enforcement.

 “You’re constantly doing different law enforcement activities whether it be like drug intervention or fisheries patrol. You know, everybody kind of understands the drug intervention because this always on the news, but for fisheries you may be going in and seeing if they are double lining fishing nets, which basically means they are taking everything out of the ocean you might be out on the fish holds of ships to estimate how many fish are in a hold of a fishing boat,” said Leggett. 

During his time, Matt didn’t get deployed, but he had some friends who did. 

 “I have friends who went over there. Typically what happens with the Coast Guard is the folks that get deployed are what are called Port Security unit, so the Coast Guard has been in every major war. So if you talk to any Vietnam veteran, there’s a good chance they might have been deployed and been on a patrol boat. They’re patrolling over there and you know river patrol or offshore but today I think it’s mostly PSU and those are like reservists, so they can get deployed and there’s also some law enforcement teams that will go and man a Navy ship and what they do is they’ll actually do boarding in the Mediterranean, so the reason they do that is because of the Navy codes,  it could be considered an act of war, but if the Coast Guard does it, it’s law enforcement. So when the Navy wants to board a ship, they’ll fly the Coast Guard flag to avoid any trouble and it’s kind of like a loophole,” said Leggett. 

Being in the Coast Guard means that you have lots of once in a lifetime experiences, but it has its ups and downs. 

“For me it was the missions of the Coast Guard. It changes. The Coast Guard does so many things, unlike the other services. Some of the other services don’t, like the Marines have a function, the Army has one function, the Navy has another function, where the Coast Guard has multiple missions that they do. It could be defense, it could be law enforcement, it could be humanitarian, like the migrations ops that we used to do, you get involved with marine protection. One minute you could be putting out a boat fire and rescuing somebody out at sea, then three hours later you could be cutting a dolphin or turtle out of a fishing net. Everything was different.” 

One of these experiences for Matt was being able to cut a dolphin out of a fishing net. 

“So one of the coolest things I got to do was actually cut a dolphin out of a fishing net. That was kind of fun, it was like a little spiritual connection between me and the dolphin,” said Leggett. 

Just as there were some good times, there were some not so good times.

 “Like everything else, you try to remember the good stuff, but there is some stuff. When you’re a junior, there’s some stuff that’s not fun, like the ships are constantly needing upkeep, so you’re constantly chasing rust and painting, so that needs to get done so the ships can keep going and function the way they’re supposed to, so that’s not always fun.” Leggett said.

Matt and his wife Amy

One thing Matt pointed out was mess cooking.

 “Mess cooking. everyone has to mess cook at some point or another so at some point you’re washing dishes or peeling potatoes, you know that kind of thing,” said Leggett.

Being in the military gives one lots of stories to tell, good and bad. 

“I mean, we went to some neat places on port call when I was on the ship. A port call is when you pull into port, so we would go to places like Halifax, Canada, you get liberty for an hour or overnight and you have to be back at a certain time. So, you know, like Charleston and Key West and all these places I haven’t been to before, Puerto Rico, a lot of islands in the Caribbean, so that was always kind of fun,” said Legget. “Just the things that happen when you’re with a crew, and a crew you know really well, it becomes fun and funny too because people get this sense of humor they’ve developed under stress, so it’s fun and funny to see that stuff happen.”

Another former member of the Coast Guard is Jennifer O’Toole.

 “I was a Marine Science Technician. So I responded to oil spills, hazmat spills, and I boarded foreign vessels that came in, looking at the overall structure of the ship, drug busts, fisheries, illegal immigrants, how their cargo is stored, stuff like that,” she said.

She joined after high school and stayed in service for 20 years.

 “[I joined] right out of high school,” she said. “[I was in for] 20 years … I just got out when we moved here. That’s how long you need to get retirement, which is pretty cool because I get a paycheck for the rest of my life now until the day I die. At 38 years old, I mean, you don’t find other jobs where you get a paycheck, I mean some jobs you may work there 20 years but you don’t get a paycheck till you’re like 60 something. Not with the military, you stay in for 20 years, you get a paycheck when you get out, and health insurance which is pretty big,” said O’ Toole. 

Her first experience getting out to her ship was quite an interesting one.

 “ I got to San Francisco and my ship is underway. It’s up in the bering sea, it’s in Alaska, so what they did was they flew me to Anchorage, Alaska, and from Anchorage to Kodiak … there was nothing out there, and from there they put me on a C130 which is a military plane and I took that to this small island called Cold Bay, Alaska and this island only had 14 people that lived on it. When I landed, the pilot said, ‘The helicopter that’s supposed to come and take you to your ship is on another island putting out a fire, so go walk about half a mile up that hill and you’re gonna see a house. Go knock on the door, their names are Mary and Bill. They’re not in the Coast Guard but they’re expecting you,’ and it was just this small island and they just welcomed all coast guard people there … I was there for like 5 hours before the helicopter could come and then the lady was like, ‘Okay, it’s time,’ and … they picked up and they told me, ‘The weather is really bad out there. We cannot land this helicopter on the ship right now, so we’re just gonna lower you down in a basket,’ and … so we get there, in the middle of the Bering Sea, and they get the search and rescue basket that you see and they put me in that basket and they lowered me down, and then they lowered my green sea bag, which is basically my luggage everything i owned at the time and they lowered that down. That was my introduction to my first unit in the Coast Guard being dropped from a helicopter into the ship in the Bering Sea with 50 foot waves. I mean it was crazy weather. It was so cool because stuff like that just happens throughout my career and it’s stuff that I kinda took for granted as time went on because it just happened you know. I miss it more now because I know I wont find something like that again,” said O’ Toole. 


Jennifer’s Experience at Deepwater Horizon 

One of the cool things the Coast Guard does is assist with cleanup after environmental disasters. A major environmental disaster the Coast Guard was a part of was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.  

“I was at the BP oil spill. I was in charge of the Skimming Department, so I was in a helicopter everyday flying over, training fishermen how to clean up oil using big skimming equipment. I’ve been to quite a few hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, Florence, Irma … so you know, I was sent to those for response,” said O’ Toole. 

During this event, the notice to leave was extremely late. 

“I was stationed in Seattle and I wanna say Seamus was two or three years old at the time. I was given a twelve hour notice that I had to get out to Louisiana,” said O’ Toole. 

The cleanup had three groups doing most of the work.

 “Something kinda scary, there were three groups to the BP oil spill. You had the skimming group, which is what I was in charge of, you flew over and trained all the fishermen and guided them to where to go every day and stuff, and then you had in situ burn, which they would light the oil in the water on fire, so you had these big burns going on everyday all over the Gulf offshore, and then you had this dispersing group. So you had this nasty chemical that they were dropping from planes to break the oil up and sink it. The thing with the BP oil spill is that nobody was communicating. There were way too many organizations there,” said O’ Toole. 

Due to the lack of communication, there were some occasional mishaps and mistakes. 

“I was on one of their helicopters, it was just me and a pilot, and I got there around 5 in the morning and we flew out. There was no AC, it was summertime, the windows were open all around us, were hovering down low, looking at the oil, and there was a lot of oil that had surfaced there, but because of the lack of communication thing there was going on they didn’t tell me that there was already a scheduled dispersal drop happening right where we were. This plane flew over us and dropped just hundreds and hundreds of gallons of this dispersant and it covered our helicopter and it came in and it got all over me and it burned. I did get pretty sick after that, but we had to do an emergency landing because we almost crashed out in the Gulf. Fortunately, there was an offshore landing site that we made it to. They had to get another helo(helicopter) out to replace this one because the engines and everything were covered in dispersant, but that was very hectic,” said O’ Toole. 

The Deepwater Horizon was a massive spill that needed months worth of cleanup and work from the Coast Guard.

 “It was a crazy evolution because we had never seen oil like that, that much oil, like I’ve been to a lot of oil spills but nothing of that size, nothing that they couldn’t stop the flow. I was there for quite a while, from the very beginning, it happened, they told me I had 12 hours to get out there … you had offshore cleanup stuff that would get to the beaches and everything, and then there was offshore at the source, so where the accident happened was where I was everyday,” said O’Toole.

Every experience in the Coast Guard is different, and Jennifer really enjoyed hers. 

“I mean I loved it, I miss it everyday. There were a lot of things I took for granted because I was so young. I think it’s the coolest job you could ever have, hands down. I mean your office is on the water, so it doesn’t get much cooler than that. I knew I was always going to be living somewhere near the water and the amount of travel that I did, places I got to see, places I got to live, I mean straight outta highschool I went to bootcamp and then from bootcamp I was stationed in San Francisco which was really really neat and I was on a ship out of San Francisco so we would go underway for two months at a time,” said O’ Toole. 

On her ship in San Francisco, they would go on either northern or southern patrols. 

“We would either do North Pacific patrols, where we’d go up to Alaska and Russia, or we’d do South Pacific patrols where we crossed the equator and went down by Colombia. So the south patrols were drug intervention and the north patrol were fishery and search and rescue. That was a really really neat time, I mean to be so young and to have seen all of that,” said O’ Toole. 

A job in the Coast Guard involves something different everyday, which is what most people love about the job. 

“When there wasn’t any kind of big disaster, my everyday job was I just boarded foreign vessels all day. It started out, there are big ships coming in, they’re big tank ships or freight ships that are carrying cargo to the U.S. or we’re shipping to other countries, and some vessels depending on what they are carrying or what they’re boarding, based off of what countries they came from or the conditions of the ship, we would have to board it before it entered U.S. waters, so that’s 12 miles out to sea. Usually we would board it and take a small boat out and I jumped from the small boat to the Jacob’s ladder that hangs off the side of the foreign vessel and you just kinda jump over onto that ladder and climb up to the top of the ship. When weather conditions are bad, which you would get up in Boston or Portland … it was safer for us to get trained up on vertical delivery, which meant we took helicopters and we would repel from the helicopters down to the ship, and that was like an everyday thing. I’d go into work and we’d take off and hop onto a helicopter and they’d lower us down and we’d hop on a ship. We boarded one or two ships a day depending on what we had going on. Some boardings would take four hours, some would take 12 hours. It just depended on what type of ship and the condition and if we found anything,” said O’ Toole. 

Boarding these ships and looking for structure or anything illegal could end up in huge drug busts. 

“I’ve done two different cocaine busts. The first one we did was not a cocaine bust, we simply boarded, but it was the mothership, which was basically just a fuel ship out there that was fueling up boats that were leaving from Colombia, up to either Mexico, drop it off in Mexico and then bring the rest up by land. That’s usually what happened or it would come in by the ports, but usually we would catch them before they got to Mexico, and then from Mexico they would take it over Thailand and into the States. So the first ship was a fuel ship and in the second two ships we boarded both had two tons of cocaine on them wrapped up in like 50 pound bricks of cocaine and so we take the brakes off and put it on our ship so that was a neat story,” said O’ Toole. 

Moving around every few years is a guarantee with the Coast Guard, which can be tough. 

“The unpredictability, I mean I loved moving around, but let me tell you transfer season is the most stressful thing when you’re waiting to hear where you’re going to go. So transfer season usually happens in June. That’s when most people will transfer. They wait till schools are out so that people with kids aren’t pulling their kids out midseason, but you don’t find out where you’re moving too until March or April, so just a couple months prior to, so having kids and doing that was a little stressful trying to figure out daycare and stuff like that when you don’t know the area.  Sometimes there’s a little difficulty planning your own stuff. Our job was response, so we didn’t know when stuff was going to happen. So I had trips to fly back home and see family and next thing you know I’m getting sent somewhere for a cleanup response or some kind of disaster. So I loved that part of the job, but at the same time it got frustrating sometimes trying to plan your life outside the Coast Guard, if that makes sense,” said O’ Toole. IMG-3048

Though transfer season can be tough, everyone is in the same boat, and that helps people to quickly create bonds.

 “The other thing is you always make friends easily, because even though you’re constantly moving every three to four years, you get somewhere and in the Coast Guard, everybody’s always moving, so each place you show up you’re just welcomed right away. People don’t wait a while to make friends and stuff because everything is so rushed. The friends that you meet, I’ve got friends all over the country from just the Coast Guard, and that’s some of the closest friendships I’ve ever had,” said O’ Toole. 

Entering the Coast Guard does entail going to a bootcamp. 

“Bootcamp was tough. Most people don’t realize that the Coast Guard has a tough bootcamp, but they do. It’s one of the harder ones in the military, so what I will say is that bootcamp is hard for two reasons; one is that it’s physically demanding, two is that it’s mentally demanding. So the purpose of that is to put you under a lot of pressure so you can function when you get out into your unit,” said Leggett. 

“Physically, it was not tough at all, but it was a lot of yelling and a lot of structure. That part was hard. I didn’t have a miserable time there. It was funny, the stuff that when on, and you just can’t take anything personally because here’s the deal, everything is scripted. Everything the Company Commanders say is scripted, it’s all script. They have to memorize this huge manual of what they can say and what they’re gonna say at what week, but when you’re there you feel like they’re yelling at you personally, but no it’s all a game. It weaves out who should not be in, who’s gonna yell back and cuss out the Company Commander and it gets them out before they’re actually in the Coast Guard and you have to work with somebody like that,” said O’ Toole. 

Food is something that’s always shown as grey sludge in movies, but it’s not as bad as it seems. 

“Food at the Chow Hall is pretty interesting because all the Company Commanders are there watching you walk by and they’re watching you to see what you eat [and] to make sure if you took too much that you ate it all so it’s interesting. The food was okay, I mean, they feed you well because they want you to be able to do well,” said Leggett. 

The bootcamp is nine weeks and involves lots of preplanned activities.

 “It was only nine weeks i’ll say the days went by really slow but the weeks went by really fast if that makes sense its like you wake up in the morning and your whole day is completely planned and you’re totally exhausted and so tired and the day just drags on and you’re constantly doing something you’re constantly getting yelled at but next thing you know it’s Friday already and I’ve just got eight more fridays to go, seven more Friday … and you’re just counting down,” said O’ Toole. 

Going into the Coast Guard may feel overwhelming, but the main advice from former members is to keep on a good track, get some college under your belt before joining, and make sure you’re comfortable on the ocean. 

“From my own personal experience, if you could get a couple years of college under your belt before you go in, that’ll help you in the long run or it’ll help you finish college. Two is to talk to as many people as you can about the coast guard including recruiters. The recruiters are there to sell and get quotas, so they’re gonna make it sound like it’s all roses for the most part, but it’s not always. Three, you should know if you get sea sick or not because a boat on the lake is a lot different from a boat on the ocean. I grew up on the ocean and I was seasick everyday for the first two years,” said Leggett. 

“I think the biggest thing I saw, it happened all the time, the Coast Guard doesn’t take just anybody. I mean, it’s hard to get into it, really is. A lot of people think ‘It’s the military I can just join it, they’ll take me.’ It’s not like that, like people who are in the Coast Guard usually stay in for quite a while anyway. So you have to finish school, get good grades, you need all that. The other thing is you can’t really get in trouble. If you get arrested for anything, your chances are done. Same with tattoos, because they have just lightened up on the policy, but they had a really strict tattoo policy, they’re strict on your medical physical coming in, your physical fitness coming in, your weight. There’s stuff like that that makes it so you have to get through all those hurdles first just to be qualified to come in so my best advice … you just can’t mess up, you just have to get good grades, go to school ,finish school, all those things that seem kind of common sense,” said O’ Toole. 

Fertilizer in the Water?

Cydney Leister

The NCLA’s AP Environmental class recently ran tests on the school’s drinking water, and discovered elevated levels of chlorine, nitrate, and phosphate. The tests were performed by a non-professional kit, but could warrant a deeper look into the water staff and students are drinking. 

Currently the students’ sentiments towards the water fountains are not positive.

“Personally the water is not bad. It is just the more and more we have rainstorms and stuff, you can tell the pipes are getting much and much worse, ” stated NCLA senior, Jaden Peters.

Others have completely sworn off drinking the water provided by the fountains, preferring to bring water bottles from home. 

“The times I’ve drank school water it always tasted weird or funny, so after that I just stopped drinking fountain water from the school,” shared NCLA freshman, Rebecca Avila.

“I like to bring my own water. The water here doesn’t really taste that good,” said NCLA Senior, Maia Edwards. 

Though it appears the vast majority of the student body are not fond of the provided water, some differ in opinion. 

“I think the water is fine. It has a nice crisp taste to it,” commented NCLA junior, Lily Davenport.

Curious of possible reasons for the distaste for the school’s water the Ap Environmental classes decided to put the water through a few tests. They tested hardness, pH, alkalinity, as well as levels of bacteria, phosphate, iron, copper, nitrate, oxygen, chlorine, ammonia, chloride, and chromium. 

These tests were intended for the use of classes and educational purpose so are not professional. This being stated it is likely a professional test would uncover far more than the one completed by the students. 

Most of the tests, like the ones for heavy metals and bacteria, came up negative, which is good news for all NCLA students and staff. 

“Well I think most of the results turned up as predicted. There was no bacterial growth, which is what we want to see. A lot of the heavy metals were negative, which is also what we want to see,” commented overseer and AP Environmental teacher, Mrs.Hartzell. 

However, the data collected from the chlorine, phosphate, nitrate, and hardness tests gathered some curious attention.

“I think the tests that warrant some more looking into would be the elevated chlorine levels, and the nitrates and phosphate levels,” stated Mrs.Hartzell.

The water tested at 1ppm (parts per million) of chlorine, 2ppms of phosphate, 2ppms of nitrate, and tested as hard. 

What does this mean for those drinking the water?

The chlorine is there to prevent the growth of bacteria and has succeeded at completing that goal, though it is a bit high as drinking water is recommended to be below 0.5 ppms. According to the 2018 Water Quality Report for Winston Salem and Forsyth county the levels are not outside the normal average, which is 1.01 to 1.88 ppms.

“The chlorine I am sure is to keep bacterial contamination down and we didn’t see any grow,” said Mrs. Hartzell. 

The phosphate and nitrate are likely the result of fertilizer runoff, which is not entirely unexpected within the area the school is located. However, it is odd that the 2018 Water Quality Report recorded lower levels of phosphate, at only 0.87 ppms, and had no record of nitrate detection.

“I think it points to the fact we live in an agricultural community, nitrates and phosphates are prone to be found in agricultural runoff or fertilizer. The fact that we live in agricultural land it’s not really too far off the mark to see elevated levels of those,” commented Mrs.Hartzell.

The water being hard is an issue for the schools plumbing. It can put strain on the pipes and cause a build up of minerals, mainly calcium, that could cause problems in the long term life of the school.

“Although those nitrate and phosphate levels, I don’t think, are in the realm of being unhealthy for adults, but could potentially cause some issues with very young children. So it may be worth having it tested by a professional,” shared Mrs.Hartzell.

Overall the water is no imminent threat nor cause for hysteria, though it would likely not hurt for the school to have better filters. This 

would not only insure the safety of the students and staff, but improve the water’s smell and taste, which at the moment is far from the best. 

“I think just in terms of drinkability, I would not go so far to say the water is unhealthy for adults, but it might be worth having different filters to add alkalinity for smoothness and for taste. Also so the water smells a little bit less like chlorine, cause it is not really great for your apatite,” said Mrs. Hartzell on the matter. 

NCLA’s Blood Drive Was a Huge Success!

Cyd Leister 

On Thursday, Jan. 23, the NCLA’s National Honor Society hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. 47 students, parents, and staff came to donate to the valuable cause.

By the end of the day, 37 pints of blood had been donated, which, according to givingblood.org, can roughly equal about 12 average whole blood and red blood cell transfusion.

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“We had 36 new donors,” commented Mrs. Orenstein, the teacher in charge of the NHS.

The blood drive was a great success for the school and the NHS’ as this was their first event as an active chapter.

“I think it was awesome. The fact that we had 47 people sign up, some couldn’t give blood, but at least they were willing to help out with such a good cause,” stated Mrs. Orenstein.

The outcome of this event brings anticipation and hope of similar events in the future, as well as hopefully another blood drive next school year. 

“I hope I can get more parents next year, just to get it out to the public earlier, so that we can get some parents to sign up. Other than that, I thought that everything was great. I had some seniors in charge of the whole thing while I was teaching. All of the National Honor Society helped and they ran it very smoothly. All the students that came and donated were very courteous and very kind, and waited patiently. Honestly, I think it was a success,” said Mrs. Orenstein. 

The Great WiFi Scare of NCLA

Mason Harmon

Feb 1, 2020 – As of Friday, Jan. 17, many students at the NCLA grew aware of a problem with their Wi-Fi connection for both their computers and their smartphones. Since then, computers have connected without issue, but smartphones have remained offline.

With this phenomenon, rumors have begun to spread about what or who is the culprit. Fortunately, the real story behind this issue resembles none of these overblown assumptions.

Eric Gonzalez, Director of Technology for the NCLA, is the only one who actually knows what happened with the Wi-Fi network. He revealed the reason for the connection problems came from the state’s internet connection change.IMG-5454

“We do a lot of the work through the state because we use their firewall and their content filter, so when they implemented the change, they were a little overzealous and knocked off IOS devices as well as Mac and PC,” Gonzalez said.

Fortunately, Mr. Gonzalez was informed of this and took the proper actions to undo the cause of the issues.

“This was done on Friday and when we came back on Monday we were made aware and then we went into the system and made the necessary changes to roll back some of its restrictions. IOS devices, Android devices, and Chrome OS devices on the student network should be able to connect without a problem,” Gonzalez said.

Since Mr. Gonzalez made these changes, and with some cooperation with the state, students’ phones can now connect to the Wifi. He is also encouraging students to share with him if they are still dealing with Chromebook Wifi issues. 

“For anybody having issues I would say come see me because I would like to identify their device on the network and see where it’s getting caught,” Gonzalez said. 

As Mr. Gonzalez addresses the remaining issues, there is something quite evident amongst the student body that should not be overlooked. It is the fact that the majority of the student body is dependent on the school’s Wifi to enable their use of smartphones.

Following the disconnection from the Wi-Fi, many students were left frustrated and in many respects disconnected as a person. Sophomore Nicholas Hurst is one of those students who really felt the pain of not having NCLA’s Wifi for his smartphone.

“The school Wi-Fi allows for me to communicate with my parents and my peers when I don’t have cellular data. It also enables me to do school work if I leave my Chromebook at home or if the battery is dead,” said Hurst.

101 Dalmatians: Putting it Together

Post Malone: A Concert Experience

Column by Rebecca Avila

Mar. 9, 2020 – Post Malone held a concert at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 1. Tyla Yaweh and Swae Lee were Post Malone’s opening acts. The concert began at 7:45 p.m. and ended at 11:30. 

I got mosh pit tickets that cost $409.57, but were totally worth it because I was the second/third row away from the railing. It was definitely very crowded which was expected and there was the occasional fight. 

The concert began with Tyla Yahweh. He was so hyped and excited to be there. He threw some sweat towels out to the crowd and said that we were the best crowd on the Runaway Tour. IMG-5749

After Tyla Yahweh, Swae Lee was next and he was blinged out and ready to go. He was very hype and he said that he jumped on the tour a couple of days before and so far, Greensboro was the best crowd he had sung for. He threw some sweat towels, roses, his shirt, and some merch. He also brought people on stage to vibe with him.

Swae Lee paid tribute to XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD and played some of their songs. 

About 45 minutes passed between Swae Lee and then the time came and Mr. Malone himself came on stage and the crowd went absolutely wild. He came in singing off the bat singing some of his top songs like Congratulations, I Fall Apart, Stay, Better Now, Rockstar, Hollywood’s Bleeding, Saint-Tropez, and more.

He threw out his cup and sweat towels and sunflowers with Swae Lee when they sang Sunflower from the movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. 

By the end, Post Malone gave an inspirational speech about following your dreams and doing whatever you want to do because if you’re passionate, you do it to your fullest ability. He also began crying and saying that Greensboro was the absolute best crowd he’s had. 

Post Malone is the absolute best guy that I have met and is the best guy in the world. I also did get my shoe signed by the legend himself.

NCLA Band Brings The Holiday Spirit

Olivia Brown

Dec 13, 2019 – On Dec. 11, the NCLA had a high school band concert that started at 6:00 p.m. The songs that they were going to be playing were Rough Riders March, Danny Boy, Cumberland Cross, and Sleigh Ride

“We chose these songs because they wanted it to match with the holidays,” said Levi Antieau.

The first song they played was Rough Riders March by Karl L. King, arranged by James Swearingen. Karl L. King did not title his marches because there is no significance to it but the title was chosen to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt. The song started off somber and relaxing and then it was elevated into an upbeat tempo. The audience seemed to enjoy the performance a lot.

“My favorite song that we’ll be playing tonight would be Rough Riders,”  said Ethan Kirkman. 

The band then played Cumberland Cross by Carl Strommen, the publisher of the piece has said, “This original work explores the rich American folk style in two sections. The first has broad, moving harmonies under a Shenandoah-like melody, and the second a lively dance reminiscent of Copland.” 

The song starts off sad and melancholy then the flutes come in making it happy and cheerful. 

“Thank you again for coming, I’m so excited to be here and cannot wait to be here for a very long time,” said Mr. Gonzalez.

The NCLA Middle School 2019 Christmas Concert


Digital Concerts are the New Normal

Jackson Faenza

April 24, 2020 – Due to the outbreaking pandemic, as many of you know, concerts have been cancelled all over the country.

Coachella, Dreamville and Rollingloud have been just some of the music festivals that have been  postponed. Some concerts that have been postponed were Taylor Swift, Harry Styles’ European leg of the Love on Tour, Luke Bryan, and Justin Bieber.coachella-music-festival

Due to this, many artists have done digital concerts for fans. For example, ABC network did a Disney concert on TV, where many celebrities went on TV and sang many classic Disney songs.

This past Saturday, musicians took part in a “One World” concert where many singers such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Billie Ellish, and Keith Urban played some uplifting songs for the world.

The Grateful Dead is doing an online concert Apr. 24.  Post Malone is also going live with a Nirvana tribute concert.

Experts are now saying that they think it is a good possibility that concerts will not be coming back until Spring 2021. They do not want to risk anything without a vaccine.

NCLA HS Choral Concert 2019

Gratifying Generals

Nicholas Williford

March 13, 2020 – Were you ever bored at school?

Do you want to own an empire?

I have the solution — a game called Generals.

Generals.io is a realtime multiplayer strategy game that is like the game named Risk,in the aspect that you raise armies, capture territories, and destroy the enemy by capturing their crown.

unnamedWinners of battles are determined by, if one number is bigger than the other, the bigger number will obviously win. The losing number would be subtracted from the winning number.

Everyone starts with one crown tile that generates 1 army unit per tick. Blank spaces require no battles to capture and will generate 1 army unit every 25 ticks. A steeple costs 40, but when you capture it, it generates an army as fast as the crown tile.

When you meet other players, strike fast and have a purpose because the more time you give your enemies, the more time they will have to strike back.

“Generals to me is more than just a game, Generals is an experience, it is a moment when you are at war with your friends, they are not your friends now, they are foes, and you must crush them into the ground, surround their home base, and make them beg for mercy as you amount thousands of troops around them, laughing and pitying them, until you can finally take their life force from them,” said Mason Harmon.

Generals is not just a game, it is a lifestyle.

I’m Joining the Army for Journalism

Ellison Schuman

Recently, I decided to take the same route as my brother and join the Army. All my life I thought I had the perfect plan. I was going to college to get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and be a writer in New York. That was until I became aware of all the advantages that came with being a journalist in the Army. I made a “Pro’s and Con’s” list to really understand what I would be getting into.


The Army pays for your college education if you choose to get a degree
Travel around the world
Retire by mid-40’s and still getting paid afterwards
Not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from or where you’re going to sleep
I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do


Going through basic training
Dangers of the job
Not being able to see family/friends as much as I would want to

A journalist in the army is classified as a “Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist”. The responsibility of this career is to assist with the Army public affairs programs through news releases, newspaper articles, Web-based material and photographs for use in military and civilian news media.Screenshot_20191205-121558

In order to become a Communication Specialist, I have to go through 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 12 weeks of AIT (Advanced Individual Training). Basic Training is the recruit training program of mental and physical preparation for the US Army. AIT is where you will learn the skills to perform your Army job after Basic Training. This is where you’ll receive hands-on training and field instruction to make you an expert in that specific career field.

Before you go into Basic Training, it is required to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. To enlist in the Army, you must get a minimum score of 31, where the maximum score is 99. This test measures your knowledge in 10 different areas, and will assess which jobs you are qualified for. For me I would have to get a 107 in the General Technical portion.

Overall, I think this is a good choice for me, and I recommend it for anyone who has had any interest in being in the Military. Most people are blind to the many jobs that the military has to offer. It’s not just fighting in wars and blowing stuff up.

Personally, I am very nervous/excited for the whole process, but it’s a great way to travel, write, and not have to worry about much.

Looking Back at Living 2019-2020

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A Tribute to Mrs. Reaves

Brooke Bandy

Sept. 25, 2019 – It was announced on September 17 that the beloved Latin teacher, Mrs. Reaves, was going to be resigning, effective at the end of the first quarter, after teaching at The NCLA for five years. 

“She’s one of the best teachers here,” said Junior Wen-Shin Lee.

“Mrs. Reaves is like the mom at school I never had and she always takes time to talk about our personal problems,” said Junior Megan Queen.

“What I will miss the most is just having her there because she has always been someone that I know I can talk to about anything,” said Senior Ashlyn Rice. 

During her five years at the school, she has made many memories. Some of this stick out above the rest.

“I love Saturnalias, graduations, and anytime I’ve had a new class. I love the beginning of the year because I love meeting my new students and seeing the people that I’ve had before and reconnecting. The Caesars and Senators were really fun, watching everybody get so competitive about it, even my earlier years when we would go around caroling in the school,” said Mrs. Reaves. 

Her students have made some fun memories during her time here as well.

“It was when we were doing scansion,” said Lee.

“My favorite memory isn’t actually in her class, but a couple of years ago we went to the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood together and that’s probably my favorite memory,” said Rice. 

One of her students’ favorite things about her is how supportive she is.

“She’s come to a lot of my volleyball games and I can hear her yelling even though she has no idea what she’s yelling about,” said Queen. 

The reason she came here five years ago was because of her good friend, our own middle and high school technology and video production teacher, Eric Gonzalez.

“Eric Gonzalez was the one who talked to me about coming here. There was an opening and he had talked to me about how much his girls loved it and were excited about the NCLA from the time they started the NCLA,” said Reaves. 

Her favorite thing about teaching at the school over the years has been her students, saying, “My babies, my kids, even the present company included.” 

Her favorite thing about teaching here at The NCLA is also the thing she will miss the most. “The same thing… ” referring back to her favorite thing about teaching here,

“ … it’s the interactions, it’s the knowing what’s going on in everybody’s lives and being apart of that,” Reaves said. 

Mrs. Reaves has made a huge impact on the school as a whole with her kind spirit and positivity, and she has even led some students to want to pursue teaching as a career.

“Mrs. Reaves is actually the person that made me decide that I wanted to be a teacher because of how she has always treated me and I want everyone to have someone in their life like her,” said Rice.

What the Quarantine is Like for Students


Brooke Bandy

Apr. 3, 2020 – Quarantining and staying at home is hard enough, but learning from home is an added level of difficulty. Students at The NCLA began learning at home on March 18 and will be (at this time) continuing to do this until May 15. IMG-5823

Online learning has gone fairly well for most students, which is a very good sign. “Online school has made learning very easy and quick. Because we don’t have to listen to lectures, we just have assignments to work on, it makes learning a lot more effective,” said Sophomore Julianna Peters. 

“I have been able to teach myself and go at my own pace which is nice, but it is hard to get motivated,” continued Junior Ally Mattingly. “Sometimes I just write stuff in my planner, but I’m pretty much winging it.”

NCLA Junior Christine Parker said, “I think the online school has impacted my learning in a couple of ways. First of all, not being in a classroom environment is hard for me personally because I get so distracted. This causes me to take so long to get my work done.

IMG-5827“I think another way it affects my learning is in the way that our learning is compromised,” Parker continued. “I think by being in school we are able to learn a lot more and it’s much easier to ask questions, turn things in, and to attend tutoring.

“The last way it impacts me is that it’s a little overwhelming at times. Every teacher teaches different online and everyone uses different websites. With all the assignments due it’s difficult to keep track of them, when they’re due, and where to submit them.” 

Social lives are also being very strongly impacted by quarantine. “My friends and I still talk, but it’s hard for us to have free time at the same time,” said Mattingly. 20200417_133824

“My social life has been pretty rough, I have used FaceTime to keep up with all my friends, which hasn’t been that bad. I miss them though, and sports,” said Peters.

“Quarantine has been both positive and negative for me. Personally, I am a very extroverted person so I thrive when I am around others,” said Parker. “I’ve been pretty lonely while in quarantine and I have been talking to my dogs a whole bunch. On the bright side, quarantine has allowed me to do activities I normally never have time for, such as cooking every day and drawing on my driveway with chalk.

“I think quarantine is a perfect opportunity for our world to just focus on ourselves and enjoy trying new things!”

Flamin’ Hot Fight 

Nicholas Williford

Feb. 28, 2020 – This past week Gideon Van Dyke and Nick Williford went on a journey to establish, once and for all, which Flamin’ Hot chip reigns supreme. 

Our selection came down to 3 chips the Cheetos Flamin hot chips, the Cheetos Flamin’ hot puffs, and the new Doritos Flamin’ hot chips. IMG_4257

The O.G. Cheetos 

These were the baseline for this Flamin’ hot journey. They are always perfect to snack on when you need a pick me up, but they are kind of mainstream and when you think of Flamin’ hot they are the chips you think of. 

The Trash Triangles

The Doritos have a not very good initial taste they are completely different from any of the original chips, and they have a delayed burn. They are our least favorite out of the three.

The “Hit-Different” Puffs

The spicy puffs instantly give you a tingling and spicy sensation to the point where it is almost overwhelming.  They have too much on too little.

The NCLA Falcons Wrestling Season Goes Out With a Bang

Gideon Van Dyke

January 31, 2020 – The NCLA falcons Wrestling Team wrestled their last official match before regionals this past Tuesday night at Wesleyan Christian Academy. 

The match at Wesleyan was a quad match meaning there were four teams present and each team wrestled Middle and High School matches making the match go on for many hours.  Some highlights of the night were Isaac Woodlief won most of his matches with a pin. 

Before the match head coach Mat Tuddle stated, “Let’s wrestle just as hard as we did in our last match and as we did on our first match lets go make all the effort we have put in this season pay off let’s leave it all on the mat.”

The team only had five wrestlers and out of them, only two wrestled. The matches that were wrestled were only in the lighter weight classes. Isaac Woodlief, the teams 152, and Chris Hungerford, the teams 120, got some good mat time the teams 220 and heavyweight wrestles ended up with three forfeits that night. 


The team has grown in many ways since the season has begun they started with almost 18 wrestlers and due to injuries and some people quitting the team was down to seven wrestlers. 

When asked about his favorite memories of this past season, Sophomore Nick Hurst stated, “My favorite memory with the boys is when we were bumping to Sweet Home Alabama on the bus on the way to a match.”

Looking Back at Sports Throughout the 2019-2020 year!

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Biggest Turnout for Golf in NCLA History

Gideon Van Dyke

February 28, 2020 – The Middle School and High School golf teams are coming back for their spring seasons.  

“My expectations for this season are to gain everyone a lot of  experience, to grow to get a little better, and have fun,” said Coach Christopher Walsh.

Last year the high school team made a major achievement last year by making it to the 1A regionals tournament.IMG-5610

The team has a lot of talent returning, “It looks like I am having a return of all my high school and middle school players from last year but we have a lot of new players we are having the largest tryouts for golf in this school’s history,” said Walsh

On the topic of the turnout for tryouts, the middle and high school teams combined have over 30 students trying out for the teams this week.

The High School team’s first match is on Mar. 4. and the Middle School has one next week. Both teams are using the Pine Knolls course in Kernersville as their home course for this season.  

“My hope for the season is that I can hit the ball and not Clarice,” said junior, Annie Ellis. 

Clarice Arnold, Ally Mattingly, and Annie Ellis. Juniors on the golf team.

Conference Championships Will set up BCS

Jackson Faenza

December 5, 2020 – The College Football Conference Championships are about to start this week. It will be an exciting week with many teams looking to make it into the BCS playoffs.

On Friday in Santa Clara, California, the Pac-12 championship will take place between Oregon and Utah. Utah clinched the Pac-12 South Division with the win over Colorado. Oregon is 10th in the country in rushing defense, but allows 106.3 rushing yards in a game. Utah has the best rushing defense, 3rd best scoring defense, and then 14th ranked passing defense.

Jackson’s Pick: Utah

Then in Arlington, Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma faced off again, where Oklahoma beat Baylor 34-31 after a 23 point deficit on November 16. The Big 12 championship will be on December 7, Saturday, at AT&T. This will surely be another great game because these two teams match up great with each other. Baylor will sure be out for revenge from their last meeting!

Jackson’s Pick: Baylor

In Atlanta, Georgia and LSU will face off for the SEC on December 7 as well. This is sure to be a great game because both of these teams are both sitting in the recent AP Top 4 rankings. Georgia is currently an underdog to the LSU Tigers. LSU leads the SEC in scoring offense and has the quarterback that has the single-season passing yard record.

Jackson’s Pick: LSU

Down in Charlotte, North Carolina will be the ACC championship between Virginia and the reigning champs, Clemson. The Clemson Tigers have won 5 in the last 8 years and 4 of them being consecutive. Obviously Clemson is the considered favorite by a lot to win this game. The Tigers have only given up 121 points all season, while Virginia’s defense has given up 116 points in just its four November games. It is safe to say who will win the ACC.

Jackson’s Pick: Clemson19FB_ACCChampionship_1075

Finally in Indianapolis, Wisconsin and the #1 Ohio State will face off for the Big Ten championship. Ohio State is currently the favorite by 18. The two teams faced off earlier in the season with an Ohio State win 38-7. Everything about Ohio State is great at this moment, they are just coming off a 56-27 win over Michigan. This will be the third meeting between Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.

Jackson’s Pick: Ohio State 

No Summer Games This Year

Rebecca Avila

April 1, 2020 – The Summer Olympic Games are held every four years. They bring all the countries of the world together. This year will be different because of a major issue that has risen. The US now has “more than 210,000 people in the United States have been infected.” said CNN. 

“The pandemic is the ‘greatest test’ the world has faced since the end of World War II,” according to CNN and the secretary general of the United Nations. 

With the pandemic becoming more and more of a problem, the biggest event in the world decided to postpone the games until 2021.images (2)

“The decision to postpone the Games, but no later than summer 2021…to have the Olympic flame staying in Japan until the opening of the Fames and to keep the name Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.” said the International olympic Committee President. 

The postponement of the games also comes with a heavy price to pay. 

“The Olympics would bring the total cost to about $15.3 billion…”said Forbes. Compared to “ the Rio Olympics cost $13 billion…” said businessinsider.com.

The Olympics set a new date for Jul. 23, 2021, through Aug. 8, 2021, and the Paralympics to be on Aug. 24 though Sept. 5,2021, but anything can happen at any time. 

“The virus could last into next year’s fits with the predictions of some experts.” said statnews.com and Nancy Messonnier who works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.