2020-21 Archives

The Falcon newspaper is recognizing the Class of 2021 with this interactive page on our site.

Seniors featured here volunteered to take part in a variety of different ways as they close out high school and look ahead to the next chapter.


Carpool Karaoke!

Many seniors took to the road for a sing-along with Falcon News Editor Brooke Bandy.


Featuring the NCLA Senior Athletes

By Christine Parker

Ally Mattingly plays golf and she has for 3 years. She started because one of her friends convinced her to try it. “it’s given us a way to bond and connect! I love how nice everyone is during matches,” Mattingly said. She would tell younger athletes to not be afraid to try something new and to just go for it! 

Senior Athletes
Cheerleader Amber Matiais.

Amber Matias had cheered for 7 years at NCLA. She started because she wanted to try something new and she knew friends that wanted to cheer. She has received coaches and most improved awards over the years.

Cheer taught Amber how to trust and bond with others to accomplish anything thrown her way. For younger athletes, she would highly encourage them to focus more on the people around you than the sport itself. ”If you put your teammates before yourself, your team will be more successful and positive,” Matias said. 

Brooke plays soccer and runs cross country. Brooke has played soccer since she was four and she started running cross country sophomore year. She ran cross country at first to stay in shape for club soccer but kept running because she loved the people on the team. She doesn’t remember why she started playing soccer, “my parents probably just put me in a league when I was little,” Bandy said.  Brooke has been awarded Most Improved and Coach’s Award for cross country. She might play intramural in college but hasn’t decided yet. “For soccer, I love everything about the game. It’s super fun to play and to watch and I love working as a team to get goals and win games. For cross country, I love the people and I really enjoyed running with some of my best friends because we got to talk and bond while on long runs,” Bandy said. Soccer has taught her a lot about patience and teamwork. Cross country taught her a lot about discipline and motivation and how important exercise is because “I would always feel so much better during cross country season than during the off season,” Bandy said. A piece of advice she’d give is to keep going even if you’re frustrated and to not get in your head. 

Annie cheers and plays golf. She has cheered for 4 years and golf for 3 years. She started playing sports because she felt like it would be a good way to build relationships with other people, plus it’s nice to stay active. Her favorite thing about participating in sports is forming relationships with the people on her team and having that camaraderie. “I would tell younger athletes that if they think a sport sounds fun to go for it and try out. It can be some of the most fun you’ll have and you don’t want to regret not doing it later in life,” Ellis said.

Christine Parker cheers and plays soccer. She has played soccer off and on since she was 5 years old and has cheered since 6th grade. Christine started playing soccer because her dad got her involved since he had played his whole life. She has been awarded coaches award for soccer,  MVP and coaches award for cheerleading, and is an All American Cheerleader. She was captain of soccer and cheer in previous years. Christine plans on playing intramural soccer in college. Her favorite thing about these sports is the relationships she has made with her teammates. She doesn’t know what she would do without the love and support from them. She would advise younger athletes to always have integrity and do what is right on and off the field.

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Emily Vroom runs cross country and plays basketball and soccer. She started

Senior Athletes
Cross country. Mary Dehart, Brooke Bandy, and Emily Vroom.

cross country in 9th grade, basketball in 6th, and she’s been playing soccer since I was five. She started playing these sports because she thought it would be a fun way to spend her time and hang with her friends and I ended up really enjoying them and the fact that they allowed me to stay fit. Emily has been awarded the coach’s award, most improved award, and most valuable player award in cross country over the years and was also one of the cross country captains this year. She has also been awarded the coach’s award in basketball and was also one of the captains for basketball. Emily plans on possibly continuing these sports, especially soccer, at a club level in college. Her favorite thing about the sports she plays is the different teams she gets to be a part of.

“Being a part of each team is a unique experience that allows us to win or lose as a team,” Vroom said. Sports have definitely pushed her outside of her comfort zone at times in order to benefit her and have played a large role in developing the work ethic that she has today. She would advise younger athletes to take the time to play the sports that they enjoy no matter how hectic their lives may be because sports are definitely one of her favorite experiences from high school.

Giuliana Chiquito plays golf for the school team and other sports like volleyball and soccer for just for fun. She started playing golf since she was around 7 years old, but she stopped around 11 years old. Giuliana recently started playing again last year and made the team this year. She started when her dad would take her to the range for fun because he loves to golf. She plans on playing intramural in college. Her favorite thing about golf is that you’re constantly competing against yourself. Even if your opponent is at a worse or better level of ability than you, it’s a gentleman’s game above all. It’s completely normal to give each other tips and help out. I love that and the fact that although the opponent is your motivation, beating your best is always your goal. “In my life, golf has definitely helped me take a deep breath and stay calm under frustration. Golf is a game in which the smallest frustration can mess up your game entirely, so it’s important to have fun and enjoy it,” Chiquito said. Her advice to younger athletes is that perseverance is the most important thing. You are your own competition and the only person you should focus on being better than is the person you were yesterday. Even the smallest improvement should be cause for celebration and further motivation.

The NCLA HS golf team from left to right: Coach Walsh, Ally Mattingly, Dain Crnojevic, Sophia Dolesh, Giuliana Chiqiuto, Will Blake and Annie Ellis.
Senior Athletes
Varsity boys soccer. Michael Cespedes, Wen-Shin Lee, and Jackson Shaw.

Jackson Shaw plays soccer and basketball he has played basketball for 4 years and soccer for 3 years. His favorite part of each sport is eating out with his team after each game, win or loss. “Sports are a lot like life. There is a lot of ups and downs and just learning to roll with it will lead to success. This is the same for sports and for life,” Shaw said. To younger athletes, he would say enjoy your time in sports because it doesn’t last very long. You will never really remember how you play but you will remember the relationships you had. 

Kylie Tucker plays soccer since she was five years old. She doesn’t remember exactly why she started, but she hated it at first. Kylie is so grateful her parents made her stick with it because she truly loves it now! Kylie would love to play intramural in college. “I love how soccer really require a team effort. No goal is made alone- and I think that’s really special and requires a beautiful sense of unity,” Tucker said. Soccer has given her a chance to meet new people and create new friendships. It also has been a great way to escape from homework and the craziness of her life for just a few hours everyday and have fun with her friends. Kylie would definitely tell younger athletes that they should remember to have fun. In her opinion, no sport is worth additional stress- so pick something you truly enjoy! Life is stressful enough as it is!

Levi Antieau has played baseball for 11 years. He started just to trying something new. Levi has received MVP twice in middle school then once in high school. Levi’s favorite thing about baseball is how quickly things can change. One thing he loves about the sport is the people he has met have become lifelong friends. His advice for younger athletes would be don’t give up. 

Lexi and Christine deck story
Senior Levi Antieau at-bat

Macey Green has cheered for 7 years. She started cheer because she was looking for something to do to fill her time. “My sister had cheered her whole life and it looked fun so I figured I’d try it out,” Green said. Macey Green has received the MVP, Falcon Award, and Coaches Award. “I love the teamwork the sport requires. It requires everyone to work together and be there for things to work out (stunts, dances, etc),” Green said. “This sport has taught me so many useful skills but mainly that hard work pays off. There were some difficult times in cheer where we worked our butts off to finalize routines but it all pays off in the end.” 

Macey would advise younger athletes to enjoy their sport to the fullest. High school goes by so fast and if you’re not planning on playing in college, high school sports is it.

Senior Athletes
Cheerleader Madison Jennings

Madison Jennings has been an NCLA cheerleader since freshman year. She decided to start cheer because her good friend Macey asked her to try out and she fell in love with cheer! “I loved doing stunts and building bonds with my stunt groups and teammates on the bleachers”, Jennings said. From cheer, she has gained more confidence and made her realize she can do things she never thought she could do. Her advice for younger athletes is “to just have fun and love your teammates, I know that might be hard sometimes but it’s so worth it!”

Senior Athletes
Maura Perkins playing volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

Maura Perkins plays volleyball, basketball, and soccer. She has played volleyball for 7 years, basketball for 12 years, and soccer for 6 years. Maura started playing sports because she had grown up around basketball and soccer and she says “I am tall so I tried volleyball.”

Senior Athletes
Maura Perkins playing volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

For volleyball, Maura has received MVP twice, coaches award, and most improved. For basketball, she has received coaches award and MVP twice and for soccer, she has received most improved. Maura plans on playing intramural in college. Her favorite thing about sports is the competition and bonds that you build. “Sports have allowed me to get through ms and hs and build friendships that will last a long time enjoy playing sports because they don’t last forever,” Perkins said. 

Mary Dehart runs cross country and plays basketball and soccer. She started doing cross country freshman year, basketball sophomore, and she’s been playing soccer since she was 8. I decided to run XC because she realized she needed a way to stay in shape for soccer and it just became a fun and sometimes questionable sport I started to enjoy playing. “I started playing basketball cause I had always been told it would be a good sport for me especially with my competitive mindset. I started soccer because what kid didn’t play soccer when they were younger? Over time I just fell in love with soccer and saw how much it had an impact on me as a person. I enjoy the atmosphere and competition of all the sports I play and knowing all I can do is get better and grow with my teammates is something I have always been grateful for,” said Dehart. She would suggest to younger athletes to never let themselves get discouraged by a singular mistake. We all make them and it’s okay if you mess up every once and a while just don’t let it change your view of how you are as a player.

Megan Queen plays volleyball. She has been playing for 8 years, 13 seasons in total. She has received most improved her sophomore season on varsity as well as serving as captain senior year. She plans to play intramural at least until she gets the whole college thing down, then she may play club! Her favorite thing is the love and support of teammates throughout the years from people she’s known for her whole career to girls she just met last club season. “They all want to see me and others succeed,” Queen siad. “The impact volleyball has had on me is probably different than a lot of other peoples. First and foremost, I learned the value of trusting others and how to be the best teammate I could possibly be. I also learned a lot from all of my coaches, and since losing Coach Fisher, I learned not to take a day or thing for granted.” 

To younger athletes, she advises them, “please don’t take a single practice, game, or bus ride for granted! Seriously, the time flies! I feel like I just was at freshman tryouts and here I am 18 and retired!”

Mercy Newnum has cheered for 4 years. She started because she wanted something that was similar to gymnastics Mercy has received Coaches award. Mercy’s favorite thing about the sport is cheering on athletes and watching and bonding with her teammates. Cheerleading has taught her a lot about communication and trust. “I would tell younger athletes to take in every moment because not everyone gets the opportunity to play in college,” Newnum said.

Nick Williford plays football, basketball, and track. Started playing these sports just because he felt like playing. He has received an award for football and track. Nick played football for 2 years, track for 1 year, and basketball for 1 year. His favorite thing about sports is having a brotherhood and winning. He has enjoyed that it made him more athletic. To younger athletes, he would say “keep grinding and it will eventually pay off.”

Senior Athletes
Noah Richardson started from t-ball to baseball

Noah Richardson plays basketball and baseball, basketball. He has played basketball for 13 years straight and baseball for 12 years “if you count t-ball.” He started playing sports because he comes from a competitive, athletic family that encouraged him to start. From basketball, he has received MVP, coaches award, and most improved. From baseball, he has received MVP and coaches awards. “I would love the opportunity to play in

Senior Athletes
Noah Richardson started from t-ball to baseball

college but if I don’t I’m sure I’ll stay in the sports somehow,” Richardson said. Noah’s favorite thing about sports is working harder than everyone else and winning. Sports has had a huge impact on his life, from lifetime relationships to work ethic, and made him realize that if his mind is in the right place he can do almost anything. The advice he would give to younger players is most importantly have fun and enjoy the moment, but also don’t tell yourself “oh I don’t need to reach this goal because I have this much time left in my career to do it, you never know when your career will end, so set your goals high, and work for them now and achieve them now.”

Senior Athletes
Varsity girls volleyball. Maura Perkins, Megan Queen, and Selah Smith.

Selah Smith has played volleyball since she was in 5th grade and started because her sister played volleyball. She has received MVP for NCLA’s varsity volleyball. She plans on either doing Intramural or club but she hasn’t decided yet. Her favorite thing about volleyball is how complex it is and how every touch on the ball is important. Volleyball has taught Selah sportsmanship and dedication. The advice she would give for younger athletes is to enjoy it and communication on and off the court with your teammates is important. 

Senior Athletes
Soccer play Wen-Shin ready to break someone’s ankles

Wen-Shin Lee has played soccer for 13 years. He started playing soccer because his parents signed him up for upward at the time and he had no choice. Look at him now! Wen-Shin has received Coaches award twice, MVP (not for NCLA) 8 times. He plans to play both club and intramural in college. He said the best thing about soccer is chasing after a person with the ball.

“Soccers taught me to be confident in myself, how to be a leader, as well as working towards a goal,” Lee said. Advice to younger athletes: stay outta drugs so you can pass them drug tests…or else you can’t play your favorite sports anymore. 





Most School Spirit: Christine Parker and Wen-Shin Lee

Most Athletic: Maura Perkins and Noah Richardson

Most Likely to be on a Reality TV Show: Nick Williford and Madison Jennings

Most Likely to Show Up Late: Amber Matias and Michael Cespedes

Most Friendly: Mercy Newnum and Noah Fowler

Class Clown: Derek Shull and Selah Smith


Senior Quotes

Gavin Dehart: “D… D… D… Did I stutter?”


Mollie Lomax: Psalm 20:4 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”


Megan Queen: “Wherever you go, go with all you heart.” – Confucius


Christine Parker: “Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life but will surely add life to your years.”


Rebecca Nordstrom: “Live slow, fly fast.”


Brooke Bandy: “I have no idea what’s going on, but I am excited!” – Chandler Bing


Kyle Bouton: “Don’t be lunch meat.” – Mr. Gonzalez


Keely Hargan: “If no one comes from the future to stop you from doing it, then how bad of a decision can it really be.”


Maura Perkins: “Cheaters never win, but I just graduated.”


Abby Workman: “You’re mad. Bonkers. Off your head … but I’ll tell you a secret … some of the best people are.” – Alice, Alice in Wonderland


Levi Antieau: “If a person has no dreams, they no longer have any reason to live. Dreaming is necessary, although in the dream reality should be glimpsed.” – Ayrton Senna


Nicholas Williford: “Imma senior but I stay fresh man.”


Drew Traylor: “Got anything funny to say about that, funny man?” – Rick May




Cyd Leister: “Love all, Trust few, Do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare


Allen Viars: “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” – George W. Bush


Olivia Haltom: “Everyday above ground is a great day, remember that.” – Mr. WorldWide


Emma Moser: “I’m just here for a good time not a long time.” – Unknown


Kylie Tucker: “When I die, I want the people I did group projects with to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time.” – Unknown


Carter Redding: “I asked God what to do one day and he told me to build my future so I grabbed a tool box and went to work.” – Carter Redding


Emma Wolfe: “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.” – C.S. Lewis


Emily Vroom: “You can either waste your lives drawing lines, or you can live your life crossing them.” – Meredith Grey


Annie Ellis: “We’re falcans not falcan’ts”


Noah Richardson: “Mo’Pawa Baby”


Madison Jennings: “Better late than ugly”


Selah Smith: “Hannah Montana said nobody’s perfect, but here I am.”


Mercy Newnum: “They said it would go by in a flash not in a zoom.”


Emily Baker: “My future may be bright, but not as bright as the red screen on Kahoot.”


Macey Green: “Not all goodbyes are sad. Example: goodbye, school.”


Amber Matias: “I guess Amber isn’t coming”


Mary Dehart: “If I had a dollar for every time God came through, I’d be a millionaire.” – Tauren Wells


Allyson Mattingly: “It’s time to go.” – Aaron Hotchner


Sports: 4-30-21


Jackson Faenza

About two years ago, the North Carolina Leadership Academy Falcons joined the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. They were not put into a conference right away, instead they were categorized as an Independent school.

There are about eight other schools in the state of North Carolina who are in the Independent Conference. The bad part about being an Independent school in the NCHSAA, teams cannot compete in any conference championships or qualify for state championships either. The only two sports that are allowed to qualify for state championships are Mens and Womens Cross Country and Mens and Womens Golf.

Starting next season, the NCLA will be participating in the NCHSAA Northwest Piedmont 1A Athletic Conference. 

“Being in this conference gives us the opportunity for post season tournaments and championships. Now we are affiliated with a conference, so now we can qualify for the state championships. Being able to compete in a championship can also help put NCLA on the map and bring recognition to the athletes that work really hard everyday,” said Athletic Director Coach Mac.

The other schools in the conference will include other private and charter schools such as Bishop McGuinness High School, Cornerstone Charter, Winston-Salem Prep, Carver High School, and Bethany Community Schools.

The Falcons have some familiarity with a couple new conference foes, having faced off with them over the past couple of years..  Most of these schools are about our size, Bishop McGuinness has about 372 total number of students in the school. Cornerstone Charter Academy has about 1,202 students in their whole school which is just about the same as NCLA.

There is one public school in this conference, Carver High School. They have about 654 students in their High School in total. One school that will most likely be some big competition in this conference is Bishop McGuinness High School. They are also located in Kernersville and have been playing in this 1A conference for a long time. 

According to Maxpreps.com for example, Bishop’s Womens Varsity Soccer team is number one in the Northwest 1A conference and also undefeated in the conference. “We got Bishop in this conference and it’s probably one of the toughest as far as across the board in all sports,” said Coach Mac.

The process of getting us into this conference was very tedious and involved many conversations between Coach Mac and Mrs. Faenza. There were also many negotiations that had to be done with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

“Thankfully, my timing was just incredible, because the NCHSAA was just starting the process of realignment, which is where they really revamp the whole system as far as your classifications such as your 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, etc. This year they did it really hard, like a whole year ahead. It was just really good timing on my part,” said Coach Mac. 

Coach Mac went on to explain how you really had to submit your thoughts to a board at the NCHSAA and just really wait. Then she explained that, after putting their input in, the board released a first draft after they decided where to draw the east and west line for the two halves of the state. When that first draft was released, our conference would not have been that favorable for us because we have to compete against schools that are much bigger than us in population.

“After that first draft, we had to figure out how to present our case for a more equal conference to be in. So then they came out with a second draft after that. The AD’s of the schools in the conference went back and forth trying to decide how to adjust a better fit for it be equal for all the schools. So then we present that to the board, so that is how we ended up in the Northwest 1A conference.”

This is a really exciting thing to be put into this conference because we can have some competition and to be able to compete with other schools for championships and state championships. 

“It ended up being kinda like a charter and private school conference, which we could not ask for much better than that,” said Coach Mac.

MS Softball Comes to End

Laura Richie

The MS softball season has officially come to an ending on a pretty good note. Going from a coach who had never played softball before and didn’t understand the rules, to someone who knows their instinct throughout her games, head coach Mrs.Rickert was able to end the season off right with a win.

“Dave Sellers, the MS boys baseball head coach, encouraged me to learn the game of softball and he made it fun and challenging,” Coach Rickert says as being one the reasons why she stepped up to coach these girls.

MS softball team taking the last win of their season

The softball team is a very young team with only three eighth graders on the team, which is good for next year leaving some experience for next year to hopefully have a good team. This year’s team had a lot of girls who have had experience with the game, there were only about three girls who didn’t know anything about the sport coming into the season. The experienced girls did an amazing job always backing up those three girls and helping them understand the game.

On Apr. 27, the MS softball team ended up ruling Clover Garden MS 17-7 to take the win home.

NCLA MS softball team lost only two out of the 10 games they played this season, both games were lost against the same school.

“Parents, player, assistant coach, Student-Athletes all came together to make the season work, making it a great season because we had great players,” says head softball coach Mrs.Rickert.

NCLA Final Softball Review

Emily Viers

The NCLA Falcons Softball team ended its season 4-4. Unfortunately Covid made this season challenging. That did not stop the Falcons; they came together as a team and lifted one another up to make the best out of it.

“I think this season was great, just not long enough! We learned so much in just a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to seeing how much we can do with a full season next year,” said sophomore Julie Davis.

The season kicked off Mar. 1 and ended Apr 27. The Falcons played eight out of the ten games scheduled for this year.

image_6483441 (8)
Creds to Abby Brannan

“Covid has affected this season in many different ways. Not being able to breath and having your mask on while having face guards and helmets on is the worst,” stated freshman Ariana Elliot. 

Many memories were made this year as a team. For some it was the post-game bus rides and for others it was the unforgettable inside jokes that will always be cherished. 

“My favorite thing was our post-game stops to eat. We would spend the whole time laughing and spending time with each other,” said freshman Brooke Taylor.

This softball season has been a great learning experience for the new players the team welcomed this year, as well as a great season for the team to grow together and develop new friendships. 

“My favorite thing about this season was watching how much some of the new girls improved. For some of the players on our team, it was their first year, and for almost all of the rest of us, we had only played for three or four weeks last year before it ended. Seeing how far we all came, how hard we worked to get from where we were to where we finished, that was really cool,” Davis said”

Laura Ritchie was the pitcher for the NCLA softball team this year. She pitched every inning and every game start to finish.  

“Coming into this year I knew I would be pitching as we don’t have another pitcher at NCLA. Knowing that I’m not a pitcher and that my primary position is second base I knew that I would have to step up and work hard to become a decent pitcher to not only help win games but just to have a team in general. Over the years I had struggled a lot with learning to pitch and the pressure of doing it, also being out of softball for a year kinda put me in a bind but thanks to coach crotts I am actually able to pitch decently,” said sophomore Laura Ritchie. 

Offensively the team was led by Laura, Brooke Taylor and Jayden Dewald. 

“Covid definitely messed up the very end of the season, and I don’t think any of us wanted to finish the way we did. Not having that last game, or even a last practice where we knew that it was the last time we were all going to play together, it’s really hard. Again though, we’re lucky that we had a season at all, and I am so grateful for all the memories made and the experience that I gained,” said Davis.

For other stats and games for the Falcon Softball please go to maxpreps.com.


Varsity Golf Season Wraps Up

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Girls Soccer Senior Night

Grayson Bright

NCLA high school girls soccer team ends their season with a 3-7 win over Clover Garden giving the seniors a win to go out with. They played the game at NCLA’s own field while their friends and family were able to watch the last game of the season.

“I will definitely miss cheering on every player on the team and seeing everyone come together to play. We went up against some super tough teams and always played as a unit to do our best,” senior Amber Matias said.

In the win over Clover Garden seniors Christine Parker and Emily Vroom had a combined total of six goals and Brooke Bandy had one assist. Christine Parker had won player of the game to finish the last game of the year.

“I’m going to miss the joy that comes from playing soccer but it’s not only about playing soccer. I have made wonderful friendships on this team and I will miss laughing and joking around with them. They are such a supportive team and I know they always have my back. I will definitely miss the time spent with my team,” senior Christine Parker said.

The season has been modified due to protocols having to be implemented throughout many planned soccer matches. The team still managed to put together 12 games this season and make the most out of their games winning six of them.

“Our season was shortened and the number of games were limited. We had to follow strict protocols and guidelines for each practice and match,” Coach Joshua West said.Senior night soccer picture

The highschool girls soccer team had scored on average two goals per game while having one assist averaged every game as well. Freshman Panagiota Mellonas had led the team with 12 goals the whole season. The team had scored a total of 30 goals and passed for the total of 16 assists the whole season.

I love all of the bonds that you create with your teammates. The countless hours you spend with your team and the amazing memories that come with it make playing soccer that much better,” senior Maura Perkins said.

There were a total of seven seniors that were on the team this year. They had helped contribute to the culture that the team had created that had helped support lower classmen. They did this by showing support and acceptance to everyone on the team.

There have been so many great vignettes of different aspects of the team this year, but my favorite moment of the season was at our last practice. The girls were all sitting in a circle on the field after we had finished training. They were eating cookies and singing together at the top of their lungs. It was a perfect picture of this team–the leadership of the upperclassmen, the acceptance and support they gave the freshmen, and the camaraderie that they all developed together,” Coach Joshua West said.

Together the seniors had pulled together 18 goals with Christine Parker and Amber Matias had tied in leading the seniors in goals with seven goals. The seniors had also passed the total of eight assists with Brooke Bandy leading the way with three assists on the season.

“My favorite experience playing school soccer was being able to ride the bus this season with all of my teammates and goofing off during the 4v4 warmups,” senior Brooke Bandy

But during the season their goalkeeper Ava Gonzalez had suffered an injury after saving 22 goals in one game against Southwest Guilford. This led to freshmen Emmerson Guldberg having to play goalkeeper for the remainder of the year and she had saved ten goals. 

“I’m going to miss the joy that comes from playing soccer but it’s not only about playing soccer. I have made wonderful friendships on this team and I will miss laughing and joking around with them. They are such a supportive team and I know they always have my back. I will definitely miss the time spent with my team,” senior Christine Parker said.

Draft Picks from NC High School

Cade Shoemaker

The NFL draft is a time for future stars and big name standouts to get the recognition they deserve for their years of hard work. This year’s draft may feature athletes from local high schools such as alumni from Graham and Mount Tabor. 

Divine Deablo graduated from Mount Tabor in 2017, before playing four years for the Virginia Tech Hokies. Deablo is a safety and played multiple positions in high school, including quarterback for the Spartans. After a standout pro day, Deablo placed himself on the lookout from a lot of teams. The 22 year old is projected to be selected around the fifth round of the draft.

High School Overtime scouted Deablo as, “one of the largest safeties in the draft at 6’3 and over 225 pounds. He projects as more of a box safety that will spend a lot of time around the line of scrimmage. We could even see him as an actual linebacker in a dime defense.”

Divine Deablo when he was at Mount Tabor.

Jamie Newman is a Graham High School Alumni also from the class of 2017. Newman played three seasons as the QB for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons before transferring to Georgia for his senior year. However, due to coronavirus restrictions, Newman opted out of the 2020 season. In highschool, Newman was a standout QB breaking many school records. Due to opting out of last season, Newman is only projected to be a 6th round pick.

“Newman has a lot of good traits, which should make him a target for a team looking for a developmental quarterback,” HSOT wrote.

NC high schools have seen former students turn into standout NFL stars. Big names like Todd Gurley and Keenan Allen played and graduated from Toboro HS and Northern Guilford. Right down the road, Glenn High School’s Tory Woodbury was drafted to the Jets in 2006.

“I hope a lot of NC football players get drafted, it’s crazy to watch people play in the NFL that grew up where I did.” Jonathan Floyd continued. “It makes me get more involved with the game and I enjoy it.”

NCLA HS Baseball First Home Game

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Upcoming Games:

HS Baseball:

Next two weeks cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions


News 4/30/21

Two Hands to Change the World 

Lindsey Allen 

Anyone can change the world with their own two hands and the NCLA Kindergarteners are a perfect example of that.

Whether it is a change in one person’s life, or a hundred people’s lives, they have big ambitions and great plans. 

When asked how they would like to change the world some students talked about things they can do to help the environment. 

“By helping the Earth. Because I love the Earth,” said Deacon Price. 

“I want to pick up the trash because I want the world to be clean,” said Hunter Holden.

“Some people think that we can change the world by producing stuff that people can recycle,” said Makayla Shaffer. 

“By planting a lot of trees because it makes oxygen,” said Knox Todachinnie.

Others said that they will work to make the world a safer place. 

Wyatt Barker said, “I want to be a superhero. Spider-man. I will be saving people around the world.”

“By stopping bad guys! I’m gonna be a police officer and go undercover,” said Mason Buben. 

Most of the kindergarteners said that they want to change the world by being kind. 

Charleigh Medinger said, “I will change the world by giving people food, really really good food. Because I think it’s fun to make food and give people it.”

“To help people. Help them clean,” said Olivia Hopkins.

The idea to ask the kindergarteners how they wanted to change the world came from an Instagram post made by The NCLA, showing posters the students had painted with the quote, “We can change the world with our own two hands.”

“My class can change the world by always being kind to others and showing others how to be kind,” said kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Mizgala. “They always do the right thing even when no one is looking. This class shows unconditional love to all.”

Other kindergarten students had their own plans to change the world:

“I want to change it to be pretty,” said Chloe Mackie.

“By being a superhero, Captain America Girl. So I can pick up all the trash,” said Kaaraj Hunjan.

“I want people to think I am a good artist of making people,” Ava Mangialetti. 

“In the navy or army. I have a cousin in the army,” said Luke Best.

“Being nice. Because it will make everybody feel good,” said Lee Laing.

“By helping people, because it makes people feel good,” said Cullan Grubb.


Attack of Pollen

Nora Wood

   As the pleasant Springtime weather puts the south into full bloom, don’t be fooled by its enticing colors- the pollen is out to get us more than ever… and it’s brutal.  

   If you struggle with a pollen allergy, you are not in luck. Not only are pollen seasons’ intensities worsening, but they are also lengthening in time. As society becomes more technologically advanced, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions are at an all-time high.

Not only is CO2 a greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect, which causes the global climate to warm, but it also acts as plant food. When plants photosynthesize, they take in CO2 and water and further turn them into glucose for food and spit out oxygen back into the environment. 

  “So with increased CO2, plants can convert more of it to sugar- which is a positive for plants to have more CO2,” science teacher Mrs. Hartzell said. “When there’s more energy for plants from pollen, there’s more of an ability for plants to reproduce.”


   When plant productivity is high from the large intake of CO2, pollen amounts are also high. In order for plants to reproduce, they need pollen, which is why they continue to produce it at such a rapid pace. 

“Also, it’s warmer. There are ideal ranges for enzymes to function. It’s becoming warmer each season, so we are seeing more plant production,” Hartzell added. 

  This being said, global warming caused by greenhouse gases such as CO2 is not only causing high plant productivity but is also producing ideal temperatures for plant reproduction. While plants are loving all of this excess atmospheric CO2, those with pollen allergies are not reciprocating this excitement. 

   In a recent Instagram poll, we asked: “Do you struggle with a pollen allergy?” with 63% of participants (60 people) saying yes and 37% of participants (35 people) saying no. 

According to betterhealth.vic.gov, pollen allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing 
  • Itchy and runny nose
  • Red, itchy and watery eyes
  • Itchy roof of the mouth or throat
  • Cough 
  • Congestion of the nose
  • Blocked sinuses
  • Extreme tiredness

For those with asthma, a pollen allergy can cause: 

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing – whistling noise when breathing
  • Coughing 

(More information about symptoms can be found from the website listed above.)

   While these symptoms often arise during the Spring, make sure you can differentiate between allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. In fact, The NCLA advises students who are feeling under the weather, even due to allergies, to please stay home. 

   “Please keep your students home if they are sick even if you think it is allergies,” @thencla on Instagram said. “Covid symptoms mimic seasonal allergies – stuffy nose, etc. If a student has any symptoms of covid, please send an email to frontoffice@thencla.org, and we can give you more guidance about a return to school date. The goal is to keep schools open and everyone as healthy as possible… Sending a child to school while sick only jeopardizes 1020 other students.” 

   While some find it redundant to stay home because of a stuffy nose, limiting the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible is what will keep the school open. 

   At this rate, worsening pollen seasons are inevitable. 

   “I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. Some people have found that using saline washes, which are saltwater solutions, to flush out their sinuses has brought some relief, but nature is going to react to however the climate changes,” Hartzell said. 


What‌ ‌is‌ ‌Superscoring?‌ ‌

Rebecca‌ ‌Avila‌ ‌

Many‌ ‌schools‌ ‌are‌ ‌beginning‌ ‌to‌ ‌superscore‌ ‌SAT‌ ‌and‌ ‌ACT‌ ‌scores,‌ ‌providing‌ ‌better‌ ‌chances‌ ‌for‌ ‌students‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌an‌ ‌overall‌ ‌better‌ ‌shot‌ ‌at‌ ‌improving‌ ‌their‌ ‌scores‌ ‌to‌ ‌colleges.‌ ‌But‌ ‌what‌ ‌is‌ ‌superscoring?‌ ‌Is‌ ‌it‌ ‌beneficial?‌ ‌

Superscoring‌ ‌is‌ ‌when‌ ‌students‌ ‌submit‌ ‌multiple‌ ‌SAT/ACT‌ ‌scores‌ ‌and‌ ‌if‌ ‌the‌ ‌college‌ ‌superscores,‌ ‌they‌ ‌will‌ ‌take‌ ‌the‌ ‌highest‌ ‌scores‌ ‌from‌ ‌each‌ ‌section‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌test‌ ‌then‌ ‌convert‌ ‌those‌ ‌scores‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌overall‌ ‌composite‌ ‌score.‌ ‌ ‌

Source: logicprep.com

Superscoring‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌beneficial‌ ‌because‌ ‌colleges‌ ‌are‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌release‌ ‌higher‌ ‌average‌ ‌SAT/ACT‌ ‌scores‌ ‌to‌ ‌set‌ ‌them‌ ‌higher‌ ‌in‌ ‌college‌ ‌rankings.‌ ‌It‌ ‌also‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌students‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌fact‌ ‌that‌ ‌all‌ ‌scores‌ ‌are‌ ‌being‌ ‌evaluated‌ ‌and‌ ‌considered,‌ ‌giving‌ ‌them‌ ‌a‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌chance‌ ‌in‌ ‌being‌ ‌accepted‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌college‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌choice.‌ ‌ ‌

Most‌ ‌schools‌ ‌are‌ ‌now‌ ‌beginning‌ ‌to‌ ‌superscore‌ ‌the‌ ‌SAT‌ ‌and‌ ‌only‌ ‌a‌ ‌select‌ ‌few‌ ‌are‌ ‌including‌ the‌ ‌ACT‌ ‌in‌ ‌being‌ ‌superscored.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌problem‌ ‌with‌ ‌superscoring‌ ‌is‌ ‌that‌ ‌students‌ ‌believe‌ ‌that‌ ‌colleges‌ ‌will‌ ‌go‌ ‌straight‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌highest‌ ‌scor‌es‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ ‌section‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌tests‌ ‌and‌ ‌overlook‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌scores‌ ‌in‌ ‌different‌ ‌sections.‌ ‌

Colleges‌ ‌look‌ ‌at‌ ‌your‌ ‌overall‌ ‌score‌ ‌and‌ ‌your‌ ‌section‌ ‌scores‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ ‌test‌ ‌individually‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌the‌ ‌overall‌ ‌picture‌ ‌of‌ ‌how‌ ‌the‌ ‌student‌ ‌values‌ ‌each‌ ‌test.‌ ‌Submit‌ ‌your‌ ‌scores‌ ‌when‌ ‌you‌ ‌apply,‌ ‌once‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌applied,‌ ‌superscoring‌ ‌is‌ ‌no‌ ‌longer‌ ‌beneficial.‌ ‌ ‌

Mrs.‌ ‌Woods‌ ‌said,‌ ‌“‌ ‌‌It’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌something‌ ‌that‌ ‌high‌ ‌schools‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌or‌ ‌would‌ ‌have‌ ‌any‌ ‌use‌ ‌for‌ ‌and‌ ‌there‌ ‌isn’t‌ ‌really‌ ‌a‌ ‌formal‌ ‌system.”‌ ‌

Colleges‌ ‌superscoring‌ ‌the‌ ‌ACT‌ ‌ ‌

Colleges‌ ‌superscoring‌ ‌the‌ ‌SAT‌ ‌ ‌


Preparing For AP Exams.

Tyler Haynes

AP classes are classes taught at a college level in high school and passing the exam is the biggest part. The classes range from math and science to history and psychology.

These classes are very challenging, all year long, and are taught very differently from a regular high school class. It is a taste of what a college class will be like. 

The key to AP classes and getting college credits are the exams. The exams are long and hard and normally feature some sort of written essay section. The exams are scored out of 5. To pass these exams you must get at least a score of 3, but depending on the college the score may need to be higher. 

These tests are some of the most important tests you will take in high school, so what is the key to preparing for them? The website Prepscholor.com has a list of Five Essential Steps to AP Test Preparation.

Step One: Establish what you need to learn or review the most. 

Review in AP classes starts at the beginning of the fourth quarter. During that time you need to figure out what you may have struggled with and study those subjects. AP classroom has lists of all of the content that will be covered on the Exams for each AP class. Make sure you know all of it to ace the test!

Step Two: Make a Study plan. 

Set apart even thirty minutes of your day to look over the content you feel you need to review the most. Studying at the same time every day creates a habit and will help you succeed on the test.

Step Three: Find places and tools to review your content. 

The internet is filled with tools to learn the things you need. Websites like Quizlet, Youtube, and AP classroom are filled with videos and practice tests to review with. But even better than the internet is your past tests and quizzes. I like to review those because I can see what I got wrong and then know what I need to learn for the exam. 

Step Four: Find Practice Exams.

Websites like Quizlet and AP classrooms have loads of practice questions on them. Also with a quick Google search, you can easily find exams from years prior that you can take and then check yourself with the released answers to the exam. 

Step Five: Stay on schedule


Where Students Are Getting Volunteer Hours

By Cameron Warren

Getting 25 volunteer hours is hard enough, but earlier in the school year, during Covid-19 was difficult as social distancing mandates made volunteering primarily an outdoor activity and hard to find.

Now that restrictions are not as bad and people are getting vaccines, more volunteer opportunities are available. Right now is the best time to get service hours in before exams and finals come.

“I helped my uncle practice with his baseball team and helped with campus cleanup!”, said Lauren Maness, a student at NCLA.

The NCLA provides a lot of opportunities for volunteering, from giving students the opportunity to help clean up the campus for service hours to letting students know about volunteer opportunities outside of school.

There is a NCLA Service Learning website that has information like deadlines and even volunteer opportunities.

“I helped the school mulch the playground and clean out the barn. We also bought a wheel barrel for the school to use,” said Dylan Coltrane, a student at NCLA.

There are other options to find volunteer opportunities, for example a website that goes by the name Volunteer Match lists the closest volunteer opportunities and describes the place and work on the website.

“I went on a mission trip to Cleveland, TN with a non profit organization out of Danville Virginia. (God’s Pit Crew). We built a house for a family that lost their home in the 2020 Easter weekend tornado. My main workload of the whole trip was to finish the landscaping of the house. They had me plant countless flowers. Put down mulch and lay four plates of sod,” said Jonathan Floyd, a student at NCLA.

God’s Pit Crew located in Danville, Virginia is “an amazing organization,” according to Jonathan Floyd and Jacob Allen. They both recommend people to go and volunteer there.


Living 4/30

Shein Sets the Trends for Summer

Eliana Cotten

Fashion has been changing rapidly these past few months, bringing back some trends from decades ago. There has been an increase in the search for cheaper, cuter clothing options, and Shein has become a major game changer. 

Shein is a clothing company based in China, with warehouses placed all over the world. They are quick to add clothes and trends that have become popular in the media for cheap prices.

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Jayden Dewald’s purchases from Shein

Shein is often talked about on TikTok by many creators, which is where most of its popularity comes from. It has become a common interest among many teens looking for cute clothes for summer, but there have been some suspicions. 

“The website itself was fine. It wasn’t hard to use but it wasn’t easy either. It was just ok,” freshman Hannah Simcic said. 

Some people are worried about the amount of unnecessary waste generated by Shein. They put each item you purchase in a plastic bag, which ends up producing a lot of plastic. Some also are suspicious of the practices of Shein, because some seem unconventional or secretive. 

“Some of the clothes I have bought have had thin material but are just as cute, and the jewelry I have bought is not usually what I expect, but I often wear it,” junior Jadyn Dewald said. 

Screenshot 2021-04-27 at 11.17.06 AM
Screenshot from Shein website, swimsuit section

As all cheap clothing companies go, you get what you pay for. Shein is known for inconsistencies in sizing and quality. Most customers suggest reading reviews, including the lower ones, in order to make sure the item you are buying is true to size and good quality. 

“No matter what you buy, read the reviews! If there are none, don’t buy it,” Jadyn said.

With summer coming up, people are looking for good places to find unique, stylish swimsuits. 

Shein has a swimwear collection with many cute options, and mixed reviews. They have a wide variety of styles, ranging from classic bikinis to one pieces. They also have options for curvy women, plus sized women, and smaller sizes.

“The quality of the bathing suits I bought was great even with a white swimsuit bottom. I had no issues and the material was great,” junior Jadyn Dewald said. 

Shein also offers clothing for kids, men, and even pets. They have recently started a beauty line called SHEGLAM.

Screenshot 2021-04-27 at 11.29.01 AM
Screenshot from Shein website, beauty section

According to reviews, the products vary in quality, similar to the clothing. A product customers are raving about is the SHEGLAM Newly Reformulated – 12-hour Full Coverage Concealer, including those with darker skin tones. 

“I like shein because most of their stuff is good quality and women’s clothing has gotten irrationally and unrightfully expensive,” junior Mckenna Porto said. “Shein gives you good options at reasonable prices!”


An Inside View of Parker Construction Company

Lexi Antieau

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Shannon Parker, the owner of Parker Construction Company, on the site of one of his projects. He’s currently working on constructing a two-level back deck, along with other projects. Photo Courtesy of Lance Antieau

“Parker Construction Company is synonymous with craftsmanship”

I recently had the opportunity to meet Shannon Parker, the owner of local small business Parker Construction Company, to better understand the ins and outs of what the Parkers do.  

Along with owning his business, Parker is also the father of NCLA senior Christine Parker, along with former student Brooks Parker. 

Parker Construction Company was created by Shannon Parker as a means for him to live out his entrepreneurial spirit. He never had any problems working for someone else, but he found himself always having some sort of side hobby in addition to his full-time job. Specifically, the 50-year-old Parker Christmas Tree Farms have been an extra activity for Parker to spend his time on for as long as he can remember. 

The Parker Family Christmas Tree Farms have been around for about 50 years, dating back to 1971. Parker shared that his oldest son just set out 200,000 trees in the fields, carrying on the tradition as Parker once did himself.

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Brooks, Harrison, and Shannon Parker working on the Parker Christmas Tree Farm

Parker’s main focus on the trees involves the retail aspect, now that his son is in charge of planting and maintaining the fields, which are usually the busiest around the winter months (November through December). The work he does on the farm tends to cause him to pull back the reins on construction. 

Before creating Parker Construction Company, Parker was a YMCA camp director for many years. He enjoyed the title of “Adventure Director,” while working there, and has always felt like he belongs outdoors. His company actually partnered with the YMCA to construct a rock climbing wall within the facility.

He also spent 20 years performing inspections on obstacle/training courses to keep his adventurous spirit alive, which he continues to do now as a part-time job. As he was gearing up for a construction company, he became a mortgage broker to understand the financial aspects of building an extension onto a home. 

Parker Construction Company has been around for a total of seven years, but Parker had been doing construction on his own long before that. Parker shared that his father had a great deal to do with his love for construction. At seven years old, he was working for his father’s company, mainly handing him tools and helping him restore something. As he became older, he was given more roles and responsibilities within his father’s company, and by the time he was 20, Parker knew he wanted to get into business on his own. 

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One of Parker Construction Company’s past projects was restoring this house’s front porch. Photo courtesy of @parkerconstructionconc on Instagram

Now, Parker Construction Company specializes in constructing outdoor living spaces; decks, porches, garages, and stonework. Parker shared that in the future, he wants to construct tree houses in order to combine his many passions: challenge course inspector, camp director, mortgage broker, and construction worker. 

Many small businesses this past year have been severely affected by COVID. However, Parker Construction Company has been fortunate enough to maintain its workload. Parker explains that business has been steady, and has had little impact on them other than the fact that they can no longer shake hands with their clients. 

COVID has, however, impacted Parker’s ability to receive building materials. 

“It’s elevated the lumber prices to an all-time high,” Parker said when explaining how the pandemic has affected his company. He later said that he finds it works best for him if he buys supplies when they’re at low prices even if he doesn’t need them so that he doesn’t have to pay a fortune on lumber when the prices go back up and when he needs it. 

COVID has had no impact on the company’s quality of work. Parker explains that his job is not about putting boards together, but it’s about building with true craftsmanship. He applies these ideals to every aspect of the company, from his staff to where he gets his materials from. 

“I’m really impressed with the quality of workmanship,” Lance Antieau, one of Parker’s clients said. “They haven’t cut any corners, and it has exceeded my expectations”

Parker explains that his building team usually consists of three to six people. Every team member has a different skill set that, when put to use, creates an incredible build. However, each member of the team has to align with the company’s morals, which include no drinking or cussing on the job. Parker later explained that there needs to be a rhythm within the team in order to get the job done well. 

Although Parker Construction Company is not officially affiliated with any other companies, Shannon Parker still does a wonderful job of recommending people to his clients. For example, he recommended an electrician, a mason, and a plumber to my family while he was building our back deck. 

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Another project Parker Construction worked on in the past was building an outdoor living space for one of their clients. Photo courtesy of Christine Parker

Out of all the projects Parker Construction has done, Parker explains why certain projects stand out as his favorites. He said that each project has something special that he’s enjoyed. 

For example, when constructing my back deck, he enjoyed establishing a friendship with my dad and hearing my mother playing the piano through the walls. He says that each project has its own reward, and those rewards are the reasons why he does the job with such integrity. 

From a small business viewpoint, Parker has had his fair share of exhaustion and too much work. He explains how he wears every hat within this company, and that the hardest part for him is that the work doesn’t stop. He’s had difficulty finding the balance between work and play while being a small business owner. 

However, he’s always welcoming new clients whenever he can.  He says that his determination and dedication to a project mainly comes from the loving care of his friends and family. He is also extremely self-driven, and contributes his work ethic to his dad. 

“Have a positive impact on somebody today,” Parker said. “Everybody can do easy, but not everyone can pull off hard.” 

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Parker was able to offer some advice for anyone who is considering adding some sort of outdoor living space to their home. He explains how the first step is to determine the needs of the family, figure out what the extension will be used for within the family, and meet up and discuss a possible plan for moving forward. 

Estimates on cost are hard to come up with when the project is not specified, but the normal process is scheduling a time to put together a proposal.

Parker also mentions that he needs to fully grasp the scope of the project and determine what he’ll need to begin building. For example, he needs to look at what tools he’ll need, if he’ll need ladders on the site, things like that. 

As for the future of Parker Construction Company, Parker’s overarching goal is to eventually build houses. The nearest next step he’s working towards is building treehouses, but he mentioned wanting to harvest and mill timber himself to build a log cabin all from his own hands. 

Parker is one of the most dedicated and determined people one could ever meet, and these characteristics definitely shine through in his work. And if you’re lucky, he’ll sing on the job.

“Do what you love and it’s easy to love what you do”


Student Feature: Brooke Planes

Ellie Gibhardt

Brooke Planes is a sophomore at the NCLA. Within the last year, she has gotten into scuba diving and it is now one of her favorite hobbies. With summer coming up, there are many dives she’s looking forward to, and many new learning experiences to be had. 

 Planes didn’t start diving until last summer, more specifically July 2020.

“I got into diving because a good family friend of mine dives. We’re really close with him so my dad and brother got interested in it and then certified, so I got into it from my dad,” Planes said. 

Brooke says she has had lots of practice getting to where she is today, but now it is something that she really enjoys. 

“To get where I am now it took a lot of pushing from my dad to get me to do the camp in order to get certified. The camp was a week long,” Planes said. “It’s basically just practicing to get you ready for the test and teaching you everything in a week that you need to know. You take a written test and an in water test. If you pass you get certified.”

From there, Brooke just bought a lot of gear and started doing practice dives in different quarries.

“It’s a lot of trial and error to figure out everything because it’s a lot deeper than you think because it’s a lot more dangerous then you would think. It just takes a lot of practice to get to know all your gear and be more comfortable with it,” Planes said.

Once you get comfortable with all of your gear, you can get comfortable enough to start going on ocean dives in different places with different people. Brooke mostly does her diving around here, but has had opportunities before to go out of state.

“Here in North Carolina I go diving in quarries as more of a practice thing but I’ve been diving in different parts of Florida too,” Planes said.

Going forward, Brooke wants to continue diving as a hobby and she hopes to get certified in different areas as well. 

Brooke does plan on continuing diving in her future because she enjoys it and wants to expand what all she can do. 

“I do want it to be a part of my future. I plan on moving near the coast of North Carolina when I turn 18 so I plan on doing a lot of diving while I’m younger. I plan on doing it because it brings me joy… not as a job or anything but as a hobby,” Planes said. 


A Trip to The Greensboro Science Center

Cyd Leister

Pandemic restrictions are waning and with them comes the opportunity to start going out with friends and family. 

One fun place to spend a free afternoon is The Greensboro Science Center.

Tickets can be purchased digitally for specific time slots or at the front entrance upon arrival. 

Once entering guests can enter the aquarium. 

The aquarium consists of a variety of different exhibits. Ranging from penguins to baby jellyfish. The area in which you can touch stingrays and other creatures remains closed, as are multiple other interactive displays.

The science center’s octopus is also on display. She has recently laid eggs which is bittersweet news. It is an exciting event but also indicates that her life is drawing to an end. 

The dinosaur, geology, and weather exhibits are open to view, along with the reptile exhibits and most other outdoor exhibits. Most days, animals are not outside as the weather is still a bit chilly.

There is an intended extension to the outdoor exhibits that is planned to open mid May. The extension is called Revolution Ridge. It is supposed to be home to 35 animals, and consist of a health center and conservatory.


Fun Run Under the Sun

Christine Parker

The NCLA will be hosting a Fun Run for the elementary school students on Thursday, May 6. The Fun Run will be held on the soccer field and will allow each class to run for an hour.

This is a great way to raise money for the school while the students have fun and get to run around. 

The idea for this fundraiser sprung from third grade teacher, Ms. Parker because they hosted the same fundraiser at her last school.The  NCLA was planning to host this fun run last year, but it was postponed due to COVID. 

“We need some technology upgrades here in the elementary. Teachers’ Chromebooks have been dying; they need new chromebooks,” Elementary school principal Mrs. Guldburg said. 

Mrs. Guldberg also hopes to put the money towards tables for younger students as well as playground equipment. 

This is not just a normal fun run, it is a sports themed color run and each day they learn about a new character trait. 

This past week kicked off the excitement for elementary school students as they have been watching videos each day on the traits.

These traits include courage, care, grit, celebration, and teamwork. The students get different challenges each day and they are able to earn prizes too. 


News 4/23

Where are our NCLA Seniors going? 


Ellie Gibhardt 

With graduation approaching, our NCLA seniors are looking at acceptance letters and making big decisions on where they want to spend the next four years. 

An Instagram poll was posted asking the seniors, “What are you planning on doing after you graduate?” There were several responses from students who have already made the decision, and for those who have not yet decided there is a list already posted of college acceptances. 

Christine Parker responded to the poll saying, “App State for a degree in business management or marketing, then go into real estate.”

So far two of our seniors, Selah Smith and Maura Perkins, plan on going to NC State University in the fall!

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Perkins responded to the poll saying, “Going to NC State and majoring in veterinary medicine.” 

Two other NCLA seniors, Megan Queen and Annie Ellis, both plan on going to college for nursing. 

“I’m going to UNCW and majoring in nursing,” Ellis said.

Seniors Macey Green and Wen-Shin Lee both plan on going to Carolina next year.

Lee responded to the poll saying “UNC Chapel Hill on the pre-med track.” 

Senior Mollie Lomax plans on going to Coastal Carolina University for elementary education. Brooke Bandy plans on going to App State, and Mary DeHart is planning on going to Western Carolina University. 

To stay updated on our NCLA Class of 2021 seniors, you can use the following link. Congratulations to our seniors! 



National Honors Society Welcomes new Falcons

Elaina Pascavage

This school year, twenty-five NCLA students were accepted into the National Honor Society. Students who were accepted realize that being invited is a great honor, let alone being accepted.
“The application process looks closely at a student’s adherence and commitment to the four pillars of NHS. Being accepted to NHS is an honor and it can be something that you add to your college applications,” Mrs. Hilliard said. 

The National Honor Society (NHS), is an honor society with chapters all over the country. NHS prioritizes four main attributes of students; scholarship, leadership, service and character. These special qualities are expected to be upheld, even after being accepted into the society. 

 At the NCLA chapter, students are invited to apply if they academically qualify, meaning they have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. After being invited to apply, those who wish to be a part of the NHS must fill out information regarding their community service and their hours of leadership.

Emily Viers, Skylar Manness and Laura Ritchie were among those named to the National Honors Society.

“I am glad I had the opportunity to be invited to apply,” Laura Ritchie said. 

Whether you wish to push yourself to be invited to apply, or push yourself to stay in the NHS, the National Honor Society acts as a great motivator for all students. 

“The NHS will help me grow as a leader, and help the people around me,” said Etornam Agbemabiese. 

Here is the list of students accepted into the National Honor Society this year:

  • Etornam Agbemabiese
  • Kamree Anderson
  • Lexi Antieau
  • Rebecca Avila
  • Ethan Baker
  • Julie Davis
  • Jadyn Dewald
  • Camryn Earnhardt
  • Ava Gonzalez
  • MacKenzie Green
  • Anakin Leister
  • Skylar Maness
  • Stone Maxey
  • Brandon Mendoza
  • Shaniya Myles
  • Bridget Palmer
  • Celeste Paradis
  • Noah Richardson
  • Laura Ritchie
  • Trint Saunders
  • Troy Shoemaker
  • Cade Shoemaker
  • Cameron Turner
  • Emily Viers
  • Peyton Wingate


C/O 2022 Senior Trip Announced

Nora Wood

 While COVID-19 has had its fair share of ruining senior activities, the s. On Friday, March 26, The NCLA officially announced the Class of 2022 Senior Trip to Disney. 

   The trip, in which the class of 2022 has the option of going to Disneyworld and Universal Studios, is held during next year’s spring break from March 7-12 and is $1095. The cost includes the senior fee for graduation. 

Senior Trip Story
The most recent senior trip was the class of 2019’s trip to Carowinds. Daredevil, Layla Wood, swings through the air on the “Ripcord” ride.

“I am most excited for Harry Potter World in Universal Studios,” Lanie Pascavage said. “I’ve never been.”

The trip includes:

  • Charter bus transportation to Orlando and ground transport in Orlando
  • Ground transportation in Orlando
  • 4 Nights’ Accommodations (based on quad-single occupancy)
  • 3- Day Disney Park Ticket – this ticket will only allow entry to 1 park per day due to DisneyWorld rules. Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, or Magic Kingdom. Choose one park per day. 
  • 1 Day Universal Orlando Park-to-Park
  • Meal vouchers for the parks (8 total) (students will be responsible for lunch and dinner on the way down.) ($30 per day at Disney and 2 vouchers for $20.20 at Universal Studios). 
  • Full American Breakfast Buffet (at the hotel)
  • All taxes, tolls, or fees, Bus Driver gratuity, and lodging accommodations

(List provided from a form sent out on Remind.)

   As of Tuesday, April 14, there are not enough students interested in the trip to move forward with it. Any interested students need to fill out the interest form for the trip by Friday, April 16. 

   The interest form is in the Class of 2022 Remind. The remind code for The NCLA Class of 2022 is @ncla2022. To join the Remind group, text @ncla2022 to 810-10.


Touring Out-of-State Colleges: Self-Guide or Tour Guide?

Lexi Antieau

Photos Courtesy of Lance Antieau

As the school year draws to a close, seniors are beginning to make their final decisions on where they want to go to college. 

Making a decision on where to go to college involves a multitude of preparations, including touring college campuses. Out-of-state tours have seen a lot of change this year because of COVID, but tours are still being offered at certain colleges. 

Specifically, the University of Minnesota is now allowing out-of-state students to visit campus and complete a full blown tour. They offer both tour-guided and self-guided tours, but self-guided tours seem to be the most popular due to recent circumstances.

The self-guided tour shows you some of the oldest and most important buildings on campus. This included the School of Chemistry, the building for engineer students, and many more.


In my experience, the tour guide led tours tend to take much longer than the self-guided tours. The tour guides tend to give out the most information and cover almost every aspect of college life, which is really helpful if you’re touring the college you’re most interested in. 

The self-guided tours cover more of the basic information about the college’s history and less about student life. This tour is helpful if you’re in a hurry and only need to know how to get around campus, but if you’re looking for an in-depth look into student life, have a tour guide lead you. 

At the University of Minnesota, the self-guided tours can take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours. When my family and I visited the campus, there were two self-guided tours available. One was supposed to last 45 minutes, but we got it all done in about 15 minutes. However, the second tour we did lasted about an hour and a half. 

The second tour allowed us to walk around the campus, looking at buildings and dorm rooms. However, on the self-guided tours, visitors are not allowed to go inside the buildings and see them from the inside. We suspected that this was because of COVID restrictions, but the college did not specify the reasoning. 

story 15 pic 4
The self-guided tour shows you some of the oldest and most important buildings on campus. This included the School of Chemistry, the building for engineer students, and many more. Photos courtesy of Lance Antieau

For comparison, we visited the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and decided to do a tour guided tour. Social distancing was still in place and we were required to wear our masks the entire time, but we got to go inside a dorm room and check it out. We also got to see the recreation room and study rooms around campus, which we weren’t given the opportunity to do on a self-guided tour. 

There are a few ways to complete a self-guided tour. My family and I visited the college’s official website and printed off a map and information sheet on the buildings we would pass. You can also not print off anything and just walk around campus, but that way doesn’t give you much information on what buildings you’re passing and what classes are offered in them. 

Tour guide led tours are pretty straightforward when it comes to how to complete them. You basically just go to the college’s website, find where they offer registration for a tour, and then schedule a time and date. Then, you go to the campus, sign in with a receptionist, and go on the tour!

Overall, self-guided tours at out-of-state colleges are the way to go if you want the general information about the campus. These types of tours are also much safer when visiting out-of-state colleges, since your exposure to COVID is much less than it would be in a group while touring campus. However, if you’re interested in viewing the insides of common buildings and dorm rooms, definitely sign up for a tour guide to show you around campus. 



Appreciating Teachers for Online Learning

Cade Shoemaker 

With in person classes filling up, and zoom calls coming to a close, the NCLA students share their appreciation toward the teachers who made online learning just a little better.

Through a Falcon Newspaper instagram poll, students were able to praise the teachers they believed did a fantastic job with online learning. Headlining the list were high school teachers: Sparks, Kerr, Walsh, Orenstein, Pillen and both Landphair’s.

Mr. Walsh, Mrs. Kerr, Mrs. Orenstein and Mr. Sparks were named teachers that made virtual learning easier.

Most of the compliments students mentioned were about the interaction teachers had during zoom calls.

“Sparks and Walsh were not too long with their calls, and interacted with their students. Both of them make me laugh,” Christine Parker said.

“Mrs. Kerr always keeps things fun and interesting with her many accents!” Nora Wood said.

Other students made comments about how patient and committed teachers would be, even with students at home.

“I love Mrs. O because she is so patient and helpful,” Hannah Small said.

“I’m thankful for Senora Lawson. She adjusts to us when something doesn’t work, and is very understanding,” Allee Davis said.

Finally, the two teachers that stood out the most where both Landphair. The dynamic duo have very different personalities, but students seem to really enjoy each teaching style and zooms.

Praising Teachers for online teaching
Ms. Pillen teaching explaining to a freshman class the difference between the three types of triangles Photo Taken by Lexi Antieau

“Overall, chemistry should be one of the harder classes to learn online, however it’s one of my best,” Abby Brannan explained. “He continued with his reverse learning this year, meaning we watch the notes the night before and come to class to ask questions and try the practice with his assistance. Mr. Landphair rocks!”

“I am very grateful for Mrs. Landphair this year,” Skaylar Maness said. “She is always straightforward with directions and very accessible.”

The journey of online learning was chaotic and challenging, however all NCLA staff and students rose to the challenge and continued to learn through the pandemic. 

To check out our account, or participate in future polls follow @ncla_news on Instagram.


Moye Soars to Scouting Honor


Tyler Haynes 

Parker Moye,  is a junior at the NCLA,. Parker has been working to become an Eagle Scout; which is the highest rank of boy scouts. It takes a lot more than just going to the meetings to achieve this title. 

Only four percent of Scouts ever get to this point in scouting. To achieve this you have to earn at least 21 merit badges, demonstrate the Scout Spirit based upon things like the Scout Oath, law, service and Leadership. Eagle Scouts also have to organize a service project that they have to organize, lead, and manage. This is not an easy thing to accomplish to the slightest degree. 

There are many pros to becoming an Eagle Scout that help greatly in the real world. For example if someone like Parker decides to go to the military he is able to receive an advanced rank and higher pay just by enlisting. It also looks amazing on a college resume but will not make up for bad grades. There are many Eagle Scout only scholarships that are offered by numerous colleges. The process of becoming an Eagle Scout gives people the opportunity to have some lifetime friends, leadership skills and the upper hand on many things. 

To find out more about getting your Eagle Scout and other things about Boy Scouts I asked Parker a few questions. 

Q-What was your eagle scout project? 

A- “Due to covid-19 many schools aren’t able to have public access to their libraries, this means that over the summer kids could lose traction learning how to read when it’s most critical. So for my eagle scout project I am trying to provide the 1st and 2nd graders of Brunson elementary with 3-5 books each to read over the summer to try and maintain that traction. This is all in an effort to try and inspire kids to enjoy reading and hopefully retain if not improve any progress they’ve made with reading.”

Q-Do you think getting your eagle scout is worth it?

A- “I feel as though the effort it takes in achieving eagle scout is worth it not only for what it represents to others as a sign of dedication, but also as a testament to a scout’s entire experience throughout the scouting program.”

Q- What do you think the boy scout program has helped you learn through the years?

A- “I feel as though through scouting I have learned the basics to camping such as how to set up a tent, pack appropriately, etc as well as how to budget well because of how scouts have to purchase food for each trip. This means they have to know how to get the most bang for your buck.”

Q-What would you say to people that are trying to become Eagle Scouts one day? 

A- “If you are trying to get your Eagle Scout to keep pushing, stay focused, and to not be afraid to call in as many favors as possible.”

Sports: 4-23

Swimming Siblings at the NCLA

Rebecca Avila

Amelia and Stone Maxey have been attending the NCLA since its first year back in 2013. The long time Falcons are also long time aquatic athletes.

Stone, a sophomore, began swimming in early 2012 and his sister, a junior not far behind, in 2013. The past eight and nine years have been full of highs and lows for both swimmers, creating new experiences as they go. 

“I like swimming because it is a good outlet for me,” Amelia said.

Swimming allows for outside factors to not seem so relevant at the moment. The sport itself is a full body workout to be able to stay in shape.IMG_1777

Both siblings used to play soccer as well, until an ultimate sport had to be chosen. 

“Two sports was a lot and [I] had to pick one to pick one to focus on,” Stone said. 

Amelia added, “My coach said I had to pick a sport – soccer or swimming. I felt with my new coaches I would be able to really succeed, so I chose swimming.”

Amelia and Stone were on their first competition team, TYDE, for about five years. They swam competitively in the fall, winter and spring as well as participating in their summer league program. In 2017, they decided to move to their current team, Enfinity Aquatics Club

“My previous team just was not helping me achieve my goals,” Amelia said. “I felt like they didn’t care about seeing me succeed, so I left to go somewhere that did.”

The move from TYDE to Enfinity was worth it because of the amount of strength gains and times dropping at every meet. 

IMG_1751Stone is a sprinter, mainly swimming 50s, 100s and 200s occasionally. His best stroke is freestyle and his best event is the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.17 in short course yards. 

Amelia is a sprinter as well. She also mainly swims in the 50s, 100s and 200s every now and then. Her best stroke is breaststroke and her best event is the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.17 in short course yards. 

Swimming is an individual sport aside from relays. The competitive atmosphere at swim meets is immense. There could be hundreds of swimmers during prelims and only the best 16 swimmers move on to finals. 

Stone “likes having someone to race and be competitive against” while Amelia is “not really a competitive person” as she races “against the clock” trying to improve her time again and again. 

Swimming has been part of Maxey’s lives for about 10 years. Early morning swims, late night workouts, overnight trips to meets, the sport of swimming is what they love and has stuck with them throughout the years. 

“I want to swim in college, but not D1 at all honesty. I have been so focused on swimming for so long I want to live my life in college,” said Amelia. 

Just like their different approaches in the pool, Stone’s approach to college is adjacent to his sister’s.

“I am planning on going to college at NC State and I want to get a swimming scholarship there,” said Stone.


Late Season Sports Hurt by Timing

Jackson Faenza

This year has been very difficult for high school sports all across the country. Unfortunately season and team cancellations have been widespread this year,  almost becoming the new normal. 

This year at the NCLA, the wrestling season had to be cancelled simply because of interest and the overlapping of seasons.

“We simply did not have enough interest in wrestling this year compared to baseball,” said Athletic Director Coach Mac. “We sent out a survey to see who would sign up for baseball, track and field, and wrestling. The majority of people said they were going to play baseball this year. So we basically did not have enough interest to have a wrestling team this year and even a track team.”

This year the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, due to the pandemic, had to delay seasons for some sports. For example, wrestling is a winter sport, but this year the first tryout for the team was scheduled for Apr. 12. Baseball, track, and wrestling were all set to start on that Apr. 12 date, which caused issues. The NCLA had no control of when high school season could start because all of that is regulated by the NCHSAA.

“It was really disappointing to see the cancellation of those two sports. Luckily, the delays in the schedule did not affect any of the women sports this year,” said Coach Mac.

Girls soccer and softball were not affected because they are usually in the same seasons to begin with, so there was still much interest in those sports. This season, baseball is set to have its first game on Apr. 26. The season is set to end at the beginning of June and tournament games to start two weeks later. This is very different from past seasons because baseball usually starts the middle of March and finishes the regular season during the middle of May. 

The other spring season, Boys and Girls Golf, will not be affected. The season is still set to begin around the same time as past seasons, “We got lucky in that this year fell in right around our usual playing times, but we did face a hurdle in the amount of teams that opted out,” said Golf Head Coach Walsh.

Numerous schools in the area have chosen to “opt-out” of the golf season. This year between the Middle and High School there will be eight golf matches this year. Middle School will be playing half the usually played schedule while High School is playing about the same.

Through all of the cancellations the NCLA is hoping for a normalized season next school year, “We are looking forward to hopefully having a normalized season next year,” said Coach Mac. 

MS Baseball Earns First Win

Laura Ritchie

Drought over. Starting the season off a little slow, the Middle School baseball team was able to finally catch their first win of the season against Bethany Community, winning 8-0.

“There are five who have never played or touched a ball before and now are starters for games” head coach David Sellers said of his 12-person roster.

Eighth-grader Chase Jenkins threw a shutout against Bethany Community School, pitching seven innings, with seven strikeouts, zero walks, and giving up three hits, on only 79 pitches the whole game.

MS Baseball Preview
NCLA MS boys baseball gets their first win of the season.

Their first win was secured thanks to the seven runs scored in the fourth inning; starting off with two singles by Lucas Blakey and Clay smith, then doubles by both Hank Gaston and Isaac Coleman, earning the last run on a fielder’s choice was Caden Ryker.

Ending the game with nine hits and a score of 8-0, the slump was finally over.

Due to the experience level throughout the MS team, tonight was their first win of the season, starting to show the fans of NCLA that there will be a future of winning coming soon.


Former MLB player CJ Beatty who is now a motivational speaker comes to NCLA to talk to the MS softball and baseball team. He focuses on the topic of being consistent and showing up to practice or a game ready to play and always giving 110%.

NCLA HS Baseball Preview

Cameron Warren

The NCLA High School baseball season is just around the corner, with the first game on Apr 28. With some new players, and some returning players, the NCLA baseball team is gearing up for its first game.

The roster looks pretty decent with some old faces returning and a couple new faces to help grow,” said Coach Landphair, High school teacher and baseball coach.

Coach Landphair says he wants to build upon the team’s fundamentals and help the team grow and stay consistent throughout the season.

“Expectations for this year is to have some early growing pains as more experience is added. The shortened season from last year hurt because it took away lots of experience from younger players,” said Coach Landphair.

With a brand new home field to play on, the baseball team got an upgrade to practice on. The field was just recently built by the school during a project where all the fields were rebuilt.

“The goals for this season are to build up on the basics so that we can compete at a high level consistently. Also, I look forward to teaching the players how to properly take care of their own field since we have a wonderful new field to play on,” said Coach Landphair.

This year there are two seniors playing their final season of baseball after playing for their entire high school experience. These two players are an important part of the team and have proved their dedication and hard work to the sport.

“We have two seniors on the team that are finishing their high school careers with us: Levi Antieau and Noah Richardson. I wanted to make sure to give them a shout out to recognize their dedication and efforts to make the team better,” said Coach Landphair.

As the NCLA baseball team is preparing for its first game, some of the members created a Tik Tok together and have been making videos for NCLA baseball fans to enjoy.

“This season we are looking to go out there and give it all we got to try and get some wins for the school and grow out our TikTok following @w.I.y.m.n,” said Jonathan Floyd, player on the NCLA high school baseball team.

Upcoming Games:

HS Girls Soccer:

Apr 19 against Bethany Community

Apr 23 @ Cornerstone

Apr 26 against Southwest Guilford

HS Baseball:

Apr 22 against Vandalia Christian

Apr 28 against Cornerstone

Apr 20 @ Chatham Charter

Arts: 4/23/21

2021 Prom

Olivia Brown

The school year is coming to an end and everyone is excited about summer but a lot of Juniors and Seniors are excited about prom. Last year students were not able to have a prom due to COVID-19 pandemic, the last dances the NCLA had was the Neon dance and 2019 Homecoming. Of course, many students were upset about this happening but they got to have great graduation.

Prom for Juniors and Seniors
Prom Poster

“I think that students want some bit of normalcy to their junior and senior years. This will go a long way to help that.” Ms. Woods said

This year juniors and seniors will be having their prom and it will take place on May 22. There were strong emotions from students, many feeling excited but some were concerned about getting Covid but since people will be required to wear a mask, that issue should reduce the risk of getting the virus. Overall, there were many positive responses about the announcement of prom and students are steadily preparing for it. According to the assistant principal Ms. Woods, as of now, there isn’t a specific price for prom but it will be as low as possible

“This will not change how the NCLA will go about doing their prom in the future,” Ms. Woods says.


Prom Dress Shopping

Skylar Maness

April 16- Students at the NCLA were pleasantly surprised when news of the upcoming prom was released. This also meant that many girls had some last minute prom dress shopping to do.

Because it’s already April, some stores had been picked over, which made it more difficult to find that perfect dress.

Students such as Mercy Newnum had to visit multiple stores before finding a

Prom dress shopping
Mercy Newnum said yes to the dress at Christopher´s Formal Wear

dress that they liked.

“I went to a bunch of places in Greensboro but ended up buying my dress at Christopher’s Formal Wear in Winston,” Newnum said.

Prom dresses can be very expensive. Many people have a hard time spending a lot of money on a dress that they might only wear once.

Amber Matias bought her prom dress at Southern Bride in Kernersville.

“They have really great deals and I know people that work there,” Matias said.

Another challenge that prom dress shopping brought is that many stores did not stock up on dresses like they have in the past.

Fabulous Finds is a consignment store in downtown Kernersville that specializes in selling second hand designer items for a good price. In past years, they have had a really good selection of prom dresses.

Mrs. Holly, the owner of Fabulous Finds said, “This year we sadly did not have in any prom dresses. Most schools are not having a prom this year due to covid so it didn’t seem like a smart investment. Hopefully next year we will have our normal prom dress selection again with great prices!”

Although some places do not currently have the best selection, there are stores where you can find a beautiful prom dress and a reasonable price tag all in one.

“I recommend looking at Windsor or Dillard’s if you want to find a dress that isn’t too expensive,” senior Megan Queen said.

Finding a prom dress can be exhausting but some NCLA students have tips for people who are currently looking.

“If you are still shopping for a dress, don’t worry, there’s so many options out there! Find one that you love and don’t worry about what other people are doing or wearing. All that matters is that you love it!” Queen said.

Annie Ellis is a senior at the NCLA. She is ready to make up for the absence of last year’s prom by having an amazing night filled with friends and family.

“I got my dress at Camile La Vie in Concord Mills. I wasn’t even planning on

Prom dress shopping
Megan Queen and her new prom dress at Southern Bride

getting a dress the day I shopped there,” Ellis said. “I went to that store for fun with Selah to get hers, but of course had to try on some dresses too and ended up coming home with one. I think my top tip would be to have fun with the experience! It’s exciting to get dressed all fancy so go try on fancy prom dresses even if you aren’t going to prom soon. Also, make sure it’s something that you can bust a move in- it’s difficult to do the wobble in a really long dress.”

FC88AD55-1Senior, Amber Matias recently bought a beautiful prom dress.

“I went into a southern bride with no idea of what I wanted but ended up feeling this pink dress so that’s what I went for! I tried on about 5 different dresses and then fell in love with this one” Matias said.

Megan Queen also found her stunning dress at southern bride

Mercy Newnum is a Senior who is very excited for

prom this year.

“I picked my dress out mainly because it was the exact style I was looking for. It was also cheaper than the other dresses I tried on,” Newmun said. “I definitely suggest for people to be open to different styles and have fun! If you are still looking for a dress, I would suggest for you to have an idea of what you are looking for. This is because some stores did not restock dresses due to COVID so the selection at some places are a little bit slimmer.”

Some lucky people find their prom dress after looking in one store. That was exactly the case for senior Selah Smith.

“Some tips I would give is to be open to trying different kinds of dresses. I love shopping so trying on expensive dresses was my favorite part of it,” Smith said. “I noticed that that sizing for dresses is really odd. This year they didn’t keep a good stock of some sizes too. Overall I really enjoyed prom dress shopping! I’m so excited for prom!”


Godzilla vs. Kong Review

Grayson Bright

April 16- On Mar. 31 Godzilla vs. Kong was available to watch in theaters and on HBO Max, Godzilla vs. Kong had a huge budget of 160 million dollars and is set to make 500 million dollars worldwide. Was Godzilla vs. Kong worth the wait?Godzilla vs Kong Poster

Spoilers Ahead!

The movie begins with Kong waking up at “Skull Island”, he continues to look at the girl named Jia who is played by Kaylee Hottle. The bond between the two is very unique and they seem to have a connection that is not discovered until later in the movie. Kong then continues to create a spear and throw it into the sky, then it’s revealed that Kong is in this human made containment zone and “Skull Island” is being destroyed by a rare storm.

After the introduction of Kong, a new conflict and character is introduced. Godzilla was shown randomly attacking cities around the world, meaning that he is being seen as the villain of the movie so far. The character introduced is Bernie Hayes who is played by Brian Tyree Henry, who has also starred in the new Child’s Play movies. Bernie is shown sneaking into a laboratory to prove one of his many conspiracy theories, that Godzilla isn’t just randomly attacking cities.

As discussed in the movie Kong: Skull Island the idea of “hollow earth” is brought back to life by Walter Simmons who is played by Demián Bichir. Walter Simmons approaches Dr. Nathan Lind who is played by Alexander Skarsgård, Dr. Nathan Lind was known for his book about this “hollow earth” idea. After an encouraging discussion from Walter Simmons, Dr. Nathan Lind gains the idea to transport Kong to a possible “hollow earth” opening.

After a convincing discussion from Dr.Nathan Lind with Ilene Andrews who is played by Rebecca Hall, they decide to put Kong on a ship and bring him to the “hollow earth” opening.

Jia who is revealed to be a deaf orphan from the tribe that had once lived on Skull Island but was wiped out by the rare storm, she disapproves of the idea saying, “It’s dangerous for Kong,” which foreshadows the first fight between Kong and Godzilla. They ignore Jia’s concerns, sedate Kong, and put him on a ship.

The reintroduction of Millie Bobby Brown’s character, Madison Russell, is shown as more grown up, being in her teenage years. It is shown that she is a passionate listener to Bernies podcast and wants to find Bernie to share her information with his conspiracy on Godzilla attacking the cities. This is when her friend, Josh Valentine, who is played by Julian Dennison is introduced.

Josh hurrys Madison into his brother’s van and Josh reveals that he stole the van from his brother. Madison drives the van to a location which she believes Bernie lives in. They find where he lives by asking a shop clerk and they find out his real name, Bernie Hayes. After finding his real name they easily get his location and find his apartment, and after a quick introduction Bernie and Madison both agree to sneak into the laboratory again.

Bernie, Madison, and Josh, sneak into the same laboratory that Bernie had at the beginning of the movie. They sneak their way into the transportation area where they almost get caught by scientists working in the area. Bernie, Madison, and Josh find themselves in a room with eggs that have the creatures from Kong:Skull Island called “Skull crawlers”. While trying to figure out why they are there, the room starts to move and all three of them are knocked out.

Kong then wakes up on a ship and seems to be in confusion which very quickly turns to anger, he is shocked by the chains that hold him to ship, but the shock is stopped by Ilene and Dr. Nathan Lind. As they are trying to stop the harsh treatment, Jia is somehow noticing the approaching Godzilla. She tries to warn everyone, but by the time she does it’s too late and the whole ship is capsized, and Kong and the whole ship is underwater.

This is where the first fight between Kong and Godzilla happens, the fight begins with Kong underwater and Kong trying to flip his ship back over. While Kong is trying to flip his ship back up, Godzilla destroys the fleet of ships escorting Kong. After Kong is shown struggling to flip the ship back up, they decide to release him from his chains. Kong manages to flip the ship back up and is ready to fight Godzilla, Kong jumps from boat to boat until he is stopped by Godzilla.

Kong attempts to catch Godzilla after being brought back into the water, but Kong is easily outmatched in the water. After Kong finds his way back into the water he is pulled into the water and is almost drowned but, one of the ships had shot a torpedo underwater to help Kong escape the hold of Godzilla.

This ends the first match between Kong and Godzilla, and I think it’s safe to say that Godzilla had won this fight, due to him almost drowning and blowing up Kong multiple times. Kong later returns to his ship where he lays to rest. While he tries to sleep, he is awakened by Jia. This is where we find out that Kong can use sign language to communicate with Jia. Then Kong falls asleep and the idea of transporting him by air becomes the best way to transport him.

After Kong is put onto a huge net where he is lifted into the air, the movie cuts back to Bernie, Madison, and Josh waking up in the room with “Skull crawler” eggs. After waking up they quickly find themselves at another laboratory, they sneak their way out of the room but quickly find themselves in a huge chamber. Then, there is a test that begins in the chamber, then the chamber floor opens up to reveal this curled up metal ball. Then a “Skull crawler” is released in the chamber.

While Bernie, Madison, and Josh find themselves running for a conveniently placed hatch for them to escape, the curled metal ball starts to come alive. Bernie, Madison, and Josh all stop to look, and it is shown during this time that Walter Simmons has created a creature to compete with Godzilla. This creature that comes alive is shown to be “Mecha Godzilla” and is controlled by Ren Serizawa who is played by Shun Oguri.

Mecha Godzilla is being controlled through a mind link that is created by the skull of the three headed dragon “Ghidorah”. This three headed creature was the main villain in Godzilla: King of Monsters. Once Bernie, Madison, and Josh see this they continue their way to the escape where the Skull crawler continues to chase them. The Skull crawler is quickly stopped by Mecha Godzilla and easily destroyed with a copy of Godzilla’s famous “Atomic Breath”.

Kong is shown being dropped at the opening of the “hollow earth” entrance. After waking up, he is seen being confused, and the scientists are starting to lose hope. Maia Simmons is close to shutting down the operation. But after Ilene Andrews has a conversation with adopted daughter Jia, she convinces Jia to communicate with Kong and tell him “there might be some of your family down there”. After telling Kong this he instantly rushes into the entrance.

Maia Simmons, Ilene Andrews, Jia, and Dr.Nathan Lind, go into this ship that follows Kong into the hollow earth, Kong falls into this very deep hole and the ships follow him into the hole. After they fall through the hole they find themselves in the “hollow earth” proving their theory right, but Kong continues running trying to find his family. After encounters with many new creatures Kong finds his way to this chamber where there is a throne, a statue of Kong, and a weapon that is made out of Godzilla scale.With this new discovery Maia Simmons uncovers her true motives of finding the hollow earth, and this was to find a source to fully power Mecha Godzilla. So Maia Simmons abandons Ilene, Jia , and Dr. Nathan Lind, after she stole a piece of the godzilla scale. Godzilla senses that Kong has found his way to the weapon. Godzilla then shoots his “Atomic Breath” into the earth and this starts to destroy Kong’s new discovery, leaving a hole from the surface to the Hollow Earth.

With this newly created passageway, Kong grabs the Godzilla scale and makes his way up to fight Godzilla. Ilene, Jia, and Dr. Nathan Lind follow Kong back to the surface, and see Kong and Godzilla face off. Kong easily outmatches Godzilla due to them not being in the water this time, and they are located in Hong Kong with all of the buildings that Kong uses to his advantage.

Walter Simmons then reveals his true motives, he wants to get rid of Godzilla and Kong to let humans have their world back. Walter then says to put the Godzilla scale with Mecha Godzilla to provide Mecha Godzilla with necessary power, but many people warn him that it might be too much power for Mecha Godzilla. He ignores them and continues.

Then this starts the final parts of the movie, and it begins with the third matchup between Godzilla and Kong. This time Godzilla knows what he’s fighting, and this time they fight “toe-to-toe”. Both of them damage each other pretty well but it gets down to who can get who on their back. Godzilla manages to get Kong on his back and gets Kong to submit to Godzilla, making Godzilla the winner and the “alpha”.

Due to them hurting each other badly, this is when Mecha Godzilla decides to show itself to Godzilla and Kong. Kong is badly hurt to fight so Godzilla has to take on Mecha Godzilla by himself, and Godzilla is easily outmatched by Mecha Godzilla. Ilene, Jia, and Dr.Nathan Lind find their way to Kong and notice that Kong is dying.

Dr. Nathan Lind comes up with the idea to use the ship that they used to get into the “hollow earth” to jump start Kong, but during all of this Godzilla is being destroyed by Mecha Godzilla. They manage to get Kong back to a state where he can help Godzilla fight Mecha Godzilla.
Kong grabs his weapon and helps Godzilla take on Mecha Godzilla. They have trouble taking on Mecha Godzilla, but are helped by Josh at the lab by pouring alcohol on the p.c. that was supporting Mecha Godzilla.

Due to this malfunction in Mecha Godzilla’s p.c. he starts to shut down. Kong and Godzilla take down Mecha Godzilla and completely destroy him to the point of no repair. After they defeat Mecha Godzilla, Godzilla and Kong exchange roar’s and Godzilla makes his way to the ocean and Kong goes back into the “hollow earth”.

They cut to the future where Godzilla still roams the ocean and Kong is the king of hollow earth. It also shows that Ilene, Jia, and Dr. Nathan Lind had created a lad to stay in contact with Kong and still study him in his new home.

There was no after credit scene, making it possible that this was the last of any Kong or Godzilla movie for a while. There has been no confirmation for another movie or a continuation of Kong vs. Godzilla.

The movie was disorganized at some parts, by just cutting to the other side of the events happening. There were plenty of plot holes, such as how they found the entrance to the “hollow earth” and how Kong learned sign language. Although there were noticeable plot holes and a disorganized storyline, the action and performance put on by the cast really defined the movie.

If I were to rate the movie out of ten it would give this movie a 8/10, because I enjoyed the fighting scenes between the monsters and the performance put on by the cast.


Back to Band

Alyssa Pickle 

April 16- With the changing Covid regulations NCLA students can head back to the classroom four days a week, meaning also that regulations around the band being able to play are changing as well.

Band able to play again
Fourth-period band class listens to Mr.Gonzalez’s new rules for playing their instruments.

“The band will be able to play again once we return to school 4 days a week. We are very excited to get back to what band class is all about,” Mr.Gonzalez, the band director, said. “Being able to play again is going to be a big help. We have been waiting all year for this moment. The students have done great with what they have been given, but I know they are ready to hear less lecture-type stuff and get down to playing.”

With the new state order to begin reopening schools, guidelines around Covid safety have relaxed to allow more students to return to the classroom, while still keeping everyone safe.

“Covid regulations will absolutely still be in place,” Gonzalez said. “Chairs and stands will be cleaned after every class. Also, every student who plays a non-percussion instrument will wear a special ‘music mask’ and the percussion students will wear their regular masks.”

Band able to play again
The mask students will use to play their instruments safely.

The new music masks the band students will wear have an opening for the mouthpiece that is covered by extra material and allows for students to be able to play while still keeping their mouth covered.

“Covid has affected us all a lot. Class is not as fun without being able to play like we usually do,” Gonzalez said, “We make the best of it, but it hasn’t been the same. Also, the reason we play instruments is to be able to perform and we haven’t been able to do that in over a year. This is going to help give us a better springboard into the next school year.”

The chorus class is also expected to be able to sing some more but the regulations still require safety to be taken as a top priority.

“It still is not going to be like ‘the good old days.’ We still are going to be distanced, still going to wear masks and we don’t have enough time left in the year to put on a performance, but we are just happy we get to play at all,“ Mr. Gonzalez said.


Downtown Spots to Spring Into the Season

Emily Viers

April 16- Spring is finally here, but due to the pandemic, we are all in search of fun Covid-safe activities. Locally, Kernersville offers so much to see and do it just takes the right day and time.

The Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens located in Kernersville is well worth theLocal spring destinations, Botanical gardens visit. It is the perfect spring activity as you capture memories due to the great photography offered.

“We are a four-season nonprofit botanical garden. It’s a great garden, there are no botanical gardens local and we are also free to the public,” the garden manager, Josh Williams said.

The pandemic has, unfortunately, affected all local businesses and activities and this just happens to be one of them.

Local spring destinations, Botanical gardens“Covid has affected us in several different ways. We are down 85 percent of funding due to the loss of renting out our space, and unfortunately, we lost the general director position,” Williams said.

The pandemic has also affected the gardens in a positive way. It has increased their numbers of visitors as well.

“There has been an uptick in numbers this year even though we are down 85 percent through funding due to Covid,” Williams said.

The Botanical gardens are taking all necessary Covid precautions as well to make it a fun safe event for all their customer’s safety and satisfaction.

“We follow all CDC guidelines very strictly. We also make certain requirements and have eliminated all bathrooms,” Williams said.

On May 27 the Botanical garden is having a fundraiser raffle. They need all the community support they can get. They are auctioning off many flower beds and handmade items.

Location: 215 S Main St, Kernersville, NC 27284

Here are three more spots to visit around downtown Kernersville:

Downtown Kernersville provides Harmon Park, Founders Park, Korners Folly, and the Botanical Gardens.

Harmon Park is a perfect picnic spot, that stresses what they call the “3 W’s”. The

Local spring Destinations
This is the entrance to Harmon Park

three W’s are WEAR your mask, WASH your hands, and WAIT to refer to social distancing. Their great outdoor space allows these rules to be set in place as they have the perfect playground and large field to provide just enough room.

Location: Harmon Ln, Kernersville, NC 27284

Another park Kernersville offers is Founders Park. Local spring destinations, Founders ParkFounders Park has a beautiful water fountain and koi pond for you to enjoy outside while sitting at their socially distanced picnic tables. They have beautiful landscaping and scenery to look at as you soak up the spring weather.

Location: Founders Park, Kernersville, NC 27284
Local spring destinations, Korners Folly
Korners Folly is a local historical piece in Kernersville. It was built in the 1800s by Julie Gilmer Korner. This house gives you a glimpse of the original Kernersville life. Korner’s folly is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. They follow all the CDC guidelines.

Location: 413 S Main St, Kernersville, NC 27284

These are just a few local destinations for you to enjoy in the beautiful spring weather.

Living: 4/23/21

Senior Camping Trip 

Brooke bandy

On March 15, it was announced that the senior class is going to be taking a class trip. The trip is going to be a two day long camping trip to Hanging Rock from May 26-27. 

Camping is definitely not a typical senior trip, but it’s something most everyone enjoys. “It’s outdoors, it’s really fun, and we can get a lot of people in one place,” said Mrs. Kerr, high school English teacher. 

Some of the potential activities planned for this trip (via the Google form sent out) include: 

  1. Games such as capture the flag and other yard games 
  2. Bonfire where students will share memories and reflections on high school and senior year 
  3. Hiking Hanging Rock 

The capture the flag game mentioned above is more than your run of the mill capture the flag game. “Yes, we do have a good capture the flag game going that has multiple objectives and stuff, so it should be really fun,” said Kerr. 

“I’m excited to see how many people can’t actually put up a tent. It would be solid entertainment because I can think of a solid four who might be able to do it,” said Annie Ellis. 

Even though it’s not a huge senior trip, the seniors are excited that they’re able to have a trip. “It’s not Disney World, but it’s nice to see friends and classmates in a setting outside of school, and it’s going to be very fun,” said Ellis.


Farmers Market Finds

Lindsey Allen

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is a popular place to go all year long, but it thrives in the warmer months. 

When going to the farmers market there are things like homemade foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, handmade art, and many other things.

One of the most popular stands is Eleanor’s Finest, which is based out of Asheboro and is a family owned and operated business. 

Eleanor’s Finest is a store consisting of mainly things made with goat milk including scented and unscented soaps, lotions, shaving soaps, and even dog soaps formulated for itchy skin. 

There are goats behind the soap and they are Alpine goats. They get milked twice a day, usually around 5:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The most popular soap scents include Lavender, Cashmere Radiance, and Stormy Night.

Bernie Caruso is a chemist and formulates the soaps and lotions. The rest of the family helps milk the goats and make the soap. Jimmy, who runs the stand at the farmers market, is the artist behind the soap designs and scents. 

Along with selling their products at the farmers market, you shop on their website, and read more about the process behind the soap. 

There are many stands that sell artwork like The Repurposed Garden, which is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Repurposed Garden sells handmade yard/patio decor, called blooms, made from vintage cookware and dishes. 

The owner of the store finds most of the pieces from estate sales and antique malls. 

Every bloom is unique and different. She picks up the starting dish and organically follows the feeling the glassware gives her and picks the ones that say the most.

The goal in making this art is to recycle vintage cookware that would otherwise be thrown into a junkyard or a dump. 

The owner takes dishes that were on our great grandparents dinner tables, and makes them into something the current and future generations can cherish while still honoring its past. 

You can find more pictures and information by looking up @therepurposedgarden on Facebook. 

Other popular stands include the multiple flower stands, Thirst Ade Station which sells OrangeAde and multiple flavors of Lemonade, Pearly Girly Pet Accessories, and the Funnel Cake stands.


Dewberry Farms U-Pick Tulips

Christine Parker

Dewberry Farm is a private residence available upon reservation for weddings, receptions, and rehearsal dinners. On two special occasions, it is open to the public:  Spring Tulips and Summer Sunflower. 

Dewberry sits on 20-acres of the original 100-acre farm. It was bought by Ash Johnson back in 1925 and was used for growing tobacco and sugar cane. The current farmhouse that sits on Dewberry Farm was built in 1989. 

Dewberry Farms U-Pick just ended on April 12. Dewberry Farms required you to preorder tickets for the U-Pick tulip event. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. To abide by Covid restrictions, they are only allowing 100 people on the farm per time slot and each time slot is two hours.

The tickets for U-Pick allow you access to the tulip field, farm, and venue. They have farm animals, other gardens, walking trails, tractors, old fashion swings, Dewey the truck, spring photo props, and picnic areas to enjoy.

“There were so many little areas you could take pictures with your friends such as by a tractor, the tulips, in the wedding barn, or on a swing,” said Christine Parker.

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You are allowed to pick the tulips but you must bring your own clippers. Each tulip you cut costs $1.25. This year Dewberry Farms planted 100,000 tulip bulbs and other spring bulbs. 

“I really enjoyed visiting the tulip farm. I recommend anyone who likes flowers to check Dewberry Farms out and either go to see the tulips in spring or the sunflowers in summer,” Parker said. 

Dewberry Farm is located at 2585 Dewberry Farm Ln, Kernersville, NC 27284. 

Zack’s Vs Whit’s: Who Has the Better Ice Cream?

Eliana Cotten

During this time of confusion, we all need a little bit of comfort. Ice cream is a great way to soothe worries, so I compared two similar ice cream orders at Whit’s Frozen Custard and Zack’s Frozen Treats.

First I went to Zacks. I ordered a sundae, which comes with whatever ice cream flavor you want, three toppings, whipped cream and a cherry. You also have an option to add brownie or cake with no extra charge.

I got vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, cookie dough and Reese’s peanut butter cups. The service was relatively quick, but there was only one person working, and she seemed pretty overwhelmed. 

McDonald's Flurry Review
Zacks Sundae

The sundae itself was delicious. The cookie dough was actual chunks of cookie dough, not just bite sized pieces, which I loved.

In my opinion, their actual ice cream is not the best. It tastes like sweet water, which I think is because it is a yogurt based ice cream. I would never go to Zacks for a regular ice cream cone, but I love their sundaes and shakes. 

Then I went to Whit’s. I ordered a small Buckeye Madness, but I definitely should have gotten a mini. 

The Buckeye Madness has vanilla custard, Reese’s cups, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter.

The service was great, although Whit’s does not have a drive through, so you have to go inside to order and wait for your ice cream. I did not have to wait too long. Overall, the Buckeye Madness was very good. The toppings came blended in with the ice cream, and the flavors complemented each other well. 

My only complaint was that I wish there were more toppings throughout. In the past I have gotten a mini and the topping to ice cream ratio was perfect, but I have realized that the higher up in size you go, the less distribution of toppings there is.

Overall, I think both ice cream places had their strengths and weaknesses. Zack’s needed better ice cream flavor, but had really good toppings. Whit’s had great ice cream, but needed better toppings. 

Regardless, I definitely recommend both Zack’s Frozen Treats and Whit’s Frozen Custard to anyone who loves a good treat.

2021 Earth Day

Cyd Leister

Earth Day, with a theme of “Restore the Earth,” takes place this year on April 22. 

Earth Day began in 1969 at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in San Francisco. John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace.

The first official Earth Day was on Mar. 21, 1970, as it was the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.Earth Day Photo

This year’s Earth Day will focus on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking about solutions for restoring the world’s ecosystem. 

Earth Day events begin April 20 and continue through April 22. The Earth Day website is putting on its second year of virtual events. 

The global youth summit led by Earth Uprising with the assistance of My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs, and countless youth climate activists will start off Earth Day 2021 on April 20. 

There will be input from climate activists like Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam.

On the evening of April 20, there will be a virtual summit named “We Shall Breathe.” This digital event will examine a variety of topics, varying from climate change to justice. 

Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit” on April 21. The summit will focus on climate education and the role educators play in combating climate change. It is intended to be multilingual and span over a variety of time zones. 

On Earth Day, April 22, Earthday.org will have the second Earth Day Live Event beginning at noon Eastern Time. It will consist of workshops, panel discussions, and special performances

The NCLA will not be doing anything for Earth Day this year, but any interested students can view these events or find other unique ways to celebrate the planet.

The Swarm of Cicadas

Nora Wood

Brood X is Almost Here

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming swarm of cicadas.

As normalcy creeps its way back into our lives, nature reminds us not to get too comfortable just yet. Whether we  like it or not, 2021 is a cicada year.. 

With their intricate lifespans, the Brood X periodical cicadas surface out of the ground every 17 years in states all over the East Coast- including North Carolina. Under ideal conditions, there can be millions of cicadas emerging per acre. 

From the chicagotribune.com

“I knew that cicadas take a long time to reach maturity but I did not know what the repercussions of that were or the specific time frame,” sophomore Callie Foust said. “It will be exciting to hear [the cicadas] for the first time because I am 17. I have always liked the sound of cicadas.” 

While Foust shares her excitement about the cicadas and the ability to hear them, their screeching sounds may get old. Most NCLA students do not remember living during the year 2004, which was the last time this swarm of cicadas emerged. 

Not only are these cicadas a lot bigger than the typical cicadas we hear, but they are much, much louder. At a range from about 80 to 110 decibels, the sounds of the swarm are equivalent to an alarm clock, a car radio fully turned up, or even a rock concert. 

“I do not remember much about this [Brood X],” assistant principal Mrs. Wood said. “Just that I stayed inside. It was really loud outside so I did my best to avoid it.” 

Although the noise of the cicadas will be annoying, our everyday life will not be affected. Other than their obnoxious noises and an excessive abundance, they are totally harmless. For those who are afraid of bugs, staying indoors may be the best option once the bugs emerge. 

“I am not excited. I have a fear of cicadas,” senior Rebecca Nordstrom said. “I stepped on one at night, and it started moving under my foot. I thought I stepped on a rattlesnake because of the noise it made, and I cried.”

Swarm of Cicadas
17-year cicada swarm Credit to AP News

With the expressed lack of excitement, do not fear- Brood X. It will only hang around for around four to six weeks. Male cicadas will emerge before the female cicadas, but once they begin to procreate and die, their carcasses and offspring will make their way back into the soil.

Because the swarm does not surface until the ground reaches an internal temperature of about 64 ℉, their ETA falls around the end of April to early May. 

“Other than the loud noise they make and the presence of bugs overall, I don’t mind it all that much,” sophomore Maria Fleak said. “However, I am more concerned because I know there will be more [cicadas] than usual this summer.” 

Northern to midwestern areas of North Carolina are expected to experience higher numbers of cicadas. Make sure to keep an eye out for the swarms because the Brood X phenomenon will not appear again until 2038. 

“I am nervous and excited about the cicadas,” sophomore Kathryn Meehan said.“I mostly do not know what to expect. I do not think it will affect me too much, but  I am definitely worried about the noise at night when trying to sleep.”


Spring Break Plans

Eliana Cotten

Spring break is a nationally loved school break. Many call it the “best break of the year”, due to the good weather and great vacation opportunities. 

This school year has been pretty stressful, and many students are really looking forward to getting a nice long break to relax and go on fun trips. 

Out of 44 voters in a poll on the NCLA Instagram, 52 percent of NCLA students have something planned for spring break. 

Out of 12 responders, six students are going to the beach, and three are visiting family or traveling with friends. Others are traveling to exciting places such as Disney, or Biltmore. 

One student, Celeste Paradis, is going to Atlantic Beach with her classmate Chelsea Littlefield. 

“Me and Chelsea have been wanting to go on a beach vacation for a while and why not use our spring break,” Celeste said. 

Spring Break Plans
The condo where Celeste Paradis and Chelsea little field are staying at Atlantic Beach

With COVID-19 still being a major issue in the world, there are some necessary precautions that families are taking while they travel. 

The Mayo Clinic suggests that everyone should try to get fully vaccinated before traveling. They also recommend looking at your destination’s safety requirements because they may be different from where you live. 

“My parents already have their vaccines and we are going to try to not touch our faces and stay as remote as possible while on the beach,” Celeste said. 

Mayo Clinic also explained how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, so most viruses don’t spread easily on flights, but the crowded nature of most airplanes makes social distancing difficult. They suggest to steer clear of highly touched surfaces, and to avoid touching your face or removing your face mask. 

“I am going to be wearing long sleeves and we will be social distancing on the plane and from people on the beach,” Leslie Blanco said. “I think it is important to stay safe on trips over the break so that everyone can have fun!” 

Spring Break Plans
Resort where Leslie Blanco is staying in Cancun

More travel advice


New parent teachers at the NCLA

Skylar Maness

There are quite a few teachers at the NCLA who are working two very demanding jobs at the same time. A more demanding job than being a teacher is being a parent.

Parenting is arguably the hardest job someone can have and it comes with many responsibilities. Becoming a parent shifts ones focus off themselves and onto the little ones they’re raising.

New Parents Teachers
Mrs. Roberts and her baby

Mrs. Roberts is a high school science teacher at the NCLA. She is also a first time mom who had a baby about a year ago.

¨We had to make some big adjustments when school started this year. Babies have a set schedule that you have to work around when it comes to grading, and planning assignments,¨ Roberts said.

There are many hard aspects of being both a parent and teacher.

Mrs. Landphair, a high school math teacher is the mom of a three year old and an infant who was born this past October.

“Time for planning and grading is very restricting with an infant. I’m also at a hard stage with both of my kids right now because of their age,” Landphair said. “An infant needs a lot of one-on-one attention. It is also important to keep a constant eye on my three year old so that he doesn’t get into any trouble.”

“The hardest part of my day is saying goodbye to my baby,” Roberts said.

New Parent Teachers
Mrs. Hilliard the NCLA high school guidance counselor.

Mrs. Hilliard is pregnant with her first child. She is going to have a baby girl who is due April 17.

“Recently, working has been a little bit more challenging because of the pregnancy. I’m extra tired, out of breath, and can be uncomfortable at times but the additional support from the school and staff is amazing. There are a lot of teachers here who have had kids and are able to give me some great advice,” Hilliard said.

All three teachers agree that your whole life changes after becoming a parent.

“I definitely have less free time now. After having a baby you can’t do a lot of things that seemed normal in the past like going out to dinner. I’ve also made the decision to start getting my groceries from online pick up. Another big aspect that changes is your sleep schedule.” Roberts said.

There are some great benefits of being a parent who is also a teacher.

New Parent Teachers
Mrs. Landphair and her newborn baby

“The schedule works out really great. I can be home at a decent time and I don’t have to work on the holidays or during the summer,” Landphair said. “I also have a partner in the same profession. This is really great because he is understanding of all that I have to do.”

Hilliard added, “I have been able to plan most of my doctors appointments for after school or on Wednesdays which has been really nice. Me and my husband are so excited for this baby to come.”

Mrs. Landphair, Mrs. Hilliard, and Mrs. Roberts all agreed that although parenting comes with its changes, and hardships, it’s worth it and they love their babies endlessly.

“Although each individual stage of parenting comes with different challenges, every second of it is enjoyable and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Landphair said.


Healthy Snack Attack

Christine Parker

As summer is quickly approaching, many people are in a rush to get their summer bodies in check. That means no more junk food and all healthy snacks. 

I have tried 2 healthy delicious snack recipes to keep you in check with your summer goals. The two snacks are Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Sandwiches and  Frozen Yogurt Berry Bars. 

The ingredients needed for the Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Sandwiches are:

  • 3 bananas, ripe
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, natural
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Step 1: Slice your banana

Step 2: Cover over the slices of the banana with peanut butter and place another slice on top

Step 3: Melt your chocolate then cover the banana sandwich in chocolate

Step 4: Place in the freezer for 1-3 hours and enjoy!

The ingredients needed for Frozen Yogurt Berry Bars:

  • A cup of yogurt (can be greek or plain yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup blueberries, fresh
  • 1/3 cup strawberries, fresh

Optional Toppings:

  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp Coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp Peanut butter

Step 1: Spread your yogurt out on a cookie tin with wax paper 

Step 2: Sporadically place berries on top 

Step 3: Put in the freezer for 3 hours

Step 4: Add extra toppings and enjoy!

These two snacks were super delicious and easy to make, they only require a few ingredients. 10/10 recommend trying these out!


Fashion Trends: What’s “In” and What’s “Out”

Lexi Antieau

Fashion trends every year have shown that nothing is ever out of date. 

Recent trends have shown inspiration from numerous decades, most notably the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. With hair scarves, halter tops, and mom jeans rising in popularity among the fashion industry, it can be hard to keep up. Here’s what’s in and what’s out this spring and summer. 

Starting off, head scarves are a huge hair accessory for this spring and summer. Hair scarves have been used for a very long time, dating back to the 1940s. They serve as a hair protectant from wind, whether that be from riding in a convertible or taking a walk on a windy day. Nowadays, people are using them for similar purposes. 

A recent TikTok trend involved people wearing headscarves while driving on the highway (following the speed limit of course). The video starts out where the passenger is holding the phone showing both themself and the driver, and then the video ends with them wearing head scarves while the windows are down and the wind is blowing in the car. Whether it be because of these TikToks or just simply because fashion has a way of going in a full circle, head scarves are totally “in” this season. 

Taking a trip back to the 1970s, halter tops and knitwear are definitely rising in popularity this season. Halter tops are tank tops that stretch behind the neck and have been known to make a comeback once every few years. They come in all colors and patterns, but the most popular ones have funky prints that came straight out of the 1970s. Overall, halter tops are definitely “in” this year!

Knitwear is also a huge trend this year. Some halter tops are made to look like knitwear, but various other clothing items are being made to look like they’ve been knit. This includes crop tops, dresses, swimsuits, and shoulder bags. Though they may not actually be knit, these fashion items give off a nostalgic vibe and have even encouraged many fashionistas to knit their own clothes!

Spring and Summer Fashion Trends
Mercy Newnum Wearing a BOMB Cropped Cardigan

Crop tops have been known to form some pretty rad outfits. Cropped shirts/sweaters/cardigans have been gaining popularity ever since 2015, whether they’re paired with a pair of high rise mom jeans or a denim jacket.

This spring, cropped graphic tees/tanks/sweaters/cardigans are 100%  “in.” If they are pastel colors or colors of spring flowers, your outfit will look totally bomb. 

Flowy, patterned pants have been revived this year, taking fashion back to the 1970s once again. These types of pants are perfect for spring/summer because they allow for wind to cool you down and keep you from sweating. 

Spring and Summer Fashion Trends
Abby Brannan Slaying the Game in Her Patterned Flowy Pants

These pants don’t have to be flowy; any style of patterned pants will get you in on the trend. 

For example, workout leggings have begun to show up in more patterned prints than ever before. Also, yoga pants and flare pants have shown up more recently with funky patterns that give your outfit a colorful touch. 

Mom-style jeans and shorts are extremely “in” this season. Dating back to the 1980s, mom-style pants have made a huge impact within the fashion industry.

They resurfaced back in 2019 and have stuck around ever since. However, mom shorts are a huge trend for this summer. They aren’t for everyone, but they give off a baggy look that can look good with pretty much anything. 

Matched with the perfect shoes, mom shorts can make an outfit look like it’s straight out of a fashion magazine. 

More on the summer side, button up shirts and  have gotten very popular recently. Every year, fashionistas find more ways to style button up shirts. This summer, you’ll see people wearing them over their bathing suits and/or their summer outfits. The appeal seems to be that the outfit is more “complex” when it has more layers, and who wouldn’t want to impress others with their super cool summer outfits. 

Sarongs are another huge summer trend that are taking the world by storm. These are skirts that serve as a bathing suit cover up for your lower half, which seems a little bit pointless in my opinion.

Usually they are taken off before getting in the pool, so what purpose do they serve? They’re super cute, but I don’t see why someone would want to spend the money on a skirt that they would only wear for a couple minutes at the pool. 

“I’m excited for bathing suit weather! This year I kind of did a combo of trends and got some fun printed ones,” NCLA senior Megan Queen said. 

Spring and Summer Fashion Trends
Nora Wood Killin’ It in a Mini-Dress

Mini-dresses have gained extreme popularity over the winter and into the spring. Spring is usually chock full of floral prints and dainty dresses, but this year more than ever have dresses gotten so huge. Specifically, a style of dress called a “milkmaid dress” which is gaining rapid popularity. 

These dresses include a tight bodice, a flowy above-knee length skirt, and puffy sleeves that make you look like you just spent hours picking a bouquet of flowers. These types of dresses were seen all the way back in sometime during the 1800s when women were required to wear dresses. 

They vary in style, but the majority of them are either a pastel color or a dainty floral print. But overall, these dresses are a necessity for spring.  

Spring and Summer Fashion Trends
Jasmine Cook Looking Fly in a Flannel

Lastly, zip up hoodies and oversized flannels have gotten huge these past few months. A light zip up hoodie or flannel can be worn with almost every spring outfit you could come up with.

It’s best to stick with the neutrals for these fashion items so that you can wear spring colors under them and they won’t clash. But, feel free to wear whatever you want!

NCLA students are certainly looking forward to spring/summer fashion trends. 

“I’m excited for the return of chunky sunglasses and fun colors,” NCLA junior Nora Wood said. 

NCLA senior Christine Parker said that she was most excited for cow print to come back into popularity. 

Madison Jennings, a senior at the NCLA, said she was excited for neon-colored bathing suits.

NCLA sophomore Celeste Paradis said she’s excited to wear corsets and high cut bathing suits. 

Fashion has certainly taken the world by storm during every decade. This year, however, fashion trends seem almost familiar, since recent trends have drawn inspiration from past decades.

Trends that are very “in” right now include halter tops, head scarves, knitwear, milkmaid dresses, and cropped shirts. However, a trend that might be best to stay away from is sarongs since they don’t seem to serve a purpose. But if they make you look good and you feel confident in them, go right ahead! 

There’s nothing wrong with not following trends and doing your own thing. As long as you feel confident and love what you’re wearing, you’re a true fashionista.

Sports 3/26/21

NCLA Golf Preview

 Cameron Warren

The North Carolina Leadership Academy’s golf season is just around the corner. With tryouts ending Monday, the roster has been finalized. 

“We just had our tryouts on Monday, our roster is set, we have six high schoolers and eight middle schoolers this year,” Mr. Walsh, a teacher and Golf Coach at the NCLA said.

Despite this year’s team being much smaller and there being a lot of new players, Coach Walsh is still optimistic about this year’s season, which is nearly a month away.Golf Preview

“Our first match actually isn’t until April 13th, we have a handful of high school matches and a handful of middle school mathes, so it is not a very long season, but a lot went into it trying to get this season to work because of Covid,” said Walsh.

With two team leaders on both the middle school and the high school team, this year’s golf team is ready to swing.

“We have two seniors, Annie Ellis and Ally Mattingly, who are going to provide our senior leadership, at the middle school level our team leaders will be Zach Harbor and Brooke Swigert, they will be leading the middle school team,” said Walsh.

With the golf season starting soon, Mr.Walsh’s main goal is to let the kids have fun while also progressing. With the help of hard work he hopes to make it to regionals this year.

“Our goal every year is to make it to regionals, so that’s our goal again this year, we have a lot of new players on the high school team, so it’ll be more of a challenge,” Mr. Walsh said.

The team gets to play at many different golf courses this year including Greensboro Country Club, Pine Knolls and possibly even Grandover. With the home course being Pine Knolls again Coach Walsh expects lower scores this season.

“I’m looking forward to having the kids play at Greensboro Country Club. It’s probably going to be a really cool course for them. We’re gonna spend a lot of time on Pine Knolls, which this will be our third year there so hopefully our scores are much lower there,” said Walsh.


Student Feature: Hannah Simcic 

Alyssa Pickle

Hannah Simcic is a Freshman at the NCLA and is a part of the Forsyth Phoenix shooting team. 

Her team competes year-round all across the state almost every weekend in shooting competitions.

“I got into shooting when I attended a recruitment day for my team that my dad’s friend had recommended I try out for about a year ago and have been practicing and competing ever since,” Simcic said, “There are competitions about every weekend from January through November. I practice every Wednesday by myself and practice every other Sunday with my team.”

In the competitions, there are four categories in which each individual competes: five stand, sporting clays, skeet, and trap.

“Everything you do is in fragments of 25 then you take a break before doing 25 more and in total 100 after each section. You compete against the other people in your class during the competition.” Simcic said. 

Each individual is part of a different class ranging from Master, AA, A, B, C, D, and E. 

“I’m currently in E class, you get punches to move up a class, and you earn them whenever you win a competition.” Simcic said, “I just had a competition this weekend which was fun even though I didn’t win anything, I still did a pretty good job.”

Hannah plans to continue practicing and competing in the sport to better her skills, move up classes, and win awards. 

“In the future, I would like to get shooting scholarships and be on a college-level team, and possibly shoot professionally one day,” said Simic.


Exciting Games for NCLA Softball

Emily Viers

The NCLA Falcon softball team is off to a 2-0 start to the season. The very first game of the season was on Mar 16 against Millennium. They took the win with the final score being 11-9. The second game of the season was on Mar. 23 against Southwest Guilford JV with a 19-6 win.

“The first two games have been great learning experiences. We took from game one things we needed to work on and applied them to the second game. We played better and the results were indicated in the game itself. The girls were paying attention and listening as we were applying and growing,”  said Coach Crotts.Softball Gamer

To no one’s surprise COVID-19 has made the 2021 sports seasons very challenging. Social distancing has torn us apart and masks can be difficult and distracting when students are out on the field. 

“Covid this season has made it challenging with all the flexibility we are having to show. Sometimes we have to adjust times and games and wear masks that can interfere with our games. It brought on some new things we were not expecting,” Coach Fordham said.

This year the NCLA Falcon softball team was in need of a pitcher. Student athlete Laura Ritchie stepped up to the plate as a leader so they could have a team. Ritchies primary position is second base in knowing that she had to work hard in order to perform her position best.

“Over the years I had struggled a lot with learning to pitch and the pressure of doing it. Being out of softball for a year kinda put me in a bind but thanks to Coach Crotts I am actually able to pitch decently, especially these last two games and I hope to continue doing that for my team,” Ritchie said. 

It takes a lot of dedication and time to be a pitcher and that is one thing Laura Ritchie was willing to give. Ritchie’s coaches had only amazing things to say about her and her work.

“She is extremely dedicated and has spent a lot of time in the off-season working to improve. The first game was her first time pitching in a game. What really stood out to me was how she listened to the feedback and applied it. The difference was significant from the first and second game through confidence and emotion, ” Coach Crotts said.  

The student athletes are keeping a positive mindset toward the season.  “One of the most impressive things is how quickly all the girls have come together as a team and are cheering one another on and taking ownership of the team, ” Coach Fordham said.


Minor League Teams in the Triad

Laura Richie

After a year off, Minor League baseball is finally back. The High Point Rockers, Winston-Salem Dash, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers are starting their spring training.

Starting May 19 through May 27, the High Point Rockers are participating in a spring training camp. They start their regular season on May 28, not finishing until Oct 10, then going straight into playoffs on Oct 12-16.

“I probably will go to some games here and there. The Rockers aren’t too far from my house and my dad and I love watching baseball if I had to guess we will probably go to a few games,” says Junior Jonathan Floyd.

Taking the field May 5, the Winston Salem Dash plays through their  last game of the season on Sept 19. The Grasshoppers follow what is basically the same season timeline.

Due to the pandemic, sports will not be the same for a while. As we are coming back slowly there are many changes that must be made in order to continue to play.

Some changes being there is limited seating in every stadium, a mask must be worn by anyone not in the field playing.


NFL Free Agency

Grayson Bright

The NFL free agency market opened Mar 1 with players like Kenny Golladay, Carson Wentz, and MVP Mitchell Trubisky going to new teams. Teams like the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars have made the most out of their millions in free agency. But teams like the Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions lose major players that will have a lasting impact for the next few seasons.

In the two weeks that the market has been open, players like Corey Linsley, Kenny Golladay, and Trent Williams sign record breaking contracts. Corey Linsley has become one of the highest paid centers in the league signing a contract worth 62 million dollars and with a length of five years. Trent Williams has also seen a great payday by signing a six year contract worth 138 million dollars, making him the highest paid offensive linemen in the NFL.

When Mr.Landphair was asked about the biggest free agent signing, he said,“I think the biggest signing in free agency was the Joe Thuney signing for the chiefs. Gotta protect that amazing Quarterback they have over there.”

Not all teams can win in free agency, we have seen promising young players such as Curtis Samuel, John Johnson III, and Shaquill Griffin leave their teams that they wanted to stay at. There have also been players like Marcus Mariota and Juju Smith-Schuster taking harsh pay cuts to stay with their current teams. Curtis Samuel has joined Washington with a contract for three years worth 35 million dollars in total.

NFL Free Agency
Credit to Getty Images

 ”Losing Curtis Samuel hurts to watch as a Panther’s fan as he is so dynamic and crazy useful. He isn’t as good as McCaffery though and he was going to cost about as much. Getting McCaffery back for next year should make the offense still crazy good from a receiver/RB perspective. Just need a good QB,” said Landphair.

The 2021 offseason wasn’t as crazy as the 2020 offseason where Tom Brady went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Phillip Rivers went to the Indianapolis Colts. There are still familiar faces in different places, Ryan Fitzpatrick going to Washington signing a one year contract worth 10 million dollars with two million dollars of incentives and Andy Dalton going to the Chicago Bears for a starting job and a one year contract with 10 million dollars with 7 million of those dollars guaranteed.

Although free agency isn’t technically over there are still big name players still left. These players are Richard Sherman, Antonio Brown, and Jadeveon Clowny. Not many of these players have been in talks with any teams except Richard Sherman. Richard Sherman has been in talks with many teams such as the  Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49’ers.

The 2021 free agency has been surprising in many ways. But the only way we can see these millions of dollars go is by seeing how these new players play on their new or current teams. The 2021 free agency market will be remembered for the most underrated free agency market in recent years.

Upcoming Games:

HS Girls Soccer:

Apr 9 @ Clover Garden

Apr 12 @ Bethany Community

Apr 14 @ South Stokes

MS Softball:

Apr 6 against Cornerstone

Apr 8 against Chatham Charter

Apr 13 against Mill


MS Baseball:

Apr 6 against Cornerstone

Apr 8 against Chatham Charter

Apr 14 against Millenium

Arts 3/26/21

Falcon Fight Song

Cade Shoemaker

March 26 – The Falcon Band is busy working to create and produce an NCLA fight song to use for athletics and school pride. The song is being rehearsed by the Falcon band, as instructor Angel Gonzalez heads the production.

NCLA Fight Song

“In my first couple of years at this school one of my goals is to make our own fight song,” Gonzalez said.

His goal is becoming a reality as the fight song has already been written. Gonzalez’s friend and former undergraduate classmate, Shar Joyner, has helped a lot with the composing of the song. The fight song will model UCLA’s with tweeks to the rhythm, wording, and other musical components.

“I spent a lot of time scrolling through college fight songs trying to find some that I liked,” said Gonzalez. “I decided upon UCLA’s since the chanting section of the song could easily be changed from UCLA to NCLA”.

“I wanted to pick a song that will still challenge the kids to grow as musicians, but also be something they can have fun with.”

As a result, the band has been working on perfecting the fight song for an end of the year recording. 

Ideally, the song will be played during basketball games by our live pep band. As the players run onto the court, before the second half, and after a win. If there is no band at the game then the recorded version can still be played in their place.

“I love playing with my band during high school games,” said Trint Saunders, “As a player I also believe it adds a lot to the gym’s atmosphere”.

Last year was the first time the NCLA had a pep band attend high school basketball games. Next year the band is hoping to do the same while adding the fight song to their mix.

“We really enjoy being able to play at basketball games and are definitely ready to add more to it,” Gonzalez said.

Raya and the Last Dragon: Review

Olivia Brown


March 26 – Disney Plus released their film, Raya and the Last Dragon, on March 5. This movie was highly anticipated among audiences and was hyped up by Disney, who gave it a lot of promotions from billboards to youtube ads. They wanted everyone to see this movie.

The movie has 94 percent in Rotten Tomatoes and a 75 percent on Metacritic. It has been the number one movie in the world for three weeks.

This movie follows a story from about 500 years ago. Dragons and humans lived together in harmony, which they Kumandra. That changes when horrible creatures named Druuns turned everything they touched into stone. The dragons tried their best to help but failed, they themselves turning into stone in the process. A mighty dragon named Sisu turned her magic into a gem that blasted the Druun away. Everyone came back except for the dragons, which should’ve inspired the people to come together, celebrate, and live in peace. Instead it leads to them fighting.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Now 500 years later a girl named Raya is introduced. Her father is the leader of the land Heart, he invites the other lands, Talon, Fang, Spine, and Tail to have dinner and make peace with each other. The other lands are weary but accept the offer. During the meal, Raya makes friends with a girl named Namaari from the land of Fang, who shows Raya a secret scroll of Sisu since they are both “dragon nerds”. Raya then leads Namaari to where the gem that holds the magic of Sisu.

This leads to Namaari betraying Raya by trying to steal the gem and the other villages finding out and also trying to steal the gem. While they are fighting to get the gem, they end up breaking it which brings the Druuns back. The monster then starts turning people to stone as they try to escape. Raya’s father gets hurt in the process but manages to save Raya and the gem by throwing her off a bridge into water and turning it into stone.

Raya promises herself that she will save the people who turned into stone by trying to get the other pieces of the gem that the other villages stole and she summons Sisu so that she can fix everything.

This movie has to be one of the best animated movies that Disney has made. The fight with Raya and Namaari towards the end is one of the best fight scenes throughout the movie. Both girls blinded by their rage, Raya with losing Sisu and Namaari with finding her mother turned to stone, are fighting vigorously to try to wound the other. The hand-to-hand combat and swordplay was phenomenal.

The lands that Raya, Sisu, and the group of friends she’s made along the way visit are beautifully shown throughout the movie. The bright and luminous colors and views will make you wish that these places were real.

To conclude I think the movie was beautifully written. It was very emotional, and some scenes I cried over. It has a balance of comedy and wholesome to it. It showed many southeast Asian martial arts styles and swordsmanship. This movie could teach kids and even adults that people need to start to trust one another and with time people can live in peace with one another. I would give this movie a 10/10 and I think it was definitely worth the $30.

The NC Zoo Welcomes Payton

Elaina Pascavage

March 26- The North Carolina Zoo recently welcomed a 1,000-pound male polar bear from Memphis Zoo in Tennessee. This male polar bear, Payton, was transferred as an attempt to result in new offspring.

New Polar bear at NC Zoo

With the zoo being among the elite group of 40 zoos, aquariums, and museums that are Arctic Ambassador Centers, Asheboro is an ideal place to help conserve polar bears.

Offering an experience to see more than 1,800 animals, the NC Zoo represents animals from Africa and North America, plus desert and tropical regions. The zoo is also looking forward to the recent construction in order to add an Asian section which is scheduled to be done in 2023.

This zoo is the largest natural habitat zoo in the world, which gives their animals plenty of space to roam.

During this time, tickets must be purchased online in advance, which go very quickly. Tickets are priced $15 for ages 13-62, and $11 for ages 12 and under.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, masks are required at entry and throughout the park. Unlike some outdoor experiences, the zoo does not require one way paths. It is expected to maintain a proper social distance from other guests.

Typically if you go to the zoo at the right time you can expect to see zookeepers feeding the animals and they will answer any questions you might have but, COVID-19 has temporarily cancelled all public feeding times and keeper talks until further notice.

Overall the zoo offers a great experience for ages 2-100, and is a great outdoor activity for families during this pandemic.

Justice League Snyder Cut

Cyd Leister

March 26- HBO Max released Zack Snyder’s Justice League last Thursday. The 4-hour film was supposed to be the film released in 2017, instead of the Justice League that was actually released, and was supposed to be the start of a DC cinematic universe.

Justice League Review

Back before the release of Justice League in 2017, director Zack Snyder stepped down from his position. There have been rumors over why Snyder stepped down. Some speculation has arisen claiming that Snyder was fired after the studio deemed his cut “unwatchable.”

The Justice League released in 2017 was directed by Joss Whedon and did not receive good reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 40 percent and IMDb gave it a 6.2 of 10.

Not long after the release of the film, prospects of the DC cinematic universe began to fall apart. Ben Affleck stepped down from the role of Batman, which is only one of the many things working against it.

Fans have been pestering the studio for years to release the original cut for the film and wishes were finally met by HBO max on Mar. 18.

The film is four hours and two minutes long, and is rated R. It is presented in a 4:3 format, which is very different from most movies.

This interpretation is much darker and more somber than the 2017 release that was rated at PG-13. The movie is more focused on story and comic representation rather than “family friendliness.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is overall a much better movie for many reasons. The story is better, the comic representation is better, and the acting is better. The list could go on.

Despite the long length of the film it is hard to look away. It is broken up into eight parts and each part is as compelling as the last, if not more so.

The movie set up more characters and areas that DC could explore. It also shed some light on the past of the characters in the Justice League, some that were overlooked in the 2017 movie. The movie takes the time to go in depth into many of the parts that the 2017 release skims over or completely leaves out.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League received a 73 percent from Rotten Tomatoes and 8.3 of 10 from IMDb.

It is an incredible film and personally, it was thrilling but sad for me to watch. It was so upsetting to see DC throw away something so incredible and well suited to DC fans.

Fans continue to demand more. There are hopes of bringing back the initial route for the DC cinematic universe, but only time will tell if Snyder’s timeline will be completed or stand as a cinematic “what if?”.

Justin Bieber Album Review

Rebecca Avila

March 26 – Many artists have been coming out with new music. Justin Bieber being one of many to release an album at the start of 2021. The two time Grammy winner’s new album Justice has surprised many because it’s not as bad as expected. 

Justin Bieber Album Review

Changes was Bieber’s fifth studio album which focused on his new marriage with his wife, Hailey Bieber in which they tied the knot in September of 2018. Justice follows the same narrative, love, faith, devotion, commitment and inner peace. 

Lockdown was an eye opener for the singer. Being in lockdown allowed for personal growth. He began to get himself into therapy, got rid of his phone, set a specific time when work stopped and family time began. 

The album has 16 songs. There are many featured singers including Khalid, Chance the Rapper and Kid LAROI to name a few. 

According to Apple music, “As I am” (feat. Khalid), “Off My Face”, “Hold On”, “Ghost”, “Peaches” (feat. Daniel Caesar & GIVĒON) are the most popular songs on the album. 

On March 19, all of the US Spotify Streaming Chart was filled with the songs from Justice. Bieber’s song, “Peaches” (feat. Daniel Caesar & GIVĒON)  wad number one on the charts with 2.181 million American streams followed by “As I Am” (feat. Khalid) with 1.728 million streams according to headlineplanet.com. 

The singer did get some backlash because he used some parts of MLK’s speeches in his interlude and at the beginning of the album. 

Someone on Twitter commented: “His album is called Justice and has a MLK interlude but speaks nowhere of social justice, and is just focused on love and relationships…huh?”

The singer was backed by Bernice King, the youngest daughter of MLK Jr. She tweets in support of the album, “Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something.” 

Along with the release of the album, Bieber tweeted many social organizations writing, “In honor of #Justice I’m supporting organizations that embody what justice looks like in action.”

Overall, in my opinion, the album was great when I wasn’t really expecting it to be good. I didn’t like some of Justin’s previous albums but he definitely improved. I believe that it has a good balance between sweet songs, catchy songs and sad songs. It differently has the ability to reach different audiences with its variety of songs. 

Etornam Agbemabiese thoughts: “I loved the features and thought the sound was a step forward for Justin’s career. I think he will do well in R&B.”

Amelia Maxeys thoughts: “I thought that the first half of the album was pretty good but the second half just didn’t keep my attention. My favorite songs on the album are “Die For You” and “Peaches”.”

Maria Fleaks thoughts: “As a child, I grew up listening to Justin Bieber. I went to one of his concerts too. My music taste has changed a lot from then, and I don’t find myself reaching to his music often. I listened to the album, and I really liked the song with Daniel Cesar and Givēon. The album was pretty good overall.”

Social Justice organizations:

Race Forward 

Equal Justice Initiative

Fair Fight


Color of Change


Boys Soccer Senior Night

Jackson Faenza

The 4-3 NCLA boys soccer team ended the season with a bang and was able to honor the three seniors at the school’s field under the lights for the first time this season. The Falcons won the game 4-1 on senior night in front of a socially distanced crowd. Sophomore Anakin Leister led the team with two goals.

“I am going to miss bonding with my team and working together to become the best team in the state,” said senior Wen-Shin Lee.

This season they were able to play most of their season, but still modified. Normally the season is played in the fall, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the File_002 (1)season kicked off in late January.

“Even though we are only getting 10 out of 14 games in (hopefully) I think this team really started to see how good we could have been if we got to play a full schedule, played in a conference and had an opportunity to participate in the State Playoffs. This team was only able to practice outside on a soccer field about four times, we have been in a gym except for games,” said Head Coach Craig Shoemaker.

During the season, the team averaged about four goals per game and two assists per game. The team had about a total of 30 goals this season and about 13 assists this season to go along with that. Junior David truhe led the team in goals with seven for the season and then with sophomore Troy Shoemaker right behind him with five goals for the season. 

The seniors this year have attributed so much to the team by doing so many things. Out of the three seniors two of them have played all four years of high school, and will truly be missed.

“We had 3 seniors this year:  Wen-Shin Lee (4 years), Jackson Shaw (4 years) and Michael Cespedes (1st year).  Jackson and Wen-shin played major roles and minutes for our defense this year.  Their speed, skill and physical play has made our defense really tough to score on.  Wen-shin is one of our captains and did a great job this Summer getting the players

together, while everything was shut down, and playing student lead scrimmage games against other schools like Page, Oak Grove, and East Forsyth.  This was Michael’s first year playing soccer at NCLA and he also was a defender and scored a goal this year,” Coach Shoemaker said.

With all this in mind, the team is hoping to keep on with their winning record and be able to improve for next season, “The best thing about senior night this year is celebrating our seniors and getting to play our one and only game on our home field under the new lights for the soccer field.  All the things that our seniors have been through this year, I am looking forward to having a night that we can celebrate them and it be as normal as possible,” said Shoemaker.


NBA Top Shot 

Cade Shoemaker

For the past year or more, nearly everything that used to be a daily practice has now turned digital. Whether it is in the form of online schooling, shopping, business meetings, or bingo night, their physical attributes are somewhat lost.

As a result, the NBA has taken this idea and applied it to the trading card industry. “NBA Top Shot” is a recently launched market for digital sports cards in the form of NFTs. The site partners directly work with the NBA, as well as Dapper Labs in order to back the value of each card through block-chain.


Standing for “Non-Fungible Token”, an NFT is the ownership of a virtual asset that is backed by a blockchain. This means that the blockchain, which is a storage of all NFTs, can be used to buy and sell ownership of a certain digital asset, in this case the Top Shot moments. NFTs are the backbones of Top Shot, as they deviate who owns certain moments and what makes each card valuable.

Top Shot User Interface:

Releasing in Oct. 2020, Top Shot is extremely new. This means that the user interface, such as buying, selling, and navigating the website can be a slow struggle. Almost every day there is an error message on the website that closes the software for maintenance.NBA-Top-Shot

“My biggest problem with it is the site is always down for maintenance. This means I cannot always buy or sell the cards when I want to” said Ethan Baker.

Yet, when the website is up and running the software design is well put together. For starters, the whole website can be linked to your Google account, making logging in and buying packs super simple.

The design is laid out in three separate categories: packs, marketplace, and collection. 

Packs are one of two ways to collect and trade cards. Packs drop on random dates at random times during Top Shot business hours. When a pack is about to drop, notifications will be sent out via email or Discord to alert collectors. Depending on the type of pack that will be available, the price could range from $9-$14 or up to $200 for an exclusive, rare drop.

30 minutes beforehand, collectors can wait in a queue with everyone else hoping to purchase a single pack. Top Shot will display a countdown timer, the amount of packs available, and the amount of people waiting in line.

Once it is time for the drop to start, collectors are given a random number as their place in line. This is the lucky number that will decide if a collector can purchase a pack or not. If he/she is able to checkout then they will be in ownership of the three or more moments that they open from the pack.

“I have personally gotten one pack from about seven drops, but the experience of opening the pack to see what moments I got was pretty exciting,” said Troy Shoemaker.

Marketplace allows for collectors to sell these individual moments they receive from the pack drop. This is the only way they can sell their cards, since third party sales are not supported by the blockchain.

On the other hand, if a collector is not lucky enough to buy a pack off drop, then they will have to turn to the marketplace in order to own the moments of their choice.

The marketplace is where the real money is spent. Sellers place their cards on sale, where purchase prices can quickly grow to insane figures. 

Common highlights will only be worth $10-$40, however superstars like Steph or Lebron drastically change these numbers. Depending on the rarity, good cards can crack $300-$500 pretty easily, while the hype moments will reach four or five figures in a matter of minutes.

Collections are where owners can flaunt their cards in digital showcases. It’s also an easy way to keep track of what you are selling each card for and the average asking prices for them. However, selling a card means you will lose ownership forever, and the moment will be removed from your showcase.

Thanks to the current digital age, Top Shot will continue to grow larger and larger with each update. Professional basketball players are all over the trend, as Terrance Ross, Grayson Allen, Jah Morant, and even Lebron James are active brand ambassadors. 

There is no ceiling to where Top Shot may be headed, as purchases are already breaking records and receiving global attention.

To checkout NBA Top Shot for yourself use the link below to create your own account..


Middle School Girls Soccer Preview

Alyssa Pickle

Spring is right around the corner and with it come spring sports.  The middle school girls soccer team just finished up tryouts and are ready to start a new season.

“With Covid restriction we are struggling with the number of players that came out for the team . Last year’s tryout yielded 23 players. This year only 13 came to try outs. Another challenge is have our players get used to wearing a mask while they play and train. This takes away some of their ability to communicate when they are on the move. It also requires our athletes to take a bit more breaks,” said Head Coach Weigel

Tryouts were Monday through Wednesday starting on Mar. 1 and ending on Mar. 3. “Tryouts were stressful but everyone who went out made the team. I miss the 8th graders that moved up this year but all the new players are very passionate about the team so I’m excited to work with them this season,” said middle school player, Caroline Pickle.File_005

The soccer team practices everyday after school from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with both players from in school and remote days attending. 

“We sometimes play inside or on the field depending on the weather or temperature. Practices are a fun way to end the school day and it’s fun to get to play soccer with my friends,” said Pickle.

“I am excited to watch our 8th graders who have worked so hard over the past two years to develop into strong leaders both on field and off. Our core of very experienced players will be extremely strong. This core has really strived to help our younger players to feel part of the team and to help aid in their development. I am extremely blessed to have all the players that I have and I look forward to having a very successful season,” said Weigel.

The anticipated first game of the season will be on Mar. 14 at Summit. With other games in the schedule including Chatham Charter, Cornerstone, Bethany Community, High Point Christian, and Clover Garden. 


March Madness is Here

Laura Richie

The 2021 NCAA March Madness tournament is on it’s way and is getting closer and closer to game day. Last year’s 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the global pandemic COVID-19, making many players, coaches, and fans upset. As the tournament draws near, many people are making predictions on who will win the whole thing. People make predictions based on the number the teams are ranked and how well they have played throughout the season.

The top 10 in the tournament:

  1. Gonzaga- WCC 

  2. Baylor- Big 

  3. Illinois -Big Ten

  4. Michigan- Big Ten1_C-K0sa2mBPobAcUWnhHXDA

  5. Alabama- SEC

  6. Iowa- Big Ten

  7. Ohio state- Big Ten

  8. Houston- American 

  9. West Virginia- Big 12

  10. Kansas-Big 12

According to the Sportingnews.com,”Gonzaga is going to win the whole tournament going 26-0, Baylor then coming next going 21-1, shortly after that Michigan coming in with 19-3, and lastly Illinois going 20-6.”

The pandemic cancelled last year’s 2020 March Madness tournament. This year’s tournament will look really different compared to previous years. 

As all around the world we are still having to wear masks to keep us safe and hand sanitizer frequently, unfortunately all players, fans, and coaches that are on the side lines or in the stands must wear a mask.

Also due to the pandemic, the amount of spectators must go down, so each player on a qualifying team may invite six friends or family members, but these gustes will have absolutely no physical contact with the players throughout the tournament.

Upcoming Games:

HS Girls Soccer:

Mar 18 @ Cornerstone

March 25 against Clover Garden

MS Softball:

March 16 @ Millenium Charter

March 23 @ Chatham Charter

March 24 against Bethany Community

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<h1>Pandemic’s one Year Anniversary</h1>
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<p>Christine Parker</p>
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<p>This month, March 2021, marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the shutdown due to Covid-19. Since there was initially a stay-at-home order, everyone started getting bored and picking up different hobbies. This allowed people’s lives to settle down and many were able to do new things they’ve never done before.</p>
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<p>Once it started getting warmer outside many people took walks, hikes, and kayaked. Kylie Tucker said that she learned to play tennis while in quarantine.</p>
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<p>Even though not many outdoor activity businesses were open, some farms stayed open such as strawberry farms and Dewberry Farms, which grow tulips.</p>
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<p>Since gyms were closed home workouts became very popular. One of the most popular at-home workouts was the 2-week shred by YouTuber Chloe Ting with 317 million views.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>No sports playoffs were happening either so people relied on Netflix if they wanted to watch TV. Netflix came through with popular shows such as <em>Outer Banks</em> and <em>Tiger King</em>.</p>
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<p>Tik Tok also became very popular with many dances and new trends. One song that became popular was the song <em>Supalonely</em> by BENEE featuring Gus Dapperton and soon became a dance.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>A Tik Tok trend that took off was whipped coffee. The way to make it is by mixing equal ingredients of hot water, instant coffee, and sugar. Once you whisk it until it’s fluffy you will add it to milk. This gave many people a new way of having their morning coffee.</p>
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<p>Dying your hair pink was very common during this time too. Juliana Peters dyed hers and “it is still pink today,” Peters said. With hairdressers closed, many people had to start cutting their own hair.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>One thing that should never be forgotten is how hard it was to find toilet paper. It was almost as if the whole world was ending.</p>
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<p>Quarantine became a gateway for people to take time to do hobbies they never had time for before such as art, cooking, planting flowers, facetime calls and moving our bodies.&nbsp;</p>
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<h1>From 2020 to 2021: How Have We Changed?</h1>
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<p>Rebecca Avila</p>
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<p>2020 was a year of chaos. March was when everything shut down and for next couple months, many families were stuck inside and many businesses closed. In 2021, everything has started to come together. The Moderna, Phizers and Johnson &amp; Johnson vaccines are getting distributed. Some regulations are beginning to get lifted with some normalcy starting to return.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Throughout one of the weirdest times for many people, many have reflected back and have seen their changes in themselves.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“I learned who my real friends were and that stuck with through quarantine,” Junior Ameila Maxey said.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Sophomore Eliana Cotton said, “I feel like I know myself better.”</p>
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<p>Many people throughout the year have focused on themselves and allow them to be better people.&nbsp;</p>
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<figure class=”wp-block-pullquote”><blockquote><p>“I started focusing on myself more! I studied a lot and made sure I got good grades and I have also been staying healthy by sleeping at a decent time every night and drinking enough water everyday,” sophomore Etornam Agbemibiese said.</p></blockquote></figure>
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<p>Sophomore Abigail Brannan said,&nbsp; “I look completely different physically, but I became stronger and became free of injury when I started running barefoot. I have three new instruments and more.”</p>
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<p>Moving into 2021 some people feel the same as they did in 2020.</p>
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<p>In an Instagram poll, freshman Ariana Elliot said she feels “sadder” now from 2020 to 2021. Freshman Alyssa Pickle said she is “not as happy as she used to be.”&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Throughout a year of highs and lows, many still have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“I have learned to not take things for granted. COVID has taken a lot of stuff away from me such as sports and now I am grateful for what I have because you never know what could happen,”sophomore Troy Shoemaker said.</p>
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<blockquote class=”wp-block-quote”><p>Megan Queen said, “I learned more about myself and how to give myself grace. We all had a rough year.”&nbsp;</p></blockquote>
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<p>“Enjoy life more. I think it’s important to laugh and cherish moments because they won’t last forever,” said Christine Parker.&nbsp;</p>
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<h1>Renovating the Barn</h1>
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<p>Eliana Cotten</p>
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<p>The NCLA has had a school barn since the plans for the school were made. Up to this point it has been used as a makeshift shed, for storage and unused school supplies.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“The current barn came along with the original property when we bought it. It has been used mostly for storage and honestly a lot of junk has accumulated over the years,” elementary vice principal Mrs. Guldberg said.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>The barn is currently in the process of being renovated, to make a safe space for the school’s busses for sports games and possible field trips. The empty space left can also be used for other needs as they come.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>The school is planning on having the barn done by the summer, to be in use for next school year.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>So far, they have gotten it almost completely cleared out, with the help of a few student and family volunteers. They have also hired <em>Crossover Roofing </em>to renovate the roof, which they started on March 10.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“A few families have pitched in to help get things cleaned out. I believe there is still a huge wrestling mat that we need taken out of there, so if anyone is in need of an old wrestling mat – we have one for cheap!” Mrs. Guldberg said.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Admin has asked that families stay away from the barn during this construction period for the safety of students and the integrity of the barn.&nbsp;</p>
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<h1>NCLA Online Silent Auction Recap</h1>
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<p>By Cameron Warren</p>
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<p>The annual NCLA auction from March 8-11 has just come to an end. The biddings normally occur in-person but this year they have made it online to be safe with social distancing.</p>
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<p>“I think this has been a fun, socially distant way to support our school.” Jenna Guldberg, NCLA’s elementary school principal, said.</p>
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<p>There are a variety of bids, anything from five nights at a Mexico resort to a round of disk golf. All of the unique items make the bidding much more interesting.</p>
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<p><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-4695″ src=”https://thefalconlive.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/0001.jpg&#8221; alt=”0001″ width=”2954″ height=”2363″> A look at the many items up for sale in the auction.</p>

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<p>“Some of the highest bidding items would have to be our restaurant gift cards, they are all getting face value or more. Also our night stays at different hotels and lodges are very very popular!!”, the social media team at NCLA said.</p>
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<p>As people keep getting outbid, auction prices have been going up, making this an extremely beneficial event for the NCLA.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“So far we have had amazing turnout for the auction. In fact, I keep getting outbid on what I would like to win!”, says Mrs. Guldberg, the elementary school principal at NCLA, said.</p>
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<p>The NCLA auction has been extremely successful as a lot of people are interested in bidding. The NCLA also reached their money goal to build an outdoor learning center from this auction.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“What an awesome event!! We are still waiting on final numbers but we have definitely hit our goal. One of the most popular items was Honey Humphrey’s Strawberry cake that went for over $100!! We will announce a final total and funds raised sometime next week!”, the social media team at NCLA said.</p>
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<h1>Dr. Seuss Books Cancelled</h1>
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<p>Olivia Brown</p>
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<p>Everyone who grew up in this generation knows of Dr. Seuss and his books, that many of us grew up with during our childhood. Recently it has been announced that 6 of his books will not be printed and published due to the books having racist images and undertones.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprise said.</p>
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<p><img class=”size-full wp-image-4718 alignright” src=”https://thefalconlive.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/and-to-think-i-saw-it-on-mulberry-street.jpg&#8221; alt=”Dr Seuss cancelled” width=”381″ height=”499″></p>

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<p>Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, was an author who wrote books for little children. His first children’s book was titled “<em>And to think I saw it on Mulberry Street</em>” in 1957, but during WWII he took a break from writing kids cartoons and began to write and draw political stuff for newspapers. After the war, he picked up drawing children’s books again and made classics such as The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch to stole Christmas, The Lorax, Green eggs and ham, and many more. Over the years he created many books that would influence many generations to come.</p>
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<p>In one of his books, <em>If I ran a Zoo,</em> one of the images depicts three Asian men helping to carry an animal called the “Bustard” to the zoo. It might not seem problematic at first sight but the line he describes them as says “With helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant”. This line in the book was extremely unnecessary, I don’t think it should have been added in the first place.</p>
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<p>In the same book, another image shows two African men wearing a red grass skirt and their hair up, bringing an animal called the tizzle-topped Tufted Mazurka. The way it shows and depicts African men as people who have monkey-like facial features and not wearing any clothes other than a skirt doesn’t sit right with me. I understand that they’re from Africa but I really do not think African people were half-naked in the 1950s.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>People on the internet are trying to ‘cancel’ Dr. Seuss because of these things, but I don’t think “canceling” him will do anything since he is dead and has been for about 30 years now and has already lived his life but I do think it important to point out these inappropriate depictions of minorities. These types of books should not be normalized and I do agree that they should not be published anymore.</p>
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Living: 3/12/2021

Falcons’ First Jobs

Lindsey Allen 

As students start to drive and have more independence, they find the need and want of money. Whether it be for gas, insurance, food, or just spending money, some teens have to start providing a portion of that for themselves. 

Around Kernersville, you can see NCLA students working at a variety of different places. 

Many students start out babysitting, mowing lawns, washing cars, and many other jobs that are not through a company. Some prefer this, because they can make more money, charging up to $10 an hour, or because it is a more comfortable environment. 

“I got the job because they were family friends. It’s the best job I think I could get honestly,” Jonathan Floyd, a junior, who works on a family farm said, “I’ve worked on the farm for a little over a year now. I split wood, mow, weed eat, run the skid loader and tractor during hay season. These people have become family over time and I love them.”

Students Jobs
The farm that Jonathan Floyd works 

Others prefer working at restaurants, stores, or other bigger businesses. 

On an Instagram poll, 64% of students said that they have an afterschool/weekend job. 

54% of those people said that they liked their job. 

The jobs that these people have include working at fast food restaurants such as Chick-Fil-A, Salsaritas, and McDonald’s, or stores like Lowes Foods and Target. 

Abby Brannan, a junior, works at Salsaritas in High Point. 

“I like the atmosphere of where I work and my coworkers, so it is enjoyable, but like many restaurants making little over minimum wage is not ideal for how much work the job requires,” Brannan said. 

Ian Arnold, a junior, along with many other students at the NCLA, works at Chick-fil-a in Kernersville. 

“The work environment for the most part is healthy, a majority of the positions are easy to do, and they are very flexible with scheduling,”Arnold said.

Along with school and work, some also have sports added to their schedule. It can be hard for students to balance everything and stay focused. 

“I usually try to only work 3 days during the school week to give myself time to work on assignments,” Arnold said.

While some students try to work during the week, others find it easier to spend the week in school, and work on weekends.

“I know my priorities. I normally just work on the weekends, and if I do work during the week it’s always after school and sports. I find a way to do both,” Floyd said.

St. Patricks Day History/Celebrations

Ellie Gibhardt 

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated once a year on March 17. It has been celebrated across the world for more than a thousand years now, and was brought to America in the 1700s. 

It is said that somewhere in between the ninth and tenth centuries, people in Ireland started to recognize the Roman Catholic holiday which honored Saint Patrick.

The most well-known legend of St. Patrick is that he helped explain the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a shamrock, which is why it’s symbolic today. St. Patrick’s life became a bigger part of Irish history after his death, leaving a big impact on the culture.

St Patrick Day
Green Empire State Building for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day falls during the Christian season of Lent. Prohibitions during this time went against the consumption of meat, but they were waived. It started in Ireland where people danced, drank and feasted– specifically on the traditional meal which consisted of Irish bacon and cabbage. 

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland but in America. It was said to be held on March 17, 1601 in a Spanish colony that is located in present day St. Augustine, Florida. Homesick Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched in New York City of March 17, 1172 to honor the Irish patron saint. 

The parade and several other celebrations from the previous year were more specifically organized by Ricardo Artur, the Spanish Colonies Irish vicar. Enthusiasm for St. Patrick’s Day parades only grew from here after they were introduced to American cities earlier on, including Boston and NYC.

St Patrick Day
Photo of the dyed Chicago River from NBC News

Across the United States, several different celebrations and events have been held to represent the holiday. For example, dying the Chicago River green and everyone gathering around to take pictures. Several buildings across the country turn on green lights to represent the holiday as well. Numerous parades are typically held too, but there will be restrictions this year due to the pandemic. 

Coffee Shops Down the Block

Elaina Pascavage

A coffee shop is a place where you can go to either study, hangout with friends, or just grab a coffee to-go. Due to the recent worldwide pandemic, local businesses have suffered greatly, some forced to close their doors permanently. This is why we need to support local coffee shops, as well as local businesses, now more than ever. 

Local Roots Coffee Shop: 247 N Cherry St, Kernersville

Local Roots Coffee Shop offers great coffee and a great environment. Although their parking is not ideal, their low prices with great flavors definitely make up for it. The iced caramel latte was made quickly and served with a smile, making the experience overall great. 

Grading local Coffee shops
DeBeen Espresso

DeBeen Espresso: 709 W Lexington Ave, High Point

DeBeen Espresso has been serving coffee to the Triad since 1997. With their low prices, relaxing atmosphere, and free wifi, this coffee shop acts as a great study place for students. From gelato to baked goods, or smoothies to lattes, DeBeen has something for everyone. 

Tchaikovsky, not to be confused with the Russian composer, is one of the most popular items on the menu. It is a mix of chai tea and coffee, which you are able to choose between vanilla, spiced, or even both types of chai tea. This can be served either hot or cold, but no matter your choosing, it will be delicious. 

Grading local Coffee shops
A Special Blend

A Special Blend: 3900 W Market St, Greensboro

A Special Blend in Greensboro, provides a great atmosphere for all their customers, while also providing jobs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This coffee shop is about inspiring their customers by interacting with their employees, in order to create a loving community that will value all people. Their slogan is “Community in a Cup,” which helps bring to life their mission as a non-profit business. 

From being greeted at the door to being waved goodbye, the whole experience was amazing. It is extremely welcoming, always clean, and offered comfortable seating both inside and outdoors. They offer both hot and iced coffee, also treats from the bakery or even ice cream. The iced Scott’s Campfire Mocha, which is an iced coffee flavored with marshmallow syrup and drizzled with chocolate syrup, came out quickly and was also delicious, like the rest of their items. 


McDonald’s Shamrock Shake Review 

Nora Wood

It’s about that time of year when everything starts looking a little more green and a little more Irish. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, the McDonald’s Saint Patrick’s Day treat, the Shamrock Shake, is a light and refreshing snack to keep you from overheating. 

According to the McDonald’s website, the Shamrock Shake is a “creamy vanilla soft serve blended with Shamrock Shake syrup and topped with delicious whipped topping.” 

I had previously tried the Shamrock Shake before, but every time it’s either a  hit or miss. Sometimes it has too much syrup, leaving a grassy aftertaste, and other times there has not been enough syrup, which gives little to no flavor profile. This time, the shake was perfectly made. It has a very fluffy texture, which makes the cup pretty lightweight. The shake was not too cold to suck down with the straws they forgot to give me (definitely not bitter). While the flavor of the shake itself was just okay, I really liked the texture. The shake itself does have a very earthy yet sweet taste, but the whipped cream on top is definitely the best part. 

Both my dad and I tried the shake. I got a small which is only 460 calories and he went with the large, which is around 800 calories. 

“I like the taste, and I like the flavor,” said my dad, David Wood. “It is not overpowering, but it is different than their normal milkshakes. It is almost key-lime(ish).”

While my dad rates it a four out of five stars, I give the shake a three out of five stars. I have had better ice cream, and I have had worse. The shake itself is just okay. I can see myself craving the shake in the future, but only every once in a blue moon. If you like minty ice cream and you want to try the Shamrock Shake, it will definitely fill your cravings. 

Spring Cleaning

Tyler Hanes

Spring is slowly coming closer and closer in North Carolina. When people think of the beginning of spring,  the first thing that comes to mind is spring cleaning. Many people do spring cleaning yearly, but why do we do it?


The history of spring cleaning goes back to the 1800s. Before electricity people used alternate forms of heating like lamps with kerosene or whale oil and fireplaces burning coal or wood. These forms of heating leave soot and ash all over the house. There was not a point to clean it throughout the winter because it was always being used and making the house dirtier. When the warmer spring weather hit, families were quick to clean their homes at the same time every year.

Believe it or not, spring cleaning also has a religious background. 

The Jewish holiday, Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Part of the Passover tradition is to clean the entire home to get rid of any piece or even crumb of yeast or bread. When the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt they could only eat bread, so during Passover, they make sure they have no bread or yeast present in their home for the holiday.

Some denominations of Christianity practice lent. Lent is a period of six weeks from ash Wednesday to Easter. It is a time where many Christians fast for a day or give something up for example TV for those six weeks. During this time many people are trying to better themselves and become more productive than usual and with productiveness comes cleaning. 

Surprisingly there is also a biological reason for spring cleaning. 

When the weather gets warmer and the amount of daylight increases it gives us more energy. In the dark and cold winters our bodies naturally produce more melatonin, this is a chemical our brain releases that makes us tired. This is not released as much in the spring, causing us to be much more productive than just a few months before. 

Spring Cleaning happened in the past for many reasons but how common is it done today? In a poll done on Instagram out of 50 people, 69% of them said that their family does not do any spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is something that is heard about every year but it feels as if it is a tradition is being lost to time.

Arts: 3/12/21

A Look At Band and Chorus This Year

Skylar Maness

March 12 – There have been many changes made at the NCLA in order to keep a safe atmosphere for its students. Two of the most impacted classes include band and chorus.

In band class, students cannot play their instruments and in chorus, students cannot sing. This has brought forth a big challenge for Mr. Gonzalez, the NCLA’s band teacher, as well as Mrs. Gobetz, the NCLA’s chorus teacher.

The two teachers came up with a system that keeps the students engaged in class, while improving their skills outside of class.

“In class we go over music topics, read music, and learn about different composers. At home the students videotape themselves playing their instruments and send those videos in to me” Mr. Gonzalez said.

Chorus is currently using a similar structure as the band class.

“Right now, chorus students are learning about different types of music in class. We just started a unit on music from different decades. We began with the 50’s rock-n-roll and we will work our way up to present day tunes. At home, chorus students videotape themselves singing assigned songs, then send those videos to me,” Mrs. Gobetz said.

Sydney Lohr, a freshman taking chorus said “I love how we are becoming more familiarized with not just singing, but also with different music genres. I also appreciate that we are learning how to read notes. I think it will be really helpful for when we can sing again.”

Many band students have made the best of the situation and grown as performers because of the setbacks.

Julie Davis is a sophomore taking band at the NCLA. She has been playing the clarinet since she was in the 5th grade.

“I would say that covid changes have made me more skilled with some of the technical aspects of playing my instrument. We haven’t been able to play in class, but we do exercises practicing rhythm that have definitely helped me with my counting. In past years, we usually would only use our class time to work on different pieces for an upcoming concert, but this year since we have the time, we have listened to a really wide variety of different composers and artists. It’s been really interesting because I get to hear things I probably wouldn’t choose to listen to on my own, and I’ve enjoyed exploring the different genres. Also, you can really see how music from the last several decades has influenced what we hear on the radio today, and it’s cool to see how a lot of those things overlap,” Davis said.

Davis has a room setup that makes recording her music very efficient.


Covid has also caused some setbacks to learning new material.

“With COVID we still have weekly playing assignments that we are expected to complete, but I don’t personally play my instrument as much as I was last year when we were able to play in class. I would say that this absence of practice has definitely hurt my playing ability because I am not doing it as often,” senior Emily Vroom said.

“Covid has impacted band in several negative ways,” Trint Saunders, a sophomore at the NCLA said.

“One negative impact is that we cannot play in class. This caused me to not be as good as I used to be. Recently, I have started to play more at home in order to keep the skills I have now. I hope to grow in my ability of playing the drums as I continue practicing,” Saunders said.

Although it is hard to grow as a performer in band and chorus this year, there are several things that students enjoy about these changes.

“I like that we are getting to spend more time focusing on technical details that we usually skip over. I am able to better understand rhythms and patterns to help me play the clarinet, even if I am not able to play in class” Vroom said.

“The main thing I like more about band class is that we can talk more because no one can play their instruments” Saunders said.

On the other hand, Felix Salgado, a sophomore playing the trombone said “There’s not really anything I like more about band this year. I miss playing with everyone as well as playing in pep-band and concerts”.

Although not much can be done with band right now, Mr. Gonzalez has something up his sleeve for the end of this year.

“We will be putting together an NCLA fight song! Kids in band class are beginning to learn their parts. After they have learned it, they will take videos of their part and send it in. These videos will later be put together to make a virtual band. The fight song will be played at different events in the future. I’m so excited to see how it turns out” Gonzalez said.

“This year, band has had it’s challenges, but the students have handled it very well.” Gonzalez said. “They have made the best out of this situation. I’m so proud of them”.

Universal Orlando Amidst COVID

Lexi Antieau

March 12 – Universal Studios still remains one of the most magical places on earth, even after many COVID restrictions and regulations were put in place.

Universal Studios Tour
Photo Contributed by Lily Antieau

Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida reopened on June 5, 2020 after two months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Certain restrictions remain in place, such as maintaining six feet between parties and requiring every individual to wear some kind of face covering.

Universal Studios Tour
Socially Distanced Waiting Lines

For the quarter break, my family and I travelled to both parks for two days and got to experience firsthand some of the restrictions. The social distancing made lines for rides much less claustrophobic.

Social distancing also made lines appear much longer than they really were, which made for a pleasant surprise. Specifically, the new Harry Potter ride looked to have an extremely long line, when really the line was quite tolerable. The new ride ‘Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike’ was well worth the wait and was so fun that we rode it four times!

The majority of the park’s rides remained open, including almost all of the virtual rides. However, the virtual rides that required glasses were not as easy as they used to be. As all eyeglass wearers know, wearing a mask while wearing glasses tends to fog up the glass. This was the case for all of the virtual rides, and I wasn’t about to pull my mask below my nose but they were still fun!

Like previously stated, the magic of Universal Studios was still there. Harry Potter world remained open, with all of the attractions functioning and concessions offered. Specifically, butter beer was still sold, and we were only allowed to take off our masks and drink it once we were stationary. Set up as Hogwarts from the movies, the park still transports you to feel as if you are a character in the movies. The souvenir shops are set up in the little town, making you feel like a casual Londoner strolling through the city.

Universal Studios Tour
Empty Auditorium Due to COVID

Many shows and plays were cancelled in the parks, however. While waiting in the line for Hagrid’s ride, we passed an auditorium that was completely empty and out of use.

There was no sign that explained the reason for the closure, but we figured it was due to COVID restrictions.

Universal Studios Tour
Socially Distanced Meet and Greets

The only major difference between Universal Studios before the pandemic versus after was that there weren’t as many characters on display to take pictures with. The ones that were out had to remain six feet apart from each other and from the people wanting pictures with them.

Universal came up with a crafty way to socially distance, however, by putting some of the characters on stilts and/or behind gates.

During the time that we went, Mardi Gras celebrations were happening all around the park. Extravagant floats and marching bands would parade through the streets, throwing beaded necklaces to anyone who would dance in front of their float. This made for a very crowded street, but it was still fun to attempt to collect bead necklaces. I was a little bit worried about the crowded streets not being socially distanced, but everyone was wearing their masks and nobody seemed to be bumping into each other.

Universal Studios Tour
Booths Separated by Plastic

Restaurants in both parks were very different from what I was accustomed to. They had plastic barriers set up between all of the tables and booths, and we had to order all of our food on the Universal app. I didn’t think this was such a bad thing not only because it made me feel safe, but it also made getting our food less of a hassle.

Overall, the experience at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida was a very positive experience despite the pandemic. The magic is so captivating that the masks and social distancing rules seem like miniscule restrictions. If you’re thinking about booking a trip, definitely do!


The Year Of Marvel

Cyd Leister

March 12 – WandaVision was released on Jan. 15 and built a strong fanbase of new and old Marvel fans. It’s final episode aired last Friday, and left it’s fanbase in a state of disarray, but this finale is far from the end for Marvel this year.p_wandavision_disneyplus_poster03_20118_66028c77

WandaVision was slow to build traction as it is very different from most Marvel content. It began with a 1950s and 1960s television sitcom style. Each of the early episodes takes inspiration from sitcoms from a variety of decades.

The show references multiple areas of past Marvel content, such as Captain Marvel and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Side characters from previous marvel content such as Jimmy Woo, Darcy Lewis, and Monica Rambeau got their time to shine.

WandaVision has been an incredibly unique addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has opened many new storylines. Some possibilities include the multiverse and younger avengers. However, it is an incredibly bittersweet story, as it gives viewers a deepdive into the several injustices Wanda Maximoff has experienced.

downloadLucky for WandaVision watchers and all Marvel fans alike, next Friday marks the beginning of another Marvel tv series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The series is set to premiere March 19 and is supposed to follow the Winter Soldier, James “Bucky” Barnes, and the Falcon, Sam Wilson. Both characters have been seen in past Marvel movies as a result of their close relationships with Steve Rogers, more notably known as Captain America.

There is even more to come for Marvel this year with another four shows and four movies planned to release this year.

Release Date
Black Widow
May 7, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings
July 9, 2021
Nov. 5, 2021
Spider-man: No Way Home
Dec. 17, 2021
TV Shows 
Release Date
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
March 19, 2021
June 11, 2021
What if…?
Summer 2021
Ms. Marvel

Revisiting Childhood Movies

Brooke Bandy

March 12 –  There are so many movies from our childhoods that have made us who we are today. I went back and watched a few of them this past month and for most of them, I forgot how fun and entertaining they are. 

The first movie I watched was Lilo and Stitch. I feel like it would be wrong to start off without a Disney movie. This will forever and always be my favorite movie, especially right now. The Hawaii setting makes me feel like it’s sunny and 80 degrees outside even though it’s really 45 degrees and cloudy. It’s definitely helping me hold out hope for warmer weather soon. 

The next one I watched was the Curious George Movie. I have not seen this movie since I was little. Like extremely little. And it was the cutest, sweetest movie I’ve ever seen. For some reason, I’d never thought about how a little animated monkey could be so cute, right? I’m also a big fan of Jack Johnson, so of course the soundtrack was one of the best things about the film (Key Songs: Upside Down and Talk of the Town). 

This next movie wasn’t a movie I saw as a child, but it was one Google suggested as a classic childhood movie. The Princess Bride is a great movie to watch anytime and it never gets old. The first time I saw it was in Mrs. Reaves’ (former Latin teacher) class at the end of the year. Watching it back again reminded me of those good times watching it with my friends at the end of the school year. The second I saw it I loved the story and now I constantly say “inconceivable.” 

Finally, I went back and watched the movie that defined our generation, High School Musical. It was and still is the best Disney Channel original movie. It’s got a soundtrack with no skippable songs and the plot still makes sense watching it as an 18 year old as it did watching it as an 8 year old. I will say that the third one is my favorite right now, just because the senior year themes really hit home, but the first one will remain a Disney Channel classic for years to come. 

This list is definitely not a full list of childhood movies, some honorable mentions are My Girl, Camp Rock, Emperor’s New Groove, and so many more. I would definitely recommend looking at some old kids movies and revisiting the memories, it’s worth the time. 

My Girl:

MYGIRLHRIf you have not seen this movie, go watch it right now. Click off the story and go watch it. It may be a little too much for younger kids, but it’s such a beautiful and touching story. 


The Little Rascals

littlerascalsSince watching this movie for the first time in a few years, I have not been able to get Alfalfa’s little song out of my head. It’s such a feel good movie and it never fails to make me smile. 




Daft Punk Break Up

Grayson Bright

March 12 – After 28 years of producing and creating music together, the famous music duo Daft Punk has broken up. Daft Punk was known for their work such as Get Lucky featuring Pharrell Williams, their feature in Starboy by The Weekend, and being sampled in Kanye West’s song Stronger, where he had sampled the song Harder Better Faster Stronger. They had announced the breakup February, 22nd after they had released the video called “Epilogue.”

Daft Punk Breakup
Picture via Daft Punk from their “Epilogue” video

Mr.Gonzalez, the band director who has knowledge and taste of many music genres, he had given his opinion on the band’s breaking up, “I was bummed to hear about Daft Punk breaking up Any time that a group or band has the ability to continue to make music together, but chooses to go their own ways it stinks.”

When NCLA student, Will Blake was asked about the band’s breakup, “ I don’t know who they really are.”

In the video “Epilogue” it had the two standing in a very large field, the two had walked around for 4 minutes until we saw the member with the silver helmet have a switch flipped on his back. He walks a far distance away from the other member in the golden helmet, then the member in the silver helmet explodes. After he explodes the member in the golden helmet member walks into the sunset where the song “Touch” featuring Paul William plays, then it fades into a drawn picture where they are shown holding hands and under the hands it says “1993-2021”, this leads to the suggestion of their separation.

Many people were affected by this event but the prices on their vinyl was even more affected. Their debut album “Homework” the prices had risen from 20 dollars to 70 plus dollars not including shipping. Their last album “Random Access Memories” the price for the vinyl had risen from 20 dollars to 130 plus dollars and that was the cheapest listing on the website “Discogs”.

When asked about the rising prices in the vinyl Gonzalez said, “ I will use the example of Kobe Bryant. When Kobe died you couldn’t find his shoes anywhere in the store or online. Resellers took advantage of this and started selling the shoes for crazy prices, even if it was his budget model shoes that he never wore on the court. So, while I wouldn’t personally spend that much money on a Daft Punk vinyl, I can see why the prices are up there. The price is up there because there is a market for it,”.

Although their video “Epilogue” had officially announced the band’s separation the reasoning of this action is still very unknown. Some say that it might have been them losing interest in working together, some also say that they had just been done with music altogether.

Mr.Gonzalez gave his reasoning on why they had broken up, Gonzalez said, “ Perhaps they were just ready to make their own music or go in different directions with new artists. Artists create. Artists perform. I doubt this will be the last time either of them makes music. And if they ever get back together I am sure it will be one heck of a reunion,”.

There are many possibilities of what could happen with the two artists from now on. They could go onto create music careers where they explore their own creativity but they could onto just retire from the music industry.

Sports Venues Able to Increase Capacity

Rebecca Avila

Sports crowds are a huge part when it comes to the energy of a game. Due to the pandemic, spectators have not been allowed in many sporting events. Governor Cooper announced in a press conference on Feb. 24 to ease restrictions when it comes to outdoor and indoor sporting events.

The amount of COVID-19 cases has gone down and resumed to the numbers back in November before the surge of cases following Thanksgiving and Chritsmas. “We will ease but not lift restrictions in several areas with the executive order that will go into effect this friday,” said Governor Cooper in a press conference.

NCLA Softball Field
The brand new softball field at the NCLA.

Outdoor businesses and events had been operating at a capacity cap of 100 people. With the new executive order that is to go into effect on Friday, Feb 26, the capacity limit will increase to a capacity cap of 250 people. For indoor events, the capacity cap slowly increases to 15%. 

Governor Cooper said there will be, “more opportunities to gather, shop and attend events if done safely.”

With the amount of people allowed to attend sporting events now still maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask and washing their hands, the dynamic could change for the better in upcoming spring sports taking place at the NCLA.

“I think that it’ll be good just for parents to be able to be out there,” said Mr. Landphair, coach for boys high school baseball. “Especially since we’re outside, it’s not as big of a concern.”

With the addition of more spectators being allowed to sporting events, players can begin to see a sense of normality and not be thrown off by restrictions caused by the pandemic.

“I do think that it will bring back at least a little sense of normalcy. I think for me, the most important difference between practice and a game is the other team, but the second biggest thing is the people watching,” said sophomore, Julie Davis. “Also, in my opinion having someone watch you adds on a little more pressure to perform well, and it pushes you out of your comfort zone so that you can be your best.”

Spring Sports Excited to get Started

Jackson Faenza

Earlier this month, we saw the swift cancellation of the winter season hours before tipoff on senior night for basketball. This caused much speculation if it would affect the spring sports tryouts, which are swr to begin Mar. 1. 

“The cancellation will not delay the spring sports season, tryouts are still on as scheduled,” AD Coach Mac said.

Tryouts for boys and girls golf, softball, and wrestling will all begin the beginning of March. Due to the shortened and overlapping seasons, this may cause many players to want to double up and play two sports. The NCHSAA has allowed student-athletes who want to participate in two sports at the same time to be able to do so.

“Spring sports we’ve got three sports that we are trying to start baseball, wrestling, and track and field. We really need the students to come out and participate because they are traditional and are not in the same season and unfortunately I feel like there is going to be a lot of double sport athletes this year,” Coach Mac said.

She also mentioned how for softball and girls soccer, there will be enough players that are going to come out and participate in those sports. But she mentioned that the boys sports seasons are the ones she is worried about not having enough players for.

Mr. Landphair, Head Coach of the Baseball team, is very confident that there is going to be a season and there will be enough players. “Baseball Season starts in the middle of April and we are absolutely looking forward to it.  While we might have lost some players due to graduation, we are still primed to reload this year with some new players and have a great season.”

The baseball season is planning to begin at the end of April, along with boys track and field beginning around that same time also. 

The school is looking forward to the spring and hoping for some more great seasons.”I really want the students to get out and participate and be able to enjoy these awesome opportunities to play in these spring sports,” said Coach Mac.

College Athlete Dreams at NCLA

Laura Richie

The last two years of Highschool for any student is very important, but it is especially important for student athletes wishing to play at the collegiate level as they must perform for coaches, while keeping their grades up.

Training and working to become a college student athlete is something you can’t joke about. In order to be a college athlete you have to fully commit your life to the game, you have to be 100% in.

As some of the student athletes at NCLA, wanting to go to college on a sports scholarship, they work to achieve their goals.

Senior, Noah Richardson would like to play either Basketball or Baseball in college. He would play at Ole Miss for baseball and if he went to college to play basketball he would be happy to play anywhere. He is very experienced in both sports as has been playing them both since he was three years old.

Want to be a college athlete?
Senior Noah Richardson playing basketball

Richardson then talks about how trying to become a college athlete isn’t a joke. “I think playing at the college level would be the most serious I’ve ever taken it knowing what’s on the line.”

As he is working to become a college athlete outside of both basketball and baseball, he has been doing a lot of strength and agility training. Richardson has reached out to both Memphis University and Ole miss and he is still waiting to hear back and deciding on a school to go to.

Troy Shoemaker, sophomore at the NCLA is interested in going to college on a sports scholarship playing either baseball, soccer, or basketball attending either UNC- Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, or even UNC-Wilmington. Shoemaker has been playing basketball for three years and has come a long way, as he is very serious when it comes to working on becoming a college student athlete. 

Outside of the gym and off the field Troy has been working on lifting and going to the gym as well as taking a lot of shots and working on drills to become a better player. Asking Troy about the practice schedule outside of practice he says, “I do try and practice or workout everyday and at the least I will try to get some shota up. I practice from thirty minutes to two and a half hours a day.”

Junior Jonathan Floyd is interested in going to college on a baseball scholarship, as he fell in love with the game at three years old and has played ever since. Floyd does seem like he has some decisions about whether or not he would like to play. “I would like to, I think I have the skill but part of me wants to focus on my real life goal”. As Floyd would like to go to Western Carolina and be a part of their team, he is constantly working out all the time, usually working out more than he practices.

Want to be a college athlete?
Junior Jonathan Floyd playing baseball

As there are a couple of students who are serious about going to college on an athletic scholarship, there is also some people that don’t know much about it, thinking it would be cool, but have no idea what they wanna do just like Celeste Paradis, a sophomore here at the NCLA. She would like to go to college on a golf scholarship following in her dad’s footsteps. She has been playing for four years and would love to attend the College of Charleston. 

”I’m not very educated but I am going to look more into it.” Celeste has been practicing her swing and improving her golf skills.

Student Feature: Laith Trabelsi 

Ellie Gibhardt

Laith Trabelsi is a junior this year at the NCLA after transferring from West Forsyth last year. He’s been racing since he was little, from his first race when he was nine to his most recent on October 25. It’s very important to him and in the last seven years, Laith says his many races have provided him with new experiences and learning opportunities. 

“I’ve liked racing since I was a kid and liked going to Bowman Gray when I was little. I started racing quarter midgets at nine and won my first race. I raced that until I was twelve,” Trabelsi said.

He enjoys racing because of how exciting it always is and the constant adrenaline.

“It puts you on the edge of your seat and you always have to be aware of your surroundings,” Trabelsi said. Student Feature

One race he especially remembers was on September 14, 2019 at Orange County Speedway. 

“It was our first race with new crew members and a new set up. They had changed qualifying and because of this I had to start in the back at 8th place. It took a couple of laps to get caught up,” Trabelsi said.

He had passed two cars and was working on his third target to pass. This was #11, coming on the inside of the corner and eventually cutting him off. This made him spin out and they had their first restart. 

After this Laith passed #06 car and was working his way back up to #11. He got cut off a second time by #11.

“I ended up going from eighth to fifth place, then trying to pass #04 for fourth place,” Trabelsi said.

He pulled an “excellent move” and made it to fourth. A lap later he was in third place and caused a car to spin out as they tried to pass him. 

“After a 3rd restart, I was working my way up to the top two but there wasn’t enough time and I finished 3rd,” Trabelsi said.

This race was important to him because it was the first time he could be more competitive due to his car. He says he was able to learn a lot about passing cars and get a feeling for what it’s like being so close to them on the track.

“A big learning experience for me was figuring out when to and when not to pass the other cars. Starting at the back and struggling to make it up to the front was exciting,” Trabelsi said.

Out of all the tracks he has raced on, one of his favorites is Hickory Motor Speedway.Student Feature

“The rough asphalt and the history behind the track makes it my favorite. In racing certain tracks, they have different lines you have to run and Hickory makes it feel the fastest and puts you on the edge of your seat,” Trabelsi said.

He plans on switching from circle track racing to road course racing here in the future.

“I’ve always wanted to try road course racing,” Trabelsi said.

His grandpa has played a big role in his interest in cars and racing. Laith says his grandpa has done road course racing and continues to race BMW’s today. Even though this shift might be coming up in his racing career, he continues to admire all of his memories from circle track racing.

“I’m never gonna forget circle track, especially for consistently being surrounded by other cars,” Trabelsi said.

This year has been different because of the pandemic too, just like anything else. 

“Due to corona everything has been really tight. We’re on and off on what we’re gonna do for this upcoming season. What I plan on doing could be a big learning curve for me,” Trabelsi said.

For the most part, Laith has decided that at least for 2021 he won’t be racing Allison Legacy, but will be taking the year off to start working on a BMW race car. 

Link to the race: 


Upcoming Games:

HS Boys Soccer:

Mar 01 @ Cornerstone Charter

Mar 04 @ Millenium

March 08 @ Bishop McGuinness HS

The Woman Behind The Uniform

Emily Viers

Officer Stacy Bottoms is the NCLA school resource officer, she has worked here for a little over two years. 

Officer Stacy
Photo cred- Mr.Gonzalez

In many cases people have their heart set one way but goals set another. Officer Stacy always knew she wanted to work in the law enforcement field so she choose the career path of a police and SRO officer. 

“I would say in all honestly I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer but I’ve also always had the drive to want to help people. In 12th grade is when I decided that I wanted to be a police officer,” Officer Stacy said. 

Officer Stacy wears her uniform with passion as there is a great responsibility behind it all. 

“The most important thing about my job would be the protection and the safe environment it provides while still upholding the law,” Officer Stacy said. 

Officer Stacy not only is an SRO officer but she is also the coordinator for the crisis negotiation team which consists of 11 members.

“We are here to actively listen and encourage the future generations going out into the world. We are people who are here for you. The SRO unit is bringing our future community together with support,” Officer Stacy said. 

As the school resource officer here at the NCLA, she has many daily tasks which consist of directing traffic, interacting with the elementary school students, and most importantly providing the protection and support our school needs. 

“I enjoy talking to the elementary school students whether that is reading books or maybe even covering topics such as honesty and bullying. I also work with the 4th and 5th graders as they love hearing all about the cases I work on,” Officer Stacy said. 

She also worked prior to the NCLA as an SRO officer in 2003 at Southeast middle school for two and a half years. 

“It was a very different experience because it was only middle school and those are the hardest ages of an adolescent due to personal growth. We didn’t have as much structure as well as the grade levels and uniforms as we do at the NCLA,” Officer Stacy said. 

Officer Stacy claims her role as the SRO officer contributes to the student body population at the NCLA as it “brings a sense of communication that binds us together so no fear can come between us as we are here for the safety of you. We are stronger together than divided. We need your help just as much as you need us, that’s what’s important to me.” 


The Battle of School Quarters 

Christine Parker 

As the 4th quarter is approaching quickly, it’s time to put each quarter of the 2020-2021 school year up to the test to see which one was the best. Many students have differing opinions about which was the best due to sports seasons, grades, or the workload.

Senior Emma Moser’s favorite quarter was first quarter. “It just wasn’t as hard school-wise. Summer had just ended so I was still in a good headspace. Because I’m a senior, as the school years goes on it gets harder and harder to be motivated to keep working,” Moser said.

Amber Matias is a senior who thought that third quarter was the best quarter. “The teachers are being considerate to seniors. Since we have already gotten accepted to colleges and are struggling with motivation, they have done been pretty nice with adapting,” Matias said.

She thinks this is the best quarter since she will be playing soccer and the season is beginning soon “I’m hype for soccer season starting. My grades are also good because the workload has lessened I think, or at least it feels like it,” Matias said.

On an Instagram poll asking which quarter was the best it was reported that out of 36 students 50% said 1st quarter, 22% said 2nd quarter, and 28% said 3rd quarter.

Megan Queen is a senior who believes second quarter was the best. “It was the best for me because I finally got my senior season for volleyball and I finally got the hang of managing my time with online school so I felt a relief of stress,” Queen said.

Sophomore Ellie Gibhardt thinks the first quarter was the best “because it’s before we got into the solid zoom schedule. We all had assignments to do but it was before we had classes to log onto every period,” Gibhardt said. 

She thinks that the workload is manageable and not overwhelming. “I also like the first quarter because it’s the beginning of the year- work isn’t too hard yet and it’s fun to get to talk to new people in your classes and your teachers. It’s fun getting to navigate your schedule and go shop for new stuff you’ll need for the year,” Gibhardt said. 

History teacher Mr. Sparks believes, “3rd quarter had been my favorite so far. The first half of the year just seemed so strange and I didn’t feel like I got to know anyone. By the 3rd quarter, I was into a groove with the virtual classes and had bonded with my students more,” Sparks said.


Mars Rover Landing

Cade Shoemaker

On Thursday, February 18th, another piece of space flight history was written. Perseverance, Nasa’s 5th rover on Mars, was the first successful landing since 2011. 

Perseverance’s objective is to collect rock cores from the Martian crust, place and seal them in tubes, and leave them for a follow up mission. The secondary mission would collect all the left behind samples and bring them back to Earth, where better and more specific equipment could be used.

However the rover itself is equipped with plenty of fancy equipment, as the 7 x 9 x 3 foot robot is worth $2.7 billion dollars.

Mars Rover
Photos released by NASA

The mission was directed and managed by John B. McNamee, while the guidance and control operator was Swati Mohan. If viewers tuned in to the official NASA live stream along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans, they would have seen Swati Mohan coordinating and confirming the “7 minutes of terror”.

These 7 minutes of terror are the span of time from atmospheric entry, to landing for the rover.  It’s called the 7 minutes of terror because it all happens within 7 minutes, yet there is no human control that can occur. 

The robot is on its own as any controls from the ground would take 12 minutes before any signal would be received on Mars. This means the landing operation is done solely through the coding, programming, and testing beforehand. Even more interesting is the fact that the robot is already on the Martian surface 5 minutes before Houston receives data that the landing craft has reached the atmosphere to begin the landing operation.

Yet, the 8 years of hard work from well over 350 scientists and engineers paid off, as the rover landing was confirmed over the crew’s intercom.

“Touchdown confirmed, we’re safe on Mars!”, Mohan exalted to the livestream and crew.

Mars Rover
Photos released by NASA

Nasa also hopes to test a built in drone attached to the underbelly of Perseverance. The drone, Ingenuity, will hopefully be used as a scout for human colonization, however the trial will only be a simple flight demonstration.

To learn more about the mission, or to see the collection of HD photos and video from the landing, head to mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.

Starlink Internet at The NCLA 

Grayson Bright 

Starlink Illustration Created By Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter


Starlink is the newest addition to the fleet of ambitious ideas that SpaceX has created. With this creation users of this internet system can have a very low chance of lag in their devices that require internet connection. But as the topic is explored the question is raised if NCLA could use SpaceX’s “Starlink” internet system.

Having the opinion of Mr. Gonzalez, the video editing teacher, and Elon Musk enthusiast, Mr. Gonzalez helped create the possibility of if NCLA could use Starlink and his opinion on the internet system.

When asked, if NCLA could benefit from the usage of Starlink, Gonzalez said, “Aside from the fact that it’s new and exciting tech,  I don’t see a benefit for the school to use Starlink instead of what we are currently using on campus,” this meaning that Starlink can’t be used on a commercial level at this moment. The reason being is the amount of devices that this system can hold currently cannot keep up with the usage that the school does daily.”

Starlink costs $99 per month to keep the system in use. 

“This cost would not be an issue for the school provided the service met a level we could operate at,” said Gonzalez. 

Although this new technology seems to be available to everyone, Gonzalez said, “Although I am a fan of this technology I don’t see this being used by The NCLA in the future just because of the limitations I mentioned in my previous answer. I don’t believe Starlink’s primary customer is commercial or educational institutions.”

With the opinion of Mr.Gonzalez, the usage of this internet system seems almost useless for the school to use. The only way the school could use this technology is if they could make it more for commercial usage and wait to see if the internet system is reliable. As of right now Starlink cannot and could not be used at NCLA due to the size of the system.



AP Test Change

Elaina Pascavage

As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic caused a worldwide shutdown, leaving school to be done safely from our own homes. This also meant, school testing will be completed there as well. 

“Rather than offering a single testing approach, we are offering a variety of testing options that reflect the unique characteristics of each exam,” announced College Board mid-February. 

The newly updated 2021 AP Exam schedule offers three testing dates for each subject between early May and mid-June. Schools will be allowed to pick between three different administrations of the AP Exam. NCLA has chosen Administration 1, which offers the traditional AP Exam, full-length paper and pencil exams held within the school for all subjects. 

“My hopes for testing are that we use the first window for traditional paper pencil testing,” said Mrs. Wood. 

With uncertainty of the near future during this pandemic, College Board has approved schools to pick more than one administration in order to guarantee safety and health among all students and staff. 

“Should something happen during those dates, that gives us another set of dates to use before the end of the school year,” continued Wood.

Now aware that the exams will be completed on paper, some teachers may feel they did not prepare their students well enough. For mainly all of the tests and assignments this year, students have completed them on Chromebooks instead of pencil and paper, which may spark nerves in students.

But, reassuringly, NCLA students feel at ease knowing tests will be on paper instead of Chromebooks. Some students are confident with the approaching exams whether or not they are on paper. AP teachers have taught the material in a way for all of their students to understand the subject, despite the curveballs thrown their way this year. 

“My teachers have spent the year doing a great job at getting the content across. I’m sure it will all be fine,” stated Nora Wood. 


Students Registering for Classes

Alyssa Pickle

It’s that time of year again when high schoolers need to register for classes they are interested in taking for the next school year. 

“When we register students, we make sure they are taking the classes they need to keep progressing towards graduation. For electives, we are continuing to offer electives we’ve offered in the past, and have added an Honors Current Events class for juniors and seniors that should be really cool.” said Mrs. Hilliard, the middle and high school counselor. “It’s too early in registration to really know what classes are the most “popular” at the moment.” 

Along with many core classes for subjects such as English, math, history, and science.  Students said they are looking forward to classes such as AP literature, yoga, journalism, dance, and speech and debate.

Here is an overview of a few electives students may be interested in taking next year:  

Ceramics – Available for students in grades 9-12 it introduces students to the techniques and methods of forming clay. Students will learn how to throw pots on a potter’s wheel and will finish their pieces with firing and glazing techniques. The class also offers field trips to museums and ceramic shows.

Video Editing – Available for students in grades 9-12, it gives students a background in the artistic, creative, and historical aspects of video production.  It also provides instruction on production phases and project creation. A great class for students who are interested in the entertainment industry.

Yoga – Available for students in grades 9-12, however, those who have pre-existing medical conditions that limit flexibility should be cautious about taking this course. It focuses on promoting flexibility, full-body relaxation, balance, meditation, and breathing techniques. 

Interior Design – Available for students in grades 9-12 it focuses on creating living environments that are functional and pleasing. It also involves the financial aspect of designing. Topics of study include elements and principles of design, backgrounds and furnishings, architectural styles and features, and functional room design. Prepares students for entry-level jobs in interior design.

News: 2/26/21

Arts: 2/26/21

Cruella de Vil Movie: Preview

Brooke Bandy

February 26 – Disney+ is on a roll with their original movies, the latest announcement being the new movie, Cruella.

The trailer dropped on Feb. 17. It takes place in London in the 1970s and is apparently going to have “punk rock” vibes according to Emma Stone. 

Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmRKv7n2If8 

CruellaThe movie looks intense and somewhat dark for a Disney movie, but personally, I’m excited to see what it’s going to look like. 

The movie, starring Emma Stone as Cruella, is supposed to revolve around Cruella de Vil’s villain origin story, before her obsession with dog fur. There will be some familiar characters, such as Boris and Horace, as well as Anita and Jasper from the original 101 Dalmatians movie. 

According to Buzzfeed, the first mention of this movie was back in 2019 at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. They released a sneak peek and announced its premiere date to be May 28, 2021. 

Along with familiar characters, the film will have many familiar faces. Emma Thompson (Nanny McPhee, Beauty and the Beast) plays Baroness and Mark Strong (Shazam!, 1917, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) plays Boris. 

Glen Close, the Cruella from the 1996 101 Dalmatians, is involved with the movie as an executive producer, as the movie is supposed to closely follow Close’s portrayal of Cruella. 

Cruella is set to premiere on May 28. 



Taylor Swift Re-recording Her Music

Lindsey Allen

February 26 – Taylor Swift is one of the biggest names in the music industry. 

She started her career signed to Big Machine Records Music, but shortly after starting off, she realized that she wanted complete ownership of the songs she was recording. 

Swift made it clear to her label that when they were to sell her music, it had to be sold to her.

Big Machine Records Music sold Swifts master recordings and music videos to Scooter Braun without Swifts knowledge. 

Braun and Scott Borchetta made it clear to Swift that she was not allowed to perform or use any music from her first six albums. These albums include Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation.

Taylor Swift re-records Albums
Taylor Swift’s Fearless album cover (2021)

They also did not allow her to use the music in her Documentary, Miss Americana, that came out Jan. 31, 2020.

“Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun,” Swift said on twitter in November 2019. 

In late 2020, Swift received an email from Shamrock Holdings, who her music had been sold to. This is the second time that her music had been sold without her knowledge.

“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically be a good girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished,” said Taylor. 

On Nov. 16, 2020, Swift sent out a message to her fans, updating them on what was happening with the ownership of her music.

Swift states “A few weeks ago, my team received a letter from a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings, letting us know that they had bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun.”

In the message she also said that under Shamrock, Braun will still profit off of her first six albums for multiple years. Because of this, she refused a partnership with them.

Unlike many other artists, Swift has planned to re-record her music for a long time, and because of her music being sold, she has made the final decision and began recording. 

There are two reasons that Swift can legally re-record her old music. One being that she owns the publishing rights, and two, being that the “re-recording restrictions” with Big Machine Records Music has ended, as of November 2020.When she does release the re-recorded versions of her old songs, she will have ownership rights to the master recordings, the publishing rights, and will earn every cent the songs make. 

“I think that it’s awesome that she’s reclaiming her music and putting her name on it. I’m super excited to see what she does with complete creative freedom,” said Nora Wood, Junior at NCLA.

Because Swift will own the songs completely, all deals will have to be made directly through her, meaning that nothing will happen without her knowledge.
Swift is attempting to convince companies to use her new music, rather than the old versions, so that Shamrock and Braun will not make profit off of the songs anymore.

This would be easiest for the companies, because they would only have to go to Swift for permission, instead of her and Shamrock. It could also be cheaper for companies. 

Taylor Swift re-records music
Taylor Swift’s Fearless album cover (2008)

On February 11, Taylor Swift announced through an instagram post that she will soon be releasing her first re-recorded album, which will be Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Fearless was her second album, originally released in 2008. 

Swift is known for leaving easter eggs and secret messages for her fans. Because of random capital letters spelling out “APRIL NINTH” in her announcement post, fans are speculating that Fearless (Taylor’s Version) will be released on April Ninth.

Others are saying that it will be released on April 11, because the pre-added album on Apple Music says “COMING APR 11, 2021” directly under the album title. 

If this is correct, fans are asking what will come on the ninth. 

Along with the original 19 songs, Jump Then Fall, Untouchable, Forever & Always – Piano Version, Comes In With The Rain, Superstar, The Other Side Of The Door, Fearless, Fifteen, Love Story, Hey Stephen, White Horse, You Belong With Me, Breathe, Tell Me Why, You’re Not Sorry, The Way I Loved you, Forever & Always, The Best Day, and Change, she will be releasing 6 songs “from the vault”

 “My version of fearless will have 26 songs on it because I’ve decided to add songs from the vault, which are songs that almost made the original Fearless album,” said Swift, on Good Morning America. 

“Songs I absolutely adored, but were held back for different reasons (don’t want too many breakup songs, don’t want too many down tempo songs, can’t fit that many songs on a physical cd). Those reasons are unnecessary now. I’ve decIded I want you to have the whole story, see the entire vivid picture, and let you into the entire dreamscape that is my fearless album,” Swift said while announcing the re-record on Instagram. 

In the same announcement, Swift said that Love Story (Taylor’s Version)  will be released on February 12, at 12 am. 

Fans everywhere went wild over Love Story (Taylor’s Version)

“I think her releasing Love Story, and the whole album in general is a power move on her behalf. And I enjoyed the song,” said Camryn Earnhardt, Sophomore at NCLA. 

“I absolutely loved her re-recorded version of Love Story.” “My heart may not be able to heal for a while once these albums start coming out,” said Wood. 

“I am really excited, she sounded so good on Love Story and her old music is way better than the new stuff,” said Cade Shoemaker, Sophomore. 


The Muppets (TV Series): Review

Cyd Leister

February 26 – The Muppets (TV Series) is a show released by ABC in 2015, but was canceled after only one season due to low viewing rates. It is currently on Disney+ and is gaining a new fanbase as a result.

The show follows a cast of familiar characters from previous Muppet content. Including the obvious icons like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Fozzy Bear. It also has celebrity cameos in nearly every episode.

The muppets work together on a Hollywood film set to put on the late-night talk show, Up Late With Miss Piggy. All the characters perform different jobs, with Piggy being the star and Kermit as the executive producer.

A camera crew follows the characters through their day-to-day life working on set and the mishaps that may happen. Most of the drama comes from Kermit and Piggy’s breakup that occurred prior to the show’s beginning.

The show is targeted at an older audience with a PG-13 rating, and some more adult content and language. The Muppets on Disney Plus


Personally, I think very highly of this show.

It does very well at The Office style but makes it unique. The story and the characters are also really well done. It brings a different perspective on these characters as it puts forth a more adult view of them.

There have been many times it has made me actually laugh. It is engaging but still a good show to put in the background. 

I think it is a great mix of childhood nostalgia and adult themes. I personally believe this show did not get the credit it deserved the first time around and would likely thrive if it was focused on by the current teen and young adult audience.

It is definitely worth a watch, especially if you are a fan of The Muppets and shows like The Office.


The Britney Spears Documentary: Review

Eliana Cotten

February 26 –   Hulu released a Britney Spears documentary style episode on The New York Times Presents series, titled Framing Britney Spears on Feb. 5.

Britney Spears DocSo far, this New York Times series has also included a look into Dominic Fike’s life, the killing of Breonna Taylor, and a response to the fires in Australia at the start of 2020.

According to the official synopsis, “her rise was a global phenomenon. Her downfall was a cruel national sport. People close to Britney Spears and lawyers tied to her conservatorship now reassess her career as she battles her father in court over who should control her life.”

The documentary is rated TV MA for brief profanity and adult themes, and is an hour and fifteen minutes long. It focuses on the events leading up to her conservatorship with her father, and what the conservatorship means and is for her career. 

Conservatorship is when a legal guardian is appointed by a judge in court to handle the financial affairs or daily life of a conservatee due to personal limitations. Most conservatorships are formed to aid an old person in day to day life, and to look after them when they can no longer take care of themselves. 

Britney was put into a conservatorship with her father after she “went insane,” following the events of her divorce, the shaving of her head, and the alleged self checked stay at a mental ward.

According to NBC News, director Samantha Stark commented on the conservatorships saying “She can’t choose where she lives. She can’t sign a check. She can’t sign a contract. She can’t choose what to do with her money.”

The documentary touches on social media bias and how it affected her mental state. It shows clips of Britney at the start of her fame who is shown as America’s sweetheart, with a kind heart and an energetic personality.

They then go through all of the events and people involved in her downfall. We slowly get to see America’s sweetheart turn into every parents nightmare. The documentary does a really good job of showing it from Britney’s perspective, and understanding how detrimental fame can be. 

The #freebritney campaign started in 2009, in response to the conservatorship. Supporters of this campaign believe that Britney is being wrongly controlled, and that the conservatorship was pushed on her without her consent. Britney Spears Doc

I personally think that the documentary was very well done. I think that Britney’s situation is definitely unique, and deserves to be seen from all sides, which Framing Britney Spears did really well. I think that the media typically loves to feed off of celebrities’ downfalls instead of helping them, and Britney Spears is a great example of that. 

Framing Britney Spears really opened my eyes to the affect fame can have on someone, especially someone of young age. It ruined Britney Spears. The constant presence of poparazzi, and the publicity of her messy divorce was all so overwhelming that it pushed her over the edge. 

I would definitely suggest The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears to anyone who knows anything about her situation, or wants to learn what growing up through fame can look like.


To All The Boys: Always and Forever  Review

Olivia Brown

February 26 – Netflix has recently released the third movie and possibly last,to the To All The Boys series. The first movie was released on August 17, 2018 and had gotten 98% Rotten Tomatoes, the second movie was was released 2 years later on February 12, 2020 and hadn’t really lived up to the expectations of the first one getting a 75% in Rotten Tomatoes. This movie however has gotten 77% of Rotten Tomatoes.

To all the boys: Always and Forever
To All The Boys: Always and Forever movie Poster

The main character, Laura Jean and her boyfriend Peter Kavinsky have been together for a majority of their high school years and are getting ready step in life, college. Both LJ and Peter have decided that they are going to go to the same college, Stanford University, to maintain their relationship. 

*Spoilers ahead* 

But everything goes downhill from here, Peter got accepted into Stanford on a lacrosse and LJ didn’t get accepted. Luckily, she applied to more colleges and got accepted into Berkeley which is only an 1 hour away. Once they have that figured out, they have a school trip to New York. While exploring the city Laura Jean and her friends decided to go to an NYU party and LJ fell in love with it, not only the college but the city of New York. She is intrigued with their english literature program and when she gets accepted into the university, she’s happy but also upset. She wants to go to NYU but doesn’t want to risk Peter and hers relationship.

I think this movie was okay great. The plot of the story was great and the acting at some parts made me cringe because they were getting a little cheesy. 

The movie, to me, takes a little too long actually get to the point of the story and I get that it’s a romance movie, they have to focus on the main character relationship and life but I don’t really care about that.

There were certain parts that got me mad such as when they had gotten home from New York and Laura Jean had explained to Peter that she had gotten accepted into NYU and she feels like she wants to go there; Peter then proceeds to say things like “You can go there for a year and than transfer after freshman year,” she then proceeds to tell him that if she doesn’t go then she’ll feel like she”ll regret it in the end, which is totally understandable. Peter than starts to say that they should break up because they’re relationship isn’t going to last four years if she’s all the way in New York.

The ending of the movie did make me cry where they get back together and make a “contract” with each other basically saying that they will always love each other no matter how far apart they are and I thought that was really sweet. I would give this movie a 8/10 and would recommend this to other people.

Winter Sports Cancelled

Jackson Faenza

On Wednesday, two hours before tip-off of the boys and girls senior night game against Ragsdale High School, the game came to an abrupt stop. It had been announced that there had been exposure in the school, and the games would not take place.

“No players had Covid, but we could not let games go on until the February 22nd school quarantine was done,” said Athletic Director Coach Mac.

She went on to explain that this was one of the hardest decisions she has had to make here at the NCLA. The last game for basketball was going to be Feb. 19, which is a few days before the school returns from quarantine. This meant the cancellation of the rest of the basketball season for high school.

Playing multiple sports at the same time
Sophomore Cade Shoemaker

“Mrs. Faenza and I are in the process of trying to find a way to honor our senior players and congratulate them on everything they accomplished,” Coach Mac said.

Along with the cancellation of the rest of the basketball season, came the halt of the rest of the Falcon Sports currently going on. This affects Girls Soccer and Boys Soccer, where girls were supposed to start next week and the boys have already been playing games. 

“This will affect winter sports going on right now. This will not delay the sports starting in March such as golf, track and field, and softball.” said Coach Mac.

Coach Mac did stress the importance of our students coming out and trying out for spring sports coming up. She needs more interest in sports like wrestling, baseball, and boys track and field.

“I do realize there are going to be students who are going to have to choose between two sports or choose to double on sports, due to the new scheduling by the NCHSAA,” she said.

The basketball team was very close to being finished, they had just four more games left on the season.

“I am gonna miss my teammates mostly, aside from basketball, I have become great friends with my teammates. I’m gonna miss late night bus rides with loud music and wishing we could sing, just before stopping to have a team meal,” senior Noah Richardson said.

NCLA’s own DJ… Mr. Wood

Cade Shoemaker

For big events like weddings, basketball games, or birthday parties, a good DJ can set the tone for the rest of the evening. At the NCLA, this is “DJ Dav.i.d”.

David Wood has been the DJ for many NCLA dances, as well as being the control center for music at basketball games and other events. 

He has been in the partying business for quite some time, “I started doing events for church functions about six years ago,” he said. “They started off as small youth events that turned into bigger community events… eventually I started doing school staff parties, dances, and work parties.”

By using the money he got from doing early gigs, Wood has been able to buy all of his own equipment. This allows him to play around with his gear even at home.

“I definitely have fun with my DJ stuff at home. Practice makes a good performer,” Wood said. “Knowing what I am envisioning helps keep me organized and makes set up run smoothly.”

Wood’s passion for being a DJ feeds off the enjoyment of the crowd. He will often use popular songs to get people dancing and having a good time.

“I enjoy the energy of the people on the floor and making people move,” he said. “I am just trying to keep people dancing and having fun.”

After a while, there are DJ tips and tricks that most good performers pick up on. For Wood, he has learned the importance of playing the right song and reading the crowd. 

“Oftentimes, my favorite songs are not always what I can play because I have to make sure I am catering to the crowd. However, songs that everybody likes to hear are Taylor Swift songs, Baby by Justin Bieber, and definitely Bruno Mars.” Wood explains. “However, when people stop feeling the music, you have to play those popular songs that reel them back onto the floor.”

Because of Covid-19, the only school events Wood has been able to do this year have been home basketball games. 

He says his favorite part about these games are the player intros, “Cranking up the music helps feed the energy of the game and get the team pumped up before they play” He continued, “But If I can get the refs to dance, that’s a bonus.”  

To schedule David Wood, contact him by email or give him a call using the information below.

Email: dwood1@triad.rr.com

Phone: 336-287-8616

Girls Soccer Preview

Brooke Bandy

This year has been unpredictable for sports, but luckily, girls soccer is looking forward to their upcoming season. 

NCLA senior and one of the co-captains of last year’s team, Christine Parker, is excited to get back onto the pitch. 

“I’m looking forward to playing soccer with some of my closest friends,” Parker said. “This is my last season and I am definitely going to make the most of it! I can’t wait to get back on the field with my teammates and start scoring some goals!” 

Another NCLA senior, Emily Vroom, is excited to just be having a season. “Actually having it,” Vroom said. “I actually am really looking forward to getting to play and work as a team again.”  

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the season will look a little different than it has in the past. There must be limited equipment sharing and minimized physical contact and a 6 foot social distance is to be maintained. Players are not allowed to physically celebrate with their teammates after goals, as first bumps, hugs, handshakes, and gathering are not going to be permitted. 

Pregame and postgame handshakes with the opposing team are also not allowed and the NCHSAA is encouraging players to show sportsmanship in other creative ways like waving to the other team. There will also be official referee timeouts halfway through each half, essentially turning the halves into quarters. 

The first official day of tryouts is March 1 and the first game is just 15 days later. 

“Girls soccer tryouts start on March 1 and we have games starting the middle of March, the 16th I think is the first official game, through the end of April, April 30,” Coach Mac said. 

Right now, the Lady Falcons will play 2 games. The max amount of games a team can play this year is 14. “We tried to finalize it at 14, I think right now we’re at 12. It’s a reduced season but at least we get an opportunity to have a season,” Coach Mac said. 

The Lady Falcons team is going to have an interest meeting on Feb. 22 from 5-6:30 in the middle school gym to discuss the season, expectations and requirements for each player, as well as the tryout and training expectations and requirements. 

After the meeting, there will be a warmup and scrimmage at which players are expected to wear their masks at all times. To stay updated, join the Girls Soccer Remind group with the code @8k978b. 

Tryouts for the girls soccer team are on March 1-2.

Softball Eager to Play on New Fields

Skylar Maness

As winter sports come to an end, spring athletics will be beginning very soon. Many high school girls are hyped for the upcoming softball season that got cut short last year.

Softball tryouts begin March 1st but workouts are expected to be held before that date.Soft Ball Preview

If you are interested in trying out for softball, here are some things that must be completed before you can attend any king of softball workout or tryouts:

  • Athletic physical and concussion form
  • Softball permission slip 
  • Covid initial screening form

All of this can be found here: https://sites.google.com/a/thencla.org/ncla-falcons-athletics/home

It is also important to join the softball reminder if you are interested in playing softball this year.

The softball coach this year is Mrs. Fordham, who is very excited for this season to begin.

The Falcons have always struggled to have enough people for a softball team so it is encouraged that if someone is interested in playing a spring sport, that they show up to tryouts and see if they like it.

NCLA Softball Field
The brand new softball field at the NCLA.

Because of Covid, some things might be different this year, but the changes so far are very minimum.

“I expect that softball players will probably have to wear masks but athletic policies are changing very frequently” Mrs. McCormick the NCLA’s athletic director said.

This year, softball players have a brand new field that will be ready to play on by next week. 

“I’m so excited to have a softball field to play on at the NCLA this year. It makes everything much easier and we can now have home games and invite your friends to come out and watch” Emily viers, a sophomore at the NCLA said.

Unlike other sports like basketball, passes are not expected to be required for people who want to watch the games unless it gets too crowded.

“It is very exciting that softball has a new field. It took much hard work from Mrs. Faenza and staff members to get it done. I’m thrilled to see how this season goes for our girls.” Mrs. McCormick said.

Multi-Sport Athletes at NCLA

Laura Richie

The Year 2020 brought the unexpected, changing High School Sports in a significant way.

Due to the global pandemic, there have been so many changes in the sports world from the amounts of games that can be played, to the number of people being able to watch the games.

The NCHSAA came out with a Modified Sports Manuel with all protocols and guidelines that must be followed in order to keep sports going, due to the minimizing seasons and having later a start sports are starting overlap, causing student-athletes to be playing more than one sport at a time as this was not allowed before the global pandemic.

At NCLA there are many students that are playing two sports at the same time also having to juggle school, as the NCHSAA did not allow students to participate in two sports at the same time for this very reason, because it is just too much to handle.

“I would say that it definitely has been stressful whenever season for sports overlap for any year of high school, but the stress is even worse when you also have to juggle deadlines specifically for senior year”, says senior Emily Vroom playing participating at the beginning of the the year in cross-country and basketball with the two seasons overlapping, then going into basketball and soccer overlapping.

Playing multiple sports at the same time
Senior Emily Vroom

The NCHSAA Sports Manuel states for Multi-Sport Athletes, that Athletes are subjected to all daily, weekly, and seasonal contest limitations per sport meaning that an athlete can participate in two volleyball games and two cross-country meets in the same week.

“Honestly it was harder balancing two practices a night and doing all my work, however I still got it all done, I just had little to no free time which I was fine with,” says Cade Shoemaker who is on the Boys Basketball team, having boys soccer overlap then will be starting Baseball.

Upcoming Games:

HS Boys Soccer:

Feb 22 @ Millenium

Feb 23 Home against South Stokes

Feb 24 @ Atkins High School

HS Boys and Girls Basketball:

Rest of season cancelled!

Teachers Becoming Vaccinated

Rebecca Avila 

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes readily available to members in group one and group two, many have become concerned about teachers no being seen as a high priority.

Many states are determining who gets a vaccine by age or by the surge of cases depending on each county. 

According to ABCnews.com, “In West Virginia, teachers ages 50 and up are currently eligible, along with people, ages 65 and up. Minnesota launched a community vaccine program last month, with select vaccination clinics serving pre-K-12 educators, school staff, child care workers and those ages 65 and older.”

On Wednesday Fed. 10, Governor Roy Cooper announced that essential frontline workers like teachers, postal workers and law enforcement are to be receiving the vaccine beginning on Feb. 24. 

“I think the sooner the better,” said Mr. Sparks.

“I myself am looking forward to the opportunity to be in line and to give myself protection as well,” Mrs. Hartzell said. The research at least of the Pfizer vaccine looks very strong and very encouraging.”

There is always the standpoint between having the ability to get the vaccine but also having the ability to say no. snapshot-1-6

“It’s important to the teachers that want to do it to have a piece of mind. I think it’s important for a pharmaceutical product for people to choose whether or not they want to put it into their body and not be mandated by the government. But I think for a lot of teachers, it weighs heavily to know we are potentially at risk everyday coming to work and having peace of mind to know we can come to work in a safe way would really be a relief for a lot of staff,” Mrs. Hartzell said. 

Students have had the speculation of being able to fully return if teachers do get the chance to be vaccinated.

“I do, I think it would be much easier to come back,” Mrs. Orenstein said. 

Many people 65 and older have still been waiting to get vaccinated. With some of group three being added, it could take even longer for appointments to be made and vaccines to be administered. 

 “I think with a lot of vaccine shortage, I think we’ll be waiting for a while,” Mrs. Hartzell said. 

The Biden Administration has addressed the vaccine shortage and are wanting to increase doses by 5%. Johnson & Johnson has also said they are getting ready for an  “emergency use authorization hearing,” on Feb. 26 which could speed up the amount of people getting vaccinated. 


Students on Returning Full Time 

Olivia Brown 

It has been 11 months since schools in the United States announced that schools would close due to the, then, new virus and many people went into Quarantine and led many students to do online school. Gov. Roy Cooper has recently announced that he strongly suggested schools to reopen for in person instruction.   

“We have learned much more about this virus and now it’s time to get our children back into the classroom,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. 

Gov. Roy Cooper has recently announced that he strongly suggested schools to reopen for in person instruction. Not many schools have been open and doing hybrid teaching since September like the NCLA. Forsyth tech has just recently started doing hybrid learning.

“Personally, I think hybrid learning is a better choice for me because I can’t understand certain subjects like math or chem virtually. But if we go back in person, I would like that because not only will I understand those subjects better but I get to see my friends,” Kayla Satterwhite said. 

There have been some students who do hybrid learning and some who do full remote. Some students may feel like hybrid learning is better because it allows them to get the help they need in a subject if they aren’t grasping the concept and for others, they may feel like the full remote is better for them because it keeps, not only themselves safe from exposure of the virus, but it can also prevent them from catching and spreading it to other family members or family members who might have a weaker immune system than most. 

“I like doing full remote learning because I honestly do not want to catch that virus. People have died from it and I do not want to die,” Shaniya Myles said. 


NCLA’s Silent Auction 

By: Elaina Pascavage

Receiving donations from both faculty and the community, the NCLA is excited to host an online silent auction. The auction will begin on March 8 and last through the 11. In order to be as contactless as possible, the school has purchased an online software where those interested can place their bids. Screenshot 2021-02-12 at 11.37.45 AM

The school has formed a committee of 10 volunteers in order to help with this event. The committee has helped gather donations from all around the Piedmont Triad as well as help get the word out. 

“I am on the team and the stuff looks great,” said first grade teacher Mrs. Pascavage.

In hopes of reaching the goal of $10,000, the NCLA has decided to use the money in order to support the staff. Having no particular plan laid out, the money is there to be provided when needed. Whether that is fixing things around the school, or upgrading things in the classroom, this money will be used for the benefit of staff and students. 

“I am so grateful they help with classroom expenses,” continued Pascavage.

All of the bidding will be done through a website, making it very similar to how you would normally purchase something online. There will be a link provided for easy access from your computer at home or from your cell phone while you are on the go. 

Without trying to give away all of the amazing auction items, there will be some big and some small. There will be items that are out of this world and items that will help in everyday life. 

“We have some awesome stuff that will be available- something for everyone,” said Ms. Guldberg.


Dropouts in North Carolina

Eliana Cotten 

This school year has been especially tough on students, and has taken a toll on drop out rates in North Carolina. According to TownCharts, Forsyth County has had the least amount of drop outs this year, with 11%. The county with the highest percentage of dropouts this year is Surry County, with 21%.

This year has come with many confusing changes, with crazy new school schedules and a brand new set of rules for safety and class discussions. It has become especially difficult for students to communicate and feel connected with one another. With all of the new and challenging changes, more and more kids are feeling the need to drop out of school.

“My parents would never let me, but I have thought about dropping out this year. There is always  some level of unmotivation and finding no point in the things we’re learning for me,” sophomore Sylvia Sellmer said. 

According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, the primary reasons for dropouts are that a student missed too many days of school, their grades are failing, they thought it would be easier to get a GED, or they simply did not like school. According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, 30% of dropouts happen sophomore year.

“It’s harder to connect with kids when they are not here all the time, and it’s harder for them to connect with us,” assistant principal Mrs. Wood said. 

Many counties have had a big concern with dropouts, and have had to take big precautions to prevent them. Some schools weigh certain grades less, and regularly check up on students to make sure they are doing the work and staying accountable.

“We have a system where we stay on the kids. The teachers call them in for a meeting, we put them on contracts if needed, we do a lot of encouraging. I call all of them myself for encouragement, and sometimes that’s just how we get them across that finish line,” Wood said. 

HS Drop out info
Graduation rates and grade statistics in North Carolina.

While many students have considered dropping out, only a few actually have. Both schools and families have been fighting for their kids to keep pushing and make it to graduation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of high school graduates is estimated to be 2% higher than the average from 2008.

While these statistics look promising, the students may be passing for the wrong reasons. Many students have lost all of the motivation to graduate, and be successful. Most students are only graduating because they want to make their parents proud, or they feel like they have gotten too far to stop now.

“I have sparks of motivation to get my work done, but that’s it,” Sellmer said. “I only care about passing so I put in the effort to pass, not to understand.”


ACT Prep 

Tyler Haynes 

The ACT is a standardized test that is used for college admissions. The test features four academic skill areas, English, math, reading, and science. The ACT is supposed to be a measure of readiness for college, but how should you get ready for the ACT and Pre-ACT? The website Prepscholor.com has a ten-step list to prepare students for the upcoming ACT and Pre-ACT.

Step One: Register for the ACT. This step does not apply to students at the NCLA because the test is administered to our students for free.

Step Two: Become familiar with the structure of the test. The test has four sections of English, math, reading, and science but learn more than just that. See how many questions are in each section or how long you have for each section. Knowing what to expect on the test is important for being mentally ready to take the test and do well. 

Step Three: Learn how the ACT writes their questions. This is again in the category of knowing what to expect. The ACT’s questions are asked in unique styles, knowing what these questions will look like goes a long way. 

Step Four: Identify your Weakness. There are many practice tests online that can be taken at home. These practice tests will help you notice if you struggle on any specific part. When taking a practice test try to simulate the real test for example the same time limits and using number two pencils.

Step Five: Set a Target Score. Setting a target score or a certain amount of points to improve by is important to better on the ACT or Pre-ACT. An improvement in score will rarely happen on its own. Studying is key to improve your score. Prepscholor.com’s chart for time spent studying compared to average score improvement is very helpful.

  • 0-1 ACT Composite Point Improvement: 10 hours
  • 1-2 ACT Point Improvement: 20 hours
  • 2-4 ACT Point Improvement: 40 hours
  • 4-6 ACT Point Improvement: 80 hours
  • 6-9 ACT Point Improvement: 150 hours+

Step Six: Create a Study schedule. Using the chart above you can decide how much you feel you need to improve then spread those hours out throughout the weeks before the test.

Step Seven: Learn the Essential Test Content. There are many tools like Khan Academy to help prepare you for the ACT. 

Step Eight: Find a Testing strategy that fits you. There are many different strategies online, so do some research and find one that works the best for you.

Step Nine: Use Practice tests and questions. Taking a practice test under the same conditions as the real test is a great way to practice. If you are practicing the same way the test will be given, you will feel very comfortable when taking the actual test. 

Step Ten: Rest before the test. A good night’s sleep before the test is very important. Make sure to be in bed at a reasonable time and eat a balanced breakfast. 


Living: 2/12/21

Dual Enrollment: Is It Worth It?

Cyd Leister

The North Carolina Leadership Academy offers dual enrollment classes with Forsyth Tech Community Colleges. These classes give High School students an opportunity to get exposure to college-level classes and stand out against their fellow peers.


Dual enrollment is a process in which High School students will take both normal classes at their high school, as well as classes at a local community college. These classes can be used to meet high school graduation requirements or simply to explore college-level courses. The credits earned can be carried over into college and take the place of some first-year classes.

There is debate on if these classes are a good choice and how they compare to Advanced Placement classes. NCLA senior Mercy Newnum shared her thoughts on the subject.

“I would say dull enrollment is worth it because when you get to college you don’t have to take all the generic classes. For example, junior year I took a speech class, which was really hard because I don’t like speaking in front of people. But at the same time, everyone in the class was from the NCLA so it made me more comfortable,” Newnum said.

Dual enrollment allows students to take classes in a smaller, more familiar environment, which can be helpful when it comes to a difficult course like Speech. 

Compared to Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment is a better option to gain college credits. In Advanced Placement classes, the credit is only earned if the student gets a 3 or higher on the final exam. Also, different scores equal different credit amounts at each college. 

“I would say it is worth it because you can just get a lot of credits out of the way. You do it for two years you’ll have a lot of credits. And you can skip your freshman year of college. And you get to save money,” Mercy Newnum said.


Thrifting is Fun and Environmentally Friendly

Nora Wood

While it’s always been around, thrifting has recently reached peak popularity amongst younger generations. Even our NCLA students are into it! Whether its  home decor, books, clothes, or even fabric, thrift stores have everything.

“I love thrifting. It’s somewhat calming and therapeutic,” senior Becca Nordstrom said.  “When I’m walking around, I always have an Airpod in. You can also thrift with friends, which is really fun too.”

The nature of thrift shopping is fun in itself. When finding high-quality clothing for cheap, take advantage of it. When going to thrift stores, there is never the same thing, there is new stuff to look for every day. The randomness of thrifting makes the experience fun. For those who love to shop, shopping can be more pleasurable without taking a big hit in the bank account.

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“Our best find was probably a really nice dirt bike at a year sale for $200. My brother rode it for a long time. Then we still resold it and made money,” sophomore Skylar Maness said.

Thrifting not only provides a cheap stress-relieving outlet for those who need it, but it also encourages greener lifestyles. Every day, people are becoming more and more environmentally conscious in the decisions they make. Buying second-hand clothing helps keep plastic out of landfills and continue to decrease the worldwide demand for textiles, which most of the time end up getting wasted.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, “In 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills in the United States alone.” As a community, limiting our textile waste can be the steps towards bettering the environment.

Almost every local city in North Carolina has at least one Goodwill. There are also many other local consignment stores all over Kernersville. These stores include Next Step Ministries Thrift Store, Union Cross Thrift Store, Fabulous Finds, Smith & Co. Consignment, Tiquer’s Alley, and so much more.


Galentine’s Day

Galentine’s Day is just around the corner and it is celebrated on February 13, the day before Valentine’s day. Even though Galentine’s is a made-up holiday it has become very popular throughout the past years.

Galentine’s Day is a day where ladies celebrate ladies. Many groups of girls will go out to lunch or dinner and have a good time together. This fake holiday originated from the show Parks and Rec in 2010.

“Galentine’s day is celebrating your friends and the friendship everyone shares,” Brooke Bandy said.

Normally people don’t get each other extravagant gifts on Galentine’s instead they might get their friends candy and a card to show their appreciation for that person or just use their presence as a present.

“I celebrated Galentine’s this year by going out to dinner with some of my good friends and we had an amazing time talking and hanging out,” Bandy said.

With many school events getting canceled Galentines offers an excuse for friends to hang out with each other.

“Some of my friends and I are going to have a sleepover and go get lunch the next day and take cute pictures in downtown Winston,” Juliana Peters said.

In a poll on Instagram, reported that out of 32 girls, 78% are planning on celebrating Galentines this year.


Annie Ellis’ Senior Project

Emily Viers

Annie Ellis is a senior at the NCLA.  Every year, seniors have big school projects they have to complete, as it helps them explore and take action on the things they are passionate about. For her senior project, she chose a canned food and supply drive to help give back to the community. 

“So we seniors have senior projects, I ended up choosing mine on the homelessness and community involvement,” Annie Ellis said.

Ellis was inspired by her church as they worked with local homeless ministries and began to notice the impact it had made.

“They were able to find jobs for several people which probably changed the course of their lives for the good. It was just really awesome seeing how they were actually able to make a tangible difference in people’s lives really made an impact on me,” Ellis said.

This canned food and supply drive benefits the homeless community and the High Point Kernersville area. 

There are many available options to donate whether that can be canned foods, supplies, or maybe even both.


  • Canned Food- Vegetables, fruit, meat, soups.
  • Necessities- Sugar, flour, rice, pasta, snack items
  • Hygiene supplies- Shampoo/Conditioner, toothpaste/toothbrushes, Deodorant

Any of these items can be dropped in classrooms or at the front office.

“I am basically collecting boxes right now and the donations are given to the front office and I collect them at the end of the day,” Ellis said. 

All donations go to the Crisis Control Ministries in Kernersville. The drive starts February 8 and goes through the 26.


DIY Valentines Heart Cake

Ellie Gibhardt

With Valentine’s Day being less than a week away, it’s a good time to start thinking about something someone can appreciate! This year I made a heart-shaped valentines cake. The recipe is pretty simple to make and it doesn’t take too long either! 

Here are the ingredients for the cake: 

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk 

The following are some other things I used for this recipe: 

  • Icing (mine was premade) 
  • Sprinkles (they have heart sprinkles at Publix) 
  • Heart shaped cake pans (they also have these at Publix) 

Recipe steps: 

  1. Grease two cake pans and preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the butter and sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Next add the vanilla.
  5. Now alternate adding in your flour and buttermilk.
  6. I added my heart sprinkles before I put the batter into pans. 
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  8. Let the cakes cool in the fridge before you ice/decorate them. 

My sister made chocolate covered strawberries the same day I made this cake so I used them to help decorate. I also sprinkled powdered sugar on the top and put white chocolate around the bottom. I would definitely recommend making this cake to eat on Sunday!

What it Takes to Keep School open and safe: Please Wear Your Masks

A Falcon Newspaper Editorial 

   As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to skyrocket, the number of people who care about the pandemic seems to decline every day. Back in March, when everything hit the gas, people took social distancing guidelines seriously, and businesses were barely open to the public, which further promoted little to no human interaction. Now that we have reached the epicenter, people are living their lives like it is still 2019.

   COVID-19 has gotten to the point that if you do not know someone who has caught the virus yet, you probably live under a rock. The CDC has reported more than 24.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 399k deaths in the United States alone. While going anywhere puts you and others at risk for exposure and the further spread of the virus, seriously taking COVID-19 guidelines will save you, someone in your family, or even a stranger. 

  Many of our own NCLA Falcons have struggled with the continuation of (correctly) wearing masks and making efforts to socially distance. Whether students post themselves at parties, major events, or any other social gatherings, they’re still opting not to wear masks. We have even seen some posts that encourage those who are still concerned about the pandemic to stay home while other people continue to live the way they want. The pandemic may never end if we are unable to recognize areas that need improvement.

   While we all know the basic COVID-19 protocols that need to be followed: wearing masks in public settings, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, practicing social distancing, and staying home when feeling sick. Knowing what to do if you or someone around you gets sick is an entirely different ballgame. When it comes to letting the school know if you or someone around you has been exposed, honesty becomes the best policy. Steps that need to be taken after addressing our admin about your symptoms/exposure include: getting tested, continuing to socially distance yourself from others, and letting the school know immediately what your test results are. Our main goal is to make sure that no one is showing up to school sick. 

   While it is understandable that getting sick during a global pandemic is not the easiest thing to avoid, following these precautions and protocols is the only way to keep our school safely operating with students on campus. These areas that we struggle with as a whole have a direct affect on our students when it comes to keeping a sense of normalcy throughout the school year. 

   The pandemic has had a major impact on everyone throughout this year, especially students. High school students are put through online learning which creates a barrier between students and teachers due to not seeing each other in person. Students have a harder time learning online and that discourages them into giving up or just not completing assignments. The effects of Covid are drastically impacting students’ mental health. Many students feel more anxious and depressed than ever before. 

Many students find school as a positive environment where they are able to attend clubs, extracurricular activities, and play sports. Although sports are still happening with a shortened season, those who don’t participate in sports instead miss out on clubs. 

The Class of 2021 is the most impacted student group of all. Seniors this year were looking forward to senior prom, drape pictures, getting yearbooks, and creating senior quotes. Although they are missing out on prom, it is not the only event they won’t be able to experience their last year of high school. Events that have been canceled this school year have been homecoming, powder puff, and the senior trip. A lot of seniors feel frustrated that they have worked hard in school for 12 years just to end their senior year Covid style. 

   Everyone is sick of this pandemic. It is understandable. However, to get out of this hole that we have dug for ourselves, we need to continue to work hard on taking further precaution to not only keep the school open, but to keep it safe. This being said, we urge you to continue wearing your masks regularly and responsibly, sanitizing yourself often, letting our administrators know about exposures, and not coming to school if you aren’t feeling well. 

For more from the world of News, Sports, Living and Arts, visit the school newspaper’s website, thefalcon.live.


End of year testing at the NCLA 

Skylar Manness 

State testing is currently planned to take place at the end of this year for all students in third grade or up.

The school is expected to give these tests in the last 10 days of school just like it’s done in previous years.

With that said, the school will have to work around hybrid, and virtual learning so that every student can be fairly tested. Students that are in hybrid learning will take their tests on the days that they are present in school. Virtual learners will have to physically come to school on specific days to take their end of the year tests.

On February 23, there is a state mandated Pre-ACT for 10th graders, and the ACT for 11th graders. Students in lower grades have also been participating in map testing this past week.

Faculty and staff are working hard to make end of the year testing as normal as possible but little changes may need to be made by the state due to circumstances of this year. This year, testing will be online for all students, but it isn’t guaranteed to happen for students in NC.

Some students would prefer to do testing on paper. Peyton Wingate, a sophomore at the NCLA said, “I would much rather do testing on paper because I’m sick of doing everything else on a computer.”IMG_15571

“It would be a good idea for high schoolers to study for tests like the ACT, and SAT using Khan Academy. They offer great practice problems and are worded similarly to these tests. You can even plug your practice ACT scores up with this website and it will give you problems similar to the ones you missed,” Mrs. Wood said.



Students Cheating on Tests 

Cade Shoemaker 

Cheating on tests and classwork during online school has become a pandemic of its own.

Instead of doing their own work, students are looking to things like quizlet, google, or even their notes for extra assistance during important grades. Though this is a problem occurring every year, remote learning has made the process even easier than ever. 

“I used to be a student that would never even think about cheating, but now I find myself looking almost anywhere for help on a lot of tests or quizzes,” said a high school student.

For those who have to take assessments in person, cheating would be a brave move. However, anyone who is at home gains an obvious advantage as they are able to use certain resources to their advantage without the teacher suspecting a thing.

For example, if half a class is taking a vocabulary quiz in school then it becomes a huge disadvantage. This is because the other class can use things like, “Hey Siri” text to speech, another computer/monitor, or even their own vocabulary books. Each of which can be done while they are being watched on a zoom call.

“Taking tests on zooms should prevent more kids from cheating, however there are still many ways around it,” said another high schooler. “For the most part, being on camera would intimidate me not to cheat more than anything.”

Truly, there is no way teachers will be able to stop cheating until we are all going to school in person. It is just way too easy for kids at home to access answers without teachers knowing. This is why all formal assessments should be open notes, as it allows kids taking tests in the classroom the same resources as those at home. Not to mention kids are having a harder time learning curriculum, therefore having notes they created themselves will aid test scores.

“I think that we should be allowed to take tests with our notes at hand because students are already having a tough time learning this year,” said Maria Fleak. “I also think that most kids are using their notes on almost every test anyways, so not much would change.”

Teachers are also feeling the consequences of students using outside sources. Students who don’t know the information are setting themselves up for failure later in the future, and it’s not the teacher’s fault.

“I worry highschool students are trying to keep a 4.0 gpa by cheating,” said Mrs. Orenstein. “You’re only lying to yourself and others… I advise students, “Do not make a habit of cheating!”


Students’ Screen Time 

Olivia Brown 

ios14-iphone11-pro-settings-screentimeTeenagers in this generation have grown up with technology, from computers, tablets, and phones but ever since quarantine and hybrid/online school started students have been spending a significantly higher amount of time on their phones. 

Screen-time is a feature in iPhones that let their user know how much time they have spent on an app, website, etc. When you go to settings and then click on screen time it gives a thorough report of the amount of time you’ve used your phones, website, or app. From there you can also set limits on how much time you won’t spend on an app. 

“Last week, I spent about 11 hours and 44 minutes on my phone, and 30 of those hours were spent on TikTok,” Kayla Satterwhite said. 

On the NCLA Instagram, we put up a poll and asked students about how much time they’ve spent on their phone this past week. A large number of students have said that they spend about 8+ hours on their phones. The largest amount of time a student replied was 10 hours and 9 minutes and the shortest amount of hours was 3-4 hrs excluding online school.


Groundhogs Day: Punxsutawney Phil

Lindsey Allen 

Groundhog Day takes place on February 2. It is a holiday that symbolizes and predicts the arrival of spring.

Every year, a groundhog that lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania emerges from his burrow on Gobblers Knob. 

Punxsutawney Phil is the official groundhog, and has been for 134 years. When he is not taking part in the festivities, he lives in the Punxsutawney Library with his wife Phyllis. There is a special group called the Inner Circle that takes care of him year round and is in charge of planning his events. 

On the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website (https://www.groundhog.org/), you can get a personal message from Phil, find a cookie recipe, and learn about his town and its history. 

As the story goes, if he can see his shadow, meaning its a clear day, he will go back into his burrow for six more weeks of winter. If he cannot see his shadow, meaning it is a cloudy day, Spring will arrive early.

“No I don’t believe in it, it’s a groundhog,” High School Basketball Coach/Teacher Mr. Shoemaker said. “Yes, I think he will see his shadow.”

It is said that Punxsutawney Phil is only 39% accurate. The Inner Circle demands that he is 100% accurate.

Groundhog Day stems from the Christian holiday, Candlemas. On Candlemas (February 2) Christians would take their candles to church to have them blessed, so that their houses would be blessed with light for the remainder of winter.

Over time the story transitioned into more of a weather prediction. There is an Old English folk song that goes: 

If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Come, Winter, have another flight;

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Go Winter, and come not again.

In an Instagram poll where 37 people voted, 19 voted that they do believe in  Groundhogs Day while 18 voted that they do not. 


Changes in the SAT 

Tyler Hanes 

The SAT has been a standardized test for almost 100 years but this year it is having a major change.  Starting this year, the SAT will no longer have Subject Tests or SATs with an essay at the end. But what does all this mean?

The SAT Subject Tests are tests made by the College Board. The SAT is a focus on general knowledge and critical thinking while the subject tests were more focused tests on certain subjects like math or science. For example, if you are not as good at math you can take an English Subject test to boost the score.

Many people felt that the SAT essay was only there to mess up the test takers. People felt that the essay was outdated and not a true scale of knowledge. When taking the essay portion of the tes, you are given 30 minutes per essay. This is the perfect recipe to write a bad paper.

In a poll on the NCLA News Instagram account when asked if students were taking the SAT this year, 50% of the students said they were not going to take the SAT. The other half of the students said they were going to take it. 

The SAT has the students in mind with these changes. These parts of the SAT did not help the students do better on the tests. Many believe that the SAT decides your future or what college you can or cannot get accepted into with this change it may take lots of stress off of students’ backs.


NCLA Cross Country Ends With Bang

Cameron Warren

The North Carolina Leadership Academy’s cross country team’s season came to an end after their recent finals. This team found out how to use Covid-19 to their advantage as they fully took advantage of their time.

“Starting officially in November and ending in January, with workouts starting in October so it was freezing!  But, also partly because of covid we got to spend more time practicing and I think that really helped us in our meets.” Kamree Anderson, a student and runner at NCLA said.

The team performed very well this season, making it to regionals is a huge accomplishment to be proud of and many of the runner’s broke their personal records this year. 

“I think the team performed very well, making it to the regionals itself is a challenge when you consider the other teams involved and their skill levels as well.” Will Swisher, a student and runner at NCLA said.

Even the cold weather this season also allowed the runners to perform better in their races, as they would not overheat as much. “The cold temps helped them to be able to run faster and we had a longer training time because of COVID and they were all in great shape for all of our meets.” the Cross-country teams coach, Mrs.Rickert said.

Sports this year have been difficult for all athletes due to Covid-19 and it is incredible to see the cross country runners have such a good season.

“Overall this season was very fun and even with covid we were still able to perform well and train to run well. It was like a second family and it was a lot of fun, I can’t wait for next season!” Will Swisher, an athlete and student at NCLA said.

Boys Soccer Eager to get Started

Jackson Faenza

On Wednesday, the North Carolina Leadership Academy’s Boys soccer team was supposed to play their first game against Millennium Charter Academy, but it was unfortunately cancelled.

“I am very excited for this season and for things to get back to normal,” junior Karston Keomalaythong said. 

This season will consist of about 14 games this year, which means the season was basically cut in half. The season will last until the beginning of March, which is different from the typical season beginning in August and lasting until October. All these changes were due to the ongoing global pandemic where teams have had to better adapt to play their sports safely.

Junior, Scott Stanley, playing goal keeper, with some of the NCLA Boys Varsity Soccer Team Credit: Karston K.

“It has not been easy. Playing sports with a mask on is really tough and outside in the cold makes it even tougher.  We have to adjust in other areas as well with being more aware of contact and cleaning. Game protocol will be an adjustment as well,” said Head Coach Shoemaker.

There will be many different opponents this year including Ben L. Smith High School, Cornerstone Charter Academy, Bishop McGuinness, Reidsville High School, South Stokes, Providence Grove, and then multiple games against Millennium Charter Academy. There are 19 players this season and two of them being seniors, Michael Ceoedes and Jackson Shaw both being veterans of the team. The team is very young, with there being three freshman and eight sophomores. 

“I think we have a shot to win every game we play this season but if we can win around 11 games minimum out of our 14 games that would be a good season. I think this team should also score 50 plus goals if we can get our 14 games in,” said Shoemaker.

The team is looking to have another great season, hoping to have a winning season two years in a row. Last season, the team averaged about four goals a match with their team leading scorer being sophomore Zach Donath with 15 goals last season. The team also had about two assists a game with Troy Shoemaker with seven assists all season.

In all this uncertainty, the team is looking forward to playing the most games they will be able to and improving while at it. “If we can finish around the goal offensively this team could be really fun to coach and watch. The lack of actual field time has hurt us being able to play together to understand how to play as a team in big spaces,” said Shoemaker.

College Athlete: Lydia Saunders

Brooke Bandy 

Competing as an athlete at the collegiate level is no easy feat, especially during an international pandemic. NCLA graduate, Lydia Saunders, currently plays volleyball at Guilford College. 

She wanted to continue her volleyball career because of the community and commitment to the game. 

“I absolutely love volleyball and once I realized I was good enough to play in college, I worked hard to make it happen,” said Saunders. “I wanted to keep playing, I wanted the automatic friends, and I wanted to stay fit. I also wanted to make my parents proud because of all the time and money they have put into me.”

When she was little, Lydia knew she wanted to play sports in college, but she didn’t think it would be for volleyball. 

“When I was little, I did dream of playing in college, but it wasn’t for volleyball. It wasn’t until I was older and played a couple years that I thought about playing in college and pushed to make my dream come true,” said Saunders. 

Despite wanting to further her career in volleyball to the collegiate level, she doesn’t think she’ll go pro. “I think I’ll stop after college. However, I may help coach in the future because I love the game and I love the athleticism,” said Saunders. 

Playing sports has changed dramatically since the pandemic began due to certain Covid restrictions and precautions. 

“I have taken more Covid tests than most. You have to wear a mask all of the time which kills your breathing. My school has to go through phases before we’re even allowed to practice as a team. Unfortunately, I had to quarantine this semester and missed two weeks of practice which can really set you back,” said Saunders. 

Aside from the struggles with Covid, playing on a college sports team gives you an immediate family and support system. 

“You have automatic friends and a great support system. There’s always someone there to make you laugh or push you to be better,” said Saunders. 

Mayweather V. Paul

Grayson Bright

On Feb. 20 Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather will face each other in the boxing ring.

The time for the fight to start has not been confirmed yet but they will fight with no headgear and with ten ounce gloves. Floyd Mayweather is 50-0 in his professional boxing career while Logan Paul is 0-1 after his defeat in 2019 to KSI.

The last fight that Floyd Mayweather had was against Conor Mcgregor and he had won the fight in a split decision. Logan Paul however had fought KSI and had lost by split decision. Both fighters varie in both size and fighting style. One fighter is more heavyweight while the other is very lightweight.5f645950323fc4001e0d708b

Floyd Mayweather is known for his lightweight and fast boxing style. He is 5’’8 and weighs 150 pounds and he is a fast hitter. He has shaky defence but is able to take a hit and is very nimble and can dodge punches thrown his way. Based off of size Floyd Mayweather may be in trouble but Floyd Mayweather has many years of experience in professional boxing.

When Will Blake was asked about how Floyd Mayweather could win the fight he said, “Use his height as an advantage he could win the fight.”

Logan Paul is more based around a heavyweight fighter. Logan Paul is 6’’2 and weighs 200 pound he has the size advantage, but he doesn’t have the speed and agility that Floyd Mayweather has. Logan Paul can hit hard and take a hard hit and he has a good boxing IQ but he is very sloppy with where he hits. Based off of size Logan Paul has the advantage in the fight but he doesn’t have the type of experience Floyd Mayweather has.

When Will Blake was asked how Logan Paul could win he said ,“Use his weight and youth to his advantage.”

There are many ways Floyd Mayweather can win this fight. The most realistic way he wins is he outlasts Logan Paul, meaning that he keeps his stamina and makes sure he doesn’t get hit by Logan Paul’s right hook. But Floyd Mayweather will have to move and hit very smart in order to win against Logan Paul.

When asked about who will win the fight Will Blake said ,”Floyd Mayweather all around but Logan Paul and size and youth” and Will Blake also said, “But I still think Floyd Mayweather is still going to win.”

Logan Paul could possibly win this fight but he would have to do many strategies. Logan Paul would have to keep his stamina in check and try to fight smart and not just punch randomly. He will have to keep Floyd Mayweather contained and will have to try to avoid his fast and plentiful hits to win the fight.

A common boxing trend is betting on a fighter that has been a tradition for many years. The betting odds however are very “one sided” for the Logan vs. Floyd Mayweather match. The odds are -5000 in favor of Floyd Mayweather and -150 for a knockdown, Logan Paul is going into the match with the odds of +1500.

Mahomes Faces Brady in Championship

Laura Richie

In this year’s Super Bowl LV, Kansas City Chiefs will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida, home to the Buccaneers.

After the win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night Tampa Bay is making Super Bowl history being the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl held at their own stadium.

“This job is not finished. When we went into the season we weren’t talking about going to the Super Bowl, we were talking about winning it,” Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said to reporters.raymond-james-stadium-020118-gettyjpg_1jrydx7wbgat51odx20qmr23xm

Patrick Mahomes who won his first ring at the age of 24 and is now trying to win his second consecutive superbowl ring. As six-time winning quarterback, Tom Brady is facing him trying to win his seventh ring throughout his career.

This year’s Super Bowl will be different due to the Global Pandemic. There will only be 22,000 fans let into the stadium, with the requirement that all coaches, staff, fans, players, and anyone else there must wear a face mask.

Three-time Grammy Award winner, five-time American Music Award winner, and nine-time billboard music award winner,  The Weekend is performing the 2021 Super Bowl LV halftime show. This game is going to be “Something special” as spectators announce, it’s going to be one for the books.

Upcoming Games:

Middle School Boys Basketball:

Feb 2 against Cornerstone

Feb 4 against Clover Garden

Feb 8 @ High Point Home Educators

Middle School Girls Basketball:

Feb 2 against Cornerstone

Feb 4 against Clover Garden

Feb 8 @ High Point Home Educators

HS Boys Basketball:

Jan 29 against High Point Home Educators

Feb 1 against Triad Math and Science

Feb 4 @ Vandalia Christian

HS Girls Basketball:

Jan 29 against High Point Home Educators

Feb 1 against Triad Math and Science

Feb 4 @ Vandalia Christian

HS Boys Soccer:

Feb 3 @ Ben L. Smith

Feb 8 against South Stokes

Feb 11 against Providence Grove


Living: 1/29/21

NCLA Student’s Small Businesses

Christine Parker

In 2020, many people began their own businesses while being in quarantine. Some students even started selling artwork, jewelry, nails, clothes, shoes, and sports cards.

Opening a business at a young age can be an eye-opening experience where learning more about finance, product production, marketing, and management. 

Abby Brannan is a junior at NCLA who started her business at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The name of her business is called Abigailrhealin. “It is my first and middle name,” Brannan said.

“I sell crafts and jewelry, maybe art soon,” Brannan said. Her products range from $5 to $200.

Originally she started her business as a fundraiser for a mission trip but, “It was put off until covid ends,” Brannan said.

Abby intends on continuing to invest in her small business. “Eventually I want to own my own boutique cafe selling my crafts as well as others,” Brannan said.

Through her production, she dropships as well as hand makes items. “I promote it on social media and fulfill orders in a timely manner,” Brannan said.

Celeste Paradis is a sophomore who sells her art on Etsy. The name of her business is ArtwParadis. Her products range from $7 to $20. Celeste’s products consist of wounds, custom press-on nails, and art.

“I hope to be able to invest more into my business by being able to do custom art pieces on clothing and be able to buy more canvases to paint on,” Paradis said.

The reason why Celeste created her own business is that “I want to share my art with people and it gives me something to do so all of my art pieces have a chance to see the light and make someone happy,” Paradis said.

Troy and Cade Shoemaker both run a shoe selling business where they resell shoes such as Jordans or Yeezys, and sports cards.

“We started getting into it as a hobby probably a year or a year and a half ago, but only recently have we been able to get more shoes and make more of a profit margin,” Cade said.

They will get their shoes off of websites such as Nike or Yeezy Supply that drop releases at certain times. “If we are able to buy the release before they sell out then they ship to our house where we take pictures of them and list them on eBay,” Cade said.