The NCLA Needs Your Shoes

Olivia Brown

The NCLA is known for doing blood drives, having opportunities for volunteer work, and many different types of fundraisers. This year, the school has decided to do a Tennis Shoe Donation.

The donation is sponsored by Got Sneakers. All around the world, they give shoes to the less fortunate and keep them from being thrown out and going to waste.  

“The main purpose of this fundraiser is to recycle older pairs of shoes so that they can stay out of landfills but the company that we are partnered with takes the shoes, repairs them and ships them off to 3rd world countries to give to people who basically have nothing to protect their feet,” said Mrs. Guldberg, assistant principal of the NCLA elementary school.


At the beginning of August, Mrs. Guldberg was informed by a parent about the fundraiser who thought it would be a good opportunity for the school. So far there have been 13 bags filled with shoes, each bag holds at least 20 pairs. Over 260 pairs of shoes have been recycled and donated, the NCLA expects to reach a  goal of 350 pairs to be donated. The fundraiser is to continue throughout the rest of the school year.  

“For the NCLA it is a win-win situation when it comes to recycling and doing something good to help others,” said Mrs. Guldberg.

The Return of Students This School Year

Alyssa Pickle

When the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools all over the place transferred to online learning.

As the new school year began, many had hoped to return back to the classroom, but with the pandemic still around, many schools have opted to continue online learning to keep students safe. However, not all schools are fully remote, many schools, including the NCLA have decided to have students return to school in the safest way possible. 

Most schools have implemented measures to keep students safe like wearing  masks, reduced class sizes, designated spacing that is six feet apart, washing desks, desk dividers, and taking students temperatures during arrival. However, a couple schools have come up with more creative ways to keep students safe. Some students are given hula hoops to stand in or hold on to keep their distance from one another, and some are having classes outside in tents or in the school’s gymnasium for a greater space of airflow.


The NCLA has put many of these safety measures in place including temperature taking before entering the building. Almost all schools are doing this procedure each day before students may enter the classroom.

Many are also requiring students to wear masks but certain schools allow students to take their masks off once in the classroom. Along with other schools, the NCLA has opted for a hybrid approach with partly online and partly in-person schooling.

This is a popular option for schools to reduce class sizes and the classrooms can be cleaned during online days while still maintaining some valuable in-person learning. 

Zoom classes are a popular option for online teaching. Some schools have students attend all of their classes through zoom. Online learning has required teachers to get creative by finding virtual learning platforms for classes. 

For in-school students, they have seen sport seasons postponed and unsure if they will be able to return to playing. Gym class also looks different with low impact activities that don’t require heavy breathing. 

We have seen schools that have reopened suffer outbreaks because of a lack of proper safety measures in place. The NCLA has already dealt with a small outbreak even with all the new health regulations in place this school year. Two full weeks of remote schooling took place before students could return part-time. However, some schools have faced bigger outbreaks forcing them to transition from in-person to completely remote. 

Even though we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic classes must continue in the safest way possible whether that is through zoom or desks placed six feet apart.

Insight Into NCLA’s Duel Enrollment Life

Cyd Leister

The NCLA has been offering the opportunity to upperclassmen to take college courses at FTCC through dual enrollment for a few years now. This year has been different in many ways and NCLA’s dual enrollment students are not exempt from these changes. 

In the past, dual enrollment students would participate in FTCC’s classes in person, but with the current pandemic all classes this semester have been shifted to online. 

“So last year I took more Human Science classes, like psychology and sociology so I thought that was not too hard, because we were able to watch lectures in person and to work on a smart book or whatever. But this year it’s a little bit harder, because you don’t get that personal connection with a professor,” commented Senior, Mercy Newnum.

“The teacher is really helpful at working with us and she posts really informative videos that help so I really like how the class is done.  I like that it’s independent and you just watch the videos and do it on your own time. And the only thing is since stuff is due on Tuesday it’s like a weird time frame of how the week was but that’s all right,” shared Senior, Amber Mattias. 

Most students take the classes to knock out classes they may not wish to take in college. 

“I’m thankful that I did classes like Speech at Forsyth Tech, because everyone in the class was from NCLA and I knew everybody versus if you went to a very big college you would be in front of a bunch of people you don’t know. It’s more intimidating. It’s just like easy classes like that. If you go to college and you are required to take an appreciation class like I took an Art Appreciation class and it was super boring but at least I got it out of the way and got the credit,” said Mercy Newnum. 

It is unknown what next semester will look like for dual enrollment students, whether classes will continue to be online or return to in person. 

Next Semester Classes:

COM 231 – Public Speaking (M/W/F) 

SOC 210 – Introduction to Sociology (T/Thur) 

MAT 172 – Precalculus Trigonometry (M/W/F – lab on Fridays)

HIS 112 – World Civilizations II (T/Thur)

HIS 132 – American History II (T/Thur) 

MAT 271 – Calculus I (M/W/F – lab on Fridays)

Senior Feature: Annie Ellis

Tyler Haynes

Annie Ellis has been at The NCLA since the very first year the school started in fifth grade and is graduating this year. I asked her a few questions about what it is like to be a Senior in a year that is alternating in and out of school.


What is the hardest part of being a senior in a year like this?

Annie Ellis said, “the small things like not being able to have normal day to day interactions with everybody.”

If there is anything that will no longer be a possibility this year what will miss out on? 

Annie said, “was supposed to go to Africa on a mission trip, but because of covid that couldn’t happen”

Are you okay with the format this year as a senior?

Annie replied, “It has its perks and downsides” and she is “ just taking each day at a time.” 

I moved away from COVID-19 related questions and more to the overall senior experience. 

What was your high school experience at The NCLA rated one to ten. 

She responded with a “ten,” plain and simple. 

What do you plan on doing after high school? 

Annie plans on “going to Liberty University with a major in Nursing and a minor in Global Studies.”

Annie Ellis is one of many seniors graduating during this unprecedented year in High School.

A Look at the New Taco Bell Menu

Lindsey Allen

On July 17, Taco Bell announced the heartbreaking news that they were saying goodbye to 12 menu items. 

Grilled Steak-Soft Taco

7-Layer Burrito

Nachos Supreme

Beefy Fritos Burrito

Spicy Tostada

Triple Layer Nachos

Spicy Potato Soft Tacos

Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes

Loaded Grillers (Cheesy Potato and Beefy Nacho)

All Chips and Dips

Breakfast Mini Skillet Bowl


When the news was broken, questions emerged. Most of the vegetarian items were removed, what are they supposed to order? Is this change really going to happen? What caused this?

Taco Bell said,“ we will be simplifying our menu.This evolved menu approach comes after months of analyzing the new way we are running our restaurants…a simplified menu and innovation process will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and even opportunities for the return of some classics on a limited time basis. ”  


On August 12, these changes went into effect, 11 out of the 12 items are gone for good. The one survivor, the Quesarito, was taken off of the menu, but can still be ordered through the app. 

As of November 5, just when all of the changes were thought to be over,  we will be “saying goodbye to the Mexcian Pizza that might help you rest is that removing it from our menus helps us work towards our commitment to leave a lighter footprint on our planet,” said Taco Bell. 

In a September 3 press release, Mike Grams, Taco Bell President said “While we know fans may be understandably sad to see some of their favorites go, this evolution of our menu truly paves the way for fresh new ideas. The creativity and innovation in our kitchen hasn’t slowed down at all, and we look forward to rolling out new fan favorites”.


The “new fan favorites” that Grams is speaking of are Chicken Chipotle Melts and the Dragonfruit freeze (both offered nationwide), the Green Sauce (regional), the Quesalupa (testing in Knoxville, TN), $1 Beef Burritos, and $5 Grande Nachos Box.  

In the September 3 press release, it ended with quite a cliffhanger, saying “With these changes, we look forward to providing our guests with a more seamless Taco Bell restaurant experience, and even more exciting new innovations to come”.

What does this mean for the loyal customers? Are more fan favorites going to be ripped out from underneath us? Are more new items on their way? 

Taco Bell assured us that these were the last changes happening in 2020, but made no promises for the future.