New Sports at The NCLA
Athletics are one of the most important high school experiences to many students. Making sure that students who want to participate in athletics have a sport to play is crucial to having a successful athletics program.
Adding new sports to the athletic program is something that students have tossed around and asked the school about for years. Coach Mac, the Athletic Director, believes that the sports at The NCLA need to grow before adding in new teams.
“A lot of time, the situation becomes sports in the same season and with a limited number of students to draw from, you start taking away from other sports with your students,” Coach Mac said. “So, I mean we’ve got plenty of sports. Even track and field would have to go off campus to practice right now until we get those facilities built. So that’s a possibility and as we grow and as athletics grows we hope to maybe start adding some of those that we haven’t had in the past.”
The most difficult part of school sports right now is Covid rules and regulations regarding the student athletes and how sports will work.
“The only thing right now is the Covid situation causing full remote kids to not come out for athletics. Than there’s academics and making sure that you keep your grades up, but otherwise we open it up to all the students, so I think everyone has a familiarity with the sports that we have,” Coach Mac said.
The biggest struggle with adding in new sports is making sure that the sports added will be sports the school can be proud of.
“As far as adding sports goes, no one’s closed off to it. You know, we’d have to make sure that it was something that would be beneficial for the school overall and something we could support and support to the level where we could be proud of it, not just sticking something out there, we want to be able to do something the right way,” said Coach Mac.
The reason that there haven’t been many new sports teams added is because of the limited number of students and participation in sports.
“I’d like to see a greater participation although, for the sports that we’ve been able to put on here, which I can only speak about this year, it’s been phenomenal and I think the interest, especially in light of the situation that we’re in and with the restrictions with full remote kids not being able to come out, so I think it’s been really good,” said Coach Mac. “I guess it would just be the students wanting to do it, it’s the wanting aspect. It would probably be students joining because of interest, getting your friends, your friends’ friends and their friends to go out for sports.”
Something that could help increase participation in sports could be The NCLA joining a conference, which will happen next year.
“I think that not only does it give you more recognition across the board in that it’s not just myself and Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Guldberg fighting for you as an athlete now. You’re representing a conference so now the whole conference is fighting for you, all the coaches in the conference are fighting for your recognition, to see you do well, obviously not against them particularly, but you want your conference to do well. You want to get those player of the week honors in the NCHSAA, you want those things, and those people will put in your name if you have an incredible performance against a conference school,” said Coach Mac.
“I think things like that will help you guys, the student athletes, individually as much as everything else and then to have a platform to be able to have a conference championship would be awesome and then that conference champion being able to go on to represent the conference in the state playoffs and the sky’s the limit from that point on it’s the third season at that point … you’re actually playing for something and you’re seeing where you stand against other teams in your conference,” she continued.
Looking ahead at the coming years, Coach Mac has lots of goals and a strong vision for the athletics program.
“I said at the beginning of the year my goal was to get all sports going and through a full season and it still is,” Coach Mac said. “The participation numbers, as I said, to get our participation numbers up to where you can visually tell the interest is here in the athletics here. 500 seasons or better across the board is what I’d love to do. I think that’s a great start, and then when we get into a conference that gives us a good start to be able to start competing for playoffs and championships and things like that. We’ll be in a conference next year so we’ll have those opportunities and the foundation to take that step to the next level.”
A Day in the Life of a Politician
Kernersville has grown quite a bit in the past couple of years, which has led to more developments and shops coming to town. A lot of the policies and help developing the town comes from the Mayor of Kernersville, Dawn Morgan.
Throughout college, she did not have any plans to be in politics. “I graduated from the University of Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts, and was an English major, but I also took many business classes. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MBA; I graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law with a Law degree, at WFU I graduated 2nd in my class,” Morgan said. “I did not have any plans to go into politics when I was in college. After I graduated from college and was working full time, I became involved in the community in Kernersville, and that is how I became interested in running for public office.”
When she decided to pursue a career in politics, she was practicing law for a firm. “In 1997 I was practicing law at Womble Carlyle and I decided I wanted to be more involved in the community. I applied to serve on a Board or Commission and was appointed by the Board of Aldermen to serve on the Kernersville Planning Board,” Morgan said.
The Planning Board is the committee that looks over zoning proposals and land usage in the town. They also hold public hearings surrounding potential land use, as well as voting on the proposals.
In 2001, she made the decision to run for the Board of Alderman and ended up getting elected. “While I was on the Board of Aldermen, I served with Curtis Swisher. In 2008 he was serving as Mayor, but the town needed to hire a town manager and Curtis was interested in becoming the town manager, and so he applied for the position and was hired,” Morgan said.
The Board of Aldermen have some difficult responsibilities, including deciding on town projects.
“Some of the decisions that the Board of Aldermen have to make are very difficult, such as deciding the best place to build a new road and how to fund all of the projects that citizens in the town would like the town to accomplish. We have built a new fire station, a new public services building and renovated our police department, and have some great programs for parks and recreation. I would also like to build more sidewalks, develop some of our parks, and build a new recreation center. These projects cost more to do than the funds we have available. So, we are trying to find a way with grant funding and donations and careful planning to build these projects in the future without raising taxes,” Morgan said.
“The Board of Aldermen appointed me as Mayor to serve the rest of his [Curtis Swisher] term. In 2009 I ran for Mayor and was elected by the citizens, and have served as Mayor ever since. When I was elected I was the first female to ever be elected as Mayor of Kernersville.”
In a typical day of Mayor Morgan, she works on setting town policies, making decisions about the town, and sometimes participating in special events, such as a ribbon cutting ceremony. “I represent the Town of Kernersville to the media, I work with the town manager to set the agenda and on town policies, I preside over the meetings, I represent the town at special events and for special occasions such as ground breakings and ribbon cuttings and special anniversaries of town organizations. I also have the authority to declare a State of Emergency, which I have done for extreme weather events and also for the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Morgan.
Along with town policies comes the development proposals. Due to the pandemic, many of these proposals and developments have changed or been pushed back.
“There are many proposals for new developments. The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed some business developments, but it seems to have increased the number of plans for new houses,” Morgan said.
“This past year, I think the most exciting business to open is an Amazon Fulfillment Center that is 1 million square feet in size, and an Amazon Delivery Station, with 100 employees in addition to the employees that work in the Fulfillment Center. Both new buildings are in Triad Business Park in Kernersville.”
One of the most enjoyable things for the Mayor is being able to interact with the schools in town.
“I enjoy visiting schools and talking with students about local government. I also really enjoy celebrating ribbon cuttings, ground breakings, and special events in the community,” she said. “I like working to make Kernersville a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Being a local politician is a very rewarding job and being able to watch your community grow and expand is an amazing experience.
“One of the most rewarding things that I have done was being involved in the community effort to bring a hospital to Kernersville. The State of North Carolina has to issue a Certificate of Need before a hospital can be built and I was one of the speakers at the public hearing. One of my first public speeches after becoming Mayor was at the ground breaking for construction of the new hospital,” Morgan said.
“I also was a speaker at and helped cut the ribbon for the opening of the new hospital. I enjoyed touring the operating rooms before the hospital opened and I even got to see the air handling system! It was such an honor to participate because some of the surgeons and doctors that helped my mom and other family members were at the ceremonies and the public hearing, and I had a chance to thank them in the speech for all they had done for my family and others in the community,” she continued.
The Town of Kernersville recently added a new library near downtown and it was a project Morgan closely supported.
“Another very rewarding effort was being involved in bringing the new library to Kernersville. I worked very closely with the Forsyth County Commissioners and with the architects and the builders on the design. The project was paid for with bonds, and the bonds were approved by the voters. I helped in the effort to let voters know that this was on the ballot and that it was an important initiative to support,” Morgan said.
Kernersville’s growth over the past few years has been amazing to watch and Mayor Morgan is excited to see it grow even more.
“Our town is growing, with more houses being built and more new businesses, like Amazon. With growth there is traffic. There are also new people moving to town. I think there are two important challenges; making sure that our roads can handle the traffic so that people do not get frustrated when driving around town and helping people that are new to Kernersville feel like they can be involved in the community and that there are organizations that they can participate in,” Morgan said.
Covid Testing at The NCLA
This past week there was a form sent to all students regarding the decision of getting tested for the Covid-19 at school. Parents can either select yes or no to the option of getting this done.
If parents consent to the testing, students and staff can get a test done if they demonstrate symptoms of covid or had exposure to someone who tested positive for it.
In order to have a test done a request must be sent to Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell and they will schedule the test. Either Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell will shadow the tests being done.
After a Covid test has been scheduled. The person in need will drive up to the school in their car. Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Harrell will be fully dressed in their personal protective equipment. This consists of a gown, mask, face shield, gloves, and a healthy distance.
One of the two administrators will then show the symptomatic person how to perform the test. If it is a child who is symptomatic, their parent or guardian will carry out the test. An adult can do the test on themselves.
Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell will discuss how far up the Q-tip must go into the nose of whoever is in need.
The NCLA has rapid testing. This means that results will come back within 15 minutes. If the card comes back with two lines, the client has tested positive for Covid-19. If there is one line, it was a negative test result.
Rapid testing at the NCLA is for the purpose of convenience. “It’s hard to find a place to get tested right now. The school can get it done really fast. It’s also free!” Mrs. Wood said.
“The NCLA is one of the only two schools in North Carolina that got certified for Covid-19 testing. Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Harrell both took a course on the procedure so rest assured that the NCLA staff and students are in good hands. Testing could also keep people at our school safe. “If a covid test is easier to get done, more people might get tested when they feel symptomatic. This could keep everyone at the NCLA healthy and happy” Mrs. Wood said.
An instagram poll determined that 62% of people said they would get a Covid test at the NCLA while 38% of people argued that they wouldn’t.
Some people like Sydney Lohr said “ I probably wouldnt get a test done at the NCLA because my parents might not feel comfortable with it.”
“Whether you would get the test done or not, the school will fit the agenda of the faculty, and students around them. We want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe here at the NCLA” Mrs. wood said.
Recent Accidents in the Car Line
Before winter break, the NCLA had witnessed several car crashes on the road where you turn into the school.
“There is a time in fall and spring when the sun is really bright in the horizon at drop off time and can be blinding if you are approaching the school from the west on Union Cross Rd.,” the principal Mrs. Faenza said. “The car crashes at the front of the school do not have anything to do with the school itself. When this happens, if cars are blinded by the sun, they should continue straight past the school until they can turn around to enter the school from the opposite direction.”
Hunter Wilfong was a student who experienced the aftermath of on of the wrecks and said, “So we got off the highway at the exit right below the fire station and traffic was backed up to the exit. We sat there for about 15 min and they were not letting people into the school.”
“When we got up [to the intersection] there was a truck had turned too soon and another car smashed right into the front left side of the truck. Both cars were totaled and I don’t think anyone was seriously injured because they were all up and walking around.” Wilfong said.
“There is nothing the school can do to prevent future accidents. Also, parents and student drivers should avoid using cell phones while driving. “ said Mrs. Faenza.
Please keep safety in mind when driving into and by the school to help keep students and parents safe and to prevent further accidents.
Science Class Safety Nets
With the second semester starting, students are facing a new row of changes and challenges. Between returning to school, maintaining grades, schoolwork, and many other things, it is possible that slip-ups may happen.
Biology and Earth Environmental science classes have built a sort of net that can help catch students from falling too far behind.
Students must score an 80% or higher on every quiz they take. They are allotted 3 tries on every quiz, and if the score can not be achieved, the next week’s assignments will not be given.
High School Science teacher, Mrs. Hartzell has implemented this in her classrooms.
“One of the things that a lot of the teachers have noticed, especially during this time of hybrid and remote learning, is that overall grades for students are much lower. I think that is something that we need to address head on,” Hartzell said.
“I’ve noticed a trend among some students that the students would actually not attempt a lot of the classwork and not have passing scores on quizzes and so come time for the test they wouldn’t really do so well.”
Along with the test scores, it is now required that you finish the previous week’s assignments before you can move on to the next week’s module. Hartzell says this is supposed to help students stay engaged and see the areas they need to improve in.
“I am trying to put a few stop signs, just to help students see what is missing or lacking,” Hartzell said. “I felt like if they had had more exposure to activities and had multiple tries on quizzes until they could find out what was wrong this could possibly increase understanding.”
Students have mixed emotions about this.
“It is stressful that we have to make a certain score, but it’s nice that we have three tries,” Freshman Caitlyn Hanna, who is in Mrs. Roberts’ Environmental Science, said. “When you’re done with the test and you’re given your score, it doesn’t even tell you the ones you got wrong, which can make it a little frustrating to have to retake.”
Sophomore Camryn Earnhardt, who is in Mrs. Hartzell’s Honors Biology, added “I think it will actually end up helping me, because I can’t get below an 80, so it won’t drop my grade that low. It allows me to retake the quiz if I get a bad grade so that I can make it better and get the best grade I am capable of.”
The end goal is to have higher exam grades.
“Already having that higher percent going into an exam can better prepare you, which would ultimately make exam grades go up as well,” Hartzell said.
“It looks like the state will try to do an EOC. That is 20 percent of a students final grade, and its a test that I don’t write and that I don’t grade, I have a responsibility to make sure that students are prepared so that they can pass this class and move on.”
Some students like this new method so much, that they wish it could be implemented into other classes such as math. If students were able to take a test and see how they do on material without help and then see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It could help them reach out for help in certain areas and gain overall knowledge and become more confident on the material.
“Teachers always offer tutoring, and students rarely take advantage of that. I think that if there is something that they must do to move forward, students are more likely to reach out for help rather than skipping over that assignment or willingly failing that quiz,” Hartzell said.
COVID-19 Vaccination, First Hand Look and What to Expect.
By Cameron Warren
The COVID-19 vaccine is the most recent permanent protection against the widely known virus. With more than 70,000 people volunteered to test the vaccine they have been proven to be 95% effective according to the NC DHHS.
“Yes I felt relief to get the vaccine because I am anxious to get back to normal. I also work in healthcare so I am concerned about exposure to covid positive patients and I wouldn’t want to get sick or bring it home to my family,” Jennifer Warren, a nurse practitioner, said.
There are four phases of who the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to. From health workers and elderly in phase 1 to students and the general public in phase 3 and 4. The vaccine will be completely free and easy to get “whether or not you have insurance” according to the NC DHHS.
“I had to complete the CVS vaccine consent paperwork and have a negative COVID test before I received the vaccine,” said Donnie Warren, the vice president of sales at Healthcare Services Group.
With phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine plan going into place recently phase 3 is not too far away. This means that students and teachers could be receiving the vaccine sometime in the near future.
“I will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine so I can finally eliminate the fear of getting it and spreading it to loved ones.” Ryan Shapiro, a student at NCLA said.
In a poll of 72 people on the NCLA News Instagram page, 60% of people said they would get the vaccine when it becomes available and 40% said they wouldn’t.
“I will probably get it because I can help stop COVID-19 and things can go back to normal.” Calvin Zoellinger, a student at NCLA said.