Month: December 2014

Latin Convention rewards students with success

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By: Kayla Kirk, Staff Writer

Through November 23-24, James River Latin students brought home trophies from the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention. Each and every student worked hard on their projects and did great, earning the individual trophies for first place in Spirit, T-shirts, and Roll Call. They also donated over $300 to the Wounded Warrior Project by selling extra club T-shirts from previous years and camo bandannas.

“Students were required to make two projects to enter into competition and they were required to take three tests on topics like Roman History, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Derivatives, Mythology, [and] Geography,” said Mrs Dollings, Latin teacher and Latin Club sponsor.

Categories include testing in  Roman History, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Derivatives, Mythology and Geography. They could also compete in Latin and English Oratory, Costume Contest, Storytelling, and Sight Latin Reading

“They have to work together as a group for certain events and they help, support, and encourage each other in their individual competitions. There’s something about cheering your heart out for 20 minutes straight, taking tests that are incredibly hard, having the courage to audition and perform in front of judges and peers, staying up late and getting up early together that makes strong friendships,” Mrs Dollings said.


Passing positivity around James River

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By Corinne Minnick, Staff Writer

World History teacher Kelsey Robinson recently awarded Exceptional Education teacher Paul Williams with the Positive Attitude Reward (P.A.R) jar. The P.A.R. jar is a jar filled with candy that teachers award one another for having a positive attitude.

Principal Jeff Ellick created the P.A.R jar at Manchester High School and decided to continue the tradition at James River. Each teacher is rewarded the jar and gets to keep it for one month, then fills it with candy and passes it onto another teacher. Teachers who are cheerful, optimistic, and positive are rewarded with candy.

“You come up with something you want to say to them and you tell them why you chose them to have it. A lot of the time we say why we chose the teacher, and the other teachers guess who got it,” Ms. Robinson said.

The P.A.R. jar is a great incentive to be more positive at school. The power of positivity is being spread around James River one teacher at a time.

James River principal achieves highest degree

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By: Allie Duncan, Staff Writer

Jennifer Coleman, an assistant principal at James River, recently received her doctorate degree in Education.

Dr. Coleman had an opportunity to be in a cohort study, so she applied and got accepted. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and it took her eight years to finish her doctoral work.

She’s always enjoyed learning and being at school since she was young. The opportunity to go back to school gave her the chance to be a student once again.

“I wanna grow up and be a student,” Dr. Coleman said.

Dr. Coleman is a hard worker and wanted everything to be at a certain level, so it was hard managing all of the homework and studying, working, while also being a mother for her family. When one puts all of those parts together, it can become extremely difficult to be great at what one does

“[Putting] all of the parts together is hard,” Dr. Coleman said.

Dr. Coleman has always liked school, so getting her doctorate seemed right when she was offered the chance.

“ [It] wasn’t something I thought of or considered,” Dr. Coleman said.

As a child, getting her doctorate’s degree wasn’t something she ever wanted. All she wanted was to continue staying in a school atmosphere and doing what she loved, which was learning. Even though it wasn’t she wanted to do at first, she decided to give it a chance, and now she has achieved her doctorate, and now she’s at the very top of her field.

Feminist Club sparks discussion

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By: Nicholas Gentry, Staff Writer

The Feminist Club, a new club at James River, was created to bring more awareness to Feminism.  The club was created by junior Jake Fleary, and sophomore Lydia Boswell, and it is sponsored by World History teacher, Ms. Kelsey Robinson.

As a club, it has many goals that are categorized and discussed within meetings.

“Clubs are meant to be student organizations, so the students involved are setting goals and addressing different topics each week in order to bring awareness to the forefront.  The club is doing a nice job of showing feminism as a ‘gender-equalizer’ as opposed to ‘man-bashing’,” Robinson said.

For students to be interested in a club, the club must represent something special and unique. Feminist Club has its own unique focus.

“This club represents an age-old fight.  Not only is this meant to bring awareness to gender equality, but to issues that are sometimes swept under the rug in today’s society,” Robinson said.

Specifically, the club’s discussions go into detail on how they define feminism.

“I understand that there are physiological differences between men and women, but that shouldn’t be the first or only assumption made in regards to tasks at hand.  Women are capable of many of the same tasks, as has been proven time and time again.  The other side of that coin is that men should not be discounted when it comes to tasks or emotions that are traditionally considered female,” Robinson said.

The Feminist Club meets in the library on Mondays during the second half of lunch.

Dashing to the Winter Revels Concert

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By Cana Wilson, Staff Writer

The chorus, orchestra, band, theater and guitar groups are getting together on Thursday, December 11th at 7 pm to perform their annual Winter Revels Concert in the theater.

The performing arts teachers have been doing the concert for seven years and both the students and the teachers enjoy seeing each other perform.

“We do the Revels concert to give our Performing Arts students a chance to both see each other perform and to collaborate on a performance–each group performs pieces on their own and then combine for a couple of pieces at the end of the concert. It is also good to have audience members who typically only go to one type of concert (band, for example) get a chance to see what the other performing arts programs are doing,” said Mr. Harris, Director of Orchestra and Guitar.

The teachers have been working very hard with their students in order to prepare for the concert.

“Honors Students had to write their [skits] by December 1st. Then we discussed them in regards to the audience we will have at Revels. They revised and practiced. We will rehearse them on stage this week in preparation for the concert,” said Mrs. Oyler, theater director.

You can come out and support your fellow classmates at 7 pm on Thursday for only $2.

Digital art teacher honored by Chesterfield County

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By Carly Lester, Staff Writer

Art teacher Kelly Bisogno has received a great honor by being recognized as Chesterfield County’s Art Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Bisogno teaches digital art and graphic design for levels 1, 2, and AP Digital Art.

“I was always really interested in creating art, being around art and learning about art, but I had a hard time committing to being a full-time artist, because I wanted to have a regular job and a family and be able to have personal commitments.”

Her choice to teach art came from her love of working with people, especially kids and teens.

“I really like the combination of working with people and also being around art all day,” said Bisogno.

Students given opportunity to showcase talents

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By Karla Llano Reyes, Staff Writer

James River is looking for more ways to make school fun this year, and the Open Mic event is one of them.The open mic is an event that happens twice a semester where students get to show their talents.

The peer facilitators are in charge of running and promoting this event.

“We [make] and [post] posters, flyers, and announcements,” said junior Mary Rose Philipoom, a peer facilitator.

They are also in charge of setting up everything that is needed for the performers; the peer facilitators involved all have specific tasks.

“We assign at least one person to man the mic and host it, and one person has the essential task of manning the clipboard,” said Philipoom.

All the performers are limited to five minutes to perform in the senior courtyard during lunch.

“What I really like is that students are supportive, which really shows what kind of school we are,” said Wallace Dietz, the peer facilitators’ sponsor.

If you have any questions or are interested in participating in this event, see Mr. Dietz in the counseling office. The next Open Mic is Thursday, December 11th during ONE lunch.