Raising money for Cancer Awareness

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By: Caroline McMullan, Editor-in-Chief
On March 1st in the gym during ONE lunch, the senior class put on the first annual “Pie Cancer in the Face” event to help fundraise for the Strike Out Cancer bowling team. 13 teachers and administrators participated: science teacher Michael Mailey, English teacher Ms. Sanchez, science teacher Tim Crane, physical education teacher Cornell Core, Culinary Arts teacher Thomas Sears, English teacher Lauren Benere, math teacher Brad Smart, social studies teacher Greg DeFrancesco, math teacher Andrew Blazar, social studies teacher Bryan Hannum, assistant principal Brandon Petrosky, and Dean of Students Michael Farrell. Almost all of them got pied in the face more than once. The whip cream pies were $3 for one and $5 for two and within 30 minutes, $150 was raised. You can also donate by bringing in money to your first period teacher by March 7th. The top three classes that raised the most money will earn a breakfast. Check out our photo gallery below to see the teachers getting pied! 

Photos by Caroline McMullan.


Signing off for now

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Thanks for reading our Current blog for this school year. We appreciate all your support and readership. As of today, we are signing off for the summer break. We’ll be back in the fall for the 2016-2017 school year! We are looking forward to bringing you the news then.

Secondly, congrats to the Lacrosse team for a wonderful season. Though you did not win the state finals on Saturday, the Rapids are proud of you.

Lastly, thank you to Keeshawn Capers for all his hard work as the Online Editor this year.

Boys lacrosse advances to state finals

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By: Eva Dorn, Online Editor 2016-2017
On Tuesday, June 6th the Rapids defeated the James Madison Warhawks. It was a hard fought game, and in the end it was an 11-10 win over the Warhawks. By winning this game, the Rapids qualify for state finals for the first time in school history. Come out and support our Rapids on Saturday, June 11th at 5 pm as they compete in their match at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Virginia.

A Note from the Sponsor

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We thank our loyal blog readers for their feedback. We heard from you and know that you wanted to know what was going on with O.N.E. lunch in early February. Three of our staff writers were hard at work gathering the facts, experiencing the new schedule, and putting together three articles that express the varying viewpoints of our diverse school. Right as they were about to finish, O.N.E lunch was restored. Then, we got half a foot of snow and were snowed out for the week. But we felt this was still important to share with you.

We hope that you’ll still read and reflect on these articles, because even though the schedule changed for only a week, it had a visible effect on the school in regards to expectations and reflections of lunch behavior. The following three articles try to capture that feeling from the change through Mr. Ellick’s, the teachers’, and the students’ viewpoints. We apologize for the delay that prevented us from getting these to you sooner. Thank you for reading this and all our articles, and continue to share your feedback with us.

Academy for AP classes aids students

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By: Kayla Kirk, Staff Writer

On September 27th and October 4th at Monacan High School, students in Advanced Placement (AP) classes had the opportunity to attend the Chesterfield County AP Academy. These student workshops were designed to teach the students skills that they need in order to be successful in their AP classes.

According to College Board, AP is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment, passion, and hard work of students and educators from both secondary schools and higher education. Since 1955, The AP Program has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and exams and to earn college credit or placement while still in high school.

“Students should expect Note taking, Organization, Test taking, Reading Comprehension, [and] Instruction on writing,” said Mrs. Castelo, AP World History and AP Human Geography teacher.

Taking AP classes also increases eligibility for scholarships and makes candidates more attractive to colleges. Those classes also help by adding extra weight on a student’s GPA if he/she does well in the class.

“Expect to learn a ton of information to help you be successful in your advanced course throughout the year” said Mrs. Castelo.

The AP Program currently offers more than 30 courses across multiple subject areas. Each course is developed by a committee composed of college faculty and AP teachers, and covers the breadth of information, skills, and assignments found in the corresponding college course.

Q&A with Abigail Belcher: the Next Kevin Powers

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By Alejandro Lucero, Copy Editor

Abigail Belcher, a senior here at James River High School, has been mastering her talents in writing by both completing two books and getting them published. She has been part of the creative writing class, and has expressed her feelings and identity by using the art of literature and composition as her medium. Both of Belcher’s books are available for purchase online on Amazon, and you can order them and read the stories for yourself. She personally recommends that you read Sunsets and Sandcastles, whose first chapter is available on Amazon for free for a sneak peek. I have begun reading her book and I personally like it. If you’re looking for a new book to read, support our local author.

Alejandro Lucero: When did you publish both books?

Abigail Belcher: I published my first book, Dear Catherine, in June of 2012, and the second book, Sunsets and Sandcastles, in June of 2013


A.L: What’s your motivation to keep writing and publishing?

A.B: My motivation for writing is more for myself than anyone else. It is the satisfaction of taking ideas and splattering the page with words strung together that only I may claim as my own.


A.L: How did you feel about the first book you wrote/published? And second one?

A.B: My first book was nowhere near as advanced as my second. I learned from a lot from my mistakes the first time around, and I am proud of both of them, but especially my second.


A.L: How does the second book differ from the first one?

A.B: Sunsets and Sandcastles differs from Dear Catherine in the fact it has multiple stories to follow, whereas Dear Catherine was only one plot. Also, the second has deeper characterizations and hidden meanings and interpretations of life throughout.


A.L: What made you take the chance to go ahead and write books?

A.B: Writing has been my passion since I’ve been able to pick up a pencil. I’ve written so many short stories and poems, and I’ve loved it, but I always knew I wouldn’t be living up to the full potential of my gift if I didn’t at least take a chance to take countless ideas and fill the pages of books.


A.L: Were you influenced by anything or anyone to write? If so, how?

A.B: I always thought writing was just a hobby; I had no idea I was any good at it or even that people enjoyed reading my writing. In eighth grade, Marina Bletsos (now a senior) continuously told me what a great writer i was, and she was always asking to read my poems and essays for English class. She made me realize that maybe I could turn my passion into more than just a hobby, and she was right.


A.L: What are your plans for future books?

A.B: I have many, MANY ideas for future novels, but my goal is to pick one and begin writing by October. Hopefully, I can have my third book published shortly after graduation.


Abigail Belcher is currently in the process of writing her third book. Next to her journal, is a copy of her latest book, Sunsets and Sandcastles.  Picture by: Alejandro Lucero
Abigail Belcher is currently in the process of writing her third book. Next to her journal, is a copy of her latest book, Sunsets and Sandcastles.
Picture by: Alejandro Lucero

A.L: What inspires you?

A.B: Music definitely inspires me, or the breeze that whispers quietly while I’m sitting outside. I always have one or the other while I’m writing; Music gives me ideas when I’m stuck, and the wind reminds me that I’m not alone during the process of writing a book, because sometimes writing a novel can feel like the loneliest thing in the world.


A.L: What has shaped your writing style?

A.B: I think the things that have happened in my life and my friends’/family’s lives has shaped my writing style. I take pieces from our individual stories, happy and sad, and use them to create something magical. I believe sometimes the only way to heal something painful that has happened in my life is to write about it; I believe that through writing comes the power and promise of healing.


A.L: For how long have you been writing?

A.B: I started writing more than school required me to in fifth grade.Through the years, I’ve filled up journal after journal, and if anybody knows me well enough, they know that for Christmas or for my birthday I am going to ask for another journal.


A.L: Is there a third book coming up?

A.B: My hope is that there will be a third book published in 2014. Senior year is going to be crazy busy, but if you haven’t got time for your dreams then how important of a passion can it be to you?