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POSTED: March 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Proud to be an American

Just in my short 16 years of life I have been witness to some extremely dramatic events, such as 9/11 and the recent sugar refinery explosion. One thing I’ve observed is how we as a community, both local and national, always seem to huddle together after a tragedy.

I was in elementary school when the terrorist attacks of 2001 took place, and even at my young age the outburst of national pride that followed Sept. 11 was obvious to me.

American flags began to appear up and down the streets, patriotic songs were released. The whole country was bleeding red, white, and blue.

In a more recent setting and one on a more local level, the sugar refinery explosion has created a similar effect.

In response to this horrific accident our community has responded with solemn grief and a desire to help those affected.

For example, a huge barbeque was organized just last week in Savannah with all benefits going to burn victims and their families. Neighbors helping neighbors; or more touching yet, people helping people they don’t even know. When I see things like this it makes me proud to live in a nation where there’s such a sense of community in the wake of tragedy. It makes me proud to be an American.

 

Club of the Week

Science Olympiad: The RHHS Science Olympiad program is unique in that it gives those students with an aptitude for the scientific arts to really show what they can do, and push the limits of their mastery over nearly all branches of science. Students compete in a building project, where they are required to construct something, and in different academic events having to do with different types of sciences. Science Olympiad is overall a team sport, but is similar to track in that the individual team members participate in different events. The team will be traveling to Swainsboro today to compete against other Science Olympiad teams in our region, best of luck to our wildcat scientists.

Cats Campers to help freshmen make the adjustment to high school

A new program at RHHS is what Graduation Coach, Wallace Ingram, is calling ‘Cats Camp’. Cats Camp is primarily a peer mentoring service, in which trained upperclassmen will ‘mentor’ selected ninth graders as they make the sometimes tough switch from middle to high school. Juniors and sophomores aspiring to become mentors next school year can pick up applications in Mr. Ingram’s room. I was able to speak with one such junior, Caitlyn Kelly, about what peaked her interest in the Cats Camp program, and her overall views on this exciting new addition to RHHS.

Q: What makes you want to be a peer mentor?

A: Being a peer mentor is really important to me. The main reason I want to be a peer mentor is because I absolutely love to help people. Sometimes people, especially teenagers, don’t have anyone to go to if they have questions or need someone to talk to. Therefore I think that it’s important that there is someone there that can understand what they’re going through. Coming into high school is like entering a whole new world. It can be challenging and discouraging. I would like to be there for those students who feel disheartened. I feel that since I have been through it, I will be able to make their first year better. Counseling is something I plan to do after college so I think this will be good preparation.

Q: What are your thoughts on this program coming to RHHS?

A: I think this program will be a wonderful addition to RHHS. It will provide a place for upcoming freshman to feel comfortable if they have a problem or a difficult decision that they need help making. It will also provide an activity for juniors and seniors who like to aid students in their first year of high school and listen to problems.

 

Q: How do you think the mentee’s will benefit from Cats Camp?

A: I hope that the members will find the program to be accommodating and useful. A few comforting words can go a long way. I think that because of this program freshman will have an easier time in 9th grade. I think students will feel more comfortable participating in sports and other activities because of this program.

Q: What do you hope to gain from being a mentor?

A: I hope that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I also hope that this will help me get ready for my future career.

 

Prom is fast approaching; here’s all you need to know to go

With that most iconic of high school experiences, prom, drawing nearer and nearer things are getting somewhat hectic at RHHS. Although prom is not until April 12, seven weeks away, already the halls are a flutter with tales of stunning dresses yet to be seen, and after party plans. So I spoke with one of the women organizing the bonanza, prom veteran, Regina Tomlin, about what she’s doing to prepare for prom and just what makes it so special anyway.

Q: With prom coming up, what are some of the things you’re doing to prepare?

A: We have already ordered all of the invitations, they are on their way. We have ordered napkins. We have already ordered $3,000 dollars worth of decorations, that are in route right now. We’ve already purchased most of the table decorations, and we’re just waiting for it all to arrive so we can put it together.

Q: Where are we getting the money for all of this?

A: The money comes from the junior class. We started with money that came from chicken biscuit sales, and that sort of thing, and then the rest is made up of dues.

Q: What would you say the biggest hassle of setting up a prom is?

A: Getting kids to pay their dues on time.

Q: What makes it all worth it in the end for you?

A: Everybody has so much fun. I love seeing all the kids all dressed up, and they’re out there dancing, and laughing, and having a great time. And that’s what makes it all worthwhile every year.

Q: Why do you think prom is such a big deal? What make it more than just another dance?

A: Because the kids at Richmond Hill have turned it into a weekend. For the girls it starts Saturday morning getting hair done, and nails done, and makeup done. And they’re wearing a very fancy ball gown. And then the guys start getting ready about five, put on their tux. And then comes dinner, out with their friends, and then they arrive at the prom. And most of them either have a weekend at the beach planned, or their parents have parties planned for their kids, or they go out to breakfast. So it’s not just a dance anymore, it’s a dance that is part of a whole weekend celebration. And for the seniors I guess it's one step closer to graduation. Once they know prom is here their graduation, and the end of their high school career is just a couple weeks away.

Q: What do students have to do to be able to attend prom this year?

A: They have to pay their dues. There will be no tickets sold, so if they don’t pay their dues on time then they’re not going to be allowed to go to prom. And I guess once you’ve got that settled is find who you want to take as a guest, and start buying a dress, picking out a tux, and making dinner plans.

Q: And what is the cut off for class dues collection?

A: March 11.

 

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