CHCCS Olympics

Carrboro High students are now able to fight for glory against their friends from different schools in the district. This summer, the Student Government Association (SGA) from all three CHCCS high schools met several times to discuss a way to increase competition and unity between the district high schools.

Inspired by the Summer Olympics, SGA leaders decided to create a CHCCS Olympics of their own.

When brainstorming events to connect the three schools, East Chapel Hill President Jopsy Bayog suggested SGA create an event out of activities they already knew how to organize, like powderpuff football and men’s volleyball.  “[We wanted to] commemorate the 2016 Summer Olympics and establish a framework for future Student Governments,” said Bayog.

Once every quarter, students from all three schools will compete against each other in one sport. In the first quarter students will play kickball; second quarter, dodgeball; third quarter, powderpuff football and men’s volleyball; and fourth quarter, capture the flag. Kickball tryouts were held on October 14th.

The top three individuals in each event will earn points based on how they place: five points for a first place finish, three for second place, and one for third. The point system will be cumulative with points earned from each event contributing to the final tally.

“The goal is to kind of create competition between the three schools,” said CHS President Grace Nanney. “By doing that you [also] get to hang out with your friends from other schools, and you get to have more spirit within your own school.”

Organizers hope to also instill new traditions.

The school with the most points by the end of the school year will take home a trophy. This prize is inspired by the UNC vs Duke victory bell, a traveling trophy given to the winner of the annual football game between the two famed rivals.

Other prizes will also be sold throughout the year; for example, t-shirts for each school will be sold at the event. To increase friendly competition, the school that sells the highest number of t-shirts relative to their school’s size will have points added to their final score.

The CHCCS olympics marks the first time student governments of each district high school unite for a year-long event.

“It’s a way for students to get involved and represent their school in a huge way,” said Chapel Hill High School President Kris Chellani in an email. “Hopefully this becomes a tradition that passes on to future SGAs and increases school spirit for all three schools.”

Mackenzie Cox catches a ball for the Carrboro kickball team.  Photo by Mireille Leone

Local Art Opportunities


Fittingly placed in the Carrboro Town Commons, the Bazaar Craft and Art Market creates an atmosphere perfect for anyone with an appreciation for handmade items, local food trucks, and hoola hoops. Founded by Meg Morgan of High Street Designs, the Bazaar features dozens of booths selling a wide variety of products ranging from clothing and artwork to soaps and succulents. Be sure to swing by the next Bazaar on November 13 if you’re in the market for a charmingly personal product that is sure to be made with love.


One Song Productions is the perfect organization to disprove the older generation that teenagers can, in fact, accomplish meaningful things. Composed entirely of high school students, One Song produces four shows annually, in addition to the “Feb 48”, a one-act festival where shows go from being written to performed in 48 hours. Last year’s season consisted of the shows Almost, Maine, The Glass Menagerie, Stop Kiss, and Failure: A Love Story. If you’re interested in theatre and want to get involved, check out them out at


The one day that you’re guaranteed to see more strollers, suspenders, and sitars than any other in Carrboro is the day of town’s annual music festival. With hundreds of bands in dozens of locations throughout the heart of Carrboro, the festival is sure to have something for everyone. The streets are filled with people and nearly every building has its doors open, welcoming anyone to come in and enjoy the jams. Mark your calendars for this annual event; this isn’t one you want to miss!


The Monti is a great platform for an amazing story, an incredible feat of public humiliation, or both. They offer two types of events: organized performances from selected storytellers, and the StorySlam; an open mic of sorts designed to give locals a shot at telling a personal anecdote in front of a live audience. Pick up a ticket at the Arts Center just to listen or, if you’re brave, put together a story of your own.

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Plot line: It’s the year 1600. Two characters, young Lysander and Hermia, are madly in love with plans to get married, but they can’t. Hermia’s father wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. But Demetrius can’t marry Hermia, because he has to go fight in World War II. Doesn’t sound quite right? It’s not. Carrboro High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare will be performed in November with the original script, but a 1940’s setting and theme.

The plot in Midsummer Night’s Dream is as follows: Lysander and Hermia, are planning to get married, but their plans are foiled by Hermia’s father who wants her to marry Demetrius. Demetrius is also in love with Hermia, but Hermia is in love with Lysander. And in addition, Helena is in love with Demetrius. Throughout the story, everyone’s plans are a little ruined when Puck, the fairy king, comes and causes trouble with the help of a few love potions. In addition to all of this a small troupe of actors is struggling to put on a decent performance of a show.

“I know they’re going to use the costumes and setting a lot. They showed us the costumes today, and a lot of it’s old timey, 1940’s stuff.” said freshman Caroline Watson, in reference to the 1940’s theme. Some scenes will stay pretty similar, many take place in a forest with the fairies, but many set and costume aspects will be adapted to fit the 1940’s theme, despite the script being the original, Shakespearean version

In addition to the challenges of memorizing lines and blocking that come with any theater production, interpreting a Shakespearean play is no easy feat.

“It’s a very foreign way of speaking, so i sometimes have trouble understanding what things mean” said senior Daniel O’Grady.

Every rehearsal the actors went through the lines and scenes to make sure they knew what was happening in each scene, what all their lines meant, and if they grasped the concept. With a firm understanding, the actors could put the right tone of voice and meaning into the lines, instead of just reading them from the page. Only after all of this was achieved, could the actors begin memorizing lines and working on the blocking

“The translations we’ve been doing are the biggest difference in the rehearsal process.” said senior Thomas Cassidy, noting the difference between A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and previous Carrboro shows. “In the past, we haven’t had to translate other shows. In other shows, we just had to get context, we didn’t have to translate the words, since it was written in modern english.”

With the combination of 1600’s and 1940’s, we asked the cast to say a few words about the show itself. Among their answers were “hectic, magical, fun, complicated, and an altogether crazy and fantastic experience.”

You can see Carrboro High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream November 3,4, 5 at 7:30pm and November 6 at 2:30pm. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, and free for CHCCS Faculty and Staff. The are available now at

Student Spotlight: Emmanuel Oquaye

Q1: What started your love of sculpting?

A1: In ceramics class freshman year, I was given a sculpting assignment and at first it was just an assignment but I took it so much more seriously.

Q1.5: What was the assignment?
A1.5: An animal sculpture that everyone did. I just gravitated to it a lot more than other people, and they started noticing that and that I was doing a good job that displayed my talent.

Q2: And how long have you been sculpting?
A2: Three years now.

Q3: What do you like so much about sculpting?
A3: You can be more creative than you can be with the wheel.

Q4: Do you also work on the wheel?
A4: Yeah the wheel is always beautiful but I prefer sculpting because it’s so free. Obviously there are advantages to both.

Q5: Where do you plan on going with your sculpting?
A5: I might want to do an art show. I want a studio; that’s the dream

Q5.5: Do you have any extra-curriculars running right now with your sculpting?
A5.5: Yeah, the Empty Bowl Club. We make bowls together, not just Carrboro students, but lots of people from the art center and other things. Basically, with those bowls, we prepare meals and have a sort of community dinner. People pay $30 for the meal and the artwork. All proceeds go to CORA Food Pantry to help feed hungry kids in the area. A lot of people don’t know, but there are kids in the area who are [hungry]. And it doesn’t have to be homeless starving either, just look at the kids who eat reduced or free lunch.

Q6: Anything else you’d like to add?
A6: Ceramics is an awesome class. Ms. Schiavone has helped me grow as a creator, shoutout Ms. Schiavone.

Senior Emmanuel Aquaye.  Photo by Mireille Leone.

Streaming Exclusives: Music

Students at Carrboro have been feeling the isolating effects of music streaming albums lately.

Whereas music used to be available to any dedicated fan willing to spend a few dollars, it now exists in a market in which artists sign off on deals in which only one streaming service can release their music.

The most recent example of this new trend in the music industry is the case of Frank Ocean’s Sophomore full-length album Blond.  An Apple Music Exclusive, Carrboro students who aren’t subscribed are up in arms about the exclusion.

“When Frank Ocean’s album first came out, I was giddy as a kid!” said Declan Sistachs, senior.  “I was thinking to myself ‘here comes Frankie with that soul sound I just need!’  And when I discovered that his album was unavailable to someone who didn’t subscribe to a streamer, just like Kanye’s album, I just felt left out.”  When asked if he would pay the 10 dollars a month, Sistachs said “of course not, that’s ridiculous.  I’m not paying 120 dollars a year just to hear an album.”

Carrboro students are set to become increasingly upset heading into 2017, as more artists are pledging their allegiance to different streaming services.  Whether it be with Kanye West’s Tidal, or Apple Music, or even Spotify, more artists are signing these deals.

When asked if she would consider paying the monthly fees of a streaming service if her favorite artist released an exclusive album, senior Katie Fesperman said “I don’t think so.  I subscribe to spotify, but if my favorite artist became exclusive to Tidal or Apple Music, I don’t think I would pay the money just to hear the artist.  I won’t pay for an artist who’s in it just for the money.”

Whether it means they are in it only for the money or not, it’s undeniable that more artists are signing off on these deals.  As the industry moves even further away from hard cover album sales to online streams, it only makes sense that the artists will set themselves up for a future in which maximum profit is guaranteed.

NC Infant Mortality Rate Plateaus

In recent years, North Carolina’s infant mortality rate has plateaued and now ranks higher than that of the United States’.

Despite the initial decrease at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the past five years the infant mortality rate has flattened. This decline comes from the lack of proper healthcare for women in NC, according to a report by WUNC. Without adequate health care, that is both easily accessible available to women across the state, it is more likely for a baby to be born prematurely.

In the United States, NC has the ninth highest infant mortality rate. In order for NC’s infant mortality rate to go down, the state will need to provide better healthcare for women. When poverty rates rise, infant mortality rates rise with it.

Out of 1,000 babies in NC, more than seven of them will die within a year. For African American babies, that number jumps to over twelve, close to doubling the rate. In only one year, Latino babies mortality rate went from 3.7 to 6.3 per 1,000.

Half of the women without health insurance manage to get affordable prenatal care, making the other half struggle through their pregnancies and risk birth defects, premature birth, and death.

To people who live in suburban areas, this issue is not as prevalent. Places near a hospital that offers good health care do not realize that this is a problem in NC because it is not directly affecting them.

Without proper health care for pregnant women, it is predicted that babies will continue to be born unhealthy. NC’s infant mortality rate is the ninth highest in the United States, and if women do not get proper care, it will stop decreasing altogether.

NC has the ninth-highest infant mortality. Photo courtesy Citizen Times

Creatures of Carrboro

What is your biggest fear? Where do you think it comes from?  People in the town of Carrboro were asked to answer this question.  These are the responses I received.

“My biggest fear has to do with, I don’t know how to say this, but not living up to who I truly am. It probably comes from never being allowed to be who I was as a child, and never being able to speak my mind.”

“My biggest fear has to do with, I don’t know how to say this, but not living up to who I truly am. It probably comes from never being allowed to be who I was as a child, and never being able to speak my mind.”


“Recognition of my own irrelevance”

“Recognition of my own irrelevance”


“I don’t live in the moment; this comes from experiencing being in the moment and just how beautiful it is.”

“I don’t live in the moment; this comes from experiencing being in the moment and just how beautiful it is.”

Photos by Flora info Devonport


Streaming Exclusives Challenge Traditional TV

The way we watch TV shows has changed drastically over the years, resulting in more complex narrative structures and an increase in the overall quality of television.

In the past, viewers kept up with shows by tuning every week. Now, online streaming sources like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu dominate TV and remove that agonizing weekly wait for new episodes.

Netflix began as a source for streaming old TV shows and movies released five or ten years prior. In the past few years, Netflix’s angle has completely changed and shifted into releasing original shows, recent seasons of TV and films.

With a positive response from viewers who prefer more options when they watch a show, Hulu and Amazon have followed in Netflix’s footsteps.

“Five years ago I watched TV on the actual TV,”  said junior Margaret Reed, “and now I watch it on my computer via Netflix.”

Reed represents the majority who have switched from TV to streaming. According to a 2014 Adobe study, the number of viewers watching online TV has grown drastically, with rates more than doubling from 2013 to 2014. For many, the convenience of watching on a portable device outweighs the draw of traditional TVs.  

“I can take my laptop anywhere and watch it anytime,” said Reed.

Alongside an increased number of online streaming creators comes the ability to have diverse content that pushes the limits of TV we see today. With a new variety of shows, producers no longer have to restrict their scripts to meet specific guidelines within TV networks. Instead, they are free to let their creators run shows without much interference.

Controversial shows like Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and Amazon’s Transparent are just a few examples showing greater diversity in streaming than broadcast.

Since the age of binging entire series has arrived, the benchmark for what viewers expect has changed. Shows that are exclusively online are taking on more complex plots because viewers are able to watch episodes one after another. Now, TV show creators feel pressured to add layers of complexity and depth to their shows.

In contrast, the plots of traditional TV shows have to be structured around ad breaks. For example, producers of shows like Quantico or Law and Order craft cliffhangers before and after ad breaks to keep viewers intrigued.

The rise of streaming media challenges this longheld practice. Streaming exclusives,  uninterrupted by ads or breaks between episodes, continue to increase in popularity because they provide instant gratification.

For the Eleven fans and Frank Underwood fanatics, traditional television is becoming a remote thing of the past.

New Teachers of Carrboro

Every year we welcome a handful a new teachers to Carrboro with open arms.  Get to know some of the newest members of the CHS faculty.

Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline Smith adds a positive and fresh attitude to Carrboro High School.  She taught previously in Durham and Ohio, and loves Carrboro already.

“Carrboro is by far the best school I have taught at,” she said.  Smith praises CHS for its very inviting atmosphere.  

Jaqueline Smith in a world history class. Photo by Levi Hencke.

Jaqueline Smith in a world history class

“The students and staff are enthusiastic and friendly. I am also enjoying the strong sense of community at CHS,” she said.  Smith teaches world history and civics & economics, and is the new Freshman Class Advisor.

A fun fact is that she was an extra in the movie The Ides of March starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.  The opening scene of the movie was filmed at Miami University, where Smith went to college, and you can see her twice in the first few minutes.

Lisa Rubenstein

While Ms. Rubenstein isn’t a new face to CHS, she is an honorary new teacher after having taking a break to teach abroad. Currently, she teaches ninth grade English and AP Literature.

Ms. Rubenstein’s experience spans beyond high school english. She has also taught Spanish, typing and math.  An avid traveler, Ms. Rubenstein has worked at schools around the country and world in places such as California, Canada, Jamaica, Mozambique, Kenya and Italy.

“Carrboro is different because it’s small for an American public school, and it also has a well-maintained campus, ” said Rubenstein.  In her free time she enjoys making and selling jewelry.

Anna Lewis

“Carrboro is different from other schools because of how close the students are to each other. It is refreshing to see students laughing with each other instead of tearing each other down,” said Anna Lewis, the newest face of the science department.

Anna Lewis teaches an environmental science class. Photo by Mireille Leone.

Anna Lewis teaches an environmental science class

Lewis teaches Earth and Environmental Science as well as AP Environmental Science. Previously, she has taught chemistry, physical science and astronomy. After a long day of work, Lewis enjoys relaxing and watching an episode of Gilmore Girls or Golden Girls, her two favorite TV shows.

Top photo: Lisa Rubenstien helps student Gavin Leone in a 9th grade English class.  Photo by Mireille Leone.

Budget Cuts Challenge CHCCS

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools is no stranger to budget cuts. Over the course of seven years the Board of Education has made as much as $10 million in reductions. On July 21st, CHCCS was presented with a new task for the 2016-2017 school year: create an operational plan for all 21 schools in the district with $1.5 million.

The original budget request presented to the Board of Orange County Commissioners — which totalled $4.46 million — was intended to attract new hires and offer an increased supplement for teacher income in the district. These efforts were intended to overcome new state mandates that would otherwise leave a further gap in educational funding. The biggest competition wasn’t just the waiting game that followed, but the increase in teacher pay across neighbouring school districts.

The deal with this is that in order to be competitive with Wake County, the school board here made the decision to raise teacher pay to keep and attract highly qualified teachers to this community,” said Melissa Zemon, CHS teacher. “They did this before the budget was approved. While there were a number of meetings to try to get the County Commissioners to fully fund the budget with the increase, this did not happen.”

Teacher turnover rates have reached 18 percent in the CHCCS district, and the ability to hire exceptional teachers primarily in the math and science departments is increasingly difficult. Twenty three local positions were terminated in coalition to boost CHCCS’ teacher salary for remaining positions, creating a new assistant-to-teacher program with less teachers overseeing a population of 12,000 students, thus causing drastic changes in the classroom. CHS departments, particularly the math department, have found themselves with the task of managing overpopulated class sizes. Additionally, with increased demand for AP online courses but a lack of funding, classes are maxed out to the point where many students don’t know where else to turn.

Many people in Chapel Hill-Carrboro choose to live here and pay higher taxes because of the schools,” said Zemon. “ It doesn’t seem right to give teachers a pay increase and then force a situation that makes the job even harder than it already is.”

Students in an AP United States History class. Photo by Mireille Leone