CHS is National Runner Up in No Barriers Challenge

From left to right: Nick Visco, Jackson Lee, Isabella Olson, Kyla Staton, Kayla Hampton, Eleanor Clark, Nichole Noel and Jordan Smith hold up their winnings. Photo by Ella Terry.

A team of nine Carrboro High students has won National Runner Up in the No Barriers Global Impact Challenge. The team, called Spectrum Unfiltered, includes Eleanor Clark, Jarrad Cotten-Fox, Kayla Hampton, Jackson Lee, Nichole Noel, Isabella Olson, Jordan Smith, Kyla Staton and Nicholas Visco: a diverse group of students spanning several grade levels.

The No Barriers Global Impact Challenge is a national challenge where groups of students create projects to increase inclusion and diversity in their communities and break down barriers, hence the name. Spectrum Unfiltered planned a film festival that will showcase films that raise awareness of the issues that people face every day and how by facing those challenges, they’ve become stronger people. The film festival aims to start conversation in the Chapel Hill- Carrboro community involving people of all races, orientations, abilities and origin.

The idea for this film festival originated at CHS’s Culture Fest with newcomer students, according to Melissa Barry, a CHS teacher who works with students who have disabilities.

“In the audience there were newcomer students who were getting excited when their country was coming up, but then the entire movie was about facts about the country from a very American perspective, and many of the students were sharing that it wasn’t capturing all of [the countries],” said Barry.

After Culture Fest, Spectrum Unfiltered decided to continue the idea of the film festival. The team interviewed several different people in the community to get different perspectives and have conversations about discrimination and acceptance.

Barry thinks that the interviews really solidified the students’ desire to continue with the project.

“I think that that kind of the foundation for this project is how much value each of us has, layered with all of the things that make us human. Layered with our imperfections, layered with our struggles, layered with our challenges that we all have such value,” said Barry.

The monetary compensation and the project being recognized on a national level is very encouraging for the team.

“We didn’t know if we were going to win anything or not, and the fact that we get this money, and we get to actually make a difference in our community means a lot to me and the rest of us,” said Kayla Hampton, a CHS sophomore.

Even without this money, the team still planned on doing this film festival, but now they’ve got a head start.

“Having the foundation to be able to start [the project] with some of the prize money and the recognition is really really cool,” said Jordan Smith, junior.

What’s next for the team? They want to be done filming the movies by June so that they will be able to edit over the summer and ideally have them done for teacher training in August. This will help teachers get an idea of their students and go into the year with ideas of acceptance. August is also an optimal time for showing the films at public venues that the team has looked into because the weather will still be nice.

Congratulations to this hardworking team for winning national runner up!

Spanish Students Celebrate Annual Valentine’s Challenge

Today, during lunch, Señora Hill, CHS Spanish teacher, hosted the tenth Annual Valentine’s Couples’ Challenge in her room. The challenge invites anyone from couples to friends to participate in the contest. Student contestants answer trivia questions about Hispanic culture or grammar questions, based on the Spanish curriculum.

While this is the tenth challenge, today was the first time it’s been brought to CHS. Hill previously taught at Chapel Hill High School. After a pair buzzed in with the correct answer, Hill asked a bonus question, related to the pair.

This year’s winners are Susannah Peterson, freshman, and Grace Herman, freshman.  

CHS celebrates with Community Dinner

February is Black History Month, and to remember and celebrate black excellence throughout history, the annual Community Dinner is happening this Thursday at CHS.

Carrboro High Community Dinners have taken place for the past 12 years, and they celebrate black culture, history and excellence. The dinners look back on famous historical figures and invite black students to safely share their school experiences as part of a predominantly white student body.

Zoyie Mangaroo, CHS senior, will be on a student panel.

“Being on the student panel allows me to speak about my experiences as a student of color in the CHCCS district, and brain storm ideas with people in our community on how we can help African American students successed and stop the micro aggression and outside school suspension,” said Mangaroo, via email. “This also allows people in our community to hear about the different things happening with and to African American students, and how they can help.”

This year’s theme is “Black Excellence: Student Voices, Community Connections,” with panels from students, photos from the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill and a guest speaker. The Marion Cheek Jackson Center, a center working towards preserving the future of historically black neighborhoods in Chapel Hill, will display photos from the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill, some coming from the National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Howard Lee, a former senator in the North Carolina General Assembly, is speaking on Thursday, the first black mayor of Chapel Hill, and the first black mayor of a majority white southern town. After his time as mayor, Lee went on to serve in the North Carolina Senate for 8 years. Lee focuses on the issues facing public education, including the achievement gap.

The Community Dinner aims to bring students, teacher, parents and people from different backgrounds together to celebrate black history, black excellence and black students at CHS. The dinner gives a chance for black students to be recognized and to let their voices be heard in a community that is primarily white.

The Community Dinner is on February 7, from 6-8pm in the Carrboro High School Commons. To RSVP, use this link:

The CHS Latin Program Presents: The Underworld

The Latin Underworld is upon us again, bringing a day of mythology to the CHS auditorium. Latin students prepare monologues for significant figures in the Underworld and deliver them as classes walk through the auditorium, as if they had become part of the Underworld.


Jane McGee, CHS Latin teacher explained what the Underworld is for those who don’t know.

“The Underworld is a reenactment, a visual presentation of the Ancient Roman and Greek concept of what happened after life,” she said.


It’s an opportunity for students to learn more about mythology, a topic that is heavily alluded to in popular culture and literature, such as many of Shakespeare’s works or more current works, such as the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series. It also makes appearances in other social studies classes, such as world history.


“When you’re studying world history, you read about the Ancient Romans and the Greeks, and understanding that ancient people had this idea that life didn’t end just because you died. It coexists with modern philosophies and ideologies as well,” said McGee, talking about the importance of mythology in modern education.


Audrey Carson and Zoe Morris are two of the seniors that are helping to plan this year’s Underworld, and they went into more specific details about the event.


“We’re going off, I think, the Aeneid now, where basically Aeneas entered the Underworld–someone gave him a golden bough and that allowed him to enter and leave as a mortal, and so we’re kind of playing on that with the classes now,” said Carson.


The Underworld takes place on Wednesday November 7, between 1st and 4th periods. Last year, teachers had to bring coins to get into the Underworld, but this year, they’re bringing golden boughs, or golden branches, as seen in the Aeneid, a myth about the Trojan hero who traveled to Italy and was the ancestor of the Romans.


Even though students read the Aeneid and other works involving figures in the Underworld, mythology isn’t a part of the curriculum for high school Latin classes, so this is an opportunity for the Latin students to learn more about these characters they’ve mentioned in class, and dive deeper into their myths.


Some major figures and myths that will be represented are Hades and Persephone–or, as the Romans would say, Pluto and Proserpina–Cerberus, the three headed dog, Dido, Aeneas, Tantalus and many more.


While the real Underworld is divided into three main sections, the CHS Underworld isn’t as accurate, but makes more sense.


“So we have the outside area of people who would’ve been the threshold to the Underworld, and then we have an area that’s kind of the land of heroes, so that would be like the Elysian fields, and then there’s also an area [where] it’s still the heroes but it’s not quite the paradise image,” said Morris, “And then we have Tartarus for the tortured souls, and then we have Hades’ palace and then like a few people who are stationed at the gates in between two places.”


Along with expanding students’ knowledge of mythological characters, the Underworld gives Latin students a platform for their language.


“It just seemed important to give the Latin students, who have very little opportunity to broadcast their language–it’s not the spoken language of Spanish or French, to give them presence within the school,” explained McGee.


Morris agrees, adding on that it gives the Latin class a bit of character, and allows the rest of the school to see what the Latin students are about.