The Chapel Hill Service Award

In a segregation-ridden community, the Chapel Hill school system was split into two separate schools: Chapel Hill High School and Lincoln High School. Now, over half a century later, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District has three separate high schools, in which students of all color, creed and background are enrolled.

Jock Lauterer, Carolyn Daniels, Dave Mason, Richard Ellington and Dr. John Allcott are all graduates of either Chapel Hill or Lincoln High from the sixties. Together, they have worked to create an award for two deserving local graduating high school students.

Many of these award founders experienced segregation during their childhood in Chapel Hill. Dave Mason even participated in the Chapel Hill Nine, a Civil Rights Era sit-in administered by nine men from Chapel Hill’s all-black Lincoln High School.

The award these leaders have established reflect the unjust times of segregation and how much our community has changed since then. There is an award that was given out to two students; A white student and an African-American student win the award based on demonstrating civic engagement in improving multiculturalism in our community.

Jock Lauterer, one of the creators of this award, commented on how the formation of this award came about.

“Dr. John Allcott came into some money and wanted to do something meaningful with it,” said Lauterer.

He gave some background information of what it was like for him and the other creators growing up.

“We grew up in a Chapel Hill that was very segregated in the early 60’s,” said Lauterer.

He also mentioned what this award might look like in the future.

“The long term goal is to make this award an annual award and ideally for more people, but we just want to get started and get this going,” said Lauterer.

Each of the creators of this award are a part of the Joint Alumni Association. Lauterer spoke on what the Joint Alumni Association is all about.

“The Joint Alumni Association has the purpose of building new bridges and forging new relationships and encouraging your generation to think about the values of multiculturalism and to reward a kid from each cohort who we think deserves the cash award,” said Lauterer.

Dave Mason, a Lincoln High alumni from the sixties who helped establish the Lincoln H.S./Chapel Hill H.S. Joint Alumni Service award, gave insight into being part of the Chapel Hill Nine.

“I had an opportunity to participate in the very first sit-in in Chapel Hill; I was one of nine individuals and I can tell you that things have changed significantly… I feel like things have changed significantly but the matters of social change, social justice, and equity are still issues in 2019,” said Mason.

Subsequently, Mason reiterated what the award is all about and what they are looking for in the people who apply.

“We are looking for students who have the compassion to inspire change and the passion to sustain it,” said Mason.

Richard Ellington, another creator of the award, briefly established what his situation was growing up in Chapel Hill.

“I was a Chapel Hill High student and was in the class of ‘63 during the segregation period,” said Ellington.

He shared what the separation was like between Chapel Hill High and Lincoln High School.  “We were a mile apart in distance but a world apart in experience,” said Ellington.

Ellington is still frustrated about parts of our society, and how this award helps to mitigate some of the inequality in our area.

“One of the things that has bothered me so much about growing up in the segregation era and the aftermath, for so long we have wanted to do away with the separation, and now it seems like people want to resegregate and separate in society…We want to have people reach out to their neighbors and peers and be a part of the community and there’s an equality that we are pursuing,” said Ellington.

Dr. John Allcott, the primary benefactor and creator of this service award and CHHS graduate, described the separation between the two schools.

“There were separate ball games, separate leagues, separate bands,” said Allcott.

Finally, he related what this service award is all about and how it can benefit and progress society.

“I hope for a society with opportunity and we hope that with this award that we can teach about equity and the possibility that we can all find our way,” said Allcott.

This award is a fantastic way to improve multiculturalism and equality in society, and this is just the beginning of this award and its impact. In future years, this award could encourage a greater opportunity for multiculturalism and civil engagement to flourish in the Chapel Hill area.

Student Government Elections: Popularity Contests?

The Carrboro High School student government elections have passed, and students have elected the candidates for the 2019-2020 school year. Now that the elections are finished, it’s important to consider the factors at play that get candidates elected: do their platforms have the biggest influence, are they good at campaigning, or does their level of popularity make them more likely to get elected?

Ryan Severance, the student government association (SGA) advisor, thinks that popularity has a strong influence on the elections, although he hopes the school will focus more on candidates platforms, rather than their social standings.

“One thing that we’ve been trying to encourage SGA to do and the future candidates to do was reach out to some of those student groups that don’t normally get talked to,” Severance said.

The SGA has been making more of an effort to reach out to those student groups, specifically students of color and ESL students. These efforts, Severance hopes, will make popularity less of an influence. However, he acknowledges that there isn’t a way for popularity to not be a factor in student government elections.

“I would love to say that people are voting more on what the [candidate] can do and not just because of popularity, because I think sometimes when we vote strictly off of popularity we don’t always get the best results,” Severance said.

Isabel Simmons, CHS junior, who will be SGA’s president next year, thinks that popularity influencing the election is two-pronged.

“On one hand, you want the person that’s representing you to be someone that you know and someone that you trust because otherwise you don’t feel comfortable going up to them and voicing your problems or your concerns. On the other hand, and this comes back to this other idea of popularity [where we are electing] a certain type of person, absolutely that’s a problem,” she said.

She pointed out that there are two different kinds of popularity: being well known or being a certain type of person.

Simmons suggested that many SGA students might be elected because of their identity, such as being a white student from Southern Village, acknowledging that she falls into that category. In the coming school year, she wants to work with the freshman class to make sure that more people from diverse backgrounds are represented. She also hopes to show that student government is for everyone, that there isn’t a mold you have to fit into.

Taylor Gwynne, CHS junior, feels like popularity is a big factor in SGA elections, with people feeling obligated to vote for their friends, specifically for the vice-president position. She thinks that, historically, SGA has been very exclusive and popularity-based, something she thinks needs to change.

“I think it would be interesting to run an election without faces, giving everyone a chance to post their platform and people vote solely off of a written platform and bio about the person. The problem is that this isn’t how real elections are run and students need to learn how to evaluate a candidate and cast their vote like they would when they turn 18,” Gwynne said.

Now that the elections have passed, it may not seem relevant to talk about student government anymore. However, it’s important to recognize how popularity can and does influence CHS and to be aware of it, whether you approve of it or not.

Anonymous candidate runs for SGA president

Anonymous candidate Hacky Sack posted this to their Instagram page to announce their presidential run.

As May approaches and the school year begins to wind down, students all around CHS prepare for a very crucial time of year: student government association (SGA) elections. This year, among the students clamoring for senator, treasurer and presidential positions, was a unique candidate: a hacky sack.

Hacky-Sack, an anonymous online presence communicating to the masses primarily through Instagram, is a potential presidential candidate, or at the least, is trying to be.

“My goal with this movement was to create a character that transcended social status and a character who made progress based on things like clever posts and responding to comments…I want people to vote based on who they think has the most merit,” said Hacky Sack in an email interview. During the interview, the owner of the account chose to stay anonymous.

Hacky Sack first announced their intentions to run with an Instagram post on April 19 and quickly garnered student support, encouraging that, “the revolution is now!”

“My platform is to remove all school rules that conflict with the interest of hacky sacks. This includes the ban on hacky sacking. I also want to create a hacky sack team and replace the school mascot with a hacky sack,” said Hacky Sack.

In an Instagram poll by the JagWire, 56 percent of students said they would write in or vote for Hacky Sack. But with elections Friday, April 26, and inanimate objects banned from the ballot, many students are wondering what Hacky Sack’s true goals are.

“It is very clear to everyone, I hope, that the page is satire. The purpose of satire in my opinion is 5% to convey a message and 95% to make people laugh…I am running to make people laugh, give people something to remember, and to try to create a universal figure,” responded Hacky Sack.

Although the “movement” is mostly a farce, Hacky Sack noted they became inspired because of an issue they found with CHS student government elections.

“What I have a problem with is the culture that surrounds SGA elections. Students treat SGA elections like they are required to vote for their friends regardless of how much work they’ve put into the campaign,” said Hacky Sack. “I keep myself anonymous because I above all else want to know that I gathered support not just because my friends felt obligated to support me but because people respect and are entertained by what I am doing.”

Results for the election will be tallied after voting finishes Friday. While Hacky Sack may not make the final cut, their message has still pervaded the school, engendering debate over the process of SGA elections, and whether they are influenced by popularity, rather than qualification. “I’ve talked extensively with the SGA members and organizers in the last two days and they are, in my opinion, doing a good job. I’m poking fun at the culture around SGA…My overall message is that I just want to remind everyone that you might want to help your friend but at the end of the day you should vote based on merit,” said Hacky Sack.

Overbeck commits to UNC volleyball

Sophomore Carson Overbeck will be playing for UNC’s volleyball team starting 2021.

On April 11, Carson Overbeck, sophomore, announced her verbal commitment to UNC volleyball. Overbeck has been an integral part of the CHS varsity volleyball team since her freshman year. Overbeck additionally plays as a libero or defensive specialist for Triangle Volleyball Club. Now, Overbeck is excited to continue the next phase of her volleyball career at UNC.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to go to UNC. It’s been a dream of mine. When the opportunity came, I was really excited and knew that it was where I wanted to go,” said Overbeck.

Overbeck thinks that UNC has a very accepting and friendly culture and can’t wait to be a part of it.

“Everything is always so exciting. I love the coaches. All the players love the school and the team. All of the student athletes are really happy at UNC. I really wanted to be a part of that,” said Overbeck.

Volleyball has been an important factor in Overbeck’s life because of the fun of playing and the friends she gets to play with.

“I’ve always been really passionate about volleyball. I love the sport. I used to play soccer too, but I felt like I liked volleyball better, and I liked going to practice. I enjoy playing it with my friends,” said Overbeck.

Volleyball is not only a source of happiness in Overbeck’s life but also something that pushes her to work hard and do her best.

“For volleyball, I’m willing to go to practice, get better and put in the extra time,” said Overbeck.

Overbeck has worked hard not only in her sport but also in the classroom to get this opportunity. Overbeck thinks that time management has been crucial for her achieving balance between her volleyball and school work.

“Time management is very important. With practice every week, you need to stay ahead of your school assignments and put in the extra time,” said Overbeck.

Steve Scanga, CHS varsity volleyball coach, is excited about Overbeck’s commitment and looks forward to seeing her progress as a CHS and a UNC volleyball player.
“It is wonderful to hear that Carson has committed to UNC. She is an excellent athlete with great focus and drive, and I am certain that she will be a fine addition to the UNC program. I am looking forward to her playing with the Jaguars for two more years before she moves on to
the next level,” said Scanga in an email interview.

CHS competes at SkillsUSA

Senior Juan Ramirez won 4th place for his design

Formed 54 years ago, SkillsUSA is an organization that offers opportunities to CTE students across the nation. With state competitions as well as a national competition, students are able to improve their skills and engage with other talented individuals in many different areas.

From fantasy makeup to cabinet making, skillsUSA offers it all; there is a competition for everyone, and many talented students to test one’s skills against. Even if someone doesn’t end up with a medal, they can still grow from the experience of competing against people who are as capable or more capable than they; a huge part of improvement is the ability to compare one’s work of ability to that of others, and adapt accordingly.

Last weekend, thirty-odd Carrboro High Schools students set off to SkillsUSA NC, ready to compete against other North Carolinians in contests such as advertising design, technical drafting and video design.

There were issues with the bus, which ended up leaving the school an hour late, and the hotel the students were meant to stay at was overbooked; despite these setbacks, all hands were on deck, and all students were able to participate in their competitions.

Once on site, some students had to attend orientations, some set up displays for their design work and some were busy filming in and outside of the hotel. The experience for students in different competitions varies greatly, and all participants are expected to attend and complete what they need to without help–this enforces the idea of responsibility, since students must be fairly independent (though a buddy system is in place to ensure safety).

After two days of hard work, fourteen different Carrboro High School students placed top five, three of those being first-place; the categories students placed in were adobe video design, adobe visual design, advertising design, digital cinema, extemporaneous poster, poster and T-shirt design. Congrats to CHS SkillsUSA!

The origins of Prom

From left to right: Juniors Kaya Hencke, Ella Speer, and Brynn Holt-Ling sell tickets at lunch. Photo by Chelsea Ramsey

As juniors and seniors look for dresses, tuxes and maybe even a date for the the annual, school-sanctioned and widely famous prom, one might wonder, where did this tradition come from?

Firstly, let’s address the name. Prom is short for promenade and can be easily defined as  a formal parade of guests. But the idea of this century’s kind of prom originates back to 19th century American universities. There, they held co-ed banquets honoring that year’s graduating class, according to Time Magazine.

Time also suggests that the banquets kept getting pushed to younger and younger students, until the 1940s where it took its hold on American high schools. In the 1950s, schools began to allow proms to be held in hotels and country clubs due to the thriving postwar economy.

Back then it was a parade of the graduating class, but what does it mean to us now? Because the event stems back generations, the reasons that we have prom have changed greatly over the years. Parker Zinn, Carrboro junior and Junior Class Council President, believes that prom is a opportunity for students.

“Prom gives students the opportunity to spend a magical night with their peers outside of the classroom and really treat themselves to the experience of a lifetime,” said Zinn, in an interview via email.

While prom is a world-wide phenomenon, and has universal traditions, Carrboro also has its own traditions.

Ella Speer, junior and Class Council’s Multi-Media Manager, shares her take on one beloved Carrboro prom tradition.

“I would say that the promposals are one of the most exciting aspects of Carrboro’s pre-prom anticipation,” said Speer, also via email.

So why have we kept these traditions alive? Zinn elaborated on the significance of the occasion.

“We believe that prom is a vital part of the high school experience because of its unique nature. All students have the opportunity to come together and celebrate each other at a formal dance, spending the night worry-free and having a blast,” said Zinn.

To promote this idea of coming together and celebrating each other, Carrboro’s Junior Class Council says that they cannot do without inclusivity.

One way they worked on inclusivity was making sure everyone could afford prom by making sure everyone could access formal wear, and offering a discounted ticket prices for those in need (see Ms. Crider in the CIC for discounted tickets and formal wear).

“This year, we hope to diversify prom and make it more inclusive to all. We have discounted ticket prices for students unable to afford regular ticket prices, additionally advertised Cinderella’s Closet and other dresswear businesses for discounted or free dresswear, and we have spoken with students around CHS to discuss ways we may make prom more inclusive and enjoyable for all,” said Speer.

Cinderella’s Closet is a charity that compiles gently used and donated formal wear for those who need it. The charity will be held the day of prom, April 13, at the Christ United Methodist Church in Southern Village. You can go there to find dresses, shoes, jewelry and other prom essentials, or you can donate any used prom items for others to try on.

Carrboro’s Junior Class Council worked extremely hard on this year’s prom and can’t wait to see attendees on April 13, at Governor’s Club from 8pm -11pm.

Carrboro “Springs Forward”

This spring, we set the clocks forward an hour, losing an hour of sleep for some. Photo courtesy Federico Respini via Unsplash.

Daylight Savings Time brings mixed responses from students and teachers. “Spring Forward” brings an especially large amount of controversy. In Spring Forward, clocks move forward one hour, and people disagree on whether the extra hour of sunlight is worth the confusion and loss of sleep.

According to National Geographic, Daylight Savings Time started in Germany with the goal of saving coal energy in World War I. In 1918, the United States also decided to start the biannual time change. Although many sources suggest that Daylight Savings no longer saves energy, the U.S.—except for Arizona and Hawaii—still springs forward today.

Starting Sunday, March 10, Standard Time changed to Daylight Savings Time, and people throughout Carrboro and the U.S. have had to adjust.

A major problem with Spring Forward is the negative impact on sleep. The sudden change in time conflicts with people’s natural circadian rhythms, which take a few days to adapt. The week after Spring Forward, many students say they feel tired and have trouble going to sleep early enough.

Students and teachers often find the sudden change hard to adjust to.

“I think it’s more disruptive than it is beneficial,” said CHS science teacher Robin Bulleri.

For many Americans, this sleep disruption can have dangerous consequences. CNN reported that Spring Forward correlates with an 8 percent increase in strokes, a 10 percent increase in heart attacks and an unusually high number of injuries and car accidents in the few days after the time change.

However, after a few days, people’s circadian rhythms adjust to the change, and this increase in risk falls again. At this point, many students enjoy the additional hour of sunlight at the end of the day.

“I love having more sunlight in the afternoon because I can sit outside and do my homework, and it doesn’t get dark during track practice,” said Elly Hensley, senior.

Many students agree that later sunsets make them less tired while doing their homework and playing sports in the evening. In the long-term, this extra evening sunlight makes them appreciative of Daylight Savings Time.

“It improves my overall mood so much,” said Hensley.

After a few days of adjustment, most of CHS is starting to get back to a regular sleep schedule. Students and teachers can look forward to even sunnier evenings as we approach summer.

New at CHS: Registration Night

Incoming freshmen and parents line the gym during an icebreaker for Registration Night. Photo courtesy Lucy Carroll

On Monday, March 4, Carrboro High School held its first annual registration night from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Registration night allows for any student to come to school and explore different class options for the next year, speak one-on-one with their teachers and let parents interact with teachers.

“The purpose of tonight is to give grade level information for students who will be attending Carrboro High School next year, particularly for students who are rising ninth graders who have never been to Carrboro before” said Ashley Freuler, eleventh grade counselor.

All throughout the school, activities and meetings took place. The commons of the school were filled with posters and signs promoting elective courses for new students to take a look at. The school library and some of the classrooms contained teachers talking to parents and students alike about their upcoming school year.

The school was mainly filled with rising freshman coming to Carrboro High School, exploring the hallways they will soon be walking for the next four years.

In the gym, a huge icebreaker activity took place for freshman students, where staff, students and parents could get to know each other. Two lines were set up running along the perimeter of the gym, and as the two lines moved in opposite directions. Those attending were told to answer questions like “What are you looking forward to?” or “What is your biggest fear about high school?”

“[The icebreaker] was trying to help normalize the experience, parent to parent, of this transition. Most people that came, this is their first child in high school, and it kind of freaks people out sometimes, and so I think it was to minimize that stress, to help people know that there are other people feeling similar things,” said Michael Horton, Carrboro social studies teacher.

A presentation was then given to inform students and family about class information for the upcoming year.

“For freshman academy, they had a specific talk introducing students to information focusing on registration, on courses and sort of general information about Carrboro High School,” said Freuler.

Carrboro’s hope for the night was to give students the information needed to make the best decisions for next year’s class, as well as to become more comfortable with the school and staff in preparation for next year.

We’re hoping that students will feel more comfortable already having been to Carrboro, that they’ll start to feel connected to Carrboro before they even step foot in the door on their first day of ninth grade,” said Freuler.

“You know, before you know it, it will be summer. It will be that time to start back up again, so if we can get as much of it done beforehand, it makes it easier for us to work in it throughout the summer,” said Ken Lathan, twelfth grade guidance counselor.

MLK Day: A day on, not a day off

Martin Luther King Jr., born in 1929, was a civil rights activist and pastor from Atlanta, Georgia, who propelled the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century with his leadership. He gave hope to many African-Americans around the United States and took a stand at combating racial inequality in the nation.

Along with his rise in fame during the 1960s, King gained many enemies and opposition due to his stance on civil rights and peaceful protest. Despite personal death threats and attacks against him and his family, including a bomb thrown into his house in retaliation to the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, King stood strong and maintained his fight for the rights he believed in. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but his legacy lives on in modern civil rights protests and especially during MLK Day.

Soon after King’s death, a campaign to honor his life works and achievements began, with President Ronald Reagan finally signing the MLK Day holiday into effect in 1983. With King’s birthday being January 15, the holiday was officially recognized on the third Monday of January, close to his birthday.

This year the holiday, recognized on January 21, was given the title ‘the MLK Day of Service’ by the Corporation of National and Community Service. It is considered a day of service because it “is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community,’” and is observed as a “day on, not day off.”

The website of the MLK Day of Service has volunteer opportunities posted for anyone to attend, including anything to help others; it does not just have to be related to civil rights. Volunteer opportunities in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro region include driving a senior to the doctor, the youth cloth bag project, volunteering with churches and more.

Though we just have one day to memorialize Martin Luther King and his monumental achievements, you can sign up to volunteer at any time of the year in his honor by visiting https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve-your-community/mlk-day-service.

Blended Classes and Block Schedule: Good or Bad?

This year marks the first school year that both blended classes and block schedule are being implemented in the classroom. Many students had their initial doubts about the changes coming to CHS, but the freshmen students now conclude that the changes were for the best.

Rekiyah Bobbitt, freshmen, likes blended classes because she appreciates that the honors students, who have been through standard classes before, can help out the standard students.

“In marketing class, and all my other classes but marketing especially, whenever I have trouble, some honors students help me,” said Bobbitt.

Bobbitt also believes that blended classes create a more inclusive and less stressful school environment.

“If it was separated ㅡ only standard in one class and honors in the other ㅡ it would make children feel excluded or not as smart if they weren’t in honors,” said Bobbitt.

Katherine Stephens, freshmen, thinks that blended classes bring many people together in an inclusive and accepting way.

“I think it’s nice that we can interact with a more diverse group of people,” said Stephens.

“It’s not like the honors kids sit together and the standard kids sit together; it’s really mixed. The only way that you can really tell who’s in the different classes is which papers they get when the teachers hand them out,” said Stephens.

Bobbitt understands that block schedule is an effective way to allow freshmen to adjust to high school.

“I feel that it’s a little less stressful, and there are less due dates since it’s less classes to take. You can really focus on the five subjects you have. It’s less homework, and you get to know your teachers better,” said Bobbitt.

However, Bobbitt says she would prefer to not have block schedule for the rest of high school because she thinks that after freshman year, she will be adjusted to high school and would rather have classes with different people.

“I think we should go back to all seven periods, so we can see different people in our different classes,” said Bobbitt.

Stephens acknowledges that blocked schedule means that students have less homework. However, she doesn’t like the way that the classes are grouped together.

“It’s kind of nice because we don’t have as much homework because we only have five classes rather than seven. I don’t like that now, we have social studies and language arts because those are my two favorites, and in the spring, we have biology and gym, which I don’t like as much,” said Stephens.

Stephens also worries that the students are less likely to remember the material from the classes they took in the first semester.

“The classes you have in the first semester, you might not remember as well the next year because you learned it all in the first half of the year, and then, you get your exams over with,” said Stephens.

The freshmen have exposed that there are many pros and cons to the block schedule and blended classes system. However, they think that the pros outweigh the cons and look forward to what their sophomore year will structurally look like.