On Nov. 17, Wake County Public School System Superintendent Dr. James “Jim” Merrill was named North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year, becoming the only North Carolina Superintendent to win the state award twice. Merrill was named Superintendent of the Year in 2005 while working for the Alamance-Burlington School System. He was again awarded the same title while serving as a top administrator of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Beginning his career in the 1970s as a teacher and coach within the Winston-Salem/Forsyth county schools, Merrill has worked in education for forty years, sixteen of which were with Wake County. In the summer of 2013, Dr. Merrill became the ninth superintendent of Wake County, the nation’s sixteenth largest district which has 177 schools and enrolls about 160,000 students. Merrill says a large portion of his re-election can be credited to his dedication to the district’s Strategic Plan document that calls for the district to “annually graduate at least ninety-five percent of its students ready for productive citizenship as well as higher education or a career.” Merrill, speaking on the current Wake County education system, says, “I’ve never been more urgent or convinced about the importance of shifting how we’re working with kids and preparing them upon graduation for what comes next.”
Do you love watching The Avengers? Welcome the newest member of the Avengers, Doctor Strange. I was really excited to see this movie because I always wanted to know who would play a powerful character and how he would connect with the other Marvel films. Well, they did a good job with that. Doctor Strange is about a former neurosurgeon that embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Doctor Steven Strange, and he played the perfect part. The first time I saw Benedict Cumberbatch was in War Horse and then I became a fan when he played Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Then we have Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Mordo. He is best known for playing Solomon Northup in three winning Oscar film 12 Years a Slave. Then we have our supporting actors Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelson.
There has been talk about humans going to Mars for quite some time now; however there has never been any planned expeditions to the red planet. The human race has the technology to go to Mars, but has not had the motivation and will to do it until now. The time has finally come for humans to land on Mars and colonize the planet, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. In fact, Musk is confident enough to say that he will send eighty thousand people to Mars by 2050. Also, Musk has recently stated that he plans on going “well beyond” Mars, aiming to colonize other planets, moons, and possibly even asteroids. Despite these claims, Mars is currently the most likely candidate, at least in the near future, for humans to land on and colonize.
Musk’s plan to colonize Mars will start with sending equipment and tools necessary for the survival of the colonists. Some of this equipment will be used to make new fuel for the journey back to Earth. Soon after that, the launch of the “Red Dragon” spacecraft will take the astronauts to the red planet sometime between 2018 and 2020. When the colonists arrive on Mars, they will need to find all of the supplies to make an outpost. The equipment needed for the outpost would probably be impossible to lift and move here on Earth, but because the gravity on Mars is only 37% of Earth’s gravity, lifting the heavy equipment should not be a problem for the colonists. These colonists will have to work together to do many things in order to survive as a community on Mars.
Although some are skeptical of Musk’s plan to land on Mars and colonize the planet, SpaceX has already begun the billion dollar project, and Musk is determined to follow through with the expedition. Only time will tell how far Elon Musk’s plan to colonize the solar system will really go, but humans landing on Mars in the near future seems inevitable at this point.
For millions of people, Black Friday is the prime time to tackle Christmas shopping lists. This day is famous for long lines, scary stampedes, and even pepper spray. Stomachs are full from Thanksgiving meals, and for some, it is time to shop till they drop. The Black Friday atmosphere is one of a kind. The numerous door buster deals create crowds of anxious shoppers ready to bargain hunt. Shopping on Black Friday can be very chaotic and stressful. Movies typically showcase the mobs of emotionally-stressed buyers trampling over one another for the best deal. It probably makes you question if the high blood pressure is really worth it. For those of you looking to dodge a headache, here is a Black Friday survival guide.
There are typically two types of shoppers on Black Friday. First, there are the ones that will brave the long lines and love the adventure of snagging a good deal. Pushing and shoving is not a problem for them. Then, there are those that would rather kick back at home and avoid the mass frenzies. Black Friday shopping online and in-stores is not as different as people may think. Either way, going into Black Friday with a game plan can go a long way.
Racism is not a thing of the past. Tiffany Martínez, a Latina student at Suffolk University in Boston, was accused and penalized for plagiarism when she got her research paper back. One comment on her marked up paper particularly stands out as her professor circled the word “hence” and wrote “this is not your word” underlining “not” twice. To add salt to the wound, the professor handed her back a paper she wrote and told her loudly in front of all her peers that, “This is not your language.”
Martinez, humiliated and frightened from the incident, checked her work to make sure it was not plagiarized and properly cited, which it was. “My last name and appearance immediately instills a set of biases before I have the chance to open my mouth,” the first-generation college student says. This only goes to show the oppression on students of minority backgrounds. The amount of prejudice that the academic environment holds against people of color is astonishing and discouraging.
In response to this, Martinez turned to social media and shared her paper with corrections with the caption, “I was hurt badly this morning and publicly humiliated in front of my peers by a professor. They assumed I plagiarized my paper because it sounded too scholarly. How many degrees do I need for someone to believe I am an academic?” Many people responded sympathetically and raised awareness against the discrimination on people of color in academic circles with the hashtag “Hence.”
Leonard and Hazel Cherry got married in January 1942. The couple met and started dating in high school. Leonard was a B-24 bomber pilot for the Army Air Corps at the start of WWII. Together they had a son named David. As David grew up, the couple began running an auto business called “Cherry-Hill.” Years later the couple moved to Woodway, Texas to be closer to their son and grandson named Craig.
Leonard’s health had been deteriorating for years. Days before his death, he was admitted to the hospital while his wife was in the neighborhood nursing home. David stated, “Mother had been driving around town and still going to the grocery store as recently as two weeks ago, but Dad’s health has been failing for years.” Death took Leonard's life at 1:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Center in Waco.
Do you enjoy looking up into the night sky, or do you like learning about astronomy and want to become a scientist when you grow up? Do you want to witness the biggest supermoon that you will probably see only once or twice in your life? On Monday the biggest supermoon since 1948 appeared in the sky. Scientists say “Bigger in fact, than it has appeared at any point in the last 68 years”.
Now I love learning about astronomy and looking up into the stars, but I particularly love looking at the moon because it looks so bright and pretty and large yet so far away. Yesterday we witnessed a moon that is to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons, which is a big difference. A supermoon happens when it’s a full moon on the same perigee which is when the moon is closest to the earth. In America, November supermoon is known as “beaver moon”, because that’s the time of year fur trappers would hunt beavers.
This special supermoon was seen at precisely 1:52 p.m. UTC, and 8:52 a.m. ET. That’s not all; next month on Dec 14th, another supermoon will occur with a side of meteor showers. The meteor shower that will happen on Dec 14th is known as the Geminid meteor shower. The annual event got its name because the meteors look like they're coming from the constellation of Gemini. Do not be surprised if you can’t see the meteor shower because the brightness of the moon will make it hard to see the meteors.
After a late night at the polls this past Tuesday, all results from the Electoral College point toward uncharted territory for the United States. There is no doubt that 2016 has been a historic election year. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton running against reality TV star Donald Trump seems like a political landslide, but somehow it has become the most intense presidential race in decades.
The 2016 Apex High Marching Band has gone out with a bang! They ended the season at Northwest High School, winning 4A/5A Grand Champions and Band of the Day.
This season had tough losses at the Panther Creek Invitational, Providence Cup, and the Mustang Classic. But the marching Cougars pulled out two wins at George Wythe High School in the beautiful Wytheville, Virginia, and Northwest High School in Greensboro. This is the first year the Cougars have had multiple Grand Champion wins since the 2013 season with their Jimmy V show.
This year, the AHSMB performed the show A Celtic Fantasy, which wowed crowds with stunning music selections like “Kirkpatrick Fanfare”, selections from Riverdance, and “The Irish Washerwoman”. Our very own Visual Ensemble tackled the task of Irish soft shoe dancing under instruction of Autumn Herbert, a former VE member who grew up Irish dancing. The Visual Ensemble was also under direction of Michael Grasty, a Drum Corps and Winter Guard International alum with teaching experience on the national level. The one-hundred member marching band is once again under the direction of band director Mr. Jarvis. They have worked hard under the direction of him and marching tech William Young, who is an AHSMB and Drum Corps International alum.
Jarvis has described senior drum major Detrich Morrison-Jones as “the best drum major he has ever had in his ten years of teaching”. Detrich has been drum major for two years now, has not disappointed crowds and judges across the state. He has not won anything less than first place this season.
Teachers put forth so much effort in order to give students the best educational experience they could possibly receive. Students rarely take into account the hours of careful thought and planning that go into the lessons that they receive every day. Each teacher has a unique style of teaching, and that is what makes each educator important. However, once a year schools recognize a teacher that goes above and beyond for their students by giving them the Teacher of the Year award. This year, Apex High School has rewarded the honorable title to Ms. Erica Hoskins.