Monday, May 16th, was the final deadline for high school’s ARP points.The requirement for each semester is 50 points, however any extra points from the first semester carry over and count for the second. Students earn points by reading books and passing the test for them. Each book has a different point value, depending on the difficulty and length of them. Although many students do not prioritize ARP, it is very important. At the end of each semester, the points each student earned are doubled and it is averaged into their grade as a test. It is very beneficial to many students to get their points over the summer, when they aren’t busy with schoolwork and sports. The library is open on Tuesdays during the summer for students to get started with their ARP These points can make or break your grade, I hope you got all of yours!
Recently, I attended the High School Sports Report Banquet for winter sports (basketball and wrestling). Taylor Campbell, Ryan Holmes, and Nate Martin were also honorees from Laurens Academy. Billy Baker, the founder of the association, did all of the announcing at the banquet and Shannon Johnson, Coker College women’s basketball coach and two-time olympic gold medalist, gave the keynote speech. All of the honorees received an award and got the opportunity to tell the whole room their name, school, and who they wanted to thank. I found that part very intimidating. I enjoyed the experience and am glad I got the chance to go!
A couple weeks ago, many high school students went on a trip to Atlanta. We visited several interesting places, one of them being the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium opened in 2005, due to a $250 million gift from Home Depot’s co-founder, Bernie Marcus. It is one of the largest aquariums in the world and holds 10 million gallons of water. The largest exhibit, the whale shark tank, is 30 feet deep at maximum depth and holds 6.3 million gallons of water. There are tons of great animals to see, my favorite being the Beluga whales. The Georgia Aquarium is a wonderful place to visit and see animals you won’t find in your everyday life.
Besides St. Patrick’s Day, the month of March is best known for the NCAA basketball tournament. “March Madness”, as many people choose to refer to it, is a thrilling event filled with surprising upsets and miracle shots. Many people across the country fill out brackets and compete for money or just for fun with their friends and family. Of course, every year thousands of brackets are completely busted due to upsets no one saw coming. Underrated teams come into the tournament with nothing to lose and often surprise their opponents and the country, and pull off a win against a higher seeded team. The unpredictability of the tournament is the reason it is described as madness.
On March 5th, Taylor Campell, Ryan Holmes, and I participated in our North-South All Star Games. Coach Plowden and Coach Jason coached both teams so we didn’t have to learn new plays or how they coached, which was nice. Taylor and I played on a team with really kind girls and three of them, Jacey Johnson, Alyssa Atkerson, and Molly Wanning, were from our region, so we already knew them pretty well. We had a short practice to learn some plays and a meal together to know each other better, and then we played our game. Both teams played well, but our team ended up winning by 20 points. I really enjoyed the experience!
Anyone who has attended Laurens Academy long enough knows about Mrs. Moore’s chocolate chip cookies. She bakes them every Wednesday for FCA, and everyone looks forward to them. You could say the cookies bring people to Christ because it makes them want to come hear people teaching about the Lord. Also, events at school such as class parties, fundraisers, and other random occasions often feature her fresh-baked masterpieces. My brothers and I sometimes get them after games or practices, when she gives them out to our teams. This is what Mrs. Moore said about her cookies, “I like making cookies for the students and I’m glad they enjoy them. After all, who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie?”
Recently, over the course of three Saturdays, Jason Marlett, Sandy Moore, and current Lady Crusader basketball players conducted a clinic for girls up to age twelve. The clinic attendees learned basic fundamentals of basketball while having with each other. Coach Jason taught them skills such as ball handling and the correct shooting form. One of the girls’ favorite activities was rebounding. I think the girls liked it because they got to hit me as hard as they could. The most important part of the clinic was the devotion time we had each session. Mrs. Moore prepared short but influential lessons for the girls to listen to and get involved in. I really think the girls enjoyed this clinic!
Every year on the third Monday of January, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is a day we set aside to promote equal rights for Americans, and some schools even take time to teach their students about the past struggles with discrimination. Martin Luther King Jr., the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, was a fighter for civil rights, but in a non-violent manner. In 1955, he led a boycott against segregated city bus lines and in 1956, Montgomery buses began desegregating. His work spread and had much success, but on April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed on the balcony of Lorraine Motel. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy will live on forever in America’s history.
Every year, thousands of people across the country make resolutions for the New Year. They hope that the New Year will bring about a fresh start and big changes in lifestyle. This tradition has been around for more than 4,000 years, when the Babylonians would crown a new king or reaffirm loyalty to an old one. In the Roman Empire, city magistrates would have to go before the Roman Senate and make sure they had performed in accordance with the law before being reinstated. Many people fail to actually live out their New Year’s goals for more than several days, however. In fact, statistics show that only about 8% of resolution-makers achieve them.
On November 21st, the high school FCA went to Clemson to participate in Rally in the Valley. The group got to enjoy walking around the school a little and looking at some military aircraft. During the rally, some Clemson students provided entertainment and worship through music before and after the speaker gave his message. Our speaker was Dean Herman, a former Clemson football player who was on the national championship team in 1981, delivered a message about what a real Christian looks like compared to a fake one. After the rally, the students got to see Clemson play Wake Forest and have some food. This trip encouraged the group spiritually and was a great time of fellowship.
On Thursday, November 12th, the varsity girls’ basketball team scrimmaged Woodruff at home. For this being their first time competing this year, they did a pretty good job. The Woodruff girls were much bigger and quicker than ours, but Laurens Academy gave them some trouble at times. A few things the team learned they needed to work on after playing included boxing out and rebounding, being stronger with the ball on offense, and making better passes. One of the exchange students playing, Francesca Oed, said, “My first basketball game was very exciting because it’s very different than in practice. I’m happy that I joined the basketball team and I’m looking forward to the next game!”
On the night before the varsity football team’s final game against Greenwood Christian, the cheerleaders put on a fantastic pep rally near the football field. They led the audience in several cheers and performed a few dances to fire up the fans and the football team for the upcoming senior night game. The highlight of the night, however, was the cheerleaders’ skit of the team. Each girl acted as one of the members of the football team and said a funny line joking about their personalities. After the pep rally was finished, everyone was welcomed to roast marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire. The night was a lot of fun and also brought many fans to see some of the middle school game.
Recently, upper school students have begun attending FCA. The high school group meets every Wednesday, and middle school meets every other Wednesday. Their first event of the year was See You at the Pole in September, when students, parents, and administration came to pray around the flag pole. During the meetings, students spend time fellow-shipping, praying, and studying God’s Word, while enjoying lunch. Speakers come every other Wednesday, and student leaders share a devotion on the other weeks. Over the course of the year, FCA members will attend retreats such as Rally in the Valley and the FCA beach trip.
Student Council is a group of students who aim to organize and plan events. They do things like designing homecoming shirts to writng encouraging sticky notes to stick all through the hallways. The members of this year’s Student Council include:
- Ninth grade- Dawson Foster, Julia Kerber
- Tenth grade- Sarabeth McCall, Will Tindall
- Eleventh grade- Jonathan Burns, Sara Spoone, Braden Brewington, Cade Robertson
- Twelfth grade- Josh Urwick, Ryan Holmes
The Student Council’s nearest project is homecoming. They have just designed the homecoming t-shirts and are working to assign dress up themes for each day of spirit week. These students will continue to add their creativity to events for the rest of the year!
This year, Laurens Academy has given each student a planner. These serve two main purposes: keeping track of hall passes and homework. Each week, students are allowed one free trip to their locker, backpack, or the bathroom. Teachers simply sign the planners to show that a student has used their pass for the week. Another purpose of the planners is for students to keep track of assignments and stay organized. They provide calendars for large-scale planning and have pages of individual days for daily work. Also, these student planners have several pages in the front with handy tips about studying, test taking, math, science, and so forth. Personally, I like the new planners and the organization they provide.