Notable alumni making it big

John Proctor

With the return of school comes the return of Friday night lights, or more commonly known as high school football. The smell of hot dogs and burgers and French fries, the sounds of blaring band music, cheering fans, the clashing of helmets and pads and 300 pound linemen trampling across the line of scrimmage all fill the cool autumn air. One cannot help but to feel at home as these stimulations of the senses send the mind spiraling back to successful seasons of past. Continue reading “Notable alumni making it big”

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Stranger Things have happened

Courtney Carroll

If you have Netflix, then you’ve probably seen the new summer series Stranger Things as you’ve scrolled through the show and movie choices.

The directors, Matt and Ross Duffer, often referred to as the Duffer Brothers, who have collaborated on other film projects such as Hidden, Eater, and We All Fall Down. The US Cross-Platform Audience established the show to be the most popular digital original series in the United States during the week of July 17th, and 8.2 million people have watched it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 95% critic rating, and it was given four out of five stars on Common Sense media. TV Guide refers to Stranger Things as a “Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King sci-fi thriller”. It has already been renewed for a season two.

The show depicts a small town in Indiana in 1983 where a young boy, Will (Noah Schnapp) is abducted. Will’s mother (Winona Ryder) and brother (Charlie Heaton) cope with his disappearance in different ways as the town’s police chief investigates the case as it becomes stranger and more intense. Will’s friends, Mike, Lucas and Dustin (Finn Wolfhard, Caleb Mclaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo) are greatly affected by the boy’s disappearance and try to aid in solving the mystery as well, where they meet Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who tries to help them. As the search goes on, mysteries such as failed government experiments and supernatural monsters unravel as the show progresses.

Nostalgic viewers continue to watch and recommend Stranger Things because of its 80’s vibe and soundtrack including “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash, “Africa” by Toto, as well as songs by Joy Division, New Order and Dolly Parton. The 80’s atmosphere was  inspired by movies and television programs like E.T., The Goonies, Firestarter, The Thing, Poltergeist, The X-Files, Twin Peaks and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The show was scored by two members of the band S U R V I V E, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon.

Sophomore Ali Woodward had a lot to say on the subject of the show. “I managed to sympathize with characters after just the first episode, and that is a hard thing to achieve. Each character is incredibly singular in their own way, and even the ones that died early on made a fantastic impression on the show itself, but no one won my heart like the children did. I fell in love with every single one right off the bat, and I don’t even like kids.”

Sophomore Marina Hernandez said, “I like everything about Stranger Things. It is addicting without having much action in it. The story plot is brilliant and the character development was done amazingly. You get so in touch with them since they are made more realistic than most TV show characters.”

“I like that it’s horror but not cheesy horror,” sophomore Grace Bost said. “They don’t overuse jump scares and they lead up to big moments really well.”

Viewers want a Season 2. They can’t wait for more from the Duffer Brothers and the talented cast.

Newbies in the art departments

Brooke Foster

Admit it, you’ve seen them. The arts kids. Walking down that dark hallway at the end of the school. What do they learn in there? Who teaches them?

Debra Clinton, an astounding director, play writer, and now Hanover High’s inspiring theatre art’s teacher, may be recognized in the hallway after long term subbing for the department last year.

“I feel very invested,” Clinton said. “The reason I was interested in the job is because I was very inspired by the students. When I got here, there seemed to be a real desire for a stronger theatre program and I responded to that. As a theatre artist, I’m very passionate about what I do and as an educator, I want to share that with kids so to come to an environment where all that fit together, that seemed like a good place to be,” Clinton continued in response to being asked why she decided to stick with the program after subbing last year.

Clinton is not the only person excited about having a new face in the theatre department. Along with her, many student have expressed how much they are looking forward to this year. Between writing, directing, and teaching, she is more than experienced and ready for the job.

“I have a lot of faith in her because I know that she’s really successful in the theater community in Richmond. So I definitely know that she’s going to produce good things at Hanover theatre company and that she knows what she’s doing. She’s really ready and excited and it feels good,” senior Becka Russo said.

Along with Clinton, another teacher has joined the fine arts staff. Carol Ann Dickerson, the new director of Hanover’s award winning choir, has worked here before as well as a part time director.

“It’s been wonderful. Everybody has been very welcoming and I love the community. It’s nice to be back,” Dickerson said,  “I think the art’s are extremely important for the students to be able to express themselves. So many times, sitting in a class doing other activities that wouldn’t be of interest to them, they know that they have to do those activities. But, they come down here because it’s something that they love to do.”

Overall, both the students and teachers are looking forward to an amazing year in the arts department. “Mrs. Clinton is very passionate about what she does, not only in the theatrics, but she cares about all the students and has our best interests in her mind. I’m excited to work with her in class and in Hanover Theatre Company’s productions this year,” freshman Abby Todd said.

Other students have expressed how they appreciate not only the way their new teachers conduct the classroom, but also in the way that they accept all their students and have embraced the program and the students involved.

“She’s a really nice teacher and she welcomes everyone with open arms. She’s a very understanding person. And I’m excited to sing and perform in the winter concert,” freshman Savana Watts said, “I’m looking forward to all the songs we will be singing this year.”

Between new teachers and new students, the arts department is sure to be a success this year. The performing Hawks will continue on their tradition of giving their all and leaving audiences in awe. This year, the dark hallway at the end of the school is definitely in the spotlight.

PRINCIPAL SOARS IN

Callie Robinson

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Kristina Reece talks to students about new football game rules. Photo by Giles Vanhuss.

This year the freshmen aren’t the
only new faces in the hallways. The
student body and faculty had the
privilege of greeting new principal
Kristina Reece as she joined HHS,
ready to begin a year full of promise
and potential.
Before arriving at Hanover, Reece
spent 13 years teaching and working
as an assistant principal at schools
around Henrico County, including
Godwin and Glen Allen. Hailing
from Lee-Davis High School, Reece
knew the reputation that HHS held
and was drawn to elements such as
our variety of course offerings and
fantastic faculty. She knew that her
passion for specialty centers, which
would enrich programs such as EMT,
pharmacy, nursing, biotechnology
and sports medicine, could thrive at
HHS.
More than anything, she knew
that she missed the experience of
interacting with students every day
and that HHS would be the right fit
for her. The first day at such a school
can be an intimidating feat for some,
but Reece was excited and ready to
get going.
Reece spent her summer hopping
back and forth between her sons’
various football and baseball games.
She also enjoyed time at the lake
with family and friends.
While the Reece family is rarely
without a busy schedule, Reece uses
any free time to play with her new
puppy, exercise with a few close
friends or just catch up with her
family. One of her favorite activities
in the fall is attending Friday night
football games.
“It’s such a fun time and a great
way for the community to come together.”
Reece said.
Before attending a combination of
Virginia Commonwealth University,
James Madison University and the
University of Virginia for her various
levels of degrees, Reece recalls
spending her years as a high school
student.
“I was one of those kids that liked
to try everything out.” Reece said
about her high school self. Her extensive
list of activities included
participating in musicals and plays,
running track, cheerleading, playing
tennis and swimming. Reece was a
member of Hanover County’s very
first swim team.
“My advice to freshmen is to find
your niche and realize that while it
might be intimidating at first, there’s
a place for everyone. Teachers, counselors
and other faculty aren’t just
here to give you grades or build your
schedule, they’re here for you to lean
on and help you succeed.” Reece said.
Already an adapted and enthusiastic
part of the HHS community,
Reece looks forward to an excellent
2015-2016 school year. She hopes
the student body will find her to be
an approachable and caring person
who believes in following the rules
and doing what needs to be done in
order for Hanover to be a welcoming
and successful environment for all.
Reece wants to personally meet as
many students as she can, as well as
build good relationships with the seniors
in order to provide them with
the best opportunities for their last
year as HHS students. She strongly
feels that she is here for the right
reasons and looks forward to learning
everything she can about being a
Hanover Hawk.

New development causes unrest

Madison Lee

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The progress on the houses on Cool Springs road is not slowing. Photo by Garrett Gauntt

Location, location, location! An
influx in new housing developments
poses the threat of change in the
population of our schools.
Lately there has been an increase
in the number of construction crews
in Hanover County. Two of the
larger projects currently in progress
in Hanover are the neighborhoods
going up on Cool Spring Road and
on the corner of U.S. 301 and New
Ashcake Road.
In a matter of months several
houses have been built on Cool
Spring Road and progress doesn’t
seem to be slowing. According to
the Richmond Times Dispatch, 117
townhomes and 159 single family
homes will be built. The project
was originally approved in 2009
with the expectation of constructing
only 236 single family homes, but
this model was changed and reapproved
by the Board of Supervisors
in 2011 to include townhomes. All
students residing on Cool Spring
Road currently filter into Pearson’s
Corner Elementary School, Chickahominy
Middle School and Atlee
High School.
The impending neighborhood
on the corner of U.S. 301 and New
Ashcake Road has been the cause
of much uproar in the community.
The development is to cover
104 acres with 131 townhomes, 286
apartments, and 115 single family
homes. This model is to be a multiuse
land, meaning that it could include
office spaces, business parks,
as well as retail uses, making it more
of a small village or town. In addition,
this new neighborhood will be
equipped with pedestrian walking
trails and sidewalks connecting the
homes, stores and office spaces.
Furious residents took it into
their own hands to petition and gain
support for the opposition of the
new development. This group of
residents created a website entitled
“Save Pearson’s Corner and Hanover
County” where they listed many
points against this addition including
the increase in traffic, pollution
and the population of the already
overcrowded schools. This group
also raised the concern that the increase
in residential areas will decrease
the value of the already existing
homes in the community.
“In gerneral, when you analyze
the costs, residential development
requires more infrastructure and
pays less in taxes than commercial
development,” Glenn Millican,
Board of Supervisors candidate for
the Mechanicsville district, said.
The developers estimate that the
general population generated by the
addition of residential houses will be
1,432 people with only 287 of those
being school aged children. The
School Board Office predicts that
one quaretr of those students will attend
the middle school and another
quarter of them will attend the high
school. The remaining half will go
to the elementary school.

iPhone 6s is revealed

Willie Sadler

It’s that time of the year: the
time for a new iPhone. The iPhone
6s and 6s Plus were available to
buy in store on September 25.
Apple has brought forth new
features with the two new phones,
not just upgraded specs. One of
the new features worth noting is
the addition of 3D touch.
With this, the phone can
detect how much pressure is
pressed on the screen. This allows
users to quickly access certain
functions, such as creating a new
text message, by pressing on the
messages app. When 3D touch
is enabled, the phone will subtly
vibrate to let the user know.
“I believe that, as a fairly new
technology, most people will
be hesitant to use it. Since it is
a new technology, there won’t
be many practical uses for it,
however, over time I think that
it will become a more prominent
feature distinguishing their brand,
and will eventually be adopted
by others as well,” junior Will
Chesley said.
The design of the phone has
changed too. There was bad press
about the iPhone 6 Plus bending
last year. This year Apple has
beefed up the body of the phone
with the same grade aluminum
that is used in aerospace
engineering, 7000 series. The
glass on the screen, according to
Apple’s website, is “the strongest,
most durable glass used in any
smartphone.” The phone is
available in a new color, rose gold
as well.
To go along with 3D touch, the
camera has something new too.
The camera app now allows for
‘live photos’ to be taken. These are
photos that, when pressed on, will
move and have sound. Essentially,
they are photos that can ‘come to
life’.
People who get easily annoyed
with waiting for the phone to load
will be happy with the upgrade.
With the help of the new A9
chip, the phone is considerably
faster than previous versions. The
Wi-Fi and LTE of the phone are
upgraded which will also increase
the speed of the phone.
The phones come in 16, 32 and
128 gigabyte models. They will
also all have iOS 9 installed.

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