the tomahawk Vol.LI, Issue 1 October 31, 2011 Oak Grove Highschool www.thetomahawk.com
Coldplay Comes To Town!
Page 6-7 Features
Social Network Stars:Which will YOU use?
Page 4 Opinion
Warriors Back On Top!
Oak Grove starts off the season to a phenomenal 5-1 record!
Page 2 Sports
Students put a new twist in Homecoming
Photos by RAVEN JONES
By: Morgan GuessStaff Reporter
Jordan Disotell and Hanna Turnage (left) and Allen Jones and Aldraunna McNair (right) parade as part of the Homecoming princes and prin-cesses at the pep rally on September 30th.
Over the summer, Mallory Maples went to the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp as a counselor and came home with an idea that would change Oak Groves home-coming for years to come. After meet-ing a girl with disabilities at camp who had been crowned homecoming queen at her school, Maples thought that Oak Grove should also include students with disabilities in all aspects of school, not just academics. As the idea spread, petitions surfaced all around school, showing the entire student bodys sup-port. What started as Mapless senior project and small student petitions
gained the attention of the school board. Maples sent a proposal to Principal Wayne Folkes as a part of her senior proj-ect thatassured that one maid and one escort with disabilities, whether men-tal or physical, could participate in the schools homecoming. Folkes then informed her that the proposal would have to be ap-proved by the school board. However, the school board reported it was too late to change the school board policy for this year. Although the proposal couldnt be put into action this year, it is a defi-
nite possibility for the 2012-2013 school year according to the school board. The results of the homecoming elections showed that the propos-als and petitions were never need-ed. All students nominated from the community-based classes won home-coming escort and maid for the home-coming court in his or her grade. Those students elected for homecoming court from the community-based classes include freshman escort Josh Mixon, sophomore escort Cha Mar Booth, sophomore maid Sharnee Fairley, junior escort Ryan Hendley, ju-nior maid Amber Williams, and senior maid Kaitlyn Fuller, who is also now in the running for Homecoming Queen. When the results for the homecoming court were announced, there was much excitement throughout the school. When the parents of the newly selected court heard, they were extremely impressed with the Oak Grove student body and, as community-based teacher Mrs. Stacy Todd recalled, many cried. I am so proud of our student body! They really rallied behind campaigning for these students, who normally are not given
these types of op-portunities, Todd said. Students not nominated were recognized as princes and princesses at the
pep rally for the Petal game. In preparation for homecoming, Maples and others are shopping for dresses, and the s students will practice a day in advance for the big night. The Ju-nior Civitan Club is also helping with many of the preparations, Todd said. The results of this homecoming election
prove that the student body of Oak Grove High School has a huge heart. Like Ma-ples, they all believe that the students with disabilities should be given the op-portunities to participate in all aspects of school, including homecoming. The par-ticipants and audience alike will never forget Homecoming 2011. As Mrs. Swil-ley, another community-based teacher, exclaimed, They will never forget this!
They will never forget this!-Mrs. Carmen SwilleyCommunity-Based Teacher
Jake Robertson (top) and Dalton Tech (bottom) greet the crowd at the pep rally.
New Schools Coming Soon to Oak GroveBy:Mary Ryan KarnesStaff Reporter
More crowded hallways, longer cafeteria lines, and a fuller parking lot are all signs of the exponential growth at not only Oak Grove High School but also throughout the Lamar County School District. Last year school officials were in the midst of developing a five-year com-prehensive plan to deal with the influx of new students in the district. Thanks to the work of the Lamar County School Board, these plans will be carried out starting with the construc-tion of a new Oak Grove kindergarten building west of 4th Street and, hopefully, other build-ings, classrooms, and cafeterias all over the district. School Board President Mike Pruitt explained that construction for the new K-5 building is expected to begin this October and end in about a year. This means a mid-year move, but weve proven that our administra-tors, teachers, students, and parents can do this as we moved into the OGLE and OGUE in mid-year of 2010, Pruitt said. There has also been talk among school board members of a
9th grade academy, which could be located on the Oak Grove High School campus and used for that grade only. Additional facilities that could potentially be built for the use of Lamar County Schools include a central track and field and tennis courts that would be used by all high schools in the district. Fortunately, no area of the Lamar County School District budget will be cut in order to pay for these new facilities; however, some debt will be retired over the next year or two to pay for the loan on this new school.Lamar County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ben Burnett has realized the rapid growth within the district and made the commitment to take action before maximum school capaci-ties were reached. We conducted a ten year enrollment study a year ago to determine the long range needs of the school district, Bur-nett said. This study shows that our district could possibly double in size over the next decade and increase to as many as 17,000 students. We have to build new buildings and new campuses to keep up with the growth. Both Burnett and Pruitt agree that without
effective expansion, safety, scores, and the well-being of the student body could be jeop-ardized. When classrooms are overcrowded, it diminishes the environment for learning, not to mention the comfort, safety, and conve-nience of using the public spaces such as hallways, the library, and the cafeteria. Our job as a school board is to continue to plan for our district in order to meet the needs of all our students, Pruitt said. Expansion at Oak Grove is causing and will cause many changes for both students and faculty. Fortunately, the administration is working to meet the needs of each individual. Pruitt asserted that one downside of Oak Grove growth is money that could be used for an auditorium must be used to expand classrooms. This issue of prioritiza-tion, however, is outweighed by the fact that
new learners are being added to Oak Grove schools each year. Pruitt explained that many students are choosing Oak Grove over other nearby area schools because of all the awards it has received, which is an honor to the hard
work of administrators, teachers, and students. I believe schools are the most important component of a communitys economic development efforts and from that we have exciting new retail, restaurants, and offices, Pruitt said. Even though certain aspects of expansion may be setbacks, the construc-
tion of new schools is expected to reduce the burden of overcrowding. It will allow our students more room and will enable us to continue to increase our academic scores and to keep all of our students safe, Burnett said. The exapansion of the Lamar County School District is sure to broaden education opportu-nities for all its students.
...our district could possi-bly double in size over the next decade and increase to as many as 17,000 students.
2 news/sports October 31, 2011
NEWSBRIEFSBy: Miranda Rester, copy editor
Juniors Morgan Eguia and Nick Stevenson both received fives on the AP World History test. Seeing that score made all of the studying I did in AP World History worth it, Eguia said. This test is a three-hour long exam which contains 70 comprehensive multiple-choice questions and three essay questions. Students earn scores ranging from one to five. AP World History covers nearly 10,000 years of human history. The course is fast and furious, to put it mildly, AP World History teacher Christopher Rusco said. Sophomores in AP World History spend many hours doing weekly reading, writing history essays, and working AP exam practice tests. Rusco expected his students to do well on the multiple-choice portion of the test, but he was slightly nervous about the essay portion solely because the course wasnt able to allow students to spend a large amount of time writing essays due to the semester time crunch. Although time restraints forced students to retain a lot of information in a small amount of time, Ruscos students all gave their best efforts on the exam. There are many students who did well, and I am proud of all of them, Rusco said. This year, however, students will get an entire year to prepare for the exam. Also this years AP World History students are learning from a new book which Rusco hopes will make the course more stimulating and hopefully easier for his students to understand.
AP World History Students Max-Out Exam
Rhonda Crawford recieves $5,000 grant.
Last fall, STEM teacher Rhonda Crawford completed a portfolio to apply for a grant to improve her classroom. Crawford received great news at the beginning of this school year. According to a letter from the Mississippi Department of Education, due to her exceptional teaching, Crawfords request for a grant was approved. Crawford
was given $5,000 to improve her classroom which is a blessing for any teacher, but it is especially useful for any sort of techno