The Orange and Black

Martinsburg High 2021 November Issue

MHS Cheerleaders Qualify for State Competition

By Amani Jones

Martinsburg High School cheerleaders ended their regular season with a second place finish at regionals and are now headed to the WV State Cheer Competition on December 11, 2021 in Huntington, WV. The Lady Bulldogs have worked very hard to get to their state competition. Senior Paris Shoemaker said, “I was happy to find out we’re going to states; I'm finally glad that all the 3 hour practices for 6 days a week paid off.” Then junior KeNiya Basey said, “I'm very excited to represent the Eastern Panhandle and our school at states this year. When they announced our names I was mainly relieved. We didn’t put in all that hard work for nothing. I will be very happy and excited to finally hit the states floors along with all the amazing other teams in the state.”

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The 2021-2022 Martinsburg High School Varsity Cheerleading Team

MHS Orchestra Plans Winter Concert

By: Kamaya Denson

The MHS Orchestra will be having a winter concert at the high school on December 1, 2021, at 7 pm. This will be the first orchestra concert students will perform in a while, due to COVID. For many students, this is the first concert they will perform with the high school, and for others they haven’t played at a concert in two years. Because of the pandemic, facial coverings are required, and ideally only small groups of families will attend in order to keep everyone safe. There is still a chance the students will not be able to perform at all. “There is a very real chance that this performance will have to be cancelled,” says Orchestra Director Daniel Jones. They’re still prepared to give a strong performance, but the chance students will get to perform is not100%.

The orchestra students are extremely excited to perform a concert this year. They have put in a lot of hard work and cannot wait to show it. Small groups will perform Christmas tunes in the foyer, as background entertainment, as people make their way through the auditorium. This concert will be shorter than a traditional concert, but the skill and passion students have will still be heard. They will play pieces such as Sifonia in G Major and Concerto for Strings in D Minor composed by Vivaldi, with smaller groups performing Canon in D and holiday tunes. The high school orchestra is a group of about 20 students with cellos, basses, violins, and violas, and they strive to bring good music to the audiences’ ears.

MHS Clubs Organize Upcoming Holiday Activities

By: Karlee Domenico

As the holidays are just around the corner, MHS school clubs are preparing to help people in need this holiday season! National Honor Society, Student Council, and Childrens Hospital Club have set up food drives, fundraisers, and other activities to make sure kids are able to receive something during the holidays.

National Honor Society is planning on setting up a few clothing drives, as well as book drives for local charities. This will be a great thing for kids who do not have clothes or books provided for them, as it will put a huge smile on their face. Laya Chennuru says, “Additionally, we have been packing meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks for underprivileged children in the community. We are also planning on helping with the Martinsburg Christmas parade coming up.” For fundraisers, they are planning on hosting an NHS Blaze Pizza fundraiser within the upcoming months. If anyone is interested in applying for NHS, applications are open to the student body! NHS is also working with other clubs such as Kidz Power Pacs organization, the Children’s Home Society, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Student Council will be holding a food drive on November 12th, that will carry on until November 19th. They will have “Nonperishable food items which they will then donate to the pantry in Martinsburg”, says the President of Student Council, Grace Martin. They are also doing a drive called “Coats for Kids” in which they will take coats, hats, or gloves, and give them to children. For the Boys and Girls club they are putting together craft packages. This year, “We are focusing more on the community projects rather than school projects” says Grace Martin.

The Children's Hospital Club has done a valentines day bake sale in the past, in which they will more than likely hold again. Falcan Yancey says, “Our club is raising money for equipment for the Children's Hospital coming to Berkeley County.” The money will go towards equipment on the current children’s floor here until the new hospital is built. For their most recent event, which was the Powderpuff games and championship, they raised upwards of $1,000. “Our next planned event will be the Male Volleyball tournament”, says Falcan, which will take place in the spring. This event is open to boys, but they will hold other events for the girls to be involved.

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Donations for Student Council Food Drive

Off-Season Activities for MHS Athletes

By: Quinn Hughes

Many Martinsburg High School athletes are very active during the off season and believe that specific things help them as an individual athlete, as well as a team. Junior Jessi Warnick states, “Working out year-round and working on fundamentals and skills at home helps me grow individually on and off the field”. Jessi plays on the softball team and says that they, “have a groupchat all year and check on another consistently.” This helps with team bonding, and being close and comfortable with our teammates is always important.

Martinsburg’s girl's soccer team is doing weightlifting during the off season to help with their strength on the field. The girls soccer team, as well as the boys, has quite a few club players that believe in the value of travel teams. “Playing travel soccer during the winter and spring helps me grow as a player. This growth helps me be a better player for when the high school season comes around”, says Senior Jaelyn Steely. Travel sports are a big help to many athletes at MHS. Senior K’marion Dowe says, “Multiple high school teammates of mine also play travel basketball with me.” He says that he, “prepares for high school basketball with travel basketball, a lot of weightlifting, and individual skill work during the summer and fall.” Many teams at Martinsburg are very active during the off-season and believe that a few of the most useful things are working out, working on your skill, and travel sports.

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Travel Soccer Team

MHS Ecology Club Introduces New Nature Trail

By: Laya Chennuru

The Martinsburg High School’s Ecology Club is in the process of creating a personalized nature walk for the faculty and students of the school. The members of the club not only intend to uphold the school-wide recycling program, but are hoping to broaden their scope in objectives pertaining to ecological learning opportunities beginning with this idea. This nature walk will be paved along the front of the school, towards the tennis courts, and through the grassy area of woods behind the student parking lot. The idea behind this trail was crafted as an opportunity for students to engage in their local environment, in addition to learning about various flora and fauna present in the local community of Martinsburg.

The members of the Ecology Club have begun by creating a website available to all interested guests, in which information regarding key spots and wildlife is advertised for students to appreciate the diversity of Mother Nature within the gates of the school. They have started creating QR codes at various stations throughout the trail, linking them to the website, ultimately to assemble a cohesive source of information. In addition, an installment of a bench at the entrance of the woods is in the works, as the members of the club believe it can be a wonderful way for students to enjoy the serenity of the trail, while possibly researching more about the environment.

The president of Ecology Club, Kesi Boaitey, shares, “I believe the nature hike will be enjoyed by many members of our high school community.” She believes this addition to the school will further enhance the positive, environmental initiative of the Ecology club, while providing new proposals regarding the physical beautification of the high school. The completed nature trail is projected to be available by the beginning of April as a Spring activity for anyone to explore or take part in.

The members of the club are working hard to ensure that this plan is instrumental in adding to the multi-faceted community of the high school. As the Ecology Club continues to map out the details of this long-term project, the members encourage the student body to pitch in more ideas that may enforce an eco-friendly and inclusive environment for everyone involved.

The Impact of Interactive Learning: An Editorial

By: Valerie Clabaugh

Students from Martinsburg High and all around have faced two ways of learning throughout their education. The most common educational tools that have been used are traditional worksheets and book work assignments. With new technology and advancement of creativeness, more teachers are using interactive and hands on learning to teach their classes.

Many students agree that busy work and worksheets are not the best options when it comes to learning. The information is written down only to never be remembered again. Academics becomes centered around the idea of finishing an assignment for a good grade, rather than learning the material. Martinsburg High Junior, Maddie Fishel stated, “I am bombarded with all types of busy work, and it becomes challenging to actually learn the information. I end up having to teach myself before tests but still do not grasp the whole concept. I wish more teachers would do hands on learning, as well as more creative and fun assignments.”

Some teachers are now starting to incorporate more interactive learning into their daily lesson plans. An educational experiment was done through Scholastic to prove the positive impact of hands-on learning, they stated, “In addition to engaging students who are raised in a hyper-stimulated environment, interactive learning sharpens critical thinking skills, which are fundamental to the development of analytic reasoning.” Some teachers at Martinsburg High School have seen the benefits of interactive learning firsthand and strive to create daily hands-on activities. Martinsburg High Human Anatomy/Biology teacher, Mrs. Trina Elliott stated, “Interactive learning is engaging, and you learn better when you are physically doing things. It also is a lot more fun, which helps kids be excited about learning. I personally do not see any value in busy work, because everything learned in school should have a purpose.” Mrs. Elliott's Human Anatomy class does many different hands-on activities throughout the school year, such as dissecting specimens, drawing body cavities with chalk markers on the tables, creating replicas of organs with play doh, and using microscopes to observe different anatomy images. Teachers like Mrs. Elliott create students who have better problem solving and thinking skills, which sets them up for the real world.

Interactive learning will soon become the new path for education. The benefits of these hands-on activities outweigh the success of any other learning tool. Students should be excited for their classes and be able to understand the concepts, as well as use it in the real world. Interactive learning is the number way to achieve this goal for all students. Book work and worksheets were great tools, but times have changed. Students now have other learning needs that need to be met.

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Lab Image of a Scalp Cell from Mrs. T Elliott's Microscope

The ins and outs of a college application

By: Kaitlyn Dudley

Many seniors are currently applying to colleges all across the world. Whether you choose in-state or out-of-state, choosing a college to attend can be one of the most stressful situations for students. Even college terms such as early action, early decision, regular decision, and others can potentially make it more difficult. However, knowing what certain terms mean and how to guide yourself through applications can make the process easier.

As a senior in high school, you would be applying as an undergraduate. Undergraduate means you’re a first-time freshman at college, and/or you haven’t earned a bachelor’s degree. When applying you would also select your term which for most of us will be the fall of 2022. You may apply to schools directly through their own website, or in Common App, which is where you can use the same application for multiple schools. Some universities may also give you a paper application which you can mail back to them. You may also have to write an essay for the college you’re applying to, or submit an application fee. Transcripts are available through your guidance counselor, or a website called Parchment, which you can find a direct link to at our school’s website! Martinsburg High School senior, Falcon Yancey, shared her process with college applications, saying she applied to Wesleyan, WVU, and Virginia State University, and others. She also says, “The most difficult aspect of college applications for me was essay writing. For me, I can’t ever write about something unless I have a spark. Not just something to write about, but I need to be in the mentality in order to write a good essay.” Yancey also says she did not apply to schools using early action or early decision.

Many early-action deadlines have already passed but some will have a second wave, so be sure to check with your school’s deadlines, each of them is unique on their set guidelines. Applying early action means you’ve applied earlier than the regular admissions pool of applicants. It is a non-binding application, and you may receive admissions decisions sooner. Early decision, however, is a binding application, and you are committing to that school if you get accepted. With early decision, be mindful that it should be your first choice school, and you understand what you agreed to. The most common admission plans are regular decision and rolling admission, which is both non-binding and you can make your decision later. Usually, a rolling admissions school will have a decision sooner than a school with a regular decision. After you get accepted and make your decision, you’ll have to submit an academic deposit, and that will secure your spot in your school of choice.

For student-athletes, the process differs in college applications. Averi Bishop explained her process by saying, “Sports make it different because you have to make sure you not only get into the school academically, but since you are applying to go and play a sport, they’ll look at you more closely since they hold athletes to a higher standard.” When discussing college applications on a general basis, she shared, “The most difficult part of applying to college is finishing the FAFSA and how depending on the school, it can be more difficult and consuming, like Penn State.

When making your final decisions on college, make sure it is something that you personally will enjoy and won’t regret choosing. Regardless of acceptance or denial letters from universities, you’ll end up where you belong.
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MHS Senior Falcan Yancey completing college applications

Staying safe This Thanksgiving

By: Margarita Salvador

Every year we have a big celebration for Thanksgiving, a time when family and friends gather around to spend time and be grateful for each other. Since 2020, things have changed when COVID-19 hit. Many people are vaccinated, and some are unvaccinated. The vaccinated people have the advantage of enjoying a safer Thanksgiving. Getting the vaccine is a great precaution and reduces worry about being around other people.

The people that are not vaccinated should take precautions. As the days go by, many people are starting to blend in without wearing masks and not having social distance. Everyone needs to be careful around other people so other people are safe. When traveling outside your town and going to other places, always be safe in your surroundings. Carry hand sanitizer and tissues with you when touching other areas.

However, as families go out to celebrate Thanksgiving, they should think who they would invite and know the people that are coming. According to Today’s, Dr. David Hirshwerk "there are opportunities to safely gather."

Also, according to the New York Times, the health officials are suggesting having small gatherings to stay safer. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said, “You don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving,” explaining how people want to go out places to celebrate the holidays. Brianna Rivera, a student from MHS, talked about what she’s doing for Thanksgiving. Her family is going out of state to Pennsylvania to see her other family. The precaution that they’ll do is to stay some feet apart and always wear their masks.

MHS Holiday Gift Guide

By: K'Marion Dowe

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and finding gifts for friends and family in the high school age group can sometimes be a difficult task. With the help of Martinsburg High students, these gifts have been found to be popular among students.

LED Lights:

Popularized by TikTok, LED lights are a staple in most teen rooms. Almost any teen would be excited to have and utilize these lights in their rooms. Thankfully, many companies make and sell these for various prices. Multiple MHS students recommended the versions that can bluetooth connect to phones, allowing the phones to be able to control the colors on the lights with the tap of a button. Prices range from $20 to $40 depending on the length of light purchased.

Bed Desk:

With the world in its current state, a lot of people are working from home. Students have also been forced to do more work from home than ever before. This is exactly why a bed desk is a popular request from students at MHS, as it can comfortably hold a laptop, phone, tablet, book, and headphones at once. The prices range from $40-$90.

Nike Air Force One Sneaker:

A popular shoe amongst the high school age group, Air force ones are enjoyed due to their all-white appearance going with almost any outfit collection. The all-white colorway is very popular as a repeat buy, as they can become dirty very easily. Regardless, teens still enjoy the timeless and stylish shoe and choose it often to go with their outfits. Even if your teen family or friends have Air Force Ones, they would always appreciate another clean, new pair! The price is $90 in adult sizing, and $80 in kids’ sizing.

Jibbitz Croc Charms:

Crocs have made a resurgence as a popular shoe amongst teens. Many teens already have multiple colors and styles of crocs. As a way to further style and customize the crocs, jibbitz are currently a hot commodity. Depending on the quantity bought, crocs can range from $3 individually to about $10 for a small pack.

Gas Prices Continue to Rise as Winter Approaches

By: Colin O'Kelley

Over the past couple of months, the prices of gas have shot up significantly with no signs of slowing down as the winter months come in.

One reason for these high gas prices is that the Keystone XL pipeline was shut down. This pipeline was created to transport the dirtiest of fossil fuels to various places. However, this pipeline was shut down because it imposes so much risk to the climate. The KXL pipeline has had multiple spills in the past. Some of the segments that were used to build the pipeline were left outside exposed to the elements leaving the anti-corrosion coating to go away, further increasing the risk of a leak. Having fossil fuels spill out all over the environment is not good for our ecosystem, thus leading to a halt in the transport of fossil fuels through the KXL pipeline. When looking at what the price of gas is, it is best to watch what the cost of the crude oil is because that price varies more than the refining, marketing, and taxes of gas price.

The shutdown of the KXL pipeline can affect prices of gas in the long term but something else is going on to have the price rise sharply in mere months. The main reason that gas prices have shown a sharp increase in price in such a short amount of time is because the economy is opening back up after the COVID-19 pandemic. People are starting to commute back to work and are hitting the road, in turn causing the demand for gas to go up. Now that there are less restrictions, oil and gas companies are raising the price because more people are in need of gas to commute to work, school, or travel.

This rise in price is affecting people in the way that they travel. MHS senior, Daniel Balsavage said, “From last year in November Iwas paying about 30 dollars a week from commuting to work and school. Now in 2021 I am paying 40 dollars a week from going to work and school. Since the prices have increased, I have now limited the other places I can go using my car.” Yes, people are paying for gas to get to the places they need but some may be limiting the places they go due to this rise in price. There are a lot of factors that play into the rise in prices today. International and domestic supply of oil production are in a crunch now that people are getting back to work. Hurricane Ida even caused the loss of approximately 30 million barrels of oil. With the economy opening back up and oil production being pushed, it is no wonder the price of gas has risen to where it is. As winter approaches, hopefully the price of gas will hit a plateau as the oil production picks back up.

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MHS Senior Daniel Balsalvage filling up at the pump

The Biltmore: The Place for You this Holiday Season

By: Jason Bednarski

Biltmore is the largest private house in the United States; it is a 250 room French Chateau that is 175,000 square feet on a large estate. George Vanderbilt, who had inherited wealth from his grandfather Cornelias Vanderbilt, who made 185 billion from being a railroad tycoon decided he would build a vacation house for him and his family and friends to get away and relax. Also, The Biltmore was opened to all friends and family on Christmas Eve and that was when the tradition of Christmas at the Biltmore started. Also, it was a popular place for political figures, authors, and industrialists who were friends with George to visit. According to Principal Trent Sherman, “ I would recommend the Biltmore because it is like no other house you will ever walk into. Also because it is a very historic place in which so many people like Presidents, Kings and Queens, and celebrities have visited.” Now the Biltmore is open to the public to explore the grand house and the estate around it and experience what George Vanderbilt would have enjoyed until his unexpected death at the age of 51. “The best part about the Biltmore was the tour,” said Principal Sherman.

If you are looking for someplace to go during the holidays, the Biltmore has events like Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration, which will be available to experience until January 9th; it consists of a tour of the Biltmore that has been decorated with thousands of ornaments, garlands, and Christmas trees throughout the rooms and parts of the large home. Additionally, The Candlelight Christmas Evening which will be able to be enjoyed until January 8th, has a large Norway Spruce outside on the lawn that shines its lights on the house. When you step inside the house at night you will walk through and see a glow coming from all of the candles, fireplaces, and twinkle lights that gives you what the visitors at the Biltmore might have experienced on the first Christmas at the Biltmore. Also, the Antler Village, which is part of the Vanderbilt estate that contains shops, restaurants, winery, hotel, and barnyard that will be decorated with Christmas lights, ornaments, and displays. Another event that might interest fans of art is “Van Gogh Alive,” an entertaining experience where his famous paintings will be displayed and come to life with light, color, sound, and scent, invoking all of your senses to give you a once in a lifetime experience.

Cleaning the Oceans One Dollar at a Time

By: Aden Reid

There are about 17.6 billion pounds of trash floating around our oceans. With eight million tons being added to that every year it’s a big problem to deal with. Luckily, with the holiday season coming up there’s a new group to donate to that needs our support. #TeamSeas, a fundraiser looking to raise money for their ocean clean up project, might be the solution.

The team's goal is to raise $30 million dollars by the end of the year and they promise to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the oceans, rivers, and beaches. So, for every dollar you donate they will remove one pound of trash. The founders and people in charge of this project are famous influencers and content creators Mark Rober and MrBeast. They’ve teamed up with two organizations to split the funds, The Ocean Cleanup and Ocean Conservancy. The Ocean Cleanup develops new technologies to rid the oceans of plastic and the Ocean Conservancy works to protect the sealife and teach people about the impacts we have on the oceans and how that affects all of us.

The oceans affect many things from our daily life to the world's ecosystem. According to Ms. Whisel, one of MHS’s science teachers, “Oceans are important because of the sea life that resides there and also because of economic reasons such as tourism and fishing. We should keep oceans clean to preserve the beauty and life that is found there. Finding trash on beaches would also make the beach less appealing to tourists which is an important revenue source for many coastal areas.” She also said, “Animals may think that the trash is food and can end up sick. Some sources estimate that around 40% of marine animals are affected by eating trash, including endangered species.”

If you’d like to help or are thinking about donating you can do so by visiting the #TeamSeas website, You may select any of the following options to give $5, $20, $50, $100, or any other amount you want. If you’d like you can also purchase something from their shop by selecting the link on the website or going to All the proceeds will go directly to the fundraiser so if you only want to buy a shirt you can. If you want to be a part of the solution, please donate before January 1st, 2022.

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Marvel’s Eternals: A Review

By: Antonio Diaz

Marvel’s Eternals came out on Friday, November 6 and it is the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The Eternals are immortal beings created by Arishem, a Celestial, to kill the Deviants, an alien predator race. The movie sees ten Eternals who were sent to Earth to protect humans from the Deviants. The ten Eternals are Ajak, Ikaris, Sersi, Sprite, Kingo, Gilgamesh, Thena, Druig, Makkari, and Phastos. Each of them is gifted with their own unique abilities.

I found the movie interesting, and I think it did a good job shining the spotlight on characters that are unknown to general audiences. I like how they were able to flesh out each Eternal given that there are ten of them. I believe the movie serves well as a standalone film, meaning that you don’t have to watch any other movie from the MCU to watch Eternals. It always helps having prior knowledge of characters though, especially with the Celestials, who are some extremely powerful beings in the comics. They did a good job of portraying the Celestials; everything about them is imposing, from their appearance to their voice. The chemistry between Arishem and the Eternals shows the gap I power between them. Evelyn Diaz says, “The Eternals are like one big family and like all families, sometimes they have problems.” The Deviants weren’t really as interesting as I had hoped they would be. They showed up every once in a while, and were only there as a way to keep the Eternals busy.

Overall, the movie was good, but not nearly as good as Marvel’s best work. I think it’s because audiences are introduced to so many new characters that one might not be able to keep up with everything that’s happening. Movies such as Avengers Infinity War and Avengers End Game were able to have so many characters in one movie because it was built on for over ten years. This gave time for audiences to familiarize themselves with all those characters. Not only that, but most characters were already well known. Characters such as the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy were already well known as opposed to the Eternals, who aren’t really known even in comics. The ending of the movie was the generic “friendship saves the day” type of thing. Everyone has their own opinion, and if you want to go see it you can. I enjoyed the movie, there were just some aspects that I thought could have been done better. Make sure you stay for the after credits scene, it is a Marvel movie after all.

2021-2022 MHS NEWspaper Staff

Back Row- Antonio Diaz, Aden Reid, Colin O'Kelley, K'Marion Dowe, Kaitlyn Dudley, and Advisor Ms. Foreman.

Second Row- Laya Chennuru, Editor- Valerie Clabaugh, Karlee Domenico, Quinn Hughes, Amani Jones.

Front Row- Margarita Salvador, Jason Bednarski, Kamaya Denson.

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