The Orange and Black

Martinsburg High School December 2022 Issue

Velocity Dance Team Goes to Nationals

By: Ruby Amores

In March of 2023 Velocity Dance Team (VDT) will make their way to Orlando Florida for the National Dance Alliance (NDA) National Championship. “Martinsburg High School’s award winning Velocity Dance Team recently made history by becoming the first dance team in Berkeley County to qualify for a national competition,” said Nicole Sergent, VDT parent. This competition takes place in March from the 3rd through the 5th in the Orange County convention center. Nationals will welcome dance teams from around the United States and now they will welcome our very own Velocity Dance Team. Before going to Nationals; first you must be invited by the NDA. “There are multiple ways to qualify for nationals, like if you win an NDA competition; if you get first place you get a place at nationals, or you could submit through a video” said junior, Leila Sergent, three year member of VDT. “We submitted a piece of one of our competition dances and we got a bid for that dance to be able to go to nationals,” said senior and dance captain, Mariah Bispo.

Local competitions are done through the Universal Dance Association, so VDT chose to submit a video. Once they were accepted by the NDA they began their preparations for Nationals. “We are practicing any moment we can, we are inviting people to come in and watch us and critique us so that we can get stronger and so that we can learn how to be better dancers,” said Mariah. Nationals is a highly competitive environment, so the team has been doing everything they can to prepare including training with ankle weights. Velocity has also been fundraising non-stop in order to pay for their flights and hotels. Since the beginning of December they have raised over $6,000 leaving them with $11,000 more to raise. They raised money by selling MHS wooden ornaments, spirit nights with Panda Express, Angelo’s Pizza and Black Draft Distillery, corporate sponsorships where companies can pay to be represented by the team, collecting used sneakers for to distribute to those in need, a Parents Night Out, and their iconic Dancing with the Dogs Youth Camp.

The team will be departing BWI at 3:00 am on March 2nd and arriving in Orlando around 8:00am, where they will spend their day at Universal Studios. The competition begins early March 3rd. VDT will be competing in jazz, hip-hop, and Pom. They learned their routines over the summer with choreography by Alexis Johnson a choreographer from Fayetteville, NC. All of Velocity is filled with anticipation for Nationals, between traveling, competing, and just bonding as a team. “I’m really excited to fly, and there’s like four of us to each hotel room, I’m really excited to just be in Florida and get to see everyone else compete,” said Leila. “I’m really excited because this is our first time going to nationals, so no one knows what to expect,” said Mariah. These dancers are working hard to be able to compete in Nationals, from fundraising to practicing they will be ready! “Thank you to everyone that has supported velocity along the way, and is continuing to support us that it doesn’t go unappreciated,” said Mariah. For more details follow @velocitydanceteam on Instagram, @VDTMHS on Twitter, Velocity Dance Team (VDT) on YouTube, @vdtmhs on Tik Tok, and Martinsburg High Velocity Dance Team on Facebook.

MHS Winter Senior Spotlights

By: Savannah Malatt

Martinsburg High School would like to recognize their 2022 winter sport athletes. The senior athletes chosen were asked to answer three questions on their preferred sport. All of the 2022 winter sports consist of girls basketball, boys basketball, swim, and wrestling. These seniors are representatives for MHS sports and the MHS community. Many of these athletes also participate in other activities around Martinsburg. The following questions asked were focused on how well the teams work together and prepare for the season.

Question One: Do you plan on doing this sport in college? If so, which college?


Lilly Reisenweber: “I actually do not plan on swimming in college through the NCAA but I do plan on swimming on West Virginia University's club team. They still practice, travel, and compete so it's a lot of fun without the stress.”

Madison Henry: “I plan to swim in college for the club team at WVU but not for the school.”

Pepi Pospisilova: “No, because we don’t do college sports in Czech Republic, but I plan to do it for fun.”

Billy Mccune: “No, I do not plan to swim in college.”

Madison Fishel: “I’m going to focus on my studies in college, so I don’t plan to play any sports, but I hope to participate in intramural sports if I have time.”

Kaiman Alter: “I’m not fully decided on this but I’m considering joining WVU’s club swim team in college.”

Girls Basketball:

Aysha Baker: “I don’t plan on playing basketball in college.”

Kaila Fitzpatrick: “Yes I do. I don’t know which college yet, but whichever college offers me, I will happily go there!”

Boys Basketball:

Avion Blackwood: "I currently do not have plans to play basketball in college."


DJ Hasenbuhler: "I do not plan on wrestling in college."

Question Two: How do you feel this season will go compared to last season?


Lilly Reisenweber: “My goal is to always start out where I was this time last year and work my way up. Swimming is different than a lot of other sports; It is very mentally challenging. I definitely have a new mindset going into this season as it is my last, so I 100% feel I can achieve some of my goals that I didn't reach last year.”

Madison Henry: “I feel like the season will go fairly well. We have a lot of really talented new swimmers that have a lot of potential. For me, personally, I am hopeful that this season will be better; I just need to push myself a little more.”

Pepi Pospisilova: “I feel very good about this season. I already hit my PRs and this is just the beginning of the season, so I’d say that’s pretty cool and I have a good season ahead.”

Billy Mccune: “The team has grown so much this season. There is lots of participation in the freshman class and the girls team is doing great.”

Madison Fishel: “I am hopeful that the season will be even better than the last! We were able to go to states last year for our relays, and have already improved those times so far this year.”

Kaiman Alter: “I feel that this season will be a good one. I’m surrounded by awesome teammates and I’ve been working hard to improve personally.”

Girls Basketball:

Aysha Baker: “Unlike last year I feel like we have enough spirit and power this year to hopefully make it to states.”

Kaila Fitzpatrick: “I didn’t go to this school last year but I heard it wasn’t good. I think we will build as a team this year and do very well.”

Boys Basketball:

Avion Blackwood: “We are faster and more fluid than we were last season. We are nailing down our plays in everyone’s head, so our offense improves.”


DJ Hasenbuhler: “I personally think we are about the same as last year. I don’t think we should improve anything.”

Question Three: How have you prepared for the 2022-2023 season?


Lilly Reisenweber: “I have been training all through the summer with my club team in Virginia. They always push me to be the best I can be in and out of the pool so I definitely think that will pay off this season.”

Madison Henry: “To prepare for this season, I have stayed active out of season in other sports as well as doing strength and conditioning that is centered around swimmers needs.”

Pepi Pospisilova: “I played volleyball before to keep me, and especially my shoulders, fit. I also swam in my club a lot, or just on my own to have some contact with water.”

Billy Mccune: “I conditioned at the Shepherd pool and ate healthy throughout the summer.”

Madison Fishel: “I’ve prepared for the 2022 season by strengthening my muscles and building endurance by working out daily, participating in other sports, and studying swim techniques.”

Kaiman Alter: “I’ve attended every practice that I was able to and I train outside of practice time.”

Girls Basketball:

Aysha Baker: “I've been conditioning since September and maintaining a healthy diet along with giving my body the proper rest it needs.”

Kaila Fitzpatrick: “I have worked on my skills along with working out in the gym to better myself for the season.”

Boys Basketball:

Avion Blackwood: “I practiced my skills throughout the summer to better myself for this upcoming season.”


DJ Hasenbuhler: "I worked out with my team and go to all of our practices."

MHS Newspaper is excited to be able to interview some of our 2022 senior athletes for this winter season. These seniors have been an outstanding leaders for the Martinsburg High School athletic community. To find the schedule or any other information for all four of these sports, go to the Martinsburg High School homepage and look at the calendar.

Bulldogs Prepare for Winter Wonderland Week

By: Valerie Clabaugh

Martinsburg High School Student Council and Interact Club are hosting a week of winter fun for all MHS students and community members. This winter week will consist of Winterfest, pep rally, spirit week, and finally winter formal. These exciting activities will be held the week of January 9-14th. Martinsburg High School Student Council and Interact Club members are working hard to create an unforgettable Winter Wonderland Week.

The Winter Spirit week will be held through January 9th to the 13th. Each day will consist of a fun winter spirit day, for all MHS students to dress up. These spirit day ideas will be created by Student Council members and then posted to the MHS Student Council Instagram page for all students to vote. On January 11, Student Council we be holding Winterfest after school. “Winterfest is an event targeted towards younger children in our MHS community. There will be activities geared towards children, such as crafts and games,” stated Student Council President Chloe Thomas. At the end of winter spirit week, a game show themed pep rally will be held. The pep rally games will all be based on game show ideas and can be played by any MHS students interested. If interested in participating, contact your class officers. The winter week will finally wrap up with Interact Club’s Winter Formal. Winter Formal will be held January 14th, 7-9pm in the MHS large gym. The tickets will be sold to all grades, at each lunch from January 4th-13th. The tickets will be 15 dollars and all money will be donated to Cancer Research Foundations. Senior, Olivia Travis stated, “I know everyone has been touched by cancer, whether it’s been themselves, friends, or family members. I know we all were touched by the passing of Brett Twigg and Deb Myers. That is why we wanted to host a Winter Formal Fundraiser in their memory. All funds raised will be donated to cancer research. We hope to see lots of students come to support and have fun.”

The winter fun week is not only for MHS students' enjoyment, but to also support a good cause. The donations received from these events will make an impact on our community, in hopes to help with the fight against cancer. These clubs encourage all students to participate in these exciting winter activities. For more information about any of these events, contact Student Council members or Interact Club members.

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MHS Winter Formal Poster!

Guidance Secretary Kellye Kidwell Retires

By: Bella Walsh
Kellye Kidwell has decided to say goodbye to Martinsburg High School after spending her last four years working here. Before she worked at MHS, Ms. Kidwell worked at Spring Mills Middle School working with in school suspension. Ms. Kidwell's title here at MHS is the guidance secretary, or as she likes to call it, the “chaos coordinator.” Some of Ms. Kidwell's duties include registering enrollment and withdrawals, senior awards coordinator, organizing transcripts, and entering SAT/PSAT/ACT scores on transcripts. Her last day here will be December 22nd. Ms. Kidwell shared that she loves everything about Martinsburg High. She has loved her job, the administration, and all the students here, especially her TAs!

After saying goodbye to MHS, Ms. Kidwell is so excited for what her future holds. She will be a stay-at-home "mimie" for her future grandbaby! She could not be more excited! She is also looking forward to traveling more with her husband and her two golden babies! She plans on sewing, specifically making baby quilts. Ms. Kidwell would like to do continue to volunteer at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Eventually she would like to volunteer reading at elementary schools as she used to do a long time ago! She would also like to volunteer in the maternity ward rocking babies! Don’t worry, she will be busy! Martinsburg High will certainly miss Ms. Kidwell!

Candy Canes: The Christmas Candy

By: Jason Bednarski

What candy is the most popular during the months of November and December? The answer to that question is the candy cane because 1.76 billion candy canes are produced every year in just the United States alone. The origin of candy canes can be traced back to seventeenth century Germany. Also you may be surprised to hear that candy canes were not always that classic red and white color that most know and love, but instead it used to be a plain white candy.

The Candy Cane is a very interesting candy because it is not one of those candies that are popular no matter the season or time of year , but it is one of the most popular candies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. According to the National Confectioners Association “candy canes are the number one-selling non-chocolate candy sold during the month of December, with 90 percent of the red and white striped treats sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The candy cane is a well-known Christmas candy that has been around since it was invented in seventeenth century Germany. According to Martinsburg High School student Loren Bell, “I would think candy canes were a more recent invention. Maybe the 1900’s.” The candy started as just a simple candy stick because it was used by the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral and gave them to his youth singers to help keep them quiet during ceremonies. The choirmaster later bent the candy to have the candy cane look more like a staff to give it more of a religious significance because the board of the church told the choirmasters that sweets were not allowed in a holy place, according to

The Candy Cane seems like it is a candy that has been created the same throughout its entire history. It has not always been the iconic peppermint red and white striped candy that most people would expect. When it was first created it was a plain white sugar stick that was bent like the letter ‘j’. Then mass production of candy canes began during the twentieth century that made it easier to mix the different colored candies into the one candy cane. So the candy cane took on the iconic red and white stripes and peppermint flavor. According to Bell, “Candy Canes are known for their red and white coloring. I think it would be less iconic and popular if they were only white.”

Which Grinch Stole Your Heart?

By: Phoebe Porter

Dr. Seuss’s famous “scrooge-like'' character, the Grinch, first debuted in a publication of Redbook Magazine, which featured Seuss’s illustrated poem, “The Hoobub and the Grinch." Just two years later, in 1957, Seuss published “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” later noting that it was the easiest of his stories to write. “Something had gone wrong with Christmas, I realized, or more likely with me. So I wrote the story about my sour friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that I obviously lost.” Seuss, a military cartoonist during World War II, continued to incorporate political messages into his later publications. “Yertle the Turtle,” published in 1958, tells the story of Adolf Hitler’s rise in Germany through a tyrannical turtle with ambitions of expanding his rule beyond his pond. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” though having obvious moral implications, additionally highlights materialism and greed, which are especially prevalent during the holiday season.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was a colossal success, and has sold more than 7.5 million copies since its original publication. Soon after its release, Seuss was approached about developing his story into an animated film. Seuss was notoriously “anti-Hollywood” and was reluctant to relinquish the rights to his story, but he eventually became willing to collaborate with a former colleague, Chuck Jones. The animated adaptation was a major undertaking, featuring a 12-voice choir, a 34-piece orchestra, and consisting of 25,000 drawings. The movie version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” also gave the Grinch his sidekick, Max the dog, and his familiar green color.

Over thirty years after the original animation aired on CBS network, several major studios began to develop ambitions of creating a live-action version of the holiday classic. At this time, the rights to the story belonged to the widow of Dr. Seuss, Audrey Geisel. Audrey, hesitant to sell the rights to her husband's beloved story, had several stipulations; she must receive 4% of the box office gross and 50% of merchandising revenue. Additionally, she insisted that an actor of the same status as Robin Williams or Jim Carrey would star as the familiar green anti-hero. Universal Studios eventually secured the rights, and hired Ron Howard to direct and Jim Carrey to play the Grinch. In 2018, Dreamworks Animation announced that they would be producing a modern animation with an abridged title, “The Grinch,” directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the Grinch.

The three adaptations of Seuss’s original holiday tale raise much debate around the Christmas season. Though featuring a more involved plotline and incorporating more humorous elements, the muted tones and special effects used in the live action film are often said to be unsettling for many viewers; the costumes and makeup have been especially criticized. Additionally, Carrey’s performance in this version is often described as scary or disturbing, and many viewers are turned away from his over-the-top acting. The 2018 animation was met with major pushback; many felt that a third adaptation was unnecessary and that the screenplay for this film was stale and unimaginative. The students of MHS voted on their favorite version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and the results concluded that the live-action version is the clear winner!

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Martinsburg High’s Annual Snow Prediction and Weather Forecast

By: Ruth Amoreno

The Farmers Almanac has been around since 1818. The Farmers Almanac has been doing their annual snow prediction since 2000. The Farmers Almanac works collaboratively with Wood TV and ACCU news network to predict what winter will be like for West Virginia. Together they predict that winter will be, “Colder than normal with below normal precipitation, with above normal snowfall." Together they predict our first snowfall will be January 5, 2023 before 8pm with 1 to 3 inches expected.

Mr Czarnecki, MHS social studies teacher said that he was, "Excited for snow because he grew up right on Lake Erie, so my family would get tons of snow.” He also said that he thinks we will get snow before Jaunary 5.

Mysterious History of Gingerbread Houses

By: Aden Reid

Families have many strange holiday traditions that have existed for centuries, one being the construction and decoration of a miniature house made of bread and candy. Gingerbread houses have been around for a long time and have a dark and unexpected origin. Gingerbread, the material they're made out of, is even older with stranger uses than simple decorations.

Sometime before the 18th century, a story was told about a brother and sister who find a house in the woods made of sweets. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, this fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel is credited to the German brothers Grimm. Although gingerbread houses existed before then, this story is one of the earliest times it has been mentioned. The gingerbread houses were also used by Christians to represent a house of bread and were eaten as a way of showing their sustained faith. Now gingerbread houses are simply a fun tradition to do with friends and family to represent home as a reminder of being together. Sophomore Phoebe Porter says the reason she likes making gingerbread houses at Christmas time is because “It’s such a creative and competitive way to celebrate the holidays and have a good time!” This isn’t the first time someone has created something unique from gingerbread. According to The Spruce Eats, the creation of gingerbread men was credited to Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century when she wanted cookies that resembled her guests.

However Gingerbread has existed for thousands of years, as the recipe has slowly changed so has its meaning. According to Scrumptious Bites, the first records of gingerbread making was in Greece around 2400 BC. It was believed to have been used for religious purposes. Then it became what monks would give to the hungry and was also painted and used as window decorations. Eventually thought to have medical uses but in the 1800s started being made into houses and people. Now incorporated into the modern Christmas holiday as sweet sugary decorations.


Top Row- Ruth Amoreno, Mackenzie Carper, Aden Reid, Phoebe Porter, Jason Bednarski

Second Row- Bella Walsh, Ruby Amores, Savannah Malatt, Editor- Valerie Clabaugh

Third Row- Advisor- Ms. Foreman

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