The foundation of a good yearbook is a good theme. The theme is a visual and a verbal message that a yearbook surrounds. This year, our visual theme is travel magazine and our verbal theme is hear us roar. According to YearbookLife, yearbook themes are the core of the yearbook as they control the font type, color, shape, pattern, and texture. It guides the yearbook to showcase the best of the year. In Asheville Middle’s Journalism room, we start thinking about the theme of the next yearbook as soon as we the deadline for the current yearbook. Seventh-grade students attend the Jostens Yearbook Conference located at the Biltmore at the end of March to brainstorm ideas. There, they will also begin the process of designing the cover with an artist.
Once the theme of a yearbook has been decided. The focus in the class will be towards designing templates for the pages. A template is an outline of what a page will look like. Using the visual theme will help us decide a list of fonts to use and using the verbal theme will help us write captions and headlines. Each page’s template is customized to the subject of the page. For example, a sports page may have an infographic of the teams overall score while an elective page can have a section dedicated to an interview. Designing the template is arguably the most time-consuming part of making a yearbook, but it is one of the most crucial parts.
In A Page
Every year, AMS journalism students take over 10,000 photos combined! Pictures in the yearbook help with the storytelling of the book. On a normal page, you will find a dominant photo. The dominant photo is the biggest photo on the page. It catches your eye and keeps your attention. Depending on the spread, there will be around 6-10 photos on a page. Where do we take yearbook photos? We can often be spotted at sports games, pep rallies, field trips, capturing moments throughout the school year. On special pages, we also invite students into our room for photo shoots, which is set up with studio lighting and colored backdrops. Every page is different, therefore the style of photos on each page can be different.
Other elements on a page may include quotes or interviews. There are two ways of obtaining them, over email or in person. Email interviews are good when the schedules of the interviewee and the interviewer don’t align. They allow the interviewee more time to think about their responses and for the interviewer to get a more straight forward answer. In person interviews can help the interviewer gain a deeper connection with the interviewee. In person interviews can help journalism students write the body paragraph of the page, even if every answer is not included.
Advertising and Release
You’ve probably heard the phrase 100 times: “Buy your yearbook before it’s too late.” Advertising is a huge part of making the yearbook possible every year. By hitting sales goals, we are able to add more pages every year without raising the overall price up for the student body. Journalism students speak on the announcements, create posts for @ams_cougarpride, post on their own social media, and more to help spread the news of the yearbook. Did you know that you can purchase your very own at cougarprideavl.com?
The final deadline for the yearbook is in early April. Books are shipped to the school sometime in May. Books are delivered by Journalism students to homeroom teachers. Before you know it, the school year is over, but don’t worry, yearbooks will keep track of your favorite memories and will be there for you to look back on in future years. So order yours before it's too late!
Story by Erin Chen
How To Have A Great Yearbook by Jostens
Photojournalism by Jostens
Photo source: Josten’s Yearbook Avenue
There is a large rising number of girls playing football in just the last year. Football remains a male-dominated sport, even though there are lots of girls now playing football, with no women in the N.F.L. In Utah they now have a football team just for girls, “the Utah girls tackle football league” created by Sam Gordon. This inspired another all girls football team, the Indiana Girls tackle football league. Both of these teams show that there is a space for girls in the game of football.
Asheville is now recognizing this, in Asheville City Schools we have the first girl on the Asheville Middle School team, Gaby Harper, number 1. Gaby told me that even though she's the only girl on the team, she feels just as included as everyone else on the team. She decided to join because she had always enjoyed the sport while growing up, but something that stuck out was in 6th grade when she was playing flag football in P.E. and a couple of people noticed how great she was at playing football, and said that she should try out. So she took it into consideration and look where she is now!
There have been incidents where girls have to sue certain football teams because the coaches would not allow a girl to play. It can be really hard to get onto a football team, especially if you are a female.
Gaby loves playing football because it helps her deal with pent up stress and anger on the field instead of in school where she could get in trouble. Also, she has taken inspiration from lots of male football players. She has learned a lot from Sam Gordon who created The Utah Girls Tackle Football League. She is unsure if she will continue to play in high school, but only time will tell. There are people that do doubt her ability to play football and ask questions like “do you actually play, or do you just sit on the sidelines?”
You'll just have to go to a game and see for yourself!
Story by Olivia Crosson
Do you like football? Who’s your favorite football team? How long have you rooted for them? If you like football you will enjoy this story. Have you ever wondered who your teacher’s favorite football team is? If so, I have some answers for you. I hope this helps you kick off the football season!
Do you know Ms.Bourque? She is a 7th grade science teacher in the Navigator’s pod (yellow pod). Ms.Bourque’s favorite football team is the Miami Dolphins. She likes the Miami Dolphins because she was born and raised in Miami, which means she grew up with the Dolphins! Her family didn’t really follow the team, but as she grew up she started keeping up with them. The Miami Dolphins were Ms.Bourque’s hometown team, and she would always hear about Don Shula and the undefeated 1972 Dolphin team as she grew up. She has never met any of the players, but she has been to several of the games. “The stadium is nice, the food is good, and it is just an all around good time to hang out with family and friends!” said Ms.Bourque. Her greatest memories always surround watching the game with her family. Ms.Bourque’s sister married a HUGE Dolphins fan, so they always get together with her nieces and nephews to watch them play! The Miami Dolphins rivals are the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. Coincidently, Ms.Bourque’s husband’s favorite team is the New York Jets. Miami won 6 games last year and lost 10 games, not an especially great year for the Dolphins, but it looks like this year will be a good year for Miami!
Does the name Ms.Robert ring a bell? Well she is a 7th grade math teacher in the yellow pod as well! Ms.Robert’s favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys. Ms.Robert has been a fan of The Cowboys since the early 1970’s. She saw the Cowboys play in the original Texas stadium, when Tom Landry was their coach and Roger Staubach was their quarterback. Ms.Robert hasn’t been to any of their games since then, because the tickets are really expensive and she doesn’t live in Texas anymore. “My favorite memory of The Cowboy’s was taking my Elementary physical education classes to the Texas Stadium, playing with them on the field and going through the old locker room. We had so much fun! None of the Cowboys were there, we just got to use the field and play”, Ms.Robert shared with me. The Dallas Cowboys biggest rival is the Washington Redskins. Last year their record was 9 wins and 7 losses, but it was better than the Redskins who were 7 wins and 9 losses!
I am almost sure you know who Ms.Monson is. She is an elective teacher who teaches: Career Decisions, Interior Design, Sewing, and Home Economics. Ms. Monson’s favorite football team is Appalachian State, her college team. Ms.Monson received her undergraduate degree and one of her master’s degree from ASU. She has very fond memories of game days, homecomings and general college shenanigans from attending many football games at App State. Ms.Monson has liked the Mountaineers since 1991. She has been to several games and has MANY memories of rooting for the Mountaineers. In one of her classes she was partners with some of the football team’s players. She even played Golf with Jerry Jr., the coach’s son! “In September 2007, I was watching ASU play Michigan for the season opener on ESPN. ASU was at Michigan, playing in “The Big House”, and it was kind of a big deal- an FCS team playing a Division 1 school. There were seconds left in the game and the score was close. ASU BLOCKED A FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT BY MICHIGAN AND WON THE GAME!!! This is actually considered one of the biggest upsets in college football HISTORY!!! I’m pretty sure I cried. I still have the newspaper at my house somewhere”, Ms.Monson told me. Some of ASU’s rivals are/were: Western Carolina University (before switching conferences), their current rival is Georgia Southern. Funnily enough Ms.Monson’s nephew attends Georgia Southern, she said that “holidays’s can get pretty interesting…” Last Year ASU’s record was 9-4 in conference play. They won The Dollar General Bowl against Toledo 34-0. One of the crown jewels of the ASU program is a 3-pete consecutive FCS national championship run from 2005-2007.
If you want to learn more about these teacher’s favorite football teams, yours, or just football in general take a look at this site!: NFL Official Site
Story By Amelia O’Halloran
March 14th, the day of the national student walkout for gun control, students all around the country walked out at 10:00am. This national protest was student led and not many adults were involved. Students used it as a platform for voicing their opinions on gun control and gun violence against youths. This walkout was created because of the recent spike in school shootings, especially the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 lives were taken.
Asheville Middle School had lots of students involved in planning this event, although the 3 main people planning and orchestrating this event were Kate Buys, Ginger Hanlon, and Alana Kendrick. This event was extremely hard to plan because we had to take into account safety and time. The three of us started to plan the walkout at the end of February. We made an instagram account to communicate the details of this event with the AMS student body, we worked with teachers and school resource officers to make this event as safe as possible. We got lots of student support, but we did face a few issues. Because of safety concerns we were unable to disclose a location to anyone until the day of the walkout. This was a struggle because it made it hard to make sure students knew what was going on and where it was going on. We also had to take into account the students who didn't feel comfortable walking out and students who didn't want to walk out. Although teachers were not allowed to walk out and could face consequences if they did because of State law, there was still a concern that teachers might. If a teacher walked out, what would happen to the students in the classroom. These were all obstacles that we needed to work around and find answers to. The largest issue that we faced was when we found out school was canceled on the 14th. This was a huge struggle, because we still wanted to walk out and we knew that others wanted to walk out too. So we decided to change the date of the walkout for the next day. We didn't have a way to get the information out that quickly so we posted something on our instagram and hoped for the best. A few hours later we checked our instagram and were shocked by what we saw, our word was spreading fast! On almost everyone's instagram was the new information! but it still worked out.
On the 15th the walkout went just as planned, just a day late! Students walked out at 10:00, we had 17 minutes silence to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland School shooting and during these minutes students also had the chance to write letters to congressmen, senators and representatives. After the 17 minutes of silence we had a few 8th graders read off speeches and poems they wrote. The turnout was about 500 students. This experience was incredibly rewarding because it gave many students a chance to stand up for what they believe and help to make a change.
Story by Ginger Hanlon, Kate Buys, and Alana Kendrick
Go AMS lady cougars basketball team! Thank you for bringing home another championship!
As most of you know, our lady cougars basketball team has brought home the first conference champ and regular season champ banner/award for the first time in 8 years (2008 was the last time).
The ladies had an awesome undefeated status of 16-0. They wouldn't have been able to do it without their coaches, Mike Watkins and Lauren Powell. These coaches are the best coaches anyone could ever ask for.
This is an incredibly special group of talented girls that were once strangers but are now sisters. Their team captain Porsha Carter stated that; "This season has brought us together so well, but not in a friend way. We have created a sisterhood that is greater and stronger than friends. No one can break this bond!"
Every game they brought their all and didn't give up. They fought through the toughest battles together as a team. They reminded the other schools whose territory they were in, at every home game. They also made new territories at away games. The most important thing is that they stuck together, and became one big family.
I was a proud manager of the team. I looked forward to every game and enjoyed watching them take a dubb every Monday and Thursday, (some tuesdays and Wednesdays)! This is one special group of girls and there will never be another one like it!
Story by Amelia O'Halloran
Homework diners can be many things. Social hour, free dinner, homework help, and more! I am going to go in depth on all the benefits of homework diners.
1. You can get a free dinner here!!! Before you start your homework you can have an amazing meal made by Mrs. Howard and a bunch of volunteers from the community. If you are wondering the food here is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the food we eat for lunch. For example, they have made spaghetti, Hamburgers, Veggie Burgers, Salad, and much more.
2. Are teachers nagging at you to come to class? Well if you can convince your friends to come to Homework Diners, you can get all your homework done and hang out with your friends over some great food.
3. Is the homework just that bit too hard? Well at Homework Diners, you can get the teacher that gave you this challenging homework to help you. If they aren't there, another adult can help!
4. Struggling to keep up your GPA? Come to Homework Diners and get 5 extra points in any class, just for being there. Now isn’t that fun
I asked a few people about their opinion on Homework diners and here is what they said:
First, I talked with the person who inspired me to write this, Mr Bruce Waller. He works for United Way and helps to plan these. I had asked him how he feels about Homework Diners. He said “I feel that it is beneficial to the students and the school in general”. Next, I asked him if he agrees that Homework Diners are a good way to bond with the school. He responded “Yes I do, It is a great way to bond with teachers and a great way for teachers to bond with the parents”. Finally I asked him What would you say to a student to convince them to go to a Homework Diner. He responded with "I think homework diners are a great way for rising 5th graders to get home help from the teachers and a great way to show what happens at our school and community."
What you can take from this interview is that Mr Bruce Waller is super excited about homework diners and wants it to be a place where everyone can eat, listen to music, and just have fun!
Story by Juvae Mullings.
The Asheville Middle School choir is currently preparing for a performance later this month. The students will be performing at The Grant Center on January 23rd from 7:00 - 8:00pm after the Asheville Middle strings. After several mishaps just before winter break resulting in cancelled and improvised performances, this will be a chance for the students to properly show what they’ve been working on for the months since school started.
The performance will take place for a very special audience. The school board and superintendent will be attending the performance as well as any parents, friends, or family that would like to support the event. The chorus has picked two songs to perform out of the many they have learned this year. It will begin with “Hold Back the River”, a mellow alternative tune, featuring wonderful soloists from the choir which is then followed by “White Winter Hymnal”. The song “White Winter Hymnal” is an acapella holiday song that the students have performed previously which includes their own clapping and stomping beats. The performance is open to anyone wishing to see the students display their talents and they hope to see you there!
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
As a continuation of the school year in the winter season, Asheville Middle School will be holding a school wide semi-formal dance known as the “Snow Ball”. The dance will take place on January 19th from 5:00-7:00 pm in the AMS gym. Tickets are available now and will be until the day of the dance. Tickets are $6.00 beforehand or $7.00 at the door. Proceeds from this event will go towards the 8th grade OBX trip coming up later this year.There are many hand-made and printed advertisements throughout the grade level halls and other parts of the school to keep the event in the students’ minds.
Although the school has held many other dances and events like this, this will be the first annual event titled the “Snow Ball”. As with other school dances that have occurred, the event will include things such as snacks, a DJ, and a photo booth. As hoped, the event will be an opportunity for students to mingle and connect after school hours in a fun setting while enjoying what the school has to offer. See you there!
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
I had the chance to see Trial of the Wicked Witch, the play which was put on by our hard-working theatre class. The play was held in our gym and was lead by the AMS Theatre teacher, Ms. Forsythe. It took place on December 15 & 16! Overall the play was a great success!
I loved how interactive the play was with its audience; there were actors running around the crowd and at the very end they asked the audience what the verdict should be for the Wicked Witch. We found her innocent! Also, I loved how the play was split up into two parts; the prosecution and the defense. Kylie, a 6th grader who played Little Red Riding Hood, said that she "thought it was very nerve racking, but an awesome way to overcome my fear of a crowd of people. Everyone was so supportive - thanks to every character of ONCE UPON A TIME!".
It was obvious that the actors had put a lot of hard work into the performance, and it showed. All of the characters were believable and the interaction with the audience made me feel like I was really there. The show was hilarious, and many moments had me laughing out loud. The costume design was fantastic and pretty realistic. This play was great and very funny. The actors were believable and seemed as though they enjoyed the play. In the end, if you had the chance to see this play consider yourself lucky. I'm already looking forward to the next theatre production in May!
Story by William Euler
This week I had the opportunity to interview a couple of students from the cast of Trial Of The Wicked Witch. The Trial of the Wicked Witch is a play Asheville Middle school is putting on. They will be performing on December 15th & 16th at 7pm. The performance will be in the school gym, and you will buy tickets at the front door. Adults will be $6, and children will be $3.
A 7th grade student, Kara (7th), said that she enjoys being able to express herself, and is excited for her family to see the show! When I interviewed some of the cast, I could tell they were hard at work and were ready for the play. The cast has been rehearsing for two months now but have been having after school rehearsal for a week. Lonna (6th) said her favorite part about he play being able to act with the other kids. I would definitely recommend coming to see the play because when observing I could see the humor and excitement; Elsja (7th) would agree because she said ¨The play is funny, weird, and the first play at the new building.” See you there!
Story by Maya Fuchs