Paper Cranes are originally from Japan, and are a symbol of peace and hope. Some believe that if you see one flying after someone has passed that it represents them going to heaven, or where you believe that people go to when they pass.
Mrs. Meinert and her art classes have put them on a string to display during the vigil for O’Brien. The vigil will take place on September 29th from 7:30-8:30pm at the AMS football field. Mrs. Meinert said that her classes had over 1,400 cranes as of Friday afternoon. Students from 6, 7th, and 8th grade have been making cranes since Wednesday, even those who are not in an art class. Each crane represents a thought or prayer for O'Brien and his family.
Story by Lonna Parker
Fancy Friday is something quite a few of students do here at Asheville Middle. Basically, Fancy Friday is a tradition where every Friday, a group of students dresses up in their best, most fancy, and elaborate outfits. O’Brien Gibbs was one of the students who participated in this tradition that has been going on for over a year.
O’Brien was always known to be not only one of the kindest, intelligent, and most down to earth kids, but also one of the best dressed. Every Friday, I would look forward to walking down the halls, looking over, and seeing another one of O’Briens crazy, fancy outfits. As we mourn the loss of our dearest O’Brien, we ask that you dress up today and every other Friday if you can, to show your respect to him, Ms. Landreth, and the rest of their family.
If you want another way to show your respect, we are holding a vigil for O’Brien and William Edward tonight at the AMS football field from 7:30-8:30pm, where students will be performing some of O'Brien's favorite songs. I look forward to seeing everyone there in their best Fancy Friday attire.
Story by Hallie Dodd
On Tuesday, September 26th, our Cougar family suffered an unimaginable loss. Due to a tragic accident, we lost our dear friend O'Brien Gibbs, an 8th grader at AMS, along with his younger brother, William Edward. Their mother, Jo Landreth, and older brother, Henry, were also in the accident. Both are currently recovering from their injuries. Ms. Landreth is an AIG Specialist here at Asheville Middle, who has touched the lives of many of the students here. The love for this family runs deep in the Cougar community.
After learning of the loss of their friend and classmate, the 8th grade students decided to honor O'Brien and his family by asking everyone at Asheville Middle to wear orange, O'Brien's favorite color. This morning, a sea of orange poured into the cougar den. Everyone is trying to find a way to grieve the horrible loss of a student, and classmate, and a friend. Nothing can truly ease the hurt of losing such a beloved member of our cougar family, but the love and support pouring out into the hallways here at AMS is a small comfort to those mourning the loss of O'Brien and William Edward. The tribute will continue tomorrow as all students and staff participate in the tradition of Fancy Friday in honor of O’Brien. He will always be remembered here at AMS by all the people he touched, and many more. We love you, O’Brien and William Edward.
We send all our love to Ms. Landreth and Henry. Please keep them in your thoughts. If you would like to make a financial contribution to help the family, I recommend you visit and donate to the GoFundMe.com page set up in their honor.
THIS is Cougar Pride.
Story by Virginia Pharr
Yesterday at Cane Creek Middle School, the boys soccer team won 5-0. “We are quietly confident”, Coach Hickman stated before the game began. Since AMS won, we are still tied for first with Valley Springs Middle School and Enka Middle School, they will be playing Enka at home on Tuesday, October 3rd. Coach Hickman was starting some players who hadn’t been started yet which was bold move. By halftime the score was 0-1, there was a bit of struggle at the beginning because the field at Cane Creek is much larger than any one fields that the team has played on yet, and the out of bounds line was unclear. The goal keepers, AJ and Xander, did a good job of not letting the ball get past them. The team improved by the second half of the game and scored 4 more points. Good win, AMS boys soccer!
Story by Virginia Pharr
“The reward of a job well done is to have done it” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ms. Portugal grew up in Prospect Heights, a suburb of Chicago. Although this is her 2nd year teaching at Asheville Middle School, she has taught for 21 years. Currently Ms. Portugal teaches her favorite subject, Social Studies. She is also certified to teach Science and ELA. In her 7th grade Social Studies class, she loves teaching how the past influences the present and how countries have developed relationships. She likes teaching students to see the patterns and intricacies of the world’s interactions.
This month students are learning about the Crusades and then they will move into the Renaissance. When I visited Ms. Portugal's Classroom, I noticed that kids were focused and looked like they were excited and ready to learn.
Ms. Portugal started college when she was just 16. She took many business classes and soon realized that business is not what she wanted to do. She then moved into Psychology and worked at a Montessori school during college. She discovered that she loved to be with kids and loved to teach, and that she wanted to pursue a teaching career.
Ms. Portugal is also a business owner and an author of 2 books: Four Feet Down and Four Doors Open. Ms. Portugal hopes that when her students leave her class they will understand how world history has lead to globalization and how countries impact each other. Ms. Portugal's favorite moments as a teacher is when she is able to watch a student reach their goal.
Story by Kate Buys
This year at Asheville Middle School, a new elective has opened up and it's awesome. It’s journalism! Journalism is a great place for students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade to write stories, take surveys, work on the yearbook, and talk about other things that are happening in the world. The yearbook this year is movie themed. The current title is Life's a Movie. All the students in journalism had the opportunity to pitch an idea about what they wanted the yearbook theme to be, and then we all voted! If you want a yearbook, go visit www. jostensyearbooks.com with a parent.
Our teacher, Miss. Forsythe, has been an amazing help with all the projects we've had so far. I have an idea! Let me let another student tell you about journalism! I interviewed a 6th grade girl named Maya about why she liked journalism, and her answer was “I like journalism because, I love writing, editing and researching for stories.” I asked Miss Forsythe what she liked about journalism, and her response was, “I love the fact that there is so much going on in the world around us. Journalism of all kinds helps us to be more aware of these events!”
Overall, Its very fun and I can’t wait until I get to write another story soon!
Story by Emma Locane
Ms. Lopez is an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Asheville Middle School. She has been teaching for 5 years at AMS and 10 years total. Ms. Lopez grew up in between Miami and Puerto Rico. She has 2 kids, Luna Indria Liu-Lopez, who is 2 and a half, and Leandro Aureliano, who is 1 and a half. Ms. Lopez is certified to teach Social Studies and ELA, but she loves teaching Social Studies because it helps students become aware and fight against the injustices in the world. “It has become abundantly clear that the people of this country need to be aware of the choices being made for them.” Ms. Lopez went on to say “To quote George Carlin, “If you have selfish ignorant citizens then you are going to have selfish ignorant leaders””.
Ms. Lopez’s goal is for her students to be well educated and full of empathy. In Ms. Lopez’s class, they are doing a project called Americans who tell the truth. Students will pick a social issue and a person involved with that issue. Students will then create a short essay and an art piece to go along with the social issue. The Art will be shown at the downtown “Americans who tell the truth” exhibit. Bree Newsome, a civil rights activist, will be there for the opening of the exhibit. All 8th grade social studies classes are participating in the same event. Ms. Lopez is hoping that her students will become active citizens themselves, and learn that one has to put in the work and effort to make an issue change. She wants to start a revolution of social change that will make the world a better place.
Ms. Lopez used to work for Fox Sports and while she was on a mission trip to Cuba, the leader of the trip asked her what she wanted to do in life. Ms. Lopez said that she had no idea. "Have you ever showed interest in teaching?" The leader asked. Ms. Lopez had a quick response of no, I have never shown much interest in kids. While she was in Cuba, Ms. Lopez got to meet all of the kids, hang out with them and teach them, but they ended up teaching her. She realized that she loved to teach and hang out with kids, so as soon as she got back, she quit her job at Fox Sports and started teaching. Ms. Lopez says “I have never looked back on my decision to become a teacher”.
Ms. Lopez’s favorite teaching moment is when, about 2 years ago, she got an email from a former student of hers. Ms. Lopez says “The student was incredibly smart but sadly had a difficult home situation”. In the email, the student explained to her that she had just received a full scholarship to Brown University and she wanted to thank Ms. Lopez for a lesson that she taught about feminism. The student said that she was now majoring in Women's studies. The student said that the lesson had changed her. Ms. Lopez says “A teacher's goal at the end of the day should be to teach their students to be aware and ask questions, they must question everything.”
Story by Kate Buys
Everyone loves parties! Well at least I know I do, especially this one! Asheville Middle School threw a surprise birthday party for two long-time members of our cougar family. Michelle Harrison and James Campbell both turned 50 on Thursday, September 21st, 2017. According to WLOS, Ms.Harrison said "this inspires me to want to be around and come to work every day". Mr. Campbell said that he "was real surprised. I was not expecting this. It made me feel real good, though, for them to take the time to do this". We are so happy to show them how much they mean to our AMS community! Happy Birthday, 50 looks great on you both!
Story by Serenity Jamison
The 8th grade students at Asheville Middle School are kicking off the year with an artistic project. Before beginning the official NC curriculum, the 8th graders have been focusing on human rights and what it means to be an active citizen.
“Americans Who Tell The Truth” is a book written by Robert Shetterly, published in 2005. The book features quotes, biographies, and portraits of influential Americans who have worked to make change. The tellings of the book have now been turned into an organization and a project for students. The organization has a specific mission to combine art and other media with the work of active citizens to inspire a new generation of people. The project prompts students to choose a social issue that they are passionate about and research a citizen who actively made change within that issue. After researching the issue and the citizen, students were assigned to write a 2 paragraph summary that detailed what the issue was, how the citizen they chose was involved, and their personal involvement.
The second part of the project involved a collage style art piece that featured a portrait of either the chosen citizen or themselves. The piece was meant to convey a message of how the person depicted in the portrait worked in that issue. Students had access to many different types of magazines and images that they could use in their collage. This project gives students a chance to get creative outside of the elective halls.
To wrap up the project, both the art and the writing portions were driven downtown to the YMI Cultural Center by AMS teachers. The projects will be put on display during an Americans Who Tell The Truth event. Students and parents alike are able to attend as well as anybody else in the community. An official gala was held on the 19th that featured all 52 of Shetterly’s portraits also at the YMI Cultural Center. Although this project has come to and end, students will continue to be more aware of the social issues of our world and what can be done to make a difference.
You can visit the Americans Who Tell The Truth site here!
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
Here at Asheville Middle, our mascot is the vicious cougar. Cougie appears at many of our sports events and pep rallies. In the wild however, they lead a whole different life. With the ability to leap as far as 40 feet, the cougar is no animal to mess with.
Cougars are carnivores, meaning that they hunt and eat other animals. They hunt alone from morning to night, eating whatever is available in their location. Cougars, on average, will feast on a deer every two weeks (mule deer in western North America and white tailed in the east). When they aren’t lucky enough to catch a deer, they will add smaller mammals, such as mice, squirrels, rabbits, beavers, raccoons, and porcupines onto the menu.
Where Do Cougars Live?
Cougars are found almost everywhere in the Western Hemisphere. One species of the cougar is the Florida panther, which, like the name states, can only be found in the state of Florida. In North America, they live in United States, Canada, and Mexico. They also live in parts of South America.