Mayor John Gettys Ready To Tackle Second Term

Rock Hill’s Mayor John Gettys

Newly re-elected Mayor John Gettys says he’s excited about his second term as he continues to work toward making Rock Hill a “City for All.” Mayor Gettys says he is committed to creating a better future for all citizens.

‘’Rock Hill For All is for us to remember that the benefits and opportunities of our community should be available for anyone no matter where the person lives or their condition in life,” Mayor Gettys recently said.

On October 19, 2021, Gettys reclaimed the job of mayor of Rock Hill for his second term, beating William ‘’Bump’’ Roddey and Ishmael Lowery. Gettys received 51.30% of the votes, While Bump

 Roddey came in second with 33.70% of the votes, and Ishmael Lowery came in laswith 14.80% of the votes.


During the last election in 2017, Gettys was defeated Bump Roddey in a runoff race.  Bump Roddey was hoping for a different outcome this time. He will, however, be able to make an impact in York County, as he returns to his position in politics as a County Councilman for York County.  Ishmael Lowery, who made his first run in politics, will  continue working as a business owner. 

According to the South Carolina Election Commission, to be eligible  to vote in South Carolina a resident has to be at least 18 years old. Although middle school students aren’t able to vote, some STMS Wildcats still had their thoughts on the election.

Jack Neal, a 7th-grade student at STMS, said  he believes  Gettys will have a positive affect on  Rock Hill.  ”He will affect Rock Hill in a positive way because he will improve the well-being of Rock Hill,” Neal said.

Mr. Charles a 7th-grade social studies teacher stated he hopes to see improvements in Southern Area of our city.

”Now since mayor Gettys is re-elected for mayor he should spend money on Southern schools in Rock Hill, including Oakdale Elementary School, Saluda Trail middle school, and South Point High School,” said Mr. Charles.

Mayor Gettys stated that he would take a closer look at additional entertainment for teens in Rock Hill.

“We need more opportunities for teens and young adults in Rock Hill.,” Mayor Gettys said. “We have a lot of great parks for activities and more jobs than ever before (it seems) but no real community gathering location for teens.  The Mall used to be one location where teens could gather.  That doesn’t really work well anymore so we have to think about this a good bit more.”
Davis Capel, a7th-grade student at STMS, said, “If I could vote, I would have voted for Gettys because he was not a bad mayor in his first term so I would vote for him again.’’




Red Ribbon Week Both Educational & Fun for Wildcats

Dress down days, daily trivia, Kahoots and bingo. Plus lots and lots of red. For Saluda Trail this means Red Ribbon Week has finally arrived.

According to, Red Ribbon week dates back to 1985 when DEA Agent Kiki Camarena was murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His family and friends then started wearing red ribbons in his honor and the movement rapidly spread across the country. The first national red ribbon week took place in 1988. Since then millions of families have participated in red ribbon week. Saluda Trail and many  other schools view this as an opportunity to educate students on the dangers of substance abuse.

To a lot of students Red Ribbon week means getting to dress down and be free of our uniforms. When asked if he liked red ribbon week and if so why STMS 6th grader Kade Mcallister said, “Yeah because there is freedom you don’t have to be a 100 percent uniform.”

Through out the week, the counselors planned several opportunities for students to either dress down or wear different gear related to different themes.

On Monday students and faculty wore orange or red shirts to show they were proud to be

Students wore crazy socks on Wednesday. They showed they were drug free from head to toe.

drug free. Tuesday students were given the option to wear athletic or team sports wear. On Wednesday the halls were full of crazy hats and socks. Thursdays theme was peace out to drugs and their was tie dye as far as the eye could see. The grand finale on Friday was a dress down day if you donated two dollars to Keystone, a local substance abuse program.

Miss. McCoy the 7th grade counselor shed some light on what exactly goes into planning red ribbon week, “We try not to repeat days from last year. We also plan activities during lunch and talk with officer Malicki about other possible events.” The STMS counselors said they spend many hours deciding on the details so that the students of STMS can have a meaningful and enjoyable red ribbon week.

That’s not all, students have also been able to participate in trivia and games.

Students participated in trivia and bingo as a part of Red Ribbon Week Activities. Not only did they learn more about drugs and substance abuse, they also had an opportunity to earn prizes.

Our guidance counselors have done everything from morning trivia to Blookets and bingo too. For Friday the guidance counselors  planned a special event during lunch. The Drug Dogs from the Rock Hill police department will pay the students of STMS a special visit with their handlers. Miss. Johnson, the 8th grade counselor, stated that in the past, activities have included door decorating contests, poster contests, and essay contests. This year’s activities have also come with prizes! Winners could choose from bracelets, cups and candy. Even students who participated in the Blookets and Kahoots but didn’t win walked away with two wildcat tickets.

Students were thankful for the opportunity  to participate in Red Ribbon Week activities.  They were appreciative of the guidance counselors who put so much effort and hard work into making sure the students of Saluda Trail Middle School had an amazing red ribbon week and stay drug free. Hannah Watts, a 7th grade student, wanted to give a special thanks to the three guidance counselors  – Miss Johnson, Miss.McCoy, and Miss.Hardy-Holmes Wilson. “Thank you for putting in all of your hard work and dedication, ”  Hannah said.

For more information on red ribbon week go to:

To learn more about Keystone and what it does for our local community go to:

Students Say Crocs are Comfy and Cool

Crocs have become a major fashion trend at STMS this school year. The shoe, a rubber clog, once seemed to have disappeared but has not made an amazing comeback, not just at The Trail, but around the world.

I have two pairs of crocs,” said 8th grader McKinley Hood. “I have a blue pair and a purple pair,” Hood said she purchased hers from the Croc store. “They cost around 40 dollars each,” she added.

Hood and other Croc wears like to decorate them with shoe charms like  Jibbitz. Jibbitz shoe charms can cost around $2.99 each. Other Charms can be bought in bulk off of sites like Amazon and cost less.

Throughout the halls of the trail you can find students wearing Crocs in many different colors and styles. Both girls and boys can be seen sporting them. Even some teachers have been wearing them too.

Crocs are a major fashion trend this year at the trail. Students McKinley Hood, Claire Williams, and Makenzie Mitchell show how they have personalized their Crocs with charms.

Croc wearers say adding charms allows them to personalize them.

Garrett Brown, a 7th grader, likes how lightweight and comfortable Crocs are. He said when he walks it feels like he does not have any shoes on.                                                   

Erin Huff, another 7th grader, has also taken a liking to how stylish Crocs are.  Huff said they are easy to put on and easy to personalize. Jibbitz can easily be popped on and off. They come in hundreds of different designs.

“They are good for walking around in and just staying around the house,” said Huff who purchased her for $39.

Claire Williams, an 8th grader, has 3 pairs of the rubber clogs. “I have one black pair, one pink pair, and one blue pair and they’re all decorated with Jibbitz,” said Williams.  Williams said she has 15 Jibbitz. “I have 3 volleyballs, a number 3 and a number 8 for my volleyball numbers, an egg, a rainbow, 2 piglets, a Dory, a Sully, 2 ice creams, a Winnie the Pooh, and an American flag,” she added.

Makenzie Mitchell, who owns two pairs, said “I like how you can style them how you like.  They’re easy to just throw on and they are easy to clean.”

A’Najiana Wade, an 8th grader, owns 8 pairs of Crocs.  “They are very fashionable because they go with anything and they make your uniform stand out,” Wade said.

Students Enjoy Lunch With Hereos

Cliff Anstey was one of several Vets who was honored recently by students and staff during lunch for Veterans Day.

Cliff Anstey was a medic in the United States Air Force when he saved the lives of four pilots who ejected out of an airplane just before crashing.

“It was an honor to serve my country and there’s lots of pride in doing so,”  said Anstey was one of many Vets who was honored by STMS recently during lunch for Veterans Day. The veteran was invited by Crystal Anstey his daughter and Parker Sibley, his step-daughter.

Veterans Day is a U.S federal holiday. It is a time to honor and thank those who are serving in the military and are still with us. Veterans Day, however, is different from Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to reflect and remember those who lost their lives in service to their country.

Colby Posey’s day, a Navy Vet, also took time out to be honored during the Veteran’s Day Lunch.

Students and staff decided to show Anstey and other Vets their appreciation by inviting them to lunch. Throughout each lunch, numerous Vets from all branches of the military were seen eating and talking with students. Students enjoyed hearing stories about their service. “I  am very proud of my father for his service, “Crystal Anstey said.

Bryanna Young, a 6th grader, enjoyed having a dad who is an Air Force Vet spend time during lunch.


Books for Bookworms

Dalvin Rawlinson had 10 bucks in his pocket and he was eager to spend it. The 11-year-old 6th grader spent some time searching for a good book recently at the Saluda Trail book fair.

Ms. Inman, Saluda Trail’s Media Specialist, helps Dalvin Rawlinson, a 6th grader, looks for books at the annual Fall Book Fair.

“I like buying books and reading them”- Rawlinson said. 

The Fall Book Fair was held November 12- 17 in the media center.  Saluda Trail usually has two book fairs a school year.

Students and teachers of Saluda Trail were able to buy books as well as some of the novelty items such as bookmarks, necklaces, invisible pens, markers, etc.

Students and staff could also shop online. The online shopping was easy.

Ms. Shelton, a volunteer for the book fair, said, “You just pull up the website which is .” 

Throughout each day teachers brought students in to browse and shop. There were many new books titles and sections at the fair this year, including The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, an animal section, and last but not least a scary section. 

Some popular titles were  The Meltdown and the Getaway, Maze Runner #2: The Scorch Trials, Shadow House #1: The Gathering, and of course the Goosebumps novels.

Ms. Inman,  Saluda Trail’s Media Specialist said $560 was raised from the scholastic book fair. “The money is used to buy more books,” Inman said.

According to Inman, the book fair is held each year as a fundraiser to not only purchase more books for the school but “to give students the chance to build their own home libraries.”

Dala Tinsley, an 8th grader, says she always enjoy shopping for books at the book fair.

“It also exposes students to titles they may be unfamiliar with,” she said. 

Overall, the BookFair was deemed a great success. Students always seem to enjoy the big selection and the quality of books.


Cancelling School – Behind the Scenes

School closures and delays create many emotions each time it occurs.

School is only halfway through the first semester and has already taken a toll on you. You’re eagerly counting down the days until the next day off. Suddenly a weather alert pops up on your phone, it says that a hurricane will be coming through your county late that night and continue through the next day. There are possible flooding and dangerously high wind speeds. Desperation washes over you as you pray that they will cancel school tomorrow.  Ever wonder how that decision is made? Well, it isn’t as easy as you might think.

“We make the best decision based off of the information we are provided and the information we gather with our research. We always come back as a group, and when those decisions are being made we always think of student safety first.” Says Mychal Frost, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Rock Hill School District 3.

Mychal Frost, Director of Marketing and Communications for Rock Hill School District 3,  answers questions for The Paw Print Reporter Nadia Durocher.

In October, Hurricane Florence caused many schools throughout  North and South Carolina to close down because of high wind speeds and possible flooding. Saluda Trail closed on a Friday and then the following Monday. Many students and York County residents questioned why schools were canceled when the weather conditions were just wind and rain.

Frost said it’s not an easy job of deciding if Rock Hill schools need to close to keep students safe. Schools can also be closed due to snow,  sleet or freezing rain.

Frost said school officials take many things into consideration when canceling school. “The superintendent makes the decision with a team including myself, the transportation department, people who maintain the buildings, and the property instruction department,” said Frost.

According to Frost, officials communicate with many people before reaching a consensus. There is a process where they work with York County Emergency Management Team. They consult with local meteorologists, and they also take into account what time conditions will occur.

Late starts, half days, or entire days off can be decided on based on the weather, he said.  This is why it is important to know the time of a predicted disaster.   

While days off usually cause excitement for students, make-up days are cause for irritation.

When school is canceled, make-up days usually follow. Make-up days are when students and teachers come in during what would usually be a break to make-up for a day or several days they missed.  According to Frost, make-up days are essential because by law each district has to have a certain amount of class time.

Kateleigh Crocker, a 7th grader, said understands the importance of make-up days.

We do need school days so we can get our education, ” Croker said. “Teachers do have things planned for each day that we are supposed to be at school, in which if we missed a day from something important it could possibly throw the lesson off track due to us not being there to learn the lesson for the day.” 

Crocker, added, “Even if I do think they are necessary, I don’t really like them.” Crocker said makeup days take away from scheduled days that are built in for student breaks.   When  those days are taken away, Crocker  said it gets rid of days that “could be “used to relax or be doing school work/projects.” 

Sometimes students and staff luck out and don’t have to make up all bad weather days.  Make-ups days can be excused .“The first 3 days by state law have to be made up, ” said Frost explained. “The second 3 days can be waved by the school board. If we miss 7, 8, and 9 the state board of education can wave them. If we miss days 10 and beyond the state legislature has to vote on it.”  

The emotions from canceling schools vary each time it occurs.

“ We get all kinds of reactions,” said Frost. “We know that canceling school creates a disruption in many families. We understand that this generates a lot of emotion.”

Frost said they try to make decisions as soon as possible.

“We can’t wait until 9 to see if the wind speeds are going to be as it was forecasted, ” he said. “We have to make a decision for the safety of the students.” 


Saluda Trail’s Robotics Teams Have Blasted Off

Members of Saluda Trail’s robotics teams prepared for more than 2 months to blast off. Two teams of students compete as  First Lego League Teams in a recent tournament held Saturday, November 17th and one is one is now blasting off to compete on the state level.

Members of STMS’ RoboRockets are blasting off to State for the next level of the First Lego League Competition.

“First Lego League is a combination of robotics and project based on global problems and/or research,”  said  Coach Denio. The challenge this year was called Into Orbit. Students were challenged to research a “real-world” problem and to develop a solution for this year students had to research something under humans in space. Members also had to design, build, and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms to complete the playing field.   

In preparation for the tournament, Saluda Trail’s two teams, RoboRockets and Technocats, practiced every week.  Some dedicated students came in during the mornings and lunch.

This year, Saluda Trail was the proud host of the tournament.  The tournament over past years had been held at York Tech. “I was extremely surprised. I’ve been in robotics for many years, and it has always been at York Tech. I was shocked,” says Zakiya Smith an eighth-grader on the RoboRockets team.

Robert Moody, a seventh-grader on the RoboRockets team, said he was “Nervous, sad and surprised,” when he learned that Saluda Trial would be the new location for the tournament.

“I thought at York Tech it was good,” said Moody. “I’m not too sure why it changed to being hosted here.” Moody said he’s competed for four years and each time it had been held at York Tech.

Kenneth Bailey, a seventh-grader on the Technocats team said he was very nervous when he found out that STMS would be the host. “ I was very nervous because STMS is a great school and I want to represent it well,” Bailey said.

The tournament was a success.

Saluda Trail’s teams ended up representing well.  Of the 20 teams that competed at Saluda Trail, six are headed to state.  Saluda Trail’s RoboRockets Team is excited to be moving on to the next level. Although the Technocats will not be moving on, the team was awarded the judges’ award  Against All Odds.

Oops They did it again: 7th and 8th Grade Football Teams Capture Championships

The Saluda Trail Middle School Football teams ended their 2018 season with very impressive records. The 8th-grade team had a stellar undefeated journey this season, while the 7th-grade team only lost one game.  Players and coaches from both teams were extremely proud of their season and for winning their conference championships.

The 8th-grade team celebrated after going undefeated this season and winning their championship game.

Coach Dunham, who coached the 8th-grade team, said, “I feel like a proud parent, just to see them grow from 6th grade to 8th grade.” Coach Dunham said he can’t wait to see them play on the next level. “I’m excited to see them move on to high school and get a higher education and to see them play in high school.

Jordan Miller, one of the captains of the 8th-grade team, was proud of the way the team played. 


Jordan Miller, of the captains for the 8th-grade team, said, “ I feel bittersweet and now I ’m moving onto basketball and football basketball in high school,” said Miller who played his last middle school football game.

 Mikey Mann,  a 7th-grade captain, said he was also proud of their season.

Mikey Mann,  a 7th-grade captain, said this season was special because it was his first championship.

“I’m proud because all Saluda Trail Athletes are talented,” said  Mann.   The captain added he was excited about the championship win against Dutchman Creek for two main reasons. “This was my first championship,” he said, “And Dutchman Creek was the only team that beat us all season.”

This was the 7th-grade team’s biggest win of the season. Prior to the championship game, Dutchman Creek was previously undefeated.

The seventh-grade football team had an impressive season. With only one loss, they were able to capture a conference title winning the championship game.

Students Have Fun While Learning About Dangers of Alcohol and Drugs During Red Ribbon Week

LEI off drugs. was a big hit for students who enjoyed wearing Hawaiian shirts
and Leis.

STMS students were ecstatic to participate in the annual Red Ribbon week. Red Ribbon week was held from October 23- 31 worldwide. It is a  week filled with activities to get the point across that drugs are not cool and neither is drinking alcohol.

At STMS, all four guidance counselors, along with School Resource Officer Moreno came up with the activities for the week.

“I was really excited to see so many students participate this year,” said Counselor McCoy.  “Although Red Ribbon week is a nationwide program, it’s not a requirement,  it’s just something that’s encouraged. “That’s what red ribbon week is to share that drugs and alcohol are dangerous,” McCoy said. 

 Red ribbon week was started because of Henry Lozano. His friend Special Agent “KiKi” was brutally murdered and terminated by drug traffickers he was investing in Mexico. At first, he and Congressman Duncan Hunter made the”Camarena Clubs” and then later added red ribbons says website get smart about drugs. Red ribbon week has now become an annual event that many schools around the world participate in.

And STMS is one of them this year’s activities included these days. Many students enjoyed this year activities Monday’s theme was “RED OUT against drugs” were all student and faculty were asked to wear a red shirt with the dress code bottoms. Students also participated in a  red ribbon walk. Students were given red suckers to eat as they walked the track.

Students enjoyed the Red Ribbon Week Walk.

STMS student Emily Greene said this was her favorite day. “We got to go outside and talk to our friends and just be ourselves.”  Tuesday’s theme was “Don’t get TIED UP in drugs.”   Throughout The Trail, students could be seen sporting tie-dye shirts with dress code bottoms. Wednesday’s theme was “LEI off drugs.” Students enjoyed wearing Hawaiian shirts with dress code pants. Students were given a Lei to wear as well. Thursday’s theme was  “TEAM UP against drugs.” Students wore a team shirt with dress code bottoms. Friday’s theme was “PASS IT ON.” Students who paid $2 were allowed to participate in a Full Dress Down. Student Marquis Armstrong said this was his favorite day. “Everyone got to be themselves and they were all super happy.” The money that was collected from the $2 dress down was donated to Keystone,  a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Counselor McCoy said the week was a success.

 “I’m just happy that students participated, McCoy said, “It shows that there understanding.” STMS students were having fun while they were learning the importance of not doing drugs and drinking alcohol.”

Shot Came As Surpise to Some Seventh-Graders

Many 7th students thought that they were done with vaccines until they found out they were required to get another before entering school this year. For some, this came as a big surprise.

“It scared me at first, but I knew, in the end, it would help me,” said  Lily Grace Huddeltson A 7th grader. “I am glad I got it.”

Saluda Trail’s Nurse Bailey said the Tdap Vaccine helps protects students from serious diseases.

In the state of South Carolina, all 7th graders are required to have a Tdap vaccine. Saluda Trail Middle School Nurse Chante Bailey said this vaccine protects students against three very serious diseases – tetanus, diphtheria and acelluar pertussis (whooping cough).  

“The Tdap shot was new to me, so I did not know whether it would help me or not,” said Tavion Grissitte. “I  am glad I got it because even if I did not know what it was it could help me not be sick,” he said.

Babies and little kids get aDTaP shot to protect them from diphtheria, tetanus, adn pertussis (whooping cough), but it wears off when they get older which causes pre-teens and teenagers to be at risk. Because of this, many states including South Carolina and North Carolina require this booster shot. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the requirement for the vaccine began during the 2013-14 school year. This is the 6th school year that the requirement has been in effect. All students in public and private schools must have this vaccine.

Nurse Bailey said there are currently 271 7th graders at Saluda Trail this school year.

Although Nurse Bailey said she hasn’t seen anyone with any of these diseases as of yet, she said “I think that everyone should get the vaccine. The vaccine protects you from getting P.W.T.” Nurse Bailey said students could get the vaccine from their family doctor or health department.  

“Most insurance pays for the vaccine,” she added. The cost of the vaccine could be $110 to $120 without insurance.

Nurse Bailey said the diseases that the vaccine protects from are very serious. They can cause everything from muscle spasms to infections. For example, Tetanus is a disease that causes a serious bacterial infection that causes painful muscle spasms and can lead to death. Diphtheria is a disease that is a serious infection of the nose and throat. Pertussis (Whooping Cough)  is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It can cause a bad cough that makes someone gasp for air after coughing fits.

Although some students find shots to be scary, the CDC and the American Academy of Family Physicians say the shot has been studied carefully and is safe.

One side effect from the shot can be soreness in the arm. However, health officials say the benefits outweigh the side effects.

There are, however, some side effects. Those are redness, soreness in the arm where the shot was given, headache, fever, or tiredness.

The benefits, health professionals say, outweigh the side effects. “All and all,  the Tdap vaccine is a very good vaccine and protects from very serious diseases,”  said Nurse Bailey.


STMS Students Family’s Business is a Nightmare

As child Eddie Cook enjoyed scaring the pants off of anyone and everyone.   

 “I love to see reactions, falling down from someone jumping out, etc. because as a child I liked to scare people so seeing the reactions is funny to me.” said Eddie Cook one of the owners of the 901 Nightmare.

The 901 Nightmare, is a haunted trail located 3520 Mount Holly Road in Edgemoor, SC. It was opened most weekends throughout October.

Cook has two daughters who attend Saluda Trail. Savannah, a 6th grader, and Jordan, an 8th grader. For them, this isn’t your usual family business.

Cook’s daughter, Savannah a 6th grader, also finds joy from seeing others terrified, crunching together, screaming and running for their lives. “Most of, the attendees seem to say fear the clowns,” the Cook girls said. “They also fear the chainsaw, even though there is no chain,” Savannah said.  

Savannah, who gets to dress up and scare folks going through the trail, said “It’s funny.” She has been through at least a hundred times, so it really doesn’t phase her.  On the other hand Jordan has only been through the entire trail once, and never went back. Jordan Cook, the oldest of the Cook girls doesn’t enjoy it as much. “I don’t like going because it’s scary,” said Jordan an 8th grader. “I don’t like scary things.”

Savannah enjoys spending a lot of her time at the trail when it’s open.

   “I’m there a lot,” Savannah said. “Every night unless my parents say not to.”  Savannah gets involved with most every part of the trail, from being inside and scaring people to helping in the lines.

Jordan said she’s only out there if she has to.

The 901 Trail was originally opened in 1998 then closed for a while until 2005 and re-opened for the 2005- 2006 seasons. The Cooks reopened it again in 2013.

The Cooks expect to keep it going.

“As long as we’re having fun and making a little bit of money, as long as possible,” said Mr. Cook.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the trail. It’s not too late. The trail will be open on Halloween, Oct. 31st, from 7:30-10:30.

The Chainsaw always draws fear, according to the Cook Girls.

Giggles the clown brings about more screams than giggles, the Cook Girls say.



“ You have to take an advantage of you opportunity because it’s one in a lifetime.”

The Saluda Trail 7 and 8th-grade football teams had an almost perfect season this year, both sailing their way to a chance for a championship. The 7th-grade team was 7-0 when they took on Dutchman Creek, but suffered a loss which ended their season. “We worked hard to get where we were there is always next year.” – Aremdez Husky .

The 7-grade team was coached by Coach Dunham who said, “The team had great potential was very talented, and were dedicated young men who were willing to make the necessary changes to succeed.” Coach Dunham added, “They put in hard work 5 days a week and played the toughest teams in Rock Hill and York areas.” Coach Dunham stated there were several standout players on this year’s team: Demari Kendrick ( DK) , Kanye Nelson , AC Mcmoore, Jordan Miller , and Aremdez Husky.

Kendrick said he was excited about the numbers they put on the board.
“If we don’t score we don’t win “ – Demari Kendrick

Coach Dunham encouraged his team to take advantage of every opportunity. “ You have to take an advantage of your opportunity because it’s one in a lifetime,”  he said. The 8th-grade team also had an outstanding season. Their only 2 losses came from Dutchman Creek Middle School. The 8-grade team was coached by CJ Deino who said, “Our 8-grade team this year was very mature and had a passion for the game of football.” The 8-grade team has also played some of the toughest teams in the Rock Hill and york area such as Oakridge and Dutchman creek middle school.The team was lead by Isaiah Steele and Redden Smith who lead the defensive line. “We did well even though this is our last year we made the best of it. “ – Isaiah Steele

Twisted Strings

Saluda Trail Middle Schoolers have discovered new ways to lace up their shoes. It’s called shoe braiding. Students say it saves you time.

“At first I  didn’t like the idea of braiding shoelaces,” said Summer Martin, a 7th-grade student. “But then when I tried it, it became easier.” Martin added, “Because my bus comes early,  it’s easier to put on my shoes,so it saves me time.”

Martin, who said she learned how to braid her laces from a friend and the internet,  said, “Sometimes I like to change the color of my shoelaces to switch up the look.”

Jessica Perkins, another 7th-grade student  said, “I learned from the internet, but I didn’t understand it so I asked a  friend that already had their shoes braided and she taught me how to braid my shoes.” Perkins said that her favorite style was the fishtail braid. 

There are many different styles of braiding, including the french braid.

Katelyn Armacovitch said she first started braiding her shoes in 6th grade. She said learned from watching a youtube video. Armacovitch said she searched life hacks. The first hack was somebody braiding shoes. The hack, she said, was for when you’re in a rush and it takes time to tie your shoe, just braid it the night before so all you have to do is slip your foot in it. Armacovitch said she told herself, “I need to do this!” 

Armacovitch added, “Sometimes I like to change my color; I like to be different.”




New Addition Sparks Creativity

Makerspaces are popping up in schools across the country, and Saluda Trail Middle School has become the first middle school in our area to construct one.

Saluda Trail’s maker space was constructed this school year and students and staff are excited about the new environment. 

“We’re the only middle school that has one, ” said David Consalvi, Saluda Trail’s Steam Coach. “Oakdale is making one and South Pointe has one.”  “Becuase we’re STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math)  schools, we’re focused on getting kids creative. Consalvi added, “We want their brains to be active.”

Saluda Trail’s New maker space has a lot of cool equipment.  There’s a 3D printer, laser and vinyl cutters and at tooling station.

If you haven’t check out our new maker space, you want to do so. The new space is now providing studens with an awesome opportunity to design, create, construct and problem-solve.


New Lunches! Yay or Nay?

Saluda Trail Wildcats returned to school in August to find changes in lunches. While the cafeteria staff says there’s more variety, this year, many students say they are unhappy with the changes.

Our new lunches in the cafeteria may seem like a small adjustment to many outside of the school, but could it be causing more issues like kids not focusing in class?  Many students have stopped eating and possibly stopped learning as well. Could it be that what some may consider a  small change in Saluda Trail’s students’ diet having a big effect on student’s learning?

On the first day of school, many students said were ready and excited to get their hands on a nice plate of nachos. While the students waited in the long line for nachos they noticed that these weren’t nachos at all, but instead saw corn dogs. Many students noticed that the bread had certainly changed on the corn dogs. It went from what considered “soggy and gross”  to “hard and healthy.”

A seventh grader, Tristina Hicks said, “On the first day of school I was really excited to go get my nachos, but when I got in the line I realized that it was corn dogs, and it was healthy and that’s ok but I didn’t like it because the bread didn’t taste good. Since then I have been bringing my own lunch from home.”

Many students like Tristina said they have stopped eating school lunch because of the “healthy” additions to the bread and meals. While the students are struggling to tell themselves to get a lunch meal the lunch staff has different opinions.

Susan Austin, the STMS lunch manager, said “The old lunch company was outsourced by the new company because the government runs what lunches we use and the lunch companies we use. They tell us how much salt to use and how much sugar. The lunch staff and I have no control over what is made.”

Most students just agree that we should change our lunches back to nachos but apparently, there is more to be known. The new lunch company is called SFE and is a professional culinary company and tells our school district what to make and eat. SFE stands for Southwest Food Excellence and was chosen by the government because it had healthier variety and options.

Some students don’t agree with the health changes.

Madison Rhodes, a student at STMS, said, “Healthy is when you actually eat. Last year everyone ate school lunch whether it was nachos, pizza, or a sandwich. Healthy to me is when after the long school hours we have you stop and eat but this year no one is stopping and eating. So this is isn’t healthier.”

Not only have the lunches changed but so have the lines. The lunch lines have changed to where every line has the same food. Some students are not happy with this change, while others are actually ok with it.

Tristina Hicks said, “Actually that is one of the perks of the new lunches because instead of having to wait in the long nacho line so we’re not rushing to get into a line.”

So what do you think? Are the new lunches yay or nay?

Are students being provided with enough opportunities to be creative in school

I think that students aren’t being provided with enough opportunities to be creative. 

Schools that have limits on sports players, club activities, and strict dress code or uniforms.

Things like art class, P.E, and other in school activities give students small chances to be creative but things like assignments and limits on what to do take those chances away.

Research shows that schools demand too much of children like when you’re doing a project in art class the give you a lost of directions to follow.

Teachers tell them what to do and how they do it.

Experts say creativity is innate, so it can’t really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.

But Teachers at school encourage it but destroy it at the same time which leaves kids clueless on what exactly their supposed to do.

But some people would disagree because schools provide many opportunities like extra activities.

Though we do have these things some students don’t enjoy these activities because they’re not interested in the topic.

Each person has a different thing their interested and some kids don’t have an opportunity to express what they love at school as well as maybe at home.

Schools take these rights away when they add directions on an art project or an assignment the student feels strongly about limiting them to what they can talk about and keep their opinion to themselves.

Students have a right and their school takes that away but also encourages it for their students when their the ones probably limiting how much creativity they can use.

Each student has a right to be creative and I feel like school takes away that opportunity by having strict instructions on how to do a project or assignment.


The Buzz on Mr. Bey

The December Teacher’s Spotlight shines brightly on one of the new teachers at STMS, Mr. Bey.   Mr. Bey,  who teaches 6th-grade math,  started teaching at Saluda Trail in August and said he has enjoyed being here thus far.

“The students seem to be happier and willing to work harder here than my previous schools, said Mr. Bey. “There are a lot more elective classes that the students can choose from.”

Mr. Bey helps one of his 6th grade students with math. He is one of the newest Wildcat teachers.

Learn more about Mr. Bey below.

Q: What school did you teach at before you came to STMS?

A: “I taught at Lewisville Middle School for 13 years.’’

Q: What subject did you teach at your old school?

A:  I taught 8th-grade mathematics at Lewisville middle school.’’

Q: What are your favorite movie, foods, and music?

A: “My favorite movie is Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman. My favorite food is pizza with olives and mushrooms.  I love 70s slow jams  – The O’jays, Otis Redding, and Earth Wind and Fire .’’

Q: Where did go to college”

A: “I did undergraduate at Center State University (OH) and Graduate school at Winthrop.”

Fun Facts About Mr. Bey:

  • Mr. Bey has a 9-month-old daughter.
  • He was an All city basketball player in Pittsburgh, PA  in 1996.
  • Mr. Bey is a big time Pittsburg Steeler Fan.
  • Mr. Bey likes to weight train and jog.
  • Mr. Bey is a big fan of the AMC hit series The Walking Dead.
  • Mr. Bey comes from a family of educators. “My mother, father, brother and sister are all current or retired teachers,” he said.

Did you know: Mr. Bey has an identical twin brother? “Being a twin is great,” he said. “It taught me how to share, and I had a companion to play sports with growing up.”

Should 6th Graders Be Allowed To Play Sports?

This school year 6th graders in North Carolina were given the opportunity to participate in all middle school athletics, except for football. Here, in SC, however, 6th graders still aren’t allowed to play sports. Wildcats have different opinions as to whether 6th graders should play.

Some Wildcats say 6th graders should be allowed to play, while others say they should wait it out.

Mr. Kirk Robinson, who coaches 7th-grade boys basketball, said 6th graders should be given an opportunity to play. “It lets students get an extra year of practice,” said Robinson. “My daughter played as a starter on basketball in 6th grade,” he said.

Coach Dunham,  who is also the STMS athletic director said, 6th graders should not be allowed to play. “This is the 6th graders first year here and they need to get adjusted to the schedule and changing classes, not sports,” said Dunham who coaches, football, basketball, and track.

Joshua Wilson, a 7th grader, also agreed that 6th graders should not be allowed to play sports.  “They need to learn about the school and not focused on sports,” Wilson said. “Next year you will know the school and you can play the sports. Most of the other schools don’t let their 6th grade play.”

Lexie Bolton a gymnast, Wildcat cheerleader, volleyball player, and track runner sided with Joshua Wilson and said,”I don’t think they should  be able to play sports because 6th graders should get used to middle school.”  Bolton said getting used to middle school was a struggle for her.

Josh Popov, a 6th grader, however, had a different opinion.  He said, “Yes, I would love that.” Nathaniel Barber, an STMS  football player, agreed with Popov. “Yes, 6th graders should play sports,” Barber said.  The now 7th-grader said when he was in 6th grade, he wished that he could have played football so he could get ready.

Coach Dunham said although 6th graders aren’t allowed to play middle school sports in South Carolina, there are still opportunities for them to play sports.  He said 6th graders can play on Gray-Y football or basketball leagues.

That’s what Corinthian Finch did. “I played Gray-Y football and AAU basketball in 6th grade,” said Finch who is now in the 7th grade. Finch who played football for the Wildcats said he would not have wanted to play middle school sports when he was in the 6th grade.He added that he had to focuses on his work in 6th grade

Mr. Hamm, the 6th-grade administrator, said he did not know that 6th graders were now allowed to play sports in North Carolina.  He said while he didn’t think South Carolina would allow 6th graders to play anytime soon, he said he would attend the games if it was allowed. “Yes, every single one of them,” he added.

Clown Sightings Seem To Have Ended

Wildcats are relieved that the creepy clown sightings have ended.

From August to the end of October there were numerous reports of clown sightings in the country, even in Rock Hill. Children and adults claimed to have spotted creepy clowns out and about.

The sightings brought about a lot of fears. Mrs. Madden, a 7-grade math teacher, did not like hearing about the clowns.  “I don’t like clowns, not a bit,” she said.  Mrs. Madden said she fears clowns “will come after her in her dreams.” Mrs. Madden thought people were trying to get attention and trying to scare people and had wished they would stop.

Officer Hammond, the STMS school resource officer, said he hasn’t heard of any sighting in months. “The last time I heard of one was back in October around Halloween,” Office Hammond said.

Although Ms. Tracy, A 7th-grade science teacher, said she isn’t scared of the clowns, she is also happy that the sightings have stopped.  Mrs. Tracy said at first she thought the clown sightings were real, but now she thinks people were just making it up.

Kimberly Vincent wasn’t worried about the clowns.  “They are ok,” she said. “I’m not scared of them.”


Jessica James wasn’t afraid of them either.  However, she was relieved the sighting have ended.  “I think that stuff is crazy,” James said. “Somethings I get concerned about people.”






Puff Balls Popping Up All Over The Trail

You can spot them on book bags. Some wear them on their jackets. Others attach them to their belt buckles or phone cases.  Even celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, and Khloe Kardashian are wearing them.

Puff ball key chains have become the latest craze at STMS. The puff ball key chains come in different sizes like small, medium, and large, as well as different shade of colors. And they’re not just for girls either. Boys have been wearing them too.

Taylor Walker, a 7th grader, has a hot pink and black puff ball key chains. Taylor said she spotted other students around STMS wearing them and decided to buy one for herself. Walker said she purchased hers from Rue 21 for 5 dollars. “I just think they are cute,” said Walker.

Ja’bri Agurs-Feaster, another 7th grader agreed.

“They are Soft, fluffy and cute,” said Agurs-Feaster who wears them on his belt and jacket. “The come in nice colors and they are very easy to wash.” Agurs-Feaster said he purchased most of his from Walmart and Rue 21.

While these have become a great accessory,  some teachers have found them to be a little distracting.

” I have never experienced them being a distraction (in class), said Mrs. Madden, a 7th-grade math teacher. ” I’ve  seen people in the hall hitting each other with them,” she said. “I do think they could be a distraction in class if students play with them and don’t get their work done.”

Ms. Ulmer, the 7th grade principal models a puff-ball key chain. Photo by Emma Hudspeth


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