Wildcats Drop Everything & Read

      At 2:40 the announcement came over the intercom stating, ”At this time everybody in the school needs to find a book and start reading it.” Students then found their favorite or just a book and started to read.  Entire classes even teachers and admin sat down and read books too.

‘Read Across America’ started as a way to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday who loved to read and write books for kids. Read Across America is not an official holiday but in 1998 on March 2 kids celebrate reading across America by sitting down and reading a book.  STMS Wildcats celebrated by stopping classes and reading for 20 minutes.

Davis Capel a 7th grader who participated in the activity. realizes the importance of reading.  ”It can help us navigate real-world experiences and it can improve our minds,” Capel stated

Jack Neal another 7th grader said, ”I think it is a great thing for students to be able to get a break and read to calm themselves down and just read.”

Mrs. Creagh the reading coach here at STMS stated, ”Every job in the world you want to be when you grow up you have to know the life skill of reading and books can also teach about characters and settings.” Mrs. Remus a 6th grade LA teacher said, ”My favorite thing about Drop everything and read is that it is a dedicated time to read school-wide. For people who are not obsessed with reading, it is easy to get distracted by your surroundings. When the whole school is reading, the distractions are limited.”

     According to the National Education Association (NEA), ‘’NEA’s Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone.’’  Studies show sitting down and reading for just a few minutes a day could help with vocabulary, improve focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills.

       STMS ELA teachers not only realize the importance of reading but challenge students to take a break from technology because  reading can be just as enjoyable as playing video games or playing outside.

Will School Dances Make A Comeback?

Students show off a yearbook page from the 2019-2020 school year where photos from the last school dance were spotlighted.

It’s been a few years since a school dance has been held at STMS and many students say they would love to be able to attend one this year. Only some of the 8th graders who were here in 6th grade actually have had a chance to experience a Wildcat Dance.  The last dance at STMS was in 2020 before the pandemic. Due to Covid-19 school dances were canceled for everyone ever since.

“My 6th grade year I was very exited for the school dance,” said Raelyn McClurkin, an 8th grader. ” I got to hang out, dance, and have an amazing time with my friends, all while being at school. After a long, hard year of work, being rewarded with a school dance was amazing, McClurkin added. ” I smiled and laughed more than ever before. I hope I can do it all again.”

Students enjoyed dancing and being with friends at the last school dance. Only some of the current 8th graders have had an opportunity to experience a Wildcat dance.


Khyia Patterson another 8th grader who attended the dance  stated “It was fun for the most part. We got to be with all of

our friends in every grade, and dressed nice. It was one point where one of the boys was in the middle dancing and everyone was hype and having fun.”

Current sixth and seventh graders say they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity of having a dance this year.

“I feel like we should all have a chance to have a dance in middle school instead of waiting for high school,” said Calvary Smith, a 7th grader. “I would want this for us so we can have a good time with our friends while we are young.”

 Some parents even said the would be OK with bringing dances back. 

  “When I was in High school I didn’t go to prom so school dances are not something I did, but I would let my child go to dances so she can have fun,”  said Taninya Smith, an STMS parent. 

Stephanie Wilson another STMS parent said, “I would definitely let my kids attend dances and I would help fund it if it was needed.”

Mr. Newton the 7th grade assistant principal said, “I like the sound of bringing back dances, but student will have to prove they deserve and earn it!”

Students also enjoyed taking photos at the photo station at the last dance.

Mrs. Dantzler, a related arts teacher agrees with Mr. Newton.  “I have chaperoned several middle school dances as a former student counsel advisor, I have also sponsored many of them as well,” said Mrs. Dantzler. “The students and teachers always had lots of fun. The music and DJs are always hype. However, I feel like this year  students would definitely have to earn that privilege  in order to bring back dances.”

The 2019-2020 Yearbook students captured lots of memories from the last Wildcat dance.

Let It Grow, Let It Grow, Let It Grow!

The school garden here at STMS has made a big impact on the lives of many Wildcats. Mrs. Hart, a 6th-grade science teacher here at Saluda Trail, created a garden behind the school. She enjoys taking her students out there to work in the garden. Students and teachers say it’s an amazing outdoor learning laboratory that many have had an opportunity to experience.

Jamie Arcuri, a 6th grader, said her favorite part about the garden was, “going out to see how much the garden has grown.” Luther Strait, another 6th

Mrs. Harts looks around the garden located behind the school

grader said, “I enjoy working with dirt and plants.”

Mrs. Harts’ students help her water plants, pull weeds, and even plant more seeds. “I like everything about the garden except the weeding,” Mrs. Hart stated. All of her students love different things about the garden.

Students in Mrs. Hart’s 6th grade science class shovel dirt to place around the mini pools located in the garden.

Jaden Jackson, a seventh-grader, remembered the garden from last year. “I wasn’t here the whole year, but while I was here it was fun to be outside instead of being stuck in the classroom doing work,” Jackson said.  Na’kiyah Williamson, a 7th grader who hasn’t experienced the garden said, ” I guess the garden is nice. It’s good for students to go and learn about plants and the environment. I really don’t know much about it because I wasn’t there but what I’ve heard is good.”

Even students in Mrs. Dantzler’s and Mr. Rhodes’ photography classes enjoy the garden. ” I love being able to take my photography students out to the garden,” Mrs. Dantzler said. “My students have taken some amazing nature photos out there. They also get to see the growth out there.”

Mrs. Dantzler’s students enjoy taking photos in the garden.

Mrs. Hart said there are some challenges when it comes to a school garden – money and time. Because the school does not provide funds for the garden, Mrs. Hart said she often uses her own money to fund the garden and provide entertainment for the 6th-graders. She also stated that there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all of the things should like to do when it comes to the garden.

Animals have been another challenge. “I’m not sure how many different kinds of animals have eaten things from the garden, but I know that at least one deer came in this year and feasted on the peppers and the tops of the sweet potatoes,” Mrs. Hart said. “The deer walked into the pools and left footprints as proof.”

Mrs. Hart and one of her students move dirt to place around the plants.

Mrs. Hart is grateful for some of the outside support she has received from  the Rock Hill School District Foundation, Farm Bureau, and Master Gardeners. The support has been very helpful and have allowed her students to learn about plant behavior in the garden.

Mrs. Hart recently received a new grant for a quail farm, which will include a garden where her students can learn more about animal and plant life and behavior. Students will benefit from this because they will be able to learn more while also having fun.

Mrs. Hart received $472.00 from the foundation.  “The Foundation Grant was the only grant that I won for this,” Mrs. Hart said. “The York County 4-H gave me the eggs.” She said the grant took her about a month to obtain.

Students Enjoy Fridays at Kates

It’s the weekend and you’re looking for something to do? Kates Skating Center might be the place for you.

Students say Kates Skating Center is a very popular and fun place to go on Friday nights. Located at 1530 Celanese Road in Rock Hill SC, you will find both boys and girls showing off their skating skills. Kids falling off their feet. Skaters speeding across the rink. People dancing to pop music. But most of all, youth just having fun.

Sophia Wilson, a STMS 7th grader enjoys hanging out at Kates.  “I have been going to Kates skates for a very long time and I think it’s so popular because it’s a great way to make new friends,” she said.  “Most of the workers are teens and  they know how to have a good time. Because a lot of the people that go there , it always feels normal.”

Students say they enjoy Kates because its a great place to just get away.  They say the like going when they need a break school or just a break from reality.

 “I’ve always wondered why this place gets so much business until I started working here and I finally found out that kids don’t come here just because it’s something to do, they come here to make new friends and see people and to laugh and just overall have a good time,” said the DJ at Kates. 

 Stephanie Wilson, an STMS parent, remembers what it was like going to Kates when she was younger. “When I was my kid’s ages I always went to the skating rink with friends and my experience was really good,” Wilson said. “I only have good memories from it, but I think they definitely need some remodeling.” 


Want to check out Kates? Kate Skates hours are  Friday  7-11 pm, Saturday 11 am- 5 pm, Sunday 2- 5 pm, Monday 6- 9 pm, Tuesday 8- 11 pm

Wednesday they are closed, and Thursday 7- 9:30 pm.

Wildcats Continue to Teach and Learn During A Pandemic

Schools are open and many Wildcats are excited about being back.  Even so, some say there are still challenges and concerns of teaching and learning in a Pandemic.

” I don’t know why they got these schools opening knowing that COVID still going around,” said Zimere Smith, a seventh grader said.  “I think they still have schools open because they want us to learn, even though there is virtual, some kids can’t learn by doing virtual.”


Because the rise of Covid , many teachers , students and staff have gotten vaccinated.

STMS School Nurse Bailey said nearly 100 kids have brought in their vaccinations cards. Many teachers have been vaccinated as well. “I’ve been vaccinated, ” said Mr. Charles, a 7th grade social studies teacher.  Mrs. Byrd, a 7th grade ELA teacher said she also has been vaccinated.

Nurse Bailey gives tips on how to stay healthy during the Pandemic.

Nurse Bailey there are several ways Wildcats can help protect themselves from the virus.  She said ways to do so are  “making sure you wash your hands, keeping a our mask on, getting enough sleep and getting vaccinated.”  Nurse Bailey said her Covid concerns are “The spread of Covid throughout the classrooms.” “There are more students this year than last year, masks were required last year but not this year,” said Nurse Bailey.

Mr. Tisdale, a 7th grade science teacher said ‘’I think kids should wear masks just for their safety, but at the same time it should be their choice.”

Mr.  Arthur, a 7th grade math teacher,  said “If it was up to me, none of us would be in school, but I’m here to help students learn.”


Teachers and students who did virtual last year said this year is really different.


“Virtual was better because I didn’t have to get out of my bed or I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning just to come to school,” said Jakarri Feaster, a 7th grader. Mrs. King, a 7th grade ELA teacher also liked Virtual School.  Virtual was a little better because I didn’t have to worry about kids turning work in late, because we could do Zooms where I could help them get caught up,” said Mrs. King.

Ms. Clowney , an 8th grade science teacher said, “I like the excitement being face to face because I get to teach and be a basketball coach. I also liked doing virtual because I got more work done doing virtual.”






All About Mrs. Myles!

Mrs. Myles, the new the Interim Principal of Saluda Trail Middle School, enjoys her new role.

       You’ve seen her in the gallery and each morning on the Saluda Trail News Network. But have you had an opportunity to really get to know Mrs. Myles?

  Mrs. Myles became the Interim Principal of Saluda Trail Middle School early this November. She stepped into the position after Dr. Ledsinger left for medical reasons.    

“I was asked  by Dr. Campbell to be the interim principal at STMS,” said Mrs. Myles. “I loved being a principal and I feel like I still have something to contribute, so I felt like I could fulfill that need.”

 Many of the teachers and staff have enjoyed having her here.  Mrs. Byrd, a 7th grade ELA teacher said Mrs. Myles is a very jolly person that loves to laugh. “I like Mrs. Myles,” said Mrs. Byrd. “I like her organization, and she’s visible.”

STMS Media Specialist Ms. Inman also spoke positively about Mrs. Myles. “I think she is doing a great job (as principal). She is very positive and supportive of teachers and students.” Inman added, “I like her sense of humor, her organization, and her positive attitude. She is a very friendly and outgoing person.”

Mrs. Myles came to STMS with a wealth of experience.  She worked for Rock Hill schools for 31 years before retiring.

STMS Administrators and Dr. John Jones who recently served as and Interim Superintendent, welcomed Mrs. Myles to The Trail.

Recalling  some of her favorite memories from working in the education industry, Mrs. Myles said,  “I love to see the smiles on students’ faces when they’re happy, and when the “lightbulb” goes off when they learn something new.”

Mrs. Myles, who said she has lived her entire  life in Rock Hill, has two adult children.   “Both of my wonderful children are here (in Rock Hill), my Bri and Zell, they’re 30 and 25,” said Mrs. Myles.  The new principal has other family in town as well.  She said she has a great niece and a cousin here in Rock Hill, as well as two nephews who attend Saluda Trail.  Mrs. Myles enjoys spending time with her family.  “My family is very close, and we like to just hang out and have a good time,” she said.  “Being able to enjoy their company is a blessing, for sure.”

Mrs. Myles said she is enjoying working at the Trail.  “I am loving the people here at STMS, which includes the students and staff that I’ve met so far,” she said.

Here are some fun facts about Mrs. Myles:

  • She has worked for more than 10 schools since she started working for Rock Hill Schools.
  • Myles also became a realtor after retiring from Rock Hill Schools.
  • She drove a bus in high school, and didn’t get in trouble for it!
  • She played three sports in high school; volleyball, basketball, and softball.
  • In her spare time, Mrs. Myles loves to read, exercise and watch TV.
  • Her favorite subject in school was Social Studies/History.
  • Her favorite books are the Bible, Becoming by Michelle Obama, and Daily Devotions by Max Lucado. 
  • Her favorite foods are a good cheeseburger, homemade veggie beef soup salads.
  • She loves to travel and is planning a trip to Africa in 2023.





Cookies: Sales, Bakers and Boss

Have you ever wondered, who makes the cookies for lunch? How many cookies do they sell in a week? Who runs the cookie sales? Mr. Patrick Hawthorne is the “keeper” of the cookie makers and the little “elves” are his students.

Mr. Hawthorne’s students follow strict guidelines when preparing the cookies.

The classic chocolate chip cookies  have been in bid demand at The Trail.  The cost for the tasty treats is $1 per package. Each package contains 3 cookies.  STMS 6th graders are able to purchase cookies on Wednesdays and the 7th and 8th graders are able to purchase cookies on Thursdays.

‘They’re Great,” said 8th Grader Lailah Johnson. “I get them every week,” she added. “They’re warm and soft and filled with great chocolate.”

Lillian Thompson agrees.  “I buy the chocolate chip cookies almost every week,” Thompson said.  “They’re really good.  They’re always warm and 3 cookies for one dollar makes it better.”

Thompson said she would recommend everyone buying them.

Mr. Hawthorne, who recognizes the importance of  learning life skills,  took the time to teach his students with disabilities how to bake these delicious cookies.

Cookie sales are a big deal at The Trail.

Three hundred cookies are baked for each cookie day.

His  students must follow strict guidelines when preparing the cookies.  “For the students to help make cookies, they must wear gloves and they must have good health,” said Mr. Hawthorne. If a student appears to be sick in any way, they are not allowed to assist with cookies that day, he said.

On cookie days, students use 6 baking pans where they place 15 cookies on each pan. The pans are rotated until 300 cookies are baked. After they are baked,  his students must wait for the cookies to cool before placing 3 cookies in individual cookie bags.

“I look ward to Thursdays when I know the 7th and 8th grade cookies will be sold,” said Raelyn McClurkin, an 8th grader.  “They have the perfect amount of chocolate chips and they’re always still warm when I buy them.”

Students say 3 cookies for a dollar is a pretty good deal.

You won’t find Mr. Hawthorne giving away the “secret recipe” for these cookies.

So you want to know the recipe for these popular cookies?  “Unfortunately, that’s top-secret,” Mr. Hawthorne stated.

STMS 6th graders look forward to purchase cookies on Wednesdays. Each week long lines can be seen outside of the cafe.










New School Year Brings About Welcomed Changes

Mr. Runyan, STMS  chorus and piano teacher, said he was happy to have all of the students back this year.

This school year, some  teachers, students and staff say are pleased with being back to a bit of normalcy.

Westly Runyan, STMS  chorus and piano teacher, “It has been good. This year has been exceptionally better than last year because I can have my full class sizes back, instead of having students split between A and B days. Lastly, it’s nice that we can interact more and go on field trips.”

Rebecca McCoy the 7th-grade guidance counselor agreed. “For me, I prefer not having to think about virtual students; I like being able to see everyone and interact with them more than I was able to last year on A-day and B-day; I feel like I didn’t get to know my kids as well as other instructors,”  McCoy said.

Being back also comes with some concerns.

Staying healthy this school year is a priority for Mrs. Bolyard, a 7th-grade math teacher.

“My concern each year is how to be the best teacher I can be for the students in my room that year,”  said Amaris Bolyard, a 7th-grade math teacher at STMS. Bolyard  added,  “This, to me, means how do I stay healthy, how do I improve my teaching, and how can I best reach my students so I can teach them.”

Even students find that they need to focus on self-care.

“I’m taking time for myself and putting out the effort and power to look after myself and to treat and reward myself when I’m doing well, ” said Isabella Tramell, a 7th grader.

For Korinthia Brown-Cason “KD,” a seventh-grader stated,  however,  this year hasn’t really been concerning.

“It could be worse,” Brown-Cason said. “And it’s a lot better than other schools.” 

Mrs. Frazier, a  7th-grade  science teacher, focuses on a successful year.

While many students and teachers say the year hasn’t been perfect, they are trying their best to make it a successful year.

“I try to remember that everyone is coming from a different experience from Covid,”  said Brittani Frazier, a  7th-grade  science teacher.


Wildcats Express Themselves With Hair Color

Isabella Sutton sports blonde highlights in her hair.

One way that STMS students have been showcasing their personality has been through hair colors.

For many students, changing hair colors has become a very expressive trend.  On any given day, you can notice almost any color of the rainbow.

Some of the many colors have been seen at the trail include, blue, blonde, green, purple, brown, pink. Currently red seems to be  the most popular among all of them.

Hair color is a popular trend this school year at The Trail.

 ” I do think that coloring your hair is a good way to showcase your personality instead of clothing,” said Isabella Tremell, a 7th grade Wildcat.  Tremell  has the tips of her hair dyed pink. While some students may have started this trend when school began,  Tremell said she had been dying her hair for a while. “ I was coloring my hair before school started ,” Tremell added.

Kayla Weimer, a 7th grader said she enjoys dying her hair in different colors and has a specific brand she likes to use the most.  “I think that the best hair dye brand is Revon. It does not damage my hair and has high pigmented colors.” When you dye your hair, you have access to all kinds of colors and techniques to do so.

Jaylah said she is interested in dying her hair.  “I have never dyed my hair, but I want to because it would make me feel different from most people,” Mobley said. “Certain colors can pop, but some colors just shine more than others.”  Mobley added,  “I think that Red pops the most because it’s the most pigmented color.”

Not all students are into this trend.  John Hedrick, a 7th grade student, thinks that hair dye is a bit over the top for school. ” Coloring your hair can be any ones decision, but I believe that its a bit over the top for school, if you have a bright color in your hair, it could distract students from their work.”

Caden Gibson, a 7th grade student agrees that some colors could be a distraction.  Because of this, he prefers natural colors colors over “un

Red is the color of choice for Mariela Glen.

natural colors.” “I use natural colors more than bright colors because, brighter colors usually have more chemicals because of the color pigment, “he added

Even guys are enjoying coloring their hair.
Caden Gibson, a 7th grader, has a reddish color on the ends of his hair.










The Newest STMS Artist; Not The Ideal Student

Leonardo Da Vinci, Peter Paul, Henri Rousseau, Piero di Cosimo, all of these world class artists have featured snakes in their work, but have you heard of a snake doing the painting?

This snake found it’s way recently into the art room. It was probably waiting around for the next art lesson.

Mrs. Copley, the STMS art teacher, sure hadn’t.  On Wednesday, Dec. 9th,  Mrs. Copley was going about her day, which had been quite uneventful at the time. As she casually walked into her classroom, she noticed that the cans she was saving for an art project had been chaotically knocked to the floor. By themselves these events aren’t that exciting, but what happened next definitely made it an abnormal occurrence.  Mrs. Copley said  as she took a closer look,  she realized there was what appeared to be a snake perched on the windowsill.

Yet to Mrs. Copley this was completely normal.  “I figured one of my colleagues as they often do, did it,” she said. 

However on closer inspection this prank seemed to be a little more serious. Lo and behold this was in fact a living breathing snake made entirely out of living organisms, not plastic.

 Mrs. Copley who said she is not known as a snake person screamed 911, to Mr. Runyan, the chorus teacher.  Her call for help could only be described as a “Screeching Weesssssss!” All of the related arts teachers who heard Ms. Copley’s cry of help, came running. 

Mr. Runyan helps gather a snake that recently made it’s way into the art room.

Mr. Runyan who’s first thoughts were “Ooh a snake, can I take it home,”  said  the snake was “all black with a white belly, it was about 2ft long and was the width of a candlestick.” 

Mr. Runyan even had backup.  Mr. Denio, the Robotics teacher, also leaped into action.  Together the two quickly looked for something to usher the snake away from the art room. What they found was a long wooden stick and a garbage can, without the lining.

These two heroes were luckily able to usher the snake into the trash can where he was transported to 6th grade science teacher Ms.Hart.  The snake was put outside where he rightfully belonged and disaster was avoided. Hopefully this is one artist who won’t have any copycats!

Wildcats Enjoy Cashing in Cat Coins

Mrs. McCoy, the 7th grade counselor, hands  Bryson Connor an item from the Cat Coin Store.



The Cat Coin Warehouse  at Saldua Trail has become a welcomed addition. Students go to the store on Fridays and cash in their cat coins for rewarding prizes.

Mrs. McCoy, the seventh grade counselor, stated the most popular items students like to receive from the cat coin store were Takis, candy, and Popits.  The Cat Coin Warehouse  is open every Friday during lunch.  

Students can receive tickets from teachers for various reasons.  Mrs. Byrd, a 7th grade ELA teacher gives out  tickets for  “right behavior and for being respectful and being on task.”

Once tickets have been earned, five t

Wildcats enjoy cashing in their cat coins and tickets for cool stuff.

ickets can be traded in for a Cat Coin.  The coins can  be cashed in for the items in the warehouse. For example  – chips and Popits are 2 Cat Coins and candy is  3 cat coins.  Other items in the warehouse include Airheads, Skittles, chocolate candy bars and Fidgets.

Mrs. McCoy shows of the many items students receive when cashing in their Cat Coins.

Mrs. McCoy said she enjoys working at the warehouse. “I love working at the Cat Coin store because  love seeing kids spend the coins that they earned and hope it encourages them to do better,” she said. 

STMS students have enjoyed receiving items from the warehouse.

Ayden Neal said that he loves the Cat Coin Warehouse because he likes the candy and chips.   Ty’Quan Brice said he likes the dress down passes because he likes to be “dripped out.”

Each Friday the Cat Coin Wareshouse is opened for students to cash in their tickets and coins.

Zimer Smith said he loves the candy so he can have “more energy” for when he goes outside.

Mr. Newton, the 7th grade Assistant Principal, said the Cat Coin Warehouse was invented last year. It was opened Thursdays and Wednesdays during that time because they had 2 groups of students. One group came Mondays and Tuesdays and the other came Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Jasmine Cousar said the warehouse reminded her of a store at her former elementary school.  “We had a store called the’ Dragon Store’ at Oakdale Elementary,” Cousar said. “It was like the same thing because they had toys, shirts, water bottles, passes and other things like the Cat Coin Warehouse.”



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 redribbon.org, 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 ww.scholaltic.com/bf/saludatrailmiddleschool .” 

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.”

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