The Madison County Journal's Raider Weekly...

December 20, 2000


A compilation of articles written by Madison County School students.



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Donnan's farewell
BY STEPHEN TIPPINS
The Jim Donnan era at the University of Georgia has come to a disappointing close. After a 7-4 season in which preseason expectations held the Dawgs in top-ten status, Donnan has been fired.
It is not set in stone, though, as to whether or not the loss to Georgia Tech late last month was the final Saturday that saw Jim Donnan don the headsets for Red and Black. The seniors on the team have requested that Donnan lead them into battle one last time when they appear in the Oahu Bowl in Hawaii. Still, despite what may come of this respect, Donnan has seen his last full season at the helm of the Dawgs.
In retrospect, Donnan's' five-year stint as head coach wasn't that bad. In fact, it was a rather successful half of a decade. The Bulldogs broke their winless streak against the hated fore Florida. They began a streak of their own that includes four straight bowl bids. And they pulled off the biggest and as far as Georgia fans are concerned, probably the greatest, come-from-behind victory in bowl history by overcoming Purdue in last year's Outback Bowl.
Unfortunately, this 2000 season didn't meet the expectations of the preseason, as sadly the Dogs failed once again to win the SEC championship. Donnan, as the head honcho in Athens, is the man to take responsibility for the disappointment. And so he must now carry out the difficult, though noble, side of coaching. He must move on.
He will of course bleed a little red and black from now on; a football coach always leaves a little of himself behind when he departs from a school. A little loyalty to the previous program is to be expected. Donnan already has a little Sooner in him, and from time to time he hears the footsteps of the Thundering heard.
He knows the tomahawk chop by heart and he sees Tarheel blue when he's not thinking about North Carolina State Wolfpacks, Kansas State Wildcats, and Tigers from Missouri.
Now he merely has one more sentimental chapter to write about in his future memoirs, a chapter solely dedicated to the Silver Britches of Athens. Until then, he will pack up and move on in an attempt to adopt a new set of colors and learn a new fight song. The only question at hand is whether or not Georgia will find the kind of coach they are looking for before the onset of spring practice.
Hopefully, the university will, despite the difficulty of the task, find a suitable replacement for Coach Donnan.

Tammy Westmoreland: Drama queen
BY JENNI NATION
For most people, a job is a way to bring in money, but for teachers, it's a passion. One of these teachers is Mrs. Tammy Westmoreland.
"Mrs. West" as she is affectionately called by students, graduated from MCHS in 1983. She went on to Emmanuel, UGA and Piedmont College to earn a master's degree in education. Currently, she is teaching ninth grade English and drama, and is the head of the MCHS Drama Club.
She likes helping students find a way to express themselves freely.
Mrs. West spends a lot of her free time at school, with the Drama Club, working on various projects and productions. She also considers herself an Internet junkie. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Madison County with her two Chihuahuas, Barney and Lillie, and her cat, Tickle.
Mrs. Westmoreland is one of the many great teachers here. She truly cares about her students. She acts as a teacher and a friend, and that is something that no student will soon forget.


Relax this Christmas
BY LORI MOON
Christmas Day is nipping at heels of people young and old.
Even before Thanksgiving, Christmas movies had begun playing on TV, Christmas sales had started in stores, and children had began making their wish list for Santa. This month of December has flown by for us, especially the shoppers that keep having to buy just one more gift.
Senior Andy Coile commented, "It's always hectic to get through traffic at the mall when trying to buy gifts for my loved ones, but no matter how many people cut me off it's always worth it to see the smiles on their faces"
When will the madness slow down? For some, it won't. At least not until after Christmas Day itself. For others, it slows down as soon as the children of the house get out of school. This is the category my family falls under.
All month long, I have juggled my time between school, church, working two jobs, FCA, and shopping for my friends and family. I have been anticipating the last day of school before Christmas holidays for two reasons; one, I can't wait to see the looks on the faces of my friends when I give them their gifts I bought with my hard-earned money. Two, because I will be able to relax and enjoy spending time with my friends and family.
During the holidays, students have more time to spend together. Some throw their own Christmas parties, others just hang out with their friends. But no matter what the activity is, students have fun being out of school and with their friends.
Senior Chad Youngblood said, "Not only do I enjoy spending time with my friends and family during the holidays, I also like the Christmas dinner that my girlfriend Lori and I have had together for the past seven years. This Christmas will be our seventh anniversary."
When I am not spending time with my friends, I plan on relaxing and taking the time to enjoy what Christmas is really for - family. Every year, there are three traditions my family participates in.
Usually before Christmas Eve, my family and grandparents go up to South Carolina to spend time with my uncle, aunt and cousins. We spend a day or two at their house, have dinner together and then open gifts.
On Christmas Eve, my grandparents come over to my house, we have the usual lasagna dinner (which I think is disgusting), and then we open "just a few" presents. We usually watch a Christmas movie that night. If there is a good one on TV, we watch it; otherwise, we pull out the classic "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby.
Christmas morning, we open the rest of the gifts, and then my family heads down to Savannah for a few days. We have a dinner and open gifts with my grandparents, two sets of uncles and aunts, cousins and my great-grandma.
As you can tell, my Christmas holidays are full of friends, family, relaxing and food. Christmas can be a very peaceful time, if you take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy it. I hope you all remember what Christmas is about, and not get caught up the commercial part of Christmas that is usually focused on.
Remember your friends, remember your family, and mostly, remember to relax.
Merry Christmas!


Students of the week announced
BY RANDALL BALLENGER
The students of the week for Dec. 11 were Elliot Kyler, Seth Brown, Carlos Aguilar, Jenna Gober, Robert Lane, Annie Graham, Candice Smtih, Lynsey Floyd, Laura Adams and Katina Davis.
These students were chosen by their teachers for their excellent behavior during class. They received an early-to-lunch pass or a parking lot pass to the teachers parking lot. Congratulations to these students.


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James Smith - actively involved from the start
BY RANDALL BALLENGER
James Smith is only a freshman at MCHS, but he is already involved in many activities. James participates in both football and wrestling. After finishing a perfect football season, he has his eyes set on going to state at the 112 pound weight class.
"James is a S-T-U-D and also a well-rounded individual," said wrestling coach Greg Gaines.
When he's not out wrestling his opponents on the mat, James enjoys listening to music, preferably Rock or Rap, and playing his Nintendo.
James is enrolled in college preparatory classes and plans to participate in baseball in the spring. He has a goal to attend a university in Florida on a baseball scholarship after graduating. Although he is only a freshman, James can already reminisce on some past accomplishments. One such accomplishment was his first-place victory in the Kid State tournament his eighth grade year.
"That was the first time that I had seen that many people as well as that many mats in one place. I have to give thanks to my uncle for getting me involved in wrestling. It was a very exciting time for me," James said.

MCHS prom to be held May 19
BY ELIZABETH BLEAKLEY
Juniors and seniors: the prom is coming. Time is almost out. Actually, not really. Prom is about six months away, but the ticket deadline is approaching quickly.
By Jan. 11, you should have paid either Mrs. Carey or Mrs. Sabrina Bennett $50 for admission for yourself and your date. If you miss the deadline, the ticket price will rise to $75 for you and $25 for your date if they are not a junior or a senior.
The prom will be held May 19 at the Classic Center in Athens and it's sure to be a memorable night of fun. Do not miss out; buy your ticket today!


Leigh Ann Munro is a busy teacher
BY DENISE WILLIAMS
Teachers are some of the busiest people we will ever encounter. Not only do they have to keep up with their home life, but they have to worry about three classes with sometimes as many as 30 students in each class. They do a fantastic job of keeping up with everything. Mrs. Leigh Ann Munro is among the many wonderful teachers that MCHS is blessed with.
Munro did her studying at four different colleges. She attended Kennesaw, UGA, a community college in Jacksonville, and the University of North Florida. She now resides in Madison County with her family. She has two boys, Ben, 22, and Thomas, 20.
"I began teaching from inspiration. I did not begin teaching until I was 35. It all began with teaching my kids at home since I was a stay-at-home mom," Munro said.
She now teaches at MCHS and has been there for all nine years of her teaching career. She currently teaches biology, botany and ecology.
"The best part of teaching is that it is never dull. I am a social person, so I am able to interact with an estimate of around 80 kids a day," Munro said.
With a husband, two kids and a job, it is difficult to see how she finds time to manage her favorite activities. She is currently trying to improve her guitar playing. She has a fiddle that she wants to learn how to play. When there is time, she does some volunteer work in Athens.
Munro tries to teach all of her students her motto in life, "Sometimes you just do something because it is the right thing to do."
The best feeling about teaching, she says, is to watch students teach each other on difficult subjects. She also loves to see former students that were difficult in school but who have now matured and are successful in life.
"I like students who have a good work ethic and a positive disposition as well as honesty. Students who show disrespect, always have an excuse and poor attendance get under my skin," she said.
"By far I love this school and my job. We often hear about other schools in Northeast Georgia, but Madison County citizens have one of the best high schools in the region," she added.
Students should be grateful to have teachers that put themselves into their teaching. Every teacher has a big responsibility to inspire every student to grow up and become their biggest dream in life.


Annual holiday band concert held
BY ELIZABETH BLEAKLEY
The Madison County High School symphonic and concert band members and the chorus held an impressive concert Monday, Dec. 18.
Their program featured both traditional and non-traditional holiday songs including, "Nutcracker," "Fanfare Prelude," The Ukranian Bell Carol" and a "Christmas Sing-a-long." The chorus accompanied them on some songs.
The one-and-a-half-hour concert began at 7 p.m. and admission was free.
The band and chorus practiced very hard to perfect the concert and are proud of their success. Everyone was welcome to this free night of entertainment. If you happened to miss the concert this year, don't miss it again next December.


Drama club hosts 'Lunchbox Theatre'
BY JENNI NATION
The Drama Club recently hosted "Lunchbox Theatre," performing "There will come soft rains" in a reader's theater form.
The performances were held during all four lunch shifts in the drama room. Tickets cost $.25 and all proceeds go to the Cancer Society. The Drama Club feels that this is a wonderful way to raise money for a worthy cause.
This will not be the last performance for the year. The club plans to hold a performance once a month until the end of they year. We eagerly await the next.


Y-Club remembers the real meaning of Christmas
BY SARA DUCEATT
It is Christmas time and the spirit of giving is in the air. Y-Club members pulled together to make the season bright for all at MCHS. Meeting together and discussing the real meaning of Christmas was the focus of their last meeting.
December's school project was giving gift bags to the cafeteria workers with thanks and cheer. Each member brought ornaments, Christmas jewelry, and candy to give. The club spent its meeting working together to get gift bags prepared to give out to the cafeteria workers.
Chaplain Andrea Bond brought the authentic meaning of Christmas in a story and a challenge for each member to remember the true significance of the holidays and what it should mean. Celebrating by singing Christmas songs was also a way for the club to come together at their meeting.


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