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Welcome to Capital High School's journalism program!

Below are archived issues of our student newspaper. Use the tabs at the top and side of the page to view specific news categories and the writing portfolios of our student journalists.


Alexia Ashley

Katelyn O’Reilly, most well-known as Katy, is a senior athlete here at Capital High School. Katy has accomplished many things in her four years of soccer as a Capital Cougar. In her sophomore year, Katy received Honorable Mention and All-Kanawha Valley honorable mention. Her junior year, Katy was on first team All-Kanawha Valley and first team AAA. Her senior year, she won defender of the year, and was on triple A and first team all Kanawha valley. These accomplishments have allowed her to grow as a person, as well as play soccer in college.

Soccer is not the only activity Katy participates in. She also runs track, is on the swim team, and actively performs in the dance company. Katy first started playing soccer when she was only three years old. When explaining why she started to play soccer, Katy pondered then explained, “because of my brothers.”

Katy is a stellar soccer player, and an inspiration to many. She enjoys what she does and never fails to lend a helping hand. She plans on attending college at West Virginia Wesleyan, while playing soccer. She is also interested in going to nursing school.

Megan Bias is a junior, here at Capital High School. She explains her experience playing soccer at Capital by saying, “it was an experience like no other, our season this year has had a lot of ups, downs, but we always stuck together.” Megan further explains,  “we got through our problems and formed a special bond… I personally did not have as many accomplishments as I would’ve liked, but I did have a few good saves as goalkeeper.” Megan continues, “ I made friends and memories I will NEVER forget.”

Megan did not play soccer in middle school, but she wishes she would’ve, because she’s made a lot of new friends on the high school soccer team. In her free time she does volunteer work at “WV Paralyzed Veterans Organization.”  At the organization she enjoys helping out with fundraisers. The West Virginia Paralyzed Veterans Of America is a privately held company in Charleston, WV and is a Single Location business. Categorized under Veterans' and Military Organizations. Records show it was established in 1992 and Incorporated in WV. Megan also volunteers at the animal shelter during the summer.

Even though Megan is only a junior, many people can tell that she is going to do great things for our school and our community.


Shaliyah Ayars

Capital High School has an amazing dance program than has been alive for decades. The dance company performs at various locations as guests, and the dance class performs three times throughout the school year. The dance program is a great way to meet new people. It can help you step out of your comfort zone.

I’ve recently sat down with miss Tabitha Moore. Tabitha is Capital High’s dance teacher. She is from northern Virginia. She attended both West Virginia University and Marshall university. Tabitha started dancing when she was two years old. She said she enjoys tap dancing the most.

Tabitha has been a teacher at Capital for four years. She says she enjoys teaching because she gets to share her passion with of dance with people and young artists. I asked her what made her choose this job and she said, “I’m not sure really, I intended to teach students with a behavior disorder. When I moved back to Charleston for a couple of years, I was the assistant director of the CHS Dance Company so it seemed like the right thing to do when I found out I was going to be the director.”

I also asked where does she see herself in a few years; she said, “I see myself teaching at Capital. I will continue to teach dance as long as I can move,” she said with a smirk, “plus, I am just getting started I still have a lot to learn and to share.”

This program is leading people to long-lasting careers. Dance may not be the “thing” for you until you try it, and Capital High School is the very best place to start.


Sadie Bevins

Capital High School is all about the arts so why is it that we aren’t in favor to show it.  When people come to our school we want them to be able to see the best of Capital High School to see who we are as a school.

I got the chance to interview a lovely young woman named Zharia James. She is a student at Capital who takes AP art class. Zharia loves art, she “appreciates and admires the hard work that goes into art. It represents what our school truly is” she stated.

Our school is separated into sections; one of the sections is where freshman classes take place and that is called Egypt. There is actually a painting on the wall right before you enter the hallways of Egypt and it lets students know that this is Egypt. So not only can art be used to be creative it can be helpful to students so they know where they're going.

Throughout the school, certain hallways are named by the subject that takes place there. So one hallway is the science wing and one is the math wing. Down the math hallway somebody did a painting that represented that subject. So now art is also being used to celebrate school subjects.

Artwork can also be used to influence students in a positive way. Zharia thinks it can influence students to take art classes and challenge their creativity. “It can help students tap into another part of themselves that they didn’t know was there” she added. It doesn’t just influence students,  it can also influence teachers.

The art program here at Capital is led by Mrs. Christy Pennington who is the art teacher at Capital High School. She has taught at Capital for 13 years and loves it. “It makes me excited when I give you a little bit of knowledge and you go places with it, and you take it in your own direction." This statement shows how she loves watching her students grow as artists. If this is how one teacher feels about art, other teachers must feel something when they see art around the school that Capital students created. By teachers seeing your art it can make them see the kind of student you are.

Just because you aren’t the best at art doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of art around the school. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to work with others and create a masterpiece that symbolizes Capital High School in the best way. So keep in mind, art isn’t just a painting or a drawing on a piece of paper it can also be the way we express our student body as one.


Lauren Carnell

Cyberbullying: a sensitive subject that is confronted once a year in schools, yet students suffer year round. We sit and watch the same outdated videos that are mocked by most, while those affected sit in silence.

Cyberbullying is one of the most popular forms of harassment among young people today. Social media is the perfect ally for internet bullies everywhere. A Digital Trends survey shows that more teens were cyber bullied on Instagram at 42 percent, with Facebook not far behind behind at 37 percent. Kristiana Gibson, a sophomore of Capital High School states, “They can’t physically see your reaction through social media. It would make them feel guilty in person.” This growing phenomenon is not new news. The anonymity of a bully makes them feel more bold and courageous in their actions. As Ashley Martin, a Capital High senior powerfully says, “They’re cowards.”

Many claim that cyberbullying is harmless because there is no physical damage done. However psychological damage is just as painful as being physically abused. Kristiana shares, “when I get upset I don’t eat.” She is not alone in this situation: being hurt mentally and emotionally can take a major toll on your body. Many teens tend to not to eat or sleep, and in severe cases, they resort to self harm. It is truly disheartening to see so many people suffer from cyberbullying, because I too have been affected by terrible acts of those online.

When commenting on the effects of cyberbullying in the home and at school, Ashley remarks, “It would make your social life kind of chaotic because it would make you feel like everyone is out to get you.” Students grades often dramatically decrease when being bullied. Kristiana goes on to explain that she has felt distracted and unfocused in class because she feels that people had thought of her differently because of what people had said online. This feeling is all too familiar with teens in schools everywhere. Kristiana also says, “Teenagers don’t bother looking for the truth. They’ll follow the crowd rather than doing what’s right.” The spread of this epidemic means that school is not a safe place for many.

Today’s youth must come together and put a stop to cyberbullying and online harassment. It is our duty to support and encourage one another, rather than accept the fact that people everywhere are being harassed through the internet. If you’re complacent, you’re complicit.


Marissa Cook

Archery has been a big theme in fantasy and mythology for centuries, with characters such as Katniss Everdeen, Elvish, beast hunters, and even gods such as Artemis. With archery being so popular, who wouldn’t want to practice it themselves and become their favorite character?

Capital High School’s Archery Club may not be a more well-known club, but it provides an outlet for archers and fantasy nerds alike. With extra bows, targets, and equipment boxes newly acquired thanks to increased funding, the club has grown fast despite this being the first time it’s been up in ten years.

“It’s something that I’ve done before I came to this school, at Westside Elementary,” says Mr. Kalan Smith, Capital High School’s gym teacher and creator of the club. “We did archery for approximately three years at Westside and I thought it would be awesome to bring it to the high school.”

Mr. Smith’s main goal for the club is “to create an archery team to compete at the state tournament and beyond.” He wants this to happen within the next year.

Archery is an ancient sport, dating back thousands of years. There’s a slowly growing interest for it at Capital, and the students in the club would love to see it expand and succeed.

We’re all very excited to practice and hopefully Mr. Smith’s dream comes to fruition in the form of true competition with peers from other schools.


Brianna Hardaker

Throughout the nation, thousands of students participated in a scholarship competition, The Voice of Democracy. One student out of many, Jill Maynus, won the competition at Capital High School. She will go on to the statewide competition and hopes to win it all. “I will be very relieved,” said Jill. She stated that it would be nice to not have to worry about paying for college. “Mine being paid for would be pretty lit,” she chuckled. Jill is one of three children that have won this competition. Her brother and sister Luke and Amanda, have won and participated as well.

The Voice of Democracy focuses on different themes every year about America’s history. The students participate in an essay writing competition which goes along with a three to five minute speech. Contestants can get disqualified if it is below the designated time. The point behind this speech is to make your voice heard. One goes through different levels if their speech wins. You have the school wide, the county wide, the statewide and then the nationwide competition. Anyone has the ability to win. You just need to focus on the topic at hand, and get your point across in a mannerly fashion.

The topic for this year’s competition was based on, “Our Future for America.” Many students brought out how it is our responsibility to make women and men have equal rights, to cherish what we have because other countries do not have the freedom that we do, and to honor our country and not trash others. Jill said, “Honor the veterans of foreign wars, and don’t trash the country when you are presenting your speech.” The topic should always be pertinent to America or Veterans. This will allow you to not veer away from the topic at hand, and not use your opinions that may hurt your essay, she explains.

“It is hard to realize what others go through” Jill said with a sigh. She learned a lot throughout this whole experience, and focused a lot on Malala. The main focus of Malala was education for women. In her society, women getting an education was looked down upon. On October 9th, 2012 she was shot by a man who thought it was a crime that she wanted to push the right for women to have education. He thought that it would scare her to quit pushing, but little did he know that she is a force to be reckoned with. In July 2015, she opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon, funded by the Malala Fund. This is just the beginning of greatness from women.

For students who plan on participating in The Voice of Democracy in the future, stay calm and do your best. Writing may come easy to you or it may not. However, the ability to be great isn’t hard. You can do anything you put your mind to. As said by Lou Holtz, a famous poet, “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”


Zharia James

A large piece of Capital High School that’s often not affiliated with our reputation is our prevailing arts program that has been successful in many areas.

Whether it’s band winning a competition, having a fellow Miss Majorette as a fellow senior here or taking home the most awards from the Congressional Art Competition, a lot of praise goes to the members of the art or band classes without much acknowledgement to the teachers. The success of our magnet arts program is not solely based on the performing art students themselves, a lot of work is also credited to the ones who help them perfect their craft.

In the studio art program, Mrs. Christy Pennington does her all to ensure her students do their best work while exercising the left side of their brains. As students enter her classroom, they may not realize the work along her walls are pieces she's created in her past which displays her passion for the subject. As her thirteenth year at Capital High School continues, she hopes for the best out of her students. “Two years ago I had everyone but one pass; 19 out of 20 passed,” she states speaking of the strenuous but rewarding AP Studio Art class she conducts. To hold such achievements outside of her own art creations and pass them to others who share the same passions greatly benefits those who take her class. A vast majority of people believe that in order to take her introductory class, Art I, they must possess art skills to get a high grade; however, Mrs. Pennington teaches students skills that they use in their everyday life. In the introductory class, she keeps a folder of all student work while the class performs various exercises like figure drawing; then, she places every piece that is completed into their personal collection. This portfolio serves the purpose of showing the amount of growth throughout the year and teaches the student how to complete an assignment in a timely manner, so it lessens the difficulty of the task. To complete the amount of work with all of their ability improves a work ethic is an important necessity required to establish a career in any form.

A personal objective Mrs. Pennington possesses is to help all students as much as she can in and outside of the classroom, which benefits those who schedule and perform the tasks she assigns. As the only art teacher here at Capital High School, she loves to see others take an interest in art and find their talent and passion for her muse.


Catori Kuyava

For the  gay, straight, pansexual, asexual, bisexual, trans, and more, what’s better than a safe place? I can’t think of one. Here in GSA, anyone is welcome, GSA speaks for people who fear to do so. We provide so many things to help anyone that without GSA, there could be more of a negative impact on people’s lives, or even their ability to learn. "It brings people together,” sophomore Chasie Beard states.

We are working to end homophobia within the school as well as the community. We are in the midst of trying to build a system that would allow everyone to respect one another. “ It’s like you can be who you want to be,” expressed Chasie. Not only is it homophobia we are trying to end, but some other things such as bullying in any shape or form.

GSA is such a popular club, some of the people who wanted to help out and join couldn’t get in. Once you get into the club, that is when you will learn that us students are the ones in charge of the club, which is pretty cool. “I would definitely join GSA again if we have a chance!”

Sophomore Carolyne Chandler excitedly exclaims, “as  for the things we do in GSA,  don’t be surprised… there is quite a lot we have done as well as things we are planning to continue to do still.”

On a serious note, in the past  the GSA team had addressed the State School Board about needing to include sexual orientation in the anti-bullying code, which indeed turned out to be quite an amazing success. I’m very sure much more went on but only very little was known.

“Freshman year I took place in The Day of Silence which is when you didn’t talk all day,” explains Chasie. There’s more to the Day of Silence though. It is  there to remind people to not stand silently while bullying is going on because of the fear of someday the possibility of someone silencing themselves forever by taking their own life. So that is a key factor in the GSA community.

There will continue to be important things and activities going on in school as well as out of school, possibly. Some activities would include Ally Week, No Name Calling activities, as well as the one and only Day of Silence. There are some suggestions though, “ Maybe a Pride Day, where you dress up in the colors of one of the flags, like the pansexual flag, asexual, aromantic, bisexual, and gender questioning,” Chasie suggests. Carolyne explains, “ We were thinking about a Positive Tag Day.” So, hopefully we help because GSA is here to stay.

I cannot explain how much of an amazing club GSA is. We provide so many thing to help everyone. We provide one of the safest places in the school.  “It brings everyone here at Cap together, and it shows that you don’t have to be afraid of who you are,“ Chasie wonderfully expresses. In all honesty, I could not have said it better.


Santino Maniscalchi

The False Message: What people get wrong with JROTC

The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Course is a high-school-based military program that represents a specific branch of the armed forces, and for Capital, it is the Army. Yet, even though it has an excellent program like this, at Capital High School many students misunderstand the program itself. As the Senior Army Instructor (SAI) Lt. Col. Jerry Owens said, “I’m not sure people do misunderstand. The ones that do usually don’t know anything. People think that we are here to have them drafted and have the cadets be perfect soldiers.” Most people who believe that spread the false message that JROTC is an organization that militarizes the youth. However, its purpose is to help create better citizens, to assist those wishing to join the armed forces with a healthy head start when enlisted into the military, and to help the youth learn to respect those who served the country.

As you sit within the JROTC classroom, there is a sign above the Smart Board. It states, “To motivate young people to become better citizens.” That statement is the program’s mission and is upheld by the instructors at the highest prestige possible. Even in the creed the cadets recite every day in the beginning in class it says, “I am the future of the United States of America.” The program revolves around making a successful future for the youth. That is one of the main missions of JROTC. As Cadet Sergeant Chad Peyton stated “JROTC helps people become better citizens by helping you develop structure and organization.” It not only helps the cadet be formed into a great citizen of our country, it assists those wishing to join the military.

When I sat down with Cadet Lt. Colonel Devon Barbazette, who is Capital’s JROTC Battalion Commander, he told me of how he’s planning on joining the military after high school. When I asked him if he would recommend JROTC to anyone who wants to join the military he replied, “You will be several steps ahead of everyone else once you join the military.” And he’s right; when a cadet joins the army and finishes basic training, the cadet can start out as an E-3, which is a Private First Class. This puts the person ahead of the others at the start of their service, which shows that they can uphold the rank through experience gained in JROTC.

JROTC, in short, is a program that helps all citizens, regardless of race, religion or gender, excel in life as a better-trained citizen for society or the military. Yet, as with any program, it is not perfect. I’ve asked Cadet Sergeant Chad Peyton, and he stated firmly, “I would personally change of how we select leaders because I feel as though they only choose people that have the experience, not those who are effective leaders.” That is the main debate within JROTC at Capital High School. Would the JROTC Cadet Staff have effective leaders or experienced leaders? That is what needs to be changed or improved about JROTC.


Ashley Martin

On October 29th, the Capital Theatre Department closed the final curtains on the fall show for 2017. The play, Bedtime Stories Told By Our Dad (Who Messed Them Up), is a comedy about three hyperactive kids and their tired dad, who tells the kids each their own bedtime fairy tale, but with a twist. The play ran about an hour and ten minutes, with six distinct scenes.

The different tales that the dad sleepily twists include: The Princess and the Pea , The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, and Rumplestiltskin. The show was performed for elementary schools and Horace Mann on Thursday, and the Capital school show was Friday. Public shows were Friday and Saturday nights, with a matinee showing on Sunday afternoon. The breakdown of sets was Sunday evening after the doors were closed.

This show was a debut for the new theatre director, Mr. Jeff Haught. Mr. Haught was the show choir director at Winfield High School prior to joining Capital’s staff. His background in theatre goes back to his first time on the stage as a kindergartener, and to being “hypnotized” by watching his first full-length play his eighth grade year.

Overall, Mr. Haught has been in 150 roles, directing 75 shows, and teaching in around 50. Even though many doubts could come to the forefront about the show’s completion, Mr. Haught simply commented that “[O]nly two things concerned me at all: whether anyone would audition, and whether anyone would come see it.” After successfully producing his first Capital show, students can be guaranteed for more future shows of the same high standard.

As for the future, Mr. Haught wishes to expand not only the program, but the students within its curriculum. “That means increasing the literacy,” he explains. “and overall, instilling a curiosity and a sense of lifelong learning about theatre that will equip any student to pursue theatre at any level throughout their life.”

With all new arrangements aside, the theatre department as a whole has progressed tremendously in the short semester under this new direction. On behalf of the Capital High School Theatre Department, we welcome Mr. Haught to our school.


Chad Peyton

Anxiety is a disorder that causes people to fear public speaking, talking to people, and/ or  normal activities. Anxiety affects nearly 3.1% of the adult population in the U.S, however when it comes to children 25.1% of them between 13 to 18 are affected by anxiety.

Anxiety is uncommon, but it affects everyone, as seen in these statistics. Anxiety usually is associated with depression, affecting their everyday life and activities.

At Capital High School, there is an individual student who suffers greatly from anxiety. Her name is Raeann Lanham.

As we sat down for the interview, we got into depth about anxiety. “Doing presentations and interviews, talking to peers or strangers, being yelled at, and my everyday appearance are things that alert my anxiety,” she stated. She goes on to explain more that anxiety happens mostly everyday for her. Her school days are harder than other people who doesn’t have anxiety because she worries about everything she is doing or what others think about her.

“I feel shaky, I sweat, I get heartburn, I get migraines, I’m not able to talk, and I start to tear up when I’m having an anxiety attack,” she explains. During these attacks, she struggles to calm down and thinks as though everyone is staring and judging her.

When this is happening she can only think about what she did wrong. These attacks last for at least an hour for her. They also stop her from doing things she likes or loves to do. She wants to be able to do cheerleading, acting, and theatre but she has anxiety attacks when she attempts or even thinks about theses things and/or doing them.

I asked her what her happy place was, or if she has one. She went into thought, thinking hard about the question. When she was done thinking about the question, she remarked that she doesn’t have a happy place but it helps to talk with loved ones. One thing that doesn’t help that she mentioned to me is being in public places when she is having anxiety because it can sometimes bring attention to her.

Anxiety is something that everyone should look out for and be supportive for the people who is going through it. Anxiety is very serious and can lead to serious illnesses, like depression and panic disorders. So when you see someone in front of people tearing up or sweating, ask if they're okay and help them through it.


Sy’Jeir Poindexter

I interviewed John Price about cougar hour and what I learned was that he is trying to go to Carver, and that he is disappointed that he wonʼt be able to tell his children about how much fun he had. He thought that it was a great way to have fun with friends, but with it gone it pushes him to get a better education.

He wishes he couldʼve prevented people from acting up; now he feels there is no freedom at lunch. With it gone he makes sure he gets his education, although he is not as active in school. He is glad that thereʼs less of a chance to get in trouble. He likes not getting in trouble but misses hanging with all his friends in school.