Into the Storm

We are excited to launch Southeast Middle School's first newspaper, Patriot Press. Our focus is to provide you with up-to-date news and to recognize SEMS and its unique and talented students.

Back to Our Roots

By Brandon Foster

“Hallo!” is what you’d be saying, if you were at Germanfest! Germanfest is a celebration at the Braun (Brown) House, also known as “The Old Stone House." It is where the many descendants of Germans that migrated to what we know as Rowan County and the Braun’s descendants.

The Brauns came from Germany. Michael Braun was a wealthy man from Philadelphia. He came to Rowan County at a fairly young age. When he got here he built the ‘Old Stone House’ which is made entirely from granite. This house was 2 times the size of the average person’s house in the 18th century! He had many children and it isn’t uncommon to run into someone today that is a descendant of Michael Braun. He is buried on his property along with his wife and some of his children.

Many things go on there, such as baking bread and treats, cooking and brewing. It is also an opportunity to advertise your ale or beer, like a few breweries did. Germanfest had reenactors of the Braun family, who were dressed in the clothing from the 18th century, at the festival they had food, drinks and many other things to make it an amazing festival! But the time for Germanfest has passed, you will have to wait until next year to see the marvelous festival at the old Braun house. But you can still go there, and take a tour of their garden, house, where they got water, and they might be cooking in the oven, if you’re lucky. It is open on the weekends, 1-4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

Character On and Off the Field

Player of the Quarter:

Austin Cook

Austin is an 8th grader who plays football at Southeast Middle. He has been chosen as player of the quarter one for this year. The reason he was chosen was because of his amazing skills in football and his amazing grades in his classes. He worked hard in order to achieve this award.

1. What important things throughout this quarter do you think were the most important?

Doing my best when on the field and working hard to get good grades.

2. How would you compare this first quarter to last year?

This year I have more experience and I’m able to perform better.

3. Is there anyone that you believe helped you achieve this or did you do this all on your own?

My coaches and friends helped me achieve this.

4. Why do you think you received this award?

Because this year I’ve improved a lot from last year not only on the field but also my grades.

Congratulations to Austin on becoming player of the quarter!!

The Smile

By Stormy Cline

I stand on the grass looking over the football field. I don't smile. I don't smile much at all any more really. My friends have all walked away, their attempts to make me happy, failed. It's as though a thundercloud has settled over my brain. Stress has overcome me. Little things, big things. All the stress I have weighs down on my shoulders. A boy walks over to me and stands beside me. This boy I have never talked to and he has never talked to me. “Hey.” I'm utterly shocked. “H-hi.” He looks at me but I still look ahead, my head aching from the thunder rolling inside my brain. “I can tell you're stressed,” he says. I don't feel like lying so I nod my head. He nods in understanding and says, “Stress is not a good look on you, it doesn't go with that outfit.” For the first time in a long time, I smiled.

The Great End to Cassini

By Bryan Ramon-Clemente

On Friday, September 15th, 2017, came the end of a spacecraft that NASA had to destroy due to the spacecraft coming too close to one of Saturn’s moons, Titan, which has a possibility of containing life. With this in mind and Cassini running out of fuel, NASA decided they would send Cassini into Saturn for its final mission. After 13 years of collecting data about Saturn, all good things must come to an end.

Julie Webster, Spacecraft operations chief said, “it was a perfect spacecraft…Right to the end, it did everything we asked it to…It's perfect, it's perfect”. After Cassini was plunged into Saturn some crew members were bittersweet that Cassini had been destroyed and some exchanged hugs knowing they lost one of their most important machines. Some crew members were able to stay positive by knowing that every time they look at Saturn they know a piece of Cassini will be there.

I know some of you are asking why Cassini was important to NASA as a whole. Cassini, being in close proximity to Saturn, was able to take photos and data of Saturn that changed what scientists believed about our solar system. Cassini also revealed more information on Saturn’s rings and how they operate. The way Cassini was able to gather data about Saturn’s rings was because when Cassini arrived it was caught in a storm circling the planet. From there scientists were able to see how Saturn’s rings had consisted of 3-D structures. Cassini in its lifetime it had found out something new about Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus. The discovery was that they both had oceans and lakes of methane and ethane. An addition to that is they both have an atmosphere of chemicals that rain down which provides an even bigger possibility of life on these two moons.

Now that doesn't seem like much that Cassini has provided for us, but a scientist says, "Cassini may be gone, but its scientific bounty will keep us occupied for many years." Spilker said, "We've only scratched the surface of what we can learn from the mountain of data it has sent back over its lifetime."

Into the Storm

By Megan Pendergrass

As you look into the well

You look into the reflection

The water begins to fog by a deep hatred

You try to see and fail

Hatred blinding you

You try once more and start to fall

into a deep black hole

You break as you hit the ground

You start to cry

You're hurting

You're wanting

You're sad

You want more than what you have

You want more than what you need

And you take your time crying yourself to sleep

You wake up drowning in your sorrow

But as you take a look you can see the water lowering

It feels releasing

As your storm passes you're filled with nothing but


Your reflection being perfect

Musician Highlight: Roxanne Quellhorst

By Bri Salber

1. When and why did you start playing?

-5th grade

-New Centre International Elementary School

-she wanted to learn how to pop music on the violin and even make her own songs

2. Which instruments do you play?



3. What was the first tune you learned?

-My First Solo

4. Why keeps you going in the music?

-plays violin to release bundled up feelings

7. Which famous musicians have you learned from?

-Linsey Stirling

9. Describe your first instrument

-horrible at playing at first

10. What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

-concerts at Crown Colosseum (national anthem)

-mixed feelings through the whole time happy/sad/joy

11. Who were you influences?

-hand me down from sister

-Antonina Quellhorst

12. Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


-Linsey Stirling

13. Have you been in competitions?

-no but would like too

-State Competitions

14. Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?

-was on tv for the national anthem

-to a senior center soon

16. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

-skip over it/play it out

-go home and practice the part over and over

Ex. Quite a few mistakes before::

‘’Once during a performance we were standing up to bow, right when we finished, and I knocked my music [sheets] all over the floor. It was so embarrassing’’

17. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?


Ex. ‘’ Take a deep breath, and count to three before going ‘’

18. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Take a deep breath and count, if you make a mistake don’t worry, there’s always a redo.

Ex. ‘‘ being nervous means you're going to do well ‘’

19. Do you take private lessons?

No private lessons, just an after school program every Wednesday

Ex. Mr. Boger's strove her to do better

‘’ amazing musician and teacher and leads you to do your best ‘’

20. How often and for how long do you practice?

4-5 hours a day

Ex. "maybe 1-2 hours a day to start off is appropriate"

21. What do you practice - exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Line after line, practice one line over and over until memorized

“Go for everything girl”

Ex. ‘’ to practice, start with Mozart and then go up to harder things ‘’

Ex. Best playing alone where she can focus on herself

Motivations by Mariana

By Mariana Martinez

Students tend to think that school isn't important and that they don't have to do their assignments. They often think they can just copy off of the smart student. Once you go into a higher level of a subject, don't doubt yourself and just do your best. But the truth is, we’re all smart; we just learn differently and at a different pace. All we have to do is try our hardest. Sometimes we tend to say to ourselves that school isn't worth it and there isn't a point in going to school, but education is very important.

There is going to come a point in life where you have to do things on your own. Eventually, if you don't care at all about your education, it can create a storm of stress because you will feel like everyone is ahead. You will find yourself struggling, and then you'll realize how education is very important. You'll come across consequences and as you get older, those consequences become major. A consequence as you get older may be that it's hard for you to get a job and make financial and long term decisions. Another consequence that you may have is if you have a younger sibling, cousin, or someone who looks up to you in general and they see that you don't care about school, they will eventually think the same thing.

Many people have parents that have been through really tough things to leave their home country, and move to a country that has better opportunities that would benefit their future including their children. If you’re one of those children that have parents that have sacrificed many things in order for you to have a better future, then you should be thankful for the many things they have done for you. Many kids don't have parents that have come from a different country, but I'm sure they have sacrificed things in order for you to have a good future. We have the opportunity to go to school for five days of the week, and we should take advantage of that because there are kids around the world that wish and pray to be able to go to school almost every day of the week just like we do. There are kids around the world that walk miles just to go to school because they truly believe education is important, and they go through big storms of struggles just to go to school because they really like it. So I encourage you to really take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you, because you never know if those chances will last.

SEMS Honors Extraordinary Teacher

By Stormy Cline

Congratulations Coach Mitchell for winning our teacher highlight! Coach Mitchell is a leader to us all and I was given the chance to interview her as your teacher highlight winner.

1- Why did you choose to work with children as your profession?

I grew up in a big family and it was a natural transition from helping out with kids. I had majored in health and P.E but I had also majored in special education so it's all about the children for me, all about children.

2- How do you feel about seeing all of your kids from 6th grade to 8th growing and going to high school?

It breaks my heart. Sometimes I hate to see them go, but the last day of school for eighth graders is always an emotional day and I've had my ups and my few bumps in the road, but as long as they continue with their education I'm proud.

3- How do you feel about your relationship with your students? How do you think they feel about you?

My kids know that I care for them, and I know that they show that they care for me. I believe we generally have a happy relationship!

4- Did you have any influences as to why you chose your career path?

“I did, actually. I had a coach, and I am a shy person which most kids would never think I could be shy, but she was the first person to actually understand me. She coached the sport that I loved and we bonded over that.

5- What did feel when you were chosen as the teacher winner? How did you react knowing how many kids love you as a teacher and friend?

It's nice; it's nice to be chosen for my profession and what I do. I'm here for the children and I love to see that the kids are learning to be respectful and kind.

6- Do you have any advice for new teachers seeing as how you have been here longest?

To be patient and understanding. To know that we all had a hard time in the very beginning, and that we all care for them, and to not be afraid to ask questions or get advice.

7- If you do decide to leave how do you want the school to remember you by?

Well, it's not a matter of “if”, it's a matter of “when." I want them to know that I cared about most of them and that I love most of what I do. A lot of things that have happened while I have been at this school have changed me. I have become a more compassionate person and I will be extremely sad to leave.

Coach Mitchell is a role model to us all. She has shown so much caring and kindness to us and has definitely changed our lives for good. She promotes a true team spirit where everyone is “a part of the team, not just dragging the extra stuff along.” She is strong and we too are going to be extremely sad when she leaves.