Not So Normal Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a very important holiday for many people. It gives families the chance to all come together, to enjoy being together, and to eat a lot of good food. However, the day can also be a more meaningful time for families to reflect on their blessings. Many families also have special Thanksgiving traditions to celebrate the holiday, some more traditional than others.


After our family dove shoot, we all gather to take a picture and then we go cleanup for dinner. Last Thanksgiving, we killed over 50 doves and also 2 bucks.


My family has a special tradition that we do every year. Now, I know this is going to sound a little weird to some people but every Thanksgiving my family has a Bark Off. A few years ago, one of my aunts was playing around with my dog and she started barking like the dog. It was shocking because my aunt sounded just like a real dog when she barked; it was crazy. So that is what started our annual Bark Off. It takes place at my house around our fire pit and my whole family participates. To start it off, we go around the fire pit and everyone must bark like a dog. After we go around the circle once, we start eliminating people. Eventually, we get down to the last two and pick a winner. The winner receives a trophy with “The Wooten Family Bark Off” engraved on it. I know everyone thinks my family is crazy when I tell them about our Thanksgiving but it is actually really fun; I wish everyone could come watch it and see for themselves.

Many people think everyone has to celebrate Thanksgiving in a more traditional way but in today’s day and age, that is not the case. I went around school and asked some kids if they had any special Thanksgiving traditions and to my surprise, my family is not the only family that does Thanksgiving differently. Second grader, Kassidy Malphrus, told me “ Every year my family goes on vacation for Thanksgiving. This year we are going on a cruise to the Bahamas.” Second grader, Harrison Correa, said “ For Thanksgiving, my family doesn’t eat turkey.  We eat clams instead.” It does not matter how families celebrate Thanksgiving. The only thing that matters is that the family is all together and having a good time.

Are You Too Judgmental?


Everyone has his or her own taste in style but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to judge whatever the style is. One of the styles that people judge the most is wearing crop tops and short shorts; and this is what angers me the most. If a girl wants to wear crop tops then that means she feels comfortable with her body. When people say “it makes you look like you are revealing your body too much,” that doesn’t mean that you are. It means the person telling you that has a dirty mind. They are the problem, not your outfit. If a person feels comfortable enough to walk outside of her house while showing her stomach then she likes it, and she does not want you to point it out, and if you do point it out, then she will not care what your opinion is! I understand that some people aren’t comfortable wearing revealing clothes and that is okay, just don’t talk about others that are comfortable doing it. Short shorts are another thing. I understand if the shorts look like panties then you probably shouldn’t wear them. As long as they cover you enough, wear them anywhere you want! Self-love is the best love.

Whose Job Is It Anyway?


What makes Patrick Henry Academy so wonderful? Some might say the teachers or the students. Though those are two of the many right answers, there is something else that people seem to always forget: the office. The office at Patrick Henry consists of three wonderful hard-working ladies: Ms. Kim Miller who is the Director of Administration, Mrs. Judy Greene who is the Financial Director, and Mrs. Renee Williams who is the

Whose job is it anyways?
Jackson Wiggins hands off the ball after the snap. The Patriots lost 38-34 to the Confederates on Friday, October 27.

Administrative Assistant. Ms. Kim Miller has a very important job in keeping Patrick Henry running. A few of the many things that she does as Director of Administration involves handling disciplinary issues and enforcing the rules. She is currently working on updating the policy manual, and she sends out a memo every Friday to teachers called “Friday Focus” which informs teachers of what is coming up. Mrs. Judy Greene also has a very important job. Her job as Financial Director is the handling of the monetary issues within the school. From keeping up with tuition payments to maintaining the school budget, Mrs. Judy Greene does it all. Mrs. Renee Williams certainly has a very important role in Patrick Henry. Some of the many things that she does in the office is handling “boo boos” and administering medicine to students. Mrs. Renee also keeps up with students’ grades ranging from kindergarten all the way to twelfth grade and she also handles all of the school’s money accounts. The office itself is where hard decisions are made and tears are shed, but it is a very vital place that keeps Patrick Henry Academy running.

Off to State


On Tuesday, October 17 the Patrick Henry varsity volleyball team accomplished something that has not been done since 2015; they took first place in the region

The varsity volleyball team points to the spot on the wall in the gym that their Region Champions banner will go. They defeated Dorchester Academy on October 17 sealing their title as Region Champions.

standings. Their game on Tuesday was against Dorchester Academy; the outcome determined where they placed in the region. A win put them in first place, while a loss would have put them in second behind Holly Hill Academy. The week leading up to the game, the players and Coach Belinda McCoy worked hard to prepare. The volleyball moms also need to be given credit, as they were the ones who decorated the school. In
addition to decorations, Mrs. Andrea Blakeney asked the varsity cheerleaders to cheer during the game. Going into the game, the players were pumped and ready to go; they were ready to claim the title they have been working towards all season. There was a large amount of fans that came out to support the team, and the cheerleaders helped changed the environment and get the fans involved. The players swept the Dorchester Raiders in three matches and celebrated their accomplishment.



The student council, like any leaders, requires money to do some of the things it does. Therefore, the student council must have fundraisers to acquire the funds necessary to do all that it can to make the students’ lives as fun as possible. One fundraiser that the student council has done in recent years is the Boo Gram fundraiser. This fundraiser is easy to do, doesn’t cost much for the students, and is a fun thing for kids in kindergarten all the way to the 12th grade. This year, the student council sold over 400 Boo Grams which is well above the expected amount. This money will help fund the pizza party for the winner of the door decorating contest from Red Ribbon Week as well as fund future tournaments and other activists hosted by student council.

A Horror Show of a Football Game?

Friday, October 27, the PHA Patriots played against the AJA Confederates. The Patriots anxiously awaited this particular game for quite a few weeks. The Confederates have gone undefeated for three years in a row. The Patriots, however, were determined and motivated to beat that record. This motivation was partly brought on by a simple Facebook post made by a profile under the name, AJA Football. Shots were fired in this particular Facebook post. The post, in general, was rather foolish and pitiful. It carried on about how the Patriots were “tricked into thinking that they have a chance to win this game” and how it would be a “horror show of a football game” for the Patriots. Needless to say, the Patriots traveled to Ehrhardt with a burning passion to win the game and arrived with the utmost determination. However, the first half went against our will, and our boys were losing 6-32 at halftime. The coaching staff must have talked some sense into the boys in the halftime huddle because the boys came out and looked like a completely different team during the second half. The Patriots scored four touchdowns and two two-point conversions before the end of the game. Our boys fought and held the Confederates from scoring until there were only two minutes remaining in the game.  Considering the score on Friday night (38-34), the game was not that horrible after all. Sure, we may not have won, but we put up a good fight. Not a single person that was there can say it was not a hard fought battle; the Patriots gave it their all. This has not been the first time that Andrew Jackson has bashed another team. In my opinion, Andrew Jackson should just keep their mouths shut. They may have won this round but not by much. With the possibility of making it through the playoffs, the Patriots could still be eligible to play the Confederates again in the championship. Next time, the Patriots are not holding anything back. Andrew Jackson needs a quick reality check and Patrick Henry is ready to give it to them.

What to Watch?


What is a better way to pass time than with a movie or television show? We all need a way to put off schoolwork and further our procrastination. However, this becomes a chore when we are faced with the issue of not having anything to watch. Netflix has so many options, but many of their movies and television shows are not very good. So what option is there? Do the dreaded homework that awaits? Of course not, just look up some Netflix recommendations. To help out with the process, some fellow PHA students have kindly given their recommendations. Here are the top 12 TV shows and the top 12 movies in no particular order:

Movies                                                                                   TV Shows 

  1. Miss Congeniality                                                            1. The Walking Dead
  2. Scout                                                                                  2. Supernatural
  3. Moana                                                                               3. Riverdale
  4. Listen to Your Heart                                                       4. American Horror Story
  5. My All-American                                                             5. That 70’s Show
  6. Finding Dory                                                                    6. Grey’s Anatomy
  7. Mean Girls                                                                        7. Gilmore Girls
  8. The Benchwarmers                                                        8. Parks and Recreation
  9. White Chicks                                                                    9. The Office
  10. The Waterboy                                                                 10. Criminal Minds
  11. A Girl Like Her                                                               11. Friday Night Lights
  12. Forrest Gump                                                                 12. The Vampire Diaries


Don’t Be Trashy


Our Interact Club has been very busy helping out our community in every way they possibly can. Saturday, October 21, a few members volunteered to help our local Rotary Club pick up trash along Highway 63 for the Adopt A Highway Program. Along with a few Rotary Club members, Anna Priester, Ansley Moore, Cassie Brown, and I met bright and early at 8 a.m. in Varnville to begin the pickup. We walked down one side of the road for about a mile picking up every piece of trash we could get to and back down the other side to where we began. Most people do not realize how much trash is actually on the side of the roads by just riding by in a car. Actually walking along the side of the road really opened my eyes and has made me more aware how big of an issue littering is in our community. Please refrain from throwing any trash out on the roads, even if it is something small like a straw wrapper; it is not good for the environment and it could harm animals if they were to eat it. Let’s all do the best we can to keep our roads and community litter free.

Bad Case of the Cooties


Love is in the air at Patrick Henry Academy. There are so many couples at PHA it is hard to keep up with who is dating whom; but it is obvious as to who some people are dating because they do not control their PDA. Showing that you are dating someone is not a bad thing at all unless you are putting your significant other and yourself on display for everyone to see at a time and place where that it is not appropriate. Sure, going on a date to a football game with your boyfriend or girlfriend is great or going on a date to any school function is swell and it is okay to show affection to an extent. But at

Students show their affection while walking down the school halls. Excessive PDA has become a problem at Patrick Henry Academy.

school, during school hours, it is not okay. There are many little children who walk the same school halls as we do and see “big” kids showing PDA. Whether you believe it or not, these little kids pay attention to the PDA. Some children even go home and reenact the PDA they saw to their parents. Not only is the PDA during school hours negatively affecting the children, but it is negatively affecting visitors as well. Suppose there is a family who wants to enroll their child at PHA and they walk down the halls and into classrooms and see students publicly displaying their affection, the family may then decide to not enroll their child because they have the impression that Patrick Henry Academy does not care what its students do. However, that is just the opposite. PHA does care what its students do but it is not the teachers’ job to control and watch everything that their students do. It is up to the students to control what they do and when they do it.

Let’s Do Some Math


On October 25, a group of our students from sixth, seventh, and eighth, attended the Middle School Math Meet. Every year, the event is held in Sumter at the Sumter Civic Center. The students, along with their sponsor Ms. Judy Long, met at the school at 7:30 am to begin their long day of traveling and mathematics. Once they arrived, the students registered and waited to start the first activity; a 50 question test that was to be completed in one hour. After completing the test and waiting on their scores, the last activity of the day was the speed round. In the speed round, a sponsor holds up cards with math problems on them and the students must answer them as quickly as they can. Madelyn McKenzie scored the highest on the written test out of PHA students and John Gardener Griner scored the highest on the speed round. The PHA team, as a whole, came in fifth place. Ms. Judy is very proud of all the students that participated and appreciates their hard work preparing for this day.

You Know That You Can Always Call Kim Possible


Everyone knows that Ms. Kim Miller is the Director of Administration but does everyone know her? I recently sat down with Ms. Miller and asked her a few questions to get to know her and decided to share her answers!

Q: Where did you go to high school and college?

A: I went to Colleton Prep for all of my high school career, I went to the College of Charleston for my undergraduate, and then I went to the University of South Carolina for my law degree.

Q: Did you have any other professions before working here? If so, what?

A: Yes, I was a lawyer, a school teacher, and a tennis teacher.Kim Possible

Q: Do you have any wise words for the students of Patrick Henry?

A: Enjoy your time at school because it goes by really fast and don’t take for granted the relationships you have here.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Patrick Henry?

A: My favorite part is working with the students because I can interact with them differently than I do with the teachers.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

A: I would want to be able to fly because then I would be able to get to school faster.

Q: Do you have any pets? If so, how many?

A: I have three dogs and one bird. My dogs’ names are Tyke, Buckshot, and Bonnie. My bird’s name is Tindy Lou.

Q: If you could go back to any time in your life, what time would you go back to?

A: I would go back to high school because I was closer to my friends and they live so far away now.

Q: If you were given $1,000,000 to spend in one day, what would you buy?

A: I would buy a place in the mountains, donate money to the animal shelter and PHA, and pay my bills.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: I would go to Australia because my dad went there when he was in the service and it always seemed like an amazing place.

Q: If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?

A: I would want to be the president for one day so I could straighten out Congress and make them actually do stuff.

Saddle Up and Read!


The time has arrived for our annual fall book fair, and this year’s theme is the Wild West. Students should be happy to learn that the “sale” dates will be Thursday, November 9 thru Tuesday, November 14. However, prior to these dates there will be a book fair preview for ONLY faculty and staff on Wednesday, November 8 from 12:00-3:00. Students will have a scheduled time for their class to visit the book fair when the book fair opens and this time will be a great opportunity to complete a “Wish List” form. Remember to bring your own pencil! During the scheduled visitation, students will also be able to take a guess in this book fair’s completion: “What is the total number of pages in our stack of “Western” books?” As usual, the student who guesses the closest to the correct answer will receive a $10 Book Fair Gift Certificate and a “surprise” gift. And we cannot forget about the “Random Drawing” of one student from each grade K5-fifth who will receive a gift certificate. There will also being a gift certificate rewarded daily to a faculty or staff member. Please be aware that the library will be open for regular business, library resource classes, and activity classes.

Students of the Month

Hance McCrary

Sixth grader Hance McCrary is hard working, attentive, and his grades have improved. IMG_1960
He behaves plus he tries hard to keep class in line and quiet; he is always courteous to his teacher. Hance’s teacher says that he has made quite the “turn-around” since she knew him as an elementary student. She says he is working extremely hard each day and is proud of the young man Hance has become.

Jackson Wiggins

Twelfth grader Jackson Wiggins is always willing to help wherever needed, and usually IMG_1870offers to help, rather than waiting to be asked. One day during an emergency when teachers needed a class covered, Jackson, who is a teacher cadet, offered to watch them and also gave up his study hall to watch the class during the next class period.

Cartoon Drawing


Hygiene Cartoon0001

Creative Corner



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