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Varsity Hi-Q sweeps district tourney

Varsity Hi-Q team with the district championship trophyBaker County High School’s varsity Hi-Q team swept the district tournament this week, topping teams from Columbia and Union counties on its way to another district trophy.

The academic competition pits two teams of four players each against one another in a quiz show-like game using buzzers to quickly answer questions for points on variety of topics from science and math to geography and literature.

The varsity line-up of Sarah Harrell, Reagan McKendree, Megan Anderson, Chase Brannan, Kailey Murphy, Kaitlyn Corder and Forrest Elledge secured the title in the final match against Union County, scoring 175 points to 130 for their opponents.

Winning by a wide margin is nothing new for the team, which has been on a roll since the season began in October. Varsity players entered the tournament undefeated at 6-0.

“We kick butt and take names,” Ms. Anderson said after her team was presented with the district trophy at Christian Fellowship Temple in Macclenny shortly after noon on November 27.

The varsity squad beat Columbia County by 75 points for an appearance in the final match.

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Pow wow exposes children to Native American cultures of old

Steven Buhler demonstrates the The Baker County High School History Club delivered lessons in Native American culture to classes at the PreK-Kindergarten Center the morning of November 20 by putting on a pow wow that featured teepees, music, dancing and traditional Indian garb.

Students learned how Indians lived in teepees and kept warm using animal furs, among other customs. 

The annual program has been brought to local elementary schools in previous years, too, said club advisor Mark Hartley.

WES tributes veterans with songs, poems

Westside Elementary School students sing patriotic songs.A throng of students at Westside Elementary paid tribute to veterans with a host of songs and poems performed under blue skies and sunshine on the Glen St. Mary campus the morning and afternoon of November 9.

Dozens of people, some of them veterans, gathered at the school to watch the performances, one at 10 am and another at 1 pm, and both led by Westside faculty.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office presented colors to begin the 30-minute program.

Vets praise MES students for patriotic program

Students Noah Ray, Ian Doyle, Trey Dugger, Connor Altman, Colby Hapgood and Easton Stevens recreate the iconic image of US Marines planting a flag after the Battle of Iwo Jima.Second and third graders at Macclenny Elementary saluted veterans with a 45-minute program the morning of November 9 featuring patriotic songs and re-enactments of iconic moments in American history.

The event was a first for Dwayne Norman, one of many current and retired service men and women in the audience.

The medically retired Navy veteran’s daughter attends the north Macclenny school. “It was a great program,” said Mr. Norman. “It meant a lot to me and a lot of other people; more than words can say.”

Third graders packed the stage and flanked both sides, occasionally mounting a stage set up in front of the crowd to perform historic scenes like the Marines raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Second graders, meanwhile, sat with the audience and helped sing along to tunes, including God Bless America by Lee Greenwood, the show’s finale.

“I always teach the second graders the music, because it makes the sound fill the room, but I cannot fit that many kids on the stage,” said Macclenny Elementary music teacher Kinita Bishop, who orchestrated the program. “It gives them something to look forward to next year.”

Also in the audience was Clay Green of Macclenny, who’s spent the last 19 years in the Air Force and visits the school each year for the veterans program.

He said this year’s show — with students acting out scenes that also included first responders on 9-11 and the Fallen Soldier combat memorial — was “the greatest one yet.”

“It was awesome,” he said while holding his 4-year-old daughter Carlie in his arms.

After he and other vets in the cafeteria were asked to stand in recognition, the students, led by Tiffany Thomas, not only sang the words to You Are Our Heroes, they signed them, too.

“The students practiced singing and memorizing music in music class only, which is 25 minutes every six school days,” explained Ms. Bishop, who tutors students in other subjects as well.

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