Robert E. Lee High School’s

The Traveller

Issue #8

February 2014-2015

Articles written by the students of Mr. Brown’s Photojournalism classes. Edited and uploaded by Lee High Senior Emma Sue Sims.


Valentine’s Day: Why?

By: Natalie Fitzgerald

For as long as most people can remember, students have celebrated Valentine’s Day. This meant that every February 14th, elementary school kids would bring in candy and cards to their class and ‘spread the love.’ As we grow older, the meaning changes a bit; Valentine’s Day starts turning into a commercial holiday when we are encouraged to buy nice things for our significant other and those we love. Why do we do this?

It all goes back to the Ancient Roman times, about 270 A.D., to the festival of Lupercalia which was aImage result for valentine's day fertility celebration, hence the love connotation, that was originally celebrated on February 15th. Some believe that we celebrate Valentine’s Day in the middle of February to commemorate the death or burial of Saint Valentine, a saint recognized by the Catholic Church and other Christian religions, while others believe that Valentine’s Day was placed in the middle of February as a way to “Christianize” the celebration of fertility. Eventually this celebration was outlawed and labeled “un-Christian.” Pope Gelasius then claimed February 14th to be Valentine’s Day, and quite soon afterwards, that day was famous for being associated with love. In the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed that February was the start of the mating season for birds, which added to the overall idea of this day being focused on love.

Valentine’s Day is now a holiday that is celebrated across the world: from Australia to the United States to the United Kingdom. Americans have been exchanging handmade Valentine’s Day cards since about the early 1700s to this year in 2015. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year… That makes Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday next to Christmas! Out of this number, about 85% of those cards are purchased by women.

Overall, people think the idea of Valentine’s Day is nice. “Yay, a day all about everyone giving me chocolates and telling me they love me!” but is doing this really right? People think that it is okay to be spiteful and hateful towards others with the intention of making it up on Valentine’s Day because that’s the only day they “have to” spread love. Loving others is something that should be celebrated every day instead of just one day, but I’m sure this day is a holiday that will be celebrated for many years to come!

Super Bowl XLIX Review

By: Willson Baxley

It has been two Image result for Super Bowl XLIXweeks since the Seattle Seahawks were stopped dead in their tracks from becoming back-to-back Super Bowl Champions, a feat that hasn’t been achieved since the New England Patriots did it in 2005 . A debatable call from the Seattle sidelines to throw the ball from the 1 yard line led to an interception by the New England Patriots’ player Malcolm Butler which brought the ball game to a 28-24 close with the Patriots grabbing their fourth Super Bowl. All of these Super Bowls have come from the Patriots’ Quarterback, Tom Brady, and the Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick, making the two known as ‘the best Quarterback-Head Coach in the League.’


The Seahawks and Patriots were both 14-4 before the Super Bowl was played on February 1, 2015, but the weeks following up to the big game the Patriots were accused of using deflated balls during the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The National Football League (NFL) still has an ongoing investigation into this matter and the media had been swarming all over the Patriots for the accusations of deflating their game balls instead of them making it to Super Bowl 49.


The New England Patriots won the game fair and square, but a small mistake from the Seattle sideline cost them a big game that should’ve been their win. Many fans were upset that the powerful running back, Marshawn Lynch, was not given the opportunity to pound the ball into the end zone instead of throwing the ball. Despite the diversity, doubt, and overwhelming pressure from the media, the Patriots will be the National Champions until next football season rolls around. Let the countdown begin… 207 days until the 2015 NFL season is underway.

Split Banana!

By: Jordan Huffer

It’s hard to find anyone from the Staunton area who hasn’t heard of “The Split Banana” and theresplit‘s definitely a reason why. Split Banana is a local gelato place that surely lives up to  it’s excellent reputation. With over 50 flavors made throughout the year, and 18 served daily, the options are endless! This February’s flavors of the month include Cherry Cheesecake, Coconut, and Chocolate Sorbet, not to mention the constant flavors such as Cookies & Cream, Strawberry, and so many more, including my personal favorite, M&M Birthday Cake. So, stop by 7 West Beverly Street in downtown Staunton for a nice freezy treat and a great time!

Five Steps to Becoming a Better Photographer

By: Olivia Perry

1.Know your camera:

Many people think that to be a good photographer you have to have a fancy camera or a nice lens. Having a good camera does improve quality of pictures, but knowing your camera is what really makes the difference.

2. Take multiples:

When you’re taking photos, keep in mind that maybe only 1 photo out of 100 of them will come out how you want it to, so it is important to always take multiple pictures.

3. Don’t compare yourself to other photographers:

Each and every photographer has their own forte. Different photographers focus on different things and have their own style to the way they take pictures.You’ll develop your own techniques and trademarks as you take more photographs.

4.Look at examples:

Looking at famous photography can spark new ideas and inspire you to try new things that you normally wouldn’t.

5. Lighting:

Photography is all about lighting; it is important not to take photos when it is really sunny or really dark because photos won’t come out well. The hour before sunset is always the best time for taking photos.

National Sports Update

By: Jaylen Williams

Recently, running back Tyren Jones from Alabama got suspended indefinitely. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced the suspension on Tuesday, saying “it was for conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program.” Jones had a pretty successful year. Last year he was the fourth leading rusher on his team. He rushed last year for a total of 224 rushing yards, and he had two touchdowns. Jones was also suspended before the LSU game. He was a U.S army all-american and four-star prospect in 2013.

Bobbi Kristina Brown

By: Mari-Peyton Kouchinsky

Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was recently found unresponsive face down in a bathtub full of water. The public was shocked and horrified because her mother was found in the same manner about a year ago; however, Houston was Houstonpronounced dead, and Brown is currently in a medically induced coma. Investigators are suspicious of the similar circumstances and have a couple suspects including Brown’s boyfriend, Nick Gordon. Bobbi Kristina Brown has been in the hospital for weeks now and is finally starting to “do better” according to her aunt. Doctors ran a toxicology exam on her and it came back clean of any illicit or illegal drugs, but suspicion is still high on who or what could have caused such a tragic scene. Whitney Houston’s death was reported as heart failure along with cocaine involvement. These two cases have yet to be directly linked, but I believe there are too many coincidences that cannot be explained.

Ellis, Ralph. “Bobbi Kristina Brown Has Injuries That Need Explanation, Source Says –” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Lucian, the Purifier

By: Lucian Kellison

Among the 123 playable characters in computer game ‘League,’ Lucian, the Purifier, is quite possibly the best. Lucian is a high-tier marksman usually played in the bottom lane. He came into the league fueled by hatred and vengeance. His goal is to release the souls of the undead with his wife being among them. Using his own relic weapon and a recently adopted relic weapon frleagueom his soulbound wife, he rains his purifying fire atop the undead and will stop at nothing to avenge his wife, whose soul was shackled by a soul-collector named Thresh. Thresh holds the soul of Lucian’s beloved, trapped in his lantern, turning Lucian into more of a dark man determined to rid the world of all souls  ensnared as an undead. With no coincidence, Lucian is ranged and is able to dish out tons of burst and auto-attack damage.This high damage carry isn’t named Lucian for nothing.

ISIS Burns Jordan Pilot

By: Angela Bailey

The news of the latest attaImage result for isis jordanian burningck by ISIS has taken an extreme toll on the people of Jordan. Last week, a Jordanian pilot was burned alive in a barred cage. The murder was filmed and then released for public viewing. Along with the burning being shown, there were also flashes of ISIS propaganda throughout the video. In the film, ISIS members are shown igniting a flame that trails to the cage that held the Jordanian man. It was later reported that the man burned was heavily drugged and was barely aware of the situation that he was in. This does not make a difference to the simple fact that a man was burned alive, regardless of if he could completely feel it or not.

ISIS was never an acceptable organization, but with this video being released, the extremity of the  horrific acts of ISIS have been made clear. President Obama discussed ISIS in the State of the Union, but I think it is time to do more than just talk about the issues at hand. The United States needs to help put a stop to the terror that has been created through ISIS. Jordan has already declared full war on ISIS because of this incident. Jordan should not have to handle this task on their own. ISIS needs to be put to a stop.

Five Easy Hairstyles For The School Day

By: Jordan Mooneyham

1.      The two braid twist:l

This hairstyle is very simple. You take two braids, tie them in a knot and hold it with a hair elastic.

  1.       The fishtail braid:p

For every strand you take down the back, twist a new piece of hair over the other towards the middle.

  1.      The Original braid:n

For this braid, it is the original quick and easy braid that is good for any occasion and it’s super quick! Part the hair into three pieces and alternate twisting one piece over the other.

  1.      Bangs Up:t

This hairstyle is quick and simple! It is also great for any activity you don’t want to have your bangs in your face! Simply pull back the bangs straight back and tie them with a hair elastic.

  1.      Braid inside a ponytail:b

For this hairstyle, you take a tiny chunk of hair from the front, braid it, and stick it in with your regular ponytail.

Best and Worst Dressed at the 2015 Grammy Awards

By: Hannah Flavin

This years annual Grammy Awards Ceremony was not one to miss. Some stars came ready to impress, while others came looking like a mess. Many of the stars on the carpet had different fashion senses, but some of the styles they chose were just unacceptable. Other stars completely stunned everyone with their clothing choices.

Some of the best dressed stars include Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, and Ariana Grande. Taylor Swift wore a beautiful blue ombre gown by Elie Saab that seemed to be designed for her. Rita Ora was one of my favorites, she wore a long grey, sparkling gown which went beautifully with her blonde hair. Katy Perry also looked stunning in a sheer, knee length gown by Zuhair Murad Couture. Lastly, Beyonce looked breath taking as usual in a long black dress with a low, v-cut neckline. These ladies most definitely dressed to make a statement.

Image result for grammy awards dresses taylor swift 2015Image result for grammy awards dresses taylor swift 2015                                                       Image result for grammy awards dresses taylor swift 2015

Some of the worst dressed stars included Madonna, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Ciara, and Iggy Azalea. Madonna, wearing Givenchy Couture, showed far too much skin for her age. Rihanna wore a puffy and pink Giambattista Valli Couture gown that completely swallowed her. The gown did not complement her body or skin tone whatsoever. Miley Cyrus wore a long black dress that just did not match her personality. Miley would have looked better in a dress that showed more skin and possibly one other than the color black. Ciara wore a black, over-the-top Alexandre Vauthier Couture dress that did not fit her well. Finally, Iggy Azalea’s tight blue gown did not go well with her hair style one bit. Hopefully these women will reconsider their looks before they head off to the next Grammy Awards.

Work Cited- List, Style. “Best and Worst Dressed at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards.” StyleList. Style List, 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Dynamic Door Decorating

By: Abbey Kincheloe

Did you know that 80% of heart disease could be prevented? Well, the Student Council Association of Lee High School did which is why they created a door decorating contest in order to raise awareness of how to prevent this terrible disease. Each classroom had the opportunity to decorate their door incorporating the word or item, “heart”. Door decorating has been a sort of tradition since our years at Shelburne, and with the news that it was back, excitement was in the air. Everyone started brainstorming ideas of how to decorate their doors. There were so many different options! Maybe the door should be clever, maybe it should be serious, maybe it should reflect the subject of the class. Ideas have been flowing through the school for the past two weeks!

I talked to Natalie Fitzgerald, treasurer of the school, to figure out how this group thought of this idea. “We decided to have this contest as a way to spread the idea of maintaining a healthy heart…since the month of February is Heart Awareness Month. We thought this would be the perfect week for it, especially considering this Saturday is Valentines Day!”

Are you wondering how to prevent heart disease? Well here are some ideas!

  • Exercise daily!
  • Avoid tobacco!
  • Aim for a healthy weight!
  • Eat healthy foods!

If you follow these simple steps…you can help prevent heart disease!


New Hollywood Parents

By: Claire Venn

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard from the hit TLC series 19 Kids and Counting are now happily married and expecting their first child. According to E News, Jill is now twenty-eight weeks and four days along in the pregnancy. Only being twenty-three years old, she dugis the second child of Michelle and Jim Bob that has begun the start of a soon to be family. The large family of nineteen is quickly expanding and extremely excited to welcome the newest member to their family.

In the beginning of their relationship, they found out each others likes; they both had the same values. Jim Bob had known Derick before the introduction of Jill, and essentially helped them connect to one another over the course of a couple of months. Jim Bob had been one of Derick’s prayer partners while he was doing humanitarian work in Nepal. Finally the two met, connected, and realized how similar they were to each other. March 29th Derick proposed to Jill, and June 21st the two tied the knot.

Just two months later, the married couple found out they were pregnant with their first child. Many articles on E News and US Weekly have stated that the two are extremely happy and excited for the birth of their baby boy. 19 Kids and Counting will soon begin expanding rapidly as more and more of the children begin the joyful process of marriage and parenthood.

Works Cited

“Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard Married: 19 Kids and Counting Couple’s Courtship Timeline.” Latest News. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

“Here’s Why We Believe Jill Duggar Didn’t Engage in Premarital Sex.” E! Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Pros and cons of Disney making the new Star Wars trilogy

By: Logan Losh

I celebrated my seventh birthday nine days before I saw my first Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. I was too young at the time to understand the plot or even understand that it was fiction; I was just too hooked on all the action and excitement. Christmas of 2005, I got the entire Star Wars saga on DVD. I watched them over and over and over and I never got tired of them. As the years passed I grew older and I was still watching Star Wars.Thestar wars more I watched the more I understood it.

In 2012 Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger purchased Lucas Films from George Lucas for the out-of-this-world sum of $4 Billion. This purchase of course meant that Disney would now acquire all the rights to all the Star Wars characters. This could be really awesome or really, REALLY bad. Pros and cons are as follows. Pro: MORE STAR WARS! Con: The Last time we were told there would be more star wars films, we ended up with a dumb idiot Jar Jar binks and a dumb ten-year-old pod racing idiot who would grow up and be responsible for the extinction of the Jedi. Hopefully we don’t end up with another Phantom Menace. Pro: George Lucas will not be directing the new films. George Lucas was a great director until he decided to stop making new films and began “Messing” with the successful ones. Han shot first. Con: George Lucas will still be involved in the films… Pro: Princess Leia will officially be a part of the Disney princess collection which means there will be good looking women dressed as Slave Leia standing at the character meet and greet stations throughout Disney theme parks posing for pictures. Con: There will also be a Jar Jar Binks character at the parks… Pro: Spaceship earth becomes the death star.

Best Breakfast in Staunton

By: Chelsea Church

ggrapphI randomly surveyed 50 Lee High students to find out where the best place to have breakfast in Staunton is. Cracker Barrel came out on top with the most votes, Kathy’s rounded out as a close second, and Waffle House trails as the third favorite. Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant came in last with a total of zero votes. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a delicious breakfast, head to Cracker Barrel for an enjoyable time and tasty meal.


By: Kat Carr

Within the past year, the Dominion Pipeline has caused an uproar with local community members. As proposed, the 550-mile pipeline would extend from West Virginia, through Virginia, and end in North Carolina near the Hampton Roads area. In Augusta County, the pipeline would cross 50 miles of the pastures, Riverheads, and South River Districts along a permanently cleared easement.

On February 5th, supervisors from Augusta County discussed the two stances on the pipeline. 300 members of the community and the county supervisors attended the meeting which was held at the Government Center. There were at least 50 speakers who spoke mostly against the project. A representative assured the residents that there would not be any disturbance to the region, as much as they thought there would be. The supervisors listened to many comments about the potential land use impacts from the utility’s project.

Dominion’s Vice President of the Corporate Communications, Chet Wade, stated that the 43 miles that the pipeline would run through would cause no more harm than the Columbia Gas, which has been operating for more than 80 years. Wade attempted to lighten the situation by also stating that the pipeline would be monitored 24-7. Tom Long, a public speaker, stated that the pipeline would be too close to homes and schools.

The other companies working with Dominion believe that the $5 billion project will provide a cheaper and a cleaner energy source. Nancy Sorrells stated that  the project will offer a historic development for the Shenandoah Valley and that would be “all pain and no gain.” “Our property rights are ignored, our water resources are threatened, our public safety  compromised, our environmental and historic resources ravaged, and our farm and properties devoured,” said Sorrells. The FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) will hold a round of public meetings, pertaining to the pipeline, in the upcoming weeks.

Plane Crash in Taiwan

By: Alex Deaton

February 4th TransAsia Flight 235 crashed in Taiwan. The flight had 58 people on board, 15 of them survived, and 43 died. One engine failed upon takeoff and the pilots turned off the other engine in atteplanempt to restart the engines. “In that accident, a fan blade failure in the left engine led to vibrations and smoke and fumes in the cockpit. The pilots believed that the right engine had failed and reduced power to it, which caused the vibrations to stop, convincing the crew that they had identified the troubled engine. As the pilots tried to make an emergency landing, the left engine quit, and attempts to restart the right engine failed.” -CBS News. The pilots did not survive. The plane narrowly missed several buildings then scraped its wing along an overpass hitting a car in the process.