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Clayton Middle School Remembers September 11


Students in Amanda Turner’s 7th grade Social Studies class learned what happened on September 11, 2001 through the eyes of their teacher, who was in middle school on the day of the attacks. Turner explained to her students how, in a school library, she learned that a plane struck a tower in New York City.  She told students how she watched the second plane hit along with her teachers.  Students saw clips of what Turner and her classmates witnessed live.  Then they watched President Bush address the nation and tour Ground Zero. “When watching the videos, the students were focused.  After the videos they were full of questions, like ‘why did this happen?’” said Amanda Turner  In remembrance of September 11, 2001, students focused on describing the characteristics and attributes of the heroes from that day.  “I picked trust because our firefighters went in there to help find people that were still in there and still alive,” said Devin Omana, a seventh grade student in Turner’s class.  Working in groups, students created a poster by tracing their hands and explaining how the trait they selected was displayed on September 11th or in the following days. “I liked the assignment because we worked together and watching George Bush’s speech was very interesting,” said seventh grader, Noah Johns.  Turner was pleased with the students’ work and interest. “The students were really thoughtful in selecting the traits they used to describe these heroes.  I think it meant a lot to them to see the live shots and to see heroes in action,” she said. 

Clayton Middle Pledges to be Drug Free

Clayton Middle students combated drug use during Red Ribbon Week, which lasted from October 28-November 1.  Each day had a theme that encouraged students to dress up to support being drug free. 
The week kicked off on Monday, when students and teachers wore red shirts and jeans to be a “jean-ious” and be “red-y” to say no to drugs.  On Tuesday, many students participated in “tacky day” by wearing mix matched outfits to show that drugs are tacky.“Tacky day was the day that I could just miss match and be crazy, silly and outgoing to show how much I support not doing drugs,” said seventh grader Brittany Blount.Wednesday was “sock it to drugs day,” which mad many students and teachers wearing crazy socks.  On Thursday, students “teamed up against drugs,” by wearing Clayton Middle School colors or other team jerseys.The week ended on Friday when students wore hats to “protect their heads from dugs.”  After making a one dollar donation to the United Way, students could show their support for Red Ribbon Week. 

  “Participating in Red Ribbon Week shows how many people are out there that do not do drugs.  Being drug free is important because later in life, you are not getting hurt or getting in with a bad crowd,” stated Hailey Stephens, a seventh grade student.All week long, students had the opportunity to sign a pledge banner to keep the school drug free. Blount signed the banner to show her support.“The banner to shows how many people are not doing drugs.  I don’t think people should do drugs, so I signed it to show support for not doing drugs,” she said. 


Clayton Middle "Pink Out" Unifies School and Community

Clayton Middle School held its first Pink Out on September 24, 2013 during a home game against rival, Smithfield Middle.The Clayton Eagles defeated to Smithfield Middle 22-8.  Quarterback, Devin Carter ran for one touchdown and connected with CJ Clarence for another.   Clarence also scored from a fumble recovery.  The Eagles scored twice on two-point conversions.“It was one of my best games because everyone did their job.  We did what we were supposed to do on offense and defense.  Everything seemed good—blocking, receiving, everything.  Everyone played good,” said Carter, an eighth grader. 

  The Pink Out originated when Head Football Coach, Ricky Bucklin, wanted his players to wear pink socks during one of the games.“I talked to Stacey [Carr] about it just trying to get school spirit.  The Pink Out was successful,” said Bucklin.Head Cheerleading Coach, Carr, followed Bucklin’s lead by outfitting the cheerleading squad in pink bows and pink socks to unify both teams in their efforts to bring awareness to Breast Cancer.“I like that we all matched wearing pink because we all looked like a team—the whole school,” said seventh grade cheerleader, Taylor Smith. 

  The Eagle football players were thrilled to join others teams in bringing awareness to Breast Cancer.  “[We] were excited to be a part of the college and pro tradition of wearing pink in October,” stated Carter.  Students enjoyed wearing pink, but also recognized the symbolic importance of the color.  “We got to wear pink and it’s my favorite color, but really it was about finding a cure for cancer,” said eighth grade cheerleader, Mekenzie Martin.

Football players and cheerleaders noticed more energy from the fans.“When you looked out at the crowd, all you saw was pink.  Every time we did something good, the band played.  Everyone was ready to win since it was our last game of the season,” stated Noah Johns, a seventh grade football player. 

  The Student Council under the advisory of Angie Stephenson, helped to outfit the Clayton Middle Staff in pink t-shirts with the recognizable Breast Cancer awareness ribbon.   “The Pink Out snowballed from Coach Bucklin’s idea for football and spread to the entire school,” stated Carr, who as Athletic Director, helped organize of the Pink Out. Clayton Middle held a pep rally where students, athletes and teachers wore pink. 

  “Cancer affects numerous families in our community, and more specifically, families in our very own school.  What better way to show these students and their families that we care than to show our support by wearing pink,” stated Carr. 

  Proceeds raised by sales from t-shirts, bows, and pink under-eye stickers were used to purchase two baskets of snacks for patients at the Clayton Cancer Center.


Clayton Middle hosted fourth annual Trunk-or-Treat

Clayton Middle hosted its fourth consecutive Trunk-or-Treat event on Thursday, October 24.  The event, which was open to the community, boasted candy, games, a trunk decorating contest, costume contests, inflatable bounce houses, a haunted hay ride and concessions. 

  Teachers, parents, and community members decorated trunks and gave out candy to students and children adorned in costumes.  Organizers estimate attendance between 800 and 1,000 community members.  Organizer Stacey Carr was impressed with the number of people who attended the event.  “Year after year, I am always impressed by the amount of current and former students who attend [Trunk or Treat] as well as the elementary students who will one day grace our school,” said Carr.  The event is made possible due to donations from the community and volunteers.  Volunteers from Kohl’s Cares sold concessions, while much of the candy was donated by students and parents.  Clayton Middle teachers decorated trunks and organized student involvement. 

  “Our school staff continuously impresses me with their dedication to volunteer their precious time with no monetary incentives—just their good hearts,” stated Carr.  The decorated trunks are a popular attraction because volunteers hand out candy.  “It was a lot of fun seeing the young children in their adorable costumes.  They seemed to be having a lot of fun getting candy,” said seventh grade Math teacher, Kim Bagley.Clayton Middle students attended the event for various reasons, but most enjoyed spending time with their friends at the school-sponsored event. 

  “I didn’t go last year and a lot of people said Trunk or Treat was fun, so I wanted to see what it was like this year.  Overall, it was fun because I got to hang out with my friends and see the different trunks,” stated Tori Neighbors a seventh grade student who helped to give out candy with her sister at the trunk they decorated.  Trunk or Treat is geared toward families and children of all ages.  Some students used this as an opportunity to spend time with their siblings.  “I went to Trunk or Treat because my younger brother wanted to go.  I took my brother to each of the trunks to get candy,” stated Marissa Polston, a seventh grade student.  While spending time with friends and family, many students enjoyed everything Trunk or Treat offered. “Trunk or Treat was fun because you can hang out with your friends, get candy and go on a hayride.  I went to get candy,” said sixth grader, Juleigh Clement. 

  The haunted hayride was a big attraction to many students and community members.  Clayton High School donated the equipment for the hayride, including the tractors and trailers.  Hudson’s Hardware donated the hay. “I went [on the hayride] because I thought it would be scary.  I liked the graveyard [scene] because it had details like ghosts,” stated sixth grade student, Cody Pounds. The haunted hayride had something for everyone, having both scary and comical scenes performed by the Clayton Middle drama club.  “[The Drama club’s] job was to scare [riders] on the hayride.  Zombies chased the tractor from a safe distance.  We also had humorous scenes, like Little Red Riding Hood beating the wolf with an ax,” stated eighth grade student Michael Fleagle.  Fleagle oversaw the hayride scenes and ensured the safety of the actors and riders.  He believes the hayride was a success with most students.   “Younger kids seemed to like the hayride and the scenes [and] middle school students seemed to like seeing their friends act out the scenes,” Fleagle said.Haunted hayride tours were given by Clayton Middle’s assistant principals, Jocell Flores and Thomas Presti. 

  Inflatable bounce houses and games were also a part of the festivities.  Flores’ picture was humorously used as the witch at the pin-the-hat-on-the-witch game.  “It’s all in good fun and I’ll do anything to support our school and our families,” Flores commented.    Organizers promise the event will continue as long as the community remains interested.
“Every year more and more people in our community attend and that’s why we keep holding Trunk or Treat.  We wouldn’t do it if people stopped coming,” said Carr


Clayton Middle Student Wins Wrestling Bronze

Zach Chamblee, an 8th grade student at Clayton Middle, competed in the Powerade Triangle Scuffle Series wrestling tournament on September 28th in Raleigh. 

Chamblee placed third in the 126 weight class, which included high school students.  He also received an award for good sportsmanship. 

Chamblee became involved in wrestling because his older brother, Josh Chamblee, is a varsity wrestler at Clayton High School. 

“I plan to wrestle in high school to keep the legacy of wrestling going in my family,” said Chamblee. 

Wrestling is important to Chamblee, because the common interest helps him build a strong relationship with his holder brother. 

“Wrestling is how me and my brother communicate,” Chamblee said.

  Although Chamblee displays talent for the sport, he has one superstition that he feels gives him an edge.

  “My good luck shoes helped me win.  Definitely,” he said. 



8th Graders at Clayton Middle Travel Back in Time to Old Salem

On October 23, 2013, 8th graders from Clayton Middle School crossed the Old Salem Bridge and were transported from the present to the past. Students visited the Moravian settlement and witnessed actors recreating historic trades.  They also toured the settlement, visiting sights such as the graveyard, Tavern, bakery, and others, to learn about the every-day lives of the Moravians. "It was interesting to learn new things about Old Salem.  We learned about how they did stuff back then and compared it to how we do it now,” said eighth-grader, Cierra Bumpers. 

  One of the goals of the trip was to provide students with the opportunity to see the past, while encouraging them to make connections to the present.“Life was very different in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  It gives [students] a better appreciation for what we have today,” said Cathy West, and eighth grade Social Studies teacher. Students gained an appreciation for the technological advances they enjoy today. 

  “The single brothers and single sisters house is totally different than what we have now.  Everything is so advanced now.  They had to get wood for fires and we just have to flip a switch,” said eighth grader, Jada Ford. Students visited on a “Science Alive” day, so many of the presentations at Old Salem showed how the Moravian society used their advanced understanding of Science and Technology to solve problems. “Since it was a Science day, they learned about simple machines.  My students had a good time taking scientific principles and applying them to the colonial period.  They were intrigued by how the pulleys in the barn were able to lift heavier objects with less force,” said Keith Phillips. Another part of “Science Alive” was learning how to make soap. 

  “My favorite part was when they were making the soap because it was interesting knowing they made it from ashes,” said Hannah McFarland. As a part of exploring science and technology, students learned about the properties of gun powder and what makes it explode. “I liked the gun shooting.  It was neat [and] loud,” said George Alonso, an eighth grade student. However, teachers enjoy the gun demonstration because they enjoy watching the reaction of students. “I like the gun shooting because I like to watch the students jump at the sound,” admitted West. 

  Some students reflected on what it might be like to live in the past. “I liked the carriage ride.  It was so peaceful,” stated Peyton Sherrell, an eight grade student. Others noted the differences in cooking and baking. “It was hot in the bakery because [the baker] was cooking on an open fire,” said eighth grader, Sofia Cabrera. Other students recognized the historic value of the town.

  “George Washington stayed at the tavern.  It was like reliving the moment he was there,” said eighth grader, Carmina Rosales. Students were captivated by the many hands-on demonstrations of the town. “Overall, the students behaved really well because they were engaged and they know how to be respectful.  They are good kids,” stated West

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