Rita Viviani is one of DAR’s foreign exchange students this year. She is from Milano, Italy, and she is 17 years old. While at DAR, she will be a junior.
Back in Milano, she lives with her parents and her two older brothers. Here in Grant, her host parents are Megan and Josh Love. Rita has two younger host sisters, Bailee and Gracie.
Rita’s main goal for being a foreign exchange student in the United States is to learn English. Her favorite class so far is Anatomy and Physiology with Mrs. Weems, but she says she doesn’t have a favorite teacher yet.
She has also joined DAR’s volleyball team and is playing volleyball for the first time here. Also, she plans to play on the basketball team and join track and field, because she ran track back in Milano. For fun, Rita likes to play sports, watch Netflix, listen to music, and read.
Rita said that if she could travel anywhere in the world, she would go to the big cities. Other than Grant, the only other place in America she has been is New York City. The orientation for all of the United States foreign exchange students was in New York City and lasted four days. Rita was excited to come to the United States, not only to learn English, but also to immerse herself in American culture.
School in the U.S. and school in Italy have some differences. Classes are mostly the same basic subjects, except in Italy students take three language classes. At the end of middle school, Italian students choose if they want to go to university or into the workforce. After the age of fourteen, students go to different schools depending on their choice.
In Italy, Rita was learning English, Spanish, and French. What Rita misses most about Italy is the food. Her favorite shows are “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” and “How I Met Your Mother.” Rita says that she enjoys living in Alabama, and is excited to be a part of the student body at DAR.
By Erin Martin
As homecoming draws closer, the SGA at KDS DAR High School is planning festivities to make this year’s homecoming the best yet. The SGA (Student Government Organization) at DAR is made up of class and school officers who plan school-wide events like pep rallies, dress-up days, and other special activities.
This year, the SGA has dress-up days and pep rallies set to take place on the days of home football games. During the week of homecoming, however, the SGA has planned dress-up days for every day of the week to kick off the excitement. A few themes include Decade Day, Character Day, Teacher Day, and Space Day.
In addition to dressing up during school, the SGA has also planned for the student section to dress up at both home and away football games. Halloween, USA, Business-Casual, Cowboy, and White Out are just a few of the themes that the student section will sport at games in support of the Patriots.
Another project the SGA worked on is Clubfest. Clubfest took place on August 30, and is a way for clubs to recruit new members. Clubs at the school set up booths in the gym, most with signs and trifolds displaying club activities and descriptions of what the clubs are all about. Clubs that had booths included Beta Club, FCCLA, Leo Club, FCA, Spanish Club, Art Club, Historical Society, 4-H, and more. Each booth incorporated elements unique to its club.
Beta Club had a spread of club scrapbooks, while the ambassadors of Spanish Club were decked out in sombreros and ponchos.
Students made their way around the gym, browsing through the different booths as they decided which clubs they wanted to join. By the time students finished at each booth, their hands were filled with forms and information sheets for their new clubs. Some clubs even had so many joinees, they ran out of forms.
This year’s SGA is always working hard to find new and creative ways to make the school better, ranging all the way from fun and outrageous dress-up days and pep rallies to events like Clubfest that make the student life at DAR truly amazing. Off to a great start, the SGA hopes to make this year one for the books!
High School Counselor
By Erin Martin
DAR High School recently welcomed a new counselor, Mrs. Angie Stanfield, after retirement of Mrs. Kathy Culbertson. Before accepting the job, Mrs. Stanfield taught second grade at DAR Elementary School and previously held a counseling job at DAR Middle School.
While the counseling job is even busier than teaching, Mrs. Stanfield says that it is very rewarding. Unlike her former teaching job at the elementary school, her new job allows her to see many students a day--all with unique backgrounds and needs. By not being confined exclusively to a specific set of kids, Mrs. Stanfield says that she has been able to see a wider scope of diversity within the school.
Although she was accustomed to multitasking as a second grade teacher, she has found that her new counseling job requires a few adjustments. Some nights, Mrs. Stanfield says, she has even taken her work home with her, working hard to find solutions to students’ problems in order to make the school a better place for everyone. Mrs. Stanfield deals primarily with scheduling, scholarships, and helping seniors onto the right path as they prepare to begin their post-high school lives.
Mrs. Stanfield says that high school counseling is much different than middle school counseling, especially in terms of scheduling, credits, and special programs such as dual enrollment. Mrs. Stanfield says she enjoys working with seniors and helping them find their individual paths, though it is a big responsibility.
Overall, Mrs. Stanfield says that the change has been a positive experience despite the difficulties that came with it. She says she enjoys working with an older group of kids who are able to express themselves in ways that make navigating scheduling and applying for college easier. Though the year has just begun, Mrs. Stanfield is already going above and beyond to make sure students receive the time and attention they need when it comes to scheduling, scholarships, college, and more. She truly cares about the students, which makes her a wonderful addition to our faculty here at DAR!
New Math Teacher
By Erin Bolton
The new math teacher at DAR is Carla James-Weldon. Mrs. Weldon came to DAR High from Morrow High School in Morrow, Georgia, about 35 miles south of Atlanta. She graduated in 1983 from Morrow High School.
She has an associate’s degree in psychology from Clayton State University, a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Georgia State University, and a master’s degree in post-secondary education from Troy University. She started teaching in 2000.
Mrs. Weldon is married to Gary Weldon and has two daughters and two step-daughters. She has seven grandchildren, with another one on the way. She used to ride motorcycles and play softball, but knee problems prevented her enjoying those hobbies. Now she sings, plays piano, and is learning to play the autoharp.
She and her husband are living in Guntersville and are building a new home on some land they own in Arab.
Mrs. Weldon said that she loves the other teachers at DAR and gets along with them very well. When comparing her old school to DAR she said, “Oh, heavens yes,” she loves DAR better! Her other school was more diverse but had about the same curriculum. Her favorite thing about our school is the beautiful campus. Her favorite quote is, “The more you practice the better you become”.
We are very blessed that Mrs. Weldon has chosen to come to our school to teach and inspire students. Our school is very lucky that the winds of change blew her our way.
1. September 19 will be a half-day for students. This time is scheduled so that students can make routine appointments on this day and not have to miss any class time.
2. Senior portrait make-ups are scheduled for Oct. 2. There is a $30 sitting fee and both formal portraits and casual poses will be made, in addition to the cap and gown portrait. A schedule will be posted in the senior hallway to sign-up for an appointment time if you didn't have your portrait made this summer.
3. The band is sponsoring “Drive 4UR School” on Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Gilbert Baugh Ford dealership will have new Ford cars and trucks that can be test driven. For each person (one per household, aged 18 or older) who test drives a car, Ford will give the band $20. Please come out and help the band earn money for new uniforms. There will also be other activities set up such as a yard sale, a bake sale, a bouncy house, and a cupcake-decorating booth.
4. The Spanish 1 and 2 classes will be doing a service-learning project Oct. 1-12 called the pulsera project. Students will sell bracelets (pulseras) made in Nicaragua and Guatemala for $5. Each bracelet will have information about the artisan. All proceeds are returned to the organization to help the people of Nicaragua and Guatemala.
5. Leo Club T-shirt order forms are available in the library. The deadline to order is September 28.
6. Students can now pay their school fees to Mrs. Finley. Please make sure checks are written to DAR High School.
7. Mrs. Edmonds is now taking Art Club money. Cost is $10.
8. Beta Club forms and dues money due on Thursday, September 20. Returning members must also fill out an application form. Our first club meeting will be Tuesday, September 25, at 7:15 a.m. in Mrs. Clark’s room.
9. FFA dues are $15. The deadline is October 1st.
10. Seniors - UAB will be here on October 17 at 9 a.m. in the library. Mark your calendars if you would like to meet with the representative. Sign-ups will be in Mr. Barnes office.
11.Seniors: If you have not signed up for Remind messages, this needs to be done.
12. Seniors: Keep a check on the information in the hallway outside the main office. College and scholarship opportunities will be added as they are received.
The following students will be celebrating their birthdays during the coming week. Be sure to wish them a happy birthday when you see them.
Sept. 13 – Katelyn Headrick, Eliel Salazar, Rita Viviani
Sept. 14 – Justin Allen, Baylee Saint
Sept. 15 – Jillian Smith
Sept. 17 – Kayla Childers
Sept. 18 – Justin Walker