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posted: Sun, Sep 4th, 2016

"Making What's Next...": Facilities Upgrades at MOHS

Over the summer the Mount Olive High School facilities received quite an upgrade! From renovations in the former wrestling rooms to new technology installed throughout the school, the facilities are ready to go for MOHS students this fall.

Walking through the newly renovated halls of the Marauder Innovation Learning Lab, or the MILL for short, one might find it hard to imagine how the space was converted from the old bleachers and stadium-style seating, into the pristine lab that it is today. Beautiful artwork covers the walls of the MILL, and the center features a seating area for students, as they work on their creations.

MOHS Principal, Mr. Kevin Stansberry said of the new space: "Our mission is to build a culture of innovation and creativity at Mount Olive High School while strengthening problem-solving skill sets and real world connectivity. The MILL is a place for students to participate in the culture of making and to experience the technical entrepreneurship process from concept to manufacturing and production."

One of the highlights of the new space are thirty 3D printers lining the shelves of the MILL, making MOHS the only high school in the country to offer students such vast opportunities for creating. The slogan for this new makerspace is "Making What's Next..." as students will be given the freedom to innovate and construct their own designs.

Mr. Stansberry said, "There is no doubt that the MILL is a preeminent 21st century college and career readiness facility."

In addition to the MILL, the neighboring area was also renovated to include a new sound studio with recording booths that will be classified as the MPAC. This sound studio can be used by the choirs and instrumental groups at MOHS to record music and learn how to use professional sound equipment. The MPAC will also be utilized by the Rock and Roll Academy and Audio Engineering classes, new for the 2016-2017 school year.

Mr. Trevor Campbell, who will be working in the MPAC said, "I'm excited to make use of the new space and looking forward to recording big orchestras and big bands with the new technology."

In addition to these two areas, the school also renovated the first floor student bathrooms, obtained a bleacher jersey for the back of the football stadium stands, purchased another 140 Chromebooks for use in sub study, invested in Robotics submersibles, purchased 125 new computer chairs, and replaced older classroom televisions with flat screen TVs. A new turf field, new windows, and new exterior sealant paint were also added to the facilities and grounds.

With all of these renovations, MOHS is securing its place in the 21st century, encouraging students to get real-life experience in a high school setting.

Jumping her way to an American record: MOHS alum, Keturah Orji, competes at Rio Olympics

Image courtesy of NBC Olympics.

"Home of 2016 Olympian, Keturah Orji" the signs underneath "Welcome to Mount Olive" boast. Keturah Orji, MOHS Class of 2014 graduate, participated in the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil this past August, representing the USA in the triple jump event. Orji, who is entering her junior year at the University of Georgia, is studying Financial Planning.

Orji, who not surprisingly holds the MOHS school record in the triple jump among other events, finished her Olympic debut by achieving an American record, jumping an outstanding 14.71 meters, breaking her own American record from June 2016, which had stood at 14.53 meters.

Orji who is 20 years old and is a 3-time NCAA triple jump champion, is one of the youngest competitors in her field. Approaching her jumps at the Olympic Games, Orji said, "Going into the competition, I was a little nervous. I'm very new to the sport comparatively. Many of the women competing were over 30 years old and have been jumping much longer."

Despite her initial nerves, Orji rose to the occasion, and qualified for the triple jump event finals and was the first American to complete all six jumps in the final round, ending in 4th place behind Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, who earned the bronze with a jump of 14.74 meters. Orji's jump of 14.71 meters was just shy of the medal stand, but allowed her to break her previously set American record.

"I'm very happy with how I competed," she said. "The whole experience felt like a dream."

Besides competing and breaking the American triple jump record, one of the other highlights for Orji was the overall Olympic experience, seeing athletes in other sports that she looked up to, including Serena Williams, Simone Biles, and Michael Phelps. Orji said the whole experience was surreal.

Orji's goal for the upcoming school year is to maintain her elite level, while continuing to improve. Since 2017 is a World Championship year, Orji wants to remain consistent throughout the year so she can give a great performance at Worlds.

When asked if she had advice for current MOHS students, Orji said, "Stay humble, and keep working hard. And listen to your coaches." Orji, who has certainly remained humble through this whole experience, is making her coaches and former MOHS family proud. We'll certainly continue to watch her track and field career unfold in the coming years.

Image courtesy of NBC Olympics.

Letter from the Principal

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,

Salutations! I hope you are rejuvenated, and anticipating the start of the 2016-2017 school year to begin! I, as well as the entire MOHS staff, am anxiously awaiting the start of another magnificent journey filled with incredible amounts of student growth, development and college and career readiness!

Every year we enjoy tremendous advances in the curricular and extracurricular realms of our complete high school experience. We will continue to further our initiatives, attain our desired outcomes, commit ourselves to excellence and strive to accomplish our goals and objectives.

We have established clearly defined expectations for our entire learning community: raising levels of student achievement, improving standardized test scores, challenging students to challenge themselves to the most rigorous course load they can handle, infusing technology into the delivery of instruction, demanding that students become active participants in their own learning experience, continuing the strength of literacy across the curriculum, promoting the ideals of character development, improving daily student attendance, and creating a school climate and culture that emanates massive levels of spirit and pride! We will not compromise our beliefs, our ideals, our values, or the policies and practices that have shaped our success in all of our endeavors.

One thing will remain constant – everyone must adhere to all school rules and regulations. Every student has the right to learn in an environment free from disruptions and inappropriate behaviors. Safety and security are always the highest priorities. Every student must be punctual and present each day throughout the year! We are expecting every stakeholder to support our mission, our initiatives, and the means we have chosen to pursue.

The 2016-2017 school year will be marked with new levels of achievement and progress as we cooperatively extend the legacy of excellence that has become a defining characteristic of Mount Olive High School! I will again challenge every member of our learning community to perform at their fullest potential, take advantage of the all the afforded opportunities, and strive for excellence

in every aspect of the school year!

Yours In Excellence,
Kevin R. Stansberry

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Mount Olive High School
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