Softball games have ended

By Breayanna Gibson, News Writer

As the Lady Raiders softball team came to their final game on April 26, they finished their season outstandingly, and the senior pitcher made history for Keenan softball.

Coach Clarence Black, Softball Coach, talked about coaching softball.

“I like coaching softball,” Black said. “It’s frustrating at times, but I like coaching it.”

This year’s softball team made playoffs for the first time in years and ended on a good note.

“I believe this year’s softball team is a lot better than the previous year’s, but I do believe it could’ve been better,” Black said

As the Lady Raiders come to their final moments with their senior pitcher, she will be missed.

“I’m heartbroken and sad; this is my last year playing high school softball,” Senior Day-Sha Stewart, Pitcher, said. “I’m really going to miss it.”

As Stewart finishes her final years playing softball in high school, she will be excited about college softball and will be playing for South Carolina State University (SCSU).

“I love softball with a passion,” she said

Her teammates will miss her dearly, and the coaches are happy as well. They wish the best to her in college.

“I’m going to miss Day-Sha a lot,” Sophomore A’Laysia Hill, centerfielder, said. “I appreciate all that she has taught me.”

Black will be expecting another great season with his rising seniors and maybe another playoff.

“I’m expecting that every girl that stuck to the program will have more knowledge and love for the game,” Black said. “And I’m also expecting for the returning girls to work hard over the summer to improve their game.”

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The Lady Raiders softball team. Photo by Coach Clarence Black, Special to the Sword and Shield.

Keenan Student Council concludes 2016 Pasta for Pennies campaign

Story by Lyric Swinton, News Writer, and Elizabeth Bates, Special to the Sword and Shield

The 2016 Pasta for Pennies Fundraiser has come to a close. Pasta for Pennies is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by the Keenan Student Council to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The fundraiser lasted for exactly a month. Every teacher with a 2nd block B Day class was given a box to collect donations. The class with the most money raised would win a catered lunch from Olive Garden.

The school-wide goal was to raise $750, but the final total more than doubled that goal with $1,621.19 raised. This was a sharp increase from last year’s collection total of $562.84. This year marked the all-time highest collection totals in Keenan history.

“I’m happy we doubled our goal,” Mrs. Deidra Pompey, Student Council Advisor, said. “This was one of our most successful campaigns. Congratulations to the winners!”

Classes that raised between $100 and $199 dollars received a Bronze flag for their efforts, classes that raised between $200 and $299 received a Silver banner, and classes that raised $300 and above received a gold banner.

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“I emphasized such a worthy cause and told them about my past students who were successful in the campaign,” Coach Dameon Franklin, second place and gold banner winner, said.

In fifth place with a Bronze banner was Ms. Jeneen Blue’s class with $177.88. Coming in fourth place with a Bronze banner was Señor Fredys Castro’s class with $184.37. Mrs. Alexandria Williams’ class came in third place with a Silver banner, raising $203.46.

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Williams

The top two was very close and separated by less than two dollars. Franklin’s class came in second place with $401.30, winning a Gold banner. Mr. Charlie Richards’ class was the winner and raised $402.85, receiving a Gold banner.

“If you’re not first, you’re last,” Richards said. “Shake and bake, [in the] words of Ricky Bobby.”

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Richards

Young Life organization supports Keenan students

By Justina Simons, Features Writer

Young Life is an organization that involves students from many schools in South Carolina. This organization has Young Life leaders who help kids grow closer to God and Jesus.

“Young Life is a faith-based organization where college students enter the high school world to grow relationships with and love them,” Ms. Courtney Wallace, Young Life leader, said. “We show up to games and other activities they commit to and support them. Young Life is very important because we want to reteach kids and build with them in hope that one day they will follow Christ.”

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Wallace. Photo courtesy Courtney Wallace, Special to the Sword and Shield.

Young Life comes to Keenan on some Thursdays and interacts with the students after school. There have even been some times where some of the Young Life leaders would visit the students during their lunch breaks just to check in with them.

“I enjoy everyone getting a chance to just hang out and have fun together,” Senior Anthony Bradley said. “Also the way the Young Life leaders connect with us on a personal level and love us. That shows me they really do care about my wellbeing.”

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Bradley. Photo by Justina Simons, Staff Photographer.

Some Young Life leaders are so close to some of the students that their friendships move beyond school, and they spend time hanging out with them and just having fun.

“I really enjoy being a part of Young Life because I make so many new friends and connections with different people,” Ms. Aleya Foulks, Young Life leader, said. “Young Life even has campaigners for kids to come and be a part of on weekends; these are like Bible study meetings. This summer we will have our yearly summer camp on July 24-30 for $125; we as a unit would love for any and every one to join us.”

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Foulks. Photo courtesy Aleya Foulks, Special to the Sword and Shield.

Young Life even gives kids a way to and from camp and other out-of-school activities. They support the kids with anything they can help with and care for them dearly.

Senior year comes to an end

By Kyandra Simmons, News Writer

As senior year begins to come to an end, the memories start becoming distant thoughts. College is the main thing on everyone’s mind. Going from high school to college is a huge step but one that will lead to even more amazing things. All the friends made over the past four years will soon be moving on to new adventures and experiences. Everyone will adventure off and experience things they’ve never imagined.

“I’m legit ready for college, but I’m not ready to grow up,” Senior Quentin Savage said.

According to Mrs. Stephanie Jenkins dance teacher, this school year has been amazing for seniors; they have been lucky to change and coordinate different things that students couldn’t do the past couple of years.

“I’m going to miss our senior class because we all know the school will be so boring when they leave,” Junior Keyona Peters said.  “Overall, though, this year was fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

According to Ms. Alethea Barnes, English teacher, when the students feel their time in high school coming to an end, they start to realize how much they secretly like high school and begin to realize how much they are going to miss it.

“It’s crazy how fast these past four years went, but it’s time to graduate!” Senior Jaelen Crewell said.

As the college class of 2020 gears up for their last days of high school, there are a lot of emotions and uncertainties about the next year and the three years after that.

Seniors are on the brink of making some of the biggest decisions of their lives, and for many students and their parents, it will feel as if this moment came sooner than they anticipated, according to Barnes.

“I have been a big help to the senior class, and I wouldn’t dare take what I have done for them back,” she said.

On May 20, an assembly will be held to recognize the accomplishments of the senior class.

“On behalf of the senior class, I really do appreciate everything and everyone who has helped out and worked with our senior class,” Senior Kenyatta Jeffcoat, Senior Class President, said.

Preserving the Planet with the “Planeteers”

By Nahla Muldrow, News Writer

Did you know that we have a recycling club? Well, if you didn’t know, now you do. As a part of a district-wide recycling project, Keenan has created an environmentalist club called The Planeteers.

The project is to see which school in the district can collect the most recycling. Led by Mrs. Sahara White, Science teacher, the AP Environmental science students have made it their mission to make a difference in the environment.

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Planeteers are (back row, from left) Seniors Nahla Muldrow, Lyric Swinton, William Cornish, Le’on Hill, Diamonita Tyler, Sydney Howard (middle row, from left), Quentin Savage, Amber Stone, Jalona Webb and (bottom) Taj Thompson. Photo by Louis Anderson, Cub Photographer.

“I believe we should recycle because the environment is affected by our negligence and we are responsible for it’s up keeping,” Senior Jalona Webb, Planeteers, said.

The purpose of recycling is to conserve energy, help the environment, reduce pollution, slow global warming and reduce waste products in landfills. This is where the phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” comes in. By recognizing the impact we have on the environment’s deteriorating state, we can make a difference.

“We want to save the earth one step at a time,” Senior William Cornish, Planeteer, said.

It’s also the Planeteers’ duty to make these environmental issues more known and to stress the importance of their efforts.

“The Planeteers influence the student body to be more ecofriendly and also, tell the reasons recycling is important for saving our earth,” Senior Amber Stone, Student Body President, said.

Despite the beneficial goals of this club, there have been some hiccups along the way. As a result, the Planeteers are giving up their free time in an effort to make Keenan more eco-friendly.

“To make things easier, teachers should leave recycling bins outside their doors,” Webb said. “The students should make an effort to put the appropriate things so, the process can be faster.”

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The Planeteers are one of the many reforms at Keenan that will not only create a more environmentally efficient school, but community as well.

Juniors conquer the ACT WorkKeys test

By Kyandra Simmons, News Writer

According to Mrs. Latayna Williams, assistant administrator, the ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment that helps employers select, train, hire, develop and retain a high performance workforce. The test measures soft and foundational skills; it also offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs. Each section is forty-five minutes with a fifteen minute break between applied mathematics and locating information.

According to Williams, students took the test March 2. Students were being tested on Reading Information, Applied Mathematics and Locating Information. The score on the test is determined by the number of questions answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing. The level scores describe the skills students have achieved and can apply on the job or in training. After taking the assessments, students will receive a score report.

“The test wasn’t hard at all; my teacher told us we had nothing to worry about,” Junior Tyawnah Pinkard said.

According to the ACT WorkKeys website, the WorkKeys is a first step toward closing skills gaps and improving workforce quality. Successful completion of the three WorkKeys assessments can help an individual earn the National Career Readiness Certificate, a portable credential that documents essential work skills.

“I gave my students practice questions at the beginning of each class to get them ready for the test; they all seemed to get it and said it was really easy,” Mrs. Charu Bakshi, Math teacher, said.

According to the ACT WorkKeys website, the assessment is the cornerstone of workforce solutions and the basis for the nation’s most recognized work readiness credential. The assessments help students measure the most important skills.

“The test was so easy,” Junior Keirra Simmons said. “I passed that with flying colors!”

Juniors will be taking the actual ACT test April 19; they have been doing do-now questions the first five minutes of class to get prepped and ready.

U.S. joins Paris to end ISIS terrorist attacks

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An ISIS flag hangs outside a home on Two Notch Road in Columbia on January 12, 2016.

Story and Photos by Marquavius Henry-Jeter, News Writer

According to CNN International, on the evening of November 13, 2015, a series of organized terrorist attacks caused by ISIS occurred in Paris. It was reported that suicide bombers and mass shootings struck in cafés, restaurants, and music venues near central Paris.

Rumors spread, saying nearly 130 people were deceased; attackers took hostages before a shooting with police occurred. According to CNN International, the attackers died while police continued to search for more terrorists.

CNN International also noted that ever since the terrorist attacks, France had been on high alert to increase security for terrorism and for the sake of their people’s lives while President of France, François Hollande, discuss how they will respond and handle their situation at the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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Bakshi

“I believe that I.S.I.S. wanted to prove that they were still strong after the U.S. kept defeating them and to force European countries that are allied with U.S. to withdraw from them too,” Ms. Charu Bakshi, mathematics teacher, said.

NBC News says ISIS’s only goal is to have a global caliphate, a religious successor to the Islamic prophet and a leader of the entire Muslim community, to secure a global war against their enemies. According to NBC News, all ISIS wants is to “remain and expand,” as it is already controlling much of Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group actually wants to direct Muslims to a catastrophic war against the so called non-believers, which are Europe and America.

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Beckett

“I believe that they want what everybody else wants, which is to be recognized and power,” Mr. Kareem Beckett, science teacher, said.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump thinks that in order to stop ISIS, all Muslims must be sent back to where they belong, which is Iraq, and restrict them from entering America’s surface forever. Other Candidates disagree with him, saying it is a total disgrace for someone to even think such a thing.

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Boyd

“The ISIS attacks get [the] U.S. curious about them and will force all of them out of their homeland,” Ms. Brenda Boyd, media specialist, said.

New York Times listed some very vital information on all of ISIS recent activities leading up to the Paris attack:

  • France has a larger Muslim population than the U.S.; ISIS is already planning to execute attacks in the U.S.
  • Individuals in the United States interacting with ISIS have been suspected of siding with them and will be arrested immediately.
  • Approximately 250 individuals from the U.S. have already allied with or tried to join ISIS.
  • ISIS is convincing people of the U.S. to join them more than Al Qaeda is.
  • Ali Shukri Amin, a Virginia ISIS teenager behind the Pro-Islamic State, was sent to prison for 11 years for supporting ISIS.
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McLawhorn

“Killing ISIS requires neither more nor less than waging war—not as the former administration waged its ‘war on terror’ ” Mr. James McLawhorn, social studies teacher, said. “Nor by the current administration’s pinpricks, nor according to the too-clever-by-half stratagems taught in today’s politically correct military war colleges, but rather by war in the dictionary meaning of the word. To make war is to kill the spirit as well as the body of the enemy, so terribly as to make sure that it will not rise again, and that nobody will want to imitate it, but if we can’t do that then we should try to change their hearts (in an emotional way), because if you bomb them now including innocent families, they’re just gonna come right back to do more damage and finish the job. That’s why I believe that we as a country and nation should try to work something out with them that will please all countries.”

Fox News claimed the Islamic State wants to be taken more seriously because its provocative plans define strength and power. Its dependent activities and hate for other countries can strike a lot of humongous blows. Also, ISIS can and will strike at any time, which is why U.S. needs to take action unexpectedly.

Fox News also noted the longer the Islamic State survives, the stronger, smarter, and powerful they will get, and more American lives will be lost. Either the U.S. takes or works something out with ISIS, or innocent citizens will deserve the defeat of America from their long, fearless rival ISIS.