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Carrollton High School launches literary magazine after long hiatus
Julianne Foster

CHS English/language arts teacher Hunter Spurlock poses with his editing staff holding the first issue of The Golden Spiral at the literary magazine’s launch party. From left are Jon Van Valen, Charlie Brinkhof, Spurlock, Addison Lloyd, Alison Sellers and Avery Sellers. Not pictured: Caro Dudley.

'Golden Spiral' collaborative effort to showcase creative talent

Looking for a way to further engage the creativity of budding writers, Carrollton High School English/language arts teacher Hunter Spurlock, sponsor of the CHS Creative Writing Club, decided formalizing their work through the publication of a school literary magazine would be an ideal way to encourage students and to boost confidence. 

The inaugural issue of The Golden Spiral was revealed at the end of the first semester with a launch party in the school's media center. Spurlock said each issue will feature themed content; in this case, "Once Upon A Time ..." The second issue is planned for publication in May.

"The idea started when I took over the creative writing club at the end of last year," said Spurlock, who inherited the duty with the retirement of another teacher. "I thought the students would be more engaged if they had more structure and something to write for."

Spurlock said he discussed the idea of the magazine with teacher peers and administration and that it was a collaborative effort with the CHS art department, with student artists providing works to enhance the publication.

"Everyone thought it was a great idea, but I was still wondering how we would get students excited about submitting," admits Spurlock. "I decided to come up with monthly challenges, where we would review the entries and pick a winner to receive a gift card and a certificate. We received more entries than I ever anticipated and the idea of a magazine to showcase some of the awesome stories became more of a reality."

Spurlock said the name came from a team brainstorming process.

"I had a tough time coming up with a name and so I asked members of the creative writing club for help. They came through with some awesome suggestions. I then took those suggestions and sat down with the editing team and we all decided that The Golden Spiral had a nice ring to it and nice symbolism with this almost being like a spiral notebook filled with their stories."

In addition to providing a vehicle to distribute their work, Spurlock says using the tool is a way to provide constructive feedback through a less intimidating process to help students grow and improve as creative artists.

"What surprised me most is just how willing the students were to share their work," he said. "I was sure that we had talented writers and artists at the school, but I had no idea how students and staff would get behind the project. Jake Richardson (CHS art teacher) was instrumental in helping me get students to submit amazing art and they were all so willing to share their work with me and also shape their work around the stories. It was very cool to come into contact with students I had not met before and just get to see them through the lens of how truly talented they are.”

Through the development of the club, Spurlock said six students emerged as editors: Alison and Avery Sellers, co-chief editors; Charlie Brinkhof, managing editor/art editor; and Caro Dudley, Jon Van Valen, and Addison Loyd, editors at large.

"I felt very strongly that this should be student-led," said Spurlock. "When we received a submission, I would share it with the editors. They would make comments, corrections, and suggestions.” He said once a month he and the students would get together to discuss submissions to determine final inclusion. 

The 40-page first issue features a variety of short stories and poetry, including one short story written in Spanish. Most works are accompanied by student artwork. The issue also pays tribute to an early CHS literary magazine, "The Howler," with an image of the May 1925 edition.

"Writing is most powerful when it emerges from a place of authenticity," said Marsha Hook, English/language arts department head. "The reboot of the CHS literary magazine is a powerful space for students to express their ideas, hone their individual voices, and publish their work so that it reaches an audience beyond their own peers, teachers, and family members."

Hook said the effort also helps students grow as members of a creative team in that the board of editors works closely with peer authors in providing critical feedback and reaching the goal of producing a polished piece of creative writing.

"Ultimately, the literary magazine is an important space for continuing to grow the culture of writing and creativity that is already so vibrant here at CHS, while also empowering young creators to see their stories, words, and images as worthy of reaching larger audiences," said Hook. 

CHS Principal Ian Lyle says the Golden Spiral is another example of the intentional efforts of the CHS faculty to engage students beyond their academic classes.

"Our student body is made up of a diverse population with different interests and passions," said Lyle. "Offering another outlet to plug them not only promotes their own growth as young adults, but enhances our entire school culture."

CCS Foundation offering new scholarship for WGTC students
Cali Jones

 The Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation recently announced the creation of a new scholarship which will benefit students attending West Georgia Technical College to pursue a trade certification or degree program. 

Lilly Robinson, a 2021 graduate of Carrollton High School, currently attends West Georgia Technical College where she is pursuing her certification in welding.

The Clay Robinson family scholarship was established by Carrollton native Clay Robinson who has served the community for more than 27 years as a financial advisor and volunteer for various community organizations.

Robinson created this scholarship to encourage students to pursue trade programs as a career option. His hope is that students will achieve success and be a productive member of the workforce.

“My hope is that this scholarship will provide a means by which a deserving student can learn a trade and become a productive member of our community,” said Robinson.

For a student to be considered for this scholarship, he/she must meet the following criteria:

  • 2.5 minimum high school GPA

  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher

  • Essay: " What are your plans after high school and what trade are you interested in pursuing and why"?

For more information on scholarship opportunities at Carrollton City Schools, please visit https://www.carrolltoncityschools.net/community/foundation.

CHS expands sports medicine program as an intern training program
Julianne Foster

The Dr. E.C. Bass Training Room has tripled in size as part of renovations made over the last several months in the Whitley Morris Field House. Head Athletic Trainer Patrick Rothschadl, right, talks to aides and athletes before football practice starts.

Expansion includes increasing size and use of training room

Senior Avery Hunt, a third-level Healthcare Science student, also serves as a trainer aide for the Carrollton High School Sports Medicine program. Here she collects ice to take to the field for football practice.

Renovations to Carrollton High School’s Whitley Morris Field House over the last several months have revamped the facility to better serve Trojan students, athletes and athletic staff, and includes an expanded sports medicine room that not only provides early treatment for injuries, but also serves as a training ground for student interns interested in that field as a career. 

Head Athletic Trainer Patrick Rothschadl teams up with Healthcare Science teacher Shannon Bright, also a certified trainer, to create a pipeline of student talent prepped to be on the field and in the training room to serve their athletic peers.

The original training room is named in honor of Dr. E.C. Bass, who treated Trojans athletes for four decades before retiring. Now tripled in size to accommodate several athletes at once and a host of student trainers to serve them, today the space boasts top equipment and resources to keep athletes in the game. 

Rothschadl says the assistance from students is invaluable to him, but more important is the exposure the experience offers the students.

"Through the Healthcare Science curriculum the CHS Sports Medicine program provides an opportunity for students to gain education and hands-on experience as student athletic training aides," he said.

Rothschadl notes students are carefully selected through an application process that requires applicants to be enrolled or previously enrolled in Healthcare Science classes in order to be considered for service as trainer aides.

Athletic trainer aides have been used for years primarily for the football program, but this year Rothschadl says the program has been expanded to include all sports. "These students will work daily in the training room, even during the spring," he said.

Rothschadl says a typical day during football season for a trainer aide includes pre-taping, treatment, and setting up the field for practice. The students prepare a cooler for treatment ice, get water cows filled, and make readily available medical kits and an AED, or automated external defibrillator. During practice if needed they provide basic first aid, taping and prepare ice bags for athletes.

"If there are more than two practices going on at the same time, the students are split up and if an injury occurs they contact the head trainer if he is not at that field," said Rothschadl.

The aides are integral in pre- and post-game treatment, too, says Rothschadl, which includes administering routine therapies such as heat pack, compression, and electrical stimulation, and ultrasound evaluations when needed.

Paul Fitz-Simons, CHS athletic director, says the expansion of the sports medicine program is a welcomed addition to athletic program services. 

"Technological advances have allowed sports medicine practices to become a routine benefit for our student athletes," he said. "The efforts of Mr. Rothschadl and Ms. Bright to professionally train our students exponentially widens the scope of this work, making individualized care a Trojan gold standard." 


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