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The First Flight

August 3, 2015 - Daniel Gottron
Volume 1 – Issue 1

The First Flight In the past weeks, I have spent a significant amount of time on cross country flights. With so much time in the air, I found myself drifting into thought about the entire concept of flight. Naturally, this took me back to the beginning of modern aviation, which took me to the Wright brothers. It had been a few years since I studied Wilbur and Orville Wright, so I did some research online.

The brothers first became interested in flight while studying a German aviator named Otto Lilienthal. Tragically, Lilienthal died in a glider crash. It was at this time that the Wright Brothers decided to undertake their own research.

They began experimenting in 1896 in Dayton, Ohio. They soon chose the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for their flight because the constant wind helped lift the craft. Next, they had to determine how to develop wings that were conducive to flight. They observed birds for inspiration, and tried to model their aircraft after these winged creatures. After this, the only thing missing was a moveable rudder to steer the craft.

The day of their first flight was December 17th 1903. In Orville Wright’s diary, he tells of the perfect conditions for flight: strong and consistent winds. The first flight came in at a staggering 12 seconds, during which the plane travelled 120 feet. Even after a successful flight, the brothers found that many people were not impressed. At the time, many members of the press did not even believe that a flight had actually taken place.

This humble start led to more than 700 successful flights by the brothers, and eventually to the worldwide, and even outer space, travel that we are capable of today. I obviously do not know the Wright brothers, although I am sure we would have been friends, but I find their story fascinating. I find myself wondering about what they were thinking through this entire process. What was their vision? Why were they so determined to make flight work? Did they have doubts or fears about failing to fly? How did they respond to their critics? Did they foresee what modern aviation would become?

By now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with Hundred High School. It is not to bore you with a history lesson about the Wright Brothers; though I do like history, and I hope you are not bored. It is because I see a lot of parallels between the journey of the Wright brothers, and the journey of our school:

1.) The Wright brothers really got interested in aviation after the tragic failure of another aviator. There have certainly been a number of spectacular crashes in the efforts to build great schools in this country.

2.) The Wright Brothers chose their location based on the perfect conditions for flight. I can think of no better place to begin this grand experiment than here at HHS.

3.) They observed birds to determine the best wing design. Much like the Wright brothers, we shall study the things that other successful schools do well.

4.) The final missing piece for them was a rudder to give direction. We certainly have been developing a direction over the past two years, and this vision is what will drive our school forward.

5.) The Wright brother’s initial flight of 120 feet set the stage for modern aviation. Over the past two years, we have certainly had some successful flights; we are very proud of these flights, but we also know that these flights are only the beginning of something much greater.

6.) Even after they got the plane off the ground, the Wright brothers still faced many doubters and critics, and they continued to work to improve their craft. Much like the Wright’s, we will work through every obstacle and continue to improve our craft with each day.

7.) The Wright brothers went down in history for their contributions to flight. We are the Hornets, and after all, what do Hornets do? They Fly!

While we have certainly had many “flights” as a school, both in the past year and a half I have been a part of HHS, and in the almost 100 years our school has existed, I feel that this is the perfect time to officially recognize the start of something new at our school. I would like to christen this post, the first of what will become a weekly series, as the First Flight of the Hornet. The Wright Brothers had December 17th 1903, and Hundred High School will someday look back on March 3rd, 2015 as a significant date in our schools history.

Staff News

Mrs. Rebecca Spicher has spent the past several weeks preparing her honors biology students prepare for the regional science fair that took place this past weekend. As you will see in the student spotlight section, she did an outstanding job preparing her students for a great opportunity. Thank you Mrs. Spicher for all of your hard work!

As our winter sports season has come to a close, we owe our winter coaches a debt of gratitude for their commitment outside of the regular school day. Thank you to Mrs. Crystal Allen and Mr. Steve Dakan for their work as the girls’ basketball coaches, to Mr. Brian Bartlett and Mr. Virgil Wilkins for their work as the boys’ basketball coaches, and to Mrs. Kristi Shriver and Ms. Diana Wheeler for their work as our cheer coaches. This winter season was a huge success on the court and saw some restored competitiveness and school spirit among our students.

Student Spotlight

Our Honors Biology Students competed in the regional science fair this past Friday and Saturday at West Liberty University. Many of them have been working on their projects since early in the school year, and their hard work really paid off. The actual science fair took place on Friday evening with the awards ceremony on Saturday. Many of our students earned recognition as place winners in their research categories. Students in the senior division included kids from: Wheeling Park, John Marshall, Cameron High School and Bishop Donahue High School. Our students from Hundred High School won about $1,000.00 in rewards including the following:

Rachel Watson -Senior Grand Prize Runner Up...Rachel won 2nd Place in the entire competition. She also won an all expense paid trip to observe the ISEF competition in Pittsburgh, PA. -Barbara Sterling Award -American Psychological Association Award -Medicine and Health, 1st Place winner

Miranda Gray -Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award -Chemistry Division 2nd Place Winner

Kaitlyn Kuhn -Yale Science and Engineering Award -1st Place Chemistry Division

Taylor Fetty -3rd Place Behavioral Science

Libby Baker -2nd Place Botany Award

Meliah Umstead -1st Place Botany Award

Sydney Hoyle -Chemistry Honorable Mention

Wyatt Metz -Engineering 2nd Place Award

Deidre Morris -Mathematics 1st Place Award

Emily Rine -3rd Place Medicine and Health Award

Valerie Soles -2nd Place Medicine and Health Award

Airadeea Williams -3rd Place Physics Award

Hailey Eastham -3rd Place Zoology Award

Annie Fox -1st Place Zoology Award

Our boys basketball team also turned the heads of quite a few people over the weekend for the honorable way in which they carried themselves during their sectional game. One of the game officials thought so highly of our boys that he made it a point to post on Facebook about his experience with the team. Thank you to all of our boys basketball players for representing Hundred in such an excellent way.

All of our senior basketball players and cheer leaders got to have the spotlight last Monday as we conducted senior night for our winter sports. We recognized boys’ basketball players Brandon Armstrong, Ethan Geho, Hunter Goddard, and Levi Morris as well as cheerleaders Cassandra Henderson and Dakota Kuhn while seniors Paige Shriver and Elaine Topp senior cheer leaders and girls’ basketball players were recognized from afar as they traveled to the girls’ basketball sectional game the same night. Thank you to our senior athletes for your commitment to being excellent!

Alumni Connection

Mr. Wilbur Sine is a Hundred High School graduate of the class of 1965. Mr. Sine is 1967 recipient of the Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society, a 1974 Falk Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and in 1976 became an assistant professor in the department of behavioral medicine and psychiatry at the West Virginia University Medical Center. Additionally, Mr. Sine has been certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Mr. Sine is active in his community and has provided medical service to many in the area. He has also been active in the alumni association, attending every alumni dinner and contributing to the alumni scholarship fund. We are honored to have Mr. Sine as a Hundred Hornet and are proud to announce him as one of the initial recipients of the Hundred High School Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Sine and his fellow recipients will be recognized at graduation and at the alumni banquet this fall.

Classroom Strategy of the Week

Use of Interactive White Board Technology Our students are certainly products of a digital world and the use of instructional technology is a way to connect instruction to high tech students. The strategy of the week for this week is the use of interactive white boards or “Smart” boards. Oftentimes this board is used simply as a projector screen, but it can be expanded to do much more than this. For a list of the top ten uses of Smart Boards, as well as common misuses of this technology, check out the blog post “Top Uses and Misuses for a Smart Board” - Video of the Week

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity instead of undermining it in the most viewed TED talk of all time:

Quote of the Week

Sometimes, when you’re trying to turn an aircraft carrier, it takes a while to get it to swing around. But if you know where you’ve got to go, it makes the path to get there a little easier. – Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner

Thank you for all you do as a part of our school and community. True flight would not be possible without the contributions of all of us. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or information you would like included in an upcoming edition of the Flight of the Hornet: 304-775-5221 or Dan Gottron, Principal, Hundred High School


Dater, Adrian. "Bettman on Resurrecting the NHL." Bleacher Report. 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 3 Mar. 2015. .

Geho, Mary. Air Evac. Digital image. May 2014. Web.

Robinson, Ken. "How Schools Kill Creativity." How Schools Kill Creativity., Feb. 2006. Web. 3 Mar. 2015..

Rush, Rex, and Key Player Nation. Shout Out. Digital image. 23 Feb. 2015. Web.

"The Wright Brothers - First Flight, 1903", EyeWitness to History, (2003).

Wilson, Katie Ann. "Top Uses and Misuses for a Smart Board." Online With Katie Ann., 2010. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.

"Wright Brothers." A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 3 Mar. 2015. .


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