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What Makes a Hornet?

August 3, 2015 - Daniel Gottron
Volume 1 - Issue 2: What Makes a Hornet?

The Hornets. That is our mascot. But what does that mean? What are the characteristics that make up a hornet? Put another way, what does it take to be a hornet? To be honest, I know very little about hornets. I know they have nests, I know they fly, and I know they can sting. Other than that, I have very little understanding of this winged insect.

Since they are our namesake, I thought it would be a good idea to find out some relevant facts about hornets. As I researched, I began to see a more clear picture of what makes a hornet.

The first notable characteristic of a hornet is their community. They mature from an egg to an adult while inside the community hive. Hornets are known for their strong and robust physiques, and the workers inside the hive work tirelessly to collect food, building materials, and water. In order for a colony of hornets to continue to grow, more workers must constantly be raised. Hornets are attracted to bright lights, causing them to sometimes become disoriented like moths, but they can quickly reorient. The community hive is crucial to the hornet, and it is important to maintain natural nest cavities while also creating additional cavities for hornets to build hives in.

A second fascinating characteristic is that hornets are very peaceful and helpful insects. They are not a nuisance like wasps, and they will not invade your picnic area. They mainly eat flies, bees, spiders, wasps, and other insects.

Hornets do not ever pick or scavenge, they catch only living animals. Hornets are the single largest predator in the insect world, and are comparable to the eagle of the bird world. Eagles it is important to note, are known for their majestic appearance and for their ability to fly. In the same way, hornets are highly rewarding to observe.

While they are highly peaceful, hornets are also fiercely protective, particularly of their own hive. When threatened, hornets have been known to be highly unpredictable, often attacking in great numbers. They usually attack as a swarm and fly faster than a human can run.

While their sting is potent and can cause a dangerous reaction, it is important to remember that hornets rarely sting, and only do so after persistent attempts to disturb their nest. If you lash out or flail around a hornet, you are more likely to be stung. The most important things to avoid around a hornet are: rapid movements, blocking their flight path, and disturbing their nest.

Sadly, in my research, I learned that there are many misperceptions and falsehoods about hornets. Many people view hornets as dangerous and try to persue their elimination. People have not always been tolerant of these beautiful animals in their neighborhood, and the media has often promoted false conceptions and given hornets a bad name.

Despite these misconceptions, there is hope. Hornets have been named a protected species in Germany, and it is illegal to kill them. Many countries around the globe have taken steps to support and nurture these wonderful creatures, and in almost every case, hornet populations have responded positively to protection and care.

All of this is great information, and I now feel thoroughly educated on our favorite insect, but how does this relate to the Hundred Hornets?

1.) Community – Much like the insect, the Hundred version of the Hornet is highly reliant on community. Our hive, Long Drain School and Hundred High School, serves as the development centers. We must work tirelessly as a community to build and grow our hornets into adulthood and to build our colony. We are especially grateful for those in our community that have supported us at every turn, our community partners Backwoods ENT LLC, First Exchange Bank, Henderson Farms, Statoil North-America, and Union Bank as well as our Local School Improvement Council (LSIC)

2.) Peaceful and Helpful – Our Hornets shall strive to be generally peaceful and helpful creatures. We will place a great emphasis on serving our community and being respectful to others.

3.) Catch only living animals – These Hornets will not settle for the easy win, for the dead scraps on the side of the road. They will work to achieve the greatest of goals, not just the easiest ones.

4.) Comparable to the eagle – Our Hornets will be known as the eagle of the insect world. We will be noble and soar majestically through the sky. We will become a great symbol, much like the eagle is a symbol for our nation.

5.) Highly rewarding to observe – Whenever you see our Hundred Hornets, we will strive to give you something great to observe.

6.) Fiercely protective – Our hornets will work to defend our hive. We will stick together as a swarm and not allow ourselves to be negated or put down.

7.) Blocking the flight path – We Hornets know who we are and we know we are going to fly, and we will eliminate all obstacles that block our ability to fly.

8.) Misperceptions and falsehoods – We will work closely with our community and local media to build up a positive energy and perception of our great school. We are especially excited about our relationship with local media like the Wetzel Chronicle and WETZ and their efforts to build up our students and school.

9.) Responded positively to protection and care – The final and most important correlation between the insect and our Hundred Hornets is the positive reaction to protection and care. These Hornets are ready to fly, and it becomes more evident to me with every day that our school and students are responding extremely positively to what is taking place within our walls.

Staff News

Mr. Scott Ash took our students to the annual Wetzel County Ham and Bacon show this past Friday and also took a group of students to the state ham and bacon show Monday and Tuesday of this week. We owe a huge thank you to Mr. Ash for his commitment to our students and the success of agriculture education.

Mr. Ryan May has been hard at work with his 10th grade health class preparing for our first annual health fair which will take place next Tuesday, March 17, from 4:00 – 6:00 in the school commons area. He has arranged a partnership with several other school organizations and clubs, as well as several community agencies who will be participating. We owe a huge thank you to Mr. May for his initiative to educate our community about healthy living, and make sure to stop by and check out the health fair next week.

Mr. James White is taking his choir students to the all-county choir competition this Monday and Tuesday. He has worked very hard in preparation for this event, and we owe a huge thank you to Mr. White for his commitment to our students and to music education.

Student Spotlight

Our Vocational Agriculture Students participated in the Wetzel County ham and bacon show this past Friday. Our students came away with a record setting sale of over $70,000 in products sold. Additionally, Casandra Henderson had the reserve champion egg, Annie Fox had the third place egg, and Valerie Soles had the third place ham. Congratulations to all of our students for a successful sale.

Casandra Henderson, Danny Kolat, Kaitlin Kuhn, Billy Mace, Meliah Umstead, and Madysen Wheeler represented Hundred at the state ham and bacon show this Monday and Tuesday.

Nick Kirby, Macy Lemasters, Katrina Matthews, Maggie McGill, Samantha Opyoke, and Tyler Simms are representing the Hornets this Monday and Tuesday at the all-county choir competition. Congratulations for your recognition as all-county choir members.

Allie Hayes has been selected for an interview for a program at WVU Hospitals for a college program. Congratulations Allie, and good luck at your interview.

Andrew King has been selected for recognition as a student ambassador by the US attorney in Wheeling and will be recognized at a reception this Thursday. Congratulations to Andrew for this honor. Alumni Connection

Dr. Emily McDowell is a graduate of the class of 1952. She is a retired professor of nursing who spent her career teaching at Fairmont State University. She has endowed a scholarship for Hundred High School students that assist them in pursuing higher education goals. She has been honored as a professor emeritus and has been a member of the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. She has also presented scholarships at numerous graduation ceremonies and has shown a great commitment to the students of Hundred High School. Dr. McDowell has been selected as a recipient of our distinguished alumni award as part of our first induction class and will be recognized at graduation this spring and the alumni dinner in the fall.

Upcoming Events

For up to date baseball, softball, and track schedules and scores:

Baseball Softball Track

March 13 – Digital Learning Day March 17 – Hundred High School Health Fair in Commons Area – 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM March 20 – Long Drain School 1st Grade Father Daughter Dance – 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM March 21 – Hundred High School Track Fundraiser Breakfast in Commons Area – Time TBA April 7 – Instructional Rounds Process at Hundred High School April 13 – Donkey Basketball in Hundred High School Gym – 7:00 PM May 2 – Hundred High School Prom on the Gateway Clipper Fleet May 17 – Baccalaureate in Hundred High School Auditorium – 2:00 PM May 22 – Graduation in Hundred High School Gym – 7:00 PM

Classroom Strategy of the Week

Use of project based learning or PBL is a great way to engage students in learning. It involves students working closely together as part of a team to experience learning through completion of hands on projects that address real world issues and challenges. The students are assessed by products or presentations that reflect what they have learned from their project. For some great resources about project based learning, visit the WVDE PBL site here: and check out a great explanation of what project based learning is here:

Video of the Week

A video explanation of what Project Based Learning (PBL) is: A video explanation of what Project Based Learning (PBL) is not:

Quote of the Week

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Post Flight Preview

Join us next Tuesday as we discuss a civil war commander who was determined to succeed and talk about our quiz bowl team, health fair, and other exciting happenings here at Hundred.

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

Remember to follow us on Twitter for daily school updates @HundredHornets

Dan Gottron, Principal, Hundred High School


Billig, Elmar, Thomas Rickinger, and Kevin Foster. "Hornets: Gentle Giants!" Hornets. Dieter Kosmeier, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

Franklin, Ben. "Benjamin Franklin Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

"Hornets, Hornet Pictures, Hornet Facts - National Geographic." National Geographic. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

Milburn, Naomi. "Characteristics Of Hornets." Animals. Demand Media. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

"Project Based Learning Explained by Common Craft (VIDEO)." Project Based Learning. Common Craft, 5 July 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

"Project Based Learning." Teach 21. WVDE. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

Robin, Jeff. "High Tech High Videos - What Project Based Learning Isn't." High Tech High Videos - What Project Based Learning Isn't. High Tech High, 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .

"What Is Project Based Learning (PBL)?" What Is PBL? Buck Institute for Education (BIE). Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .


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