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Whatever it Takes

August 3, 2015 - Daniel Gottron
The Flight of the Hornet Volume 1 – Issue 4

Whatever it Takes

In December of 2013, my wife convinced me to adopt a cat. I had never really considered myself a cat person, but I agreed to get one. After a trip to the Humane Society pet adoption center at Petsmart, our decision to adopt a cat quickly became a decision to adopt two cats. In one of the crates, with a sign that said “2 for 1” sat a brother and sister from the same litter, Donny and Marie. The workers informed us that these two were inseparable and that every time they were apart the would cry until they were reunited. Over the next year and a half, these two quickly converted me.

Several weeks ago, Donny had a VERY near death experience. Over the course of a weekend, he began acting increasingly strange. From Friday night into Saturday, he began hissing and growling at Marie, which was entirely out of character, and threw up several times. By Sunday evening, he had stopped eating and drinking, and had become extremely lethargic. This was all very puzzling, because Friday night at 10:00, Donny was acting completely normal. Monday morning when I picked him up to take him to the vet, he was completely limp and non responsive.

Upon arrival at the vets office, they immediately whisked Donny into the back operating room. He was placed on body warmers and given oxygen. They took his heartrate and found that it was 50 beats per minute (a healthy cat is between 130 and 140). Donny was quickly diagnosed with a blockage which was preventing him from going to the bathroom and causing his kidneys to shut down, making him literally toxic.

The technicans next hooked Donny up to an IV and said the vet would be with us shortly. When the vet walked in and assessed the situation, she gave a couple of options. The first option was to do nothing, and that he would likely die within a few hours. If you read the last blog post The Inability to Do Nothing, you know that this was not an option that I could consider.

The second option was to attempt to save him. She stated that there would be several hurdles with this. The first hurdle would involve putting him under anesthesia in order to remove the block. Because his heart rate was so low, she said there was a good chance that he would not even survive being put under anesthesia. She said that if he made it, she was confident that the block could be removed. However, she cautioned that the next hurdle after this would be if they could reverse his kidney failure and return normal function. Even if that turned out acceptable, there was still questions such as: would he just reblock? and would he be able to eat and drink normally? She also cautioned that the surgery option would most likely cost between $600 and $700.

When I asked her what she advised, she stated that she normally does not do percentages, but that it would be a roughly 90% chance that he would not clear all the hurdles. She said the one reason for cautious optimism was that he was only a year and a half old, and his young age might help with recovery. While maybe I should have heard that there was a 90% chance of failure, I instead focused on the 10% chance he would be alright.

To quote Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas in the movie Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re saying theres a chance!”

I said that if there was any hope, we should attempt the surgery. The vet said she would get started right away, and that she would keep me posted. By the end of the day Monday, the report I received was “no news is okay news.” She stated that he had made it under anesthesia, had the block removed, and had his temperature and heart rate return to normal. However, the blood tests were a different story. There were two alarming numbers in the blood tests. One number was supposed to read between 20 and 40, but was up over 100. The other number was supposed to read between 0 and 1; their scale measured up to a reading of 30, and his number was above the upper limit. She advised IV fluids and antibiotics to hopefully restore kidney function.

Things continued to improve from Monday until Thursday, upon which he was deemed well enough to return home. The total for the procedures came to $792. He was issued a new prescription diet that would help prevent a reblockage. The staff at the vet office were referring to Donny as the “Miracle Kitty of 2015,” which has become my preferred nickname for him.

However, there were still challenges ahead. For one thing, instead of welcomed home, he was greeted by angry stares and hisses from sister Marie, both because she was upset he had left and because he smelled like a vets office. Additionally, he had acquired a respiratory infection while at the vet, and he kept having sneezing fits. Third, he would not eat for the first couple of days home. These problems resulted in several more visits to the vet and prescriptions for both an antibiotic and anti-inflamatory. All of this added up to an additional $200, making our total investment right at $1,000, and leading to another nickname: the thousand dollar kitty.

In the weeks since, Donny has recovered amazingly. He is eating normally, very active, and has even convinced Marie to be his inseparable friend again. All is right in the world. The staff at the Waynesburg Animal Hospital had managed to take the longest of odds and restore the health of our cat.

You are probably asking at this point how in the world a lengthy blog post about a miracle cat relates to Hundred High School and/or who in their right mind spends $1,000 on a cat. Both of these are valid questions that I will now address.

When we adopted our cats, one of the questions on the application form said “How much money are you willing to spend on care for your pet?” My wife and I had no idea how much was reasonable or what it would cost, so she filled in on the application the answer “Whatever it takes.” As we thought about our decision to spend $1,000 dollars on our pet, the commitment implied by this answer came back into our minds. That is why we had no option but to spend the money; other than to be liars.

This is also how it connects to Hundred High School. In our school and in our community, we have students who we can choose to give up on; to do nothing and just watch them fade away. For some students, even a 10% chance of success feels incredibly optimistic. However, as educators and as a community, we would be well served to give the answer “Whatever it takes” when asked what we would be willing to do for the care of our students.

If a family pet is worthy of this response, surely the students who are the future of our society deserve the same answer. This is what we show up every day determined to to. The staff at Hundred High School, as well as our community members, are embodying the belief that our students are worthy of Whatever it takes.

Staff News

Mr. James White served as the teacher sponsor for the West Virginia Media Arts and Design (MAD) festival and transported our participating student to this event at West Liberty University. We owe a huge thank you to Mr. White for your commitment to our students and for providing them with opportunities to showcase their talents.

Mrs. Crystal Allen served as the teacher sponsor for our students to travel to the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at West Virginia Wesleyan. We owe a huge thank you to Mrs. Allen for her commitment to our students and for taking them to participate in this event.

Mr. Scott Ash seems to be attending some type of student event or trip on a weekly basis. This week he took his students to the beef expo stockman’s contest. We owe a huge thank you to Mr. Ash for his commitment to agriculture education and experiential learning.

Mrs. Beverly Van Scyoc led a group of sophomores and juniors on a college fair trip to Cameron High School this week. This is just one example of the numerous opportunities and trips Mrs. Van Scyoc provides our students with the opportunity to attend. We owe a huge thank you to Mrs. Van Scyoc for her efforts to prepare our students for life after high school.

Mrs. Jessica Greathouse organized and led a student trip to Fairmont State University in order for those students to tour the Fine Arts Department and consider attending Fairmont for this program. We owe a huge thank you to Mrs. Greathouse for helping our students explore a future in fine arts.

A number of our faculty and staff deserve recognition for their efforts to make the Project Purple assembly a huge success. A huge thank you goes out to all of them for their willingness to make this event work. Whether it was through traveling to Magnolia on buses and supervising the assessment or working diligently to come up with a plan for lunch, both the school and county office staffs put a lot of time and effort into making things work.

Student Spotlight

Meliah Umstead has been selected to attend the 2015 Governors Honor Academy

Andrew King has been selected to attend a 2015 cadet camp at the United States Naval Academy

Allie Hayes has been selected for a Radiology Technician program at United Hospital Center

Ethan Geho has been selected for a three week internship through the international union of operating engineers

Rachel Watson spent spring break traveling to Ireland with the Hundred High School travel club

Libby Baker has been selected for the 2015 girls who code program and will spend seven weeks in a summer coding program

Nick Kirby has been selected to present his music project at the 2015 West Liberty University MAD Fest

Meliah Umstead, Kaitlyn Kuhn, and Rachel Watson were selected to present at the Junior Science and Humanities symposium at West Virginia Wesleyan

Joe Bradley and Peyton Jones (2014 HHS Alumni) will be representing our school in the state Skills USA competition held at the North Marion Technical Center

Michael Meyers, Clarissa Derby, Miranda Gray, Taylor Fetty, and Annie Fox represented Hundred at the Project Purple as part of the RAZE club, and Stevi Magyar represented the HHS Drug Free Club.

Hailey Eastham, Valerie Soles, Danny Kolat, and Annie Fox are representing Hundred at the Beef Expo Stockman’s competition. The Hundred High School Livestock Judging Team will be competing in their first competition as well.

Holden Moore and Stevi Magyar were recently crowned as Mr. and Mrs. Hundred High at our class tournaments

In our class tournament competition, our Junior girls emerged victorious in the championship game over the sophomores, while the junior boys defeated the seniors in their championship game.

A number of our basketball players received individual recognition for their play this season:

Paige Shriver Mason Dixon First Team All-Conference

Emily Rine Mason Dixon Second Team All-Conference

Meliah Umstead Mason Dixon All-Conference Honorable Mention

Holden Moore Mason Dixon First Team All-Conference

Brandon Armstrong Mason Dixon Second Team All-Conference & Honorable Mention for the All Valley Honor Roll

Danny Stewart Mason Dixon All-Conference Honorable Mention

Community Connections

So many members of the Wetzel County community came together in order to make the Project Purple assembly a success. Many local businesses and individuals worked in conjunction with the Wetzel County Board of education to put this event together.

Alumni Connection

Chelsea Kuhn is a 2009 graduate of Hundred High School. She earned the promise scholarship and attended West Virginia University. While a student at WVU, Chelsea was a member of the marching band, where she served as woodwind assistant and rank leader. She completed research on attitudes towards stuttering and volunteered at Stepping Stones and the Monongalia County Special Olympics. Chelsea was named an outstanding senior by the WVU Foundation. She graduated in 2013 Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology and a minor in Disability Studies. She is currently in a program to earn a Master of Science Degree in speech and language pathology. While in graduate school, she has served as a research assistant for the West Virginia Assistive Technology System and her thesis “Investigating Stuttering Attitude Change in Middle School Students” received the 2014 WVU College of Education and Human Services student research award. She is a co-author of the book “Stuttering Meets Stereotype, Stigma, and Discrimination: An Overview of Attitude Research” and was named a 2014 West Virginia Speech-Language Hearing Foundation scholar. Chelsea will be graduating with her master’s degree in May of 2015. We are very proud of Chelsea’s accomplishments and are excited for her to share her story with our students during a school assembly on April 14th.

Quote of the Week

“All it takes is all you’ve got.” --Marc Davis

Remember to follow our school on Twitter @HundredHornets

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


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Moats, Brian. "Five Alternatives To Traditional Book Reports." TIS and THAT 3.16 (2015): 2. Web.

NDWV News. "NDWV News - Twitter." 9 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. .

Pierson, Rita. "Every Kid Needs a Champion." TED. 1 May 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. .

"‘So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?’." RazorBloggers Network. 7 Mar. 2007. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. .

Spencer, John. "8 Strategies to Keep Informational Reading Fun." Edutopia. 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.


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