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Falling With Style

August 3, 2015 - Daniel Gottron
Volume 1 – Issue 5

The holiday movie season of 1995 marked one of the most highly anticipated films in a long time. This film, Toy Story, marked a couple of significant firsts for the movie industry that have since become the norm. Toy Story was both the first full length computer animated film and was also the first major film produced by the animation studio Pixar.

As a ten year old, this film seemed larger than life. When Toy Story finally opened in theatres, it was an impossible ticket to come by, as it was sold out in every single location. When I finally managed to secure a ticket during early December of 1995, the theatre was so packed that the only seats available were in the very front row, all the way on the left side of the theatre.

The central theme to this instant classic revolved around Andy’s toys and their interactions, trials, and adventures. One of these toys, the classic cowboy action figure Sheriff Woody, was clearly Andy’s favorite toy and held this prominent position proudly, at least until the arrival of Andy’s new favorite toy, space ranger Buzz Lightyear, showed up. All of the other toys are quickly enamored by Buzz’s flashing lights and cool features, and the icing on the cake is that Buzz claims he can fly.

A very jealous Woody refutes this claim and challenges Buzz to prove it. The two argue whether he can or cannot fly until Buzz climbs to the bedpost and closes his eyes, preparing to leap. After he leaps, a series of very fortunate occurrences take place, allowing Buzz to “fly” around the room and land safely back on the bed. Upon his landing, Buzz proudly proclaims that he can fly and all of the toys are impressed, except Woody of course, who proclaims the famous line “That’s not flying, that’s falling with style.”

As the film progresses, the mounting tension between Buzz and Woody as they vie for the position of Andy’s favorite is one of the primary storylines. They battle back and forth, often to the detriment of themselves and all of the other toys. Eventually, their personal differences result in them both being trapped at the house of Andy’s evil neighbor Sid.

While at Sid’s house, Buzz sees a commercial for the Buzz Lightyear toy and becomes depressed at the fact that he is not actually a space ranger. Complicating this situation is the fact that all of the other toys have begun to believe Woody is out to destroy Buzz and the fact that Andy’s family is in the process of moving to a new house.

Eventually, Sid’s misfit toys help free Buzz and Woody just as Andy and his family pulls out of the driveway. Woody and Buzz initially make it onto the back of the moving truck, but through a series of events, the two of them, along with the toy Race Car RC, end up on the ground far behind as the moving truck speeds away.

It is at this moment that all hope seems lost.

However, Buzz realizes that he has a rocket strapped to his back and Woody has a match in his pocket, both compliments of Sid. They strike the match, but it quickly is blown out by a passing vehicle.

Again, all hope seems lost.

Then, Woody realizes that the reflection of the sun through Buzz’s helmet will be able to light the wick of the rocket. Once the rocket is lit, they go shooting through the air towards the moving truck. Woody then proclaims “This is the part where we blow up,” and Buzz replies “not today” before pushing the button to activate his wings, breaking free from the rocket.

As they continue towards Andy, Woody notes that Buzz is flying, and in the single greatest moment of the movie, Buzz proclaims “this isn’t flying, this is falling with style!”

Shortly after this, Woody notices that they have overshot the moving truck. When he mentions this to Buzz, Buzz responds that they are not going for the moving truck, they are aiming for the back seat of the car next to Andy. The scene ends with Andy finding both toys in the box next to him on the seat.

While most of the film focuses on the conflict and tension between Buzz and Woody, it is only in coming together as a team that they can pull off such a feat. When Buzz is depressed, it is Woody that convinces him he can have value as Andy’s toy – whether or not he is a real space ranger. When they are trapped behind the truck, it is Buzz who first comes up with the idea of using the rocket. When the match blows out, it is Woody’s turn to come up with the solution of using the sunlight reflecting through the helmet. When they end up in the air with the rocket about to explode, it is Buzz who takes the lead.

If Woody and Buzz had insisted on allowing their differences to come to the forefront, it would have resulted in tragic consequences for Andy, for the rest of the toys, and for the two of them. By coming together, they are able to form a force much greater than either of them could be individually. By the end of the movie, the two toys once vying for supremacy emerge as the two toys working together to lead all of Andy’s other toys.

Aside from getting to talk about one of my favorite childhood movies, there are several reasons why Falling with Style applies to the Flight of the Hornet. In a lot of ways, Falling with Style might even be a more appropriate name for our blog.

Like the toys in Toy Story, we are all dependent on each other. When we struggle, we are dependent on those around us to pick us up. When we are in conflict or disagreement with each other, it impacts everyone in our school community. On the flip side of this, when we are working in cohesion, we are able to produce something much greater than we could with only our individual skill sets. When all hope seems lost and we are facing a desperate situation or impossible task, it is through the skills and ingenuity of all of us that we are able to accomplish great things.

Out of all the parallels between Toy Story and Hundred High School, the one thing that I think rings the most true is the concept of “Falling with Style.” Early in the movie, this quote was used as a way of mocking Buzz, but by the end of the movie, Buzz had embraced this concept, deflecting credit and showing humility. It is equally impressive that Woody, who began the film as a jealous and bitter naysayer ends the movie as a big supporter of Buzz, embracing Buzz’s phrase of “To Infinity and Beyond.”

Both Buzz and Woody had to overcome their own flaws and use their strengths to work together for the betterment of all. The triumph at the end of the movie would not have happened if they were not able to move beyond their struggles: for Woody, it meant overcoming his jealousy and bitterness, and for Buzz it meant overcoming his pride and stubborn insistence that he was something he was not. At first, Falling with Style was certainly not flying, it was symbolic of the tension between our two heroes, but as the film progressed, Falling with Style became something much better than actually Flying.

As a school, we shall identify our own flaws to overcome, and we shall identify our individual strengths and ingenuity that will allow us to work together for the betterment of our school and community. It will be when we fully move beyond our own flaws, whether they be jealousy, bitterness, pride, stubbornness, or something in between that we can experience the same triumph as Toy Story. I believe we are well on our way to achieving this, and while we may not be flying, we most certainly are falling with style.

Staff News

April 22 is national Administrative Professionals Day, and we would like recognize Ms. Farrah Cottrill for all that she contributes to our school. She is the first point of contact for just about anyone entering our school or anyone calling the school and juggles the responsibilities of her job with a smile. We are happy to have her as part of our school staff.

May 1 is School Lunch Hero Day, and we would like to recognize Mrs. Teresa Jones for being a part of our school staff. She works hard every day to ensure that our students receive a healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch every day and has a positive outlook on her job that is noticed by all. We never have to worry about our school meals, because she is behind the scenes making it happen.

Mr. Scott Ash kicked off our spring awards season with the annual FFA banquet held on April 18. This event was well attended and he deserves a lot of credit as the adviser for working with our students and community to put on such a nice program. We also owe a thank you to Mr. Paul Huston and the staff of Long Drain School for their willingness to let us use their facility.

Ms. Jessica Greathouse and Mrs. Denise Huggins recently hosted the spring edition of plates and palettes, and it was a hugely successful follow up to the fall edition. Their hard work in planning and putting together this event is very much appreciated, and it was wonderful to see such a great turn out.

Ms. Jeanine Watson led the Hundred High School and Long Drain School band in a festival at John Marshall High School. Ms. Watson led her students to a very impressive showing, and we are glad to have her as a band director.

Mrs. Rebecca Spicher travelled with our quiz bowl team to Paden City as their faculty sponsor. Her name is another one that seems to constantly come up during extracurricular activities and events. She is certainly committed to giving academic opportunities to our students.

Mr. Ryan May recently completed the Fitnessgram and HEAP (Health Education Assessment Project) assessments with his 9th and 10th grade Health and PE students. He did an excellent job of preparing those students and having them ready for the exams.

Mr. Rex Rush and Mrs. Beverly Van Scyoc took some of our career minded students to be part of the Project Best trade show at the Wesbanco Arena in Wheeling. They work very diligently to provide our students with ample career options after graduation.

Student Spotlight

All of our FFA Student members and our Hundred Chapter FFA Officers celebrated the past year with a wonderful banquet of recognition. Our FFA students received a number of different recognitions and awards for their accomplishments, and we are very proud to have these students as part of our school. On a personal note, I was very proud to be selected as an honorary recipient of an FFA Degree for the Hundred FFA Chapter.

Caleb Singer was a finalist for the 2015 Youth Leadership of the Year Award and is well deserving of this recognition. He is almost at the end of his term as student body president, and over the past year he has made a great impact, working to bring improvements to his school and community at every opportunity.

The HHS/LDS Band did an excellent job in their performance at the John Marshall band festival. They received a superior rating in sight reading and impressed all who heard them.

Danny Stewart, Lucretia Noland, Courtland Armstrong, Madeline Goff, Miranda Gray, and Brittany Tustin shined this week as they were the students who passed every category on the Fitnessgram assessment.

Meliah Umstead has been selected as a West Virginia future scholar and will be recognized at a reception on May 13th in which she will hear a keynote address from West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee.

Our Science Fair Participants just keep rolling in the accolades, as they recently collected $950 in prize money as a result of their science projects.

Community Corner

Many people in our community came together for the Donkey Basketball event which took place on April 13th. This event was a huge success and we were able to raise a lot of money for our prom. A special thank you goes out to Mrs. Janet Moore, Mr. Pariksit Spicher, and Mr. Urey Mortimore. They are as our junior class advisers, and who worked to organize this great night.

Another great community event involved our plates and palettes event. Much like the fall edition, this event was completely sold out, and it was a great night to see so many of our community members come together.

The FFA Banquet has been mentioned several times already, but it is worth mentioning again, as it was a great coming together of so many members of our school and community.

Alumni Connection

We are excited to feature Mitch Moore as our alumni spotlight. Mitch is a 2012 Hundred High School graduate. While in high school, Mitch served as president of the FFA, president of the class of 2012, and president of the student body. Mitch was a multi-sport athlete and was a member of the Mason Dixon all-conference team in both basketball and baseball. Mitch also collected a number of academic honors and recognitions. He was the runner up in the West Virginia state public speaking contest, represented Hundred High School at the HOBY seminar, and was a Wetzel County representative to the Governor’s Honors Academy. Mitch was a member of the drama club and RAZE, and was inducted into the National Honor Society. Upon high school graduation, Mitch chose to enroll at Fairmont State University (FSU) and has a double major in accounting and finance. He has benefitted from several scholarships, including recognition as a Promise Scholar. He is a member of the Fairmont State honors program, is a founding member of the FSU College Republicans, and is a member of the honorary business society Delta Mu Delta. Mitch currently is serving his second term as student body president. Mitch has been preparing for his future by interning at Tetrick and Bartlett, PLLC. He is scheduled to graduate in May of 2016. We were honored to have Mitch address our student body this past December and we are very proud of what he has accomplished in a short amount of time since high school graduation.

Classroom Strategy of the Week

The use of writing as a classroom strategy is something that can extend far beyond the traditional English class and is something that can be used in any content area. We often mistake writing as an end result, an evaluation of what has been learned, or an essay to show that we understand a concept. While this is certainly one purpose of writing, it can also be used as part of the actual learning process. As the article Incorporating Writing into the Content Area Classroom shows, writing can be used to prompt thinking and discussion, for developing journals or learning logs, and for informal response activities. These are just a few of the many ways we can incorporate writing into all classes. Article of the Week

This New York Times article features several leaders in education discussing the topic: Is Testing Students the Answer to America’sEducation Woes?

Quote of the Week

"This isn't flying, this is falling... with style" -- Buzz Lightyear

The Road Ahead

Join us next time as we recap a busy start to the month of May and discuss what teachers make

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


"ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS RESOURCES." Incorporating Writing into the Content Area Classroom. Public Schools of North Carolina. Web. 5 May 2015. .

Krosoczka, Jarrett. "Why Lunch Ladies Are Heroes." TED, 1 July 2014. Web. 5 May 2015. .

Levesque, Patricia, and Kevin Kevin Welner. "Is Testing Students the Answer to America's Education Woes?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 4 May 2015. Web. 5 May 2015. .

"Toy Story." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 5 May 2015. .

"Toy Story." IMDb. Web. 5 May 2015.


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