Best Stories of 2019-2020

Best Stories of 2019-2020

As this is our final post of the school year this story varies from our normal, as it is a commemoration of our journalists on the work they have done as well as is a showcase of their best pieces. It takes a significant amount of time to research, produce, and edit every piece that goes up each day, and it is 100% a team effort. We’d like to take this time to point out some of the best quality writing that has been published this year, and to commemorate it, as well as the individuals behind each piece. 


We (the Editorial Board) would also like to thank all of the student journalists it takes to keep posting every day, and the effort that they have put into running The Treaty and making it a daily school paper. We appreciate your commitment, the work you put into our team, and your writing.


Thank you, from The Treaty. 

Top 5


The Stress of Success: How Schools Affects Students’ Health 

Written by Mylynn Hopper


This story is an incredibly in-depth piece by the wonderful Mylynn Hopper. It took a few weeks to compose but is broad in scope, and really goes into what it means to be a student with a packed schedule, and the impact that it has on them. This is a passion piece for sure, and one that came out wonderfully.


Home Away From Home: Hailee Eiker’s Experience as a Foreign Exchange Student

Written by Mylynn Hopper


This article gives a great perspective of an American student traveling abroad, unlike most of our features of exchange students from other countries coming here. It also has a bunch of great photos, and a lot of information that helps you to really feel like you were there with Hailee, experiencing her story. 


Senior Photos Teach Body Positivity While Introducing Students to Modeling

Written by Paxton Coley


This story was a lot of fun to edit and see the production of. The photos are wonderful and help to really tie the story together, and it presents a bold, empowering story of students and models that is fun and informative. This is definitely one of the best features that we have seen. 


How the Coronavirus Has Impacted a High School Senior

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek


This piece is the only opinion piece that made the Top 5. It captures the real emotion of the seniors following the school shutdown. We largely don’t push our opinion pieces, as we are a student paper and try to avoid personal biases unless the viewpoint is something beneficial to the student population, but we have heard how much people loved this piece, and how they found it to be emotionally touching. 


 Bathroom Beautification: A Passion Project that is Spreading Personal Growth

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek


The Bathroom Beautification was a joy to experience, and (I hope) also to read. This article was a long one coming, as research and work for it started in the 2018-2019 school year, and it was finished the following year. The intent really was to convey the vibe of being there, and how vibrant and enthused the students were. It dabbles a tiny bit in including first person – something which we strongly discourage unless writing an opinion piece – but I feel like it did the story justice and helped to present a more thorough depiction of events.


Top 10


VBCPS Communities Petition for Graduation Ceremony 

Written by Mylynn Hopper


This story looks into the perspective of seniors who missed out on graduation and their perseverance during hard times, as well as that of their families’. It showcases seniors’ incredible teamwork and discusses how they want to achieve their goal of holding a graduation ceremony. The article features in-depth quotes and personal perspectives, and really makes clear how awkward and raw their experience is.


K.I.T.E Spreads Kindness One Bracelet at a Time

Written by Janelle Camba


This article discusses the work done by a student-run business, K.I.T.E. The business uses their influence to spread kindness and promote positivity. The story goes into the detailed marketing process and how the business found success, including fun little notes and making you understand the people that operate K.I.T.E, and the goals they really try to strive after.


Social Issues and Strawberry Shortcake: Melanie Martinez’s “K-12”

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek


This music review holds the most views of any article on The Treaty, and was the first story on the site to have over 1,000 views. It analyzes Melanie Martinez’s album, “K-12,” and sheds some light on the track’s interesting musical direction. This review also studies Martinez’s music choices and lyrical depth, pointing out social problems and sensitive issues in the movie / music video combo,  building an in-depth analysis. 


American Musical and Dramatic Academy Accepts Kempsville Student

Written by Paxton Coley


This story focuses on Natasha Santana’s talent for the arts and how it landed her a spot at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. It delves into Santana’s experience with the fine arts and her advice to those who follow a similar path. It has some wonderful quotes and is well researched.



Superintendent Spence Responds to Students Over Not Closing Schools

Written by Paxton Coley and Sydney Haulenbeek


This story, which was by far our most controversial of the year, is a dual editorial on the decisions and words of the Superintendent. We felt that as it was his freedom to voice his opinions of students in response to his decisions, we could also voice our opinions, based in fact. We were especially concerned with things that he may be able to say, detached and in an administrative position, that our teachers would not be allowed to say without risking their jobs. We believe that this piece is informative, and gives a student perspective on standards in leadership.


Top 25


ICDC Qualifiers Discuss Feels on Cancelation

Written by Janelle Camba


This article highlights the impact of COVID-19 on student activities like DECA. Club members looking forward to DECA’s international competition are devastated that their DECA journey has been cut short. The article includes personal experiences with DECA and how the cancelation affected them, presenting an emotional piece. 


Kempsville’s Chess Club Attends Tournaments

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek and Aman Hagwood


This story delves into Kempsville High School’s chess club. The article highlights the club’s success in competitions and showcases student perspectives, providing details on what the club is like, and detailing the students that are involved, and how they choose to spend their time, and lunches. 


Varsity Football Beats 63-Game Losing Streak

Written by Paxton Coley


This story was written at midnight after Kempsville beat their losing streak to go on and win their first game in years. While it isn’t the longest story, it captures the rush and thrill of the night, and the pure emotion that motivated fans and players.


Interact Club Volunteers to Aid Students

Written by Cate Benedict


This piece presents a refreshing student perspective on student interaction and volunteering. It also has great photos, which protect the identity of the children involved but display the work that Kempsville students do in our community.


Representation in Politics: Students and the Presidential Race

Written by Mylynn Hopper


A distinctly underrated article, this piece is incredibly detailed and displays even and fair reporting. It handles politics, which we as a student paper try not to get too terribly involved in, exploring if students feel represented in the political figures that they choose to stand behind, or that they see running. It has great quotes, and balances differing opinions equally, without lending too much sway or bias to either side. 


“What’s My GPA?” Why GPAs Should be on Report Cards 

Written by Paxton Coley


This piece provides a fresh perspective on seniors’ struggle to find out their GPA. The piece addresses a common problem among seniors, making for a relatable story. It was definitely motivated by the majority of seniors on the board, but it has an interesting take and includes good quotes.


Liam Payne Presents an Unorganized Debut Album

Written by Paxton Coley


While he was a part of my favorite band growing up, I actually had to sit back and ask myself: “Do I like this album because it’s good, or because it’s him?” Doing this review made me analyze what I actually thought of the music and made me realize that, while the individual songs were good, the album itself was kind of a mess.


“The Circle:” A Show For and About the Next Generation

Written by Janelle Camba


This review discusses the nuances of Netflix’s “The Circle.” It breaks down the show’s relevance and how it disproves stigmas associated with social media. The article gives an in-depth analysis of the show and detailed takeaways that can be applied to reality. It also touches on a terrible show that is really, quite good, that the entire staff became mildly obsessed with.


New Start Time Recommendations Pose Problems for Extracurricular Activities

Written by Paxton Coley


This piece challenges, once again, the decisions and plans of administrative bodies on students that affect students and are largely made without student or staff input, despite them being the most involved. It looks at how staff would be impacted by changing start times, and how that, in extension, would change students’ lives. Made up of detailed and descriptive writing, it shows opinions of frequently under-considered people who would see their lives changed.


Dress Code Change Opens Doors for Student Expression

Written by Jack Shupe


This story explains the administration’s change in the dress code. It provides a look into the importance of student expression and why the change was necessary. The article has good quotes – as well as a well-shot featured photo – and addresses how students feel about the new dress code.


How Jewish Students Honor the Holiday of Hanukkah

Written by Cate Benedict


Written around Christmas, this piece delves into the celebrations of a group that rarely receives the media play or attention that Christmas does. It works to emphasize the reality and enjoyment that other holidays provide, and the emotional significance that they have to the people and students that partake in them.


The Last Game: Student Athletes’ Seasons Come to a Close

Written by Cate Benedict


This article shows how COVD-19 affected Kempsville High School’s lacrosse team. It showcases student perspectives, making for an emotional story. It also includes good quotes from both the coach and team members, creating a more personal narrative, and demonstrates the impact that not having a season will have on teams. 


Kempsville’s Santa Claus Doubles as a Security Guard

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek


This article is a bit of an oddball in the way that it addresses quotes. It works to build an immersive read, and going over it now, even in May, reminds me of the buzz of the halls, and builds a reminder of what being in school is like. 


Literature Teacher Turns Kobe Bryant Tribute into Motivation Message for Seniors 

Written by Sydney Haulenbeek


Written at the time of Kobe Bryant’s passing, this piece illustrates a teacher’s feelings on the incident. The article features good quotes regarding Bryant’s short film, “Dear Basketball,” and how students can apply the message to their lives.


Commitment to Catering: The Kempsville Students Who Cook

Written by Cate Benedict


This story was assigned after seeing so many culinary students contribute to school events, and seeing their work go unnoticed. It goes through the honest reality of the class, and how it helps to shape students like they shape food, creating a great introduction into what the class is about, and the students it helps to prepare.



Thank you for reading with us this year. We’ll see you again in the fall.

                                                                                                                                   — The Treaty’s Editorial Staff