A year in review: 2016

Looking Back

Harley LaRue, Student Writer and Editor

Throughout the year of 2016, the world has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. 2016 was a year filled with chaos and laughter. While some longed to the see the year finally end, others were saddened upon the arrival of 2017. A lot changed in 2016, both for the good and the bad. Not only did things change around the world, they also changed here at GNA. Will 2017 be any better? It’s worth looking back at all of last year’s debris to remember that maybe it wasn’t really that bad.

Celebrities. Celebrities continued to hold their grasp on the world even as we lost several of our favorites. Unfortunately, 2016 was a year filled with celebrity deaths. It all started on January 10th, 2016 with the loss of David Bowie. His death came as a shock to billions of people as they shared their stories and memories of him. While new celebrities rose to fame throughout the year, we lost icons such as Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, and Muhammad Ali. The world grieved over each death, honoring each celebrity in a way only eight billion people could.

Election Troubles. The U.S. has had one of the wildest elections ever seen in 2016. The Republican Party witnessed nearly 20 candidates running for president while the Democratic Party witnessed only 6. Before long, candidates began to drop like flies from both parties until only two remained. From the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton remained, and from the Republican Party, only Donald Trump remained. As the election moved forward, people protested, propaganda was spread, and the two final candidates battled in debates. On November 8th, the candidates fought for their place as the president elect one final time as the votes rolled in. Gary Johnson, a member of the Libertarian Party, earned few votes during this time, but he wasn’t the only one. 15,000 people voted for a gorilla, Harambe, that had been shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in May. As late night turned into early morning, Donald Trump was announced as the president-elect of the United States. Trump was sworn into presidency on January 20th, 2017.

Brexit. The U.S. is not the only country with political rivalry. On June 23rd, 2016, British citizens voted to leave the European Union. Over 30 million people voted on this decision. 52% of these voters voted to leave the Union. Since this decision has been established, Britain has gotten a new Prime Minister, Theresa May. The prior Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned after he realized that Britain would be leaving. May, just like Cameron, didn’t agree with Brexit, but she said she will “respect the will of the people.” For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke a process mentioned in Article 50 of the Libson Treaty which gives each side 2 years to agree to the split. May says she plans to trigger this process by the end of March 2017. After the vote to leave, British currency, or pounds, have dropped to a 30-year low, but opinion is divided when it comes to the long term effects of leaving the EU. Britain has also lost it’s AAA credit rating, meaning the cost of government borrowing will be higher. Many hope that after the official leave of the Union, all will return to normal.

Growth. Although 2016 has been a year of losses, more growth occurred than we realize .According to a recent tally done from the World Wildlife Fund, there are now 3,890 tigers in the world rather than the 3,200 we witnessed in 2012. Not only is the tiger population increasing but so is the tree population in India. In one day alone, India planted 50 million trees, setting the world record for the most trees planted in one day. Volunteers from all over helped India with this record while working for twenty-four hours straight. Although have we seen growth in nature, technology has also advanced. After a 5 year journey, 1.7 billion miles, NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4th. The spacecraft’s mission is to perform an in-depth evaluation of Jupiter that will last for 20 months. Hundreds of photos from the spacecraft have already been received by NASA with many more to come.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Many people remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as a senseless trend started in 2014 in which someone pours a bucket of ice water over their head for fun. In reality, celebrities and civilians everywhere donated thousands of dollars in support to help research what gene causes ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. This disease is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In 2016, using the estimated one million dollars from the donations, John E. Landers, his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and his colleagues from around the world have identified a new ASL gene, NEK1. The gene has been discovered by over 80 researchers in 11 countries. They are now evaluating the gene to see the true effects along with looking for all genes that play a part in ALS.

A Change in Currency. In April of 2016, the U.S. Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman would be replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the twenty dollar bill. Don’t worry, Andrew Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill. Although this is a huge step in society for a woman to be the face of U.S. currency since 1886, it’s a slow process. The bill is not expected to be printed and ready for about four years. A century ago, Martha Washington, George Washington’s wife, was the face of the one dollar bill, but it was changed soon after. The internet, too overwhelmed with the news, confused Tubman with more than a dozen other African American women in history. Catherine Clinton, a history professor at the University of Texas, says this is probably because Harriet Tubman is often overlooked throughout history. Many hope that Tubman’s placement on U.S. currency will help push for women’s rights in both the past and the future.

Here at GNA. Throughout 2016, big changes occurred here in Nanticoke too. GNA welcomed a new principal and a new guidance counselor with open arms. Mrs. Scibek and Ms. Iacovazzi only added to the school’s proud aura as they made their entrance into the district. With the arrival of Mrs. Scibek, GNA continues to celebrate students through Student of the Month. Along with new staff, new opportunities have surfaced for GNA students. Students from the GNA Journalism class are to be featured in the Citizen’s Voice. GNA also housed three new foreign exchange students, Alessio, Gustav, and Tiange (“Tyler”), from Italy, Sweden, and China. GNA additionally took the time to honor Veterans in a Veteran’s Day assembly that showed students and staff alike what Veterans have done for our country. Overall, GNA underwent many different changes, but each one only strengthened the district.