Caption: Seventh graders show which Life As… books they read. Front row, left to right: Marin Rosenberg, Kimber Hicken, Sarah Christensen, Sheylah Buhler, Stephanie Aragon, and Lexey Anderson. Back row, left to right: Darren Hooley, Samantha Allan, Kenya Rodriguez, Erika Funkhouser, Tyler Werner, and Cody Larsen.
Do you like to read but are tired of the same predictable endings? Then read the Life as a… series. You get to choose what happens to your character and choose your own adventure.
All seventh graders have had an opportunity to read life as a … books in there language arts class. There are many different books like gladiators, ninjas, samurais, Vikings, and of course the knights. Mr. Mikesell, a language arts teacher at SJHS, said that his favorite book was the Viking one because he wanted to “pillage and plunder,” like a Viking. “I like the Viking one because you get to choose your own path as you read and decide the fate of the Viking,” said Kimberlyn Hicken, a seventh grader at SJHS.
Ms. Miley, another language arts teacher at SJHS, wanted her students to read the life as books because they were non-fiction and something the students would find interesting. After reading the introduction, most students couldn’t wait to read the chapters where they got to make their own choices, so that was a good sign that the kids were interested in the books.
“I think students enjoyed these books. Several kids have asked if they could read a different book in the series after they finished with their first choice.” said Ms. Miley.
Power-hungry queens, mute kings, funky dances and beds? They all fit in the school play called “Once Upon a Mattress.”
Students auditioned for the play because of their friends or just because they were born with the talent to act and sing. Helaman Burrows, ninth grader at SJHS, said, “I love acting and singing--it’s one of my hobbies.” Hard work is a main priority for the play. Mrs. Walker, the choir teacher and director of the musical at SJHS, said ,“It takes a lot of time, hard work and sacrifice to put on an excellent show. It's really fun, but the hard work comes first.”
In the school play there are lots of different characters, like a silent king, a mean queen, a prince, and a princess. Hannah Bressler, eighth grader at SJHS, said, “I like the play because you don’t hear about those stories, and people don’t take time to read them.”
Rehearsals are every morning from 6:15a.m. to 7:45a.m. The students are going to perform on March 17 during school for all of the staff and students. Lauren Brinton, eighth grader at SJHS, said, “This play will be the funniest play SJHS has ever put on.”
Nebo School District’s schools third terms is coming to a close March 17th. Some students at SJHS seem a little worried with the end of the term coming up. Cody Woolsey, ninth grader at SJHS, said, “I am kind of worried because teachers give big assignments and everyone is cramming so that they can get good grades.”
But some of the students at SJHS aren’t as worried about the end of the term. Annie Anderson, an eighth grader at SJHS, is one of them. She said, “I am excited for the end of the term because the closer it gets to the end of the term the closer school gets out."
“The term has gone by quickly,” said Mr. Mikesell, a English teacher at SJHS, “I am glad because term 3 is always a hard term to get through because it seems like we have fewer breaks than during the other terms.”
The start of the fourth term is March 21st, students will get March 18th off because of Teacher Development Day.
Romance, war, death, deception, trial, and tragedy were some of the things that were rattling through Mrs. Rice’s ninth-grade honors English classes as they compared two classic books.
About four months ago, right before Thanksgiving, Mrs. Rice’s honors English classes voted on two books that they could read; those two books were Ivanhoe and Dracula. The students not only got to vote for the two books, but they also had the opportunity to choose which one out of the two they would read. Most students chose to read Dracula, but a few students chose to read Ivanhoe.
According to Hayde Blanco and Alexis Fisher, ninth-grade students who read Ivanhoe, they thought that more people read Dracula because it’s a more popular story. After reading it, Alexis said, “Ivanhoe was a little bit harder to read and understand, but I’m glad that I chose to read it.”
When the students finished reading the books, they made a Cinematic Saga; a movie comparing the characters from the books they read. Students enjoyed making the videos; according to Jennifer Bate, ninth-grade student, she loved working in groups with other people and acting as if they were the characters in the books.
Mrs. Rice, the ninth-grade honors English teacher, said, “Students can harvest a lot of cultural capital from these texts. Cultural capital makes them better over the years because they build background knowledge that helps them read other things as well and it gives them ideas about how to write.” Jennifer also said, “It is refreshing to read something that others have read; its fun to be able to know what they’re talking about, and relate to it.” Overall, students enjoyed reading these books, and some are hoping they get to read more just like it.
Every five years secondary schools that offer graduation credits go through a process called accreditation. This process is a way of finding things in the school that could use improvement. The school has to meet academic standards in order to continue to issue graduation credits.
The program has seven different groups: Curriculum Development, Quality Instructional Design, Quality Assessment, Culture of Continuous Improvement, Educational Agenda, Leadership of School Improvement, and Community Building. These groups are made up of teachers, parents, and students. The purpose of these groups is to find out how the school is performing in these areas. “I like how they have student opinions so we get our say too,” said Amanda Ripley, an eighth grader at SJHS.
The reason that we have focus groups is so the school can be improved, so we can have a more perfect learning environment, and so we can continue to issue graduation credits. When the focus groups report their findings, the faculty will get to see things from student, parents, and teacher points of view. “The teachers and parents don’t see things the way the students do and the students and teachers don’t see things the way the parents do and the students and parents don’t see thing the way the teachers do, so it allows us to see a more perfect picture,” said Mr. Van Ausdal, the principal here at Springville Junior High School.
When accreditation was first started, the student representatives were called to a meeting in Ms. Miley’s room. When the students got there during seventh period they where shocked when they where told to get a doughnut and some chocolate milk. The students were told about accreditation and given a permission slip. The next meeting was held in the library where they went through the rubric (a set of standards used to evaluate a school's performance) and met their entire group for the first time. They talked about the purposes of their group. After that, all the individual groups will meet on a monthly basis to find ways to better the way students are taught and the way that they learn. After the focus groups figure out how the school is doing, new committees will make action plans to improve our school.
Most students have heard of President’s Day, but have they ever taken the time to think about, understand, and appreciate it? We have the national holiday, President’s Day, on February 22 every year. “We have it to celebrate the birthdays of our most popular and beloved presidents of the United States,” said Mr. Shields, eighth-grade history teacher. The presidents we celebrate are Washington and Lincoln. We have this holiday to show appreciation to those presidents for their service, for establishing America and holding it together in our darkest hours. Washington’s birthday was Feb. 22, and Lincoln’s was Feb. 12. The holiday used to only be for Washington’s birthday, but people started to add Lincoln in because he was such a good president.
Although Lincoln’s birthday is February 12 people started to add him in the holiday because he was such a good president. In honor of these presidents, people put up the American flag in there front yard. “We have this holiday to remember what they left behind for the country and the people,” said Joee Lowe, ninth grader.
Everyone loves a good long break from school. Spring break is April 11-15. Different teachers and students will be staying at home and the others will be enjoying a vacation with their family somewhere else.
Teachers like Mrs. Luke, the foods teacher here at SJHS, are staying home and relaxing during this week long break. “It is my favorite week. It helps me survive the rest of the school year. Plus it is a good way to celebrate the new season,” said Mrs. Luke.
Other teachers like Mr. Dahl, a science teacher here at SJHS, is going on vacation with his wife. His family lives in Oregon, so he and his wife are going to visit them for the week. According to Mr. Dahl, he is not going to even think about correcting assignments during his vacation.
Students have different ideas. “I am going to go camping, and hiking Zion’s Arches,” said Mary Singleton, an eighth grader at SJHS. She is going and not going to do homework. A break is a break that means way from school work.
Here at Springville Junior High School, students get to spread the love for Valentines Day with Valegrams! A Valegram is a little note students can send to each other in honor of Valentines Day! Students have their choice of sending a romantic flower or a candy and a note. “They were sold outside of the cafeteria at lunchtime and would be delivered to the receiving student’s period right after lunch,” said Mrs. Bird, the service learning teacher at SJHS. “Anyone could buy them for that special someone, “Gregg Davis, a ninth grade student at SJHS, said.
They were sold from February 4th to the 14th. Students enjoyed valegrams at the school for a couple of different reasons. Gregg Davis thought, “you feel loved and like, oh somebody wants me!” Brittany Hooley, a ninth grade student said, “you get to flirt with boys without them knowing who you are!”
Missed a lot of school and need to make up PE credit? Almost everyday SJHS holds an extra-curricular activity know as Intramurals that students can attend, to make up their PE credit. Intramurals are held from 2:45 to 3:45 in the girls gym every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday after school.
Not only do they get to make up credit for PE, but they can also get extra credit while playing the sports that you love. Mrs. Maughan, a pre-algebra teacher at SJHS, is one of the teachers that volunteered to help out and supervise the activities after school. Mrs. Maughan says, “It is a really fun job, because I either get to watch students play sports, or I get to join them myself!”
Intramurals is also a great way to get fit. Students play sports such as basketball, pickleball, badminton, volleyball, and many more sports. Ethan Knowlton, an eighth-grade student said, “Intra-Murals are amazing. Plus I own at badminton.” So if anyone ever needs more credit in PE, or if they just want to get fit and play sports, Intramurals is going on almost everyday after school.
Spring is coming and along with it so is track. Track will start on Monday, March 21st. If you are a student with a GPA higher than a 2.0 you can join track. On Tuesday, March 8th the school will hold a meeting explaining track and what you can do. At the meeting you will get forms that you and your parents will sign giving you permission to join track. There is also a fee that you will have to pay of $35.
The coaches for this year’s track meet are not the same as last years. Mr. Blakey, a counselor here at SJHS, will not be coach this year. But instead there will be Mr. Strong, an English teacher at SJHS, and Mr. Nelson, a History teacher at SJHS. Mr. Kindrick, a science teacher here at SJHS and who is also going to be one of the track coaches, said, “I love to be a coach because l like to be active, and I love to be outside.”
There is a variety of events that you can participate in while doing track. There are sprints, hurdles, high jump, long jump, discus, shot put and distance. Every student has the opportunity to qualify for one of these events, But you have to come to the practices that are everyday after school for about an hour or so. On Wednesday all students will meet at the high school track at 4:00 pm.
Annie Anderson, an eighth grader at SJHS, said, “Track was the best, you get to hang out after school with your friends, you get good exercise, and its super fun!” According to Annie, you get to try something new that maybe you have never done before. You get the opportunity to get in shape while still hanging out with your friends after school. During track meets you get to miss school, and compete with the other schools in our district.