Springville Junior High has just had an exciting Red Ribbon Week. It was the week of Fall Break, the 17th-19th of October. Every year, the service learning students plan Red Ribbon Week for the entire school. Red Ribbon Week is here to keep kids from taking drugs. During Red Ribbon Week, students were able to dress up, get candy, and enjoy living a drug-free life!
Each day had a theme that had to do with living a drug free life. The school began Red Ribbon Week on Monday the 17th with pajama day: “Don’t sleep through life, stay off drugs!” The junior high students wore their pajamas to school. Tuesday was clown day: “It’s no joke, don’t smoke!” Everyone dressed up in silly clothes to school. “Be smart don’t start!” On Wednesday, students came in nerd clothes.
The school got ready for Red Ribbon Week by having all the students write their names on “bricks” (colored sheets of paper) and taping them on a wall near the cafeteria. By doing this, the students promised to live a drug free life.
“Red Ribbon Week was lots of fun,” said Sidney Gierisch, an eighth grader at SJHS, “You got to dress up, and get candy!” SJHS definitely enjoyed a great Red Ribbon Week.
Last week was Red Ribbon Week, and we had something new at the school. In addition to pajama day and nerd day we had a wall. The wall represented our united stand against drugs and violence. According to PTA president, Mrs. Wendy Chipman, if we can reach and make a difference to one kid then the Red Ribbon Wall is worth it.
Mrs. Chipman, said, “I really hope that it reminds kids that drugs are real and bad and that we can fight against them and stay away from them. The younger we can teach kids this, obviously the better.” We need to realize that drugs can kill people and we should stay away from them at all costs.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of drug users experiment with drugs when they are younger. Something you try once can turn into an every day battle to stay away from.
Mrs. Chipman said that she came up with the wall and that it will hopefully have a positive effect on kids. Service Learning teacher, Mrs. Adrienne Murray, said, “It was a 'brick' wall because brick walls are incredibly sturdy and durable. It is not easy to break a brick wall, which is symbolic of our strong commitment to being drug- and violence-free.”
On October 7, Mrs. Toni Boyer Zundel, a professional author, came to Ms. Rachel Neeley’s Creative Writing class. Mrs. Boyer talked to the class about how she got published and what it takes to be an author. Ms. Neeley said, “I thought it would be great for my students to hear from a person who actually accomplished what so many of them want to accomplish.”
Mrs. Boyer started writing in high school and since then has written several works, including “Read-a Song,” which was published by World Class Learning Materials, a publisher in Baltimore, Maryland. She wrote and produced “FHE Made Easy,” a DVD that is sold in Walmart, Deseret Book, and Seagull Book. She also wrote a picture book called “Twinner One & Twinner Two,” which reached the top 100 Bestsellers list in the Apple iBookstore for the iPad. Mrs. Boyer said, “I am now working on a teen-fiction mystery/ghost novel that will have video embedded in the text (in an eBook format for the iBookstore).”
According to Ms. Neeley and Mrs. Boyer, Mrs. Boyer’s visit to the creative writing class was a big success. Ms. Neeley said, “I thought the visit was very successful. Mrs. Boyer was very enthusiastic and inspiring.” Students also thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Boyer’s visit. Tyree Strong, a seventh-grader in creative writing, said, “It was great to have a real author come and tell us what it is like to write books.” Mrs. Boyer said, “I LOVE visiting schools and classrooms. If I made a difference in one student’s life then I was successful!”
This year something new is coming to Springville Junior High; it is the math core. According to Mrs. Corrin Gleave, math teacher at SJHS, this new core will be a good change for the school. “We used to teach by subject; algebra, geometry, algebra. Compare that to teaching a basketball unit in PE, then a football unit, then a baseball unit. That was the old core. The new core teaches by concept. Think teaching a unit on throwing ball; throwing a basketball, then a football, then a baseball. Now move onto catching. Learn to catch a basketball, then a football, then a baseball, everything is still there—it is just reordered and re-packaged.”
For some students, math is easier with this transition, and for some it is a little harder. According to the Utah Core Standards initiative, teachers, parents and community leaders from around the country developed and presented the new math core. Our state, along with 43 others, adopted the new math and language arts core. James Smith, an eighth-grade student at SJHS, feels that we adopted the math core so America can have a better education. This will be a big change to our school and it will take some time to adjust. For more Information go to www.corestandards.org.
The Springville Junior High School creative writing class recently wrote children's stories. Students learned how to write to a specific audience, and in this case, it was children. Ms. Rachel Neeley, creative writing and English teacher at SHJS, said, “I am having students write children's book because it is fun and a good way to review all the elements of plot.”
Students first read different picture books and identified characteristics of the books. Students then had to write a proposal and plan their stories using all the elements of plot. Bailey Barlow, an eighth grader in creative writing, said she enjoyed writing about this because she could choose her own topic. Students were able to choose any topic for their story, as long as it is meant for children.
This year Springville junior High School P.E. students are learning new sports like archery. The boys and girls P.E. classes are going co-ed for a little while where the boys and girls work together with archery and frisbee golf. The P.E. classes started both sports around the end of September and are finishing some time in October.
Mr. Ken Van Ausdal, principal of SJHS, asked Mrs. Anderson, girls P.E. teacher, and Mr. Parker, boys P.E. teacher, what new sports they would like to teach. Mrs. Anderson chose archery and Mr. Parker chose frisbee golf. Mrs. Anderson said, “I like archery because you can do it at any age.” Mrs. Anderson also said, “I still do archery.”
In archery students stand behind cones as they shoot an arrow. Students also learn how to retrieve arrows without getting hurt. Alyvia Woolsey, a seventh grader at SJHS, said, “I love archery. I just love the excitement from when you hit the target.”
This year at Springville Junior High School a new elective is the dance class with Mrs. Koriane Maughan. According to Mrs. Maughan, the dance class should perform in front of the school because it is a good and fun experience for the students. The dance class will be performing one dance choreographed by Mrs. Maughn to the song, “You Make Me Feel,” by Cobra Starship, in an assembly sometime in December.
Dance students like Katie Meyers, ninth grader at SJHS, are both excited and nervous to perform in front of the school because, she loves to dance but doesn’t want to fall on her face. She also said that dance class is really fun and she likes to make a fool out of herself while she dances!
Mr. Greg Shields has been teaching at Springville Junior High School for five years, but this will be his 25th year as a teacher. He has also taught for seven years at TH Bell Jr. High in Ogden, Utah. Then he taught at Morgan High School in Morgan, Utah, for eight years. Then Payson Junior High for five years. So how did Mr. Shields end up here at SJHS?
Mr. Shields lives here at Springville, Utah, so when a spot came up to teach at SJHS he jumped at it. Mr. Shields said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my teaching here at Springville Junior High. I especially enjoy the great kids we have at this school.” Mr. Shields's teaching habits are successful according to his former student, Magaly Vasquez. she would like to go back to his class because he was so entertaining.
Mr. Shields said, “I enjoy teaching young people, and I try to show that and teach with enthusiasm so that the students will enjoy coming to my class. If students like the class then they almost always learn something about life and history.” And his students agree. Sage Hill, an eighth-grader here at SJHS, said, “I like being in his class. He tells us funny jokes that make class fun and interesting.”
Mr. Shields's favorite memories here at SJHS are all the relationships he has made with his students. According to Mr. Shields, since he started teaching he has really appreciated the good behavior and respect of almost all his students. Also since he has been teaching here at SJHS he also enjoys the faculty and staff.
Congratulations to Mr. Shields for his 25th year of teaching!
As most students at Springville Junior High know, Quest Time is an extra period between third and fourth period to give students with deficient grades extra help. Quest Time was established two years ago by Mr. Darrell Rolfe, former principal of Springville Junior High, and the Quest Time Committee, which consists of the following faculty members at SJHS: Mr. Trent Mikesell, Mrs. Corrin Gleave, Mrs. Josie Hales, and Ms. Diane Hamilton. Quest Time was put into action last year. Since Mr. Rolfe had left the school, Mr. Van Ausdal, who had become principal of SJHS, was responsible for getting Quest Time started.
Teachers and students alike have high opinions of Quest Time. According to Quinn Gleave, an eighth grader at SJHS, he gets to see his friends more because of Quest Time, which he likes. Mr. Mikesell, administrative assistant at SJHS, said that Quest Time is “a good program because it allows us to let parents know we are trying to do something to help students who are failing. It’s also a nice break for students who are doing well which I think helps the day go by more smoothly.”
According to Mrs. Hales, business and CTE teacher at SJHS, programs like Quest Time had previously been established at other schools in Nebo School District. She said, “We here at Springville Junior had heard that Spanish Fork Junior High and Diamond Fork Junior High were using this model and were having great success. Then we as a faculty decided to try Quest Time.”
So, overall, Quest Time has been a successful program here at SJHS. But there is still room for it to improve. Mr. Van Ausdal said Quest Time could be improved by “more students taking intervention seriously and working harder.”
On a day like any other at Springville Junior High School, Mrs. Diane Bird, a sewing teacher, starts the first assignment in her eighth-grade sewing classes to make pajama pants. She has two classes with about 25 students in each class. Her two classes have worked on their projects for about six days now and are starting to finish their masterpieces.
Mrs. Bird enjoys teaching sewing because “It's hands on so you’re not just sitting around, and you can’t fake doing the assignment.” The students chose between flannel or cotton for their fabric and then went through the six steps of the sewing process, which are: fit the pattern, lay it out, cut it out, inner seams, outer seams, casing and hem. All this work ends up to be a pair of pajamas that students can wear to bed or anywhere they want to wear them.
Sarah Kieffer, an eighth-grade student at SJHS, said that “It’s fun to sew because you can do whatever pattern and whatever fabric you want and you can do cool designs too.”According to most of the students, they like the sewing class because they can hang with friends and make something they can not only wear, but use.
The sewing class’s first assignment is coming to an end, and they are finishing off their projects. The students will probably start wearing their new pajamas around the school to show off their creations. So for all you students going into sewing next term, be ready to make pajamas and have fun in the sewing class. Good luck sewing students and don’t sew your fingers together!