Three weeks ago Mr. Shawn Hatfield, a science teacher at SHJS, gave his science enrichment students an exciting assignment. The students had to come up with unique ways to cushion an egg while it fell from the top of the school's roof. This thrilling experiment came in three parts. While participating in this project, Mr. Hatfield's students learned about force and movement, and how to problem solve. In the first experiment, the students used a container eight inches or less and anything that wasn’t a liquid or a substance like peanut butter substance to keep the egg from cracking. The second experiment was the same except that the students had to make a container five inches or less. The final experiment the students could only use two pieces of paper and three feet of duct tape.
“Not many eggs survived on the third test, but the ones that did were ones that had a paper parachute and floated to the grass,” said Tanner Black, an eight grader at SHJS. The egg has to land on a platter outside on the cement. If the eggs missed the platter then it would fall on the hard cement and probably break.
“I think if the students were to do it over again they would all be able to keep the egg from cracking” said Mr. Hatfield. Students in the science enrichment class had a great time, dropping stuff off roof tops, and at the same time of fun they learned something new.
Recently, the company Blendtec donated eight blenders to the Springville Junior High School’s foods class. But they didn’t donate to just Springville Junior High, they donated blenders to all the secondary schools in Utah County. Caitlin Dinkle, ninth grade student at SJHS, and her dad, Ken, brought them in one day and now the foods class uses them almost everyday.
On October sixth, the Blendtec Company came and did a demonstration at SJHS and all the students got to learn about the company and the blenders too. When the company showed up, Tom Dickson, a manager at Blendtec set up a demonstration and showed all the kids stuff about the blenders. He does videos on YouTube and lots of the students enjoyed watching him blend glowsticks.
Mrs. Natalie Luke, foods teacher at SJHS, said, “Before, with our other blenders, they were very ineffective, and they would always break. These new ones haven’t had problems blending anything. We use our blenders a lot, and whenever they broke, it took us a while to fix them. The blenders are super powerful, and they can blend the craziest things like, soups, cookie dough, and even pies! We are so grateful for the generosity of Blendtec.” Mr. Ken Van Ausdal, principal of SJHS, also expressed his appreciation for Blendtec's donation. He said, "We are grateful for the generous donation; it will benefit our students for many years to come."
Ashlyn Allred, a ninth- grade student, said, “They’re really nice, and electronic, and when you turn them on, they automatically start and they know when to stop.” Preston Adams, another ninth grade student at SJHS, said, “The blenders light up and go all by themselves! I don’t have to do as much work."
Each year at Springville Junior High School, every student gets a planner. The planners help the students stay organized and stay caught up. The planners. Ms. Rachel Neeley, SJHS English teacher said, “The planners help students keep organized and remember what assignments are due when.” That’s not the only reason the planners are beneficial. According to Mr. David Kindrick, science teacher at SJHS, the planners are also great to use as a hall pass.
There is a reward program at the school, if students get ten stamps in their planner, they can have the opportunity to spin the wheel. The wheel that you get to spin has prizes on it. Sometimes students can spin to win yuda bands, iTunes gift cards, or even an iPod nano. The planner contains a calendar, a list of school expectations and room for stamps. Ms. Neeley also said, “I try to motivate students to use their planners by giving them stamps.”
According to Brooke Larsen, seventh grader at SJHS, she uses her planner because it is really handy and small enough to take it everywhere. Ana Silvia Jimenez, another seventh grader at SJHS, said, “It’s helpful to know when your assignments are due, and what things you need to do that night, like homework and reading.”
Every student is encouraged to use their planners. It actually does help students stay organized. According to Kenzie Keane, seventh-grader at SJHS, the planner helps her stay organized, so this way she doesn’t have to tote around a bunch of paper and notes. All she has to do is carry that planner. Mr. Kindrick said, “It helps both the teachers and students stay on top of assignments and what each of you are doing.”
On September 10th, Mr. Greg Shields, an eighth-grade United States history teacher at Springville Junior High school, started a competition for his students to memorize the states and say them as fast as possible. He held a mini-competition in each of his classes, and the top three students that defeated all the other students went to the finals. He called the competition the “Sweet 16” because there are 16 finalists. The finalists were Amanda Schultz, Katie Ashton, Zac Camara, Kenya Rodriguez, Morgan Ammons, Raini Couch, Elyse Hanks, Shelby Christensen, Joseph Cieslewicz, Tasha Wagstaff, Chyeann Peterson, Mitch Miller, Nicole Plowman, John Whitney, Mark Ohman, and Kelsie Taylor.
These finalists practiced and studied hard for the competition, but only one could be the winner. Some of the Sweet 16 students said they didn’t study at all. It came down to Amanda and Shelby, but Amanda ended up beating Shelby by only a few points. Amanda was congratulated with the fact that she was this year’s eighth-grade champion of the states; she also received a restaurant gift certificate to the Art City Trolley restaurant in Springville.
Amanda then had to compete against Nicole Dallin, last year’s champion, to see who would win. Nicole tried her best, but since she hasn’t practiced the states recently like Amanda has, Amanda pulled ahead and beat last year’s champion. The next competitor was Mr. Shields himself. Amanda and Mr. Shields put up a great battle, and Amanda barely won. Amanda was the ultimate champion for this year, but next year there would be a new eighth-grade student to compete against her.
Amanda said that she was “kind of nervous sometimes” when she competed. The other students in Mr. Shields’s classes liked competing and thought it was a great idea. Mr. Shields has been doing this competition for six or seven years now and wants to keep doing it through the years. The reason he does the competition instead of just making the students study is so they have more fun and try harder with memorizing the states. Mr. Shields said, “Usually the winners are students who study and practice and put in the time needed to learn the states. They also practice at home.” So for all you seventh-grade students, you might want to start practicing if you want to be the champion of your eighth-grade U.S. history class.
Once again it is time for Accreditation! An accreditation review team will visit Springville Junior High School on April 23 and 24. Accreditation is when educators come from around the state of Utah and see how things are going at SJHS. It is the process the school goes through every six years and is an opportunity to get an evaluation. Accreditation allows SJHS to make a plan to help improve the school.
The plan is called an action plan. According to Mr. Trent Mikesell, the assistant principal at SJHS, the action plan is when SJHS decides what to do to improve as a school; it is like a goal. Mr. Mikesell explained that an action plan identifies a problem and creates steps to fix the problem. Ms. Tiffanie Miley, an English teacher at SJHS, said, “Members of the school community look at information about our school and then make a plan about how to improve the education and school-experience of SJHS students.”
Another part of accreditation is a DRSL. DRSL stands for Desired Results for Student Learning. According to Mr. Ken Van Ausdal, principal, SJHS students need to master the three DRSL’s, which are: Responsible Citizens, Effective Communicators, and Successful Learners.
Mr. Van Ausdal explained that accreditation is a continuous process to help improve the school. It never stops, and is reviewed every six years.
This year after school at Springville Junior High School, students can attend intramurals to catch up their grade in P.E. If students go one time, it makes up for one day of class full credit. Throughout the year there are several choices to compete in. There’s basketball, volleyball, badminton, pickleball, indoor soccer, archery, and weight lifting. Currently, there are two different choices for intramurals: indoor soccer and weight lifting.
Students can also go to intramurals for extra credit. Mrs. Kelly Anderson, the girls P.E. teacher at Springville Junior High School, said, ”I think it is a great way to get make-up credit, and to also get to play with your friends that you may not have P.E. with.”
Mr. Michael Parker, the boys P.E. teacher, can tell that the students enjoy coming because they like participating in tournaments, and everybody is always laughing. Mr. Parker and Mrs. Anderson usually hold the same activity that is going on in class for intramurals. There are always a lot of students who participate. For badminton there are fifty plus people who attend. Join the fun on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays after school. According to the P.E. teacher, Mr. Parker,”It rocks!”
For the first time at Springville Junior High School, students can take dance as an elective class. There are two dance teachers: Mrs. Koriane Maughan and Mrs. Erica Persson. Mrs. Persson is one of the many new teachers this year at SJHS, and she teaches health and aerobic conditioning. Mrs. Maughen was a math teacher last year, but now she is teaching English.
This is not Mrs. Maughan's first time teaching dance; she has also taught at a few dance studios in Springville and Salem. But that's not the only place she has taught. She has gaven some of her skills to two different high school drill teams.
Mrs. Maughan may seem like the classy type of music kind of girl, but she said, “I love music with a good beat and that makes you want to jump onto the dance floor.” Mrs. Maughan wants to teach jazz and hip-hop. “I will teach a little bit of everything,” Mrs. Maughen said. Right now the dance class learning a jazz piece to a Cobra Starship song. This dance will be followed by hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, military jazz, “and whatever sounds fun!” said Mrs. Maughan.
“I have always been interested in dance,” said Sarah Rasmussen, an eighth grader at SJHS. Sarah has Mrs. Persson for dance, and so far they have done line dances. Sarah’s favorite line dance is “How Down Throw Down” by Miley Cyrus. Sarah liked this dance because it is fast and fun. Sarah loves dance because she gets to learn all of the new and cool dances and perform them as well. This is Sarah’s first year taking dance, and she loves it. Good job Mrs. Persson and Mrs. Maughan-keep it up and have fun!
Mrs. Mary Rice, English teacher at Springville Junior High School, said, “As SJHS ninth graders start their freshman year their understanding of literacy changes and becomes more sophisticated.” In Mrs. Rice’s Honors English classes, her students created their own “This” projects. Students added things like physical setting, ideological setting, symbols, plot, and theme to their “This” projects and their understanding of narrative structure. According to Mrs. Rice, the idea of the project was to begin the process of giving students tools to become better thinkers about text and introduce the idea of disciplined re-reading. The students used their summer reading to demonstrate and complicate their knowledge of literary theory with multi-genre representations.
Kahaia Stewart, ninth grader at SJHS, said, “The 'This' project is just like a creative book report; it isn’t very difficult, it is just time consuming. I learned new types of literacy elements that were different from what I had been learning since elementary school.” Mrs. Rice was impressed with the projects and the number of people that turned them in on time. She also said, “I live and teach in a community of people who have the intellect to be great scholars and prominent citizens. I am honored to support their thinking and hone their dispositions to live optimally significant lives.”
The eighth-grade choir class, also known as the Knightingales, meets every Tuesday during Quest Time in Mrs. Walker’s room to prepare for their Christmas concert in December. The Knightingales are preparing three songs to sing in the December concert. Mrs. Walker’s favorite song that they perform is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” The Knightingales will perform that song with the Master Singers and the Journeymen.
Amanda Schultz, an eighth grader at SJHS and a Knightingale, said her favorite song the choir performs is “One candle.” It tells a story of how the candles just keep getting brighter and brighter as more candles are added.
***Front row, left to right: Sidney Gierisch, Sarah Skinner, Kimberlyn Hicken, Chyeann Peterson, and Stephanie Aragon. Back row, left to right: Ciara Snapp, Maiya Buckley, Leah Morales, Bailey Davis, Mekinna Sokolowski, Aubrey Wasden, Kylee Richmond, Kaylee Richmond, Maddie Brenchley, and Melanie Anderson.***
On September 14, the girls’ tennis team had a tournament at Springville High School, and they all played their hardest. Lots of the girls enjoy playing, and Mr. Sam Dahl, science teacher at Springville Junior High School, enjoys coaching them and helping them improve. The team has practices almost everyday after school. Their practices are across the street from Springville Junior High. The team competes in tournaments against other Nebo District junior highs every Tuesday and Thursday.
Mr. Dahl volunteered to coach the team because he thought that it would be fun to teach a sport that he likes to play. There is an A team and a B team, and according to Mr. Dahl, “there are about 50 girls that show up to be on the team and only about 16 spots on the A team. There are 15 girls on the B team.” There are usually students that try out every year. Several girls on this year’s A team were on the B team last year. It pays to play tennis with the tennis team.
The girls on the tennis team enjoy participating for many reasons. Ciara Snapp said, “I’ve been playing for about seven years, and I like to be on the tennis team because it helps me improve. And Mr. Dahl tells me stuff I’m doing wrong so that I can improve it.” Mekinna Sokolowski, another member of the tennis team, she said, “I love the feeling of beating the other teams, and I like being with my friends. Mr. Dahl is amazing.”
The girls have lots of fun playing together, and even when they lose they keep their spirits up and go back to win. It’s such a fun thing to do, and maybe next year, you may consider trying out!