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April 2013

SJHS HOPE Squad Featured on KSL

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Fri, 04/26/2013 - 10:07
Courtney Droz, Counelor and HOPE Squad Advisor
Spencer Johnson, Jacqueline Bradford, and Halle Acor with Nadine Wimmer from KSL 5.
Spencer Johnson, Jacqueline Bradford, and Halle Acor with Nadine Wimmer from KSL 5.

On Tuesday, Nadine Wimmer of KSL interviewed three of our Springville Junior High students who serve on our HOPE Squad for a feature piece on channel 5. The feature highlighted a huge problem in Utah: teen suicide. During the program, Nadine Wimmer stated that students can play an invaluable role in helping to stop suicides among their classmates.  The students she interviewed were Jaqueline Bradford, Halle Acor, and Spencer Johnson. She asked them questions about what would surprise parents when it comes to depression and stress among teens, and what advice they have for parents. All of our students on HOPE Squad do a great job supporting their peers, watching for warning signs, being a friend to everyone, and getting kids the help they need from adults if they are having thoughts of hurting themselves. Our three students who were interviewed represented our school and HOPE Squad very well.

For more information, please watch the KSL feature or visit our HOPE Squad information page.


Ms. Neeley: SJHS Teacher Of The Year!

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Fri, 04/19/2013 - 13:28
Paige Cook, SJHS Staff Writer
Ms. Neeley, 2012-13 Teacher of the Year at SJHS

Springville Junior High School's 2013 Teacher of the Year is Ms. Neeley, seventh-grade English teacher!  Ms. Neeley received the award on Wednesday, April 11 at Nebo District's school board meeting.  One teacher from each junior high and high school received the award; Ms. Neeley was the teacher from Springville Junior High that received it.   

Mrs. Gleave, ninth-grade Secondary Math I teacher, said, “Ms. Neeley is highly deserving of this award for two simple reasons.  One, she dedicates herself to maximizing student learning.  Every moment in her classroom, and every task given to her students helps them learn and improve.  Two, she motivates her co-workers to become better educators.  Ms. Neeley has such an infectious drive that those around her are inspired to develop professionally.”  

Many people, teachers, students, and administrators, are very fond of Ms. Neeley.  Ada Popham, a seventh grader in Ms. Neeley’s English class, said, “She’s really nice, and the way she teaches makes things easy.”  Zach Dalley, another seventh grader in Ms. Neeley’s English class, said, “She’s really good at explaining things and teaching different things to different people.”  Fernanda Hernandez, a seventh grader in Ms. Neeley’s English class, said, “Ms. Neeley’s really nice.  She understands us.”  According to Ada Popham, what makes Ms. Neeley such a good teacher is the way she teaches, and she’s patient with people.

Ms. Neeley is also well-liked by her colleagues.  Ms. Dunn, another English teacher, said, “Ms. Neeley does a great job at panning lessons for her students that are interesting and enjoyable and worthwhile.  She is also a lot of fun, and I know students have a good time in her class.”  Mrs. Gleave, who is good friends with Ms. Neeley, in addition to working with her, said, “I have taught with Ms. Neeley for six years.  During that time, I have seen her give amazing lessons, encourage students to improve beyond what they believe possible, guide students to produce incredible school yearbooks, facilitate professional development opportunities for our staff, teach Praxis classes for the district, and earn a Master’s degree, among many other accomplishments.  She’s an incredible person!”  Mr. Mikesell, Dean Of Students, said, “Ms. Neeley is on the ball.  She is a great planner, and does fun things with her students.  She has a great sense of humor and is easy to get along with.”

According to Mr. Mikesell, Ms. Neeley’s colleagues voted for her, which is how she got the award.  Mr. Mikesell said, “We just try to find an outstanding teacher who does great work.”  According to Mrs. Gleave, Ms. Neeley is one of the best educators she’s seen.  Mrs. Gleave said, “She is acutely aware of her students abilities and needs, and plans lessons based on this knowledge.”

Triple Trouble!

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 12:25
Alexis Pool, SJHS Staff Writer
The Killpack triplets, left to right: Amelia, Tim, and Andrew.

What’s it like having a three kids the same age? Springville Junior High gets to have the opportunity to experience this. That’s right, there are triplets at SJHS. Their names are Amelia, Tim, and Andrew Killpack. They are in the eighth grade and most of their friends don’t even think they’re related. The triplets all have their different style and personalities. Even at a young age, the kids developed at different times. Amelia was born first, Andrew was born second, and Tim was born last. Being the oldest over the other two, Amelia said it gets very annoying. The triplets say it’s not very different from having siblings close to your age, and sometimes it doesn’t even seem like they were all born at once. Mrs. Killpack, the mother of the triplets, said, “It is a .001 in a million chance of having triplets. They don’t run in either of our families, so it is really miraculous with those odds.”

According to Mr. Killpack, the father of the triplets, “It was difficult at first juggling three children. There was a financial strain, emotional strain, and physical strain. In the end I expect they will share a bond to each other that most kids will never experience.” That’s just it, the children are very close. They have their fights like all siblings do, but in the end they have a bond that only they can hold. Amelia, first born, said, “It’s definitely interesting; our personalities are so different.” Sometimes being triplets becomes a struggle for them, but in the end they will always be siblings, and they will always be there for each other.  “I like it for the time being,” said Tim, the youngest out of the three. 

When Mr. and Mrs. Killpack found out they were having three children, they were scared the doctor might find another and they would end up with quadruplets. “I was really surprised but worried when the ultrasound technician said since they had found three babies they had to look for four. There was some relief when they didn’t find four,” said Mrs. Killpack.  Even though they didn’t find a fourth baby, they were still surprised when they found out they were having three children because triplets don’t run in the family. “I was in shock. I almost passed out. It was an instant fear and tons of things started flooding into my mind: I need a new car, how will I pay for them, will they survive, where will they sleep, I need three car seats, do they make a triplet stroller?” Mr. Killpack said. While all of these things were happening, the parents had to overcome the fear and realize that they were really going to have triplets.

Being in a house with two siblings your same age, and three other brothers, can be difficult. Although the three kids were born at the same time, their parents decided they needed a way to recognize each child. Every year when their birthday rolls around, each of them get to choose a their own cake and ice cream. The kids get to open their presents separately, and then there is usually one big present for all three of them. According to Mr. Killpack, it is fun because it is like a mini Christmas in April. 

The parents said all together, the triplets are one of the greatest blessings and greatest challenges of their lives. They said if they can do it, anyone can. Mrs. Killpack said, “I know that no matter what, people face hard things and obstacles in life. It’s all in your attitude of how you face things.” Challenges come and go, but the triplets were the light at the end of the tunnel for their parents. “I love them very much,” said Mr. Killpack. 

New Freshman Student Council Elected

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 11:31
Erin Caswell, SJHS Staff Writer
Next year’s student council. Front, left to right: Savannah Grant, AnnaClaire Smith, and Cortez Nelson. Back, left to right: Clara Brotherson, Tyree Strong, Teresa Morse, Tanner Allen, and Sean Stapel.

It’s that time of year again-student council elections started on April ninth here at Springville Junior High. Around 37 students showed up at the meeting to learn about how to run for student council. Betsy Vega, a ninth-grader on first semester’s student council, said, “The election is to choose who will represent the student body. It’s not a teacher’s choice contest; it is supposed to be people the students think will be well suited to the role.”  The students who were elected for the 2013-14 student council are Cortez Nelson and Sean Stapel as presidents and Tanner Allen, Clara Brotherson, Savannah Grant, Teresa Morse, and AnnaClaire Smith as vice presidents.

This year there were a few changes in the election procedure. The candidates did not pass out anything, they put up one poster each, and the videos are not elaborate skits; they were one-minute informational videos. 

Each semester has four elected officials, a president and three vice presidents. Once the semester ends the next group comes into office. The president and the vice presidents do  the exact same thing, except the president has a few more responsibilities.  Betsy Vega also said, “The student council does announcements, assemblies, plan and decorate school activities, and help around the school and office.” The student council is a very essential and beneficial part of the school. Mr. Mikesell said, “I think they do a really great job.”    

Quest Time Counselor Game Room

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 11:27
Megan Skinner, SJHS Staff Writer
Cami Dallin (left) and Parker Nelson (right) play foosball during Quest Time in the counselors’ game room.

Two Wii’s, a pool table, a ping pong table, and foosball. What else could you ask for during Quest Time?  Four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, all during quest time, the counselors host a game room in room 14.  Students at Springville Junior High School race to the counselors’ game room as soon as they hear the bell ending third period.  Mrs. Distefano, one of the counselors, said, “We just wanted to provide something fun to do for the kids.”

Although the game room is open to all students, you must have good grades to get in, just like every other Quest Time Enrichment.  Kassitey Craudell, a ninth grader at SJHS, said, “If you have good grades I really suggest you should go.”  According to Dakota Dalley, a seventh grader at SJHS, the game room encourages kids to work towards good grades so they can go to it.

The purpose of the game room is to make new friends and encourage kids to get better grades so they can attend. The counselors are trying to make sure everyone gets a turn in there.  On Mondays, anyone from any grade is allowed to attend.  On Tuesdays, only seventh graders can go. On Thursdays, the eighth graders and last the ninth graders on Fridays.  Tyler Strong, a seventh grader at SJHS, said, “Everyone should go at least once!"

Track Season Begins at SJHS

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 14:15
Megan Skinner, SJHS Staff Writer
Members of the SJHS track team. Left to right: Parker Nelson, Olea Barlow, Serina Johnson, Angela Cardon, Nicole Metler, Emma Kucharek, Kennedy Clement, and Ally Brunson.

Students are running to sign up for track at Springville Junior High School.  On March third, a meeting was called for all those interested in track.  The room buzzed with excitement as the coaches for this year’s track team patiently told SJHS runners all the details.  Practices started March eleventh, and meets started soon after, on March twenty ninth.  Track is a sport where kids get together and run for fun.  Some of the events include the one hundred meter dash, the long jump and so much more.  Julie Sumsion, an eighth grader in track, said, “Track is a great experience.  It’s a great place to meet and make new friends.”  Ms. Gardener, the assistant track coach, said, “You work out as a team, become better as a team, work together, cheer on your teammates, and just have a good time.”  All the kids, and even the coaches, are excited to get in shape, catch up with friends, and just have fun.

Everyone is looking forward to improving and competing.  Mrs. Woolf, the distance and long jump coach for the track team, said, “We want every athlete to improve from where they started.”  According to Keaton Draper, a ninth grader on the track team, he’s excited to set goals and achieve them.  The track team is looking to improving this year.  Becky Britt, an eighth grader in track, said, “We did good last year, but we could've done better.”   Everyone is setting goals Ms. Gardener said, “I would like to see every student improve in their individual events and to have a successful season.”

Mrs. Woolf said, “I am excited to be outside in the sun. It will be so fun to have as many students as we can running and getting into shape.”  We hope the track team has a good season as they head off to start practicing.

SJHS Hosts a Talent Show

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 14:13
Austen Moon, SJHS Staff Writer
Many students participated in the SJHS Talent Show.

Front, left to right: Danny Salazar, Bailey Bird, and Kenya Rodriguez.  Back, left to right: Kelsie Taylor, Reagan Park, Chase Kimball, Josh Clegg, Andrew Hoffman, Noah Andelin, Ciarra Snapp, and Quinn Gleave.


On Friday, March 22nd, Springville Junior High held its last Super Knight assembly for the 2012-13 school year.  This one, however, was much different from others.  After March’s Super Knights received their awards, a few students were able to take the stage to show off their talents.  Only about eight students were able to perform during school, so SJHS hosted another talent show after school at 6:00, which featured many more acts.  “We had about 60 or 70 students try out for the talent show,” said Mr. Hansen, a history teacher at SJHS, and facilitator of the talent show.  Out of the many students who tried out, only about ten or fifteen were able to perform in one of the two shows.  “It was so hard to decide [who to include in the show] because there is so much talent at our school,” said Ms. McBride, an English teacher at SJHS, and one of the judges for the auditions.

It may come as a surprise to many people just how much goes into a talent show.  According to Ms. McBride, besides spending a lot of time with rehearsals, teachers in charge of the talent show also had to figure out in which order to put the acts, how many acts could be fit into the show, and what kind of equipment would be needed.  “Running a talent show requires lots of time, and getting up early,” said Mr. Taylor, a CTE teacher at SJHS who helped on stage.  But the teachers weren’t the only ones that had to prepare for the talent show.  According to Luanei Mulipola, a ninth grader at SJHS who performed in the talent show, she and her friend were up nearly all night the night before the talent show practicing their Tahitian dance.

Each talent show featured many diverse acts, but which ones stood out the most to SJHS teachers?  According to Mr. Mikesell, Dean of Students at SJHS, he thought that Bailey Bird’s band did a nice job with their song, and also enjoyed Josh Clegg, Danny Salazar, Chase Kimball, and Noah Andelin’s band.  “I really enjoyed the [Tahitian] dancers,” said Mr. Taylor, “I love seeing people taking pride in their cultures.”  Not only was the talent show fun for students and faculty, the admission for the second assembly was a can of food, which went to charity.  According to Mr. Mikesell, the school was able to donate about 100 pounds of canned goods.  “I would really like to thank Mr. Mikesell, Bailey Bird, and all of student council,” said Mr. Hansen, “The talent show was a group effort.”

The Orchestra of Generations

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 11:37
Clarissa Scott, SJHS Staff Writer

Have you ever heard of adults and students playing together in an orchestra concert? Well the Springville Junior High ninth-grade orchestra did! They got the opportunity to play with the BYU New Horizons orchestra on March 28 at Springville High School. The BYU New Horizons Orchestra is a group that provides opportunities for adults to learn to play an orchestral stringed instrument. Dr. Tsugawa, the orchestra director at SJHS, said “This concert was the sixth annual Intergenerational Concert between the SJHS orchestra program and the BYU New Horizons Orchestra.” Most of the orchestra students were excited to play with people that are not the same as them! According Gray Burton, a ninth-grade cellist, he thinks it’s cool that the class got to share their talents with adults. 

The songs that the orchestras played together were Lovers Waltz, Les Quebicas, Intrada, Sheep to safely graze, and a brand new song, Lincoln at Gettysburg. Lincoln at Gettysburg is a song composed by Dr. Andrew Dabczynski, professor of music education at BYU and director of the BYU New Horizons Orchestra. That was the first time this song was played. Jed Barker, a ninth-grade violist, said, “It’s really cool that we got to play a song that had never been played before!”  Dr. Dabczynski wrote the song in honor of the Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Tiana Ta’la, a ninth-grade violinist, said, “I like how the melody and the rhythm flow together.” Many of the students in orchestra like this song and they were glad that they could to be the first ones to play it. This song is also special because it’s not like any normal orchestra song; t has someone narrating along with the song.  The students play in the background while the narrator tells a story about Lincoln is Gettysburg. Mr. Bryan Tobler, former band teacher at Springville High School, narrated for the performance.  The orchestra also added percussion to the Gettysburg song to make it more dramatic. Many of the people that went enjoyed the performance and liked the new Gettysburg song. Good job ninth-grade and New Horizons orchestra!

SJHS 9th Grade Band Goes To Nebo District’s Band Festival

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 11:19
Emma Whipple, SJHS Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 21st, the ninth-grade band from Springville Junior High went to perform in front of Diamond Fork Junior High, Spanish Fork Junior High, Payson Junior High, Mt. Nebo Junior High, Mapleton Junior High, and Salem Hill Junior High!  They went to Maple Mountain High School and played the following songs: Infinite Horizons, Appalachian Air, and Southern Folk Rhapsody.  Each band was judged after they finished their songs, and received a score between one and five; one being the highest, and five being the lowest.  The judges also ran a short clinic after the performances where they would comment on what they thought the band did well in, and what they could work on as a group.  The SJHS band received a 1- (sort of like a A-).  

“The students did an excellent job and I was very proud of their hard work and performance. I enjoyed the festival.  We were able to listen all the other junior high bands in the school district” said Mr. Booth, the band teacher at SJHS.  According to Noah Andelin, a ninth grade band student, the concert was “amazing.” Afterwards the ninth graders came back to SJHS and ate pizza.

Journalism Tests Out New Chromebooks

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 13:25
Trevor Hollister, SJHS Staff Writer
The journalism class using Chromebooks. Left to right: Marin Rosenberg, Austen Moon, Shane Larson, Alexis Pool, Trevor Hollister, Amelia Killpack, Erin Caswell, Clarissa Scott, Emma Whipple, and Megan Skinner. Not pictured: Paige Cook and Laura Uribe.

In June of 2011 Google announced the Chromebook, a cheap, inexpensive laptop, designed for daily use in products like Google Drive.  In order to see whether or not this new technology could be helpful in our school, the journalism class is testing out a small Chromebook lab this semester.  Like Microsoft Office, Google Drive allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, but it all works online. This allows you to access your documents from any computer at anytime. Google Drive is just one example of the things the Chromebook does. 

The school purchased 14 Chromebooks that the journalism class is testing out this semester. Mr. Van Ausdal, principal at SJHS, said, “There was definitely many reasons why journalism got them. One reason is that we wanted to pilot the machines and see how well they would work in a classroom environment. Another reason is because we wanted to help out our journalism students be more productive.”

An exciting thing is the possibility of Chromebooks being fully implemented into education. Right now, the journalism class is piloting the Chromebooks to see if we could possibly use them throughout the school.  Ms. Miley, the journalism teacher, said, “Chromebooks are a cost-effective way to get more technology into the hands of more students.  They don't do everything a typical laptop does, but any online activity could easily be done on a Chromebook rather than a standard computer.  So far things are working well, but we'll have to wait and see.”

Feedback from the journalism students has been positive. Shane Larson, a journalism student at SJHS said, “I’m going to be able to write a lot more now.”  Marin Rosenberg, another journalism student, also likes the new computers.  She said, “The chromebooks are light, fast, and easy to set up. Instead of having to log in as we usually do, I just have to type in my email address and password. Also, the chromebooks are much cheaper than regular laptops.”

Rather than a typical computer that runs a full Operating System (or OS), the Google OS works completely through the internet. The Chromebook allows you to surf the web, check your email and calendars, download android apps via Google Play, and of course make documents within Google Drive. Reese Brunson, Nebo School District Coordinator of Technical Services, said, “They boot up within 10 seconds, the battery life is over six hours, they have a keyboard for word processing (unlike an IPad), and are small and easy to manage.  They also have free storage space in the ‘Google Cloud.’ The operating system is constantly updated unlike Windows or Mac machines.”

The Chromebook only cost between 200 and 300 dollars. What Google basically does is send the OS to many companies like Samsung, Acer, HP, and others, and those companies make their own “version”’ of a Chromebook. Mr. Brunson said, “The Chromebooks were recommended for journalism class because they are great devices for the classroom, especially English and journalism.”  If you’d like to know more about the Chromebooks, head to this link:


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