School News

Mapleton Jr. High School February Students of the Month

February 2012 Students of the Month
February 2012 Students of the Month
February 2012 Students of the Month

Mapleton Jr. High School is pleased to announce the February 2012 Students of the month.  Each academic area selects one outstanding student per grade level to represent their department for student of the month.  In order to be selected these students must show superior academic achievement along with exceptional citizenship.  On Tuesday February 28th the MJHS students of the month were invited to a pizza party to celebrate this fantastic accomplishment.  

The students of the month for February are (listed by academic area):

CTE: Jaxon Hales, Claire Bastian, Anthony Mayoral

ENGLISH: Sydnee Alleman, Heather Asay, Tanner Heath

FINE ARTS: Sophie Hill, Porter Wake, Michelle Clyde, Angela Clyde

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Ashley Jensen, Christian Seiya Miyagi, Brandi Gessel          

HEALTH: Kaysha Kidd, Peyton Gibson, Kaylea MucCulloch

LIFE SKILLS: Stephanie Ulbricht, Erik Boyer, Zachary Furner

MATH: Makenna Garrett, Brianna Black, Mitchell Holmes

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Ethan Jones, Tucker Gessel, Tevin Nuttall

SCHOOL SERVICE: Jessica McClellan, Francesca Rotolo

SCIENCE: Caleb Terry, Benjamin "Beau" Brady, Hailey Seegmiller

SOCIAL STUDIES: Tessa Barrus, Bryce Nelson, Ian Taylor

Brandon Mull tells MJHS students to stay creative

By Ryan Williams MJHS Staff Writer
Brandon Mull signs autographs for Mapleton Junior High fans.
Brandon Mull inspires students at Mapleton Junior High School to be creative.
After the large assembly, Brandon Mull taught a forty-five minute creative writing workshop to Mapleton Junior High's aspiring writers.

Local author Brandon Mull inspired students at Mapleton Junior High School on Thursday, February 23rd.  His message to the student body; never give up on your creative interests.  Mull, known best for his Fablehaven series, told students a little about his life, gave them a behind the scenes look at how Fablehaven was created, gave a sneak peek at his latest novels, and reminded students that creativity can take them wherever they want to go in life.

Fans of Mull's Fablehaven series were on the edge of their seats as Mull shared how the idea for the series developed.  The first novel, which took Mull five months to write, drew largely from the experiences and places Mull remembers from his youth, especially his junior high years.  The series has now been published in 30 different languages, and fans were excited to hear that plans have been made to eventually turn the first novel into a movie.

Avid Mapleton Junior High readers also perked up as Mull describe his new series, The Beyonders.  The new three-book series, which focuses on heroes from another world, has already been written.  While only the first book has been published, students were excited to hear Mull describe the final book in the new series as the best writing he's produced.

Mull didn't visit Mapleton Junior just to talk about his books.  He also came with a message.  Besides giving aspiring writers tips on improving their writing, Mull also encouraged the entire student body to never give up on creativity.  He reminded the students that all the life-changing inventions in the world are the result of creative minds.  Mull also shared how grateful he is that he can do what he loves for a living.  The students at Mapleton Junior High School walked away from his presentation with their imaginations churning.

MJHS holds Parent/Teacher Conferences

By student writer - Megan Child
Parent / Teacher Confrences

Mapleton Junior High School just had its semi-annual Parent Teacher Conference on Thursday, February 16, 2012. On Parent/Teacher night, teachers stay after school until 7:30pm. The event provides parents time to talk to teachers about their students’ behavior in class and the students grades in that particular class. They could also discuss, if necessary, solutions to help their student be more successful.  It took place in the school’s cafetorium and the main gym, as usual. Most parents say that it’s very beneficial. It lets them know how their child is doing in school from the teacher’s point of view. Parents can also hear what the child is doing well at academically. Bethany Child, an MJHS parent said, “It’s important for a parent and teacher to meet and talk about the student. It makes the whole school experience better because the parent can then put a face to each teacher that their child talks about. It helps make the parent more a part of the student’s education. It also gives the parents a chance to ask any questions they may have for teachers.”   Thanks to parents and teachers for helping to make this latest conference a great one.

MJHS continues the Valagram tradition

By student writer Katie Hoffman
MJHS Valagrams

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, MJHS sold “Valagrams”.  This was an idea that originated from the student body.  Love birds had the choice of either giving a red carnation flower, or a sweet candy stick, for that special someone and many students just gave one to a friend.  The choir program was in charge of finances and sales of the Valagrams.  Treats and flowers were on sale from February first through the fourteenth. The Sucker, which came in root-beer or strawberry kiwi, was $1.00, and the flower was $2.00. These goodies were purchased in advance and then delivered to the receiver’s first period class.  The choir team took the “orders” and then attached a slip of paper, with the student’s information on it, to the flower or sucker. Anyone could buy them and anyone could receive them, but mainly students gave to other students.  The income from the Valagrams will go towards the upcoming choir tour.  The choir tour is both exciting and educational for young and eager students.  Why does Mapleton Jr. High do this year after year? It’s fun and enjoyable for the kids, and helps to spread the love. Kaleia Smaldone said, “Giving and getting the Valagrams is fun and exciting, especially to see all the surprises of who gave and got, and who it was from or for!” Also, it’s a great fundraiser for the choir, and celebrates a great holiday.

Love on Broadway is a triumph

Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway
Love on Broadway

With the recent passing of Valentine's Day, Mapleton Junior High School presented its first musical stage debut, "Love on Broadway", at the Springville Junior High School auditorium.  The family-friendly show ran Thursday, February 9th through Saturday, February 11th.  Under the musical direction of new choir teacher, Leni Thomson, forty-nine talented students from 7th, 8th and 9th grades performed a musical review of favorite Broadway songs about love from popular musicals such as Les Miserables, South Pacific, Rent, Hairspray, The Music Man, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Student Emma Garlitz stated that “being a part of this was really fun. It was great working with our directors Mrs. Thomson, Miss Tippets, Coach Lewis, and Megan Larsen. They taught us a lot about being on stage and part of a musical. It took a lot of time and effort but in the end it was very fun. I hope we can do another Musical Review next year.”

Students had been busy rehearsing since auditions were held last fall and spent numerous hours after school and during their flex time on vocal instruction, staging and choreography in preparation for the show.  Many parents also pitched in to assist with costuming, props, set design, publicity, hair and makeup.

Tom Sawyer production will replace traditional Shakespeare at MJHS

By: Jacob Blonquist MJHS Student Writer
Ms. Linda Lewis directs students in the MJHS musical Tom Sawyer
Student rehearse for Tom Sawyer
Student rehearse for Tom Sawyer

Here at Mapleton Jr. High School, we highly encourage the theater arts.  One way of doing this is through our yearly performances of Shakespeare’s works.  This year things are different.  Ms. Lewis, the Theater arts teacher at MJHS, is for the first time in the history of MJHS, directing a musical instead of the traditional Shakespeare play.   The musical production that has been chosen is Tom Sawyer.  Because this production will be a musical, the auditions were difficult.  There were two auditions to go through for the singing parts. In the first audition students had to prepare 12-16 memorized measures and sing them in front of Ms. Lewis, Ms. Parker and Ms. Thompson.  If students did well enough with the singing they were invited back to stage two.  This involved acting with a prearranged, two character scene or monologue from the script.  There were over 100 students that tried out for this production and about 30 were cast in the play.  A few of the lucky students that made it are: as Tom Sawyer: Jake Blonquist, as Becky Thatcher: Emelia Call, as Jeff Thatcher: Brandon Squire, as Widder Douglas: Samantha Hansen, as Huck Finn: Zac Griffin.  The cast has been working very hard with rehearsals coming as early as 6:30am and staying till around 5:00pm.  Ms. Lewis and Ms. Thompson are working even harder than the rest of the cast because they are involved the whole time, plus putting in a lot of extra work to make this production the best it can be.  This musical is scheduled to be performed April 3rd through 6th and should be a wonderful production.  We hope to see you there.

January Students of the Month

January 2012 - Students of the Month
January 2012 - Students of the Month enjoy the pizza party
January 2012 - Students of the Month enjoy the pizza party
January 2012 - Students of the Month enjoy the pizza party

Mapleton Jr. High School is pleased to announce the January 2012 Students of the month.  Each academic area selects one outstanding student per grade level to represent their department for student of the month.  In order to be selected these students must show superior academic achievement along with exceptional citizenship.  On Tuesday January 31st the MJHS students of the month were invited to a pizza party to celebrate this fantastic accomplishment.   The students of the month for January are (listed by academic area):

CTE: Jessie Abbott, Baylee Lund, Courtney Brown

ENGLISH: Sarah Foutz, Britney Lund

FINE ARTS: Alexis Monson, Kaylee Bourdeaux

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Savannah Sumsion, Matthew Harkness, Lauren Pickering               

HEALTH: Olivia Caswell, Danna Jones

LIFE SKILLS: Taylee Smith, Augustina Mosso, Zoe Standifird

MATH: Cameron Rennie, Mariah Madsen, Mary Salmeron

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Lindsay Tuft, Drake Allen, Jayde Walker

SCHOOL SERVICE: Rachael Reid, Joceline Guzman

SCIENCE: Katelyn Mitchell, Seth Peacock, Madelyn Brunt

SOCIAL STUDIES: Jon Krutsch, Diana Turcios

MJHS Symphonic Band selected for state band festival

MJHS Symphonic Band Group Photo
Several Symphonic Band Members

The Mapleton Junior High School Symphonic Band has recently been selected to participate in the Utah Music Educators Association Junior High School State Concert Band Festival.  Only 14 bands throughout the state of Utah were chosen to participate in this festival.  The audition was recorded at the beginning of January and consisted of music that was played at the band’s December concert.  The selection committee notified MJHS Band Director Ms. Emily Smith of their acceptance approximately two weeks after the recording was made. She in turn let the Symphonic Band members know what a great job they had done and the honor that had been extended them.  Much of the credit for the selection can be attributed to the great leadership of Ms. Smith. The State Festival will be held on March 15, 2012, at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall on the University of Utah’s campus. The Symphonic Band is made up of 8th and 9th grade students.  Ms. Smith said “we are very excited for this opportunity” and thanked everyone at MJHS for their support of the band program and her students.

Mapleton Jr. High School Spelling Bee winners

Spelling Bee winners from left to right Adam Davies, Ashley Anderson, Shye Sorensen

The Mapleton Jr. High School Spelling Bee took place on Wednesday January 25th. The Bee started with a total of 29 entrants and began to dwindle as students competed with each other by spelling a vast assortment of words.  Due to the incredible spelling skills of the MJHS students the Bee lasted more rounds than ever before in MJHS history.   MJHS can now proudly announce that our 3rd place winner and recipient of a $10 prize was Ashley Anderson (8th grade).  Our 2nd place winner and recipient of a $15 prize was Shye Sorensen (7th grade).  Finally, our 1st place, 2012 Spelling Bee winner and recipient of a $25 grand prize was Adam Davies (8th grade).  Congratulations to all of our participants for one of the most intense Spelling Bees we have ever had. But most especially, congratulations to Adam, he will now go on to the Utah Valley Regional Bee that takes place on March 24th.

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Thomson

By: MJHS student writer Savannah Marker
Ms Thomson leads the choir class
Ms. Thomson

Ms. Thomson is the fabulous and talented choir teacher at Mapleton Jr. High School.  She is an extraordinary, music-loving teacher that is currently teaching her first year at MJHS. She is in charge of all the choir classes and often helps out with the musical aspects of the school plays. She is currently in charge of the school musical revue, Love on Broadway, which will be performed this February.  Ms. Thomson says that she loves teaching because of the energy in her students and just being able to teach what she loves.  She enjoys sharing her passion for music with the students in her classes. When asked about her time at MJHS she said, “I love MJHS, the students are wonderful, the faculty is superb and the community is so supportive!”  She got her bachelor’s degree at BYU and stated that she had amazing teachers and a great experience. 

In her free time Ms. Thomson enjoys reading, travel and spending time with her family. Her ideal vacation place is Italy, which she has already been to three times.  Her favorite food is lasagna, which also originated in Italy. Something that most people don’t know about her is that she ran track in Jr. High and she can speak some Italian. She has won many awards, both musical and academic.  One such award was in elementary school when she won the Student of The Year Award for her good grades. Ms. Thomson grew up in Farmington, Utah, though she was born in Texas.

When asked to describe Ms. Thomson, MJHS student Aspen Wake said that “Ms. Thomson is a super-fun teacher with lots of spunk and a great personality.” Many other students agreed, using words like “awesome”, “super-sweet” and “really happy”.  I think that all of us at MJHS agree, when I say that we are very fortunate to have a great teacher like Ms. Thomson teach at our school.