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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Tardy reduction became an emphasis this year at MJHS when administrators noticed a sharp increase in the number of tardies compared to previous years. On November 9th, 2011 a tardy reduction effort was started with a goal to reduce school wide tardies. Many students have stepped up to the challenge and this has helped to significantly lower tardies at MJHS. To reward these students for their awesome attendance they were invited to a doughnut party on Thursday January 19th. To qualify for the reward students could have no tardies in any of their classes from the time the emphasis began back in November. Happily 581 students qualified for this incentive and were able to spend approximately 20 minutes having a doughnut and visiting with friends. It is expected that the emphasis on tardy reduction will stay in place and similar rewards will continue to be offered each term to students that achieve zero tardies during the term. Way to be on time MJHS students!
Mr. Frankowski is one of our great science teachers here a Mapleton Jr. High School. He’s been teaching here at MJHS for four years, but has been teaching in Nebo School District for twenty two. Mr. Frankowski grew up all over the world because of his parent’s job in the Air Force. Some of the places he has lived include Montana, Las Vegas, and England. Mr. Frankowski went to college at SUU in Cedar City. You might remember him from a week spent over the summer at Shadow Mountain camp where he was a Director. He worked there with Mrs. Kimball, our former principle, and other staff members from MJHS. By working with Mrs. Kimball and the other MJHS staff members he found out about the job at MJHS. He interviewed and then found himself teaching science here. One reason he loves teaching science is because he gets to introduce students to new, interesting things and help them think in new ways. One of his favorite things to do in his spare time is to facet gems. He hopes to someday be able to teach this to his students. Something you probably don’t know about him is that he was adopted when he was 16 and his original last name was Johnson. He is known to some students as the rocket man because he likes rockets and teaching students about them. While talking with him, he shared with me this quote, “The secret of success is to make your vocation your vacation” (–Mark Twain). Mr. Frankowski also stated that he thinks that our generation, the students currently at MJHS, is the best generation and he has a lot of faith in us! We are so lucky to have him as a teacher at our school!