Friday, September 28, 2007

See You at the Pole observed

Room 210 Staff Writer

The annual See You at the Pole was held Wednesday morning before school at South.
During the annual observance, students, faculty, and staff meet at the flagpole in front of the building for music, prayer, and testimony.
(Room 210 photo by Sarah Kessler)

Assistant principal celebrates 30th birthday

A surprise birthday party was held this week in the office for South Middle School's first-year assistant principal Mr. Jarrett Cook, who turned 30. School faculty and staff signed a birthday card and bought a cake for Mr. Cook.

Morning worship time at South

Eighth grader Gil Randolph is shown playing praise music during one of the regular pre-school worship meetings.
Students meet each week for worship. The activity is not sponsored by the school.

TAs battle in annual tug-of-war competition

South Middle School TAs will complete the annual tug-of-war competition next week. More information will be featured on Room 210 News.
(Room 210 photos by Alex Kangethe)

Volleyball teams fall to Carthage

South Middle School volleyball teams lost to Carthage Thursday night in matches played in the Memorial Middle School gymnasium.
The eighth grade A team got off to a strong start in game one, with Bayley Strella serving the first four points, including two aces, but the squad ended up losing 25-12, 25-15. The eighth grade B team lost 25-22, 25-15.
The seventh grade A team fell to Carthage 25-16, 25-20, while the seventh grade B team also lost.
The volleyball teams are approaching the end of the 2007 season. The eighth grade teams will play in the Seneca Tournament Saturday. The seventh grade team will play in the Tri-County Tournament in Webb City next week, while the eighth grade will be in the Tri-County Tournament at Carthage.

Update from Russia

(Former South Middle School eighth grade reading teacher Sheri Medlock is in her first year of teaching in Russia. She is providing weekly updates to Room 210 News.)

Greetings friends!

Big events of this week:

* Saturday John and I made some decisions about the English Club. The first decision we made was that it won't be an English Club. We decided it will be a home group conducted in English. If anyone wants to practice their English, they can come and converse for a few hours. But the purposes will be to create an opportunity for fellowship with believers and an opportunity for non-believers to ask questions about God and the church. We will read through Blue Like Jazz. Several copies of this book has already been sent to me.
* Saturday I also had an opportunity to see more of Moscow. I went to several bookstores and even bought a few books in English! If you know me at all, you know what a job this was to me.
* I continue my English lessons with Masha. This is a very slow process, especially since I spend more of my time preparing English lessons then studying Russian. However, I am slowly beginning to learn the basics of the language. I'm still working up the courage to try communicating, though.

Victories this week:

* I'm feeling much better then the last time I wrote an update. This is thanks to the prayer of the saints and the fact that I finally bought some ibuprofen.

Struggles this week:

* Last week I had a severe headache which lasted most of the week. Around the fourth or fifth day this started to effect me emotionally. I spent quite a bit of time praying through this, and God, as always, was good. In some ways this was a blessing. I spent more time in intense prayer then I had since I got here.
* My job has taken some getting use to. I have obviously taught for three years. But teaching English as a foreign language is quite different. There is also the added complication of working with those from a different culture. A teacher observed one of my classes last week. In Joplin, post-observation discussions usually began with a list of good things I had done. This isn't how she started here. However, before I could get too offended, I realized that there were some cultural differences. It was also a good lesson in humility. I believe my lessons have improved since my observation, so it was effective.


* My nephew Josef turns 10 Saturday. Happy Birthday, Jo!

Daily Walk:

* I'm still memorizing 1 Peter. I'm working on Chapter 2 now.

Ahead this week:

* Saturday I will attend Rex and Sue's home group discussion of The Purpose-Driven Life.
* I will continue to pray and plan for the home group. John and I hope to start it in the next few weeks.

Prayer Request:

* Please pray that I'll get the books soon! We need them to start the home group. The longer we wait, the more I worry that they have been lost to the US postal service.
* Pray that I will be an effective teacher and a loving example to my students.
* Pray that I will continue to develop relationships with those God has placed around me.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

eMints brings technology to South classrooms

Room 210 Staff Writer

Can you imagine that 15 years ago we could not even grasp the concept of the Internet? Now we have smart boards and laptops in classrooms! These classrooms are called eMINTS classrooms.
eMints classrooms use technology to enhance the way teachers teach and students learn to search for answers. eMINTS stands for enhancing Missouri's Instructional (teaching) Network. eMINTS classrooms are helpful in providing teachers with more tools.
Teachers who have eMINTS classes have to go through training for two years, 100 hours each. After the first year, they get their equipment over Christmas break. Every year an eMINTS coach comes in 10 times a year and answers questions the teacher has or makes suggestions to help the teacher. In our school Mr. Jason Weaver and Mrs. Angela Mense have eMINTS classrooms. Mr. Rocky Biggers will have an eMINTS class after Christmas break. Throughout the Joplin R-8 School District, district there are 24 eMINTS classes. For more information on eMINTS, go to .

Football team to play Memorial today

Room 210 Staff Writer

The Joplin North-South eighth grade football team will play Memorial 5:30 p.m. today at Junge Stadium.
Those playing on the team are:

Gill Randolph, Hunter Berlien, Bryan Ross, Daulton Mitchell, Martez Wilson, Ameil-Ray Overman, Nathan Stripling, Andrew Ideker, Zachary Dorris, James Evans, Derek Dillon, Desean Triplett, Evan Wilson, Michael Jenness, Hunter Lynn, Thomas Wickman, Adam Schilling, Logan Perry, Clayton Jenkins, Kyle Vene, Josh Valipulu, Cecil Cornish, Cody Bergstede, Marcus Clark, Ian McPherson, Travis Morris, Tolby Clemons, Paden Lacy, Malakai Mounce, James Olson, Geoffrey Aiken, Malaki Harper, Cameron Rector

Twenty-eight playing volleyball for SMS

Room 210 Staff Writer

Twenty-eight seventh and eighth grade girls are representing South Middle School on this year's volleyball team. Those players are:

Seventh Grade- Elaina Wareen, Hannah Hare, Danielle Doerr, Laila Douglas, Allison White, Brittany Hudson, Bethani Patterson, Olivia Hampton, Krystal Schulze, Tera Hall, Kelsey Gould, Shanice Hazley, Jodi Anderson, Rachel Redwine

Eighth Grade- Bayley Strella, Holly O'Dell, Anyh Nguyen, Molly Baker, Nicole Yeoman, Casee Wheeler, Brittany Frisbie, Jordan Chambers, Chloe Potts, Mackenzy Pierce, Tori Mitchell, Jamie Walters, Kirsti Banning, Amber Chacon, Allie Lacey

JHS sophomore receives USAA scholarship

Mary White, a sophomore at Joplin High School, received a United States Achievement Academy scholarship, according to an announcement issued recently by the USAA Scholarship Foundation.
Miss White became eligible for the scholarship when her eighth grade communication arts teacher Mr. Randy Turner nominated her for inclusion in the USAA's annual book listing top eighth grade English students.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moving to the "Big Kid" School

(Note: Becky Cooper, a freshman at Joplin High School, is a former SMS student.)
Ever since I started school, I had always considered high school as the "big kid" school.
In elementary, I thought of the students as princes and princesses, but by the time middle school came along, they were just cool people with cars.
Well, here I am, attending JHS and I can barely classify myself as a "big kid." Things seem the same. The work isn't that different, and you still switch classes. I suppose I shouldn't have expected that much of a difference. Guys are still immature, and girls are still full of themselves. High school does have some advantages though; the french fries are absolutely amazing.
Several teachers have told me that being in high school is the best time of my life. I'm just going to have to take that chance.

Eighth graders studying "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Room 210 Staff Writer

Can you imagine being 13 years old and being forced to go into hiding to stay alive? Anne Frank and her family had to. Just because they were Jews they were persecuted for their beliefs. Thousands of Jews were killed during the Holocaust. It's just sickening and sad.
In our library, we have some books about Anne Frank and the Holocaust such as: "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Anne Frank: The Life of a Young Girl", and "The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank". Those are just a few.
Altogether we have 12 books about Anne Frank available in our library. Plus, if you go to and you go to the links page you will find some links for information about Anne Frank.
In Ms. Andrea Taylor's reading class, eighth graders are reading the play of "The Diary of Anne Frank". While reading the play they are asked,"How can you relate to Anne Frank?"
Breanne Diles said, "Anne is energetic, I'm energetic so I can relate"
Taylor Johnson said, "I can relate to Anne Frank because she's 13 years, and I'm around that age."
"What really interested me about her," Breanne Diles said, "is how she managed to stay in a small place for so long and not go crazy."
Taylor Johnson said, "She was about my age and she went went through all that... I can't even imagine going through all she went through."
Anne Frank's story is sad, but true. Anyone can relate to her some way or another. If Anne Frank hadn't kept a diary teenagers probably wouldn't care much about the history of the Holocaust because we wouldn't have anything to relate to.
"Anne's story is so sad," Taylor John said, "but now that I can relate I crave to know more about this event in history."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

State math, reading scores up

(This story was taken from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.)

Missouri fourth- and eighth-graders posted significant gains this year on the mathematics section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests, state education officials said today.

Missouri scores on the reading section of the NAEP exams did not change from 2005 and remained virtually the same as the national averages, according to the latest statistics.

The NAEP is known as "the nation’s report card." The 2007 exams were given early this year to about 350,000 students nationwide. In Missouri, the sample groups included about 3,000 students in each subject and grade level. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, all states are now required to take part in NAEP testing in odd-numbered years.

"Missouri students made strong progress in math in both fourth and eighth grade, and Missouri is one of only six states in which students scored higher on all five subsections of the math exam," said Commissioner of Education D. Kent King.

"I am disappointed that we are not seeing any movement in the NAEP reading scores, but I am delighted with the amount of progress our students demonstrated this year in mathematics," King said.

Highlights of Missouri 2007 NAEP results:
# In grade 4 mathematics, Missouri students posted an average scale score of 239, which is above the 2005 score of 235, and equal to the national average score.

The percentage of fourth-graders at the "proficient" level or above is significantly higher this year (38%) than in 2005 (31%).

# In grade 8 mathematics, Missouri students posted an average scale score of 281, which is above the 2005 score of 276 and nearly identical to the national average (280).

The percentage of eighth-graders at the "proficient" level or above is significantly higher this year (30%) than in 2005 (26%).

The average scores for female, white, and black students increased significantly.

# In grade 4 reading, Missouri students posted an average scale score of 221, which is unchanged from 2005, and nearly identical to the national average (220).

32% of fourth-graders were "proficient" or above, which is unchanged from 2005 and nearly identical to the national scores (31%).

# In grade 8 reading, Missouri students posted an average scale score of 263, which was not significantly different than 2005 (265) and about the same as the national average (261).

31% of eighth-graders were proficient or above in reading, the same as in 2005 and above this year’s national average (29%).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Miss Medlock offers weekly update from Russia

Greetings friends!
In some ways this has been a very momentous week. In others, it has felt very normal.
Major events this week:

* I started work. Right now I have 6 classes spread out through the week. Each class is two hours. Teaching, as always, is frustrating and fun and exciting and annoying and very, very familiar. It has been nice to be doing something again that I know. However, the students here have something that the students in America didn't. They can all speak a language that I can't. They have enjoyed this, and I'm fairly certain have been using this to their advantage. But as a whole, they are motivated. I have learned teenagers are teenagers everywhere.
* I met with Masha. Masha is a Russian college student at the Christian university. She is going to be tutoring me this year. It was good to begin this study. It was also good to begin to develop a friendship.

Struggles this week

* The first week of school has had many frustrations. I didn't find out my classes until the night before I started teaching. I still don't have my materials yet. One night I was told I was teaching two classes. I had begun walking home when the director called me and told me I had another class. I quickly came back and had to teach a third class until 10. I had only made copies for two classes. I survived all of this, but it has been frustrating.

Victories this week:

* Despite all the frustrations, I have survived my first week of teaching. It is nice to have a schedule and begin a daily routine.
* This week I have ventured more out on my own, exploring the neighborhood that I am living in.

Daily walk

* I am still memorizing 1 Peter.
* I am also reading a book entitled Devotional Classics. Tomorrow several friends from America will call me and we will discuss a chapter. These "meetings" are a wonderful blessing.

Ahead this week:

* Tomorrow Masha is going to show me around the city. We are going to use this as an opportunity for me to practice the language.
* If John is able to make it to the bible study on Sunday, we will discuss starting the English Club

Prayer concerns:

* Pray that I will be able to establish good relationships with my students. Pray that I will be an effective teacher and an effective witness of Christ's love.
* Pray for John and me as we establish this English Club. I'm not sure what God has in store for this.
* Pray for the church. Pray that the believers will be encouraged daily in their faith.
* Pray that I won't allow myself to become discouraged by not knowing the language, health problems, are anything else that comes my way. I know better than to be discouraged, but it is still a fight that I have to face. I think I can say honestly, it is a fight I have winning this week. This morning as I was praying I asked God "Why am I here?" I read a quote in a book by Richard Foster about the church. He referred to not the establishments but to communities of comfort, fellowships of faith and liberation, places where people grew in faith and love. It was clear to me as I read this that this is not only why I am here in Russia, but why you are where you are. We are all "here" to establish such communities.

Grace and peace.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Comments have to be moderated

I apologize to readers who saw some disgusting remarks and obscenities placed in the comment section on one of the stories. I had thought I had turned comment moderation on, but obviously I had not.
It is now turned on, and no comments will be allowed on the site until they have been approved by me. Again, I apologize for the comments that were made. I would have hoped that students at South would have better judgment (and I know that most of them do).

Randy Turner

Neugebauer is new eighth grade math teacher

Room 210 Staff Writers

Did you know that one of our new teachers at South Middle School was born two months early? He is the same teacher who grew up outside of Denver,Colorado.
Growing up he enjoyed playing football, basketball, and loved to snowboard. He went to college at Ozark Christian College in Joplin and also went to Missouri Southern State College and earned a bachelor's degree. He was a student teacher at Carl Junction last spring. This is his first time being a full time teacher. Can you guess who we are talking about?
The name you are looking for is Mr. Brian Neugebauer. The reason he went into teaching is because he enjoys middle school age students and he loves math. "I was thinking about teaching social studies, but I prefer math."
So far Mr. Neugebauer enjoys teaching at South Middle School. He said he is excited to be here, and he's looking forward to the rest of the school year.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ms. Medlock: update from Russia

(Note: Ms. Sheri Medlock, former SMS eighth grade reading teacher is now teaching in Russia and is sending weekly updates.)


Big Events of the last week:

* Sunday we had Bible Study and an English lesson at the Wolfes. It was very good to fellowship with my Russian brothers and sisters.
* Tuesday the Wolfes and I went to the main English First office. We had to sign our contracts and fill out paperwork for our visa renewals. My visa expires September 29.

Struggles this week:

* The major struggle was finding an apartment. I looked at several, each with something that made it impossible for me to live there.
* I have had some problems getting use to all the walking here. This is something that will take sometime for my body to get use to it.

Victories this week:

* I found an apartment! I move in today!


* The time I have had living at the Wolfes has been wonderful. I am very thankful for the opportunity to get to know them better.

Daily Walk:

* I am still in 1 Peter.

Ahead this week:

* Today I move in.
* I will be talking to my supervisor at the school about what classes I will be teaching.
* Monday I start work.


* I am meeting with a college student, Masha, who needs a roommate. Though she can't pay much rent, she would be able to give me Russian lessons and act as a translator. There are pros and cons to this arrangement. Pray that we will make a wise decision for both of us.
* Please pray for my new students who I will soon be meeting. Pray that I will be an effective teacher and an accurate portrayal of Christ.
* Pray my health can adjust to the amount of walking I am doing regularly here.

Thank you for all your prayers. I love getting your e-mails.

First lockdown drill held at SMS

Room 210 Staff Writer

South Middle School was safely locked down in one minute and thirty seconds during the school's lockdown drill Aug. 30.
As recently as last year, SMS Principal Mr. Ron Mitchell said, he didn't think it was important
to do the lockdown drill, but his opinions changed thanks to he actions of a seventh grader at Memorial Middle School last October.
"Ever since Thomas White brought a gun to Memorial Middle School, we've seen reason to worry about safety. This is the first lockdown drill we've had in a few years."
Overall, Mr. Mitchell thought things went well.
The lockdown drill was one of four held at the school during the first three weeks. Two fire drills and a tornado drill were also held.
"We are required to have two fire drills, one lockdown drill, and one
tornado drill in the first weeks of school," Mr. Mitchell said. "We know everyone hates fire drills, but we are required to have 10 fire drills a year. Last year we didn't have a tornado drill until the spring, but this year it was required."
All 19 schools in the district are required to have all these drills. Even private schools have to follow city ordinances.
"We practice these drills so that you'll be able to know how to react in situations like these!"

Football season starts Tuesday

Room 210 Staff Writer

The Joplin North/South football season opens 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with the seventh grade playing host to Webb City. The eighth grade will do the same 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Members of this year's seventh grade team are:
Jared Bader, Evan Bass, Hollis Cady, Conley Bellamy, Brayden Bunch, Ethan Bryan, Chelie Cook, Cody Cooper, Nick Duke, Chad Ellis, Justin Fleming, Garret Gilbert, Jack Hardy, Josh Hudson, Abe Hueller, Ricky Hutchinson, Keith Inscore, Hank Millard, Hunter Mills, Damien Mitchell, Mallakal Mounce, Dominique Michael, Kaleb Owens, Matt Parsons, Johnny Presley, Jacob Pittman, Kermith Rever, Stefan Rick, Thomas Richins, Brandon Ross, Tyler Russell, Gabe Sachetta, Brock Smiley, C. D. Smith, Blake Sneed, Adam St. Peter, Joshua Stewart, Shane Striegel, Andrew Swadley, Robert Sweeton, Sam Taylor, Tucker Wallace, Tristan Weathers, Rex Whisner.
Seventh grade coaches are Mr. Kasey Pliler and Mr. Mike Wallace.
Eighth grade players and coaches will be featured later on Room 210 News.

Remaining games on the schedule are:

Seventh Grade

Tuesday, Sept. 18- Nevada at Joplin
Tuesday, Sept. 25- Joplin at Memorial
Tuesday, Oct. 2- Joplin at Carl Junction
Tuesday, Oct. 9- Joplin at Carthage
Tuesday, Oct. 16- McDonald County at Joplin

Eighth Grade

Thursday, Sept. 20- Nevada at Joplin
Thursday, Sept. 27- Joplin at Memorial
Thursday, Oct. 4- Joplin at Carl Junction
Thursday, Oct. 11- Joplin at Carthage
Thursday, Oct. 18- McDonald County at Joplin

Unsats to be mailed out next Friday

Room 210 Staff Writer

Unsatisfactory notices will be mailed out a week from today, Friday, Sept. 14, at South Middle School.

"If you get an unsatisfactory, you better notice and get your grade
up!" said Ms. Sue Macy, secretary, who is responsible for sending out the notices.. Anyone who has an D or an F will receive one.
These notices are for parents so they can find out what is going on
with their children and help them get their grades up. So remember to get
your grade up before the end of the quarter!

First fundraiser ends Monday

Room 210 Staff Writer

The school year has begun, and with it, so have the fundraisers. Fundraisers provide an opportunity for students to pitch in and help their school raise money. The current fundraiser at South Middle School started Aug. 24 and will end Sept. 10.
Students are encouraged to sell items out of a magazine full of holiday goodies and other items. Students are also rewarded for selling these products. For example, if you sell 15 items, then you get to take a ride in a limo! Some students sell only to their friends and family, while others take the "door to door" approach. If you go door to door when you sell these items, it is a good idea to take a parent with you.
All the money made from this fundraiser is to be spent on things the students at SMS will enjoy. Some of these things include hoodies, t-shirts, snacks for TA winners, and MAP parties at the end of the year. In the past, funds gained from this fundraiser have been spent on new basketball goals and playground balls. This year support South Middle School and participate in the fundraiser!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First weeks of school have gone smoothly

The first weeks of the 2007-2008 school year have gone smoothly, Principal Mr. Ron Mitchell told the South Middle School faculty during meetings before and after school today.

(Room 210 Photo by Sarah Kessler)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fox Navarre to appear in Stone's Throw production

Former South Middle School student Cheyla "Fox" Navarre has a leading role in the Stone's Throw Dinner Theatre performance of The Fantasticks, scheduled to begin this Thursday in Carthage.
Miss Navarre, is a sophomore at Joplin High School. She has appeared in numerous Stone's Throw productions in the past.

Doors open for the evening performances at 6 p.m., dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Sundays, the doors open at 12:30 p.m., dinner begins at 1 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m.

Admission is $20 for ages 17-54; $19 for those over 55; $17 for those under 16 and free for those ages 5 and under.

For reservations and information, call 358-9665 or 358-7268. Paid reservations are always required.

Former South student featured in Joplin Globe

The beginning of school found one of South Middle School's former leading lights, Lindsey Hamm, on page one of the Joplin Globe.
Miss Hamm, now a senior at Joplin High School, was featured in a back-to-school photo. She attended South Middle School from 2001 to 2004.