Friday, December 23, 2011

A Journalism Club Christmas Special


What are some special Christmas traditions at your house? Do you sit around the fireplace and roast marshmallows? Maybe you and your family are the type who like to curl up on the couch and watch TV on Christmas Eve. Or maybe you stay up real late waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney (or through the door if you don't have a chimney).

Christmas is a time filled with tons of special traditions and rituals that make up one special day. Some people even have the tradition of being spontaneous, meaning that things just come along unplanned , and in surprises.

Well, what the East Middle School Journalism Club really wanted to know is, what are some of East's traditions?

What are some of the East faculty and students going to do this year for Christmas? And what everyone really wants to know, what does East want for Christmas?

Mrs. Giles (Springer),the sixth grade math teacher, said she would be spending Christmas this year in Oklahoma with her sister. One of her Christmas traditions is having her father read the Christmas Story out of the Bible to her before opening presents. And, she really, absolutely wants tickets to the Raiders-Chiefs game!

Walker Lutes, seventh grader wants to spend some quality time with his family, and that's exactly how he plans to spend his Christmas that, and playing lots of games. His Christmas tradition is carrying on the belief of old St. Nick.

Who is going to have lots of guests at her house on the big day? Mrs. Sue Macy, secretary to the principal, plans on having her kids and grandkids at her house, where they will perform some important traditions. First, they are going to eat then they will play games and play with her grandkids' toys. Mrs. Macy says she can't thihk of anything she wants for Christmas. She feels she already has everything she needs. We will have to give her hugs instead.

A Kindle Fire, one of the latest technological creations, is what Mrs. Alana Maddock, school nurse, wants this year for Christmas. Hopefully, she will get what she wants while she is hanging out at her daughter's house this year. One of her special holiday traditions is to go light looking every Christmas Eve.

Mr. Jason Weaver, assistant principal, plans on staying up really late on Christmas Eve with his family, while watching Christmas cartoons, movies, and eating junk food in his pajamas. Oh, and everyone opens a few presents. This is a creative Christmas tradition that is carried through his family. And on the next day, meaning Christmas day, Mr. Weaver and his family are going to spend time with family member he does not normally see. But like Mrs. Macy, Mr. Weaver does not know what he wants for Christmas. Hugs for him, too.

Some people have birthdays on Valentine's Day. SOme have birthdays on Presidents' Day. But one certain seventh grade math teacher has a birthday on Christmas- Mrs. Worku.

One of her Christmas traditions is celebrating her birthday and visiting family at different houses each year on the magical day of December 25. This year, she plans to do just that while she is up in Kansas City visiting her parents. What is on her wish list? New outfits for her puppies!

It looks like Mrs. Angel Mense, East's seventh grade communication arts teacher and Journalism Club sponsor, has a lot scheduled for her Christmas this year. First, she is going to go to many gatherings, including a dinnet hosted by her mom with her in-laws on Christmas Eve. There they will exchange gifts, then on Christmas, she plans on holding a dinner of her own at her house. She tries to set the table with a different napkin fold every year. Santa also comes to her house on Christmas, bringing presents for her daughter, Ava. A sweet Christmas tradition that she started with her family is doing something nice for someone who needs it.

Mrs. Mense also loves getting presents (she feels like a kid when she does) and wants clothes, picture frames, movies, sharpie pens, and Starbucks gift cards this year.

While we are freezing in mid-December Missouri weather, Amy Koch, fellow eighth grade Journalism Club member and editor, is tanning in the warm sun somewhere in the Bahamas. Yes, she is really on a cruise to the Bahamas. Plus, she gets to spend a few days at Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Lucky! Usually, one of her Christmas traditions would be watching the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve and opening s few presents with her grandparents from Kansas City, but since she is in the Bahamas this year, she opened her prenents earlier. To all of Amy's friends out there, she really wants crosses and "green" (money) for Christmas.

This concludes the first East Middle School Journalism Club Christmas Special. We hope everyone has a safe and truly fun holiday this year.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

EMS students to give toys to needy children


In the accompanying video, East Middle School Student Council Sponsor Mr. Rocky Biggers explains the annual Christmas project.

Monday, December 05, 2011

STUCO, NJHS prepare float for Joplin Christmas Parade

East Middle School National Junior Honor Society and Student Council are shown working on a float for the annual Joplin Christmas Parade, which will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 6.

Friday, December 02, 2011

PTO Dance scheduled for December 16

Staff Writer

Coming soon- On December 16th, 2011 East Middle School is having a Christmas dance put on by the PTO.

“It’s the first time we have had three dances before Christmas break,” Mr. Randy Turner, eighth grade teacher said.

THis will be the second dance sponsored by PTO, including one held at the Bridge in September and a Student Council-sponsored Halloween dance on November 4.

More information about the December 16 dance will be provided later on East Middle School Roundabout.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

East Middle School Academic All-Stars honored

East Middle School Academic All-Stars were honored Monday night during ceremonies at College Heights Christian School.

In the past, the ceremonies have been held at Joplin High School, which was destroyed by the May 22 tornado.

Students who received advanced or proficient scores during the MAP tests last spring were honored.

Highlights of the ceremony included the presentation of a $1,000 scholarship to eighth grader Casandra Williams, speeches by St. John's CEO Gary Pulsipher and Missouri Southern State University President Bruce Speck, and the presentation of certificatss to students from East Middle School and Duenweg/Duquesne, Eastmorland, Kelsey Norman, and McKinley elementary schools.

East students who qualified for Academic All-Stars are listed below:

Eighth Grade- Damian Abrams, Meggi Augustofsky, Taran Augustofsky, Jaylon Baert, Maggie Baker, Natal Bay, Anna Blue, Jonah Caldwell, Mercedes Cardenas, Caden Carlin, Harrison Carpenter, Adam Caveness, Zachary Cavaness, Darin Clark, Elijah Cornman, Michael Crouch, Lorenzo Dailey, Marcus Damrill, Jackson Divilbiss, Aubrie England, Ethan Fannan, Tajee Fantroy-Arrington, Madeline Fichtner, Mason Finnell, Willow Frazier-Crow, Edward Garcia, Bailey Gardner, Haden Garten, Christopher Geier, Donovan Graham, Keisha Grunden, Mackenzie Gunderson, Desiree Hawkins, Amy Hembree, Jayden Hetiback, Megan Hickey, Kagan Hoffman, Ethan Holz, Tristen Howell, Kylie Howerton, Kara Hulsey, Serena Hunt, Abigael Killinger, Amy Koch, Ethan Kraner, Gabrielle Logan-Downey, Shyann Long, Janet Lopez, Elimo Lounis, Cara Marshall, Ashton McGehee, Madison Meinhardt, Christi Montgomery, Kaley Moser, Stella Ndauwa, Jennifer Nguyen, Dakota Osborn, Kiah Poulson, Abigail Randall, Jillian Rentfro, Faith Reynolds, Callah Riff, Molly Ritter, Treyton Rowden, Alexa Ruddick, Miranda Sanders, Justin Schweickert, Bryce Schwarting, Alexis Shields, Evan Shofler, Courtney Shryock, Jakob Simrell, William Sinclair, Aiden Stahl, Casey stewart, Austen Still Amelia Street, Annie Strickling, Jamie Sullivan, Quionte Tidwell, James Tupper, Tyler Viles, Jesse Walls, Karly Weber, Shelby Welton, Alyssa wescoat, Logan Whitehead, James Willerton, Casandra Williams, Ishman Wilson, Kaitlynne Wilson, Katelynne Yonkers

Seventh Grade- Melinda Adams, Zohie Allgood, Ryan Ball, Megan Black, Jerry Bland, Lisa Boykin, Austin Brand, Michaela Brewer, Anthony Burton, Mykah Campbell, Angelea Capehart, Jordan Case, Anastasia Cline, Kaitlyn Collins, Elijah Conner, Nichole Cox, Chayton Crout, Lilli Curtsinger, Emmalea Dailey, Tristan Danielson, Brittany Davis, Melanee Day, Taylor Detter, Elizabeth Dulinsky, Matthew Dumas, MacKenzie Dunn, Brittany Dutton, Jackson Earll, Amber Fleming, Joseph Fry, Tyler Green, Lydia Greenwood, Ashlyn Griffberg, Zane Grimes, Audrey Hampton, Sean Harrison, Shae Hogan, Joshua Hulsey, Katelynn Hurrell, Dakotah Hutchens, Bridget Ingham, Lucas Jobes, Caeli Johnson, Faith Jones, Makayla Keene, Chloe Konwinski, Cierra Kosilla, Annie Le, Dorothy Lee, Bailee Lewis, Quincy Logan, Kateri Mace-Canterbury, Alexia Maturino, Aburey McIntosh, Alexandra Monasco, Desirae Orlaski, Jessica Pal, Brooke Parker, Mycah Parker, Benjamin Perkins, Thomas Reynolds, Madison Riddle, Taylor Robinson, Kendrick Rooker, Othellis Roper, Grace Roush, Lydia Routledge, Abigail Russell, Camden Sanders, Carissa Scalia, William Schwarzenberger, Sierra Schweitzer, Nicholas Shellenbarger, Kerry Stadler, Tyler Stanley, Justine Staten, Victoria Stehm, Alexandra Stelts, Jade Sterken, Taylor Sullivan, Ieane Suskey, Ilah Wallace, Amy Walser, Jacy Welch, Michaela West, Andrielle Wilson, Cory Wilson, Keithen Wolf

Sixth Grade- Nicholas Abrams, Harris Allen, Donald Archer, James Ardrey, Ambie Armstrong, Madyson Barber, Kristian Bethel, Jerrod Bivens, Lilliana Black, Matthew Black, Kody Blevins, Madison Boyer, Kathryn Brown, William Burden, Stoney Burleson, Corbin Chaffin, Christal Comstock, Sydni Cornman, Xavier Cottle, McKenzie Crouch, Elijah Curtis, Lucas Danner, McKinley Davis, James Freed, Ashtyn Friend, Eryn Garcia, Brandon Garten, Katelyn Gilbreth, Virginia Gormely Heater, Bailey Greninger, Kayley Hall, John Hardin, Brianna Hickey, Chad Hudspeth, Bobert Ingram, Sara Iseli, Drake Johnston, Zachary Kennedy, Miriam Kessinger, Ashley King, Elizabth Kingery, Abagail Lewis, Hailee Logan-Downey, Daniel Miller, Landon Moore, Bobby Murphy, Trace Myers, Anna Nguyen, Jordan Nguyen, Breanna Pace, Kiara Patton, Elizabeth Peterson, Noah Pinjuv, Chloe Poulson, Kimber Powell, Gage Schemer, Jarod Schwarzenberger, Alexander Seeman, Emma Simon, Carson Smith, Mikayla Soard, Landon Sturgis, Austin Tallent, Nicole Tate, Nicholas Taylor, Amber Thornton, Ethan Vang, Cydney Vickers, Amber White, Faithlyn Whitehead, Emma Willerton, Thomas Williams, Cian Wilson-Keeler, Jacob Yarnell

Monday, November 21, 2011

Casandra Williams receives $1,000 MSSU scholarship

Missouri Southern State University President Bruce Speck presented a $1,000 scholarship to East Middle School eighth grader Casandra Williams at the conclusion of the annual Academic All-Star celebration held Monday night at College Heights Christian School.

Miss Williams' name was randomly selected from the Academic All-Star list. To qualify for Academic All-Stars, students must had to score in either the advanced or proficient levels during the 2011 MAP tests.

St. John's CEO speaks to Academic All-Stars

Gary Pulsipher, CEO of St. John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, was the featured speaker at the annual Academic All-Stars celebration Monday night at College Heights Christian School.

"It's a great place to work," Pulsipher said. "There's no better work in the world than taking care of people."

Pulsipher congratulated the students on their accomplishment. "You're just as smart as anyone out there."

Sound Dimension performs at Academic All-Stars celebration

Joplin High School Jazz Band performs at Academic All Stars

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween Dance frightfully entertaining

Staff Writer

This year's Halloween Dance was put on by the Student Council of East Middle School on Nov. 4. People dressed up as Alice in Wonderland, clowns, princesses, to aliens, gangsters, and frogs. The student council decorated the cafeteria with festive colors (black and orange) decked out on the windows and doors. There were hundreds of balloons scattered everywhere, by the end of the dance every single one was popped. Student Council did a wonderful job running the dance. The STUCO did concessions, poured punch, and took care of the money.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Eighth graders enjoy Eagle Time

Eagle Time is back for East Middle School students.

Each week, students who meet the criteria are allowed to enjoy a social time with games during the Encore period. This week, students who were not tardy for any classes will enjoy Eagle Time, while next week, students must have turned in all of the assignments for their core classes.

Eighth grade had Eagle Time today.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quiz Bowl opens season at Carl Junction

The EMS Quiz Bowl teams opened the season with a communication arts tournament at Carl Junction October 24.

The A team, consisting of eighth grade quiz bowl members, defeated Thomas Jefferson, St. Peter, and Lamar, and lost in overtime to College Heights.

The seventh grade B team won four games, while the sixth grade team won two. The teams will compete in a science tournament at Thomas Jefferson in December.

East will play host to its first-ever tournament, a history meet, in January.

More photos from the Halloween Dance

Eighth grade wins Talon Ticket contest

Staff Photographer

East Middle School eighth graders won the first quarter Talon Ticket competition and received two hours of social time (actually one hour since all classes were abbreviated during the half-day Monday) and ice cream.

Talon Tickets are provided to students who demonstrate the Eagle Code of Duty, Honor, Peace and Pride.

Gorilla Grudge Match entertains East student body

Staff Photographer

A little touch of CO2 Nascar came to East Middle School Tuesday when Pittsburg State University students raced their CO2 cars against those built by East Middle School students.

During a seventh hour assembly that day, the speeds of the East cars were demonstrated with cars built by students in Mr. Brandon Teel's industrial arts class racing, as well as cars built by Mr. Teel and Principal Mr. Bud Sexson, who at one time taught industrial arts.

Long line assembles for picture retakes

(Photo by Alexis Shields)

Drama students terrify student body with "From the Pond"

Staff Writer

East Middle School drama students, under the direction of Ms. Lara Stamper, entertained and terrified the student body during Encore Friday with the premiere of their annual scary Halloween movie, From the Pond.

The cast received a taste of Hollywood when they were introduced prior to the movie, led down the red carpet, and then were seated in a special section.

Photos from the Halloween Dance

Breanna Pace, Jimmie Willerton crowned Pumpkin King and Queen

Sixth grader Breanna Pace and eighth grader Jimmie Willerton were named Pumpkin King and Queen during a ceremony held at the East Middle School Halloween Dance Friday night.

Students voted during lunch time the past two weeks, dropping money in jars for the candidates. According to Mr. Rocky Biggers, Student Council sponsor, the voters contributed enough money to pay for the dance.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Eighth graders win first Talon Ticket battle

Staff Writer

Halloween 2011 was not just candy and trick-or-treating; it was also ice cream and fun at school. The students of East had a Talon Ticket contest where everybody won.
Students get Talon Tickets when they show duty, honor, peace, and pride in their school. When they earn one they put it in a bucket for their grade. The 8th graders came in first with the 6th grade close behind and the 7th grade coming in third. But they all won something.

8th grade got to have a social hour during their second and third hour. During that hour (the class periods were shortened so it really was only an hour) the students got to have ice cream and play outside.

The 7th grade also got ice cream and were allowed to hang out for half and hour.

Sixth grade got to have an hour for a social.

During these socials people hung out, played around, turned in their candy grams for candy, and had to do no work for that class period. The students continue to receive Talon Tickets and they continue to fulfill their duty, to show pride, to share peace, and display honor.

Sixth graders go to Wildcat Glades

Staff Writer

The sixth graders went on a field trip to Wild Cat Glades at 201 W. Riviera Rd. Joplin. The sixth graders got to go on the field trip because people gave the school money for us to go.

Here is what Katie Brown had to say “Thanks!” here is some thing Allyson Holtz wanted to say “Thanks. It was the best field trip ever!”

We went on the field trip to learn about water, and pollution. We learned about point source pollution, water cycle, and about how insect can tell you about water pollution.

Brian Murray adds, “It was really fun!”

Monday, October 31, 2011

South Middle School after the May 22 tornado

A video look at an eerie Joplin South Middle School five months after it eas extensively damaged in the Joplin Tornado. More photos will be added later:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

EMS band performs at Joplin High School football game

Band members from East, North, and South middle schools performed during pre-game ceremonies Friday night at the Joplin High School football game.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Video: Barry Manilow presents musical instruments to East, Joplin High School

Barry Manilow donates $300,000 of band instruments to Joplin Schools

East Middle School received a truckload of band instruments today to replace those destroyed in the May 22 Joplin Tornado.

The instruments were donated by singer Barry Manilow. East Middle School Roundabout will have photos and information about Mr. Manilow's visit to Joplin today.

The following news release comes from Mr. Manilow's website:

After the most devastating Tornado in the United States in more than fifty years hit Joplin, Missouri this May, bringing hope and joy back to the community became vital. Legendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow’s non-profit organization, the Manilow Music Project is donating over $300,000 in musical instruments in addition to sponsoring an instrument drive to get even more instruments into the hands of the Joplin High School students. The Manilow Music Project is partnering with local community business Fitterling Dentistry, who will host the drive location in Joplin which will culminate with Barry Manilow onsite for an incredible celebratory delivery and distribution event in Joplin, MO on Thursday, October 27th.

“I know firsthand how invaluable music can be to get you through life’s tough times. It is an honor and a privilege to help these kids after such a disaster,” says Manilow.

New and gently used instruments can be dropped off at the Manilow Music Project donation truck at Fitterling Dentistry, located at 4402 East 32nd Street, Joplin, MO 64804, Monday – Thursday from 8AM – 5PM and on Friday from 8AM – 11AM through October 26th.

Due to the High School’s additional loss of all sheet music in the tornado, monetary donations are also encouraged and will be accepted to help re-build the music department’s library by purchasing new sheet music for the band, orchestra and vocal students. Checks can be made out to the JHS Music Department and dropped off or mailed to Fitterling Dentistry.

“As a lifelong fan of Barry Manilow’s music and humanitarian efforts, my husband and I are thrilled to work with the Manilow Music Project to help our community,” stated Margie Fitterling of Fitterling Dentistry.

Rick Castor, Music Director for Joplin High School concludes, “We feel very blessed to have an artist of Barry Manilow’s stature committed to helping our students.”

Manilow credits his own secondary school music program as the foundation for a legendary career in music, and considers the Manilow Music Project his chance to share that love of music with thousands of aspiring young musicians. Formed in response to the needs of the local public schools and their severely depleted music programs, the Manilow Music Project highlights the importance of music programs in our schools and has donated millions in instruments and materials to school music programs across the country.

EMS Orchestra performs at Creepy Concert

Staff Writer

The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade East Middle School Orchestra performed at South Middle School Monday in what was called a "Creepy Concert."

Under the direction of Kylee Tripoli it played "Popcorn Prelude," "The Addams Family," "Mysterioso," "SpongeBob Square Pants Theme Song," "Cripple Creek," "Salute To Michel Jackson," an"Rite At Stonehenge."

Playing were: First Violin: Katelynne Yonkers, Amy Walser, Madison Fichtner, James Tupper, Megan Hickey, Shae Hogan Second Violin: MacKenzie Dunn, Bridget Ingham, Quincy Logan, Jade Sterken, Maddison Riddle Third Violin: Bailee Lewis, Lizzy Fowler, Elizabeth Dulinsky, Madison Durham, Shakaylah Rogers Viola: Jessica Pal, Kathryn Brown Cello: Mackenzie Gunderson, Daniel Miller, Austin Tallent

Halloween Dance scheduled for Nov. 4

Staff Writer

Most East Middle School students are a little confused on the date of the Halloween dance. This year the dance is put on by Student Council on November 4th.

Nominees for the king and queen of the dance are:

6th grade- Breanna Pace, Garret Severs, Stoney Burleson, and Payton Layne

7th grade- Angelea Capehart, Jacy Welch, Kendra Sparrow, Maribel Sparrow, Carly Ball, Malcolm Nason, Ryan Ball, Pavin Winkle, Dante Foote, Aj Velasco, and Dusty Detherage

8th grade- Jennifer Nguyen, Tanner Bartholomew, Madison Nelson, Meggi Augustosky, Maggie Baker, Madison Meinhardt, Lexi Ruddick, Kagan Hoffman, Kaley Moser, Alex Garton, Alex Garton, Logan Springer, Chris Springer, Jimmy Willerton, Natal Bay, Ricky Hedrick, Harry Carpenter, and Taran Augustosky

Voting for king and queen of the Halloween dance ends November 4th.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First pep rally held at new East Middle School facility

An Emma Simon video

Students paint, sign mural

Staff Writer

Students in Mrs. Rachel Hardee's arts classes have painted a mural for our building. Students and faculty members signed the mural during Encore earlier this month.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Kasey Kreager is new EMS sixth grade social studies teacher

Staff Writer

Miss Kathryn Kreager is the new sixth grade social studies teacher at East Middle School.

“I am enjoying my new job! I love interacting with students everyday. I am excited to share my passion for other cultures with students,” said Miss Kreager.

Already the students have learned continents, oceans, latitude and longitude, and much more. Over the course of the year, the students will learn maps and globes, other cultures, economics, and the geography and politics of the United States.

This is Miss K’s first teaching job. She was an intern in Northwest Arkansas last year.

Miss Kreager’s birthday is in July. And to celebrate, she goes swimming. She also lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is 80 miles from Joplin. She says, “Sometimes I feel like I live in my car.”

Miss Kreager is excited to be part of East.

A little information about our new vice principal, Mister Weaver

Staff Writer
Mr. Jason Weaver, brand new vice principal, taught social studies last year at EMS and has been with the Joplin School District since 2002.

 Mr. Weaver said, “I like both teaching social studies and being the vice principal the same.”

A few other things you may not know about Mr. Weaver:

-“I like to hang out with my son, fencing, and rock climbing when I have free time," he said.

-He loves to eat at Japanese Steakhouse in Springfield.

-He doesn’t care much for pro football,  "but I like to watch the Joplin Eagles!" he said.

Eagle Code helps students for the rest of their lives

Staff Writers

Eagle code at East Middle School is Duty, Honor, Peace, and Pride

“Eagle Code is a good way for students to know what the teachers expect from the students,” said Mr. Jason Weaver, assistant principal.

“ Eagle Code will help the students behave not only in school but for the rest of their lives. “

Ms. Crystal Stokes, FACS teacher, believes that the Eagle Code is amazing and that it gives pride to our school and it gives the students a goal. It gives the teachers a way to recognize the students.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Lean on Me" will be theme for Color Guard, Band

Staff Writer

This year East Middle School Color Guard will be in four parades. They are the MSSU Homecoming, Maple Leaf Parade, Veterans Day Parade, and Christmas Parade.

The people who are in color guard this year are:

Annie Lee, Bonnie Johnson, Breanna Good, Carissa Scalia, Emmalea Dailey, Jade Sterkin, Keisha Grunden, Katelynne Yonkers, Lizzy Fowler, Marlee Lake, Michaela Brewerm Samantha Dorsey

Ms. Lara Stamper would like to thank the people who was very nice to give them new flags for this year. The song for this year is “Lean on Me.“

Band Director Mr. Nicholas Moore thought it was a fitting for this year.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Communication arts students to write book about first year at new East, Joplin Tornado

Staff Writer

East Middle School communication arts teachers Mr. Randy Turner, Mrs. Angel Mense, and Mrs. Nina English and their students are doing a big project this year.

Mr. Turner, eighth grade writing teacher said, “Our students will be writing a book about the first year at our new East Middle School since the tornado forced us to move to a warehouse."

Students will also write about their tornado experiences. The book will be published some time next summer.

Plans are also being made to make a movie about the first year at East Middle School.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brooke Parker, former East students, featured in article

East Middle School student Brooke Parker and former East students DeVaughan Simmons and Bonnie Ardrey are featured in an article posted today on the St. Louis Jewish Light website:

Twelve-year-old Brooke Parker is one of many Joplin teenagers left without a place to go this semester. Her school, East Middle School, lost both its gym and roof. Its building is not structurally capable for the upcoming school year, so for now, Brooke attends seventh grade in a warehouse.

"I [didn't] know what to expect, especially with gym and choir and extracurricular activities," Brooke said.

While East Middle School suffered extreme damage, Joplin High School was destroyed completely. Bonnie Ardrey and DiVaughn Simmons, both 14-year-old freshmen, were eager to start high school there. But because of the deadly tornado, they now go to Memorial Middle School instead.

"I was excited to go to the new high school, but [now I'm] bummed about going back to middle school. I wanted to experience what my other family [members] did but I'm not going to be able to now," Bonnie said.

DiVaughn may not go to school in Joplin at all. His family is considering moving to Summer Creek, Texas, but no decision has been made.

Though DiVaughn's example is extreme, it is not uncommon for Joplin students to move where schools will better meet their needs.

"Most of my friends are moving to another school district," Bonnie said.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Forty-five playing football for East

Forty-five East Middle School seventh and eighth graders are playing football this year.

Seventh grade- Ethan Armstrong, Trinton Cole, Tony Consier, Dustin Detherage, Mark Duley, Matthew Dumas, Dante Foote, Carson Hopper, Joshua Hulsey, Colby Kimbrough, Walker Lutes, Contrae Rogers, Kerry Stadler, Joseph Thomas, Abraham Velasco, Colton Williams.

Eighth grade- Justin Armstrong, Taran Augustosky, Natal Bay, Nate Canales, Josh Cole, Marcus Damrill, Tajee Fantroy, Dantee Figueroa, Mason Finnell, Eddie Garcia, Josiah Garcia, Haden Garten, Alex Garton, Colton Harbin, Ricky Hedrick, Tristen Howell, Andrew Lara, Denver Lantz, Darius Lewis, Eli Lounis, Omar May, Zach Phillips, Kennan Robinson, Alejandro Santillan, Justin Schneikert, Austin Still, James Tupper, Jesse Walls, Ishman Wilson

School beginning accompanied by safety, disaster drills

School began last week at East and so did required safety and disaster drills.

Students toured the new tornado shelter building, then had an opportunity to try it out during a walk-through Monday. The first tornado drill will be held Friday during Encore.

The first combination fire drill/reverse evacuation drill, and lockdown drill was held Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ribbon cutting held at East Middle School

School opening helps healing process in Joplin

In this video, East Middle School Principal Bud Sexson and Irving Elemenetary teachers talk about reopening school after the May 22 Joplin Tornado.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eighth grader Maddie Fichtner: Tornado brought me a lot closer to my mom

An Associated Press article on the return to school in Joplin featured a quote from East Middle School eighth grader Maddie Fichtner:

At East Middle School, which was relocated to a converted warehouse on the outskirts of town, students agreed that some things were unchanged: Cafeteria food still tasted terrible. Kids got lost on their way to class. And the odor of pet food from the factory across the street was gross.

Younger students, too, said they relate differently to each other — and to their parents — after surviving the disaster.

"It brought me a lot closer to my mom," said Madeline Fichtner, 13, who described riding out the storm without initially knowing whether her mother was safe.

School officials brought in additional counselors and trauma workers to help students and families who may still be struggling in the storm's aftermath.

"We can build buildings, but the emotional damage that this storm has caused is of a very significant concern and something we're going to be watching closely for months, if not years," Superintendent C.J. Huff said.

Gov. Jay Nixon visits East Middle School on first day

In this photo, taken by the state photographer, Gov. Jay Nixon talks with East Middle School students as they held the first day of school in their temporary facility.