Friday, March 30, 2012

Virtual tour provided for new Joplin High School

Jennifer Nguyen speaks at celebration breakfast

East Middle School eighth grader Jennifer Nguyen spoke to more than 100 area business and community leaders and parents during a celebration breakfast Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn.

In addition to her presentation, those attending heard updates on rebuilding efforts from Dr. C. J. Huff, superintendent; and Dr. Angie Besendorfer, assistant superintendent.

The breakfast concluded with words of support for the upcoming bond issue from Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian and Mayor Mike Woolsten.

The text of Jennifer Nguyen's speech is provided below:

                 Hello, my name is Jennifer Nguyen.  I am an eighth grader from East Middle School, and today, I came to talk to you about why I think the bond request should be passed. 
                  I remember coming to East Middle School for the first time when I was in the sixth grade.  I remember seeing the huge hallways and thinking to myself that I would never make it out alive.  After a few weeks, though, the building became home, and I could easily navigate my way around.  I was one of the lucky people that got to go to the new school.  East soon became home to many others, as well: the students and staff.  When the tornado came by last year, no one expected to find East as it is now.  Nobody expected to find a pile of rubble in place of our beloved school.
                  Luckily, we found a building to use as a temporary school.  As many of you know, we are now located on East 26th Street. Everybody is very thankful to have a place to go to continue learning, but those that went to the old East, miss it dearly.  The warehouse provides a place to learn, but it just isn’t the same as the old East. 
The building we are in now is much smaller and crowded, and getting from class to class can be hard some days when you are trying to beat the crowd.  At the old East, we had a beautiful auditorium where we held all our assemblies.  Now, we are crowded into the cafeteria for any assemblies or pep rallies, and we have no space in the current building for an auditorium.  Instead of a gym, we have a blown up, tent-like structure beside the warehouse.  We are restricted from having any home games at our school, whether the sport is volleyball or basketball.  Replacing our outside basketball court and field is a parking lot.  Now, whenever students go outside for some fresh air after lunch, they are kept inside the boundaries of the parking lot, and even that is not much space.  After school, students waiting in the parent pick-up line have to wait quite a while because of the slow progression in the small area of the back parking lot. 
These are just a few of the many disadvantages that occur at the warehouse.  The largest disadvantage of all, though, is the lack of spirit in our school.  In the minds of many, the building we are in now is not truly East; it is just a temporary building, a warehouse.  And even though East is now at a new location, to me and many others, the old East will always be home.  The old East will be remembered as our true middle school, not the warehouse.  Hopefully, East will soon be returning home.  Thank you.

Eight EMS students selected for New Expressions

Eight East Middle School vocal students will perform with Joplin High School's freshman/sophomore show choir New Expressions during the 2012-2013 school year.

 The list was posted outside the door of EMS choir teacher Ms. Julie Yonkers this afternoon.

 The following students were chosen for New Expressions: Maggie Baker, Amy Koch, Kiah Poulson, Miranda Sanders, Amelia Street, Ethan Fannon, Ethan Holz, and Casey Stewart.

 Nashya Shindin, a former East student who transferred to South earlier this year, was also chosen, as were former Joplin High School and former East students Alex Nguyen, Alex Capehart, Jeremiah Martin, and Connor Barnett.

Costumes arrive for EMS production of Disney's Cinderella

Cast members of the East Middle School Drama Department production of Disney's Cinderella, had their first opportunity to try on their costumes Thursday night.

The production is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, in the South Middle School Auditorium.

(Pictured: Bottom row, from left, Ginger Gormley, mouse; Emma Willterton, mouse; Anna Nguyen, mouse; top row, Audrey Kanan, Cinderella; Ashley Koch, mouse; Amelia Street, Fairy Godmother

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beginner's Band concert set for May 17

EMS Journalism Staff Writer
Mr. Nicholas Moore’s Beginner’s Band classes 3rd 6th 7th hours are going to have a Spring Concert Thursday, May 17, at South Middle School. They will be playing
1.   Prehistoric Suite
2.   Dark Adventure
3.   Regal March
4.   Montego Bay
5. Celebration Overture 
 The students have been working on the Spring Concert since the end of February. They will have South Middle School & East Middle School 7 & 8th  & South Middle Beginners. Mr. Moore has woodwind, percussion, brass.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Take a virtual tour of the proposed new East Middle School

Nationally-known author Neal Shusterman speaks to NJHS, advanced reading students

EMS Journalism Editor
 Well known author Neal Shusterman spoke to Joplin students, including EMS National Junior Honor Society and eighth grade advanced reading class Feb. 28 at South Middle School.

 The students, who were accompanied by Mrs. Kathy Howerton, Mrs. Tina Guiles, Ms. Julie Yonkers, and Mrs. Bonnie Turner, had the opportunity to listen to Mr Shusterman talk about his career and how it came to be. He gave information about his novels and what made a good writer, including tips for the students and his many inspirations for writing. Students had the chance to ask questions and have their copies of his books signed.

 Mr. Shusterman's novels include Unwind, Everlost, and The Schwa Was Here. In one of his books, Unwind, he actually mentions the city of Joplin. This was one of his mamy reasons for coming to visitthe students at our town. For both South and East middle schools, the experience was truly unforgettable and inspiring to future authors.
(Video by Amy Koch)

Third Quarter Civil Rights Research Project to be featured at Joplin Schools Technology Fair

Mr. Randy Turner's third quarter civil rights research project at Joplin East Middle School will be featured at the Joplin School District's Technology Fair Monday, April 2, at the Joplin High School's 11'12th Grade Center at Northpark Mall. Eighth graders Stella Ndauwa, Amy Koch, Jamie Sullivan, Megan Hickey, Keisha Grunden( all featured in the accompanying video) and Jennifer Nguyen (who did the camerawork), will represent the class at the show.

Eighth graders compete in Text Talk Slam

Eighth graders in Mr. Randy Turner's eighth grade communication arts class competed in a Text Talk Slam earlier this month.

The students wrote papers using either text talk or language that only teens would use. They performed the papers for the class in the format of a poetry slam. Eight finalists were chosen- Maggie Baker, second hour; Lexie Ruddick, third hour; Jennifer Nguyen and Maddie Thorne (pictured in video), fourth hour; Kaley Moser, fifth hour; Alize Iverson, sixth hour; and Ashton McGehee and Stella Ndauwa.

Videos of the finalists' performances will be placed on a new website, where they will be judged by Mrs. Angel Mense's seventh grade communicatino arts classes. The winning entry will receive $10.

Eighth grade boys track team takes second at McDonald County

The East Middle School eighth grade boys track team captured second place at a meet at McDonald County Tuesday night.

Bailey Gardner took first in the pole vault. John Myers broke the school record in the mile, shattering the old record by eight seconds. He finished third. This is the first time Myers has competed in track. James Tupper also beat the old record.

Jayden Hetiback took the silver in the 200, while Colton Harbin finished third in the 100 meter dash, and Taran Augustosky was third in the 100 meter hurdles.

The boys also dominated the relay events with the 400 and 800 teams taking gold. Members for those events included Jayden Hetiback, Dantee' Figueroa, Allejandro Santillan, Junior Lewis, and Colton Harbin.

Taking third place was the mile relay team, consisting of John Myers, Taran Augustosky, James Tupper, and Dantee" Figueroa.

Ashlyn Griffberg had two gold medals and a silver medal, winning the 100 and 200 meter races and taking second in the long jump. She missed a school record in the 200 by 1/10th of a second. And she was only six inches away from a school record in the long jump, where she went 13 feet.

Brittan Dutton and Emma Hudson took gold and silver in the pole vault.

In the seventh grade boys division, Ryan Ball placed second in the pole vault.

The track team will compete Friday at Webb City.

Quiz Bowl JV team takes third at College Heights

The East Middle School junior varsity quiz bowl team took third place in a humanities (art, music, cinema) competition at College Heights Tuesday night.

Team captain Cameron Adams led the way, answering 15 questions, followed by Nick Shellenbarger with seven, Bailee Lewis with two, and Jamie Sullivan with one. Other team members were Desiree Hawkins and Alyssa Wescoat.

The varsity team won matches over Thomas Jefferson, Monett, and St. Peter's, led by Maddie Fichtner with 13 correct answers, Amy Koch with five and Jennifer Nguyen with two. Also playing were Megan Hickey and Stella Ndauwa.

Sarah Peterson qualifies for state National History Day

EMS Journalism Club Staff Writer

Seventh grader Sarah Peterson took third place at the annual National History Day competition earlier this month at Missouri Southern State University.

Sarah's winning project,  was a website entry about Elizabeth Cady Stanton.She will move on to the state competition April 21 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Other students participating in National History Day were Jackson Divilbiss, Amy Koch, Jennifer Nguyen, Conner Elijah, Lydia Routledge, and Alexandra Stelts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

High school vocal groups perform at EMS

Journalism Club Editor

East Middle School eighth graders received a welcome break during Encore earlier this month when vocal groups from Joplin High School performed.

The visit, an annual treat, is designed to introduce the students to the vocal music opportunities that are available to them at the high school.

Plans for new East Middle School 2.0 on display

Journalism Club Editor
                  There has been much talk about the rebuilding of the new East Middle School and when and where it will happen.  But fear no more fellow students, the answers to all your questions have been answered; well, almost all of them.
                  The new East Middle School campus, or as I like to call it, EMS 2.0, will be built on former grounds and is being currently designed by Holks Miller Architects.  The school is estimated at a cost of about 23.3 million dollars, holding approximately a student capacity of 750.  As far as what the school will look like, the designs are in working progress, so the "look" changes constantly.  But, recently, information has been revealed to the Journalism Club, and what we know, we will tell.
                  The school is to be a two story building (complete with an elevator) that is mainly divided into three "houses."  One house will be assigned to the sixth grade, one to the seventh grade, and one to the eighth grade.  Each house will contain a "living room," an area in the center of the house that is designated for class activities, house meetings, and other events that might occur.  Each house will be a separate team in which the students are divided into according to grade.  This arrangement will make things more flexible so that students will have the same classes and teachers as required.  Another new thing is that the walls of the houses aren't just any ordinary walls; they are going to be made out of glass!  And, of course, each house will contain bathrooms and lockers available for use.
                  The new middle school will also include a hallway made just for student electives.  This hallway will be known as the "Fine Arts" hallway and will hold special rooms for the different elective classes.  The same athletic area and equipment will be provided, such as the gym, weight room, wrestling room, football field, and soccer goals with a field.  Plans for a laptop counter lining the outer hallways of the school have also been discussed.
                  As of Friday, January 6, 2012, the R-8 Board of Education voted to allow plans for the East Middle School and the Duquesne and Duenweg Elementary Schools to be connected on the same campus.  Even though the schools will be joined, they will still be considered separate schools, although both schools will share the same auditorium and kitchen.  This is because the property for the middle school has increased almost twice as much.  The elementary school's cost is about 12.7 million dollars, holding a student capacity of 450.  The school's name is yet to be discovered, and the current school will be used in the years ahead for a future growth and early childhood center.
                  What will kids like the most about the new school?  When asked this question, Mr. Jason Weaver, EMS's assistant principal, replied saying that there are many things to like about the new school, but one is that there is a lot friendlier, non-traditional space.  It will be very unique, special, and "fun to hang out" in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New members inducted into National Junior Honor Society


The induction for the East Middle School National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) was held on March 8, 2012, at Missouri Southern State University’s Billingsly Student Center Ballroom.

  The induction lasted around an hour, including a reception at the end of the ceremony.  The program started off with an opening processional and the Pledge of Allegiance.  After that, opening remarks were made by Mrs. Kathy Howerton, Mrs. Tina Guiles, and Mr. Bud Sexson, and an introduction to guest speaker Mrs. Becky Gardner, the National Honor Society (NHS) adviser, was also made.  While Mrs. Gardner was speaking, four members of the NHS helped with the lighting of the pillars: Alyssa Farney, Miriah Johnson, Joseph Loden, and Taylor Mann.

  Next, all of the NJHS candidates were required to take the Pledge of the NJHS.  After the pledge came recognition of all candidates and closing remarks.  The following reception had cake provided by Mrs. Mary Blackburn-Freeman and plenty of opportunities for pictures!  The facilities were made possible by Ms. Melanie Epperson and MSSU.  Overall, the induction was very nicely put together; it was a night to remember!

2011-2012 NJHS Candidates:
Estrella Arreola, Maggie Baker, Anna Blue, Jonah Caldwell, Aubrie England, Madeline Fichtner, Bailey Gardner, Keisha Grunden, Mackenzie Gunderson, Desiree Hawkins, Megan Hickey, Ethan Holz, Kylie Howerton, Kara Hulsey, Bonnie Johnson, Audrey Kanan, Abigael Killinger, Amy Koch, Janet Lopez, Elimo Lounis, Cara Marshall, Ashton McGehee, Madison Meinhardt, Stella Ndauwa, Jennifer Nguyen, Dakota Osborn, Abigail Randall, Jillian Rentfro, Molly Ritter, Miranda Sanders, Aiden Stahl, Austen Still, Amelia Street, Annie Strickling, Jamie Sullivan, Quionte Tidwell, James Tupper, Karly Weber, Shelby Welton, Logan Whitehead, James Willerton, and Ishman Wilson.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Controlling our freedom of speech

Journalism Club Staff Writer

(The following article expresses the opinion of Darin Clark and does not represent the official viewpoint of the East Middle School Journalism Club.)

So what is free speech? It is the ability to stand up and say what you want without the exception of people standing down on you and diminishing your authority in any way. This school thinks it is above that right.

If I were to swear at someone on the street they may get ticked, but forget about it in a bit and part ways, but all in all it is a matter of what you want to say. Schools just want to have control over  us and run us like little drones with little to no freedom.

We already have school dress codes and a book of rules. I say forget that and say what you want and need to say and don’t worry about the consequences. Just go with it and all will be good in the end. We need to take a stand at this school.