The Rocket Flame

Helping Hands at JB

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Some kids in our District are not as fortunate as others and the Life Skills class at  James Buchanan had the opportunity to make a difference in their community by doing the Rocket Totes.

“There must be more families in the same situation,” said Mrs. Kristy Horst (Faculty). 

Working together, Lucas Carter (9) and Gregory Murray (12) stuff backpacks.

Rocket Totes are a derivative of the Tiger Totes program that originated at Saint Thomas Elementary School. Horst went to a PTA meeting and explained to the group how not only should they be doing the totes at Saint Thomas, but at each school because there are more families than we know that are in need of this program.

“It gives the families a sense of comfort knowing they have food for the weekend without stressing,” said Horst.

The process is simple yet helpful.  Pre-ordered backpacks arrive at the high school then each backpack receives a color-coded tag to represent one of the four elementary schools in the District. Each Friday the bags are then taken to the food bank where the life skills class fill the backpacks with food. Once the bags are filled, they drop them off to the designated school.

“It makes me feel happy giving back to the community because I like the community and I want to keep it safe for everyone,” said Justin Mellott (10).

Keeping the community safe is one of the priorities Mellott takes into consideration as he lends a helping hand to families in need. Knowing that he is making a difference in others’ lives makes Mellott feel accomplished knowing he is giving the less fortunate a sense of relief.

Cleaning up, Edward Leevy (11) picks up bags to organize food.

“I love packing the backpacks with food with my classmates,” said Dean Faust (9).

Besides giving back to the community, the class gets to bond with one another while packing the food to deliver. Sharing giggles and cracking jokes grows a bond between students while working together. 

At the end of the day, families are supported and the Life Skills class gets the chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

 

What’s Your Number Mean?

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Basketball season is a favorite among JB students.  Most people in the stands think the numbers on the back of the player’s jerseys are just random, but many have a deeper meaning.

Standing tall at 6’9″ ,  Colton Hartman (11). has the number 40 stitched on his jersey. He has been playing basketball since he was five-years-old. Hartman picked this number because his dad had the same number in his basketball career.  

 “It was my dad’s number so that’s why I picked it,” said Hartman.

While some players pick their number because of family, there are some who pick it because of their favorite NBA players.  Syrus Maldonado (12) has had the number three since his freshman year to his senior year. Number three is also the same number as his favorite point guard, Chris Allen, who plays for Oklahoma City Thunder. 

“ I wore it my entire high school basketball career, and it’s the number of my favorite point guard,” said Maldonaldo .

While Maldonado represents number three because of his favorite point guard, some numbers represent when the played first started to enjoy the sport.  Bryce Hissong (10) was assigned number 42 while playing basketball in sixth grade. It was the first year he started doing well and started to enjoy playing. He carried the same number throughout middle school. When he started playing for the high school he picked the number 24 because it’s 42 backwards. Others pick their number because they have the same one for a different sport.

“The numbers 42 and 24 represent enjoyment while I play basketball,” said Hissong.

Others pick their number because they have the same one for a different sport. Carley Dinsmore (10) has the number five for both soccer and basketball. Everyone would be used to seeing her represent the number five of her jersey for both sports.

“I thought it would be cool to have the same number for basketball and soccer,”  said Dinsmore.

Each player’s number means something to them. Whether it’s for a family member, enjoyment, or their favorite pro basketball player, they picked it for a reason. Most players pick a number and keep it throughout their basketball career.

Activity Period Change

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This year JB started the school year off with new students, new teachers, and a new activity period change. Activity period is now after third period compared to past years where it was at the start of the day.  This has been a major adjustment. Faculty would use this time to prepare for classes and students would use this time to check homework and review for tests. 

Mr. Samuel Dickey (Principal) wanted to get a jump start to the student’s academic day. School doors open at 8:00 a.m.  Because of our geographical area, busses are arriving between 8:00- 8:30 a.m. Homeroom ends at 8:35 and students are off to first period.

Students arriving as early as 8 a.m. have 35 minutes of free time to begin their day, while students who are dropped off closer to 8:30 walk in and have to begin their day right away. Dickey feels the best approach is to have students begin their academic day right away while they are productive and have a positive attitude.

“Sometimes our days took forever to get started,” said Dickey.

There are many mixed feelings about the new change and a lot of adjusting. It’s a new experience for students that were used to the same schedule. 

“I can’t do my work in the morning,”  said Evan Clopper (11).

“I have to come to school now right away,” said Syrus Maldonado (12).

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Some feel that with the new activity period change their day goes by faster; instead of having classes back to back, they can have a break between classes. Others feel having activity period first thing in the morning allowed students to ask teachers questions about homework they were not understanding or finish homework from the night before.

“It gives me a break throughout my periods,” said Johnny Crowe (12).

This has been an adjustment for all faculty and students. “It’s a change that’s open for discussion,” said Dickey.

In the past years, students thought activity period was optional in the morning. People would show up late because they had extra time to relax at home. Students now have to come in on time, since we start classes right away. In hopes, Dickey wants to see kids participating in extracurricular activities.

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