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From Tiles to Walls: Making our School Beautiful

Art is a way to express feelings, passions, and interests. Everyone has different interests and favorites and they show that through the things they do. This is most prevalent in artwork. Mrs. Kennedy, Springfield’s art teacher, had started to paint her ceiling tiles in her room around her 2nd year teaching at Springfield Local. She let students paint what they wanted and to feel inspired by her ceiling as they worked on their own projects in her room. Soon every teacher around the school wanted painted ceiling tiles. It became a trend and the teachers were able to request what they wanted and the students painted them and hung the tile back up in their rooms. The tiles are still in the their rooms and admired to this day.
Soon after they had a lot painted, authorities said it was a fire hazard. They said the paint is highly flammable because the paint gets into the holes of the tile and it prevents the tiles from slowing the fire. Therefore, students had to stop painting the tiles which made a lot of people upset because it was so much fun for everyone. The tile painting let the art students leave their mark on the school and show off their artistic abilities. They have not removed the tiles, but they had said they just can’t paint anymore.
A couple of years later, an art club formed and they came up with the idea to paint murals on the walls of the teachers rooms, playing off of the ceiling tiles concept that everyone loved. Teachers can pick whatever they want, and a student will draw and paint it for them on the wall they wished to have it on. Mrs.Mullane chose a Starry Night Harry Potter scene. Mrs.Vecchione has “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss, and Mr.Cornfield has Star Wars lightsabers and Darth Vader on his wall. There are many more artistic visions for the future, and the teachers are enjoying having their rooms come alive with beautiful images.

Midterms=More Stress or Not?

Midterms and finals are all very stressful for students and faculty. They both require intensive amounts of studying and preparation to do well. Currently each of them are worth 10% of your grade. There are two specific days in January for midterms and in June the schedule repeats in June for finals. This method seems to work generally for the school. What would happen if we decided to get rid of midterms?
A couple weeks back, there was a survey sent out to the whole school including administration. The topic of the survey was, “If the midterm was eliminated should the final exam cover the whole year or only the 2nd semester?” The survey had 113 responses and 60% wanted to eliminate the midterms. Even after they were told that the final exam would be worth 20%, out of that 60% that wanted to get rid of the midterms as indicated by the response to the first question, 48% still wanted to get rid of them. 62% of those participating in the survey said that the final should cover the 2nd semester.
With all that data received no other actions have been taken. Some of the students have other opinions about the midterm and final situation. Megan Fagert said, “Midterms help prepare us for college because we have to take midterms and finals there.” Lauren McFadden said, “Finals would be more stressful because it would be worth more for your grade.”
Without midterms the finals would potentially add more pressure on the students. They would be more stressed out to do better on the test to ensure they pass the course. Splitting the year up between midterms and finals helps to separate the information throughout the year and takes more pressure off of the students. A possible big change may be in the future for SHS with the elimination of midterms though this is only the first step in that direction.

Everyone’s Hairy in November

If you are walking down the street and see some hairy people, then it must be November. No-Shave November is a month long event where people who are participating do not shave the whole month. When someone notices the excessive hair and asks why, that prompts a discussion on getting checked for cancer. The idea is that when cancer patients go through chemo therapy, they lose their hair, so to bring awareness people grow their hair.
Instead of putting money towards a haircut or a wax, donate the money to the cause. This event isn’t just in the U.S., it has spread all through the world. Countries such as Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan have this event to raise awareness. No-Shave November actually started in 1999 by a few young men in Melbourne, Australia. This deadly disease has affected so many people and with the money from this cause the world can get one step closer to solving this medical mystery. Although there is a lot known about cancer, there is no actual cure.
The chances of cancer are so high that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. An article from the National Cancer Institute said “In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.”
There are a lot of different types of cancer but the most common for men is prostate and the for women it is breast cancer. A lot of men do not believe they can get breast cancer but there is a 1 in 1,000 chance of a guy getting breast cancer. There are five different categories of cancer: Carcinomas (most common cancer) begin in the skin or tissues that line the internal organs, sarcomas develop in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle or other connective tissues, leukemia begins in the blood and bone marrow, lymphomas start in the immune system, and central nervous system cancers develop in the brain and spinal cord.
The three main treatments of cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. When most people think of a cancer patient they think of someone with no hair, which is the result of chemotherapy. Therefore, let’s try to do our part to helping find a cure for this cancer and others, and thank you to those bringing awareness to the cause by participating in No-Shave November.

Acromegaly awareness

November 1st was Acromegaly Awareness Day, acromegaly is a rare disease that is a growth hormone producing a tumor. It is usually caused by a pea sized non cancerous tumor that starts in the brain. The tumor triggers an overproduction of growth hormone which makes the growth plates in your body grow even when your body isn’t supposed to be growing. We all usually stop growing once we hit about 18 or 19 years old at the most. The our growth plates shut and we have reached our peak of growing. Most people never know they have the disease because it is such a slow process of symptoms to show and most of the time the symptoms get confused with other diseases. It takes a professional doctor to do a screening to find the disease which could be a while if you don’t know all the signs of it yourself. Some symptoms are hands or feet growing, lips swelling, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, sweating, and headaches.
Once you find out if you have the disease it’s time to start thinking about what kind of treatment is needed, and there is many different kinds so don’t think that you might limited to only one kind of treatment. The doctor might suggest removal of the tumor first since it is so small and that would eliminate a lot of the symptoms that are occurring. By doing this it would also decrease other complications related to the disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. They may also recommend radiation for the tumor to reduce the disease.
We take a whole month to recognize a well known cancer like breast cancer but let’s make everyone aware of a disease that affects thousands of people every day. The more people know about the disease the more help we could all give to them.

Angel Tree

Halloween is over and the leaves are falling quick. We all know what is next, it’s that time for the sparkling white flakes to begin falling. With that comes some Christmas spirit and all of the things that go on during this wonderful time. Every child deserves a gift on Christmas morning whether it’s a gaming system to simply a new pair of jeans. Either way nobody should go without receiving something, that’s why we have so many charities that make sure these children get what they deserve.
The Salvation Army is a wonderful charity, they do the Angel Tree every year to help support the families that are trying to have a good Christmas this year. Donations and financial assistance provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need, including families of prisoners. Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.
Many places set up the Angel tree to help support the families at many locations. It ranges from all ages of children and then once you take an Angel off the tree, the joy starts to spread already. Even if you’re thinking you don’t have the money to buy a gift, anything helps, even a pair of gloves. Another option is to take one with a friend! You both can get one gift for the one child. If you become interested, Springfield High school is going to have an Angel Tree set up right by the lunchroom where you can come talk to one of the members of NHS and receive the information you will need to help out many children this Christmas. Each student can get up to two angels, but if you decide to participate you are only required to take one. The season is all about giving, so by doing this it will give you such a great feeling to know that you have helped others and gave them the holiday spirit. Start spreading the joy this season!

Springfield Elementary School Children Eat Lunch With Local Congressmen

I wonder what it would be like to eat lunch with a Congressmen? Well the children from Springfield Elementary school got the chance to eat lunch with Congressman Bill Johnson. On Tuesday, October 18th Johnson visited the elementary school to learn more about the school’s lunch program. He went to the cafeteria to see how it’s handling the Smarter Lunchrooms program, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mr. Johnson actually sat down at the tables with the superintendent Mr. Yazvak and some of the students and ate with them this afternoon.
The Smarter Lunchrooms Program was created to help children make healthier and smarter choices by placing healthier items in strategic locations in schools. They are providing over 30 million children with a lunch from this program, which is a tremendous number of children.
Some children around the world go without the nutrition they need and this organization is trying to minimize that problem by also teaching students about healthier choices. They have said by moving and highlighting fruit, the sales of it have increased by 102%. Placing white milk first in the coolers instead of chocolate has increased the sales of it by 46%. The number of students consuming “healthy items” increased by 35% after the introduction of a “healthy choices only” convenience line. Here at Springfield over 50% of students buy a lunch and over a quarter of them buy a salad.
At Springfield Elementary Joyce Dicks, the district’s food service supervisor said, “We keep providing new things. We’ve had to go whole grains. We’ve had to go to the fruits and vegetables with stringent guidelines and to follow those on a regular basis.”
The program is clearly just starting to grow and is trying to get started so a new change might take time to get used to, but the benefits of it will show it will be worth it to the children at all schools everywhere.

Mrs. Kennedy Recognized Worldwide for Artwork

One of Springfield High School’s faculty members is being honored in a worldwide publication for art teachers. Mrs. Michelle Kennedy’s artwork is being featured in The Art of Education magazine.
A few weeks after her professional development art class ended, her instructor emailed her and said that she was so impressed with Mrs. Kennedy’s work that she wanted to use it for an upcoming article she was writing. When Mrs. Kennedy received this news she was very shocked that she was picked for this but also very flattered. The project that caught her instructor’s attention was a five-point perspective piece.
Mrs. Kennedy started her art career at a very young age. Her mom told her that she remembered her daughter drawing at the age of five. She would draw the characters from The Peanuts comics all the time.
Mrs. Kennedy started taking art very seriously when she began high school. She didn’t really like her art class in intermediate school and because of this she almost didn’t take art in high school. Her mom stood by her side and encouraged her to pursue art into her high school years, and eventually in college.
The students at Springfield Local Schools are very glad that Mrs. Kennedy decided to become an art teacher so that she can continue to share her gifts as an artist with her students and inspire other young artists as well.

Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day is a traditional holiday celebrated on February 2nd every year. To many this is a big deal. On the morning of February 2nd people wake up early and they wait for the groundhog to emerge from his burrow.
If he sees his shadow we will have winter for another 6 weeks, but if he does not see his shadow we will have an early spring. Many people even attend celebrations for the groundhog. Some people do not believe that a groundhog can tell us the future of our weather, but some live by it.
In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day is a big deal. Thousands of people gather to see if the little guy sees his shadow or not and what it means for the length of our winter. This year Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow which translates to spring being around the corner. We hope Phil is right!

“Wrangler National Finals Rodeo”

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the largest prize money rodeo in the world. The WNFR at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas is also the most prestigious rodeo. It decides which cowboys and cowgirls will get to wear the gold buckle as World Champion each year.
The WNFR has been held every December since 1985, and it showcases the best cowboys, barrel racers, and livestock in the world. Each contestant has to qualify and get a certain time or points to advance.
The events include: Bareback Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Bull Riding, and Saddle Bronc Riding, and each last 10 days or rounds.
Each contestant receives a $10,000 bonus which counts toward their WNFR earnings, totaling $1.2 million. The total Purse is $10 million plus any check they receive for placing in their events! Contestants can win prizes like money, saddles, buckles, trailers, and more.

R.I.P. Alan Rickman

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the world lost a British film veteran and respected actor, Alan Rickman. He passed away from cancer at 69 years old. He was best known as the character Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movie series.
Rickman was a beloved and caring character in the Harry Potter movies, despite his villainous start in the earlier films. He also acted in many other movies, such as Love Actually, Sweeney Todd, Die Hard and Alice in Wonderland.
Even though his life has ended, his legacy as a villainous and dramatic actor will live on. Harry Potter fans worldwide are already paying their respects to Rickman and remembering him via social media by posting their favorite quotes and photos.

Public Schools vs. Charter Schools A Springfield High School Opinion

Our public school systems are being attacked by a very real and frightening
option, charter schools. Charter schools have become a potential threat to the quality of student education primarily because they divert local tax dollars and the public is uninformed about how they operate. We have provided some information that we hope will help our readers better understand the differences and make sound decisions when it comes to education.
Charter schools have been around since 1991. Many people may not understand the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools. One difference, charter schools are privately operated but publicly funded, and public schools are both funded and operated by the public.
Essentially, what this means is there are no records held of the spending of tax money given to charter schools. With public schools, they are governed by a publicly elected school board, while a charter school has a school board hand-picked by a private school operator.
Charter schools are for-profit management companies that are acting like private enterprises. The charter school administration salaries cannot be viewed by the public, while public school administration salaries are.
Another difference between the two is teachers for charter schools are not required to have a teaching license, while public school teachers and administrators work hard to receive a degree needed to obtain their jobs and are required to continue their education to maintain their positions.
Former choice director for a charter school in Columbus, David Hansen shows us how easily charter schools are able to cheat the system to get more funding for their schools. Hansen acknowledged omitting failing grades of some online charter schools from state sponsor evaluations, telling the state school board he didn’t want to “mask” success elsewhere. Hansen is now resigned from all of his duties in the charter schools.
National studies have shown that charter schools are generally not doing better than the public schools. Therefore, it is important to be informed about what each is and their intentions. Public educational systems support the students while charter schools are essentially a business. A student’s education prepares him or her for success for the future, and public schools still offer students the best opportunities today.

Senior Citizens Breakfast

Here at Springfield Local High School we host an annual senior citizens breakfast. This year it fell on Thursday, December 10. Any senior citizen in the community can come to the school and sit down and have a good breakfast.
This breakfast is a great way for senior citizens to see some of the great things students are doing at SHS. This year they were able to enjoy both our band and choir perform. It is a nice way to get in the holiday spirit as well. The students are excited to be a part of the experience and those that attend truly enjoy it.