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New Opportunities in the Math World

We have a new math teacher at Springfield High School this year, Mrs. Sarah Brooke.  This is her first year teaching at SLHS; however, this is not Brooke’s first teaching job. Previously she worked at Cardinal Mooney for five years as an Algebra and Geometry teacher.   

Previously, Mrs. Brooke also worked in advertising studying TV and radio rating trends. She loves finding different ways to solve problems, and she started teaching math because she realized it was her passion and her way of helping more.  

Mrs.Brooke is married with three kids, a five year old boy, three year old girl and a two year old boy. Brooke has a very busy life with her three children and teaching five days a week.  She previously lived in Florida. The students and staff are happy to now call Mrs. Brooke an SHS Tiger.

When asked how math has impacted her life she said, “It has allowed me to reach students and help them to be successful.”  Brooke is very kind and a very nice teacher; she always tries to help her students reach their fullest potential.  When asked why she thinks algebra and math in general is an important subject to teach. Her response was, “At the very least it teaches you to think critically.”  Brooke never really had a love for math until she saw it as a way to help kids and students in the world.   

Parking Passes: Are They Necessary?

Every year the students intending to drive to school have to fill out a form to receive a parking pass for the year. The students are always informed that this is necessary if they want this privilege and will have to use the parking pass throughout the year. The school’s resource Lieutenant Fellows distributes the passes to each student.  

Everyone receives a small plastic tag which you hang on your mirror. This tag states the school and also a number at the bottom.  Students and faculty alike are required to have a parking pass. Everyone in the school has become accustom to receiving one at the beginning of the year when driving and using the parking lot at the school. However, many people wonder why these little tags are necessary?

A few years back these passes were not needed. When asked about this topic, Lieutenant Fellows stated, “It is just to make sure the students are safe and that people without the passes cannot just come in. They help to show which student’s car is which with the little numbers at the bottom, and they can trace the car back to the student.”

Until now it’s never been specifically explained as to why the students need the passes, after speaking with Officer Fellows, it is now clear that they are necessary in order to keep all students and cars safe.

“Interesante” Facts Getting to Know the new Spanish Teacher at SHS

This is not Kaitlynn Ibarras’ first teaching job. She worked at Mahoning County High School as an ESL teacher, meaning she would instruct students whose first language wasn’t English. Ibarra states,“I loved school and I want to show others how fun and essential learning is.” Ibarras’ academic success consists of a high school diploma and attending college for six years. It took her four years to get her bachelors in Sociology and two years to get her Masters in Higher Education. She had achieved her bachelor’s and master’s at the well respected Geneva College, located by Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.   

Ibarra’s friend told her of how amazing Springfield Local High School was, causing her to seek out employment at the school. She is new to Springfield, however she has been living in Columbiana, Ohio for two years. Even though Spanish is her secondary language, she explained, “I speak and write Spanish everyday. My husband is from Mexico but he speaks English. English is not his primary language”. She expressed her enthusiasm by stating, “We have fun with it! Everyday is an interesting day at the Ibarra household.”

The students are excited that Senora Ibarras has joined the staff this year.

More Than Just a Game Springfield Hosts Thirds Meet and Greet

On Friday, September 15, 2017, before the Tiger’s home varsity game against Jackson Milton, Mr. DeFelice announced that there will be a meet and greet for any student’s parents who would like to personally meet the faculty. Mr. DeFelice had come to the realization that it would improve the relationships between parents and faculty of Springfield Local High School. Through this event, parents had the opportunity to learn more about their student’s teachers. This meet and greet served as a social event, not only for the parents, but for the students as well.  The students got to meet the teachers outside of school while their parents had the opportunity to win prizes.

Prior to the football game, there were raffles and games for anyone to enjoy.  Throughout the school week prior to the meet and greet, teachers handed out blue tickets to their students. For example, any student who completed their homework on time or exceeded expectations in the classroom could receive a ticket. Students were to then pass on this blue ticket to their parent or guardian so they may qualify to possibly win a prize such as a Springfield Local High School t-shirt or a specialized cup.

The tickets were a fun way for kids to perform well in the classroom and they acted as an incentive for both parents and students to attend the game on Friday and meet their teachers before hand. Springfield Locals’ guidance counselor, Mr. Hogg, stated that he, “Hoped for a good turnout for this.” When interviewed about how many people showed up Hogg commented “I have no clue.” When asked, DeFelice stated that “about 35-40 parents showed up and that hopefully it will carry on to next year. He believed that letting the kids know during the school day made for a better turnout.”  It was an all around ecstatic atmosphere for everyone who participated in this event.

Theater with a New Lead-er

As the Drama Club of Springfield Local High school undergoes new advisement for the upcoming show in March, Springfield newcomer Mr. Joshua Senn has now been handed the ropes as lead director. With the new change in leadership, some questions were raised about the club and the new director and the changes that will ensue with the change in command.

The cause of the change in leadership happened very suddenly and with little warning. Fortunately for Springfield and the future of drama club, Senn stepped up stating that; “It’s going to be a great new step for the drama program.”

Senn attended Ohio State University for his undergraduate education. While in high school, he participated in multiple drama productions. He also worked as assistant director alongside previous drama director Jeff Cornfield for plays such as Winnie the Pooh and Mash. Senn has shown his love for the theater on multiple occasions whether it be his own participation in stage in productions or aiding in putting them on. As the path for drama club opens up, so does the variety of plays that can be offered. Senn plans on putting on at least one musical per season of drama.  As far as this year goes, a musical is already scheduled for production. No titles for the upcoming show has been given yet, but it has been described by Senn as an, “old classical musical.”

All in all, the change in leadership is yet another milestone for the SHS Drama Club, and  it surely will be a great one.

Springfield Students Making the Best Better Through 4-H

The 2017 4-H showing season is over for students at Springfield High School. Many students here participate in 4-H, with the projects ranging from art, woodworking, hogs, cattle, horses and much more.

It takes time and effort to get a project to where students set their goals. Still projects have the opportunity to go to State Fair after county judging. For the livestock end of 4-H competitors still have the opportunity to go to State Fair and compete but you do not have to go through a judging process in order to compete there.

After the State Fair is over and participants come home it is time to work endlessly on the work that needs done for the county competition. Tori Blakeman, a freshman at SHS, takes a steer to the Canfield Fair every year. Blakeman explains that “Taking a steer is a lot of hard work and dedication.” Blakeman placed third in her weight class with her steer Cosmo.

Members of Mahoning County Junior Fair Board (JFB) work though all the seasons preparing for the next coming fair making each one a success. Max Seymour, a junior and a current JFB member, has been on the board for four years now. He states, “Junior Fair Board has been a life changing organization that promotes good work ethic in young people.” He also shows dairy cattle in 4-H and has applied for royal court as well.

4-H is not an organization that is just there to give students something to do over summer break. 4-H offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to better themselves through scholarships, leadership abilities, public speaking, and provides influential connections that last a lifetime. 4-H not only sparks an interest in students in Springfield but all across the world. There are 3.5 million youth involved in 4-H internationally.

Tiger Pride Marching Band

The Springfield Local High School Marching Band is having a very successful season. They have performed in two band shows, Austintown and Boardman and have also been invited to the East Palestine Band Night that will take place on September 30, 2017 at 7:00 PM. The songs that have been chosen for the first show are “Disco Inferno,” “YMCA” and “Dancing Queen.” During the song “YMCA” there is a featured band dance that the flagline also dresses up for. Mr.D joins in on the fun by also dressing up and coming onto the field to perform the dance. The second show is a Michael Jackson themed show with songs that include: “Smooth Criminal” “Beat it” and “Billie Jean.”

With marches choreographed by Mr. Depanicis and Mr. Senn, Springfield Local is one of the few schools that allow 7th grade band members to march. DePanics feels that “[this season is] going well, and I think that it could definitely do better. The performance gets better when the crowd and students get into it.”

Last year was the band’s first year wearing their new uniforms.The new uniforms were purchased mainly through fundraising and a few donations. The band strives to look their best by practicing during after school rehearsals and a three week band camp in August for four hours each day.  

Marching Band’s Numbers Rise

The Tiger Pride Marching Band is growing little by little with an astonishing number of 94 marchers under the direction of Mr. Depanicis. The band has recently acquired several new marchers this year allowing the band able to do bigger and better things.

When asked to describe the band in five or fewer words Depanicis said they are “small but mighty.” Depanicis said that kids wanting to try marching band should try it because it is fun once you get past all the hard work of band camp which is when the band learns the music and drills. New music is picked by Depanicis, Mrs. Johnston, the majorette advisor, and Mrs. Williams, the flagline advisor. Together they decide on a theme for the music.

Depanicis was asked what his goals are for the band, and he said he would like to see over 100 band members and take the band to Disney World to perform. Though Depanicis’s goal is to continue to increase the band numbers, it is losing about 15 seniors this year.  

When asked how the band can improve, he responded with, “I would like to see kids practice more outside of school because it will improve their playing.” He wants band members to work on sight reading more because it is challenging.

The band certainly is continuing to improve and do great things and all of its hard work can be seen during Friday night football games during the fall.

Read All About It! Students Find Fun in School’s Book Club

Every year a number of Springfield Local High School students choose to participate in the school’s Book Club, in which students come together and read books that they’ve chosen and talk about how they felt while reading it. The club is run by two of the school’s English teachers Mrs. Kelly Johnston and Mrs. Christina Mullane. They started the book club four years ago. When asked why the book club began, Johnston stated, “To bring the passion of reading back to kids.”  

Book Club gives students the opportunity to enhance their reading and comprehension skills outside of class as well as further their education in a fun way. It gives students who are avid readers a chance to come together and enjoy pieces of literature that they have chosen as a group. Senior Katelynn Sluka, a past member of the Book Club, says, “I really enjoy being a part of Book Club because I like reading so much. I like that Johnston and Mullane make it fun and have small parties for it too.”

Meetings vary from year to year, though the club meets regularly to discuss what the members have read and their thoughts on the books. At the meetings members have snacks and beverages to enjoy while talking about their thoughts on the pieces being read. This way the students can enjoy what they’re reading and what they’re eating while socializing in a fun way. Book Club meetings are a fun and creative way to help students learn and come together as classmates.  In the past, Book Club discussed novels such as I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson, The Other by Thomas Tryon, and Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan,  as well as many others novels.

The club also takes trips to see movies related to the books they’ve read and participate in Read Across America Week. Read Across America Week is a literacy awareness program that our SHS Elementary School participates in, and its purpose is to try to ignite a fire for reading for children at a young age, and find the fun in reading books. Also, it helps show kids that even as they grow older, reading can still be enjoyable. This is a goal of the book club as well.

An Alternative Way To Learn New Information And Earn Extra Credit: Springfield Local Science Club

If a student is taking any of Mrs. Dunn’s science classes and looking for a way to earn extra credit, then they should sign up for Science Club. This club takes place one day out of each month in Mrs. Dunn’s room and starts during the last fifteen minutes of school and can end as early as 2:30pm.  This allows students to still be able to attend other activities. By joining this club, students can earn up to a possible 25 bonus points each nine week, either by presenting a powerpoint about any science related topic or by bringing in people to perform a demonstration or experiment.

Dunn organized this club because she understands that students sometimes need extra points to bring their grade up and science club is a perfect way to do just that. This club allows  the students learn relevant information. When asked about science club Mrs. Dunn stated her favorite quote by Albert Einstein, “‘If you can’t explain it simple you don’t understand it well enough.’” Dunn believes that this quote is relevant for her classes and clubs because some of her classes can be very difficult, so Dunn believes that she must be the one who understands it first in order to teach it to the students in a way that they too will understand.

Dunn does teach some difficult science classes here at Springfield local like Chemistry and Physics. Because some of her classes are challenging, she offers potential bonus points at the club meetings. Each time a student is present at a meeting they automatically earn five bonus points.  Each time a student presents a power point they earn ten bonus points. One student can only earn up to 25 extra credit points per nine weeks. At least one student per meeting must present a power point to the class about a certain topic. This topic can be almost anything science related.

Dunn gives the student the choice of picking the topic so that it’s more interesting and enjoyable for them. The only thing Dunn asks is that the student talks to either her or one of the club officers so that no two people are doing the same topic.

The class gets to elect a president, vice president, secretary and a treasurer at the first meeting. These officers have to make sure that everything runs smoothly. They construct how the club will run and decide who will present at each meeting. Whenever a student finds a topic that they like and they want to present at the next meeting, they find a club officer, most likely the president or vice president, and ask them if they are able to present. And depending on the availability the student(s) will either be granted the permission or denied. If they are denied they will have to wait until the next meeting.

Mrs. Dunn wants this club to be enjoyable and beneficial for the students, and she stated that she “would like to see more new faces in her club each year.”

Midterm Testing

The Springfield Local Schools has starting this year ending the midterm testing in the school district. This means that instead of having 10% of our final grade designated to each the midterm and final, the final will count as 20% of our final grade in the class.

They recently did away with the midterms in an attempt to reduce the pressure on the students and teachers, but this could actually lead to more stress being put on students and teachers since they have 20% of their class final grade determined on one test which will be reviewing the full extent of the class.

Though many students will be happy as well with the removal of midterms due to the reduced stress from not having to take additional tests in January. It will be positive for teachers because they will have more time during the year to educate students on topics rather than have to stop half way through the year and and review for a midterm.

There may be more benefits and challenges that come with getting rid of the midterms, but the students and staff will most likely not be able to know if this was a good decision or bad until the end of the year. SHS student Tim Chadwick said, “It’s going to be different but it will be nicer to have one big test.”

Having less tests is a very good thing, but is it at the expense of having the final count 20%. Springfield will have to be the judge.

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.