Written by Students for Students
Ms. Belancsik decided to teach art because she loves the arts and loves kids. She says she enjoys when she is able to see the excitement and wonder on a child’s face when they do something new. She also thinks that the arts are important for personal expression and to develop critical thinking skills. She expressed that her students already have artistic potential and may grow up to take an art-related job. She also says that art is a great way to help people see the world more in-depth and in different ways.
December the sixth is the day of one of our art shows! It’s so parents, other students, and the community as a whole come to see what the kids in art class have been doing. Artwork from each class period shall be displayed, so that everyone gets a chance to showcase their hard work. It costs nothing to visit. The show starts at six p.m. and ends at seven p.m. This is a great opportunity to come and see what your children have been doing in art!
Mrs. Shimer, who has been the band instructor for a year, talked to us about the joys you can experience in the band community.
Also, there are special places and events you go to while in band. There are concerts, football games, parades, all state and district, and chamber music. However, these opportunities come with time as you go through middle school and the levels of band. Each level learns different things.
In Beginning Band, you learn the basics and is made up of students who have never played before. Concert Band, the second stage, is the intermediate stage of band. Here, students go to a football game and can have the chance to be in all state or all district. The students in Concert Band have one-year experience or those who need a refresher of their instrument. Finally, Symphonic Band, the third stage, is comprised of students who have two or more years of experience or are more advanced than their counterparts. In Symphonic you have many opportunities. You get go to multiple games as well as trying out for all state of district, and at the end of the year, there is a field trip!
To conclude, band will could be beneficial in the long run. Band could lead you to the rest of your life! You could earn school scholarships, and this could lead to careers. You learn teamwork, cooperation, personal responsibility, and learn to appreciate music. Also, you find a place to belong and just be weird!
Band is a family and an amazing learning experience that everyone should try!
The War That Saved My Life is the best book I have read in a long time. I recommend that you all should read it. The War That Saved My Life was written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine and now I recommend it to you.
The War That Saved My Life is a story about a young disabled girl with a club foot named Ada Smith and her brother Jamie Smith, who leave home in the middle of a war to escape their abusive mother and the possibility of being caught in the middle of the war. Ada and Jamie join the kids at Jamie’s Elementary School that are leaving the country in order to not seem suspicious to other people or be caught by their mother. Ada and Jamie eventually make it to the countryside and the other children are taken to temporary homes.
Ada and Jamie were not chosen by anyone so Lady Thorton, the head of the Women’s Volunteer Service, or Iron Face as Ada calls her, took them to a lady named Susan Smith. Apparently Smith was a common last name in this time period. At first Mrs. Smith was strict with the children but slowly became less stern. While Ada and Jamie were with Mrs. Smith, Ada made many friends and loved Mrs. Smith’s horse, Butter. Jamie also made friends and adopted a cat from the street named Bovril. Ada and Jamie stayed with Mrs. Smith for a long time until their mother showed up very angry and took them away.
When Ada and Jamie’s mother took them home she made Ada stay home like she did in the begining of the book because she was embarrassed of Ada’s “ugly foot” as she put it. Later the city got bombed and Ada and Jamie had to run down a crowded stair way to get to the shelter in their apartments. When the bombing stopped and they left the shelter they found Mrs. Smith looking for them. They all left the city again and went back to the countryside where they found Mrs. Smith’s house bombed.
The War That Saved My Life was an amazing book to read. There is a sequel coming out called The War That I Finally Won. I advise you to read The War That Saved My Life and the sequel to it, to follow Ada and Jamie on their adventure.
Over three million students are victims of bullying in the US each year. Bullying can affect how people feel in many different ways. Bullying can make people feel sad or depressed. It can also make them mad. They could have a defensive attitude about it or even become bullies themselves. That is why WMS is trying to put a stop to it.
At Wakulla Middle School we are trying to combat bullying. One way we do that is The Wildcat Way. Most wildcats know what The Wildcat Way is, especially if they have ever been in Mrs. Cutchen’s office. The Wildcat Way is a list that tells students What a Friend is, What an Acquaintance is, and What an Enemy is. The first thing under What an Enemy is, is mean or a bully. The first thing under What a Friend is is someone who is there for others. Wildcats are always there for their fellow students.
Wildcats also try to uphold the Principle of “P.R.I.D.E.”. Pride stands for Prepared, Respectful, Involved, Dependable, and Exercising Self Control. Students are respectful to everyone they meet both at school and in their community. Many Wildcats also practice being dependable, rallying around their classmates and making sure that everyone has a friend. At Wakulla Middle School, our Wildcats are trying to do their part to stop bullying.
If you want to learn more go to StopBullying.com or BullyingPrevention.com. Both websites were recommended by Mrs. Cutchen.
Odyssey of the Mind = It’s Not What You Think
Odyssey of the Mind is an academic and imaginative activity that involves creativity and intelligence. Johnathan, a member of the team, states that Odyssey of the Mind doesn’t have an easily definable point, but it is really fun. There are seven members that work together on projects that will be shown at a competition performance skit against other schools. Each member gets a certain part of the play depending on their skills, desires, and their experiences.
This year, our school's Odyssey of the Mind team is creating a structure made of light balsa wood built to hold as much weight as possible without breaking. The members Andrew, Kaydee, Kierra, and Tristan have the skills to act out the play, while Johnathan and Chase have the weights and the structure. When they are finished, they go will against other schools in the region, then the state, and finally, the world. They have eight minutes to present and preform the skit, and it will be scored by how creative and effective they are. The more props (decorations) they use; the more points they will earn.
When building a project, the team has specific supplies they can only use that are listed on a sheet. They find the supplies. start building, experimenting, and practicing. Odyssey of the Mind can make students get more social with others, and can increase partnership, but is mostly aimed at being fun and creative.
WMS Soccer Interview
Ms. Sassafras and Firecracker M, from The WMS Newspaper, interviewed two soccer players, Riley Davis from the girls’ soccer team and Mason Odom from the boys’ soccer team. Here is what Riley had to say, “I love soccer-- on a scale of 1-10 it would be a 10 because my family plays with me. We love to have big tournaments where the whole family plays on the holidays.”
Riley says that her teammates are very nice and work hard to help the team win, they have good sportsmanship and are fun to hang around. While she really hates the sand gnats her favorite part is being a team member and the bus rides. Riley said she was excited to play because she is a 6th grader and would love to do this again.
This is the first article of a series of articles about our teachers and administrators.
An Interview with Mr. Griffin
By Sam B.
Recently I was joined by Mr. Griffin to ask him questions about himself so that the students at Wakulla Middle School (WMS) could get to know him better.
Wakulla News (WN): What is it like being the principal of WMS?
Mr. Griffin: It is great, I love being principal of Wakulla Middle School. It was always a dream job. This is the best school I have ever worked in and I have always wanted to be principal, but to be principal of Wakulla Middle School was icing on the cake. This is the best job anyone could have!
WN: So far, how many changes have you made? Like the new selection of lunch, was that you?
Mr. Griffin: No, I didn't make the lunch changes that is a district decision. Probably the biggest change that I made that affect students right now is bringing water bottles to class. It is something they are going to get to do in high school. So I started it early so students are staying safe and hydrated. Beyond that I have not made a lot of changes because I think the school was in a great spot when I got here.
WN: How can you compare being a principal to being a teacher?
Mr. Griffin: it's been so long since I've been a teacher; seven years. I then became an administrator and assistant principal which I've been doing for the last ten years. It’s a lot different than being a teacher. I taught my lessons and went on with my day. Now as a principal I make decisions that impact the entire 620 students at WMS instead of those in only a couple of classes.
WN: how do you deal with the stress that comes with your job?
Mr. Griffin: Well, my stress levels aren't too high, because I have a great team of administrators with me, they do a great job everyday. The way I handle most of my stress is pretty much by going for a three mile run. By the time I'm done I don't think about anything else.
WN: For fun, what is your favorite sports and team?
Mr. Griffin: my favorite sport is football, I'm a big FSU fan, but for professionals, the New York Giants. I enjoying watching and playing golf as well.
The immediate reply from both 8th graders was…Adrenaline, the Adrenaline rush, right before the shot. They enjoy being able to totally focus on the excitement of hunting on a clear, crisp Wakulla morning. Ricky spoke of a South Georgia buck called “One Ear” that he hopes to find this season and take down like a RMS running back. The giant 10-point, “One Ear”, doesn’t stand a chance against this Coach Metcaff defender. Meanwhile Austin is working to protect his backyard against a forest buck that has been teasing him for a couple years. Perhaps Austin broke his leg on purpose to lure the 12-point buck in close for an easy shot from his patio chair. Needless to say the forest buck has likely met his match.
Follow the continuing adventures of these two Wakulla Boys in future links…Until next time, happy hunting.