Southwest Junior High's Bulldog Math Team has compiled quite a record this year. Most recently, it took fifth place out of 24 teams at the Kansas state math competition in Salina on March 7. Competing for Southwest were Melissa Xin (captain), Nat Twarog, K.J. Swadley, and Mike Ryu.
In February, SW seventh- and eighth-graders competed in the 16th annual Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics contest. First and second place finishes in individual competition categories went to Nat Twarog and Melissa Xin. Others placing in the competition were Annie McEnroe, Laura Shrader, Cameron Karlin, Lynn Feng, K.J. Swadley, Spencer Wilson, and Bo Liu.
- Southwest freshmen and parents teamed up with employees of McDonald's, one of SW's business partners, to man a Red Cross blood drive on March 2. Students who volunteered were Erin Pipkin, Brandon Sublett, Cory Belt, Sarah Martin, Debbie Slack, Gabe Burt, Lauren Parsons, Natalie Vincent, Laura Panella, Libby Towner, Nick Reimond, and Pan Pan Wang. Parent volunteer M.J. Panella coordinated the event.
- The seventh-grade teams participated in their own Olympics during February. The opening ceremony featured Olympian Scott Huffman, who told the students about his participation in the summer Olympics and discussed themes of competition, winning, losing and success. All the students were assigned to represent and research countries. They put their research material together in the form of hyperstudio computer programs.
The 10-day unit culminated in a day of competitions and closing ceremonies. Students dressed in the costumes of their countries and paraded along Bulldog Boulevard with signs displaying their country's names. Then a series of competitions was held, including contests in which metric measurements were used and quiz-bowl questions were answered. Students performed tests of flexibility and strength, comparing their performance with measurements taken at the beginning of the unit, with awards given to the most improved.
An awards assembly was held at the end of the day. The following awards were given:
Costumes: Bronze, Samson Yimer (Russia); Silver, Tegan McHugh (Sweden); Gold, Annie McEnroe (Greece).
Hyperstudio: Bronze, Stephanie Wiesner and Alison Lomas (Israel); Silver, Stephen Vincent and Merlin Howick (Belarus); Gold, Andy Struble and Ed Delatorre (Argentina).
Quiz Bowl: Bronze, Lucia Jimenez, Alicia Sellon, Issac Monteleone, Geoffrey Salvatore (Costa Rica); Silver, Max Paley, Josh Yurek, Rebecca Fritzel, Halston McAtee (Norway); Gold, Brian Seymour, Nat Twarog, Leigh Debiasse, Erica Kloppenborg (Poland).
Metric Olympics: Bronze, Thomas Fulbright; Silver, Jack Dillon; Gold, Linsey Morningstar.
Paper Door Activity: Bronze, Chelsey Johannes, Ashley Johnson, Eyad Safadi, Joe Brynds, Thomas Peng (Japan); Silver, Scot Bronoski, Jonathan Mosley, Lauren Davis, Leah Johnson (Germany); Gold, Ariel Clark, Lauren Drain, Lori Brittin, Laura Shrader (Portugal).
Most Improved Flexibility: Bronze, Jessica Streff; Silver, Chris Frederick; Gold, Dustin Walker.
Arm Lifts: Bronze, Linsey Morningstar; Silver, Neil Dougherty; Gold, Stephanie Oakley.
Pacer Run: Bronze, Shelly Valverde and Dylan McClain; Silver, Bryn Gardner and Brian Seymour; Gold, Linsey Witthaus and Neil Dougherty.
Overall Team Competition: Bronze, Chris Laing, J. Taylor, Heather Brown (Australia); Silver, Chelsey Johannes, Ashley Johnson, Eyad Safadi, Joe Brynds (Japan); Gold, Mandi Stebbins, Nicole Atwood, Kyle Capps, Michael Robinson, Nick Giannakis (Switzerland).
- The Kansas Music Educator's National Convention was held recently in Wichita, and a number of SW students were selected by taped audition to perform. Representing SW were Raphael Franklin, Josh Goeke, Ashley Knight, Ann Goering, Rachelle Herod, Melissa Colgan, Julie Thomas, Sarah Chaney, Hallee Winnie, Cynthia Cluff, Kellie Lankford, Katherine Cartter, and Sadie Caplan. They are all students of Janeal Krehbiel.
- Jonathan Allen, management analyst with the city of Lawrence, met recently with Southwest students on the planning committee, sharing his views on responsibility and leadership. The students on the planning committee have been using their talents for the benefit of our community by volunteering to serve meals for LINK and working with Habitat for Humanity.
- Classics professor Stanley Lombardo spent some time with Lynn Renick's ninth-grade English classes, introducing their study of the ``Odyssey.''
- Seventh-graders have finished geography research papers on topics ranging from the potato famine to volcanoes to elephant poaching.
- Sarah Pike's civics classes have completed their mock-trial unit. After studying the judicial system, students played the roles of judges, attorneys, witnesses, suspects, and juries in a simulation. The judges and attorneys have especially challenging roles. Students who met this challenge were ``attorneys'' Tanner Stumbaugh, Sarah Daugherty, Lisa Dixon, Carlos Ascanio, Vanessa Huckley-Van Kirk, Corrie McDaniel, Pat Krivoshia, Megan Hochstein, Chris Baker, and Lauren Phlegar. ``Judges'' were Joey O'Brien and Brendan Scarffe.
- Eighth-grade social studies students have been studying immigration. Mr. Muehlberger's students made a poster that showed where their ancestors came from. On a map of the world, bordered with their photos, students drew lines from their own pictures to the countries from which their ancestors had come to the United States.
- Dennis ``Boog'' Highberger visited Cindy Sears' Advanced Art class recently to show them his stamp-art designs. He provided students with addresses of other stamp artists with whom they can correspond. Some students are making personal stamps to feature on T-shirt designs.
- The seventh-grade Foundations of Music classes will be giving a choral concert at 7 p.m. April 29. It will be held in the SW auditorium. Parents and friends are invited.
- Masks made by Danira Fernandez-Flores's Spanish II classes are on display in the SW library. After studying holidays in Spanish-speaking countries and learning about masks used in celebrations, the students created their own masks.
- A Mardi Gras celebration took place in David West's French classes. Students displayed the miniature Mardi Gras floats they had constructed, and candy and plastic ``jewels'' were thrown in Mardi Gras fashion as parading students performed stunts and exercised their French skills. The celebration was topped off with an authentic Gateau de Roi, or King's Cake, from New Orleans.
- A new addition to the SW library is a framed collage given to the school by Daniel S. Goldin, National Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator. Science teacher Gary Webber is responsible for bringing the school to NASA's attention.
- The freshmen had a chance to practice interviewing skills recently, and members of the Lawrence community provided expert assistance. Conducting the job interviews were Al Hack, Clint Bradley, Penny Brown and Quentin Brinkworth from CEK Insurance; John Dobbins from Environmental Resources Management; Marilyn Dobski, Aletia Vaughn, and Heidi Gowen from McDonald's; Randy Weseman from USD 497; Karan Baucom, Lijia Lyles, Alicia Reynolds, Maria Oroke, and John Sprague from Sallie Mae; Mike Scott from Southwestern Bell; and Ryan Foy. * Freshmen in classes taught by Justin Wood, Patti Coffey, Sue Hack, Skip Bennet and student teacher Joe Thornberg continue to meet weekly with Mickey Wollard's sixth-graders from Sunflower Elementary School. The junior high mentors work with the youngsters on prewriting, writing and editing. A recent writing project focused on the snakes brought to the sixth-graders' classroom by SW biology students. Assisting the elementary students reinforces the skills the ninth-graders have learned.
- SW now has three business partners. In addition to the partnership with McDonald's, SW has partnerships with Clinton Parkway Nursery and Water's Edge. Projects that involve students' learning by doing are being planned. For example, students will be assisting with plant propagation this spring.
- A three-act mystery, ``The People vs. Maxine Lowe,'' was performed at SW on March 12 and 13. The following students were in the cast: Alex Wickersham, Leslie Short, Nat Twarog, Josh Bailey, Molly Kocour, David Gaus, Josh Kennett, Jeni Phillips, Rhykky Morgenstern, Stephen Moles, Max Paley, Tom Garven, Adam Blair, Erica Kloppenborg, Erin Harrison, Caitlin King, Cassy Glinski, Erin Baker, Jesse Barnes, Elizabeth McConnell, Brandon Schaeffer, Kelley Perme, Chree Putman, Molly Bretthauer, Libby Ross, Ella Newman, Rose Bringus, Carolyn Tharp, Mandy Johns, Brittany Rank, Whitney Devine and Ian Howick. Crew members were Aaron McDonald, Paula Fulbright, Beth Karpowitz, David Gouth, Cassy Glinski, Gary Johnson, Aaron Kelley, Jay Traylor, Patrick Brandt, Michael Pilshaw, Brendan Gallagher, Jackie Putman, Leslie Short and Siwei Zhu. Construction of the set was the responsibility of Jesse Barnes, Alex Wickersham, Nicolas Escovar, Susan Guth, Danielle Ichelson, Lauren Wickliffe, Kelly Jones, Ashley Victor, Allison Wright, Mike Cobb, Brandon Sublette, Brenden Gallagher, Michael Pilshaw, Adam Blair, Stephen Moles, Julie Thomas, Christina Neighbors, Brandon Schaeffer, Courtney Anderson, Katie Bowers, Tyler Horken, Jerod Neider, Kristi Streff, Chris Johnson, Rob Scott, Ian Higgins, Brian Dobski and Jackie Putman. Ann Bemis and David West were co-directors. Student assistant directors were Sarah Myers and Libby Ross.