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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Band and choir perform at "Swing into Spring"

Above: Junior Alyssa Lyddon performs her vocal solo “De Pena, De Susto” at the Swing into Spring concert on Tuesday, May 8. Lyddon also received a I rating at State Solo and Small Ensemble contest.

by Kayla Werner
On Tuesday, May 8, the junior high and high school band and choir performed for their annual “Swing Into Spring” concert, which involved group performances as well as solos. 
The junior high band started off the concert playing “Salute to Freedom” by Andy Clark, “Storm Clouds” by James Swearingen, and “Rock Fourth” by Paul Clark. The high school band joined the junior high to play “Takeoff” by David Shaffer before starting their performance.
The high school band went on to perform “Second Suite for Military Band” by Gustav Holst, “Swing Machine” by Larry Neeck, and “Saturday in the Park by Chicago.” They finished up their performance with an encore of “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. 
After the band was finished, the choir took the stage. The junior high girls’ chorus opened with “Over the Rainbow” by Audrey Snider. When the girls finished, the boys joined them on stage to sing “Another Op’nin’, Another Show” by Cole Porter and “Shine on Me” arranged by Rollo Dilworth.
Between the junior high and high school performances, Natalie Wheeler had a solo. She sang “Part of Your World” from the Little Mermaid. 
The high school women sang a mash up of “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones and “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Clara Johnson followed their performance with a solo of “Pray” by Justin Bieber as a tribute to her baby cousin who is battling brain cancer. 
The high school men were up next singing “Gonna Build a Mountain” arranged by Norman Leyden.
Alyssa Lyddon performed her solo of “De Pena, De Susto.” She also performed this song at the high school State Solo and Small Ensemble contest and got a I (superior) rating.
Morgan Sanders also had a solo before the high school mixed chorus took the stage. Her song was “My Heart Will Go On” from the Titanic.
The high school mixed chorus ended the night with “Make Them Hear You” from the musical “Ragtime,” “Turn The World Around” by Belafonte and Freedman, and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical “Hairspray.”
The high school band’s director Scott Stanton also handed out letters that are meant for the band’s marching jackets. He also gave out the Most Outstanding Musician Award to graduating senior Elizabeth Ostrem.

JH track season wraps up

by Bridgette Moore
On Thursday, May 3, the Montezuma junior high girls’ track team competed at the annual Gayle Creswell Relays at Montezuma where they placed third overall. 
There were four first-place finishes: Katie Maschmann in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter hurdles and long jump, and the 4x100 meter dash team. 
In addition, there were two second place finishes: Ashley Moore in the 100 meter hurdles and Hannah Beenken in the discuss throw.
The junior high boys track team also competed at the Gayle Creswell relays. The team was split into Montezuma Blue and Montezuma White,  with the Montezuma Blue team earning first place with a total of 162 points. 
Carson Losure took first in long jump. Bobby McCulley also earned first in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.18 seconds.  One of the two Montezuma Blue teams earned first in 4x100 meter relay. The 4x200 meter relay, 4x400 meter relay and 4x800 meter relay  teams also took first.
 Second place finishes included Losure in the 100 meter dash, Tyler Geiger in the 400 meter dash, Kaleb Kriegel in the 800 meter run, 1600-distance medley relay, 100 M hurdles, and the second Montezuma Blue team in the 4x100 meter relay.
Events that earned third place were Zach Townsend in the long jump, Tyler Thompson in shot put, the Montezuma White 4X100 meter relay team, and the Montezuma Blue 800-sprint medley team.
On Saturday, May 5, the Montezuma Junior High Boys’ team competed at the Mid-Prairie Invitational at Mid-Prairie.
The boys had one first place finish that event was the 4x800 Relay the team consisted of  Kriegel, Travis Lewis, Skyler Romberg and Brody McKeag.
There were several second placing finishes. These were the shuttle hurdle relay team with Shane Helm, Dakota Strong, Lewis and  McKeag. Losure in the 100 meter dash and long jump, Geiger in the 400 meter dash. The 4x200 relay consisted of Grant Johnston, Helm, Kriegel and Logan Price.
Coach David Brondyke said, “Overall I was really proud of how hard our young men worked this week and how they gave everything they had to this final meet. This was one of our more challenging meets and they definitely rose up to the challenge.” 
Overall the eighth grade boys placed second and the seventh grade boys placed fourth.
This was the final meet of the season for the teams.  It was a great season for the boys’ team. They placed first, second, and third at all of their meets.  
Brondyke said, “We showed tremendous improvements with personal gain and goals met in nearly all our events. As a coach I have a lot to be thankful for from the athletic director, to the volunteers, to the parents and the students. Together we made it a successful season. I would like to say to all of the boys I am proud of each of you for the effort in everything they do.”

Montezuma receives U.S. Best High Schools award

by Vincent Bushong
Each year, the U.S. News & World Report recognizes schools nationwide with a Best High Schools award in three categories: Gold, Silver and Bronze. This year, Montezuma High School received a Bronze award.
Montezuma was only  one of 104 high schools in Iowa to receive an award of any category. In the South Iowa Cedar conference, Montezuma and Keota were the only two schools to receive an award.
The algorithms used to determine a school’s ranking first test the school’s academic performance as compared to the average in the state. 
Then, the school’s least-advantaged students’ performances were compared to the state average of similar students. 
Finally, the students’ readiness for college was tested, using a college readiness index. 
U.S. News reported 88% proficiency in reading for MHS and 96% proficiency in math.
Superintendent Dave Versteeg, “The students are at the core of this award. When students are responsible for their own learning, they become engaged in the educational process. When students become engaged, wonderful results happen like the U.S. News award. This award is not an ending point to the achievement possible at Montezuma HS but a beginning point.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Students form new anti-bullying group

Eight students went to Rachel’s Challenge, an anti-bullying program, at BGM on Saturday, April 28. Students involved in the event included, back row, from l to r: Frank Gillum, Mya Talbert, Siara Broadston, River Webb, and front row, l to r: Alyssa Carl, Tailor Snook and Tania McPherson. Not pictured is Hunter Foubert

by Bridgette Moore
On Saturday, April 28, eight students and three teachers traveled to BGM to attend the Rachel’s Challenge event, which is an anti-bullying program.
The students included Mya Talbert, Frank Gillum, Hunter Foubert, Tailor Snook, Alyssa Carl, River Webb, Siara Broadston and Tania McPherson.The teachers were Ms. Kelsie Sheets, middle school special education teacher, Mrs. Roxanne Goudy, middle school English teacher, and Mr. David Brondyke, middle and high school science teacher. While there, they were instructed on what bullying is and how we can prevent it. 
There are a few main goals for the program. Those goals include creating a safe learning environment for all students and improving academic achievement by getting students engaged in the process with their minds, hearts and hands. They also hope to train adults to empower students to make a positive change. It brought awareness to issues that they all are dealing with, and it didn’t take them long to realize that everyone is going through similar things. 
Sheets said, “The program is designed to initiate a ‘chain reaction’ from the kids. A ‘chain reaction’ is when the students do small acts of kindness around their school and community to make for a safer and more enjoyable environment.”
The event was emotional for students and staff alike. After the seminar the students received gel bracelets that read, “Start a chain reaction.” 
Frank Gillum, an 8th grader, stated, “I thought it was very good and it brought out a lot of inner issues from people. It helped people deal with the hard times that they have or are going through.”
River Webb, a 7th grader, “I thought it was very helpful for people and it could change people’s lives. I learned not to judge people when you first see them because you don’t know what’s wrong in their life.”
Sheets said, “It brought awareness to issues that they all are dealing with and it didn’t take them long to realize that everyone is going through similar things. It was great to see that ‘aha’ moment for the kids. It was like a switch that they realized their fellow classmates, kids from BGM and their own teachers are dealing with similar struggles. We all wear a mask to make it seem like our lives are perfect, but in reality we all carry baggage.”
The students have started a small group called C.A.B. (Children Against Bullying). This group consists of students who attended the Rachel’s Challenge event, as well as the junior high student council members and Mr. Moretz. Eventually, they plan to open this group up to anyone in the junior high, all developing from this motivated group of students. As a group they are looking at the costs and possible effects of bringing Rachel’s Challenge to Montezuma. They also hope to develop posters, presentations and challenges for the entire school to educate them on the effects bullying has on students as well as what to do when they see bullying happen.

JH track competes at Albia

by Elizabeth Ostrem
On Monday, April 30, the Montezuma boys’ and girls’ junior high track teams competed at Albia. Other teams in attendance were Albia, Centerville, Davis County, Eddyville-Blakesburg, Eddyville-Blakesburg (7th grade), Interstate 35 and Moravia.
The boys’ team took third out of seven teams, with a total of 83 points. For the girls, Montezuma placed sixth overall.
For relays, the girls’ team won the 4x100M relay, with a time of 58.6. The girls also took fourth place in both the 800M medley, with a time of 2:23.48, and the 400M shuttle hurdle relay, with a time of 1:26.10.
In individuals, Kate Maschmann won the 100M dash, with a time of 13.67, and the 200M hurdles, with a time of 30.34. Maschmann also took fourth in the long jump, with a jump of 13’9 ½“ to finish. For discus, Hannah Beenken took third place, with a throw of 71’11”.
For the boys’ team, the 4x200M team took first overall, winning with a time of 1:48.00 minutes. The 4x800M relay team placed second, with a time of 10:36.20, and the 1600M medley team placed third, with a time of 4:58.07 minutes.
Carson Losure and Bobby McCulley took first and third respectively in the 100M dash, with times of 12.22 and 12.74 respectively. Losure went on to place third in the long jump, with a jump of 16’8 ½“, and McCulley also took second in the 200M dash, with a time of 26.39 seconds.
Kaleb Kriegel placed third in the 800M run, with a time of 2:25.03.
Ryan Maschmann placed fourth in the 200M hurdles, with a time of 31.95.

Teacher Talk: Carrie Weber

by Natalie Kirton
Mrs. Carrie Weber has been a teacher of the Montezuma Science department for the past 11 years. She teaches Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physics. 
Weber was raised on a farm and is the third of six children. Her oldest sibling is 36 and her youngest is 12. She attended high school at Turkey Valley Community School. While there she played the trumpet for the band, was on the debate team and was even a part of a teaching group, where she taught guidance to junior high students. 
Upon graduation, Weber enrolled in Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Her favorite experiences during college were hanging out with her friends and taking a trip to the rainforest of Guyana, South America. 
Weber student-taught at Sumner-Fredericksburg schools before getting her job here in Montezuma. Her favorite parts of teaching here are all of the interactions and in-depth conversations she gets to have with the students. She loves when students walk away feeling like they really learned something from her. 
If Weber could teach any other subject besides science, it would be social studies because she likes to learn about history and watch documentaries. 
In her spare time, Weber likes to read, go for walks, root for the Packers, play videogames, go outdoors and spend time with her children. She also likes to camp with her family when it is nice out. 
She is married to Adam Weber and they have two children, Aleric and Zander, who are six and three respectively. Weber is a very proud mother and talks about her children’s achievements frequently. 
Some random facts that you may not have known about her are that her favorite books are “The Iliad by Homer and “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follet, she loves “The Lion King” and that she has five fish tanks throughout her house. 
Weber loves learning alongside her students and is always looking forward to trying something new. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monte FFA brings home state champions

Above, l to r: Katelyn Gregory, Tiffany Heishmann, Courtney Petersen, Colleen Johnston and Abbi Nelson will compete at Nationals for Ag Comm after becoming State Champions at FFA State Convention on Tuesday, April 24.
Below: Back row, l to r: Advisor Rick Swenson and seniors Nathan Wheeler, Natalie Wheeler, Brynna Steele, Shena Bryan, Alexis Ferguson and Bridgette Moore and front row, l to r: Kendra Cranston, Breanna Johnson, Kaylin Hansen, Aly James, Carrie Graham and Kendra Doty gather after accepting their Iowa Degrees at FFA State Convention on April 24.

by Bridgette Moore
On Sunday, April 22, approximately 30 Montezuma FFA members left to go to the Iowa State FFA Convention, which was held at Iowa State University in Ames. Teams, parents and other members helped the competitors practice for countless hours for their event.  Three of four competing teams received State Champion titles.
The Conduct of Meetings team performed on Monday, April 23. In this competition, students go through the proper way to run an Official FFA Meeting. The team consists of a president, vice president, sentinel, treasurer, reporter, secretary and an advisor. They received a gold rating along with claiming the title of Iowa State Champions. 
The team consisted of Clara Johnston (president), Vincent Bushong (vice president), Steve Kopp (advisor), Brittany Bender (secretary), Alex Brenner (treasurer), Cheyenne Peters (reporter) and Mackenzie James (sentinel). The alternates were Kaylene Corbin, Mikey Lyons, Jack Little and Noah Sykes.
Business Management competed on Tuesday, April 24. Each member takes a test that has math problems that would show up in everyday business. This was the second group to take the State Champion title and gain a gold rating. 
The team was made up of AJ Long (first place individual), Tyler Swenson (second place individual), Camden Watson (third place individual) and Norman Martin (sixth place individual). They will be competing at the National FFA Convention in October, which will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year marks the 19th straight year that the Montezuma FFA has taken the state champion title in this group.
Agriculture Communications also completed on Tuesday. In the competition, each member has a certain job: press release, radio broadcasting, proof reading and web design. They have to make a presentation that they present with information about their topic. This year the topic was “We Can Make a Difference” and was about the Montezuma Food Pantry. They received a gold rating and the title of Iowa State Champions. 
Katelyn Gregory  (first place individual, radio broadcaster), Abbi Nelson (second place individual, web designer), Courtney Peterson (fourth place individual, press release), Colleen Johnston (proof reading) and their alternate, Tiffany Heishman, were the members of this team. They will also be competing at Nationals in October.
Ag Market Plan competed on Tuesday as well. In this competition, the team comes up with a Market Plan for the business. This year’s market plan was about Hill Top Farms, which is run by Dick Swenson and Rick Swenson. The team talked about how to improve the swine semen production. Nathan Wheeler, Kendra Doty and Aly James are on the team. They will also be competing at Nationals.
Ag Sales competed on Tuesday. All teams were asked to sell a fertilizer called Preen. They are judged on how well they executed the sale and a test. The team consisted of Karah Hansen, Masiey Ranfield, Kaylee White and Julie Audas. The alternates were Danelle Kleitsch and Abby Wedgewood. They received 11th place.
Seniors who completed their SAE (Supervised Agriculture Education) received their Iowa Degrees on Tuesday. Those seniors are Shena Bryan, Alexis Ferguson, Kendra Doty, Carrie Graham, Bridgette Moore, Breanna Jonhson, Natalie Wheeler, Kaylin Hansen, Brynna Steele, Nathan Wheeler and Aly James.
Congratulations to all the teams and recipients!

JH Braves track takes first

by Andrea Farrington
Monday, April 23, the junior high boys track team competed at Eddyville-Blakesburg. The team finished in first place with a total of 177 points. Pella Christian followed behind them with 119 points and North Mahaska placed third with 110 points.
Kaleb Kriegel, Brody McKeag, Travis Lewis and Skyler Romberg started off the meet strongly by placing first in the 4x800 relay in 10:53.31.
The shuttle hurdle relay team featuring Shane Helm, McKeag, Lewis, and Dakota Strong also placed first with a time of 1:17.03.
 Next on the list was Bobby McCulley in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.51 seconds, placing first and Carson Losure earning a close second with a time of 12.79 seconds.
In the 1600-meter medley, Ryan Maschmann, Strong, Zach Townsend and Joel Crantson took third place with a time of 4:53.97.
Tyler Geiger ran the 400-meter dash and took second place with a time of 1:02.56, while Skyler Romberg earned fifth place with a time of 1:05.28.
 Grant Johnson,  Helm, Logan Price, and Losure made up the 4x200 relay and placed  first with a time of 1:49.25.
Seth Cranston came in fourth place in the 1600-meter run with a time of 6:11.84.
Price placed first in 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.53 seconds. 
McCulley and Geiger took first and fourth place respectively in the 200-meter dash.
In the 800-meter medley, Helms, Frank Gillum, Townsend and McKeag took second with a time of 2:07.62.
Maschmann placed third in the 200-meter hurdles with a tie of 32.72 seconds.
Kriegel placed first in the 800-meter run and Geiger, McCulley, Johnson, and  Gillum placed first in the 4x100 relay with a time of 53.86 seconds.
Finally, the 4x400 relay team made up of Helms, Maschmann, Lewis and Romberg took third place with a time of 4:28.38.
In field events, Tyler Thompson took second in shot put with a throw of 32’ 1” and Cole Corbin took fourth place with a throw of 30’ 8”.  Dominique Ward earned second place in discus with a throw of 90’ 1.5”.
In the high jump, Logan Price placed third with a jump of 4’ 10”, while Jacob Shaver earned fourth with 4’10”.
The long jump included Losure earning second with a jump of 15’ 10” and Townsend gaining third with a jump of 15’ 7”. 
Coach David Brondyke said, “Our boys ran extremely well. I am proud of all of their performances and hope to continue to improve for our next meet.”