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By Nicole S.
Student dances, pep rallies, pizza and peer tutoring are just some of the items on the busy student council agenda this year. The first dance for seventh and eighth grade students held in October had no changes, but in the future, Student Council President Rick K. and Vice President Zareena J. plan to ask about having the cost of admission lowered and the dance time extended. They are also planning to survey the students on what music they like and want the DJ to play.
As for future pep rallies, the new team is trying to make them "peppier," as Zareena discussed in her campaign platform. The next pep rally will be for the girls' basketball team. Rick and Zareena thought that a "knock-out" game would be fun to play at the pep rally. They also plan to survey students to find out what music they would like to hear at future pep rallies. During the pep rallies, Rick and Zareena will introduce the players and reward students who have excelled. They are still in the process of thinking up other ideas for the rallies.
There will not be many changes in the cafeteria. Students will not get a pop machine because the school board and PTO believe that it is not a very nutritious choice. There are, however, new foods including salads in the vending machine, thanks to Rick and Zareena. They are also trying to get more hot lunches. They are going to try several different pizza places and then choose the most popular pizza for the future. Most of the food choices depend on what the students like and want.
Rick, Zareena and the rest of the student council have started peer tutoring and peer maintenance. Peer tutoring is when one student helps another with a school subject. Peer maintenance is when one student tries to help another with non-acdemic problems. Rick and Zareena are also trying to promote more charitable activities for the student body.
For spirit weeks, they would like to have a Fun Friday. During that week, students would attend school on Thursday using the regular schedule and then on Friday, they would follow the Thursday schedule and get out of school at 1:35. Rick and Zareena are also planning to have the number of school spirit weeks increased to four.
By Janelle B. and Rosa S.
Out of 50 people we questioned, 33 felt that the time should be longer and 17 thought that it should stay the same or be shortened. The following are some opinions from Peacock students.
Yes, because then we won't be in such a big hurry and we can get to classes on time." Elsie G. - grade 7
"No, we don't need more time because no one takes a shower, and we need more time for gym. After all, it's physical education, not beauty school." Mike M. - grade 7
"We need a little more time because the girls need to fix their hair and put on makeup." Zareena J. - grade 8
"No, we want more time for P.E. activities." Mike M., Matt M. - grade 7
"Yes, but not that much more because people should learn how to use their time more efficiently." Rick K. - grade 8
"Yes, because I have gym last and the busses leave pretty early." Ben Y. - grade 6
"Yes, girls have more complicated outfits and boys don't care as much about their clothes." Brianna C. - grade 6
"I think the time after gym should be longer because I'm usually late for my next class." Dan Z. - grade 6
"No, because I always wear my gym uniform for the rest of the day." Anonymous
"Yes, because once I get my curling iron started it's already time to go." Anonymous
By Rick K.
Advisor/advisee is one of several new classes this year. This program was started by Mrs. Lynch, school counselor at Peacock. According to Mrs. Lynch, advisor/advisee was started to help every student build relationships with teachers and other students. "Its a place," explained Mrs. Lynch, "where students can hopefully talk about issues that concern them." The goal is for each student to have a teacher they feel able to talk to and with whom they can build a relationship.
The idea of advisor/advisee originally came from teachers and counselors. Most of the teachers teach advisor/advisee. There was a period of training that teachers had to go through last summer to prepare. Subjects discussed during advisor/advisee include the community, everyday life, and ideas from the students. Mrs. Lynch spent alot of time putting together all of these activities, which she learned of from books as well as from other teachers.
All Middles that have converted to the middle school program have advisor/advisee. Some of these locals schools include Medinah Middle School and Mannheim Middle School. When asked if advisor/advisee had affected Peacock, Mrs. Lynch answered that we have not had it long enough to judge. "That was really something only the students could answer," she said.
By John S.
Mr. Peel, the seventh grade Social Studies teacher, uses technology to teach his classes. He never really decided to do this. He just started with a few electronics devices and got caught up in a world of technology. Over the years he has accumulated six TVs, one VCR, six computers, two modem hook-ups, two printers, one remote-control keyboard, one scanner, ten Geoquizzes, and two Lightboards. Geoquizzes and Lightboards allow a student to his knowledge of geographical facts at his own pace. "Some students are more comfortable with technology than others," explained Mr. Peel , "that is why I have so many different types of computers set up in the classroom. Hopefully they will get used to the technology and move from Lightboards to Geoquizzes or a computer."
Mr. Peel uses the different electronic devices in different ways. The TVs, for example, are useful because they allow students in different parts of the room to view movies and filmstrips. The various computers are also a big help. According to Mr. Peel, "they help me out in many different ways. It makes it easier to teach history and geography to the students, to keep accurate records of grades, and with the help of America Online I get This Day in History off the internet." The remote control keyboard allows Mr. Peel to teach from anywhere in the classroom. Geoquizzes and Lightboards are used for studying and reviewing the week's lessons. The students can use all the computers in the room except his Powerbook. That, said Mr. Peel, is off limits.
By Amber S.
Camelot! Camelot! The seniors heard your call. The Encore department had been planning the festivities for the Senior Citizen luncheon since July and had been researching the time period since they decided on the theme in November. Approximately half of the student body worked hard in preparation for the annual event. Mr. Travis's eighth grade elective class contributed the entertainment portion of the day by performing musical selections from Camelot. Mrs. Knudsen and her crew of cooks and tailors provided lunch with a menu that included cornish hens, cream of leek soup, wild rice medley, green beans, pumpernickel rolls, cranberry-raspberry Jell-o and vanilla-almond-raisin pudding. The eighth grade students prepared the meal for some 111 seniors and several invited guests, including Harry Volkman, meterologist on Fox news. Mr. Cousineau's seventh grade architectural drafting class, designed the floor plans for their own personal castle. Also, Mrs. Dengler's sixth grade class designed their own coat of arms and drew a perspective drawing of Medieval castles. Her seventh grade class proved their artistic abilities by creating clay castles that are on display in the downstairs hallway. Photography student, Jenny Looney photographed the entire event. No proper court would lack trumpeters, so Mr. Loest assigned two eighth grade students, Lindsay Chlopek and Audrea Johnson, to serve the Royal Trumpeters. Mrs. Krisik and Mr. Anderson of the Physical Education department attended with a host of jugglers and jesters who provided a comedy break during the slower moments of the luncheon.
All the teachers agreed that the most difficult part of this year's luncheon was the organization. Mr. Cousineau did add that videotaping while wearing a sword was quite a challenge. Mr. Travis noted that the most difficult thing with the music was the differences in the high and low pitches throughout the pieces. Mrs. Knudsen explained that with all the ideas that the teachers had, it was hard to narrow it down to a production in the allotted time. Mr. Travis thought that "Camelot" was the most difficult musical he has produced for the seniors to date, but that it also was the best, despite the glitches.
Mrs. Knudsen also explained that it was quite difficult to establish an authentic but well-balanced meal. Even though in the end it was not quite authentic, hence the Jell-o, it was quite tasty. Preparation of the luncheon was a complex operation. Mrs. Knudsen decided that it was best to divide her apprentices (students) into committees. These included the decoration, and favor-making and center piece committees. There was also a shopping committee that went to Sam's and Jewel and some very diligent costume committees. On the day of the luncheon, around half of the twenty-three students worked in the kitchen and the other half served. The whole class, however, had cooked during the previous week and a half. Mr. Travis's group had a little help from their sixth and seventh grade friends when it came to painting the flats. Mrs. Dengler's classes helped with several groups of decorating committees. She said that with the extra hands helping, the decorating went smoothly.
All the members of the Encore department seemed pleased with the luncheon. When asked if there was anything he would have changed, Mr. Travis said that he would have checked to see that all the mikes were on, and that he had had more time to prepare for the performance. Mrs. Knudsen shared his sentiment about the need for more time. Most importantly, however, the senior citizens seemed to enjoy themselves once again this fall at Peacock.
By Jeff R.
Every good deed, no matter how small, counts, according to Ms. Kartunnen, the resource teacher who founded and runs the Peacock Earth Club. The Earth Club is for anybody who is interested in helping the Earth. Students can join any time of the year and it is completely free. The club was founded a few years ago by Ms. Kartunnen after she asked Dr. Nickisch if she could start the club."I was interested in it and a lot of the kids were, so I thought it would be a good idea," she explained.
Since then, the Earth Club has improved significantly. Many new members have joined and have performed numerous activities to help clean up the planet. But the earth club does not plan to stop there. They will carry out more community service projects, such as planting bulbs around the flagpole outside the school.The earth club will take more field trips including a visit to the recycling center on November 12. Anyone can come along for the trip.
Ms. Kartunnen explained that she knows that sometimes people do not recycle because they feel that they will not make a difference. She stressed, however, "that even if you just recycle one can, if the whole school does that, we will have made an impact." Ms. Kartunnen further noted that she was very excited because we were receiving a new dumpster. Now we can recycle plastic, glass, milk cartons, and juice boxes. She also hopes that students use the "be nice, use me twice" boxes, and do not throw away recyclables. Many students do not realize that the school must pay the garbage company for each bag of garbage thrown out. If we recycle more and have less trash, explained Ms. Kartunnen, we will have more money for education. So reuse, reduce, and recycle, because as Ms. Kartunnen says, "it's never too late to save the Earth."
By Christine H.
Mr. Tison, our sixth grade social studies teacher, started his teaching career in Itasca and never left. He has taught sixth, seventh and eighth grades. He would not say how long he has been teaching at Peacock, but it has certainly been some time.
According to Mr. Tison, his best memories at Peacock were during the Springfield and Washington D.C. trips. His worst memories at Peacock center on the two periods the school was under construction. Mr. Tison admitted that the students at peacock were "kind of cool." He also commented that the town of Itasca was very nice and that it changed every year.
Mr. Tison said that the students of Peacock, both boys and girls, learn the same way. The boys tend to express more of an interest in Social Studies, but there are many girls who express an interest too. In class, he likes to do road maps and aerial photos. He thinks that the students learn best when you add a little humor to the class. He said that "it loosens them up a little." He has discovered this through personal experience.
Mr. Tison has liked social studies ever since he was in seventh grade. Geography remains his favorite subject. After high school, Mr. Tison attended several colleges. First he went to Elmhurst College, then North Eastern Illinois University, George Williams College, and National College of Education. He majored in history and geography. He became a Social Studies teacher because of two great teachers, a seventh grade geography teacher and an eighth grade history teacher. Mr. Tison is married. His wife is also a teacher, and they have children. Outside of school, Mr. Tison is a re-enactive soldier during the summer. He listens to music from the 1950s and 1960s, and he and just finished reading a book on the American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
By Christine H. and Hannah M.
Mrs. Six, the sixth grade science teacher has taught in Itasca for thirty seven years. She said that she could not imagine doing anything else full time or even teaching anywhere else. She commented recently that she liked the students at Peacock and the town of Itasca. If she had not liked it here, she would have gone to California when she had the chance.
When asked what her best memory of Peacock was, Mrs. Six that there were new good memories every year. Her worst memories at Peacock were of the construction and a six foot boa constrictor. She thought that they were looking for an over-sized gardener snake, only to find out it was a six foot boa.
Mrs. Six attended Northern Illinois University and Webster College. She majored in Middle school education, science, and curricular design. She has also worked in the summer as a consultant for a Nuclear Regulatory Company. Mrs. Six said that she became a teacher "because she enjoyed working with young people, especially students at the high or middle school levels." She said that she most enjoyed the sense of humor, enthusiasm and interaction that were all aspects of working with middle school students.
According to Mrs. Six, there is no difference in the way each gender learns. She explained that at this age, boys do not mind getting dirty and are risk takers, but once girls are engaged in the activity, they throw caution and fashion to the wind, and get down and dirty too. Mrs. Six uses several different activities in her classes to help students learn. These include working in the nature center and with computers, as well as engaging in other hands-on exercises.
Outside of school, Mrs. Six is married with no children. Her spouse is a retired private investigator and a security director. She likes any kind of music as long as it is not heavy metal or rap. The last books Mrs. Six read were Hot Zone and Sarong a Tiger Story. She has many interests including gardening and raising and showing rabbits. She also judges 4H competitions.
By Liz F.
You have all known a new student, and may have even been one yourself once. Well, now you get a chance to meet another. I had the pleasure of interviewing Angelica A., a new student in sixth grade. Angelica went to school in Los Vegas at Hyde Park Middle School before coming to Peacock this year. She misses her teachers, friends, and school back in Nevada, but she is philosophical about it because she will see them all again when she returns there for seventh grade.
Angelica thinks the students at Peacock are O.K. So far, she has made friends with Pattie S., Liz F., and Abby W. She also said she likes the teachers at Peacock and the town of Itasca. Angelicas favorite subject is science, and she wants to try out for cheerleading. Contrary to popular opinion, Angelica does not think we have too much homework. She likes the music of Boys to Men and TLC. One of the last books she read was the classic, Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thats a little about Angelica Aragon, a new student in sixth grade.
By Kristina R.
Katherine M. is a new seventh grade student at Peacock Jr. High. Before she came to Peacock, she attended Wood Dale Jr. High. She misses her friends, teachers, and her old school very much. Katie also said, however, that the students are very nice, and friendly at Peacock. The town of Itasca, though, only rates as average. Katie has made plenty of friends here and thinks the teachers are very interesting. Her favorite subject is English, and she is on the basketball team, in band and in chorus. Katie did admit when asked that she thought we sometimes received too much homework, and the last book she read was Jumping the Nail by Eve Bunting. Katie is into all different types of music. She likes alternative, pop, and up beat music.
The first part of Peacock was built in 1940, with two floors and two rooms on each floor.
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