7-12 December Newsletter
Mr. Phil Goetstouwers, 7-12 Principal
What is great is that we have a wonderful community full of parent support for our staff. Our staff appreciates the extra goodies, cards, emails, etc. they receive from many of you. Parents are quick to help out with resources to pay for meals at parent-teacher conferences and get supplies on the teachers' wish lists. We're all very thankful for a supportive community who are willing to express and show the appreciation for all that is done.
Junior high music:
If your child is interested in joining show choir 3rd quarter, choir 4th quarter, or band for second semester, they still can. Students can schedule it for just show choir 3rd quarter or choir 4th quarter and wouldn't have to do both, although ideally they would join both. If you have any questions about it, please email me or the choir/show choir teacher, Mr. Rusche, at firstname.lastname@example.org or our band teacher, Ms. Weyhrich, at email@example.com.
Students would have 3 participation days in the beginning of second semester to drop show choir or band and 3 participation days in the beginning of 4th quarter to drop choir. It's listed as 3 participation days because junior high music is on a 3-day rotation with TAG/WIN time. So 3 participation days would be like 9 school days.
Here are the links to our concert last week in case you missed it or want to see it again:
JH Band- https://youtu.be/x1r__tlDdqo
JH Choir- https://youtu.be/gxdvJBgS5IU
HS Band- https://youtu.be/boSIHpL3wQY
HS Choir- https://youtu.be/slkB7Mos-w4
I asked my staff recently "What is one trait that one of your colleagues has that you wish you had or exhibited more?" and here is what they wrote:
I wish I had Mrs. Nelson's math ability. Mrs. Nelson's willingness to adapt and try new things. She is always doing something new over there. I am slow to try new things.
Sam Yates goes out of his way to get things completed for the betterment of our classroom. He finds the time to balance every job he has.
The classroom management skills of Mrs. Jacobs. Jennifer Jacobs-List's organizational skills! Every aspect of her day is well prepared and thought out. Jacobs ability for spot on organization! Jacob-List is such a talented and confident teacher. She is matter of fact, but SUPER caring and thoughtful the students just love her!
Mr. Zyzda: Always offering encouragement to his peers. For me as a first year teacher Aaron has been a strong support for me. From checking in on me from time to time, offering encouragement and being able to answer questions as I have them. I hope that I at some point will be able to do the same for my peers that are new to the profession.
Mrs. Hodgson's organization skills.
Ms. Deavers' decorating skills.
Mrs. Reid's drive (and attendance).
Missy's knowledge of math.
Mrs. Kochen's positivity. Sara Kochen's ability to remain super chill and organized in her classroom that has multiple different projects being completed by students.
The SUPERIOR talent and confidence of Mr. Hoffman. His booming voice and sunny disposition is always something I enjoy seeing (true Santa Claus vibes).
Mrs. Bolinger is so organized and dedicated to her students- she teaches them such valuable skills and it shows!
Mrs. Clabaugh is always very organized and has wonderful projects and ideas! She is a total advocate for the TAG program and her students are really excelling!
Mrs. Wurth and Mrs. Brown- they are superior teachers and have such excellent ideas when teaching reading/English to students... doing the Socratic Method is not an easy task, but they do it so well! I hear great things! Middle School Teachers- They are just overall amazing and that whole wing has great camaraderie and always help each other out. They are all such wonderful MS teachers!
Mr. Black's positive attitude at all times.
Mr. Crawford's knowledge in math and quick comprehension skills!
Mrs. Ruden passion for science, holding kids accountable, and for following the rules and expectations!
Mrs. Hertenstein's time management skills and balancing all of her teaching and FCCLA advising!
Mrs. Clausen's advocating for kids.
Mrs. Hunter's go with the flow mentality!
Mr. Rusche and Ms. Weyhrich's devotion to music!
Mr. Sargent's professionalism and how he dots every i and crosses every t!
Mr. Small for his work-life balance!
Mr. Clark for his balance of goofiness and sternness with the kids!
Mrs. Cotter and Mrs. Reid's knowledge of the language arts!
Mr. Mohr's willingness to try new things if that means helping students grow academically and athletically!
Our new paras abililty to transition into the new jobs and meeting the expectations like rock stars!
Our veteran paras's effort to ensure success from our students!
Other praises for students and staff:
Ashlyn Kovarna, Carly Hicklin, and Caitlyn Hollinrake have been helping in Algebra Academy. Since they have joined, all the students get help when needed and their grades have gone up. I am really grateful for them helping out.
Our winter athletes are all off to great starts in their seasons while finishing up strong in their classes as the semester comes to an end.
Peyton Beeck, works very hard in Geometry and has done well with some challenging problems I have given them lately.
Students for finishing their semester long projects; by presenting them in class. I am amazed at some of the great projects and presentations that I am seeing in my classes. All I can say is WOW!!!
Trevor Obbink- he bought the art room 20 brand new (still smell like glue) rulers!!! The art room's rulers have seen better days and have taken quite the beating over the years... Trevor, upon seeing the state of these rulers was generous enough to donate a bundle to the art room which we are so grateful for! Thank you Trevor!!
Jack Diediker has done a great job working through Geometry constructions.
Mrs. Julie Clausen, 7-12 School Counselor
Have you been at a business recently that is under staffed? The Last Dollar Scholar was created to help fill the void in the workforce with free tuition in Siouxland shortage areas with the training coming from local community colleges in Iowa. It's a HUGE list. For WITCC, https://www2.witcc.edu/freetuition/ go to this webpage. Also, at Northwest Iowa Community College (NCC) , the Powerline program is listed under their Last Dollar Scholar program. Please go to https://nwicc.edu/academics/programs-of-study/powerline/ to see more information. Juniors should apply now for the Powerline program as there is a wait list.
- Building and Trades
- Business, Administration, and Design
- Information Technology
- Culinary and Hospitality
- Health Administration
- Health and Science
- Law and Politics
- Robotics and Engineering
Mr. Joel Small, 8-12 Social Studies Teacher and JV Football Coach
JV Football Season Comes to an End
The Junior Varsity football team wrapped up another successful season in late October. The Junior Varsity played a total of eight games this season, four at home and four on the road. I am a strong believer that our Junior Varsity program allows our young men the chance to compete at a high level while developing the necessary skills to perform at the varsity level in the future. I can’t say enough about how much our guys improved throughout the course of the season. It will take a consistent commitment to become the football team we want to be. We have talked about this at length and now it’s up to them to utilize the opportunities we offer to get better.
The Junior Varsity season with an overall record of 5-3 record.(we were 3-5 last year) We opened up the season with a resounding 36-0 over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn on the road in Hartley. In week two we traveled to Moville where we defeated a pretty good Wildcat team by the score of 38-12. In the third game of the season the Ponca Indians traveled across the Mighty Mo for our first home contest of the season. The Blackhawks boys didn’t disappoint the hometown faithful posting a 30-0 shutout victory over our out-of-state rivals. In Week 4 we ran into a buzzsaw up north in Hawarden losing by a score of 40-18 on the Falcon turf. Sitting at 3-1we faced our War Eagle rivals to the west, the Westerners of A-W, We were able to come out with a another shutout victory our third of the season with a 22-0 win In game six of the season we were back home in the friendly confines of the Held Sports Complex but we couldn’t finish the deal against a good Unity squad losing by a score of 20-7. We finished the year with two home games, shutting out our nemesis to the north Gehlen 26-0 but then lost a nail biter 26-24 to the Eagles of Lawton-Bronson.
We were a young football team, we played a lot of freshmen and sophomores but they always played with a lot of determination and fiestyness. I really thought this group learned how to compete as the season progressed. We were a much different team at the end of the season than where we began in early August. It will be fun to watch these guys develop over the several months with the off-season workouts that are available. Many of these young men will be called on to play a role on the Varsity next year.
Members of this year’s Junior Varsity squad were Juniors Ty Jones, Danny Blackwell, Gage Morgan, and Tommy Elidaes. Sophomores Gabe Anderson, Kyle Leary, Nick Lindley, Mark Gant, Brogan Lake, Michael Loutsch, Landin Burkhart, Brooks Binneboese, Jack Beeck, Blake Schoenherr, Kolten Robinson, and Drew Keller.. Last but not least are our Freshmen team members included in this group were Cole Friessen, Will Hagestrom, Jack Diediker, Logan Kempema, Julian Small, Tommy Tanner, Jackson Kounkel, Colton Hall, Kolt Droegmiller, Reese Stokes, Reece Schroeder, Landen Hanks, and Carson Divis. Coach Clark and I would like to say thanks to these guys for all their hard work and a very enjoyable football season.
Ms. Holli Brown, High School English Teacher
As the calendar year comes to a close and we wrap up our first semester, it only seems fitting to spend time reflecting on the past few months in high school English. I’d like to highlight a few experiences from some of my classes that are standout moments for me - and hopefully the students as well.
What an energetic group of sophomores we have this year! These hard workers were immediately engaged in class, and I knew I had to find a way to harness their gift of gab in an equally engaging way. The answer was simple: a spooky-themed class podcast series just in time for Halloween. After studying different types of podcasts and evaluating what qualities make an effective podcast and podcaster, students chose partners and an urban legend to research. Podcast teams selected key details, scripted the podcast, rehearsed, and recorded the episodes that were uploaded into a class podcast series that investigated the staying power and credibility of some famous and some local urban legends. The collaboration, creativity, and use of voice, music, and even sound effects to establish a tone and enhance their message were impressive to say the least, and while they might not outwardly agree with this, I think that they had a good time while researching, writing, and performing.
This year’s Advanced Placement class is small but mighty, and I continue to be in awe of their work ethic and insightful contributions to class. We started the year using short stories to develop their ability to read closely, make connections and assertions, and support their ideas in writing. Frankenstein was a big hit this year as they were surprised to discover that their inaccurate assumptions about the novel and characters were fostered by Hollywood adaptations of the original novel. One of the highlights for me, however, has been to watch the students work through the struggle of understanding and dissecting difficult texts. The groans that filled the room after announcing we were moving onto poetry were more than a little excessive, but they have tackled the genre and proven their abilities time and again. In fact, the students even admitted that poetry “isn’t as bad as they initially thought,” so for me, that’s a gift in itself. We are excited to move on to Shakespeare and a contemporary novel next semester as we continue to prepare for the AP exam in May.
One of my favorite activities in college composition is using Socratic Seminars to discuss a text and to evaluate a group’s ability to hold and develop collaborative discussion that allows all members to better understand multiple perspectives. Students are often intimidated by the formal process of a Seminar, but this year’s classes stood up to the challenge. We used this method to work through the contemporary novel, The Things They Carried, which can be a difficult read at times. As a mere listener during the Seminars, I have the opportunity to sit and truly hear the connections the students are making, and every time, I am impressed with their insightful comments. Sometimes students forget that the ability to communicate verbally is an essential skill, and I love to see those students who might not be as confident in their writing ability shine during this type of communication. We closed out the year with argument and rhetoric where students studied the different ways speakers, writers, and even actors in movies use specific techniques to convince their audience. Although the first semester always seems to fly by, the college comp students were able to accomplish a great deal and hone their writing, reading, and speaking skills.
Looking back, it’s clear we have been blessed with the gifts of learning, reading, writing, as well as the gifts of kindness, laughter, fun, and a fantastic Blackhawk community. I am looking forward to an equally productive and exciting second semester of the school year!
High School English
Mrs. Sara Kochen, 3-12 Art Teacher
The 4th-6th Grade Students Learn Color Theory with a Collaborative Art Project
Or… “Are the hallways oozing Art!?”
As I’m sure any artist will tell you, Color Theory is a whole other level of intense artistic study. Color in and of itself is such a fantastically infinite source of perplexity, confusion, and wonder it’s hard to completely master without years of study and experimentation. Color Theory is a science and an art! In fact, the act of learning about color and color schemes is just as nebulous and infinite as space… and yet… the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders were up for the challenge!
Inspired by the works of muralist Jen Stark, the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students took color theory to a whole new level! As part of our artistic journey demonstrating the *4 C’s of Innovation and learning about color, the students worked collaboratively to make a public works piece- a design to be enjoyed by all. After extensive watercolor practice, quizzing over the color wheel and color schemes; the students were ready to work on creating beautiful, vibrant watercolor “drips” and “splats” of art! Painting and mixing color for weeks, the students truly soared with this extensive endeavor! They demonstrated true grit and perseverance. I am so proud of them- it was not “easy.”
I invite you all to come to the art room hallway to see for yourself. It just oozes creativity!
*The 4 C’s of Innovation are 21st Century skills essential to students for school and beyond. The 4 C’s are: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and (my personal favorite) Creativity. Each of these constructs were utilized during this massive project.