The BULLetin

September 15, 2016

Principal's Message


I am a self-proclaimed nerd. There are nerdy things I love. Word origins and history happen to be two of them. This may or may not be news to anyone reading this.

Word of Warning--things are going to get notably more nerdy for the next few lines...

I was curious about the origin of the word: awesome.

If you didn't know this, you can type, "define: [insert word]" into a Google search bar and it will come back with the definition, synonyms, word origin and usage over time. If you click on the usage over time graph it will bring up an NGRAM (in short, an NGRAM is graph that shows how often Google finds the word in its search of text over time). That makes my nerd-heart sing!

So back to awesome... I figured the word came from "awe" and "some" but was curious if there were some deeper origins. SPOILER ALERT: there aren't. It comes from 16th century English and means to fill with awe. But the NGRAm was really interesting. The word awesome has been in usage for hundreds of years but grew in popularity throughout the early 20th century with a significant increase in usage from 1940 on with a plateau reached in the Awesome 80s and then continued increased usage.


It made me think about how much hyperbole surrounds the word. How many things in our lives do we describe as awesome that don't actually fill us with awe? I am TOTALLY guilty of this. I can think of only a couple of occasions in the past 4 months where I was actually filled with awe. I was in a small float plane flying over the Canadian wilderness at about 3000 feet and was in awe of the spectacle of nature. I have been in awe of my son's ability to run long distances at high rates of speed. I'm sure there have been others but I know I've used the word awesome to describe more than those two things.

So what does it take to #beawesome? What do can we do to inspire awe? I think the answer lies in making a conscious decision to do the right thing when there are easier paths. We are awesome when we put the interests of others before ours. We are awesome when we make a concerted effort to get a little better than we were the day before.

Have a great weekend. #beawesome

Coffee with the Principal

I am hosting a Coffee With the Principal on Thursday, September 22 from 8 to 9:30AM. In order to ensure that we have enough coffee, I am asking that you RSVP by Wednesday, September 21 at noon. The focus of this coffee is, "All the Questions about Junior High that I Was Afraid to Ask." Participants are invited to submit questions as part of their RSVP. Depending on the number of participants we will also try to tour the school and visit some classrooms. As we will be in the building, all participants will need to check in at the Main Office and bring a photo ID.

RSVP here

SD308 Food Drive

Starting on Monday, Murphy will be participating in the annual district food drive to support the Kendall County Food Pantry. Last year we were able to donate over 2,000 items to help our local community and won the district trophy. This year, our goal is to reach 2,250 items. In order to do this, we need your help.

During homeroom Monday 9/19 thru Tuesday 9/27, students are invited to bring in items to donate. The year, the Junior Highs are assigned items: cleaning supplies (dish soap, all purpose cleaner, etc.), dry breakfast goods (pancake mix, cereal, etc.) and baking items (flour, sugar, etc.). Donations of other items will also be accepted.

For the individual prizes:

  • Students will earn a Bullseye for the first item donated and line jumps when they reach 5 items.
  • Students will receive raffle tickets each time they donate 25 items

There will also be a homeroom competition based on the number of items per student in the class. The winning homeroom will receive a pizza party. The number of items will be calculated based on the number of items per student so there is no advantage to having a larger homeroom.

We look forward to providing much needed and appreciated resources to our community. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Murphy PTO


The Murphy PTO is excited to announce their first ever Teacher Wish List Drive. It's easy to participate and is a great way to show the MJHS teachers how much you appreciate them! The PTO sent questionnaires to each staff member and compiled a list of the most frequently requested items. Donations can be left in the collection box in the main office starting Monday, September 12th (your student can bring them in or you can drop them off). The PTO will surprise the teachers with items from their wish list, thanks to your generous donations. Big or small...each donation counts! You can sign up to donate by using the link below. Some of the items we will be collecting include gift cards, office supplies, and snacks. For a full list of wish list items, please visit the Sign-Up Genius page. Thank you for continued support!

Join the PTO

If you haven't done so already, make a donation to the PTO and join up. Donation forms can be found here and returned to the Murphy Main Office. A $25 family donation gets your student a ticket to the PTO Monster Bash.

Murphy PTO on Facebook

There is always so much going on at Murphy and we try to get information out in a variety of different ways, another way to stay connected is through the Murphy PTO Facebook page. Like them and get connected!

Spiritwear is coming....

Look for order forms in late-September with orders arriving in late October.

Student Services SPOTLIGHT

Maverick Movie Theatre

This year, we are looking to reward students throughout the school year for demonstrating MAVS expectations in school.

M = Make Good Decisions

A = Accept Responsibility

V = Value and Respect Each Other and Our School

S = are Safe

This month (9/19/16 – 10/19/16), we are rewarding students who Make Good Decisions by being on time to school and class (2 or fewer tardies to school and 2 or fewer tardies to class) and by completing homework (2 or fewer ZAPs).

On Friday, October 21st, these students will be rewarded with tickets to the “Maverick Movie Theatre,” where they will be able to watch a movie (title to be determined).

Homework Tips

Are you struggling with how to support your child with their homework? Here are some tips: Homework: A Guide for Parents

“The Maverick Way” Outside of School

Murphy Junior High students are doing amazing things in the classroom as well as demonstrating “The Maverick Way” outside of school. If any student is demonstrating “The Maverick Way” outside of school we want to know about it! Please contact Karen Whited at

*Don’t forget to include some pictures in your email.

Bullseye Winners

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Emma Mayer, Justin Morrissey, Sarah Petrovska, Payton Paskernis, Iram Lopez, Harry Hernandez, Asil Ayaz, Nick Panozzo, Robert Coccaro (not pictured), Lilianne Bolte, Karina Paz, Kyle Olaszek, Macy Blood, Kaylee Davis, Cornell Cohen

Faculty Winner

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Congratulations Ms. Cryder for distributing the most Bullseyes!

Super Sleuths

In Miller's honors World History we have been working on analyzing primary and secondary sources and how to use them. Our final activity was a missing person mystery that students had to solve with their partners. They were given a packet with the crime scene, suspect bios, and 12 pieces of evidence. They had two class periods to solve the mystery. Ania Querido and Katie O'Driscoll (period 2) Annabelle Bartos, Katie Dunn, Leah Allgaier (period 5) solved the "Case of the Missing Student Teacher." Using only primary and secondary sources direct from the crime scene, these two lady detectives solved the case! They have been officially promoted to lieutenant status.
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Yearbooks on Sale

The Murphy 2017 yearbook will be on sale through January 20, 2017 for the amazing, low price of $25! Please order yours today to guarantee yourself a copy! Sales will be completed online only. Keep the memories alive by ordering your copy! The yearbook can be ordered here:

Clubs, Intramurals and Other Extracurricular Opportunities - NEW ADDITION THIS WEEK



  • MATHCOUNTS provides students with fun, exciting math opportunities that go beyond typical classroom experiences. The National Math Club helps build confidence in students of all ability and interest levels by giving them the opportunity to engage in unique math activities in a relaxed, social setting.

  • Even if a program has started, please feel free to contact the sponsor to check on joining late. I've tried to delineate who ultimately runs each of the programs in parenthesis.

    AFS-USA 8th Grade Student Opportunity

    AFS-USA is part of AFS Intercultural Programs, the foreign exchange student program. We are a not-for-profit, predominantly volunteer-driven organization with partnerships in countries around the world.

    We have a number of study abroad options for high school students, BUT we also have an opportunity for 8th grade students to enter a contest to win a scholarship for a 2-week study abroad program.

    This is Project Change. To participate, students:
    1. learn about issues in any one of 10 countries
    2. submit ideas about how to make an impact via an essay or short video
    3. winners travel to the country to put their visions into action

    Information can be found here and is also available on the AFS website at

    General information about AFS' hosting and study abroad programs is also available on the website at

    Murphy Athletics

    Fall sports championship season begins at the end of NEXT week. The soccer play-in game and volleyball tournament with the all-district Cross Country meet the following week. Keep up the great work MAVS!

    7th Girls' Volleyball - Results

    8th Girls' Volleyball - Results

    Cross Country - Results

    Boys' Soccer - Results

    EL/Dual Language & Bilingual Potluck

    SD308 BPAC is hosting a picnic for all families who are Native Spanish speakers and all students in EL programs in the district. An invitation with full details in both English and Spanish can be found here.

    Lifetouch School Pictures

    Student IDs:

    At this time all students should have a student ID. If your student did not receive an ID on Picture Day, August 19th or from the Murphy office last week, please have him/her come to the office during homeroom so that we can issue an ID. If any student has lost or misplaced his/her id, there is a $5 charge for a replacement id. Replacement IDs will also be printed during homeroom.

    Portrait Packages:

    Students whose parents purchased a portrait package from Lifetouch on Picture Day, August 19th, should receive their pictures this Friday, September 16th. Pictures were placed in teacher's mailboxes for distribution on Friday.

    If you missed Picture Day or need to retake your picture, picture retakes will take place at Murphy on September 28th during lunches.

    Upcoming Events

    September 15

    • 7th Girls' Volleyball v Jefferson (4:30pm)
    • 8th Girls' Volleyball @ Jefferson (4:30pm)
    • Boys' Soccer @ Jefferson (4:30pm)
    • Cross Country v Traughber (4:30pm)

    September 16

    • Vision & Hearing Screening

    September 19

    • Fall Play Information Posted
    September 20
    • 7th Girls' Volleyball @ Herget (4:30pm)
    • 8th Girls' Volleyball v Herget (4:30pm)
    • Boys' Soccer @ Herget (4:30pm)

    September 21

    • Murphy Athletics Fannie May Candy Sale Kick Off

    September 22

    • Coffee with the Principal @ MU (8:00am)
    • Boys' Soccer Conference Tournament @ Traughber (4:30pm)
    • Cross Country v Plank (4:30pm)
    • 8th Grade Marching Band Day @ OE (6:00pm)

    September 23

    • 7th Girls' Volleyball Conference Tournament @ Bednarcik
    • 8th Girls' Volleyball Conference Tournament @ Murphy

    September 24

    • 7th Girls' Volleyball Conference Tournament @ Bednarcik
    • 8th Girls' Volleyball Conference Tournament @ Murphy
    • Cross Country Tiger Trails Invite @ Thompson

    If you are looking for directions to AWAY events, this link will provide directions to many area schools.

    Use the link below to see all the things going on at Murphy Junior High

    Murphy Building Calendar

    One way to stay up to date with what is going on at Murphy is to see our upcoming events.