Cub's Column

The Voice of Jackson Memorial Middle School

2,000 Students to Receive Chromebooks This Fall

by Stavros Spanakis

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own laptop that you could use at school and at home? For many students in the Jackson Local Schools this will soon become a reality!

Beginning in the fall of 2017, students in grades 5, 6, 8, and 9 will be receiving their very own Chromebooks to use. Don’t despair 7th graders. You will be receiving your Chromebooks in the fall of 2018!

According to a February 21, 2017 article in the Canton Repository, about 2,000 students in the Jackson Local Schools district will be receiving Chromebook laptops this fall. By the end of 2018-2019, all students in the district should be using a laptop or tablet in the classroom. The total cost to the district for the 2,000 Chromebooks is about $274,000.

Students will be receiving the Lenovo N22 Chromebook. According to JMMS media specialist Mr. Robitaille, students need Chromebooks so they have constant access to information and resources that their teachers share with them for class. With their own Chromebook, they can open resources, work in teams, and basically have access to the Internet whether they are at school or at home. This can be beneficial for all kinds of reasons such as testing, class lessons, assignments, and much more.

Now with Chromebooks, students can do official project-based learning activities with teacher instruction.

Some people may ask why students need to use school provided computers rather than their own personal laptops, especially if a student already owns one. Mr. Robitaille explained that it is important that all students have access to the same version of the same software that operates in the same manner. It would be extremely difficult for the school district to try to upgrade, maintan, or even repair the various types of laptops that students may own. With students all having the same Chromebooks, it makes it much easier for the district to maintain and upgrade because the technology department will know all about the new Chromebooks being purchased.

When the Chromebooks arrive in the fall, students in grades 5, 6, 8 and 9 will receive them in homeroom. Students will be required to take them home each night to fully charge them before bringing them back to school the next day. Just how much the Chromebooks will be used during the school day depends on whether or not a teacher feels students need them for a particular lesson.

The Chromebooks are to be used only for school assignments and lessons. Students are to use their own home computers for social media sites, games, and items meant for personal use. If the Chromebooks are used improperly or damaged, students could face disciplinary action. A few weeks ago, a letter from Superintendent Chris DiLoreto was sent home to all families in the district informing them of the upcoming Chromebook distribution.

This is an exciting opportunity for students in the Jackson Local Schools! Through the use of technology, students will be connected whether at school or at home. This connectivity will make working together that much easier.

6th grader switches role with principal for a day

by Jova Lolich

Everyone that has gone to school has imagined themselves as principal. Sixth grader Cooper Downerd made the switch with Mr. Salvino on February 3. Cooper became principal for the day and Mr. Salvino became the student. The switch came as a result of a PATT contest in which students bought raffle tickets to enter into a drawing.

Mr. Salvino had a fun time as a student. He was surprised at the amount of material that he needed to keep track of to stay organized for the day. "Cooper had two drawstring bags, one for the morning and the other one for the afternoon," Mr. Salvino said.

Mr. Salvino went to Mrs. Moore’s language arts class. They learned about poetry. He even wrote a poem and shared it with the class.

In Mr. Fisher’s math class they learned about mean, median and mode.

"It was really neat to be in Mrs. Moore’s and Mr. Fisher’s classes," Mr. Salvino said. "I always knew they were great teachers. To experience their class as a student was AWESOME! To those that have them ... you are very lucky!"

"Principal" Downerd also had a very interesting day.

"It was very cool because it was like seeing what it's like to be an adult,” Cooper said, “almost like a day in the life of a principal.”

When Cooper won the raffle basket he felt scared at first because he said that someone came up to him and said, "Hey Cooper, we need to talk." Cooper thought he was in trouble, but he then felt happy because he won the contest.

He also felt lucky because he said, "Out of the whole school I only bought 20 tickets."

Some of Principal Downerd's duties included:

  • Bus duty
  • Building walk
  • Safety meeting
  • Classroom visits
  • Student Services meeting
  • Media interview
  • Lunch with the building administration team
  • Discipline
  • Meeting with Mr. Waltman to discuss testing calendar


Jackson Bears brave the shave

by Olivia Richardson

Do you know anyone with cancer? Have you ever really wanted to show them that you care? Well now you can. St. Baldrick's is an organization that raises money for childhood cancer. To support St. Baldrick's, students at JMMS bought wristbands ($1), suckers, t-shirts ($10), and raffle tickets. Many even shaved their heads. By shaving their heads, students showed that they support cancer research for for children.

Many teachers also shaved their heads. These teachers included Mrs. Dimengo, Mrs. Dunnerstick, Mr. Hirschman, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Studer, Mr. Brown, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Michel, Mr. Jones, Mr. Hartley, and Mr. Poetter.

JMMS had 56 students and staff brave the shave this year! The middle school raised almost $23,000. JMMS came in second place after Strausser, who raised $30,000. The grand total for our district was around $120,000! This is the 10th year that students in the district have participated in St. Baldrick's. However, 2017 is the first year when students from all 6 buildings in the district were involved.

Sharon Ritchey, one of the major event organizers was thrilled with the amazing support this year. Her son was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. That year, 17 of his friends shaved their heads for St. Baldrick's. Although her son was sick, he was still able to watch as his friends shaved in his honor.

"My experience with the St. Baldrick's Foundation has been life-changing," said Mrs. Ritchey. "St. Baldrick's is extremely important to my family. It is such a wonderful foundation because it raises money so that scientists can research childhood cancer. If scientists can find better cancer medications to give to children, medications which are made specifically for kids, more children will survive."

For more information and how to help next year, go to:

Heritage Night offers cultural presentations to community

by Joel Morris

Heritage Night was a night full of presentations and students learning about cultures other than their own. Heritage Night took place in the Learning Commons and cafeteria on February 9 for sixth-grade Language Arts students in Community B. Mrs. Clapper and Mrs. Gernert organized the event.

Sixth-grade students at Heritage Night presented projects about their culture. They researched their culture and created displays, websites, collages, and even a puppet show to represent the cultural background of their family. Parents and families visited Heritage Night. Sixth graders that attended with projects got to share their project for a half hour with guests.

In the South Cafeteria students displayed cultural foods to offer to the visitors. Almost all of the kids that were interviewed had a great time making their projects.

Sixth-grader Shane Mackenzie loved presenting his project to all the visitors.

Donovan Durum loved just "working on it."

Chad Graham enjoyed making his project and making the slides for his slide show.

Jova Lolich enjoyed learning about his culture.

Mrs. Clapper and Mrs. Gernert hope to make Heritage Nights an annual event.


CLICK HERE to view a photo album of Heritage Night!

Mock Trial team competes in Columbus

By Patricia Faulhaber
The Jackson Suburbanite correspondent

Click the story below to read the Suburbanite article.

Academic Challenge Team finishes winning season

by Madison Hart

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be on Jeopardy? What if there was a way to experience this game show as a middle schooler? Twenty JMMS students had the opportunity to experience this with Academic Challenge.

Academic Challenge is a club organized by Mrs. Brunie that focuses on answering questions from almost any category you can think of. Students in this club had about seven practices starting in December until competitions started. The team competed against different schools either in the Learning Commons or at the opposing school. With five away and five home competitions, the team ended the season with seven wins and three losses on March 2.

The club is called Academic Challenge for a reason. The students have to answer questions from categories such as math, science, history, geography, literature, general knowledge, the arts, and current events. To be able to answer difficult questions from all of these categories would take a lot more than mediocre brain power. To win a competition, the team has to win two out of the three rounds of questions.

Another good part about Academic Challenge is it does not stop in middle school. The high school team competes at both the JV and varsity levels and consists of about 20 to 25 students from all high school grades.

So if you have ever wanted to be on Jeopardy, join the middle school or high school Academic Challenge team!

The JMMS Academic Challenge team members include Uzair Ahmed, Naheem Ali, Allan Cao, Andrew Deffenbaugh, Zackery Evans, Ryan Farneth, Veronica Fowler, Leena Jafri, Shasha Jafri, Jackson Milkanin, Pranav Nagajothi, Mac Olson, Jazmyn Rafique, Seryne Rafique, Jaina Rajan, Isha Vasil, Matthew Visco, Alexa Yockey, and Crystal Zhu.

In Remembrance

by Jova Lolich

Reporter Jova Lolich created a slide show to remember some famous celebrities we lost in 2016.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW. (Click the mouse or arrow key to advance slides.)

Publicity crew promotes musical

By Briana Brogan

Ever wonder what is the publicity crew?

The publicity crew has a job to make sure that people know about the annual musical and to support the production. The musical this year was the Lion King Junior.

Before the show the publicity crew designed the t-shirts and posters. They hung fliers around the community, sold ads for the program, wore their t-shirts to advertise, made a ticket box, and cast a lead board.

The publicity crew is open to everyone sixth grade through eighth grade. They met once a month.

The number of members is different year to year. Mrs. Dimengo, who runs the publicity crew, said she has had ten members one year and 30 another year.

Publicity crew runs from September or October through the last night of the show, depending if the show is in February or March.

The publicity crew is a crucial group to make sure the entire Jackson community hears about the musical and has an opportunity to buy tickets to see the show.

Dodgeball Tournament a huge success

by Madi Shaw

Parents And Teachers Together organized a dodgeball tournament on March 10 in the Purple Gym from 6:30 - 8:30. The event raised funds for PATT. Spectators paid $5 to enjoy the event, which also included a concession stand. Over 50 student teams participated in the dodgeball tournament. Cub's Column reporter Madi Shaw took some videos of the event, which can be watched below.

Dodgeball Tournament

Gaming Club offers fun and friendship

by Camden Swanson

The JMMS gaming club is a time and place to relax after a long day at school. A time where students can talk and engage with others about their favorite games. A place where students can enjoy an hour to have some fun before they go home.

"The gaming club meets from right after school to 3:50 on Mondays," said Tucker Gayhart, a 7th grader at JMMS. It is in the Learning Commons, and the adviser is Mr. Jones, an 8th grade science teacher. Students in grades 6-8 are invited to join the club.

A variety of games are offered at gaming club, including board games, chess, and online games.

There are many different reasons why people join this club.

"I wanted to hang out and play games after school with my friends," said Julian Landis, a 7th grade gamer.

"I just like to play video games and card games," said Mason Shimp, 6th grader.

Other people said they joined because they are gamers, or just like to play games in general.

Many different games are played at the Gaming Club, such as Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), and Minecraft.

"One game we play is called Bang," said 7th grader Tanner Crawford. "It is a western themed card game."

"My favorite thing to do is play Roblox," said Austin Phillabaum, a 7th grader.

Students enjoy numerous benefits for participating in gaming club, said Kowen Gayhart, a 6th grader.

"It lets me let loose after school," said Jacob Craig, 7th grader.

Gaming club is recommended to people who are gamers or people who want to relax after school.

At the gaming club, there are a wide variety of games students can play and plenty of opportunities to meet new people who enjoy games as well.

Career Day offers job information to 8th graders

by Madison Hart

On Friday, March 3 all eighth grade students went to the Gold Gym where local business professionals gathered to present information about their careers. Miss Lopez, a guidance counselor at JMMS, organized the event for the last few years to introduce different career paths to eighth graders with different interests.

Careers from cosmology to law enforcement were presented by at tables with display boards. Students gathered around each station and asked questions.

Before the event, eighth graders took a survey to determine what career paths they would be interested in. This way, they would have an idea of which careers they would like to learn about at the event.

Although the event only lasts a few hours, it takes a lot of work and time to organize. Miss Lopez begins coordinating the event at the beginning of the year and does not stop until the day of the event, which is about seven months later. She begins by asking many local businesses if they would be interested in attending the event.

Once she has businesses that are interested, she has to remind the businesses with emails and cards to ensure they will attend the event. Not only does Miss Lopez have to gather businesses, but she also has to prepare where each business can present and if they need any extra materials for their presentation.

Students get to talk with people who actually experience the many showcased careers so they can get a real-life look into job prospects. Students get to hear the professionals’ stories on how they decided to get into the field after being a teenager just like them. With graduation creeping closer and closer for eighth graders, Career Day is a great way to get exposed to the real world that is waiting for them.

Speech and Debate club improves communication skills

by Charley Fox

While talking is an obvious occurrence in human nature, some want to become very accomplished at communicating with others. The Speech and Debate club is doing just that. They meet on Mondays after school until 4 p.m. in Room 102. Miss Tan is the adviser.

The club was started by Stefanie Pousoulides, a high-schooler on the high school Speech and Debate team. When she saw that the club was not doing as well as it used to, she decided to start a club in the middle school to teach these skills earlier.

Speech and Debate more than just a fun after-school activity. Kids from the high school team team come in to teach the seventh and eighth graders about areas of debate they are interested in. This builds skills for later in life, such as public speaking and presentation skills, as well as communication with other people. It can even help if a student is a bit shy.

Miss Tan believes that this club is very important. Not only are these communication skills taught in the club, but they are reinforced in regular school as well. For example, Language Arts classes sometimes hold debates on certain subjects.

"In general, you’re in classes all the time that improve upon your speaking skills in front of people and the way you communicate," said Miss Tan. "Speech and Debate just improves that."

Speech and Debate is also a creative way to express your opinions on topics you care about, and it gives you a chance to defend them.

Book recommendations

by Jordyn Myers

If you are looking for a good book to read, reporter Jordyn Myers has some excellent recommendations. Jordyn created a slide show to present some popular series that are currently available in the middle school library.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW. When the slide show opens, click the mouse or arrow key to advance between slides.

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Do you have video talent?

Cub's Column is searching for JMMS YouTube stars! If you create awesome videos, please email some links to Mr. Robitaille at to be considered in future Cub's Column publications.

Vox Pops

by Alex Braun

Click the link below to see a slide show. Reporter Alex Braun interviewed students and teachers to discover their favorite bands and songs. When viewing the slide show click the mouse or arrow key to advance from slide to slide.

The life story of carrie fisher

An editorial by Marysa Starcher

We lost the best actress there could possibly be on earth in 2016. Carrie Fisher was best known for her role in the Star Wars movies.

Carrie Fisher was born October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Her mother's name was Debbie Reynolds, and he father's name was Eddie Fisher. Her mother was an actress and a singer. Her father was a singer.

Carrie grew up in California. When Carrie was 17 she had a drug and alcohol addiction. When Carrie was 21 she started to film for Star Wars and was a major role in sci-fi movies, especially the Star Wars series. She was in four of the Star Wars movies. In these movies, she played the role of Princess Leia.

She died a year after the Force Awakens came out. She died on Dec. 27, 2016 at the age of 60.

The day after she died, her mother also died, apparently from the sadness of losing her daughter. After Carrie died, her brother announced in the news that his mother, Debbie Reynolds, was experiencing a major bout of depression. The world will miss the talented Carrie Fisher and her amazing life.

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Actor Carrie Fisher

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them

by Kloee Tomkinson and Mierae Taylor

The new Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is a "fantastic" movie. This movie is based on one of the Hogwarts school books called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But this time, the time period is 1912. In the movie the main character is the author of the book, whose name is Newt Scamander.

Newt went to Hogwarts and grew up to become a person who worked in the Ministry of Magic. He studied magical creatures and was known as a magizoologist.

He visited America in an attempt to return one of his magical creatures to its home in Arizona. But then chaos broke out. The Ministry thought Newt committed murder after hearing about his case with magical creatures.

After New York City is destroyed by an unknown magical creature, the muggle, or no-maj world, (non-magic people), start interviewing witnesses and the chaos is put on television.

The Magical Congress of the United States of America, (MACUSA), started sorting things out. While Newt's new friend Tina is trying to help, she only gets them into more trouble.

Tina's sister, Queenie, (a particularly stylish person), and Newt's new no-maj friend, Jacob, come to MACUSA to rescue Newt and Tina. But the unknown creature is still causing wreckage, so much in fact that MACUSA’s clock to regulate danger is at the last red level: "DANGER."

Will Tina and Newt escape? Will they escape death itself? What will happen to New York City while the unknown creature still continues to cause wreckage? What is it, and why is it doing it? You will need to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to find out!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a great movie,” said Mierae Taylor, a 6th grader at JMMS. "The characters' personalities were very creative. My personal favorite was Jacob Kowalski. I loved how he was really funny and charming."

"I also loved the movie," said fellow 6th grader Kloee Tomkinson. "I watched it with my dad, and we were (mostly me) practically clinging to the edge of our seats."

Overall, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a wonderful movie, filled to the brim with amazing characters and action-packed adventures!

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fan fiction: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

by Christina McDaniel

Cub's Column reporter Christina McDaniel wrote her own interpretation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This version is written in book format rather than stage play.


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Adventure story: Pokemon Gold vs. Red

by Alex Braun

Click the link below to read the creative writing story Pokemon Gold vs. Red.

Getting To Know the Coaches of the Girls Basketball Teams

by Madi Shaw

As the basketball season drew to an end, the 7th and 8th grade girls basketball coaches took some time to reflect upon their season.

Mr. Matthew Holecko is the coach for the 7th grade gold girls basketball team. This was his sixth year of coaching. He had coached freshman boys for two years, and 7th grade girls for four years. There were 12 girls on the team. Their record included seven wins to five losses.

“I wanted to coach this team because I love the game of basketball and I really enjoy coaching,” said Coach Holecko. “When I was growing up, I always had great coaches that helped me on and off the court, and I want to try to do the same for my players.”

“In tryouts, I don't just look for the best scorer,” Coach Holecko. “I look for girls that work hard, have a good attitude, and play within themselves.”

“The biggest thing that I expect from my girls is for them to be great teammates, represent Jackson the best they can, and give 100% effort during games and practices,” Coach Holecko said.

Mrs. Laura Cheyney is the 8th grade gold team basketball coach. There were also 12 girls on the team, and their record included seven wins to six losses.

Coach Cheyney has been coaching at the middle school for three years, one year for 7th grade and two years for 8th grade.

“I played basketball growing up and all throughout high school,” Coach Cheyney said, “so I wanted to find a way to still be a part of the sport and share the things that I have learned over the years.”

“Aside from basketball skills (ball handling, passing, shooting, defense, etc.), I look for girls who are going to be a great teammate and contribute to our team in positive way,” Coach Cheyney said.

“We are finished with the season, but I thought the team did great this year,” Coach Cheyney said. “I am very proud of how hard they worked and how much improvement each and every girl showed throughout the season. We made it to the semifinals, which is something I am very proud of, and I hope each of them are also.”

Athletic notes

by Mr. Michel

Academically our 124 Athletes have a GPA of 3.54!! Outstanding!

7th Grade Girls Purple: (Head Coach Rich Crossman)

The girls have an overall record of 13-6 and a 7-2 record in the league. Finished the Federal the Tournament in 2nd place.

7th Grade Girls Gold: (Coach Matt Holecko)

The girls have an overall record of 8-8 and 5-4 record in the league.

8th Grade Girls Gold: (Coach Laura Cheyney)

The 8th grade girls have an overall record of 9-7 and 5-4 in the league. Lost in the semi-finals of the league tournament

7th Grade Boys Purple: (Coach Jordan Johnson)

The 7th grade boys team has a record of 12-6. Lost in the Semi-finals of the league tournament.

8th Grade Boys Purple: (Coaches Teal Harvey & Mike Heidy)

The 8th grade boys team has a record of 13-5. Lost in the Semi-finals of the league tournament.

7th Grade Boys Gold: (Coaches Evan Elliott & Boyd Elliott)

The 7th grade boys team has a record of 11-7

8th Grade Boys Gold: (Coach Mike Coon)

The 8th grade boys team has a record of 11-8 and 2nd place in the Federal League Tournament.

7th/8th Grade Wrestling: (Coaches Craig Brown & Joe Studer)

The 7th/8th grade wrestling team has a record of 11-5

7th/8th Grade Cheerleaders: (Coaches Katie Raddish & Lindsey Fentner)

1st Place Minerva Cheer Competition

Who Am I?

by Marysa Starcher

Can you guess who these famous people are?


  • I won the 2015 Women's World Cup
  • I have won every award except one
  • US All-time Leading Scorer
  • She went to the University of Florida
  • Who am I?
  • ANSWER: Abby Wambach


  • Grew up a San Francisco 49er’s fan
  • Joe Montana is one of his heroes
  • 2nd youngest player to win a Superbowl
  • Is a player in the NFL with the New England Patriots
  • Who am I?
  • ANSWER: Tom Brady

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Cub's Column

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