The Buffett Bugle
Edition Three Spring 2018
Students in this course participate in all areas of the production process, including planning, interviewing, photographing, editing, and computer layout design.
Painting Through History
By: Olivia A.
There are many activities students do at Buffett. Every year, 8th grade art students have a drawing project for the Shoah or the Holocaust. Students are currently working on the project where they get a portrait of a local Holocaust survivor. It is a wonderful activity for students and the community. When most people think art, they think sculpting, painting, or even drawing. One thing that does not often come to mind is learning or understanding history. The Shoah was a horrible time for many people and words cannot describe the sorrow brought from this event. However, it is something the younger generation needs to remember to prevent it from happening again.
The project started when 8th grade art teacher, Mrs. Gotch, was approached by the JCC (Jewish Community Center) who were looking for an OPS school to start a project to teach the importance of the Holocaust. Gotch decided to start the project and has been doing it every year since. The project is to draw a portrait of a Shoah survivor. There are few survivors in Omaha, but they are overjoyed to see a portrait of themselves. Learning more about the Holocaust and being educated on the matter can help individuals as a generation. There are many things to take away from this project; it's more than just a story.
Mrs. Gotch explained the importance of the project. Gotch said, “I want them to see them as people, not just a story in the history books.” Art is enjoyable to make and interesting to look at but there always a story behind the work.
Eighth grader, Christian C. said, "This is an important thing to remember because history is something that can always happen again. In other words, history repeats itself." Christian said this project was cool because it shows an important historical event. Christian concluded it was a fun project to complete and was very interesting to see everyone’s portrait once they were finished. However, the main reason to do this project was to represent survivor's and was quite a good way to show their impact.
The Impact of NJHS
By: Kira S.
Leadership is encompassing the ability to lead an organization or groups of people. National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is a specially chosen group of Buffett 8th grade students who model leadership, are cooperative, and have time management skills. Members of the group participate in projects such as Boo Gram sales, Happy Gram sales, toy drives, the teacher appreciation lunch, complete service hours, and even go to an elementary school to read to younger students.
NJHS members meet the first Friday of every month to discuss projects and upcoming events. “We usually start out our meetings by checking up on everyone’s grades and informing the students about important upcoming events,” said NJHS sponsor and Buffett teacher, Mrs. Gotch. The group also does an ice breaker activity towards the beginning of each meeting, to allow the students to feel a sense of community and get their mind thinking. “After the activity, the students go to their designated committee to discuss upcoming projects and plan for what’s next,” explained Mrs. Gotch.
Being a part of NJHS is very helpful when preparing for the future. “Working with other students allows members to learn cooperation skills and how to effectively work in a group setting,“ explained Mrs. Gotch. Leaders in the group such as the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, also get important practice with public speaking and learn how to lead a group of people. Students also must use time management skills when working in their groups and make sure that they get work outside of the group done as well, because they have a limited time.
Although being in NJHS is a time commitment, there are tons of benefits to being in the group. “My favorite part about being in NJHS is spending time with my friends and being able to all come together and make a difference in our community,” said NJHS member, Mary D.
The students get a special chance to make new friends and get to know their peers on a more personal level. “I love being a sponsor because the kids are all so kind and hardworking. It is a lot of fun to work with them,” explained Mrs. Gotch. During the different service learning projects, the students can become inspired to give back more to their community and become aware of what they could do to help.
In seventh and eighth grade, qualifying students can apply for NJHS. To be accepted, students must be recommended by their teachers, have a high-grade point average, and be a hard-working student. However, due to limited space in the group, not all applicants are allowed to join. Once in high school, they have National Honor Society, which has similar requirements, depending on the high school. NJHS provides great opportunities to help your community to get to know your peers, and to work with other people.
High School Selection
By: Sarah L., Grace J., Kassidy T., Alexis C., and Taylor G.
Now that it is the start of 2018, 8th graders must start thinking about where they want to go for high school next year. There are a total of seven OPS high schools: Burke, Central, Benson, North, Northwest, Bryan, and South. Each high school has a different focus; therefore, there is something interesting for every student.
Many of the students interviewed had Burke as their top pick. Carly K. is one of the students at Buffett who wants to go to Burke next year. Carly said, “It has the most AP classes in all of Nebraska, which I think will be good for my academics." Students can apply for AP classes starting their 9th grade year. Another main interest at Burke is astronomy. Amya B. said, “I am planning on doing astronomy because they have a really nice planetarium.” If students are interested in studying astronomy, Burke is the only OPS high school to have a planetarium.
Another OPS school is North. It has 19 science electives and 23 total courses. Many of the courses are only a semester long; thus, students have a chance to learn about many different areas of science. North also has a great engineering program for students interested in engineering. Kaden H. said, “I want to go into the medical field. North High School focuses on science and the medical field.” North is a STEM Magnet and is good option for anyone interested in science, technology, engineering and math.
Many students from Buffett also chose Central. It is the only school with an IB program or International Baccalaureate. The program creates an intercultural understanding of respect. It is based on critical thinking and inquiry. The goal of IB is to create open-minded citizens who are critical thinkers. Blayke O. said, “I want to go to Central because it has a good IB Program.” Blayke continued, “I think Central will benefit me in the future because of some of the opportunities the IB program gives you.”
Students must think carefully about which OPS high school to attend because it is an important decision. Overall, all OPS high schools offer incredible opportunities for students to thrive. Be sure to check out our article in the next edition of The Bugle to learn more about other OPS high schools.
Unlike other schools, Alice Buffett Magnet Middle has a narwhal club. Narwhals are known as "The Unicorns of the Sea." They have a large tusk between their nose and mouth. The tusk is commonly identified as a canine, a front tooth reaching lengths of nine feet. Unfortunately, Narwhals are under the near threatened list. The Buffett narwhal club is working to increase the narwhal population. Although there are only nine members, they have collected an impressive profit. After several fundraising efforts they collected nearly 250 dollars. Brayden S. created the narwhal club in 2014 when he was in 4th grade. The 2014 club seven members collected 150 dollars for a National Narwhal Organization. Three years ago, when Brayden first started at Buffett, he carried over his passion for Narwhals from elementary. Brayden wants to continue to help club grow.
Buffett Science and Engineering Fair
By: Aniah W.
Over the years, the Buffett Science and Engineering Fair has given students the opportunity to speak out and learn about different types of things that go on around us. They learn and understand the task at hand and create a project about their interests. Judges from all over the community come and see what Bobcats have to offer. Numerous students participate in this fair to just get a taste of what it is like in high school and the years to come.
One science teacher, Ms. Rosenberg, has guided her students to excellence in the classroom. Ms. Rosenberg has helped the majority of the 8th grade class to make the best of their science fair project. The outcome of these projects this year are very well done. Ms. Rosenberg mentioned, “I think they look really good. Completing a project from start to finish is impressive.” The students worked on the project for over two months and made the best with the time they had.
This was the 13th year of the science fair. Throughout the years, the projects have changed. Ms. Rosenberg indicated, “I think they have become more global.” More widespread projects have changed student perspectives and interests. “Back then, projects were more "middle school." More students think more about "bettering the world,” said Ms. Rosenberg. As students' progress through the science fair, countless people have made a difference along the way.
Students can participate in the science fair from 6th-8th grades at Buffett. Each year they complete a project, it is different every time. Ms. Rosenberg said, “There is more practice. It is more nerve-wracking the first year. Next year, they know what to expect, from presenting and all that goes into the project.” It takes practice and experience to almost perfect a skill.
The Buffett Science and Engineering Fair allows students a chance to get a taste of what it is like when they present in the real world. Students will have the experience and know what to do in years to come.
Spring Break - New York, NY
New York, New York, New York. This is where students have the chance to see more than what they do on a daily basis. The spring break trip is to create memories and learn countless things about what they will be experiencing. Students will have the chance to learn more and be face-to-face with places they may not have seen before. The students will get out of their comfort zone a little bit and get a feel of the world around them.
Mr. Daugherty, one of the sponsors for the trip, looks forward to the amazing trip. He said, “I just want to see how it has changed, and it is fun to travel.” This will be the first year the teachers and students will be going to New York. In past years, the students, Mr. Daugherty, and Ms. Rosenberg went to Washington D.C.
Mr. Daugherty thinks that it will be a different experience going to New York rather than Washington D.C. He said, “I think it is different than D.C. They are going to learn different things.” Many places have different things to offer. Mr. Daugherty said, “New York is more culture, D.C. is a beautiful city with a lot of monuments. In New York we will be walking, taking the transportation and more.” Experiences allow us to create memories, and take advantage of what you learn on the trip.
Goals help us strive for what we want to do. For Mr. Daugherty, it is, “…to see different things, to see how New York has changed, and to open students' minds.” Daugherty is going to do this by observing activities students have never done before. His goal is to make sure students have the chance to think deeper and take advantage of the new experiences.
The trip to New York is for the students and teachers to get a taste of what it is like outside of their comfort zone. For many students, going to New York will be the first time they have ever traveled. This will give students the chance to see and learn more about how the world works around them.
By: Emma H.
Mr. Pentland is a teacher who is patient and compassionate towards his students at Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School. He inspires anyone he encounters and had big dreams like most of his students.
He wanted to be a professional baseball player. Mr. Pentland played until his junior year of college because he had a pitching injury. After the injury, he wanted to continue his baseball career and started coaching. At 19, he learned about the instructional, mentoring, and coaching sides of baseball.
Mr. Pentland lived in Oregon for two years to play baseball and then southern Utah. When he injured his shoulder, he went back to Canada. Later, he moved to Nebraska where he coached.
When he was in college, Mr. Pentland's baseball coach was an important influence after his shoulder injury because after his surgery he was upset. Mr. Pentland spent his whole life thinking he was going to become a baseball player and the injury would not allow him to play at the level he wanted. He reached out to his former coach who guided him about careers and coaching.
Mr. Pentland remembered the conversation. His coach said, "We become our teachers that we spend the most time with. Many teachers are memorable, but few are special.” His coach reminded him the restrictions were toward playing baseball. Instead, Mr. Pentland could spend time building people up.
Another person who influenced him was his grandfather. He used to be a teacher as well. Mr. Pentland reflected about his grandpa and his character. His grandpa used to say, in his life, when he leaves the earth he wanted to leave it in a better place than he found it. His grandpa wanted to create positive change.
The biggest impact on his character were his parents and his friends. His mom was always kind to the people who were important in his life. She was not judgmental. Mr. Pentland recollected, "While growing up, I had some odd friends, but she was always very welcoming. That taught me to appreciate the differences in people. That’s an important part - not just being a teacher but being a human being. You recognize there are differences in people, and you do not judge them. You celebrate those differences."
The other person who impacted him was his brother, who has continued to be his best friend. They were close in age, three years apart, but he and his brother joked around. Mr. Pentland's humor comes from the interactions between him and his brother.
Another important impact are his wife and daughter. He said, “When you become a dad or any parent a part of you changes. It happens because you become aware of the things you say and how you react to things. My daughter has certainly put things in perspective.” His daughter reminds him that everything will be okay.
He compared his middle school years in Canada to what he has observed in the United States. Mr. Pentland said, “I can’t speak comparatively because I don’t know what the experiences are. I can say that comparing my middle school years to being a middle school teacher, there are some significant differences.” He explained when in middle school they still had a recess. In the mornings, students were outside for 20 minutes. There was an hour for lunch and an open campus. Students had more responsibility and were trusted to use the bathroom and go to the hallways without a pass.
His college and university education were taken in the United States. Mr. Pentland said, “College is a time where you’re not really sure of what you want to do with your life. Some people go into college and think they are going to become ‘this’ and those are great aspirations. It is great that people have a plan they are going to stick to, but I also think the purpose of college is to discover yourself.” Mr. Pentland was not worried about what he was going to become. It was more of a need to try to find something that is going to be fulfilling in his life, and he wanted others.
When he became a teacher, he said that the first year was the hardest. Naturally, he reached out to his colleagues who reminded him, even on the bad days in the big picture, you were doing something important. It is not just one person who inspired him, it is a whole community.
By: Jacob G.
People are used to doing the things that they know they can do and come naturally, but what about trying new things that they have not done before? Well, that is the case for girls lacrosse coach, Mr. Heber. Heber is a teacher at Buffett and the coach for the boys and girls lacrosse teams.
Mr. Heber previously coached boys lacrosse. It is his first-year coaching girls lacrosse. The new opportunity was offered to him this year, and he accepted without hesitation. There are 13 girls on the roster, but Mr. Heber said he wanted a few more girls to join the team. In lacrosse, there are 12 people on the field and more team members would allow students to sub if there were an injury.
There are no differences on how the game is played for the girls and boys, The only difference is the amount of experience between the two. Heber said, “A lot of the boys are returning players so they’re experienced where as for the girls only a few of them have played outside of P.E. It is a lot of more teaching and fundamentals for the girls team.” Mr. Heber looks forward to teaching both teams.
Like any sport, there are challenges. Mr. Heber said, “I’ve never coached girls, so that’s one of the things, trying to get my message across and relate to them in the situation.”
This season will be more difficult than last, but Mr. Heber believes in the success of the girls team and hopeful is if their season.
Students agree that he will not fall short of being a great coach this season. This is a new experience for Mr. Heber, but he is standing up to the challenge and taking it head on. If someone is ever hesitant to try something new, be like Mr. Heber, and accept a challenge and be confident and courageous!
Girls Varsity Basketball
The girls varsity basketball had a great year, winning second place at city finals. Aniah W., 8th grader, reflected on the year. She said, "We came together as a team. When we stick together and support each other, we make the best of each game!"
1/25- Win against Beveridge Middle School 41-0
1/30- Win against Norris Middle School 30-3
2/1- Win against Bryan Middle School 39-6
2/6- Win against Nathan Hale Middle School 30-11
2/8- Win against Marrs Magnet Middle School 34-9
2/13- Win against Lewis and Clark Middle School- 44-17
2/20- Win against Morton Middle School 43-21
2/27- Loss against Davis Middle School 20-32
2/28- Win against Monroe Middle School 42-27
3/1- Win against King Science 45-18
3/5- Win against Morton Middle School 45-34
3/6- Loss against Davis Middle School 45-24
Girls Junior Varsity Basketball
The girls junior varsity team put a good fight this year and had great teamwork. Coach Kimball said, "We had a great year. The girls worked very hard and showed their toughness the last two games of the season with come from behind victories at the end of the game!"
1/25- Win against Beveridge Middle School 19-5
1/30- Win against Norris Middle School 19-1
2/1- Win against Bryan Middle School 29-14
2/6- Win against Nathan Hale Middle School 22-16
2/8- Win against Marrs Middle School 23-2
2/13- Loss to Lewis and Clark Middle School 2-17
2/20- Loss to Morton Middle School 14-25
2/27- Loss against Davis Middle School 11-24
2/28 - Win against Monroe Middle Schools 14-9
3/1- Win against King Science 9-7
The boys swim started in November. The boys practice everyday at Morton Middle School. Jose H., said, "It is enjoyable, but tiring. When I'm tired, I keep doing it because it helps endurance." Eighth grade swimmer Blayke O., said, "Swimming is demanding but it teaches me how to work as a team." The team won first place at city finals.
9/28 - OPS Quad - 3rd Place
10/7 - Redbird Rally at Norris Middle School - 6th Place
10/28 - McMillan Mindmaster - 3rd Place
11/11 - Bryan High School QB - Did not place
12/2 - Lewis and Clark QB - 3rd Place
1/27 - Concordia QB - Did not place
Ms. Lopez, Buffett's Robotics coach, took the team to York, NE the weekend of March 3-4, 2018. Lopez said, "All of my robotics teams this season have overcome a lot of adversity - with robotics not functioning the way the students predicted to controllers not working on the field. through all of that, my robotics kiddos have persevered, and all three teams made it to state robotics this year. One team is going to the US Open. I am so proud of all my robotics kiddos! Way to go!"
"Journalism class is a great class where you can work on your collaboration skills. You are able to get to know more about your classmates and school. Getting to watch the news is one the greatest aspects. Not only do we spend our time learning about our community and school but also what's happening around the world."
"I think journalism is a place where teens can have a voice in the world."
"Work in journalism is like food. You love it and it never goes to waste."