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Glen Edwards school year gets off to strong start

By: Ashley Piwkiewicz GEMS historian
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Glen Edwards Middle School kicked off the brand-new school year with WEB (Welcome Every Body) on Aug. 18. WEB introduces the new sixth-graders to GEMS and helps them feel more comfortable for their first day of middle school. Leadership WEB leaders and the new sixth-graders all participated in activities. Why activities and not games? Well one smart sixth-grader told us, “Games have a winner while activities don’t.” We were thinking just the same thing as he was. After these activities, there was a school-wide tour and then the barbecue. Many students said that they felt much more comfortable now than they did the previous day. The sixth-graders were very bright and spirited. They will be a wonderful addition to GEMS. Jillian Loya and Matthew Moss (two sixth-graders) were interviewed about WEB and their first day of school: Jillian Loya: What did you think of WEB? “It was fun. My leaders were really nice and they explained things really well.” What did you think about the first day of school? “It wasn’t hard getting to my classes. My teachers were all really nice. I like them.” Matthew Moss: What did you think of WEB? “WEB was really fun. My favorite activity was the card game. We had to make a really big house by stacking the cards. It was fun even though we didn’t get our house very high!” What did you think about the first day of school? “It was easy to find my way around until it was time for P.E. and elective. I got lost.” This year, we have two new programs starting up, PAWS and AVID. Mr. Alcorn, Mrs. Banderas and Mrs. Reitman are the teachers of PAWS (Promoting All Willing Students). They are very encouraged so far and look forward to an outstanding year. The purpose of PAWS Academy is to help students build confidence, grow academically and feel successful in school. Mrs. Hamasaki teaches AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). AVID is a college prep class that gives students who show capability a first step toward college eligibility. It gives students the opportunity to achieve beyond their expectations. This AVID class will work on writing, reading, inquiry, college and class projects. On Sept. 3, Glen Edwards had its Back-to-School Night and it went great. Many parents came and got a good understanding of the school and their students’ teachers. We hope that all parents will now feel comfortable with their students here at GEMS. The 7th/8th grade band also performed. They played very well and kept the audience very entertained. GEMS’ first dance was on Sept. 12. It was the sixth-graders’ very first dance and everyone was ecstatic. We did some of the group dances to YMCA, Cha Cha Slide, Crank That Soulja Boy and the Chicken Dance. Everyone screamed to the songs they liked and had a fun time dancing. Even the panther came out and danced! At the seventh- and eighth-grade dance at night, students had fun dancing also. This time, there were less group dances and more of the friend group dances. Everyone danced and had fun. Two teachers from Glen Edwards Middle School were interviewed: Mr. Otte teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade language arts and social studies. He also went to college at CSU Chico – undergrad and grad school. Why do you like working at GEMS? “The million dollar paycheck? No. It gets me all the best Hollywood parties? No, not that either. I’d say it’s because of a great staff that works well together and keeps me laughing. My students are the other reason. Their fun personalities and motivation to succeed make me want to do all I can to help them enjoy learning and be successful in life. They even humor me and laugh at my jokes sometimes … rarely ... OK – close to never.” What is one embarrassing moment you’ve had when teaching a class? “Only one? Hmmm. I do notice that I often try to assist students in understanding through my personal stories – I guess I repeat them once in a while – OK, all the time. I also have brought tears to my students’ eyes with my singing – unfortunately, they seem to be tears of pain.” To you, how was the first day of school? “Great! It’s always fun to see how much my students have changed over the summer – I even notice some new fashion trends and hairstyles that are ‘in.’ I’m still waiting for acid wash jeans and silk shirts to make a comeback.” Mr. Trueman teaches seventh-grade algebra and science. He went to college at Brigham Young University, Oregon State University and Chico State. Why do you like working at Glen Edwards Middle School? “The kids are super. They are really fun to work with. I work with great teachers and a great administration.” What is one embarrassing moment you’ve had when teaching a class? “I don’t get embarrassed very easily.” To you, how was the first day of school? “I love getting back and meeting the new kids. This year, the kids are wonderful.”