Story by Julien Gourgue
Summer can be a relaxing break away from school, but when you have to go back, it can be exciting or scary -- especially for new students.
“I was kind of nervous about the first day of school because my locker and my binder were unorganized, so I didn’t know what to do and my classes were very far apart," Jackson Bui, sixth grade, said.
Lena Orahood, sixth grade, said that she was anxious about the first day of school because of all the classes, the people, and the teachers.
After a month, Orahood is getting used to school. “I think I’ve kind of mapped out the school in my head as much as I need to right now so that definitely helps on getting to class on time,” she said.
“At first I was scared and stuff, like about my locker, but then I figured out everything and it went really well," Nava Navarete, sixth grade, said. Isabelle Simmons, sixth grade, said she's adjusting, but it's starting to become more fun.
"I made some new friends," she also said.
Some sixth graders are already in sports which is a good way to start off the school year and to be involved in something.
Bui, Luke Ross, Amory Spence, and Orahood all joined the Cross Country team this year. “I’m feeling really comfortable about the sport so far, especially since the coaches are very nice, and I’ve made some new friends," Spence said.
Romic Cansino, seventh grade, returned to Clay Middle School and said, “I feel that I stay organized in school by remembering my classes and having a daily routine. This has helped me stay even more focused in class.”
Isiaah Gourgue, eighth grade, isn’t a rookie either. This will be his second year at Clay. “I feel better this year about the school than what I felt last year because I have adjusted even more," he said.
Story by Parisa Shirani
Thump, thump, thump. The sound of your heart thumping loud. Sweat trickling down your forehead. Sun beating down your back. One foot in front of another. All things that makes kids love running. But at Clay Middle school running has taken a new twist. Winter Warriors.
Winter Warriors is a club that exist to help kids prepare and stay fit for track season. However there's a spinoff from the ordinary laps around the gym. Winter Warriors does all their running and training outside. Yes outside. The same outside that is capable of the 20 degrees weather the Warriors run in. But mother nature doesn't stand in their way.
The Warriors train every Tuesday and Thursday after school till 4:30. During their practices they usually run laps outside, around the school, and by the track. According to Coach Martin, Winter Warriors is a great way for kids to prepare for track because it helps them improve their core strength, endurance, and speed.
“It's a great opportunity for kids to get ready and in shape for track season,” Martin Said.
Besides from benefiting the runners physically, Winter Warriors has helped kids in a variety of ways. “Winter Warriors helps me blow off stress and gives me time to clear my mind,” Jasmine Klopstad, seventh grade, said. Another seventh grade runner, Christina Mccollum, says Winter Warriors not only helps her improve her running for track season, but lets her meet new friends and gives her a chance to get involved with Clay.
At first the idea of Winter Warriors usually strikes the sense of freezing weather in many people's minds, but it happens that that's not the case at all. “Many people think Winter Warriors is a way to get frostbite, but that's not even close to the truth. The joy the club brings you outweighs all the possibilities of frostbite, just make sure to wear layers,” Klopstad said.
Winter Warriors is said to be a phenomenal club and is encouraged by many to join, even if your not a runner. “Winter Warriors is for all students, even if your not a runner, it's still a great way to stay fit,” says Klopstad. “To join the winters all you need is a pair of gloves, a warm outfit, and a determined attitude,” McCollum said.
“As a runner I believe that you don't need to worry about the end, you just need to focus on the steps in front of you,” Klopstad said. “After all the finish line isn't the end, it's only the beginning.”
Written by Olivia Stock
The dull buzz of students and parents talking mixes with laughter and footsteps. Poster boards filled with information and color line the hallway and the perimeter of the LGI. Eighth graders and parents mill about, looking at seventh grader’s projects and watching them present. The Teen Health Fair took place on February 15 in Core Plus.
For this project, students tried to find an answer to the driving question: How can we influence our well-being and take responsibility for our health? They researched the answer, and took into account the three types of health, physical, mental, and emotional. Some groups focused on one, other groups on two, and still others on all three.
Mrs. Rachel Harter, along with the other seventh grade honors language arts teachers, are the ones directing the whole project. Harter said that students have more freedoms with projects like these, as they can choose what direction they want to go with their answer and really put their own thoughts and opinions into their presentation.
She said that students will also learn from each other as they research and present their findings. Harter has been doing this project for three years, and said that it improves a little bit every time. She also talked about how students’ age (teenagers) will help them with the project. She said her students are people that “teens that are younger have an opportunity to look up to.”
The language arts teachers collaborated with the health teachers for the project, and plan to do it more in future Health Fairs. Some of the projects may even be passed on to health experts for use in their jobs.
The students chose groups of three or four students to work on and present the project with. The overall topic was improving teen health, however, there are many directions that students could take their answer.
For example, Arthur Yeh, seventh grade, along with his group members, did a project focused on mental and emotional health. “Our project is focused on getting people to come forward and talk about their problems on their own accord,” he said.
Their presentation, called Talk About It, encouraged people to talk to someone they trust about personal issues.
Theresa Hommel, seventh grade, and her group focused on “Balancing the three types of health” as a response to the driving question.
Her group’s presentation was called T.H.E. B.O.A.T.-Teen Health Education Balance Of All Things. The presentation included a test for their audience to take on how balanced their lifestyle is. “As teens we can influence our health and well-being by understanding the importance of a balanced lifestyle and using it in our everyday lives,” she said.
Yeh and Hommel talked about how, if at all, their projects could help other teenagers. Yeh said that as long as his group did the project right, teens will be able to find the causes of their problems and get help to solve them. Hommel said that it all depended on whether their audience took their presentation seriously.
Students were able to draw on their own experiences to help with their project. “Personal stories are a great source of inspiration,” Yeh said. Hommel has experience with balancing nutrition, allowing her to add her personal knowledge to the project.
The Teen Health Fair reached a large audience of parents as well as students, educating people on widespread problems of teenagers.
By Hannah Crosby
You walk into the pool and smell the chlorine shock that hits you. The hot wet thick air fills the natatorium. There are many Clay students that swim for Carmel Swim Club and they love the sport.
Swimmers put in countless hours swimming laps down and back in the pool. Coaches watch the Carmel swimmers and look for improvement, and peers and parents to watch during competitions. Swimmers put all their energy into the sport and how hard they work each day and week.
Ellie Overbeck, seventh grade, is a swimmer for Carmel Swim Club. “I put in over 16 and a half hours each week and I try to go to every practice but I work constantly hard each and every day,” she said.
Nicole Heidrich, seventh grader, at clay is another swimmer for Carmel Swim Club and she has been swimming since she was 10 years old. Heidrich puts in around 12 and a half hours of swimming each week and also goes to swim meets over the weekend.
She loves the sport she is doing and hopes to stick with it through high school to be on one of the best high school swim teams that has won over 30 state championships in a row.
“My coach encourages me everyday when I go to practice and work my hardest, I also like swimming because I have many friends in the sport and it is great exercise everyday,” Heidrich said.
“Swimming is a difficult but mind driven sport that encourages me to get up and go get some good exercise,” Heidrich said.
Coach John is one of the many coaches at Carmel Swim Club. He tries each and everyday to encourage and boost swimmers confidence. John is a coach that loves his job, and wants to help other swimmers enhance their skills.
“I love being a coach at Carmel because I get to watch all the swimming that I coach and that I see around the pool improve.”
Swimming is a sport that anyone can do if they have the confidence and strong mind to do it.
Story by Dylan Ball
Giant screens hang from the ceiling. Anchors read of their scripts. Reporters are rushing to get ready for their next segment.
But this isn’t happening in a news studio, it’s happening in seventh grade social studies class.
Seventh graders prepared for their newscast about India for weeks. Students were allowed to have a partner. They were assigned a topic about modern India and present a “newscast” in front of the class. The topics included the Mughal Empire, the Taj Mahal, the British and Indian perspective of the East India Company, the Sepoy revolt , and the salt march.
“It was a good way to have fun with friends and learn at the same time,” Moriah Smith, seventh grade, said. Students researched with their partner to make a script they followed during the newscast.
Students were graded on how well they were prepared, how creative they were,what props they brought,and the information that was discussed.
“Students could learn about their topic in depth but also other students topics when they presented too,” Eli Harter, seventh grade, said.
Students were responsible for paying attention during the other students presentations. Mr. Ryan Snyder, seventh grade social studies teacher, passed out a note sheet to make sure students were prepared for the test. Students would write a summary of other students' newscasts so that they would know about the other topics too.
Harter believed that this project was important. “It is important to learn more about other cultures,” he said.
Students were nervous the day they presented but agreed with Harter and Smith that it was a fun project.
Story by Nyle Nasir and Isaac Saghir
Photos by Dylan Horoho and Sydney Rickel
Loud clapping and applause run wild as the cast and crew look up to see a sold-out show for the third night in a row.
This year’s Clay musical was the "Wizard of Oz." The show was led by Mrs. Miranda Susie and Mr. Josh Lowe. It took hundreds of hours to make the show come together.
The cast and crew were picked during first quarter. Members of the cast would stay for hours after school each week to practice their acting, while every Thursday the crew was busy building the props.
While it was a challenge, many people in the cast loved being apart of the production. “It was really hard finding time for everything, but I loved the experience,” said Alex Russo, who played the Wizard.
When asked why they joined the cast, many including Daniel Tanner, said that it was a great place to meet a lot of people and become a better actor.
The crew also had a large part in the musical. They built and moved all the props for the show. Joey Hummel, a crew stage manager, said, “It was an awesome place to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
The musical had one understudy show and two main cast shows. The understudy show took place on November 16, while the main cast performed on the 17 and 18. All three performances were sold out.
“It was one of the best shows I’ve seen,” Dylan Horoho, eight grade, said.
Mr. Andy Simon, eighth grade science teacher, watched the understudy show and had one thing to say, “How are these guys the understudies? This show had outstanding talent and a marvelous crew.”
Story by Jake Reasoner
You may know Mr. Andy Simon as a kind, outgoing science teacher, but after the 3:05 bell rings, he becomes a training phenomenon.
Simon, eighth grade science, can be seen spending his afternoons running around Clay’s halls.
“I enjoy the running," he said. "It’s a great way to keep a healthy heart."
Simon usually spends about an hour on his run, and other teachers have also been spotted racing with the him. Mrs. Kelly Speidel, sixth grade science, is often seen running with Simon.
Simon has been involved in athletics for a very long time. He was a wrestling coach, track coach, and enjoys many other sports.
As an experienced runner, proper form is very important. Speed is not only achieved through strong leg muscles, but correct form, according to Simon.
He started his after school runs two years ago when he decided to start amping up his physical activity.
He enjoys the freedom of running around the school. A treadmill is not his preferred method of cardio.
Simon is aware of the importance of staying active and healthy. “As we get older, it becomes harder and harder to stay in shape, so never take a workout routine out of your weekly schedule,” he said.
Story and pictures by Madeline Young And Abby Bontrager.
Students at Clay have the giving bug this year. Teams Avengers, Justice, and all of seventh grade are participating with an Adopt a Family program.
“Adopt a Family is where you can actually adopt a family for the holidays, and you help raise and by gifts for these individuals,” Miss. Caitlin Engel said.
She said that the most donated gifts were clothing like sweatshirts and coats. Some of the other things are shampoo, gift cards, and even a bike!
All the presents that the students from each team supply are each wrapped and given to the families around Christmas. There are usually no specific goals other than to fully supply all the families with enough presents and goods for Christmas.
“I haven’t donated anything yet, but me and my family are going on a shopping spree for them and get gift cards and clothing,” Sophie Cassidy, seventh grade, said.
“I think it’s a good way to give to a family that’s in need, that kind of need something to give them a little boost,” Megan Abbott, seventh grade, said.
The first person to do Adopt a Family at Clay was Mr. Brian McGuckin’s wife, a former language arts teacher, who participated with McGuckin 17 years ago.
“She and I both started doing it, and started sharing it with other teachers who jumped in as well,” McGuckin said.
For the past 16 years, Clay teachers have been working through The United Christmas service program.
This year is different; Clay teachers worked with the Carmel Fire Department. On December 8, when the gifts were collected, with the help of the Carmel Fire Department, the presents were delivered to the families.
“I think the families are going to be happy and all of the young kids are going to be happy that Santa came,” Cassidy said.
Written by Olivia Stock
A scream, a murder, a jailbreak. What scares people the most? Is it a giant monster, a failed test? Whatever the case, the honors language arts students celebrated that by putting on a festival of fear. A Fear Fair, to be exact.
The Fear Fair was a new activity for students and teachers alike. The honors language arts students and their teachers put on the show, while the rest of the seventh grade toured the interactive exhibits. Fear Fair was a collection of exhibits and performances, all designed to make you feel fear, or understand it better. The fair was tied to the suspense unit the honors students finished beforehand.
The honors students were put into groups of about four to six people. These groups came up with their own interactive experience, ranging from breakout rooms to theatrical performances.
Lily Shukla, seventh grade, was one of the students who put on the fear fair.
“It’s a very interesting project,” she said. “More like a game.”
Lily and her group of honors students put on an interactive play performance. Everyone in the audience got to be a character, and one of her group members, Calista Anderson, was ‘murdered.’ The goal of the exhibit was to figure out the murderer.
Another student who helped put on the show was seventh grader Lucy Devenney.
“I like the project,” she said.
Her project was another murder mystery play, but instead of the audience being a character like in Shukla’s play, the audience was just observing the events and drawing conclusions from them to find the murderer.
Alexis Martin, seventh grade, also helped put on a Fear Fair performance. She said, “It was just different and new.” Instead of a play, her project was a murder mystery escape room. The audience had to find the clues, figure out who the culprit was, and escape, all in 15 minutes.
All three students had similar ideas of what Fear Fair meant to them. Martin said that it was an interactive experience to express creativity. Shukla said it was “A lot of different interactive projects.” And it would “Give students a way to feel fear.” Devenney said, “It’s an interactive presentation.”
The Fear Fair took place on October 10 during the seventh grade Core+.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.