October 2009

Fall Fling is Fantastic

Attributions: 
Curtis Burton
Seventh-grade Choir.JPG

The Payson Junior High Music Department presented its annual fall concert on October 13, 2009. The concert this fall was titled “Fall Fling: The Rhythm of Life” and it featured the school’s Perfect Harmony Choir, seventh-grade, eighth-grade, and ninth-grade choirs, as well as a number of soloists and duets.

Mrs. Bolz, the choir director at Payson Junior High, was very pleased with all the performances and she gave special recognition to those who performed solos; in her words they were, “Excellent!” The soloists included Chase Healey who sang “I’ve Got to Find Out Who I Am”, Austin Perry who sang “Waiting for the Light to Shine”, and Jessica Bastean who sang “Learn to be Lonely”, with Avery Daley and Angela Hickman singing a duet: “Our Song”.

In a night full of highlights, one highlight that certainly stood out was the performance of the seventh-grade choir’s performance of “Dance Revolution”. The number was choreographed and was definitely a crowd favorite as the seventh-grade choir not only sang but showed their dancing skills as well.

The night concluded with all the choirs combined singing “The Rhythm of Life” and “The National Anthem”. The audience got a great show and will definitely be looking forward to the music department’s future performances in November and December.

Reading Marathon a Success at Payson Junior High

Attributions: 
Curtis Burton
Reading Marathon Winners.jpg

Students at Payson Junior High gladly took up their principal’s challenge to read at least 26 minutes a day as part of the Principal’s Reading Marathon Challenge. Mr. Swenson, an avid runner and finisher of several marathons, challenged the student body at PJHS to read 26 minutes a day for two weeks (the week prior to and after his Top of Utah Marathon). Each student that read for 26 minutes a day could then enter the Principal’s Reading Marathon Challenge drawing and guess the finishing time for Mr. Swenson in the Top of Utah Marathon; students could enter each day they read and had their drawing entry forms signed by a teacher or parent. Hundreds of students participated.

In all, 20 students won as a result of the drawing. First place was Caromen Turner who guessed the finishing time closest to Mr. Swenson’s actual finishing time. Other winners were Josh Evans, Cody Baldwin, Josh Brown, Jaden Grill, Kelci Johnson, Ryan Rollins, Jaden Bates, Kennedy Sorenson, Briana, Johnson, Jordyn Earl, Hannah Ford, Andrew Putt, Karissa Kinder, Corey Allred, Lindsey Putt, Bryce Thompson, Haylie Greenhalgh, and Chloe Holman. Prizes were donated by MVP Sports and Farwest Bank.

PJHS Loafer Hike

Attributions: 
Curtis Burton
Students and faculty celebrate at the summit of Loafer Mountain.

 

Payson Junior High School Students Summit Loafer

 

In the early morning hours of September 4, 35 students and a few teachers, including this teacher—Mr. Burton, from Payson Junior High woke up earlier than usual to be at the school for a bus loading. The bus we loaded was bound for the Loafer Mountain trailhead in Payson Canyon. All in attendance seemed very excited to be a part of the school’s annual Loafer Mountain summit push led by Mr. Archer (a P.E. Teacher at Payson Junior High). Mr. Archer has led a group of students to the top of Loafer Mountain each fall for the last five years and this year he would do it again.

Mr. Archer, the founder of the annual hike, shared how the hike came to be: “The first time I hiked the mountain an experienced hiker of the mountain (Brad Warren) was teaching at Payson Junior High. After he took me to the summit, I was hooked. Being down in the valley and always looking up at the mountains, I thought it would be a neat experience for kids to get the other perspective by having the opportunity to be up at the top and looking down at the valley.” And so was born the Payson Junior High Loafer Mountain Hike.

This annual event includes 30-35 hikers and has been a great success. Mr. Archer requires all interested students to complete a battery of tests to be eligible. They must attend a hike procedure/back-country safety class and pass a written test prior to making the hike.  Students must also pass a physical test. The physical test is administered at 5:30 AM, and students are required to go three miles in 39 minutes, or less, and then complete 30 bleachers at the Payson High School football field, all with their packs on.  

“The 5:30 in the morning deters a lot of the kids from participating, but if we don’t leave that early, there’s not enough time to reach the summit and get back for the bus,” said Archer. 

The hike is a twelve-mile hike, six miles to the summit and six miles back to the trailhead. Most students made the summit, and with the exception of a few bumps and bruises, the climb went smoothly. Some students completed the summit of the peak for the third time (once a year for each year they’ve been a student at Payson Junior High); they became members of the ‘elite’ three-timer club.  In addition to Mr. Archer, I was joined by Mrs. Frandsen (an English teacher at Payson Junior High); we were all impressed with the teamwork and determination demonstrated by the students as they helped one another to the summit and back. Lander Crook, a member of the ‘elite’ three-timer club, may have put it best when he said, “It is an awesome enlightening experience.” I couldn’t agree more.