Annual Loafer Mountain Hike

Article by Gideon Argyle (9th grade). Photos by Maddy Bragg, Eric Archer.

On September 11, 2015, twenty-five students from Payson Junior High and seventeen students from Spanish Fork Junior High got on a bus at six in the morning and drove up the canyon to Loafer Mountain Trailhead. We started to hike in the cool of the early morning. It was a peaceful walk through the trees with an occasional steep part. We took small breaks here and there while others caught up. the view we saw of the canyon in the first rays of light were spectacular.

Soon the sun caught up to us as we continued up the trail. After a hike up some switchbacks we finally made it to the saddle, the halfway point. The hardest part was now over. Taking the time to eat some lunch and snacks, we had a nice long break. From that point we left a few people behind at the saddle while the rest continued the climb to the top. We kept a good pace until we reached one of our favorite stopping points. The mountain goats. Several people pulled out their binoculars to see if they could see some. Only four were spotted.

From there was the final climb to the top of Mount Loafer. We packed up our things and started again, the end in sight. When we at last got to the top the view was far better than the others before it. We could see many things from the top. There was a short break then we all gathered by the flag pole and listened as the teachers and adults talked to us about 9/11. When they were done talking, we sat in silence for a moment and just thought about it. By then we had to pack up and begin our decent down the mountain. Going down was quick and easy. Everyone made it back safely. The Loafer Mountain hike was a great experience that we all had fun on and enjoyed.

Parent Newsletter, WE 9-18-15

Photo by John Carlisle

PHS Parents,

Building relationships is one of the most important things we do. Relationships are the building blocks for all school, community and life activities. John Donne, a 17th century writer, wrote a poem entitled, No Man Is An Island. In it he eloquently relates, “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

We thrive in the presence of other people. We are social. We are a part of a larger whole and we prosper from the company of others. PJHS is a community of interesting and dynamic individuals including students, teachers, support professionals, and parents. We are a part of the community as well. Our relationships with each other help to define who we are and we are GRIZZLY NATION!

We have built relationships with each other through a welcome back assembly, classroom orientations, assignments and activities, fall sports, Nebo after school clubs, our very own school store, and the back to school dance and many more activities. And the best part of it all, we are building a community. Thank you for giving us the privilege of teaching your children. We are excited to see what this school year will continue to bring.


 Principal’s Email

Please be on the lookout for correspondence from Mr. Swenson regarding a school survey for parents. This should be in your email in the next two weeks. He will explain more about it at that time.

Box Tops for Education

PJHS has long been collecting Box Tops for Education. The monies earned directly benefit our students at the school. Students can earn additional rewards for bringing in box tops such as:  5 extra credit points to use in any class when a student brings in 10 box tops (at teacher discretion) or 50 box tops earns the student a free homework or early out to lunch pass. Please collect box tops to help our students.

School Pictures

Haven't ordered yet? Don't miss this year's school picture!

  1. Go to

  2. Log in with your Portrait ID and Access Code located in your picture package

Pedidos en español disponibles por internet. Utiliza tu ID del retrato y el código de acceso de tu paquete del retrato.

To redeem your complimentary digital SmileSafe card, click here.

Parent/Guardian, how was this year's school picture experience? Take survey.

Homework Help

Students can attend a before school homework session from 7:20am to 7:50am on Mondays and Wednesdays in Mrs. Wagner’s room (D148). Students can get help or work on their own. Study time is also offered daily during Den Time.

Nebo Afterschool Clubs

Parents, PJHS in need of more club leaders to either start new clubs or help with clubs that have been popular in the past. If you are interested in leading a club, please contact Miss Ogden at  There is a stipend included for your time.  

8th Grade College and Career Readiness (CCR) Appointments

CCR appointments will soon begin to be assigned to every 8th grader at PJHS. We plan to start mailing appointment cards around the first week of October.  We realize that there are some parents that absolutely cannot attend an appointment during the school day, therefore we are opening a few appointment times during our Parent Teacher Conferences on September 23rd.  If you need an evening time slot for you and your 8th grader, please call and make an appointment with Mrs. Vellinga at 801-465-6021.

Cross Country

Cross Country Season is underway! Personal Records were set at Springville Jr.'s course last Friday by Spencer Nelson, Josh Bender, Konnor Miner, McKay Argyle, Katy Hinton, Olivia Waite, Isabelle Ramos, and Melissa Giles.

If students are interested in Cross Country, they can STILL join the team! (Seventh Graders, too!) Our team races schools all around the district and runners make great friends. The team meets for practice every day after school by the backstop outside of E hall. Talk to Mr. Bird or Mrs. Bragg with questions.


Girls’ Tennis

Tuesday, September 15 - vs. Salem @ SHHS 3:30pm

Thursday, September 17 - vs. Spanish Fork @ SFHS


Monday, September 21 @ Gladstan 12:00pm

Cross Country

Friday, September 18 - vs. Mt Nebo and Springville @ Mt Nebo Jr


Nebo Football - 8th Grade

Saturday, September 19 - @ PHS, Spgvl Reams vs. Payson Silver, 9:00am

Utah Valley Football - 9th Grade

Saturday, September 19 - Payson @ Mapleton, 6:00pm


September 17 - ½ Day, School Dismisses at 11:15am

September 17 - Strengthening Families Class, 6pm - 8:30pm

September 21: Picture Retake Day



HOPE Squad Starts the Year Off "WRITE"

Photo by Julie Carlisle
HOPE Squad members write positive messages.

PJHS HOPE Squad and Latinos In Action (LIA) are starting the year off "write" by chalking the walk. HOPE Squad members were caught writing positive messages along the front walk of our school yesterday.

HOPE Squads are the eyes and ears of our schools. They are comprised of students who are trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, identify warning signs, and seek help from adults. HOPE4UTAH works with school advisors to train students who have been identified by their classmates as trustworthy peers to serve as HOPE Squad members. Through evidence-based training modules, HOPE Squad members are empowered to seek help and save a life.

For more information about Utah's HOPE Squads in schools follow the link: 

One Life, Six Words, What's Yours?

Reflection by Orion. Photos: A.LeMmon

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's famous six-word tale, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," six word stories serve as a way for students to summarize succinctly and cleverly. Mrs. Chausow's English classes recently completed their own works and are displaying them in the hall for all to ponder. 

One student wrote, "perfect world: wish i was there". He summed up his experience in these words,"I want a perfect world and I’m not close to having it. I’ve had lots of bad luck [in] the past year." He relayed many personal events that affected him and concluded by stating, "And now I’m here. I’ve had a little good luck. I get to be in the same school as my cousins."

This thought provoking exercise allowed for students to look inward and reflect, to share experiences, and to think outside of themselves as they read others' works. Thank you, Mrs. Chausow!

9-8-15 Newsletter

Alesha LeMmon


PJHS Parents,

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -John F. Kennedy

In this age of seemingly constant competition, many students feel the need to succeed. Payson Junior High students are no different. They put in hard work to excel and it does not go unnoticed by our teachers and staff. Teachers share their students’ successes with other teachers, parents, and administrators daily. But, we all know many of these successes come with previous failures. It is a fact that failure is a crucial component to success.

Nobody wants to fail, ask successful inventors about failure and the stories will most like include multiple attempts and more failures than they would care to count. We need to convey to our children that one must fail to truly succeed and it’s okay. Goals and successes are reached by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics compares the way humans attain goals and success to missiles and torpedoes. He states, “By a series of zigzags it [the torpedo] literally gropes its way to the goal. In fact, the missile is likely to be off target a far greater percentage of the time than it is on target.” The torpedo makes minor adjustments in its course to reach the target accurately.

We are all constantly adjusting course as we learn from our failures and reach for success. May we all remind ourselves that course corrections are a fact of life and failure can lead to great achievements in all we do.


Nebo Parent Mentor

As we begin this 2015-16 school year, we know parents are "new" to the world of Special Education.  Parents find they may need assistance in understanding the IEP/504 process, in effectively communicating and working with teachers, or in finding resources specific to a child's needs.  Nebo School District has a Parent Mentor that can help. See the attached document in the photo section of this newsletter on our website ( for more information.

Nebo Afterschool Clubs

Clubs will begin this week and continue through November 6th. All students are welcome to join a single club, or multiple clubs if they wish. There is no cap for enrollment and no deadline date, so feel free to come join at any time. Registration forms can be found in the main office or see Miss Ogden in C66.  All clubs meet as soon as school is out. Healthy snacks will be available daily during the gathering time at 2:35pm in Miss Ogden’s room (C66).

Strengthening Families Parenting Program

CAASA-Communities Acting Against Substance Abuse, invites your whole family to participate in a FREE, 12 week, evidence based course. Session starts Thursday, September 17, 2015. Class is every Thursday for 12 weeks at Payson Junior High School (1025 S Highway 198, Payson) Dinner is included! For more information, and to register, contact Kim Lefler at (801) 921-9779.


Girls' Golf

Thursday, September 10 @ Gladston 11:30AM

Monday, September 14 @ Spanish Oaks 

Girls’ Tennis

Thursday, September 10 vs Diamond Fork @ MMHS 3:30PM

Tuesday, September 15 vs Salem @ SHHS 3:30PM

Thursday, September 17 vs Spanish Fork Jr @ SFHS 3:30PM

Nebo Football - 8th Grade

Wednesday, September 9 - Salem Columbia vs. Payson Silver @ PHS 6PM

Wednesday, September 9 - Spgvl Reams vs. Payson Green @ PHS 7:30PM

Saturday, September 12 - Spgvl Johnson Construction vs. Payson Green @ PHS 10:30AM

Saturday, September 19 - Spgvl Reams vs. Payson Sliver @ PHS 9AM


September 11: Loafer Mountain Hike

September 11: Back to School Dance 6pm - 8pm


September 23: Parent Teacher Conference




Clothing Drive Brings Rewards

PTA: Aleasha Hancock

The PTA sponsored clothing drive at the end of August was a wild success! We took in over 1,600 pound of clothing of which 821 pounds were donated by the 7th grade class alone! As a result, the 7th grade class won the opportunity to participate in a Den Time game of HUMAN HUNGRY HIPPOS. We are proud of all the students who took the time to bring in clothing that was ultimately donated for our community. Thank you, students and GO GO GRIZZLIES! 

Parent Newsletter WE 9-4-15

PJHS Principals

PJHS Parents,

What do you think will happen? Do numbers ever end? Who makes the calendar? Why can you see lightning at night? Albert Einstein once said, “the important thing is not to stop questioning.” Your children (our students) are naturally curious and ask questions. Some studies show the amazing number of questions children ask at home is an average of 25 per hour. As a parent, your head is most likely shaking up and down in affirmation right now. And, the more questions we answer, the more they are likely to ask because they become even more curious to learn. On the other hand, another study indicates at school, teachers ask 30 times as many questions as their students do.

This year, our teachers have started studying the book, Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess. In the book, Mr. Burgess posits, “If you consistently ask questions that lead to creative and outside-the-box thinking, your mind will provide you with creative and outside-the-box answers. Burgess encourages teachers to ask the right questions and we know that if teachers become more aware of questioning patterns in their classrooms, they can create conditions that encourage more student questions and, therefore, build a better environment of learning. Students who are curious about a topic learn easier and retain more.

So, our goal is to get students to ask more questions, become more curious, and learn more than they already know. Will this slow the questions from your children at home? We certainly hope not!


7th Grade Vision Screening

On Tuesday, September 8, there will be vision screenings for all 7th graders. Please make sure your child has their glasses or other corrective lenses with them that day.

PTA Clothing Fundraiser WINNERS!

Thank you to all families that sent clothing into the school for the PTA sponsored annual clothing drive. We received over 1,600 pounds of clothing! 9th grade donated 374.5 pounds, 8th grade donated, 426.5 pounds, and the winners-- 7TH GRADE DONATED 821 POUNDS! The 7th grade class will participate in their own Den Time Activity on Friday, September 4th. They will be playing “Human Hungry Hippos”. Please look for a permission slip coming home this week. This must be signed in order for the student to participate. CONGRATULATIONS 7TH GRADERS!

Homework Help

Students can attend a before school homework session from 7:20am to 7:50am on Mondays and Wednesdays in Mrs. Wagner’s room (D148). Students can get help or work on their own.

Nebo Afterschool Clubs

PJHS is excited to have after school clubs again this year. The NAC is a great program created to help kids discover new interests and hobbies. Clubs will be held everyday school is in session from 2:35pm - 4:30pm. Wednesday clubs will meet from 2:00pm - 4:00pm. Take a look at what’s available and sign up with Miss Ogden today. For up to date information check out our 4H link on the PJHS website at

For September through November we are offering Homework Help outlined above, Mondays: Coding with Mr. Howell, Tuesdays: Robotics with Mr. Young, Thursdays: Wrestling with Mr. Ward, Fridays: Gaming with Mrs. Bridenbaugh and Mrs. Wagner. The cost is $10 for the first club and $5 for every club thereafter. Healthy snacks will be available daily during the gathering time at 2:35pm in Miss Ogden’s room (C66).


Girls’ Tennis

Tuesday, September 8 - Catchment Area Optional Match: PJHS, SaJHS, MNJHS @ Payson High 3:30pm

Nebo Football - 8th Grade

Wednesday, September 2 - PHS Spgvl Johnston vs. Payson Silver

Wednesday, September 2 - Salem Lo Payson Green vs. Salem Navy

Saturday, September 5 - NO GAMES - LABOR DAY


September 11: Loafer Mountain Hike

September 11: Back to School Dance 6pm - 8pm



LIA Tells A Story!

Story by Tanner Bollar, LIA Historian

Latinos In Action (LIA) is practicing to tutor students at Park View Elementary School. We are learning the level of kids and what level of books they should be reading and we are having fun reading to each other to practice for the kids. All of us are very excited to go help all the little kids that need our help at Park View. So we will keep practicing until we are ready to go!

August 25 Parent Newsletter


PJHS Parents,

Welcome to Grizzly Nation! Our teachers and staff have worked tirelessly over the summer to be ready for your children and we are thrilled to have them. We hope this next year will be enjoyable for you and your students. Each week we will be sending out a newsletter so that you are informed of the current events and activities going on in our school. The newsletter will also include a copy of your child’s grades for your information. We encourage you to be actively involved in your child’s education and growth. We feel privileged to be apart of your child’s life.


Grizzly Growls

PJHS Grizzlies' School Store

Does your little Grizzly have a bear of an appetite? Send them over to the Grizzlies' School Store which features treats starting at 25 cents along with many other school related items.

Bingo Tuesday

Bingo has begun! Every Tuesday in Mrs. Gillie’s classroom (C-75) a bingo game will be held for all students wishing to participate. Students can win prizes throughout the term and a chance to win a Sip 'N gift card at the end of the term.

PTA Clothing Fundraiser

Our PTA is sponsoring a clothing fundraiser that ends on August 28. Send your gently used clothing with your child to school to help earn money for our school. The class that brings in the most amount of clothing (in pounds) will win a special activity in the Grizzly Den on Friday.

Box Tops

We want your box tops! Box Top money is used directly at our school to fund student activities throughout the year. Additionally, for every 10 box tops turned in students can earn a five-point extra credit coupon to be used in any class. When they turn in 50 box tops they earn the extra credit coupon plus a free homework pass. Box tops can be turned into your child’s third period teacher.



Girl’s Tennis

It’s not too late to try out for the girl’s tennis team. Your Lady Grizzly just needs to go out to the tennis courts after school before the end of the week. If she doesn’t have a racket, we can provide her with one.

Loafer Mountain Hike

We will be hiking Loafer Mountain on September 11. There will be an information meeting this Friday during Den Time in the Activity Room and we’ll discuss the details. If your child likes exercise and the outdoors send them to the meeting. Let out your inner grizzly.

Cross Country

Practice for cross country is everyday from 2:45–4:00 at the school. Please contact Coaches Bragg or Bird if you have further questions.



August 28: Student Assembly during Den Time.



What Happens On The First Day Of School?

Mr. Aintablian motivating his class.
Mr. Howell introducing his students.
Buses waiting for students.

Students are adjusting in many ways as we start the 2015-2016 school year. There are lockers to be opened, classrooms to be found, and lunch to be eaten. One student was heard today saying, "I can smell the food, I just can't find it!"

Teachers, veteran students, and other staff help open lockers and point the way, giving directions to each classroom. We are all building relationships with each other whether we are the teacher, the lunch lady, or someone we already know. We are all getting to know each other, and it's fun! We are looking forward to a great school year!