Grizzlies Get the Gold!

Written by Haven Johansen

On March 3, 2014, Diamond Fork Junior High School hosted the District Powerlifting Competition. Offering a variety of lifts and events for each weight division, the competition is held for all junior high students in the district and is held 2 or 3 times a year due to increasing popularity.

Payson Junior High’s own Mason Call took 1st place in his division and Hunter Peterson missed a fourth place medal by one point. Get ready for the last competition of the year- it will be held at Mt. Nebo Junior High. And as Mr. Archer, Payson’s physical education teacher so enthusiastically puts it, “Go Grizzlies!”

Terrific Tournament

Written by Haven Johansen

At 6am (yes, am,) on March 27, PJHS hosted its Singles Badminton tournament. This tournament was Payson’s second of the year, and the reasoning for the insanely early start is that it allows students to participate even if their after school schedules are busy.

There were a lot of close games, and most teams played matches! There were 4 PJHS alumni at the tournament, and they were beaten by many of our students. Mr. Archer, the school’s physical education teacher, said, “It was a lot of fun.” There will be another tournament in April for all those interested.

Into The Woods

Written by Myranda Goodworth
The Full Cast of Into the Woods


Payson Jr. has headed Into the Woods this week! This years new drama teacher, Mr.Aintablian, has been preparing along with his student cast for the delightful musical “Into the Woods”. A mash-up of fairytales where characters like Cinderella, Jack, two Princes, the Baker and his wife, the witch, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel head into the woods in search for something they wish for. It’s hilarious and heartwarming and an exciting play for all who come to see.

The cast includes: Owen Grimshaw as the Baker, Alyssa Behrend as the Baker's Wife, Abigail Garrett as the Witch, Caili Bogan as the Narrator, Erin Bridenbaugh as Jack, Lora Burton as Little Red, Mariah Webber as Cinderella, Brandon Harris as Cinderella's Prince, Cambrielle Fitzwater as Rapunzel, Evan Brandley as Rapunzel's Prince, Dylon Sasser as Mysterious Man, Paige Durrant as Jack's Mother, Jordon Henson as the Wolf, Kaitlyn Sharp as Milky White, Harlee Huff as the Stepmother, Madison Mittelman as Lucinda, Bryanna Hammond as Florinda, Ben Andrew as Cinderella's Father, Kaden Mecham as the Steward, Ashley Jensen as Granny, and Aubrie Marsh as Cinderella's Mother.

The tech crew includes: Ashlyn Sharp, Kea Hancock, Cortnie Hancock, Daniel Sasser, Robby Ewell, Myranda Goodworth, and Dane Peterson. 

David Aintablian was the Director for the show, with Musical Director Ingrid Bolz, Assitant Director Aleasha Hancock, and Director's Assistants Adalyn Coon and Mo Carter.

Students had the chance to watch the play Tuesday and Thursday during school and have been invited to the evening performances at 7:00 pm on the 3rd and 4th. All families are welcome for closing night tonight! It is two dollars at the door and all PJHS students are free! Everyone is invited, it is sure to be a play you will enjoy.

Opening night was a huge success, filled with many family and friends who had come to see the play. The students were proud of the job they did on their first night and are so excited for their final showing. They have worked hard memorizing lines and getting characters down and it’s been an amazing example of what hard work can do. Proving that “If you know what you want then you go and you find it and you take it.”

Congratulations to all the cast and good luck on your final performance!



The Showcase of Talents

Written by Sarah Sullivan
Connie Erickson leading the World Drumming 4-H Club
The Swing Dance club getting their groove on!


St. Patricks Day, 2014.  The world drummers were prepared sitting in the Payson Junior High Auditorium.  They were dressed in colorful clothing, and had made a half circle, prepared to begin the school’s 4-H showcase.  They played along to traditional songs, and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” led by the school’s talented band teacher, Mrs. Erickson.  There was even a song where the audience participated by clapping beats along.  It ended strong, and everybody clapped loudly.

Next up was the drill team.  They looked like zombies, complete with drawn on scars, and fake blood.  It was a dance of flags, and the undead.  The flags came in endless colors, there was even a black, torn, post-apocalyptic looking flag, to match the zombie theme.  The show didn’t last long, but it was truly a sight to see.

The second to last act was the school’s Glee Club.  Led by the amazing Mrs. Holt it was truly impressive.  They stood in a line, and sang bits of a song each.  Each singer sang for about twenty seconds then, passed a microphone down the line.  It ended, and began with a group song of “Lucky”, a perfect song for St. Patricks Day.

The very last act was the swing dance club.  They were led by Mrs. Lake, a mother of one of PJHS’s students, and a great dancer.  They did a swing dance  to “Jump Jive and Well.”  They looked very classic.  It was an extremely fun experience.  You could feel their excited energy radiating.

 There was also, a table full of pictures from the photography clubs.  Awards were given to different photos.  There was food made by the cooking club served, including clover cookies.  The HOBI club had a table with colored sticky notes, so that you could write nice, encouraging notes.

It was a successful event for an equally successful set of clubs.  4-H is really a great opportunity to socialize, have fun, and develop new talents.  You can tell the students really enjoy it.  The showcase is a great opportunity for family, and friends to see what was learned, and watch their kids have their moment to shine.



Nature Grooves

Written by Sarah Sullivan

The Payson Junior High Choirs Presented “All Nature Sings.”  This amazing event happened Thursday, February 27, 2014 in the Payson Junior High School Auditorium.  It was Directed by the wonderful choir teacher Ingrid Bolz, with the just as amazing accompanist Janice Lindsey.

It was a wonder-filled night with three solos by Julia Reber who sang “Landslide,” Abby Garrett who sang “Hang, on Little Tomato,” and Ezra Bird who sang ”Twilight on the Trail.”  They ended strong with a combined choir singing, and dancing to the upbeat anthem “Eye of the Tiger.”

"I think each choir has learned a lot this term.  It is very gratifying to me to see progress in our performance abilities as the school year unfolds,” says Mrs. Bolz,  “I am very proud of those who sang solos last night also!!  And of course I totally enjoyed watching all my awesome students sing and dance to "Eye of the Tiger", which we sang twice last night!!  I want to say thanks to all of our talented, hard working students here at Payson Jr. High.”


A Day For Science

Written by Haven Johansen

The Nebo School District science fair was a smashing success. Students spent two months putting countless hours into becoming experts in the project of their choosing.

Payson Junior High offered up its own round of scientists- Kenji Heimuli, Aubrey Carroll, Nathan Reeves, Benton Staheli, Weston Amos and Gabe Doyle.

Two ninth graders and one seventh grader will be moving on to the BYU Science Fair- Aubrey Carroll studied the effects of typing speed of piano players and non-piano players. Nathan Reeves built a prototype to stop the washing machine from getting off balance and violently shaking. Benton Staheli studied the effects of musical pitch on mold growth.

“Doing the science fair and passing district was an amazing experience. I was walking around before the fair and started to doubt my project. After hearing my name being called to move on, I had never felt so wrong!” Says 9th grader Aubrey Carroll.

All students worked very hard on their projects. They chose interesting topics and developed them into a presentation for the fair.

One of PJHS’ science teachers, Mrs. Anderson, says, “The science fair is a great opportunity that allows students to explore a topic that is interesting to them. I loved seeing the look of surprise on the student's faces when they found the results of their projects! I am so proud of all their hard works and efforts.”  


Students of the Month for January


The students at Payson Junior have been working hard this month, leaving teachers debating which students to recognize as Students of the Month. The task has been completed, and January’s top students are as follows:

Science- 7th: Sawyer Algers, 8th: Austin Hone, and 9th: Emily Walters. Language Arts- 7th: Rebecca Apgood 8th: Madison Houston, and 9th: Stephanie Tidwell. Girls PE- 7th: Brinn Loveless, 8th: Megan Lind, and 9th: Madison Bing. Boys PE- 7th: Orrin Ward, 8th: Elliot Evans, and 9th: Lorenzo Ruiz. Math- 7th: Joe Baxter, 8th: Daniel Cortez, and 9th Braxton Judd.

Social Studies- 7th: Mauri Blauer, 8th: Kathleen Olsen, and 9th: Valerie Cornwell. Fine Arts- 7th: Chloe Poulsen, 8th: Micah Toelupe, and 9th: Christian Herrera. Library- 7th: Garit Bibler, 8th: Kerstin Taylor, and 9th: Chay’Lyn Gordon. Career and Tech- 7th: Leslie Salas, 8th: Riley Redford, and 9th: Weston Banks. Special Education- 7th: Talin Wyler, 8th: Chloe Williams, and 9th: Tiaza Warden.

The overall students of the month, representing their entire grade, were: 7th: Chase Openshaw, 8th:Tayt Kearl, and 9th: Lucy Hales.

Congratulations to all of these honored students, and keep up the good work!



Champions are Made of Sugar, Spice, and Defense!

Written by Sarah Sullivan

On Thursday, February 6, Payson Junior High’s Freshman Girls Basketball Team had a special net-cutting ceremony to celebrate their place as District Champions.

The night before, the girls played Mapleton in the championship game, and ended up victorious with an overall score of 30-17. The high scorers were Lucy Hales with 9 points and Allison Pray with 8. But Coach Corbett, Assistant coach to the Lady Grizzlies, credited their success mostly to their defense. He said, “We had a team goal to hold each opponent to under 20 points- and we did it! They all worked so hard and they met that goal.”

In the pre-season they scored 0-3.  In the team won over Spanish Fork, and rival Mount Nebo, but lost to Mapleton.  “This game provided a new desire in the team to stay focused and close out opponents when they have the chance.” said Mr.Corbett the assistant coach.  The scored 529 total points this season, and had an 11 game winning streak,with an overall record of 13 wins, and 4 losses.  They are the new district champions, and to celebrate ‘cut the net’ on February sixth.  Every member of the team even signed a ball to keep in our trophy case, that can remind us of their dedication.  

At the net-cutting ceremony, Principal Swenson talked about how nervous he was at the game. He explained, “I was shaking, and I wasn’t even playing! But we are so proud… This came from a lot of work and a lot of time...You worked as a team and did it together! And you became friends off the court. These girls are all great examples to PJHS.”

Over the season there were injuries to key players Lucy Hale, and Alison Pray.  Inspite of the injuries the team was strong.  Mr. Corbett, and Mrs.Fox really enjoyed teaching these wonderful, dedicated girls.  They came to practice determined to improve themselves individually, and as a whole.  

The team members are Alexis Taylor, Larian Rosser, Amanda Rowley, Allison Pray, Kimberly Martin, Ashlyn Bollar, Jessalyn Etheridge, Lucy Hales, Abbie Smith, Sierra Bolton, Terissa Hamilton (who plays for Payson High’s team), and team managers Natalia Godinez, and Madison Bean.

The team’s love for the game, for their coaches, and for each other was apparent as spectators watched this wonderful celebration. They have worked incredibly hard all season and that work paid off! Congratulations ladies- you are champions!


Mentoring? What?

Written by Haven Johnansen

For 6 years, the mentoring program has helped struggling students gain better understanding of their educational and social skills. “It gives students a role model,”  says Janna Manookin, who is in charge of the program and was kind enough to give some inside information on how it all works.

The mentoring program is school based. Each at-risk student is matched to a trained volunteer, and once a week they spend 1 hour together. They spend the hour doing activities that interest the student and that will develop them culturally, artistically, or educationally.

Mentors have helped make drastic changes in a student’s outlook on life and schooling after just one school year. They help the child set goals, give guidance and support, supervise academic achievements, promote a healthy lifestyle and build social ability. Students better their attendance, their commitments to school and relationships, and experience a multitude of other improvements.

“It might be a little hard to connect at first, but give it a week and the mentor and student have a great relationship," Janna comments.

The program is in constant need of mentors. Janna comments that if 200 adults volunteered, they would have a student for all of them. To help a student in need of a role model, all you need to do is fill out an application. It requires optimism and honesty, as well as reliability. “It’s just like applying for a job. We have tons of different people signing up.” And everybody who enters the program gets a chance at a rewarding and successful relationship with a kid who needs some help.


December's Best at PJHS

December Students of the Month


Every month, Payson Junior High’s teachers are faced with the challenge to select students of the month. With so many excellent students attending Payson Junior, it can be difficult for teachers to select just one outstanding student! They accomplished this task and have chosen the following as December’s students of the month:

Science- 7th: Lora Burton & Cassandra John, 8th: Myranda Goodworth & Adalyn Coon, and 9th: Jacey Orme & Kyle Mott. Language Arts- 7th: Cody Zumbrennen, 8th: Eduardo Camba, and 9th: Lucy Hales. Girls PE- 7th: Alyssa Baker, 8th: Annalise Rice, and 9th: Madeline White.Boys PE- 7th: Chase Openshaw, 8th: Ethan Hatfield, and 9th: Tanner Kilpack.

Social Studies- 7th: Ashland Lowder, 8th: Kobey Evans, and 9th: Saige White. Fine Arts- 7th: Kaitlyn Sharp, 8th: Megan Neal, and 9th: Cali Bogan. Library- 7th: Porter Stulce, 8th Harley Huff, and 9th: Hanna Walker. Career and Tech- 7th: Emily Waters, 8th: Tayt Kearl, and 9th: Eli Jones.

The overall students of the month, representing their entire grade, were: 7th: Chase Openshaw, 8th:Tayt Kearl, and 9th: Lucy Hales.

Congratulations to you all for your work hard and dedication! You help Payson Junior to shine a little brighter!