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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.

Principal’s Reading Marathon

On Saturday September 19, Mr. Swenson will be running the Top Of Utah Marathon located in Logan, Utah.  This race is 26.2 miles long. He would like to challenge the students of PJHS to read 26 minutes a day.

Students who read at least 26 minutes a day will be entered into a drawing for prizes.  The more days that students read 26 minutes, the more entries students will have in the drawing.  Also, all students who qualify for the drawing the week of Sept. 14 to Sept. 18 can guess Mr. Swenson’s finishing time.  There will be prizes for the students who guess the closest time.  The time spread for all of his marathons has been between 3 hours 40 minutes and 4 hours and 20 minutes.  Mr. Swenson’s time last year in the St. George Marathon was 3:43:42 (hours:minutes:seconds).  His 2007 time was 3:47:42.  Notice that they time in seconds.  Only entries entered this week will be allowed to guess the finishing time.  If he can finish the race under 3:35:59, he will qualify to run in the Boston Marathon.

The Principal’s Reading Marathon will end on September 31.  The drawing will be during GAP on Friday October 2.  Students start reading 26 minutes per day and get your daily entry turned in.  The GAP teachers will have entry forms.  Entry blanks will also be available in the office.  Students can turn entry forms in to the GAP teacher or at the office.  Parents or teachers must sign the entry form that students have completed their daily reading.

Some of the prizes will be iPods, movie passes, sport equipment and other awards.

See Mr. Swenson in the hall on Friday to wish him luck.  He will be wearing some running clothes to get ready for the race. He will appreciate your support.

Start reading today.

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