Grizzlies Shine in Music Festival


On Wednesday, February 6th 2013, band students from Payson Junior High School competed in the Solo and Ensemble Festival. For two months prior to the festival, these dedicated musicians prepared one song to play in front of judges, hoping to please them enough to win a ribbon. Several students were able to do just that and wow the judges with their incredible skill, memorization, and musicianship!

There were four categories (marked by roman numnerals) that students could be rated: I Superior, II Excellent, III Fair, and IV Poor. If they got a Superior then they also received either a Superior Solo or Ensemble B.A.R [Band Award Ribbon].

After they had performed their hearts out for the judges they had to wait until the next day to find out which ranking they earned from the judges.

24 students received a Superior Rating for either a solo or small ensemble. Those students are (pictured) are: Sabryne Kelly, Owen Grimshaw, Stacie Snow, Tylee Leiter, Megan Welton, Nick Montoya, Spencer Worthington, Brendan Earl, Josh Steele, Natalie Shulze, Mikayla Yost, Kelsie Morgan, Allison Elder, Caleb Peterson, Michael Losee, Josh Morgan, Sabrina Petty, Tyler Haroldsen, and Hanna Walker. The rest of the students (not pictured) include: Ericka Heaps, Kenji Heimulli, Tate Grimshaw, Christian Childs and Chase Carter.

Mikayla Yost, 8th grade student who received a Superior Rating, said, "We received more Superiors at this festival than we have had in a long time! I'm glad that we could be awarded for all of our hard work!"

Congratulations to all students who participated! This event was a big success, and your hard work and diligence paid off. A special thanks to Dalton's who supplied delicious sandwiches and snacks for the judges and helpers. Congratulations again to the musicians at PJHS! Go grizzlies!


PJHS Students Participate in Powerlifting Competition

On Tuesday, February 19th, 2013, Nebo School District held a Powerlifting Competition. The event took place at Diamond Fork Junior High School and was a fun-filled, challenging event for the competitors!

Participation is open to all junior high students in the district. There are usually 6 events, most of which are lifts, but there are also a couple of non-lifting events (such as medicine ball throw, vertical jump, sled pull, or shuttle run. There are several weight divisions and students compete against those in their same weight class.

Participants from Payson Junior High School included Bryson Tanner, Wyatt Johnson, Steven VanMoos, Matt Makin, Jason Broadhead, and Levi John. Two of these students medaled in the competition: Wyatt Johnson took first place in his division, and Bryson Tanner placed second in his division!

Congratulations to these students and to all of the participants for your hard work!

PJHS Choir Students are "Free to Be" Musical!

On Wednesday February 27, 2013, Payson Junior High School Choirs will present their winter concert called “Free to Be.” The concert will take place at 7:00 pm in the Payson High School Auditorium. Performances from the 7th Grade Chorus, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers will occur and will include a variety of music and styles! The students have worked hard to prepare for this concert and would love to share their talents with the public! Come enjoy a fun, musical evening!

Two PJHS Students will be Nationally Published

Picture and Article by Lisa Harrison
Blake Olsen and Valierie Cormwell to be published in a national poetry anthology..JPG

At the end of first semester, 2012, students in Mrs Lisa Harrison's 8th grade English class finished a unit on poetry. Each student created a portfolio of ten original poems. From those portfolios, Mrs. Harrison chose the best three poems to submit to the Creative Communication poetry competition.

Two students, Valerie Cornwell and Blake Olsen, had their poems chosen for publication. Valerie's poem, The Painted Smile, describes the pain many students feel and how they put on a painted smile in order to survive day to day. Blake's poem, Serenity, invites the reader to experience a summer storm and the serenity that follows. Each of the poems will be featured in the student anthology, A Celebration of Poets Fall 2012. 


January Students of the Month

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Payson Junior High School is proud to announce the students of the month for January in the following classes:

Science- 7th Austin Wright, 8th Juan Navarro, and 9th Quinn Green. Language Arts- 7th Megan Dixon, 8th Whitney Colvin, and 9th Matt Parkin. Boys’ PE- 7th Luke Eddington, 8th Jarin Hone, and 9th Newman Manu. Girls’ PE- 8th Rylie Norman, 8th Bailey Jensen, and 9th Sabrina Petty. Math- 7th Macy McClellan, 8th Madison Bing, and 9th Emily Mott. Social Studies- 7th Hayleigh Rogers, 8th Kim Martin, and 9th Megan Ringger. Fine Arts- 7th Jose Valle, 8th Josh Martin, and 9th Porter Graham. Career and Tech- 8th Kassidy Orme, 8th Jed Loveless, and 9th Tanner Manning. Library- 7th Josh Walton, 8th Brent Knapp, and 9th Jessica Campbell.

The overall students of the month are: 7th Luke Eddington, 8th Brent Knapp, and 9th Jessica Campbell. Congratulations to all of these students for their outstanding work in the classroom! 


Cash Wars for Christmas

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During the month of December, Payson Junior High held a fundraiser to see which grade could raise the most money. The event was called Cash Wars and was held for the benefit of an orphanage in Hermosillo, Mexico. As a school, students and staff were able to raise $1500 dollars to provide Christmas for children who would otherwise gone without.

The freshman ended up “winning” by raising the most money, and were rewarded with a special assembly: a teacher talent show. Various teachers performed beautiful music numbers through song, with one group playing the bagpipes. There were also dance numbers and videos which were a big hit. The assembly was a fun event and the 9th graders sure enjoyed their reward.

The money raised was taken down in person by school Principal Carl Swenson and his family, as well as Assistant Principal Jesse Sorenson and his family. They went to the orphanage and were able to spend quality time with those incredible children. They took the children shoe shopping- a first for most of the kids who had never picked out and purchased a pair of brand new shoes before. Children were delighted to try on the shoes and make the important decision all by themselves.

Principal Swenson commented, “Spending time in Mexico helping children at an orphanage is a wonderful way to spend Christmas.  It is a wonderful opportunity to watch the children participate in events for the first time that we think are regular events in life such as shoe shopping for the first time or watching a movie in a large new movie theater.  Events like this are life changing for myself and hopefully for the children in the orphanage.

Time was spent playing games on the playground, blowing bubbles, making paper chains for Christmas decorations and preparing for the big Christmas dinner. Santa came with a specific gift for each child (ages range from toddler up to about 15 years old). Everyone had a wonderful time being together and enjoying this special Christmas celebration with the incredible children.

Another treat was taking the group to a movie-another first for most of the children. Some of the money was spent on three new water heaters for the building. Additionally, an individual graciously donated new sheets for everybody at the orphanage. Though the older sheets had just been washed and changed that day, the house moms and older girls quickly washed and replaced them with the brand new, beautiful sheets! They were incredibly grateful and so excited to have them.

Jill Swenson Abbott, Principal Swenson’s daughter who went on the trip, said, “On our last day we took the teenage girls with us to the beach. They didn’t care how cold it was, they loved playing in the water!”

Katie Swenson, another daughter, explained, “I am so grateful for the past week that I got to spend in an orphanage in Mexico with my family. Can't think of a better way I could have spent Christmas! Makes me appreciate all the little things in life that I have to be grateful for!”

All of the people who went to Mexico to meet these children had an incredible experience. We are very proud of our students for raising money for children their own whose lives are so very different in Mexico. Students were often talking about how neat it was that they could help others during the special Christmas season. Though the talent show was a fun reward, students were constantly saying that they just want to help make Christmas special for those kids.

December Students of the Month

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The following students have been selected as the December Students of the Month in these classes:

Science:  7th Aubrey Schmit, 8th Janessa Williams, and 9th Gordon Hapairai. Language Arts:  7th Rachel Slack, 8th Jenna Freestone, and 9th Kaitlynn Davis. Boys’ PE: 7th Gage Cassidy, 8th Tanner Killpack, and 9th OJ Malala. Girls PE: 7th Makayla Erickson, 8th Haley Dixon, and 9th Jorie Horracks. Math: 7th Madison Smith, 8th Eridanic Navarro, and 9th Destiny Shepherd. Social Studies: 7th Jana Worthington, 8th James Caron, and 9th Marian Christensen. Fine Arts: 7th Evan Brandly, 8th Kelsie Morgan, and 9th Caleb Peterson. Career and Tech: 7th Paisley finch, 8th Jaycey Orme, and 9th Shaelee Victor. Library: 7th Christopher Turner, 8th Jessica Rowlette, and 9th Thayne Walton.

The overall students of the month were: 7th Paisley Finch, 8th Janessa Williams, and 9th Gordon Hapairai.

Congratulations to all of these students for their incredible work ethic and dedication in the classroom!


Students Honor Local Veterans During a Concert

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On the evening of November 14, 2012, the Fine Arts Department from Payson Junior High School put on a special concert to honor local veterans. Invitations were sent out to veterans in the area inviting them to this wonderful commemoration.

The visual arts department contributed drawings of trees from Payson’s Memorial Park. Each tree was planted in honor of a World War I Veteran from Payson. Select students from the junior high went to the park and created beautiful drawings that were inspired by those trees.

The Drama Department contributed dramatic performances. One of these performances included a special saddle from the early 1900’s and poetry, which was originally published in the Paysonian newspaper in 1917.

Musical performances were put on by the Advanced Orchestra, Perfect Harmony and Concert Singers, Beginning and Advanced Bands, the Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble. These performances included the anthems for each branch of the military. While their anthem was playing, audience members who are currently or have previously served in that branch were asked to stand and be recognized while also being given a token of our appreciation- a cookie from the students and staff. Braxton Daley, a student at Payson Junior, said, “I heard one of
the veterans say he was happy to be invited and happy to get a cookie!”

The grand finale for the concert was called “Patriotic Salute” and was performed by all of the departments. This song was a medley which included several of America’s favorite Patriotic tunes such as “Yankee Doodle,” “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag,” and even bits and pieces of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Everyone who performed at the concert worked very hard to be ready to contribute to this special evening. Connie Erickson, the band teacher at the junior high, said, “The concert  was a great way to start the year and involve our whole department, all while honoring veterans and being able to focus on what soldiers do.” Kobey Evans, 7th grader, said, “The audience who attended walked away remembering those who sacrificed for this country.”

We would like to thank Kenton Phillips who was the Emcee for the event, as well as Richard Lindsey and Craig Zeeman who were sound and light technicians for the evening. Thank you to Payson High School’s Fine Arts Department, Custodians, and Administration for hosting this extraordinary event and for all of your help. Congratulations and thank you to the Fine Arts teachers and students at Payson Junior High for putting on such a wonderful, memorable evening! Lastly, thank you to the great Veterans of our country-we are deeply grateful for your profound service and sacrifice and honor all that you do!

Grizzlies Give in a Canned Food Drive

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Throughout the month of November, students at Payson Junior High participated in a canned food drive to collect food for local families. The drive was called “Grizzlies Can Give” and the school collection goal was set at 1,100 cans (about one can per student). The 4-H program was in-charge of the drive with Club Awesome heading it up. These awesome students collected and counted cans each week and did a great job. All of the students worked very hard and completely exceeded the goal with a grand total of 2,864 cans!

To make the drive more competitive, the school had a contest to see which homeroom class could collect the most cans per student. The prize was a treat, the highly coveted spirit banner, and of course, bragging rights. While several classes were in the running for the most cans collected, Jake Corbett’s class ended up winning the competition with 19 cans collected per student, a grand total of over 500 cans donated!

As we were holding the drive, I was thrilled to hear students talk about how important it is to help others at all times, especially during the special holiday season. The students realized how important it is to reach out to those who need it. Congratulations to Mr. Corbett’s class and to the school as a whole for your successful drive and service to your community!

November Students of the Month

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The following students have been selected as Payson Junior’s November students of the month for these different curriculum areas.

Math: 7th Joshlyn Lerwill 9th Azure Trevino, 8th Savannah Smith, and 9th Azure Trevino. Career and Tech: 7th Garrett Lopez, 8th Harrison Carr, and 9th Colton Stulce. Library: 7th Kaitlyn Ohman, 8th Tambi Clark, and 9th Shelby Bulkley. Healthy Lifestyle: 7th Ahem Schmoyer and Kobey Evans, 8th Jaxon Adams and Kelsie Morgan, and 9th Adam Mark and Shanna Hubbard. Fine Arts: 7th Mollie Brown, 8th Cynthia Dansie, and 9th Heather Skousen. Language Arts: 7th Brynlee Harmon, 8th Boone Jarvis, and 9th Carolina Montano. Social Studies: 7th Kyle Rush, 8th Carlos Alonso-Hernandez, and 9th Ashlyn Drager. Science: 7th Gage Stilson, 8th Cameron Cain, and 9th Aspen Balzly.    

The overall students of the month are- 7th- Brynlee Harmon, 8th- Harrison Carr, and 9th- Heather Skousen

Thank you to these students for working so hard in the classroom and congratulations on this accomplishment!