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The Common Ground

Burris Laboratory School 2201 W. University Ave. Muncie, IN 47306-1062 765-285-1131

Volume 1 , Issue 2 Friday, September 19, 2008

New teachers adjust to Burris





See page 4 for full story


Two prom committees work towards a similar goal

Jillian Miers Staff Writer


Table of

The Burris Laboratory School and the Indiana Academy prom committees have begun their work for the 2009 prom. Both themes are in the process of being decided. Burris’s theme is scheduled to be decided Tuesday, September 16 at the committee’s morning meeting. For the Academy, students have voted on a ballot. “We create themes and then narrow the list down. The five best themes are then put on a ballot for students to vote on,” said Academy Senior Paige Tomfohrde. “We want to hear what the people have to say since it is important to everyone.” Both prom committees are made up of students and a sponsor. Juniors plan the prom. However, seniors also help plan the Academy’s prom once a theme is chosen. The process of planning prom includes the same tasks for each committee. A few differences between the committees however, make the event unique. Junior class sponsor Betsy Ahlersmeyer

Page Two

- Okazaki comes to Burris - IA Blood Drive

serves as the permanent prom sponsor. She’s in charge of overseeing the juniors in their decision making and helps with the ordering of supplies. “Last spring, I had them choose a date and place. This way we have a wide choice of times and days. At the beginning of the year, we book a DJ and decide on a theme,” said Ahlersmeyer. “From there we decide how to decorate, and I begin ordering supplies. Since the room is already really pretty, we mostly figure out table decorations. The crowns and tiaras are really expensive. In March, we design and order the invitations.” The proms will be held on the Ball State campus in sometime in May. Burris has booked the Recital Hall in the Art Museum for May 2. Ahlersmeyer said, “We had [the prom] there last year, and it was the right size. When you only have 100 people and the room is too big, it feels like no one is there. Also it’s really pretty.” Due to the current renovations in the Student Center, the Indiana Academy prom will be held in the Atrium. “It seemed like the most feasible place to have it this year,” said Tomfohrde.

Page Three - Going Green

2009 Prom Themes Burris Laboratory School Paris

Indiana Academy Old Hollywood

Page Four - New Teachers - iMacs!


The Common Ground

Issue 2

Okazaki Primary School comes to Burris Johanna Hillgrove Staff Writer

Students from Okazaki Primary School arrived in Muncie on September 5 for a week long cultural exchange. Burris Laboratory School and Okazaki Primary School, located in Okazaki, Japan, initiated the elementary student exchange program during the 2003-2004 school year. The overall purpose of the program is for each institution to promote global learning in the early years of students’ education. The exchange offers the opportunity for personal growth in many aspects of cultural differences and similarities, such as language, architecture, entertainment, food, customs, family life, and education. Twenty Japanese students

from Okazaki, ten girls and ten boys, were selected out of the estimated 100 students that applied for the exchange. Nana Aoki, an exchange student in Sandra Murray’s fifth grade class, said, “ I wish to make lots of friends. This experience is very different than what I thought it would be.” Accompanying the students were teachers from Okazaki. One such teacher is English instructor Yuko Kondo, who is visiting America for the first time. Kondo says the students seem to be developing since they have been here. “The students have confidence to speak English, even though it isn’t perfect and they make mistakes,” Kondo says.

CG Photo/ Johanna Hillgrove

The Okazaki students perform for the Burris students during the closing ceremonies on September 12

Hannah Feeney, a fifth grade student in Murray’s class, is also enjoying the cultural experience. “I really look forward to making new friends. Since they’ve been here I’ve made friends with almost all of them.” Feeney says she thinks the biggest cultural difference is the language and is perplexed by the idea of trying to understand Japanese. The closing ceremony took place on September 12 from 8-9 and included the Okazaki students singing and playing the recorder, followed by performances from the Burris students. The ceremony also included Dr. McGee presenting a kite as a symbol of friendship for the Japanese visitors as he said, “I do not say goodbye, but farewell until

we meet again.” The faculty is now working to determine a date for Burris students to travel to Okazaki, expecting the date to be in late winter or early spring.

CG Photo/ Johanna Hillgrove

Nana Aoki with friend Erika Katuski after the Burris Olympic Day festivities.

CG Photo/ Johanna Hillgrove

Each student and teacher from Okazaki received a personalized certificate and a bag of gifts during the closing ceremony.

Indiana Academy holds annual blood drive Jillian MIers Staff Writer

Juniors and seniors will line up to have their blood taken on September 18 between 1 and 5 p.m. The blood taken will be donated to the Indiana Blood Center in Muncie. The drive will be in Burkhart Lounge in Wagoner Hall. The nurses will take blood from a donator as long as they’re healthy. “I think it’s a good thing to do. If you’re a healthy person and this could help other people be healthy, then you should do it,” said Nurse Tina Brinkman. Wagoner Hall provides the best space for the drive to be held said Brinkman. “[Burkhart Lounge] was the best place because some students sign

up and then forget about the drive. This way, we catch more students who forgot. Sometimes we allow walk-ins so having it in the lounge allows us to have more walk-ins, and therefore have more students give blood,” said Brinkman. To be a part of the blood drive, students must sign up. If under the age of 17, a parent consent form must be signed and turned in beforehand. The day of the drive, Brinkman suggests, “eating well and drinking plenty of fluids. Students will need to bring their ID to give blood.” The blood drives use to be run through Ball Hospital Blood Bank. When they closed, the Indiana Blood Center opened up to Ball customers.



The Common Ground

Issue 2

What it really means to “Go Green” y Everydations Brittany Davis Staff Writer



Separate bins for waste and rely proper e l c y c cyclables have been present in BurRe ers b m u n al ris classrooms for several years now, (speci ges tell you ka but is that really enough? e) on pac recycl o t e With global awareness fronts r lk whe or Wa l o o p knocking on nearly every door, it has rgy Car to ene h c t i become virtually impossible to turn a Sw ight logen l a h CG Photo/Brittany Davis g blind eye to the growing popularity of n i sav JumpFootprint.” “Reducing our Global bulbs ut the o n r ing on the international bandwagon u Making sure to keep up with previous T you n e h w however, isn’t nearly enough to help efforts however, is just as important as getlights om o r a make our planet a healthier one. The “ine ting others started. Stay involved! lec leav leave e not convenient truth” is that going green is an “Everyone should take care of themDon’t n n whe uto s c everyday commitment rather than just a i selves to start, then move outside,” tron omp (put c de) e fun slogan printed across t-shirts and bums Olga Mounayar, new Indiana Academy u in p mo e e l s r n per stickers. Getting involved is only the French instructor and environmental fo ers i opping first step in making the “green” movement enthusiast stated when asked about the Try sh t farmers a s e i r one. a successful importance of spreading the word on groce s t e s So what can students do? Small everyday k s going green. r ma lk (le u b n i y acts can make all the difference in “greening” She added, “Going Green is about Bu !) waste g n i g a yourself up. Things like turning out the lights s k more than just recycling. We are not pac a reu n i t s e when you leave the room, or visiting a local yet doing everything that we can. Inv ery h groc e!) t o l c farmer’s market instead of a grocery store. InWe can do better!” on able r make es o ( diana Academy Senior, Lloyd Strohl, urges stuk Mounayar is considering the c sa th sid o b e dents to “ Check out politicians who are cons possibility of heading up a “Green U otes r for n e p a cerned about our destructive impact, and make p Club” later on this year, but stuof sure to vote.” dents are encouraged to start making Because going green is a world-wide cause in now. difference a natural volving problems like global warming, dwindling All that is really needed to get “green” fever spreading is a bit of resources, and waste, the next step for a person involved is to try commitment. and apply greener strategies to different aspects of daily life. Gro“Be aware of what you waste,” offers Strohl. cery shopping is greener with re-usable bags. School is greener with “Make sure you recycle the right way,” suggests second year double-sided or electronic notes. Even showering can be greener by Academy student Jaclyn Kreps turning the water off while lathering up. By taking small steps now, the health of the planet can improve Another huge part of making the “green” movement a successful leaps and bounds over the course of just this generation. Get inone is getting others involved. volved, and don’t just boast the slogan. Do your part.

Check out these fun sites for more ways to go, and stay, green!


The Common Ground

The Common Ground Staff

Staff Writers Kelli Anderson Tyler Bauchert Brittany Davis Johanna Hillgrove Jillian Miers John Phipps Emma Reichle Ted Shideler Joseph Zeiler Erica Zook

Business Manager Daniel Cheesman Adviser Betsy Ahlersmeyer Contact us at: or in Burris room 123

Purpose of the Newspaper

The Common Ground began publication in 1994 as an open forum for students, staff, parents and other interested readers. The Common Ground is designed to provide both a source of information as well as an academic tool by which student staff members explore journalistic skills and cooperation. Its duty is to inform students about events and ideas that are pertinent to them, their school, and their community. The content of the Common Ground will inform, entertain, persuade, and analyze. The Common Ground will strive for accuracy and responsibility in this endeavor, as well as fairness and impartiality.

Issue 2

New teachers adjust to Burris family Erica Zook Staff Writer

Filling the gaps in our teaching department, Burris High School welcomed four new teachers on August 14. Previously a teacher in a Seattle suburb, Abigail Comber is a fresh new addition to the English department. “I’ve loved everyday, I’m just excited for tomorrow,” she stated enthusiastically. Family and Consumer Scien ces welcome Carie Mottweiler, a former teacher at Madison Grant in Fairmount, Indiana. The mathematics department greets Scott Hinkley; a math whiz who was previously a faculty member at Connersville High School. He now teaches Geometry and eight-grade math classes. Breaking in his newly founded career as a teacher, Shon Byrum, a graduate of Ball State University and a grad student of

Indiana University, is now teaching sociology and various middle school classes. “I look forward to challenging kids and showing them that they have potential beyond what they imagine,” said Byrum. In comparison to larger schools Burris High School has a much more laid-back environment. Teachers as well as new students are learning to adjust to the Burris atmosphere in addition to each other.

Owls nest tee’s Shirts on sale until Friday, September 19. See Erica Zook or Senorita Sponseller for details.

New iMacs are big hit with media students Ted Shideler Staff Writer

Upon pressing the power button, the computer’s familiar chime sounds. But that’s where the similarities end. Burris’ technology department received 12 new iMac computers due to a technology grant. Senior Brock Bell compared the new iMacs, fitted with the latest Intel processors, to the old G4 models that were replaced. “The screens are bigger and that helps a lot with video editing,” he said. Bell, a member of the TV Broadcasting class which received five of the computers, also believes that the speed increase helps immeasurably with file transferring and editing. The remaining iMacs were received by the technology studio to similar fanfare. “[The old computers] were slow, crashed constantly, lost a lot of work, and none of the programs worked properly,” elaborated Junior Kameron McBride, a journalism and media arts student last year. “I’m very excited about these new computers. They were certainly necessary.”

CG Photo/Emma Reichle

Junior Kelli Anderson and Senior Tyler Bauchert peruse Facebook from the new iMacs. “I think they’re extraordinary. They make things a lot easier and faster,” Bauchert said.

Volume 15, Issue 2  

Volume 15, Issue 2

Volume 15, Issue 2  

Volume 15, Issue 2