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WRMS Falcon Feather 5620 SW 61st St. Topeka, KS 66619


Wa s h b u rn Ru ra l M i d d l e S c h o o l 5620 SW 61st St. Topeka, Kansas 66619-9649 (785) 339-4300

Volume 20 Issue 1 October 31, 2016

New principals ready to take on year Alexi Llamas & Trent Nelson

This year, WRMS welcomed two new principals: head principal Mark Koepsel and seventh grade principal Charlie Chesmore. Koepsel was the seventh grade principal last school year. “Some of the new responsibilities of being head principal are the curriculum,” Koepsel said. “First and foremost, the building’s

safety would be important and guiding new teachers.” Koepsel had been a head principal before and was both excited and nervous to step into the position again. “I’m most nervous about working more directly with the curriculum,” he said. “I thought (being a principal) would be challenging.” Koepsel has high expectations for his staff, and knows they will live

up to the them. “I knew we had great staff,” he said. Chesmore was also excited to step into his new position as the seventh grade principal. “I’m looking forward to the year,” Chesmore said. “It’s going to be a great year.” Chesmore came to WRMS from Mission Valley High School, where he was a principal for juniors and seniors. “I decided to come

to WRMS because there would be new challenges, more opportunities and more time with my family,” Chesmore said. Comets science teacher Doug Stanley enjoys the new outlook a new principal brings to the building. “Every principal has a different perspective and a different way of how to teach kids and help them learn,” Stanley said. Both Chesmore and Koepsel have a few

goals for this school year. “My goal is to settle in, make positive changes, and build quality relationships with staff and students,” Chesmore said. Koepsel has already started working toward a very particular goal this school year. “I plan to accomplish trying to implement a new PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) before the year is over.”

The Falcon Feather : Alexi Llamas & Trent Nelson WRMS welcomed two principals this year, head prinicpal Mark Koepsel (left) and seventh grade prinicpal Charlie Chesmore (right).

New teachers join middle school family Adam Morstorf & Trevin Yerta

The Falcon Feather : Trevin Yerta & Adam Morstorf Eclipse math teacher Maegan Trafton explains a new concept to her third hour class.

This year Washburn Rural Middle School welcomed 13 new teachers. SWAT math teacher Paige Spade is one of those new teachers. “I’m looking forward to getting to know my students and helping them love math,” Spade said. She has been looking forward to teaching math for a long time. “I love helping students find success in math,” Spade said. Spade was excited to join the WRMS team. “I heard great things about WRMS and thought it would

be a good place to start my career,” Spade said. “I love the school environment and I enjoy working in teams with other teachers.” As a first-year teacher, however, Spade was nervous about a few things. “I was nervous that my students wouldn’t achieve the most in math class,” Spade said. Eclipse math teacher Maegan Trafton is also new to WRMS this year. “It’s been great at WRMS so far,” she said. “Teaching math all day is fun.” Trafton transferred to WRMS from Indian Hills Elementary School “I came to WRMS because

I taught elementary for 10 years and I wanted a new challenge,” she said. She is looking forward to several things this year. “I am looking forward to helping kids discover new math concepts,” Trafton said. “I am nervous about learning all the students’ names. Trafton hopes to be at WRMS for a long time. “I plan to stay with WRMS because it is a great team of people,” Trafton said. Seventh grader Gabriel Aguilar enjoys being in Trafton’s class. “I like Mrs. Trafton because she gives us time to do our homework in class,” he said. Aguilar appreciates how

she explains math concepts. “She explains things good so I can understand,” Aguilar said.“I also like being in her class because she is nice.” The other new teachers at WRMS this year are special education teacher Courtney Appelhanz, French teacher Michelle Babcock, HEAT Math teacher Katie Barnes, Eclipse Reading Plus teacher Mali Farwell, HEAT SFA teacher Amber Hundly, special education teacher Justin Kathman, PE teacher Jayme Lindstorm, SWAT math teacher Paige Spade, Eclipse Math teacher Maegan Trafton, Chorus teacher Clarissa Wiebe and Speech teacher Courtney Chacon.

Students, staff discuss upcoming election Gwen Clark, Mariah Fleming & Tanner Morrow

Voters have an important decision coming up in November - Should Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump become president? WRMS students and staff have the same conflicted outlooks about the candidates as the rest of the country does. The election is always held on the second Tuesday of November, every 4 years. This year the election will be held on Nov. 8.

Millions of people around America vote and it is important that voters know what each candidate will do as president. “(In order for a person to vote, they must) know what the (candidate) will do if they get elected,” eighth grader Carsyn George said. Seventh grader Zoie Hartness believes certain things are important for a voter to know in order to be able to vote wisely. “They need to know who can be elected and if

he/she would be a good president,” Hartness said. One of the candidates running this year is Donald Trump, the Republican candidate. All Stars social studies teacher Adam Heinritz views Trump as unpredictable. “(It is) impossible to predict what he will do as president,” Heinritz said. Comets student Xavier Esquibel doesn’t believe Trump is a very good person in general, but thinks he will win the election.

“Trump has powerful ideas,” Esquibel said. Hilary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, who Hartness hopes becomes the next president. “I would vote for Clinton because of the news about her and because Obama is voting for her,” Hartness said. “Clinton does charity work; that’s why I like her best.” Heinritz sees both positive and negatives in Clinton. “She has many obvious strengths and weaknesses,”

Heinritz said. “She has lots of experience and knowledge. One of her weaknesses is that many people don’t trust her and don’t like her.” Esquibel believes Clinton has both good and bad ideas to try to make America better. “Clinton will make higher-paying jobs,” Esquibel said. Hartness believes everyone, even students, will be affected when the new president is elected. “The elected president

will affect students by how they act and whether the president is trying to make our country better or not,” Hartness said. Heinritz stresses how important it is that the voters make informed decisions while in the polls. “In order for people to vote,” Heinritz said, “they must know both candidate’s platforms and what that candidate will do for issues that are personally important.”

Inside This Issue Passing Time page 3

Clubs page 6

8th Grade Football page 8


October 31, 2016

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Eighth graders enjoy choice of electives Tabitha Hilton & Simon Murnahan

The Falcon Feather : Tabitha Hilton & Simon Murrnahan Eighth graders work on a project in 3D Art during third hour.

With school in full swing, eighth graders are getting used to having electives longer than four-anda-half weeks. With FACS, Business Essentials, 2D Art, 3D Art, Tech, French, Spanish, Chorus, Orchestra, Band, Newspaper and Yearbook, students can choose up to three electives to enroll in. Eighth grader Layla Hughes is enjoying her electives so far. “This year I’m taking 3D Art and fullyear chorus,” Hughes said.

Hughes thinks electives are a breeze. “None of the electives are difficult,” Hughes said, “they are just really fun.” Hughes does have a favorite elective though. “3D Art is my favorite because we get to make big sculptures and lots of projects,” Hughes said. “I would recommend 3D Art because it’s fun and the teacher is super nice.” Hughes also has an interest in other electives. “If we had more hours, I would take 2D Art,” Hughes said. Eighth grader Day-

mon Mays is really enjoying his electives, too. “I like full-year choir and I’ve always liked art,” Mays said. Mays would recommend both fullyear chorus and 2D Art. “I would recommend both my classes,” Mays said, “because they are fun and they don’t give much homework.” Eighth grader Chloe Estrada likes both of her electives. “This year, I’m taking Chorus, Yearbook and 2D Art,” Estrada said. Estrada is also really liking her teachers. “I love Mrs. Da-

vis,” Estrada said, “because she’s really easy to talk to and super fun.” There are parts of yearbook Estrada enjoys the most. “I like Yearbook,” Estrada said, “because I get to go out and interview and meet new people I didn’t know before.” Estrada would recommend yearbook to the future eighth graders. “I would recommend Yearbook,” Estrada said, “because it’s really fun and I get to see what I’ve made at the end of the year and it’s really cool.”

Seventh graders adjusting to WRMS Laura Carillo, Reid Hughes & Jesse Stolle

A lot of the seventh graders coming into the middle school this year had no idea what to expect. Many were nervous, excited, anxious and scared to begin the year. Seventh grader Brock Howard was one of the few kids not phased by the new environment. But, he still experienced some of the stereotypical problems that were bound to happen. “(The hardest part was) getting to all of the classes and having so many teachers,” Howard said. Lockers can be a big hit or miss for incoming

seventh graders. Some students will get it down quickly; for others, it will take longer. It didn’t take Howard very long though, only about two or three attempts. Seventh grader Brooklyn Spellmeier was pleasantly surprised with middle school. “(What surprised me was) how the teachers were really nice,” Spellmeier said. Some students prefer middle school rather than elementary school for several reasons. “(I like) seventh because there are way more people and you can meet new people,” Spellmeier said. A lot of new and more demanding re-

sponsibilities come when entering middle school. Students have to remember more homework, get to class on time and remember several combinations for different lockers. One main concern for new students is the location of their classes. Many students come to the building after schedules are released to find their classes before school starts. “(It took me) two days (to find my classes),” Spellmeier said. During the first few weeks of school, teachers can be like super heroes. They open lockers, help locate classes, and calm nerves. Comets science teacher Doug Stanley has had

many years of experience with incoming seventh graders. “(My funniest memory is) I had a student one time that cried because she missed her daddy and we hugged and laughed about it,” Stanley said. Teachers will open quite a few lockers each year for kids who struggle with the new responsibility. “(I have opened approximately) 649,318 lockers,” Stanley said. Even though some students have trouble getting used to the new environment, many get the routine down quickly and it will become like second nature the rest of the year.

The Falcon Feather : Laura Carrillo, Reid Hughes & Jesse Stolle Seventh grader Brock Howard reaches inside of his locker.

Changes made to middle school electives Adam Morstorf & Trevin Yerta

Some electives at WRMS have seen changes this year. German is no longer offered as an elective at WRMS. Now, only Spanish and French are available as world languages. “French is fun and enjoyable,” eighth grader Tate Schoffelman said. “I have learned how to say colors, numbers and how to have a conversation in French.” Schoffelman was looking forward to being in French this semester.

“I was excited because I get to learn a new language,” he said. This is French teacher Michelle Babcock’s first year at WRMS. “I have been teaching French for 11 years,” Babcock said, “five years in college and six years at the middle school/high school level.” Babcock was excited to join the WRMS team. “I like the age group of the students,” she said. “I could tell right away that WRMS is a really good middle school with nice students and supportive

fellow teachers.” Babcock is passionate about the French culture and loves sharing it with her students. “I come from a Swiss family and have always loved languages and cultures,” Babcock said. “I love sharing my passion.” Tech is another elective that saw changes this year. “We added a Laser Engraver, three 3D printers, three Virtual Welders, Robotics Kits, new modules and some new machines to our shop,” tech teacher Alex Willis said. Willis and tech teacher Russ Barnell

were both looking forward to adding to the tech classroom. “Mr. Barnell and I were very excited for our new equipment,” Willis said. “One of the coolest things about the new machines is seeing kids create something in 3D with one click.” Willis plans to keep adding new equipment and tools to his classroom. “I received a grant that will allow us to purchase a SWIVL camera mount,” he said. “This will allow us to record our class and post it to Google Classroom for students to watch from home.”

The Falcon Feather : Adam Morstorf & Trevin Yerta French teacher Michelle Babcock teaches a lesson about the French culture to her third hour.

Have a great second quarter!

October 31, 2016


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Students’ phones make their way to classes Camden Currie & Joy Ngibuini

Having cell phones in class is a hot topic around the hallways of WRMS. Many students believe that having cell phones in class could be beneficial. Seventh grader Kaitlyn Doyal is one of these students. “(I would use my cell phone in class) for assignments or if teachers need you in the class-

room if they don’t know where you are in the school,” Doyal said. Eighth grader Nick Derrig thinks cell phones should be allowed in class for a different reason. “You should be able to listen to music for 15 minutes,” Derrig said. Comets teacher Jenny Leonard doesn’t think students would use their phones for the appropriate reason if allowed in class.

“(Most students would use their phones for) texting in class,” Leonard said. She also thinks cell phones are distracting to students. “They are distracting,” Leonard said. “Plus I have Chrome Books students are allowed to use,” Leonard said. Derrig agrees. “(Phones in class would be distracting because we can access)

games,” Derrig said. In seventh and eighth grade, some teams allow students to use their cell phones during class. The Champions team lets students have their cell phones during class for looking up word definitions and listening to music after work is done, but must have their phones face down and should not be seen in use around the hallways. SWAT students have

to keep their phones in their lockers. The HEAT team is not allowed to have phones unless they are able to use them on assignments or listen to music with a teacher’s permission. WAVE students are not to have them in class unless it is a class where they can listen to music by paying their Sand Dollars or a teacher has said they can bring them to use

them for homework (timer, calculator, etc.). The Comets, AllStars and Eclipse teams are not allowed to have their phones during class. In EO, however, some allow students to have their phones to listen to music while doing their homework or reading silently. The Voyager team allows students to use their phone during free time with a teacher’s permission.

Length of passing time debated by Falcons Andre Chavez, Hope Dimick & Jacob Nelson

The bell rings and hundreds of students flood the hallways on their way to their next class, locker or to socialize. Many students feel like they have plenty of time to get to class, socialize and more; others feel like they need more than just those four short minutes. “If I could change passing time, I would make it five minutes,” seventh grader Mauricio Espino said. Other students feel like passing time should stay the same. “I have plenty of time,” eighth grader Sydney Grindal said. “I don’t have much to do during passing time.”

Teachers think students have plenty of time to get to their classes. “Your classes are not that far and you have plenty of time,” All Star math teacher Jenny Wilcox said. Some students also agree with this. “They give us plenty of time to pick up our stuff and get ready to go to our next class before the bell rings,” Espino said. While Grindal thinks that passing time is long enough, there are parts of it she doesn’t like. “I don’t like how crowded the hallways are during passing time,” Grindal said. “It’s hard to get around.” But she loves other

aspects of it. “I love getting to talk to my friends and other people,” Grindal said. Most students have a routine when it comes to passing time. “I go to my locker to get my supplies for my next class, and then I go to my next class,” Espino said. Having extra time can be an issue for some students. “I think the biggest problem with passing time is that some kids have trouble with unconstructed time,” Wilcox said. Those unhappy with having only four minute passing time will get a minute more when they get to high school.

The Falcon Feather : Hope Dimick, Jacob Nelson & Andre Chavez Students talk to their friends and walk to their classes during passing time.

Lunch a hot topic among students Lexi Loschen & Bo Reeves

While many Washburn Rural Middle School students are happy with the current school lunches, there are always some goodies that students wish were offered. “I think we should add more desserts like cake and ice cream,” seventh grader Dominic Owens said.

Desserts are not typcially offered as part of the school lunch, but the kitchen staff does offer different ala carte options students can purchase. These options include muffins, granola bars, yogurt, chips and many more. “I think we should add more options to add to the food,” Owens said,“like, jalapeños to the crispitos and sunflower seeds to the

salads.” Two new things the kitchen started serving this year are Jell-O and pudding. The WRMS kitchen staff serves on average 695 lunches a day. Food Service Manager Trudi Brogan thinks eating hot lunch is the healthy thing to do because many kids bring unhealthy lunches from home. By law, schools are

required to serve 100 percent juice and skim milk. Each meal also has to follow certain nutritional guidelines. Sometimes students complain that the portion sizes are too small and they want seconds, but that won’t happen. “We cannot offer seconds because we do not have enough space in our freezers for extras,” Brogan said. “We also do not know how many

kids will eat hot lunch.” Eighth grader Blakelee Williams brings her own lunch every day, but thinks the school lunch offers tasty treats. “The snacks are good and so are the prices,” Williams said. “I really like the desserts we have, but I think there should be more options to choose from at lunch.” She also wishes there were more types of

milk. “Strawberry milk should be an option because a lot of kids like that kind of milk,” Williams said. Seventh graders eat first lunch at 11:10 a.m. and second lunch at 11:45 a.m. Eighth graders who eat first lunch eat at 12:20 p.m. Second lunch for eighth graders begins at 12:50 p.m.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween!


October 31, 2016

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Stereotypes affect students at WRMS Aubrey Fritsch, Hunter Proffitt & Ashley Robinson

The Falcon Feather : Hunter Proffitt, Ashley Robinson & Aubrey Fritsch Seventh graders Bobby Hon, Giles Fredrickson, Zoey Haugness, Marwa Sabbarin, McKinsey McGuire, Quincey Kidd and Shaymus Santiago represent the different stereotypes that can occur during middle school.

Every year, middle school stereotypes make more and more of an impression on students. But are these stereotypes affecting how middle school students do in school? “I think they could affect grades because when their minds are focused on other people, they won’t be focused on work,” seventh grader Rylie Swedlund said. Voyagers social studies teacher Tyler Riedel thinks the same way. “I feel like sports are important to the

kids, and I see that stereotype often,” Riedel said. “If you are deemed a nerd and teased for it, sometimes those kids will slack on work, which is a mistake,” Riedel said. Riedel didn’t worry about stereotypes in middle school because he went to a very small school where they weren’t very common. “Stereotypes did not affect me because I went to such a small school, and we rarely stereotyped each other,” Riedel said. Eighth grader Kaitlyn McDaniel categorizes herself as a member of the gos-

sip group. “Because I always get the latest gossip,” McDaniel said. Swedlund categorizes herself as something that is far different from most of the other girls in the school. “I categorize myself as sort of a nerd,” Swedlund said. “Because partly the way I dress and I dress how I want and also I do my own thing, and don’t try to be popular.” Seventh grade counselor Donna Kready thinks there is less talk about stereotypes than there used to be. “I don’t think that

stereotypes have gotten worse, but they have gotten better,” Kready said. Students seem to disagree with the staffs’ opinions on the stereotypes. “Stereotypes are annoying,” said McDaniel. Kready does see some stereotypes happening in the school and does realize that they are still a big part of middle school. “I know some kids want to dress like other students that they feel have more friends than they do,” Kready said. “They also want to have the same digital devices.”

Homework takes over student lives Andre Chavez, Hope Dimick & Jacob Nelson

Homework is assigned in school each day and it follows the students of WRMS home every night. Many students don’t enjoy doing homework. “It takes a lot of time to finish homework,” eighth grader Jacob Mitchell said. Students might not think homework is fun, but some would enjoy it more if there were different ways to do it. “Homework would be more fun if we could

do it online,” seventh grader Tayler Foster said. “It would be easier to finish if it was like an online game that we could play.” Some subjects have more homework based on what is being taught in class. “Math has the hardest homework,” Foster said. Other subjects only have homework if the assignment is not finished in class. “I give assignments and if you don’t finish your assignment, then it becomes homework,”

HEAT SFA teacher Amber Hundley said. “If you use your time wisely, you should get it done.” Most students get the same amount of homework each night. Some teachers rarely assign homework because they don’t see any perks in it. Others think homework is a good way to get more work done. “I think the practice is valuable, but I don’t think it should be done at home,” Hundley said. Many students have time in class to get their homework done. These

daily homework assignments usually don’t take long to complete. “I think students have plenty of time to finish their work,” Hundley said. “Homework takes about 30 minutes a week unless there is a project in SFA.” Homework may always be a debate, but there are benefits. Homework is a way to get easy points for your grade. “Practicing whatever skill the teacher needs you to learn is the biggest benefit of homework,” Hundley said.

The Falcon Feather : Andre Chavez, Hope Dimick & Jacob Nelson Eighth graders work on homework in WAVE math teacher Courtney Chilcoat’s EO.

Social media always trending among middle school students Anne Brandon, Joel Dominguez & Ajah Wright

The halls of WRMS are infected by a disease that makes its victim’s thumbs glued to their screens. The disease: Social Media. Students and teachers alike are obsessed with social media.

SWAT language arts teacher Anette Wiles sees dangers in social media. “I worry about kids using social media at too young of an age and giving away too much information about their lives,” she said. Seventh grader Emma Curley uses so-

cial media two to three times a day. “Facebook is my favorite because I get to post things and see what other people have posted,” she said. Eighth grader Sam Leenerts doesn’t use social media that often. “I spend about half an hour on social media


w/ Wyatt Arnold

Seventh Grader

daily,” Leenerts said. Wiles thinks there should be a social media specifically for teachers. “A teacher social media to ask questions, to get ideas from other teachers and to talk to other teachers,” Wiles said. Usernames are an important and often fun If you could choose, what color would the grass be? “The color of Jackson Rohn’s hair.” Should there be another ‘Mean Girls’ movie? “Of course, if I was the lead.” Who’s your favorite eighth grader? “Jay Evans.”

part of social media accounts. “I’m boring,” Wiles said. “I just use my name.” Wiles has Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest. Leenerts’ Instagram username is @sam._ leenerts Eighth grader Emma Rosenblum got creative If you were to add one holiday, what would it be called? “National Burn your Favorite Pineapple Kimono Day.”

with her username on Quotev. “My user name on Quotev is @SantaTitan” Wiles believes that social medias are able to be used incorrectly. “Social media has its pluses and minuses,” Wiles said, “but it should be used correctly.” Why does rain drop, but snow fall? “Because snow is cool and rain is orange.”

What would you do if you won the lottery? “Order a football field sized ice sculpture of Ken Bone.”

By: Laura Carrillo & Reid Hughes

Look for the next issue of The Falcon Feather in December!

Student Life

October 31, 2016

p. 5

Falcons play sports outside of school Isiah Esquibel, Mason Schwartz & Maggie Stimpfle

While many students like showing off their talents in sports inside of school, others like showing off their talents outside of school. Seventh grader Quincey Kidd plays basketball and football in his free time. Kidd enjoys football better than basketball because he thinks the football competition is better.

He likes to improve at the different sports he plays. “(I play football and basketball) because they are fun,” Kidd said. “(I have been playing) since third grade.” Kidd has been to many football complexes and even an NFL football stadium. “Chiefs Stadium is my favorite complex that I have played on because it was a NFL stadium,” Kidd said.

Eighth grader Keely Wagner enjoys playing soccer and has been playing it for 10 years. Wagner plays for Sporting Kaw Valley, along with many of her friends from WRMS and other schools. “Soccer is my favorite sport because it gives me something to do on the weekends,” Wagner said. “It’s really competitive and my friends are on the team.” Eighth grader

Ryan Bender also enjoys the competition of outside-of-school sports. “(I have been playing basketball and baseball) for seven years,” Bender said. “They are fun and competitive.” Bender enjoys these sports mostly because he gets to play with his friends. Students aren’t the only ones who enjoy sports outside of school. A lot of teachers enjoy them as well.

Tech teacher Alex Willis plays slowpitch softball in his spare time with All Stars social studies teacher Adam Heinritz. Willis enjoys playing with his teammates because the team is made up of his friends that he doesn’t get to see very often. “It’s kind of a break from work and everything else,” Willis said. “I enjoy competition and enjoy spending time with my friends.”

Submitted by Keely Wagner Eighth grader Keely Wagner plays soccer outside of school.

Pokémon Go loved by WRMS students, staff Lexi Loschen & Bo Reeves

The Falcon Feather : Lexi Loschen & Bo Reeves Seventh grader Cade Boswell enjoys playing Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go took the world by storm this summer. Eighth grader Braeden Miller was one of the millions to take part in the phenomenon. There are many different ways to catch pokemon, the main one is to just walk around and wait for them to pop up. Pokémon Go is an app where users walk and try to catch Pokémon. “There are three dif-

ferent teams to choose from in Pokémon Go,” Miller said. “My personal favorite is called Instinct.” The three teams to choose from are Instinct, Valor and Mystic. Pokémon Go is an app that allows you to walk around and collect mini creatures. You can use them to battle with other players to earn coins and many different things to improve your status as a player. Miller loves to play Pokémon Go; he enjoys going to the lake and

raiding all of the PokeStops around the lake. Poké-Stops are places where players can pick up supplies for free. Seventh grader Cade Boswell enjoys catching Pokémon. “In Pokémon Go I am a level 12,” Boswell said. The more Pokémon users catch, the higher their level gets. “I like Pokémon Go because I can be outside and exercising while playing games and having fun,” WAVE science teacher Kathryn Louderback said. “It’s the

best of both worlds.” “My favorite Pokémon class is water,” Louderback said. There are five classes, earth, fire, water, ice, and electric. Pokémon classes describe a Pokémon’s ability in the game. Pokémon Go continues to be played nationwide and new animals are added daily. There are currently 9.2 million active players with more joining every day. Happy hunting!

Fall brings cool weather, all things pumpkin Aubrey Fritsch, Hunter Proffitt & Ashley Robinson

Fall is here and with it comes crisp air, sweatshirts, bonfires, cider and everything pumpkin. Seventh grader Wyatt Arnold always looks forward to the fall weather. “The weather is nice because it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold,”

Arnold said. Eighth grader Caley Hinkle is also a fan of the cooler weather that fall brings. “(My favorite thing about fall) is the weather because it’s not super-hot,” she said. Voyagers language arts teacher Lara McDonald is excited for the fall, and especially the fashion that comes with it.

“I love it because any day I can wear sassy boots is a good day,” McDonald said. Seventh grader Zionna Fair likes the fall season most when the leaves begin to turn different colors from their normal look we see during the summer. “(I love it) when the leaves start to change their color,” she said. Even Hinkle loves the

colors that the leaves add to the trees. “(My favorite leaf colors are) red and orange,” she said. For many, fall means delicious treats full of pumpkin and spice. “(My favorite fall food) is the pumpkin pie my grandpa makes,” seventh grader Fair said. Seventh grader Carson Rosen has a different favorite fall treat.

“(My favorite fall food) is fried pumpkin seeds with salt and seasonings,” he said. McDonald’s favorite fall treat is kettle corn. “My favorite fall food has to be kettle corn because it is sweet and salty,” she said. Many families have a ton of traditions that come with this fun season. “We go to the pumpkin

patch, carve pumpkins and decorate for Halloween,” McDonald said. For many, fall means more time with friends and family. “Trick-or-treating is something that you can do with your family and your friends,” Fair said. “It usually leaves you with a lot of candy and a ton of good memories.”

Many students enjoy Anime at WRMS Carli Johnson, Nathan Lister & Chayton McDonald

Several students at Washburn Rural Middle School are interested in Japan’s animation form called “anime.” According to Merriam-Webster, anime is “a style of animation that was created in Japan and that uses colorful images, strong characters, and stories

that have a lot of action.” Seventh grader Elsa Zweiner is one of many who likes anime. Zweiner enjoys anime because of the animation. Her favorite anime is “Attack on Titan.” “I like most of the characters in it,” Zweiner said. She also enjoys other forms of Japanese entertainment, such as

Manga. “If there is also an anime for it, (Manga) usually explains about it,” Zweiner said. Another student, eighth grader Sierra Warth, also enjoys Japanese entertainment. “Ouran High School Host Club” is Warth’s favorite anime. “It was very entertaining and kept my interest,” Warth said. Warth also enjoys

reading Manga. “(I watch about) one to two hours (of anime) a day,” Warth said. Students aren’t the only ones into anime, some teachers are too. WAVE science teacher Kathryn Louderback really enjoys anime. “I probably watch two episodes a week,” Louderback said. “If it’s a good series, maybe one a night.” Louderback enjoys

anime because of many factors. “I just really like the drawings, the drama,” Louderback said. “I’m very big into Japanese culture and I like the theme songs.” Louderback discovered anime by watching “Toonami,” an afterschool anime program, when she was in middle school. Louderback’s first anime was “Sailor

Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 23-25

Moon.” “I could probably sing the whole theme song,” Louderback said. Unlike others, Louderback has a hard time choosing just one favorite anime. “It’s a tie between ‘Sailor Moon’ and ‘Full Metal Alchemist,’” Louderback said. Anime can be enjoyed by many, no matter the age.

Student Life

October 31, 2016

p. 6

WRMS offers several clubs for students Anne Brandon, Joel Dominguez & Ajah Wright

Coding, Anime, Student Council, Math, STEM, Make a Difference, Circle of Friends, Scholar’s Bowl and Breakfast Club are the clubs WRMS offers for students to get involved. Eighth grader Winter Doud is an active member of the Make a Difference club. Doud is also thinking about joining Anime club. “I like talking to other students who have the same goals (as me) and

meeting new people,” she said. Students join clubs to make new friends and to find other students who share the same interests. All Stars social studies teacher Adam Heinritz believes clubs give students a place where they feel they belong. “Clubs are a great addition to this school because studies show that kids in clubs get better grades and get in less trouble,” Heinritz said. Swanson is in Anime and Coding Club.

“I like Anime Club because we get to learn about Japanese culture, and I like Coding Club because it’s my number one hobby,” he said. In Coding Club, students learn how to code computers. The Make a Difference Club works to stop bullying. Students put together robotic cars in STEM Club. Math Club is where students who enjoy math problems can have a little more of a challenge. Club members

also prepare for three math competitions. Student Council is where students plan upcoming school events. They also gather recycling. Breakfast Club is a place for readers to join a group that reads and talks about books. Another club, Circle of Friends, is a place for students to help those who are challenged. In Scholar’s Bowl, students go up against other schools and compete in a trivia-type game.

The Falcon Feather : Anne Brandon Student Council members make posters for the Pumpkin Ball.

Summertime brings variety of adventures Macie Diehl, Alyssa Lohe & Derrick Maultsby

The summertime brought many adventures for some Washburn Rural Middle School students and staff. Seventh grader Katelynn Brogan’s summertime adventure was going on a cruise. “(We went) on a cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival cruise line,” she said. Brogan went on her vacation with her mom, brother and mom’s boyfriend. “On the cruise ship, there was a pool on top

so we swam a lot,” Brogan said. “They (also) had good food.” While Brogan and her family enjoyed their entire trip, there was one memory that stuck out above the rest. “(My favorite memory was) going to Atlantis because it was fun and we got to swim,” she said. Eighth grader Tucker Simpson went on a different kind of adventure. “(We went) to Washington D.C.,” he said.

Simpson went to Washington D.C with his mom, dad, sister and brother. “We looked at monuments and looked around the city,” he said. One part of Simpson’s family trip was his favorite. “Spending time with my family (was my favorite) because it was a great exposer seeing monuments,” Simpson said. FACS teacher Rachael Harshbarger traveled to three places this summer. “We went to San

Francisco, Portland and Estes Park, Colorado,” she said. Harshberger and her family did several things while on their vacations. “We stayed on a ranch, zip-lined, explored, saw sea lions, ate really good food and ice cream,” she said. Though Harshbarger had a good time on all her trips, there’s one memory she won’t soon forget. “In Colorado, my 1-year-old kiddo got to ride a horse for the first time,” she said.

Submitted by Katelynn Brogan Seventh grader Katelynn Brogan and her family traveled to the Bahamas over the summer.

Students at WRMS join different music classes Jenifer Diaz, Austin Pletcher & Brennan Webber

The Falcon Feather : Jennifer Diaz Seventh grade band students practice for their concert during Wacky Wednesday.

Seventh graders at Washburn Rural Middle School are required to enroll in a music class. They are able to choose between four classes - choir, band, orchestra and Music Exploration. Of those choices, Music Explorations is new to students. This class is available to those who aren’t interested in orchestra, music or band. It is also a great class for those who want to learn how to play guitar. Seventh grade Music Explorations is taught by Weston Cook. In elementary school, students had to be in band or orchestra if they didn’t want to be in choir. Seventh grader Cheyenne Bahadur really likes that students are able to choose Music Ex. “Some people like to learn how to play guitar,” Bahadur said. Bahadur, however, chose to be in choir. “I didn’t want to be in orchestra anymore because I play lots of sports and I didn’t want to carry my cello around,” Bahadur

said. Her favorite part of being in choir is the teacher, Clarissa Weibe, who Bahadur said is fun. She also enjoys being with her friends in the class. This is Weibe’s first year at WRMS and she’s enjoying every minute. “(I enjoy) getting to know the students in my choir classes and getting to know their personalities,” she said. Seventh grader Zane Wech also chose to be in chorr this year and is enjoying it. “In choir we sing all sorts of songs, from songs we know and songs we don’t,” Wech said. There will be eight choir concerts throughout the school year. In band and orchestra, students learn to play more challenging pieces of music than played in elementary school. Band is taught by Jack Smith. Orchestra is led by Donita McLeland. This year, there are 207 seventh graders enrolled in choir, 140 in band and 44 in orchestra.


October 31, 2016

p. 7

7th grade football ends with winning records Camden Currie & Joy Ngibuini

Both football teams ended their seasons with winning records. A team coach Steve Chooncharoen led the A team to a 7-0 record, while B team coach Alex Willis led the B team to a 4-2-1 record. A team player Carson Jenkins signed up for football this season for one reason. “I enjoy playing it and I like hitting people,” Jenkins said. Jenkins thinks footThe Falcon Feather : Joy Ngibuni & Camden Currie ball is a great way for students to get involved A team player Elijah Whayne gets tackled by a Seaman football player.

at WRMS. “You get to know new people and people get to know you,” Jenkins said. A team player Gavin Beers gets excited before a game every game because he’s confident they’ll walk away with a win. “(I get excited for) the competition and knowing that we are going to win the game,” Beers said. Before each game, the team does a variety of things to prepare. “We just practice and warm up and talk about the things we need to

accomplish throughout the game,” Beers said. There were many challenges throughout the season, but one stuck out to Beers. “We had to learn new plays,” he said. Steve Chooncharoen has been coaching the team for four years and looks forward to every season. The football team had one goal throughout the season and they did accomplish it. “(The team) wanted to go undefeated and win the league,” he said. Chooncharoen thought Seamen was

their most challenging opponent this season. A team beat Seaman 12-0, while B team beat them 8-0. “My favorite thing is getting to know the players and watching them grow up to later on play for the high school’s football team,” he said. Chooncharoen saw a lot of improvements throughout the season. “The team overall had great strides and great alignment,” Chooncharoen said. “They kept continuing to work hard throughout the season.”

7th grade volleyball team finds confidence on court Rylee Figgs & Jalen Moore

The Washburn Rural Middle School seventh grade volleyball team battled their way to the end of the season with a record of 15-7 for A team and 20-4 for B team. Before any of the games could begin, they needed to get a gamewinning team together. For coaches Di

Roney and Kelsey Rinehart, making cuts wasn’t easy. “It was extremely difficult to decide who was on the team,” Roney said. “We had to use a special rubric and we had to bring in extra coaches.” It isn’t just difficult for the coaches either. “The tryouts were pretty difficult and stressful,” A team volleyball player Ella Hash

said. After teams were formed, the coaches were confident the girls were going to be successful. “I thought the year was going to go well,” Roney said. “We had a talented group of girls who meshed well together.” At the beginning of the season, seventh grader Megan Cromwell and Hash were look-

ing forward to certain things. “I was looking forward to tournaments the most,” Hash said. But her teammate, Cromwell, was looking forward to playing as a team. “I liked playing as a team because I got to share the experience with everyone,” Cromwell said. This was Roney’s first year coaching vol-

leyball at WRMS. “I decided to coach volleyball because I played volleyball in school and I enjoy coaching students,” Roney said. Roney prepared her athletes before big games by reminding them to be confident. “I prepare them with practice and instilling confidence,” Roney said. “I also remind them that a big game

for them is a big game for the other team.” At the end of the season, the girls each remembered their season as a successful one. “My favorite experience was winning first place in our tournament,” Cromwell said. Hash had a different memory. “My favorite memory was winning against Seaman Middle School,” she said.

Cross country teams place high in League cross country. “Running with my friend was the best part,” Lynn said. Coach Christi Evans’, favorite part is different. “(My favorite part was) watching the runners become better throughout the season,” Evans said. To prepare for their meets, cross country kids run long distances. “We run oneand-a-half miles each practice,” Lynn said.

Riley Palmer & Kade Walker

This year, Washburn Rural Middle School students ran their way through another season in cross country. Eighth grader Ethan Hensyel enjoyed running cross country this season. “It helps me get in shape for soccer,” Hensyel said. “And it’s fun to talk to friends.” Seventh grader Clayton Lynn had a favorite part of

Cross Country can be challenging, but Evans tries to help the runners fight through in a certain way. “I remind the kids that the strength they need is mental not physical,” Evans said. At the beginning of the season, Lynn had one goal in mind. “(my goal was) to get a new personal record,” Lynn said. Lynn accomplished that goal with a new person-


w/ Adam Heinritz seventh grade

football coach

al record of 5:39. The team had many successful meets throughout the season. “The Emporia meet was the most successful,” Hensyel said. “We got first place.” The team had some very memorable events throughout the season. “Talking to all my friends on the bus before a meet (was the most memorable),” Hensyel said. “And getting out of school early.”.

Lynn has one favorite memory from the season. “The Rock Creek meet, it was the first meet that I got first in,” Lynn said. WRMS finished its season at League in Milford Lake where the team walked away with several medals. The eighth grade girls, seventh grade boys, seventh grade girls all placed first, while the eighth grade boys placed second.

What would you do if a clown was in the building? “I see clowns every day in the hallways.” What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found in your beard? “One time I had a cinnamon roll for lunch and I had frosting in my beard.”

The Falcon Feather : submitted Eighth grader Brady Patterson perserveres through the end of the race at the Kansas City meet.

Why doesn’t glue stick to the bottle? “Magic or witchcraft.” Why is a box ring square? “Because they got hit in the head too many times.”

What is your favorite thing to put on a piece of bread? “Not witchcrafted glue.” What’s your biggest fear? “Ladybugs.”

Who is your favorite Kardashian? “North West.”

By: Laura Carrillo & Reid Hughes


October 31, 2016

p. 8

Eighth grade football puts in hard work Alexi Llamas

The Falcon Feather : Alexi Llamas The eighth grade A team gets ready for the play against Manhattan Anthony.

& Trent Nelson

This year’s eighth grade Falcon football teams worked hard on the field. The A team ended the season with a record of 4-2. B team ended the season with a record of 2-4-1. Eighth grader Anthony Taggart enjoys playing football for WRMS. “I like to play football because I like to hit people,” Taggart said. Every year, football coach Brian Soderberg looks forward to coaching a brand new

eighth grade football team. “I was really just looking forward to the teamwork the boys showed,” Soderberg said. “I like to see how much the boys have improved and have gotten better as the season had gone on.” Soderberg enjoys many aspects of coaching the eighth grade football team. “I like coaching kids and the game, and I like to see the teamwork the boys often show,” Soderberg said. B team football player Christopher

Huggins was very excited to play for the football team this year. Huggins was not allowed to play football last year, so he was looking forward to playing football this year. “I was looking forward to playing the games in general,” Huggins said, “just because they’re so much fun.” Huggins hoped that his contribution as right tackle and nose tackle could help them with their winning season goal. His favorite aspect of the game is shared by many others.

“I like to play football because it is a good game,” Huggins said. “I also like to hit people.” Taggart was trying to achieve a few things for this year’s football season. “The thing I was looking forward to was beating Manhattan Anthony,” Taggart said. “I also hoped to finish the season with a 4-2 winning record.” Taggart also hoped that he could help the A team with their season, and also achieve a winning record. The team did achieve Taggart’s goal of a 4-2 winning record.

Eighth grade volleyball spikes to success Gwen Clark, Mariah Fleming & Tanner Morrow

The eighth grade volleyball team put in a lot of hard work this season. They put determination and effort into each practice and game, which led the A team to a game record of 30-24 and the B team had a match record of 18-5. Eighth grader Olivia Bruno enjoyed playing on A team this season. “(I enjoyed) getting to know Coach Lindstrom,” Bruno said. At the beginning of

the season, Bruno had certain goals in mind. “I wanted to improve on my hitting and blocking,” Bruno said. “I got a lot more practice.” A team player Riley Soph also saw improvements this season. “I improved most on setting and working as a team,” Soph said. Soph has many memories from this season, but one stands out. “The bus rides were a great memory,” Soph said. “The best part of practice was when we got to scrimmage because we

could see how well we were hitting.” The team as a whole improved a lot throughout the volleyball season and grew closer. “You have to trust your team,” Bruno said. “We got to know each other better throughout the season.” A/B team player Karis Jones was excited to play volleyball again this season. “Being with my friends (was the best part of practice),” Jones said. She did, however, think the team could have

done some things better. “(During the games) we needed to work better as a team.” PE teacher Jayme Lindstrom and Comets math teacher Kirsten Hansen were this year’s volleyball coaches. This was Lindstrom’s first year coaching at WRMS. Lindstrom had certain skills she wanted the A team to focus on this season. “(I) focused on quicks and trick plays,” Lindstrom said. “Once we got those, then we got to have fun and dominate.”

The Falcon Feather : Tanner Morrow The eighth grade B volleyball team goes over their gameplace against Seaman Middle School.

WRMS girls tennis claims victories on court Macie Diehl, Derrick Maultsby & Alyssa Lohe

The Falcon Feather : Macie Diehl Seventh grader Molly Peterson stands on the court ready to receive the ball.

The girls tennis team at Washburn Rural Middle School worked hard this season to see success. The team ended its season at the Washburn Rural Invitational where they walked away with first place. Seventh grader Molly Peterson enjoyed being a part of the team. “My favorite part of tennis was getting better because there is always a way to improve,” Peter-

son said. She has improved throughout the season by working on her skills and dynamics. The tennis competition was tough this year, but one team stood out as the most challenging to Peterson. “(My hardest match was) a doubles match against Seaman,” she said. Eighth grader Jessi Hart shared what her easiest match of the season was. “(My easiest match was) when we went

traveling and me and my partner Jayden were playing and they kept hitting it out of bounds,” Hart said. This was Jeff Garland’s second year as the girls tennis coach. Every year he tries to focus on one thing for the girls. “(I want the girls) to improve and get ready for the high school team,” Garland said. Garland walkd away from the season with one memory that stuck out above the rest. “(My favorite memory

was) winning the varsity tournaments,” Garland said. Eighth grader Jessi Hart had a different favorite memory. “My favorite part of tennis was when I went to the meet in Lawrence and got my first metal,” she said. Throughout the season, she focused on one thing. “When I was playing my matches, I focused on making one more point,” Hart said.

Don’t miss any Falcon sporting events! Check out the winter sports schedules online at


October 31, 2016

p. 9

chick-fil-a vs. mcdonald’s

exploratory classes

McDonald’s tops Chick-fil-A Classes helpful to all McDonald’s will always be better than Chick-fil-A. No contest. McDonald’s has cheap meals where you can get the best bang for your buck. With the quarter pounder meal, you can get a quarterpound burger, a medium fry and a soft drink for only $5. At Chick-fil-A, the only meal you can get for $5 is a kid’s meal, which is a joke. We need more food.

fil-A app just aren’t tha good. The deals combined with the already cheap prices at McDonald’s Austin Pletcher & Brennan help them Webber rake in the customers, The McDonald’s which just isn’t hapapp is also better pening at Chick-filthan Chick-fil-A’s app. If you show the A. McDonald’s has McDonald’s workers fast serving time you have the app, so their customers you can get some can get in and get great deals. The out in just a few deals on the Chick-

minutes. At Chickfil-A that just doesn’t happen. There are always long lines and it seems to take forever. And let’s be honest, forever can seem like an eternity when you’re hungry. McDonald’s also has 24-hour service so customers can come in any time they want, which is always a win in our book. This is why you should always be Forever McDonald’s.

Quality higher at Chick-fil-A Chick-Filabout A is so much Chick-filbetter than A’s food. McDonald’s. The I really enjoy portions going to at ChickChick-fil-A fil-A are because they bigger serve chicken but still Jennifer Diaz instead of beef healthy, and I really which is don’t eat that definitely much meat. not the It’s healthier and case at McDonald’s. the food quality is Whenever I go to so much better. A McDonald’s I leave lot of people say unsatisfied, but that McDonald’s when I go to Chickis way better. I tofil-A, I am always tally disagree. You satisfied with the constantly see nasty food portions and stuff about McDon- food quality. Let’s alds in the news, be real, guys, it’s but never anything just better.

Nothing beats the food quality at Chick-fil-A. According to Yelp. com, Chick-fil-A earned the No. 4 spot on Topeka’s top 10 food restaurant’s based on food quality. McDonald’s was not even on the list. If that doesn’t tell you which one is better, I don’t know what will. My personal favorite food item on the Chick-filA menu is their chicken tenders and fries. Their waffle fries are delicious and are like one-ofa-kind. They don’t

have too much salt either, which is great. McDonald’s fries are always too slaty. Chick-fil-A’s chicken tenders are really great because they are not so crunchy and hard that you can barely chew them. They are tender, crispy on the outside and crunchy on the outside, just like chicken tenders should be. That is why Chick-fil-A is the best and will always be No.1.

Exploratory pressure. Havclasses are here ing required to help, but exploratory some say they classes can help are a waste of ease the nerves time. because it’s one We believe less big decithat seventh sion you have graders need to Laura Carrillo, Jesse Stolle to make before & Reid Hughes experience each the year begins. that is “not fun” for elective so they School can just a couple weeks. know what classes become too much they should take for Besides, it’s not like of a routine and a whole semester or an elective class can be too repetitive if year in eighth grade. be any worse than a there are not events core class, like math that change and are Tech, FACS, or reading. World Languages, exciting throughout One major plus Media and Art are the year. Explorabout these classes the elective classes atory classes help every seventh grader is that you get to school from becomknow the teacher takes throughout ing too repetitive. and the material. the year. In eighth Changing classes Considering that grade, students get every four-and-ayou spend four-and- half weeks can be to choose which a-half weeks with electives they take. like a new start for the same teacher, The experience seventh graders. The you can easily deyou get from these switch of classes classes are a blessing velop a relationship can help make the with him/her. But when making your time fly by quickly. with that, there may Some kids would decision for eighth be a teacher that grade. By taking argue that it’s too you don’t like and the class, you get much of a hassle then you’re stuck to learn what the to know where with them for a few teacher is like and the classes are and weeks. Even then, it which one to go to you get an insight will only be a short into what you actuwhen they change. period of time that ally do in the class. Luckily, there are you will have to stay teachers to help. Some people in that class. complain about Overall, explorMany teachers having to take atory classes are try their hardest every single elective helpful and a great to do a lot of fun because they might idea. Even though not like it. But, each projects to interest they can make students and perexploratory class seventh graders feel suade them to take for seventh graders like they don’t have the class next year. is only four-and-aas much freedom, Heading into half weeks long. most students will your seventh grade We’re pretty sure learn that they are year, there’s a lot everyone can bare thankful for them. of anxiety and having one class We know we are.


Memes meant to be funny, not offensive Memes are an important part to the 21st century social stance. Memes are defined by Urban Dictionary as, “an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media).” Let’s be real, memes are

funny. They make just about everyone laugh, except for those who cannot take a joke and get offended. Memes are always meant as a joke. Some people may get offended because they don’t Maddie Weide, Aiden Droge understand what & Grace Ray the meme is really encourage you to find the about. If they’re hard to understand, many won’t humor in these harmless get the joke. Instead of get- pieces of entertainment. Memes are entertaining ting offended next time, we

but they can grow to be old or become outdated. If a meme becomes outdated and somebody posts it or talks about it, it’s not going to be funny. More than likely, it’s going to be annoying. The life span of a meme is short. The only meme that does not get outdated is the classic white text meme. White text memes are memes that have a photo with top and bottom white text with a punchline. They are

the most common type of meme. We like memes. Some of our favorite memes are (Darn) Daniel, troll face, and Scarce memes. Some memes though, just don’t make sense or are just plain not funny A lot of these unfunny memes are considered forced memes. Forced memes, according to knowyourmemes. com, is “any meme that is artificially created and spread.” Most forced

memes quickly disappear; however, some have successfully become a part of Internet culture.” An example of a forced meme is Harambe. Harambe was a funny meme for a week. Then the news and media kept constantly pushing the lifespan, therefore making it over used, forced, and annoying. Memes can be annoying, but the bottom line is they are funny and entertaining.

Bullying 2nd Hour Laura Carrillo, Gwen Clark, Camden Currie, Jennifer Diaz, Aiden Droge, Isiah Esquibel, Mariah Fleming, Aubrey Fritsch, Reid Hughes, Carli Johnson, Nathan Lister, Chayton McDonald, Tanner Morrow, Joy Ngibuini, Austin Pletcher, Hunter Proffitt, Grace Ray, Ashley Robinson, Mason Schwartz, Maggie Stimpfle, Jesse Stolle, Brennan Webber, Maddie Weide

3rd Hour Anne Brandon, Andre Chavez, Macie Diehl, Hope Dimick, Joel Dominguez, Rylee Figgs, Tabitha Hilton, Alexi Llamas, Alyssa Lohe, Lexi Loschen, Derrick Maultsby, Jalen Moore, Adam Morstorf, Simon Murnahan, Jacob Nelson, Trent Nelson, Riley Palmer, Bo Reeves, Kade Walker, Ajah Wright, Trevin Yerta adviser

Amanda Davis

Prevention Hotline

The Kansas State Department of Education and Kansas Children’s Service League is now offering this FREE and ANONYMOUS service to those who have questions or concerns about bullying situations.


Call: 1-800-Children Email:

October 31, 2016


p. 10


Get rid of homework; let kids be kids What does homework really do? We know one thing it does, it takes away students’ free time. According to William Crain, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at City College of New York and the author of “Reclaiming Childhood,” “Kids are developing more school-related stomachaches, headaches, sleep problems, and depression than ever before.” The average student is glued to his or her desk for almost seven hours a day. Crain also said that if you add two to four hours of homework each night,then they are working 45 to 55 hours per week! Forty-five to 55 hours a week is ridiculous. At

that rate, we should be getting paid. Eight hours a day of working in school is enough; we don’t want to spend more time working at home. With after-school activities, like sports Rylee Figgs & Jalen Moore and church, homework takes away Just because we are from family time and younger, doesn’t mean free time. we should just spend Some people think if our free time doing you get your work done, something we don’t you would have time for want to do. those activities. Parents and other Why do we even do adults think they have homework? It’s only like more responsibilities 10 percent of our grade. than kids do, and they Secondly, adults probably do, but kids go to work the same have responsibilities too amount of time we do like, chores, babysitting and most of them don’t and other activities. have to come home and We can’t even play do homework. So, why outside anymore beshould we have to? cause we have so much

homework. Our parents tell us to go outside and play, and not be on screens all the time, but we can’t do that with the ridiculous amount of homework we have almost every night. It starts to get dark earlier this time of year, so even after we finish our homework, it is getting dark or already is dark. We could do our homework outside, but when we are outside we want to do something that we want to do and, let’s face it, we wouldn’t be focused on the homework if we did it outside. Next, it would help if the teachers gave us more time in school to complete our home-

work. Instead of DEAR Day, we should get to work on homework or they should give us more time to complete it in class. Even better, how about no homework on Mondays since we don’t have EO time to do it? Some people would disagree and say reading is important. Well, we think family time is more important. At this age, we are starting to get too busy for homework. We are starting to get jobs, like babysitting, and homework is getting in the way of that. According to, 80 percent of middle school students have part-time jobs, like babysitting or

something. School comes first in the minds of many. And yes, school is important, but family and jobs come before it. Finally, these days a lot of our schoolwork is on the computer. But, not everybody has the option or materials to complete work on a computer at home. Teachers say they will give students a copy of the materials, but sometimes that’s not an option either. Overall, we think homework is a waste of time. Homework is fine once in a while, but too much can get in the way of a lot. Just like the teachers have lives, students have lives, too.

school start time

Later school start would benefit students Kids are expected to be in their seats at 7:50 a.m. to start their day, but we think school should start later. At Washburn Rural Middle School, many kids have to get up at 6 a.m. or earlier to start school at 7:50 a.m., which is just too early. Having a later start time would allow kids to sleep in later and get more done, including homework in the evenings. Now, we have

to stay up super late to get homework done. People may say that we should do it when we get home, but many students are involved in activities after school. Riley Palmer & Kade Walker Starting later would also give us time to do homework, time in the morning to but with DEAR Day, get ready and do other clubs and other activithings. If we couldn’t do ties, we often don’t get homework the night betime to do homework fore, then ywe could do in EO. it in the morning. Sure, We need to make some say we have EO sure that we are wide

awake when we are at school and a later school start time can help that. A lot of people say we should go to bed earlier, but we have so much to do in the evenings that that’s not always possible. Sometimes, we need help with homework and parents have to work later so if their kids have questions, they can’t answer them. This means we either

have to stay up late or wake up early to get help. Some people think that we can text our parents or call them to ask a question, but not all parents can be bothered while they are at work. Kids have sports in the evenings and sometimes don’t get home until 10 p.m. Then, they have to shower and eat. This leaves little to no time to work on homework, especially if we need to get a good

night’s sleep. Some people think that sports are not important, but it helps take the stress away. Studies say that middle and high school kids don’t get enough sleep and we agree. We’d have to go to bed at like 8 p.m. to get the recommended amount of sleep and let’s be honest, that’s just not happening. A simple solution? Start school later.

choosing lockers

WRMS students want choice in lockers Students want to choose their own lockers. Nobody really talks about it, but we want the choice. The real question is: why aren’t we allowed to choose our own lockers? Does it really make that much of a difference if the lockers are grouped by teams? We understand it’s a way to organize everything, but students are not

Simon Murnahan & Tabitha Hilton

really benefiting from having their lockers being chosen for them. The two main reasons students want to

choose their own locker is to be by their classes or with all of their own friends. If students choose their own lockers near their classes, it would save time and prevent tardiness. Students with lockers far away from their pods find it hard to get to classes with time to spare. Some people say that we have enough passing time and getting to class shouldn’t be a problem. But, it can be a problem

to some students due to their locker locations. If you’re lucky, your locker is across from your pod. If not, you may be late. Most students would also pick lockers near their own friends. I mean come on, we’re kids, we want to talk to our friends. Although some adults don’t think it’s important, students do want lockers near their friends. Teachers may argue that students would

spend all their time talking and be late to class. But we don’t believe that is entirely true. Choosing our lockers might help us not be as late to class. We would already be by our friends and wouldn’t have to walk all around to find them. Now, students have to get their materials, then walk to find their friends, which takes up time. This is a better solution. Even if we talk to

our friends during passing time, we know the consequences of being late to class. Let’s face it, we’re going to find our friends and chat between classes no matter what. With lockers so far apart, you’re only contributing to our tardiness. Let’s work together and solve the problem. We already know the perfect solution - let us choose our own lockers.

Follow the WRMS Yearbook on Instagram @wrmsyearbook

October 31, 2016


p. 11

Students represent array of countries Maggie Stimpfle, Isiah Esquibel,

The Falcon Feather : Mason Schwartz, Isiah Esquibel & Maggie Stimpfle Eighth graders Manuella and Ben Mulegwa have put down new roots in Topeka after moving from Congo, Africa this summer.

& Mason Schwartz

While some families spend their lives in one country, others decide to put down new roots in a new one. A handful of WRMS students and their families have chosen to do just that. Eighth grader Manuella Mulegwa lived in Africa for 12 years before moving to Topeka this summer with her brother, eighth grader Ben Mulegwa, her sisters and her mother. “(We moved here) because sometimes in (Africa) we have many troubles,” Manuella said. Manuella has been having a hard time adjusting to a new school and country. “(It has been hard adjusting to this school) because I didn’t have any friends,” Manuella said. The teaching system is very different in her old

country compared to the American teaching system. “In our old country, we only had one class and every teacher would come and go,” Manuella said. Manuella was not very excited about moving to America, but does not really miss her old home. Seventh grader Giles Frederickson has a different background of living in another country. Fredrickson and his family moved to Muskat, Oman Asia for job opportunities in 2006 and to experience something new. After nine years in Oman, his family decided to return to the United States. “(My old home was) smaller than the one I am in now,” Fredrickson said. “It was in a community and the floor was marble.” The school days are also very different in Oman compared to the school days in Topeka.

“The weekends are different,” Fredrickson said. “In Asia, they were on Friday and Saturday.” The weather was very different as well. “There, it’s really hot all year,” Frederickson said. “The weather is a lot cooler here.” Eighth grader Ben Mulegwa, Manuela’s brother, thinks the weather is a lot cooler in Topeka. “In Africa, it is so hot and it’s not cool and here it is so cool,” Ben said. Champions math teacher Dason McDonald enjoys having students, like Ben and Manuella, from other countries. “It allows me to get to know different cultures and it also gives me a way to explain different concepts,” McDonald said. “(My favorite part about teaching them is) getting to know the two of them and getting to connect with them.”

Estenson’s novel hits Amazon Carli Johnson, Chayton McDonald & Nathan Lister

A newly published author is roaming the halls at Washburn Rural Middle School. All Stars language arts teacher Whitney Estenson’s first book “House of Aries” was released on Amazon on Aug. 30. Estenson has been working on the book, the first in a series, since May 2014 and went through several rounds of edits. “There is a lot more detail now,” Estenson said. “The main parts have not changed, but (there are) a lot more twists and turns.” The book’s plot is described on Estenson’s website, www. theascendantseries. com.

“A Story of Love, Loss, and Extraordinary Discovery Kyndal Davenport has suffered terrible tragedy. As the sole survivor of a car crash that claimed her entire family, Kyndal knew that her life would never again be easy. Now she must live with an aunt she has never met in a small town she has never been to. Worse, at school she is hounded with taunts and whispered rumors by suspicious classmates. When she receives the rare attention of the alluring but inscrutable Roman Sands, Kyndal must determine what his true intentions are. But the everyday pains of adjusting to her new life are put aside when Kyndal wakes from strange dreams, finding

her sheets on fire and her skin unburned. When Kyndal develops a powerful connection with Roman, she discovers that she isn’t the only extraordinary person in Marienville, Pennsylvania. Roman reveals that his interest in Kyndal goes far beyond a high school romance; an interest that may decide the fate of the entire world. In this debut of the Ascendant Series, author Whitney Estenson introduces a world of magic, adventure, and enduring love in the face of an enemy who only understands death and hunger. Born into the House of Aries, Kyndal must confront her fate and find the strength to protect the people closest to her.” Seventh grader

Wyatt Arnold thinks Estenson’s book will be a success. “(I think it will do well) because she spent so much time on it,” Arnold said On Sept. 10, Estenson attended the Kansas Book Festival at the Capitol bulding. Many of her friends and family, including her team teachers, attended the festival to support Estenson’s work. “Everyone went to the book festival because we were so excited,” All Stars reading plus teacher Kathy Speagle said. “House of Aries” is Estenson’s first book in “The Ascendent Series.” She plans to release the next book in the series next fall.

Courtesy of “The Ascendant Series” Facebook Page All Stars language arts teacher Whitney Estenson signs a copy of “House of Aries” on Sept. 10 at the Kansas Book Festival.

Students aspire to have different jobs Grace Ray, Maddie Weide & Aiden Droge

Washburn Rural Middle School students have big plans for the future. “I plan on going to an Ivy League college,” eighth grader Nick Brady said. Brady wants to go to Harvard. He plans to be a millionaire. “Because who doesn’t want to be a millionaire?” Brady said. Brady’s inspiration is his “main man” Steve Jobs. “He was super suc-

cessful,” Brady said. Seventh grader Jonah Molina plans to go to college after graduating from high school as well. Molina wants to be a math teacher when he graduates from college. His inspiration for being a math teacher is his Voyager math teacher, Cindy Jones. Molina wants to work in a middle school. “I’m just inspired by Mrs. Jones,” Molina said. Another WRMS student aspires to go to college as well, but on a completely different

career path. Eighth grader Christina Burdett plans on going to the University of Florida after she graduates from high school. She wants to be a veterinarian. “I don’t know, I just like animals and it seems like a fun job,” Burdett said. Eighth grader Claire Romine also has a specific job in mind. Romine wants to attend UCLA to become a gynecologist. “(My inspiration is the) doctor in ‘Jane the Virgin’,” Romine said. Seventh grader Mia

Miller has a different idea on her future. Miller plans to party for one year, and then attend college. She wants to be a first grade teacher. “(I want to be a) first grade teacher because you get to tell kids what to do and write on the SMART Board,” Miller said. Miller’s inspiration is her mother. Money is another factor when it comes to choosing your career path. “I want to make bank,” Brady said.

Top 5 Dream Jobs of Kids 1. Astronaut 2. Musician 3. Actor/Actress 4. Dancer 5. Teacher


October 31, 2016

p. 12

Who is your celebrity crush? Want to get to know who’s bringing you the news this semester? Read on to learn more about this semester’s Falcon Feather staff members.

“Grayson Dolan” Laura Carrillo

“Eric Hosmer” Gwen Clark

“Wyatt Arnold” Camden Currie

“Bryson Tiller, duh” Jennifer Diaz

“Gareth Wendt” Aiden Droge

“Kate Upton” Isiah Esquibel

“Niall Horn” Mariah Fleming

“Don’t have one” Aubrey Fritsch

“Jordan Black” Reid Hughes

“JC Caylen” Carli Johnson

“Don’t have one” Nathan Lister

“Ben Wolf” Chayton McDonald

“Clowns” Tanner Morrow

“Jessica Ndungu” Joy Ngibuini

“Killer Keems” Austin Pletcher

“Don’t have one” Hunter Proffitt

“Barry Allen” Grace Ray

“Don’t have one” Ashley Robinson

“Kate Upton” Mason Schwartz

“Don’t have one” Maggie Stimpfle

“Jennifer Aniston” Jesse Stolle

“Don’t have one” Brennan Webber

“Dylan O’Brian” Maddie Weide

“Nobody” Anne Brandon

“Hope Dimick” Andre Chavez

“Channing Tatum” Macie Diehl

“Zac Efron” Hope Dimick

“Kim Kardashian” Joel Dominguez

“Lexi Loschen” Rylee Figgs

“‘Ian Somerhalder” Tabitha Hilton

“Stephen Curry” Alexi Llamas

“Channing Tatum” Alyssa Lohe

“Rylee Riggs” Lexi Loschen

“Kim Kardashian” Derrick Maultsby

“Selena Gomez” Jalen Moore

“Nobody” Adam Morstorf

“Melissa McCarthy” Simon Murnahan

“Berry Benson” Jacob Nelson

“Faze Adapt” Trent Nelson

“Judge Judy” Bo Reeves

“Kate Upton” Kade Walker

“Paul Wesely” Ajah Wright

“Faze Apex” Trevin Yerta

“Theo James” Riley Palmer

The Falcon Feather 10/31/16  

The Falcon Feather is a student-created newspaper for Washburn Rural Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. This is the first issue of The Falcon...

The Falcon Feather 10/31/16  

The Falcon Feather is a student-created newspaper for Washburn Rural Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. This is the first issue of The Falcon...