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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 3 March 13, 2017

Riedel named Horizon Award winner Izzy McEvoy, Ben Mulegwa & Austin Weast

One of this year’s 2017 Horizon Award winners roams the halls of Washburn Rural Middle School. Voyagers social studies teacher Tyler Riedel is one of only 32 winners of this award in the state of Kansas. Seventh grader Sheridan Wichman enjoys having Riedel as a teacher because he jokes around with her and her class,

while also teaching in a way that helps students learn. “He keeps us interested by giving us real world topics and talks about them,” Wichman said. Seventh grader Emma Michalski’s favorite part of being in Riedel’s class is playing Jeopardy! to review for tests. She and her classmates also enjoy Riedel’s personality and love of sports. “He is both serious and humorous with sports,” Michalski said.

“Riedel’s but mostly happy for classroom the school,” Riedel has a lot of said. KU stuff “It was my plan and sports period and Mr. Chesarticles.” more came and got This is me and told me that Riedel’s there was a problem second year in the office; I almost Voyagers of teaching peed myself.” Social Studies at WashThe first person Teacher Tyler Riedel burn Rural he told was Voyagers Middle reading plus teacher School. He was shocked, Randi Stones when he but very excited when he saw her in the hallway was told he was a Horiand then he called his dad zon winner. right after. “I was pretty excited, The Horizon Award rec-

ognizes exemplary firstyear educators and is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education. Only 32 teachers from around the state receive this distinction each year. Riedel was honored at the Kansas Exemplary Educators State Education conference in Topeka, KS. Riedel’s favorite memory of teaching at Washburn Rural Middle School is when his students realize they are

growing and having fun while learning. Former WRMS head principal Jerry Meier nominated Riedel for the 2017 Kansas Horizon Award last year and head principal Mark Koepsel agrees that Riedel is deserving of the award. “Having Mr. Riedel as a teacher benefits the school because he is a great role model for kids,” Koepsel said. “He develops relationships with his students and makes learning fun.”

Seeing double, triple common at WRMS Erica Culberson, Mike Mercer & Maddie Williams

The Falcon Feather : Erica Culberson, Mike Mercer & Maddie Williams Seventh graders Casey, Canton and Calvin Schenk show triplet pride.

Yes, you are seeing double and triple in the hallways at WRMS, but you do not need your eyes checked. This is due to the many sets of twins and triplets at our school. Seventh graders Calvin, Casey and Canton Schenk said there are many perks to being triplets. “Probably the best part about being triplets is just having your brothers there ready to back you up,” Calvin said. For seventh grade twin brothers Carson and Connor Haire, the best part about being twins is always having a friend to help them

out. Being a twin or triplet still comes with its challenges though. “We fight on a daily basis,” Canton said. “It’s normally about food or video games, mostly the sharing thing.” Sharing is a big problem for the Schenk’s during their birthday. “It’s okay sharing a birthday, but also bad at the same time, because we have to split the cake and we don’t get everything we ask for,” Calvin said. Some people say there is an evil twin, which twin eighth grade sisters Ashleigh and Alyson Wright agree with. “Ashleigh is probably the evil twin because she is

more sassy than me,” eighth grader Alyson Wright said. “We would refer to each other as the evil twin, so I’d call her it and she’d call me it,” Ashleigh said. Even though they refer to each other as “the evil twin” they are still very close. “We’re close and we do a lot of stuff together at home,” eighth grader Ashleigh Wright said. “(She is very) artistic, loveable and happy.” While none of these twins/triplets are identical, they still all get mixed up from time to time. “It gets really annoying when people call me someone else’s name,” Connor said. Comets Science Teacher Doug Stanley sees the

Haires every day and still gets them mixed up every now and then. “I have to pause before calling on one of them so I don’t get it wrong,” Stanley said. The Schenk’s do not have a look-alike problem, but still get mixed up occasionally. “Getting mixed up is fun,” Casey Schenk said. While having a twin or triplet has its challenges, at the end of the day these students wouldn’t change a thing. “(The best part about being triplets is) teamwork,” Canton said, “and getting to know every corner of the school together.”

Older siblings affect current reputations Ellie Armstrong, Anthony Taggart & Jesse Stolle

Students often already have a reputation before getting to middle school thanks to their older siblings. Eighth grader Cale Marsh has an older sister who also went through Washburn Rural. “(She was) like a goody two shoes and followed the rules and did

what she was supposed to do,” Marsh said. Eighth grader Katherine Riner has two older siblings who went through the district. She believes they have caused teachers to have certain expectations for her. “My siblings were both very good students, got good grades and participated in extracurricular activities,” Riner said.

Seventh grader Vanesa Quinones has an older sibling, Jordan Quinones, in eighth grade. “Teachers treat me good because they knew my brother was good,” Quinones said. Some students wonder if their older sibling’s school years and their reputation affects theirs. “Both of my older siblings had good middle school years and a good

reputation,” Riner said. Eighth grader Chase Newell doesn’t think his older sister Payton had a good reputation when she was at WRMS. “She was sort of a troublemaker,” Newell said. Even with Newell’s older sibling being a troublemaker, he still has a good reputation for himself at school with his teachers.

“I don’t do the same things she did,” Newell said. Most people believe students are placed on the same team as their older siblings in both seventh and eighth, but that isn’t always true. “Jordan was on Eclipse, but I am on Voyagers,” Quinones said. Newell wasn’t on the same team as his older sibling either.

“I think she was on SWAT and I am on Champions,” Newell said. Students’ older siblings’ behavior can make their school experience better or worse. “It makes teachers like me more because my sister was also on Champions,” Marsh said, “and she was good so they think I am good.”

Inside This Issue Office aides page


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March 13, 2017

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Students earn Red Cross certification Sidnie Alegria, Riley Faith & Gavyn Pyle

The Falcon Feather: Sidnie Alegria, Riley Faith & Gavyn Pyle Seventh graders Alex Sanderson, left, and Lauren Armstrong train for their American Red Cross babysitter’s certification in FACS.

This year’s seventh graders have the opportunity to receive a babysitter’s certification through the American Red Cross This is part of a new curriculum that started at the beginning of this school year. Students will be taught the knowledge and skills to safely and responsibly give care for children and infants. To become certified, students must participate in every class. If a student is absent from a class they must make up

their absence in EO. All students must participate in all skill sessions and activities and all will need to demonstrate their ability to be successful in all observable skills. There is a $10 fee to receive the certification. “(Getting certified) will help me babysit my little siblings and other families in need,” seventh grader Livvy Johnson said. Seventh grader Jonah Molina also believes this certification will be helpful to him. “I thought it would be a good experience for me,”

Molina said. FACS teacher Rachael Harshbarger felt students could benefit from this opportunity. “We changed the curriculum last year,” Harshbarger said, “and felt all students could benefit from life skills gained.” The class is meant to help students put critical thinking and problem solving skills to use in a real life setting. It teaches students what they need to know and be able to do as a responsible babysitter. They have to be prepared for emergencies.

Students specifically had to know how to correctly heat milk, cradle a baby, put on diapers, feed a baby and even know how to check for consciousness and assess. Students felt the training was useful, but it wasn’t easy. “(It was hard) mainly because I had to learn how to correctly do CPR,” Johnson said. Students train to the exact specifications provided by Red Cross. After correctly performing their babysitting skills, students are presented with their official certificate.

8th graders help Nine students place at out office staff regional History Day

The Falcon Feather: Ellie Armstrong, Anthony Taggart & Jesse Stolle Eighth grade office aide Maggie Decker puts mail in the staff mailboxes in the office.

only have six spots for the whole year and eighth graders can be more mature,” eighth grade counselor Susan Holmes said. There are different tasks the staff asks the office aides to do each hour. “First hour aides give passes, second hour does mailboxes and third hour does everything else,” Vierling said. Frederick did a variety of tasks last semester as an office aide. “I did the mail and delivered anything the office needed to be delivered,” Frederick said. Eighth grader Maggie Decker is an office aide during third hour this semester. “If they have

Ellie Armstrong, Anthony Taggart & Jesse Stolle

Some eighth graders at WRMS are helping out as office aides the first three hours of the day. The process to become an office aide is simple. “All I did was fill out an application form,” eighth grader Isabella Frederick said. This application form helps the office staff decide who is selected as an aide. “They go through an application process and get recommendations from a teacher,” secretary Brittany Vierling said, “and we look at grades and behavior.” Only eighth graders are allowed to be office aides “It is because we

any work or mail I put it in their boxes and sign people in,” Decker said. If the office doesn’t have anything for the office aides to do, there can be some down time. “You have a lot of down time to do like homework,” said Frederick. The student office aides enjoy their time in the office with the staff for different reasons. “(I enjoy) getting to know everyone in the office and helping them out,” Decker said. The office staff is always appreciative of having the office aides there to help. “They make my day less hectic,” Vierling said, “and (they) are nice to talk to.”

The Falcon Feather: Madison Warner Eighth graders Molli Christensen, Rachel Osborn and Alivia Cook work on their History Day project.

Noah Brown, Bowan Murray & Madison Warner

Sixteen Washburn Rural Middle School students entered the Regional History Day Contest on Feb. 23 and nine students walked away as placers. Eighth graders Elizabeth Fawl, Rachel Osborn, Molli Christensen, Alivia Cook and Tabitha Hilton and seventh graders Donna Jalosjos, Andy Busch and Sonya Doubledee will all be moving on to the state competition on April 29. Seventh grader Molly Peterson received honorable mention for her project. The History Day Contest encourages students to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice. Students enter these projects at the local levels, with top students advancing to State History Day Contest. Seventh grader Hope Oswald enjoyed the challenge that History Day brought to her. “I based my project upon

Elizabeth Cochan,” Oswald said. “She was a reporter that had to go undercover for women’s rights.” Cook was excited about History Day after a rough start. “I was nervous because my original partner quit on me,” Cook said. “But it’s all good now, I got a new partner (Hilton) and I am excited.” Gifted teacher Alice Bertels was also excited about History Day. “I love History Day,” Bertles said. “It’s hard work, but it’s great fun when it’s all said and done.” To prepare for History Day, students search for a project topic, use their free time to research with their groups and then build their projects. “Making the project is fun and it’s cool to see what happened in history,” Oswald said. Bertles likes that each project is different. “All the projects are unique and each have quali-

ties of their own,” Bertles said. All students involved with History Day put hard work and determination into their projects. “I chose a dude named Arstides Desousa Mendez,” Cook said. “I did him because he was an extraordinary guy.” Cook likes talking to everyone about their projects. “(History is my favorite subject) because it’s really fun to learn about how people interacted with each other, and what happened before I was born,” Cook said. Bertles was excited to seeing how each project did in the contest. “All of the projects are looking good,” Bertels said, “but two students have experience from last year, so that really helps.” The students who placed at the State History Day competition will move on to nationals, which takes place June 11-15.


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iOS games taking over cell phones of many Rachel Osborn, Katie Smith & Hunter Vondemkamp

For the last few months, people have been in a craze over the new iOS iMessage games. These are games that users can compete against friends while texting. They came out when Apple released iOS 10. These iMessage

games have spread worldwide. The app GamePigeon (the database where you can play these games) came out on Sep. 13. Ever since then, people everywhere with iPhones have loved the app. Eighth grader Ashley Robinson has a favorite out of the 18 possible games. “My favorite game is 8-ball,” Robinson said.

“I like it because it’s fun and it’s a friendly competition.” Seventh grader Luke Rothfuss likes 8-ball too. “8-Ball (is my favorite because) all of my friends play it,” Rothfuss said. Eighth grader Julia Backer has a different favorite game. “The mini golf game (is my favorite),” Backer

said. “You launch the ball and try to get it in the hole.” 8-ball is one of the most popular iMessage games to play. Eighth grader MacKenzie Murray finds some of the games challenging. GamePiegon is known for their readyto-go games, but the games don’t always have the clearest explanation on how to play.

“Chess is the hardest game,” Murray said, “there are not enough instructions.” Even with 18 games to choose from, some people want more options. “I would like to see trampoline games,” Murray said. Rothfuss would like to see a different kind of game. “A car racing game,”

Rothfuss said. “I think that would be fun.” Nowadays, people can’t go anywhere without seeing peoples’ faces shoved into their phones playing these games with each other. “(iOS games) bring people closer together with friends and family,” Robinson said. “It’s better than just texting.”

Classroom critters bring joy to WRMS students Kylie Harsha & Kelsey Herman

Critters scurry around many classrooms at Washburn Rural Middle School. Comets Science teacher, Doug Stanley, has two snakes in his classroom, Chocolate Thunder and Pumpkin, that students are allowed to hold. “They hold both snakes during class as long as they stay focused on their work,” Stanley said. While Stanley allows his students to hold both snakes during class, seventh grader Jayson Brown’s teacher, All Stars science teacher Amy Campbell, allows students to hold pets at a different time. “(We can get out the pets) before class if you ask the teacher,” Brown said. Some classroom pets are easier to take care of than

others. “(The easiest pets to take care of are the) mealworms, because you don’t have to feed and water them every day,” HEAT Science teacher Mark Robinett said. Many classroom pets have unique names that are wellknown. In Brown’s science class, they have two lizards named after characters from the movie “Frozen.” “Sven and Kristoff are the lizards,” Brown said. Eighth grader Grace Haines’, HEAT Science classroom has two pets with corresponding names too. “(The pets in my class are) King and Kong,” Haines said. Haines isn’t a fan of having mice and doesn’t think they should be allowed indoors. “They smell bad,” Haines said.

If she could, she would choose a certain fluffy animal to have in her science class. “(I would choose) a bunny because they are very playful,” Haines said. Classroom pets are enjoyed in classrooms, but overtime, they eventually die. When classroom pets near the end of their lives, Robinett simply continues taking care of them and making them comfortable. “I make sure they have food and water and they get out to have exercise,” Robinett said. While students like to have classroom pets, many don’t realize the time and effort it takes to care for them. “(Over break,) they stay at school,” Stanley said. “I come in to check on them for food and water.”

The Falcon Feather : Kylie Harsha & Kelsey Herman Eighth grader Grace Haines plays with the pet mouse in HEAT science teacher Mark Robinett’s classroom.

PE uniforms required at WRMS for many years Becca Brown, Gunnar Gee & Rama Sabbarini

When walking into the gym at WRMS, you’ll see students dressed in the same navy blue shorts and grey Tshirt. This is because everyone is required to wear the provided PE uniforms. “PE uniforms have been here since before I’ve been here, but if I had to guess how long they have been here I would

say about 30 years,” PE teacher Steve Chooncharoen said. Eighth grader Tomasa Scott thinks students have uniforms because jeans are not the right clothes for PE activities. “Some people wear jeans and it is hard to run in and it’s easier to run in shorts and a T-shirt,” Scott said. PE teacher Jayme Lindstrom likes how PE uniforms make everyone look alike. “(I think we

should have P.E. uniforms) because some kids have really nice clothes and others might have hand-medowns,” Lindstrom said. Boys and girls have the same uniform for a simple reason. “It’s cheaper to buy the same color and there is no need to buy different colors.” Chooncharoen said. “Also, they were already here and made, but they used to be light blue.” Scott thinks stu-

dents should be able to provide their own active wear. “I think you should be able to bring your own shirt and shorts or whatever you wear to school that day,” Scott said. Lindstrom thinks gym uniforms should stay. “I think the uniforms should stay because I appreciate how everyone wears the same thing,” Lindstrom said. “It helps me remember their names.”

Lindstrom thinks the gym uniforms come with some challenges. “Some students might forget them at home, so when they borrow some, they aren’t as comfortable,” Lindstrom said. Lindstrom, however, thinks the challenges are outweighed by the positives. “Everybody is dressed the same and it’s an easy expectation to remember,” Lindstrom said.

The Falcon Feather : Becca Brown, Gunnar Gee & Rama Sabbarini Students at WRMS are all required to wear the same PE uniform navy blue shorts and a grey T-shirt provided by the school.

Students enjoy dressing up for spirit weeks Gavin Berberich, Kalle Del Biaggio & Arrik White

A few times a month it is not uncommon to see students in tutus and teachers in wigs. This is due to WRMS spirit week. Seventh grader Emily Louderback is one of many students who takes part in spirit weeks. “It shows we care,”

Louderback said. Eighth grader Carley Pert also enjoys showing her sprit. “(I partake in spirit weeks) whenever we have them because they’re fun,” Pert said. Eighth grader Trevin Yerta participates on certain days. “(I joined in on) red, white and blue day,” Yerta said. “I thought it was fun.” Student Council leader

Kathy Speagle said that members of Student Council come up with the days after chatting with their classmates. “Student Council (comes up with the themes) and they get their teams’ input,” Speagle said. There have been lots of spirit days since Pert has been at WRMS but one stands out above the rest. “(My favorite theme was the) Disney Day,” Pert

said. “I love Disney.” Louderback has a different day that was her favorite. “Probably Tutu Tuesday because I like tutus,” Louderback said. Yerta’s favorite day was all about comfort. “Pajama Day because you get to be comfortable,” Yerta said. If Yerta could create his own spirit day, he knows exactly what that day

would be. “Ginger Day because I’m ginger. Duh,” Yerta said. Pert would also create a different day. “(I would add) sports day because a lot of people like sports and play them,” Pert said. Louderback does not want spirit week to go away anytime soon. “(I want to see spirit week go on for a long time

because) it adds fun things for students to do,” she said. Pert would also hope it continues. “(I would like to see it continued because) it shows we care,” Pert said. Speagle plans to keep it around as long as possible. “(They will be continued because) they are part of Student Council,” Speagle said, “and they are fun to do.”


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Eighth graders enroll for high school Isaiah Huckins, Caitlynn Manthe & Will Meek

The Falcon Feather : Caitlynn Manthe & Will Meek Eighth grader Andre Chavez listens to directions while enrolling for high school.

Eighth graders have taken the big step in preparing for their transition into high school. On Feb. 28, the eighth graders enrolled for their freshman year at WRHS. Eighth grader Jessica Ndungu was excited to enroll in high school, but admits it was stressful to choose classes. “(It was stressful) because I had to pick out the classes that matched with what I want to do with my career,” she said.

When picking her classes she tried to get prepared for her future. “(I chose my classes) based on what I want to do in life,” Ndungu said. Unlike Ndungu, eighth grader James Neis didn’t base all of his classes off of his future career. “I chose my classes based on what my friends were taking and also my interests,” Neis said. A popular class for eighth graders to enroll in as high schoolers seems to be a foreign language class.

Eighth grader Jay Evans enrolled in Spanish. “(I want to take) Spanish because it is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages,” Evans said. Neis enrolled in German. “My whole family is German and I’m intrigued by the German culture,” Neis said. One class Evans wants to take aside from Spanish is animal science. “(I want to take animal sciences) because I love animals,” he said. Eighth grade coun-

selor Susan Holmes thinks the most popular classes to enroll in are the cooking and art classes because they’re hands on and the most popular. Regardless of the classes the eighth graders chose to enroll in, Holmes has high hopes for them and their transition into high school. “I definitely think they will have a good high school experience,” Holmes said. “All of the teachers in the district work together so the teachers of younger students know the expectations of higher grades.”

Favorite TV shows vary around WRMS Haris Ashfq, Morgan Moss & Rylie Sinning

Everyone has a favorite TV show for a different reason. Eighth grader Hunter Wessel’s favorite TV show is “The Flash.” “The dialogue is realistic and makes you feel like you’re a part of the show,” Wessel said. “It is also very interesting and it was highly recommended to me.” Wessel prefers action and adventure genres over all other. “I find the plots of action and adventure very interesting,” he said. “A guy who was a forensic scientist was at his lab

and his particle accelerator exploded lightning bolts that struck him and gave him super speed.” Wessel prefers watching his favorite shows on Netflix rather than on TV. “There is a large variety and you can also binge watch,” he said. Seventh grader Juan Gutierrez’s favorite TV show is “The Walking Dead.” “I like it because the plot is very interesting,” Gutierrez said. “A family tries to survive a zombie apocalypse.” Gutierrez’s favorite actor is Andrew Lincoln, who plays the lead character of Rick Grimes in

“The Walking Dead.” “I like the role he plays,” he said. The longest Gutierrez has spent binge watching TV is a whole day. “I have spent the whole day watching ‘The Walking Dead’,” Gutierrez said. The next show Gutierrez sees himself watching is “Shameless.” “I see myself watching “Shameless,” Gutierrez said, “because it’s very funny.” Voyagers reading plus teacher Randi Stones’ favorite TV show is “Downton Abbey.” “I like it because I love England,” Stones said. “A really wealthy

family lives is a castle that is run by a bunch of servants and the show focuses on the first class interacting with the lower class.” The next show Stones sees herself watching is “The Crown.” “I see myself watching, ‘The Crown,’ Stones said, “because it relates to British nobility.” Stones, like many others, likes to binge watch her favorite TV shows. “I like to binge watch TV shows,” Stones said.

Top 5 TV Shows of 2016 1. “Game of Thrones” 2. “The Walking Dead” 3. “Pretty Little Liars” 4. “Westworld” 5. “The Flash”

“I’m a mom and I don’t have time during the day.” Stones has found herself binge-watching her favorite shows for several

hours at a time when she has the chance. “The longest I’ve spent binge watching a show was six hours straight,” Stones said.

Students, staff debate movie theater vs. Redbox Elle Meier, Tucker Simpson & A’niya Suttington

While some prefer going to the movie theater to see movies, others would rather watch them in the comfort of their own homes using Redbox. Seventh Grader Donna Jalosjos dislikes going to the theater to watch movies. “There is always people using phones, which is

annoying,” Jalosjos said. Randi Stones, Voyagers reading plus teacher, thinks there are pros and cons to both. “Redbox pros: cheap, easy. Cons: if you forget, you owe money,” Sones said. “(The pros of the theater are) the experience with popcorn and sounds (and) cons are expensive and small children.” According to My Money Purdue, Redbox is


w/ Mike

“Captain Awesome”


eighth grade principal

almost always preferred. At WRMS, however, some students would disagree. Eighth grader Alexi Llamas prefers the theater for the more advanced equipment. “(At the theater) the surround sound and the TV is bigger than at home,” Llamas said. Eighth grader Adriana Foster dislikes Redbox because of how

other people can treat the DVDs. “The movies (from Redbox) can be scratched or messed up,” Foster said. Economics also comes into play while making the decision between Redbox or going to the theater. “(Redbox) is cheap so it doesn’t cost that much money,” seventh grader Mysti Hummell said.

What is the best you’ve ever roasted a student? “Alante, that’s all I have to say.” If you could have one wish, what would it be and why? “I wish the eighth graders were more mature.” If you had your own country, what would it be called and where would it be? “I’d probably call it

Hummell might like Redbox, but she still thinks some things are wrong with it. “(Redbox should) have a wider movie selection,” Hummell said. Foster agrees with Hummell about the range of movies. “(Unlike Redbox, the theater) gets movies that are new,” Foster said. Many people like the advantage of being able

Sticeland and it’d be in the Bahamas.” Who can bench press more, you or Mr. Koepsel? “You want me to flex my bicep? What do you think?” If you could change on thing about yourself, what would it be and why? “I wish I was 6-foot5 because I’d probably be playing major league baseball right now.”

What’s your most embarrassing moment? “I peed in the refrigerator when I was nine.” If you could invent anything, what would it be and why? What would it be called? “The cell phone because I’d be a bajillionaire. It’d be called Stice’s listening box.”

to enjoy their own food while watching a Redbox at home. “(Redbox is better because you can have) unlimited food and drinks,” eighth grader Alante McKinney said. There are many opinions on what is better between Redbox and the theater, but one opinion that all of these people share is that they love movies. Give one piece of advice to eighth graders as they go into high school. “Make smart decisions and have fun.” What’s your signature dance move? “Probably the robot.”

By: Ethan Hensyel, Gloria McClain & Andres Velazquez

Student Life

March 13, 2017

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After-school activities vary among students Becca Brown, Gunnar Gee & Rama Sabbarini

Everyone kicks back and relaxes in their own way at the end of the day. WAVE social studies teacher Winston Heilman enjoys watching KU Basketball after a long day. “If there is a KU Basketball game on, I will watch it,” Heilman said.

Seventh grader Tarek Zalloum plays many sports after school, but basketball is his favorite. “(I like to play) basketball because it’s fun to play with my friends,” Zalloum said. Eighth grader Joy Ngibuini enjoys running in her after school time, but if it’s not track season, she does something more relaxing. “I usually go home

and watch Netflix or go to soccer practice,” Ngibuini said. Heilman and Zalloum also enjoy after school snacks when they get home. “Quesadillas,” Heilman said, “because I have a panini maker and it makes more than sandwiches.” Zalloum’s favorite thing to eat after school is Chick-Fil-A.

“It’s good chicken,” Zalloum said. After school isn’t always a time for relaxation, though. “I go to grad school to get my masters in instructional technology,” Heilman said. Zalloum likes to do things that are fun and amusing. “(I would rather) play on my phone because it’s fun and homework

is boring and takes too much time,” Zalloum said. Ngibuini prefers a different activity. “(I like to) take naps because I’m usually exhausted after school,” Ngibuini said. Like Ngibuini, Heilman also likes to take breaks to relax. “(I like to) play games, preferably card games,” Heilman said.

“My favorite would be apples to apples.” Heilman wished he had more time to spend outside after school. “(If I could do anything after school, I would) spend more time outside hiking,” Heilman said. “(When I come home from school, I) finish stuff up from the day and go home to see my wife and play with my cat Piper.”

Students, staff excited for spring break Haris Ashfaq, Morgan Moss & Rylie Sinning

Washburn Rural Middle School students and staff are very excited for spring break. Seventh grader Lucie Mize is going to Colorado for spring break. “I’m going with my family to Colorado to see the Rocky Mountains,” Mize said. Mize is glad spring break is as long as it is. “I like the length of spring break because it’s long enough to go on a vacation,” she said.

Mize’s favorite spring break was when she went to Great Wolf Lodge. “My favorite spring break vacation is when we went to the Great Wolf Lodge because I had a lot of fun there and I had a lot of fun in Kansas City,” Mize said. Eclipse science teacher Janeen Walters is going to southern Texas during spring break. “I’m going to southern Texas across the Rio Grande River on a bird watching expedition,” Walters said.

The bird watching will take place in Padre Island and the Rio Grande area. Walters is traveling by herself to Padre Island and to Rio Grande, but she will be in a group while she is doing the birdwatching. If Walters could go anywhere for spring break she would go to the Galapagos Islands. “I would dive into the Galapagos Islands because it is very beautiful,” she said. Bookkeeper Terry Davis is going to Jacksonville, Florida for

spring break. “My husband and I are traveling to Jacksonville, Florida to see our son’s family, we are most excited to see his new baby that was born on Feb. 9,” Davis said. Davis would rather travel than relax during spring break. “I would rather travel because there is still a lot of places I want to see,” she said. Mize, however, enjoys the chance to relax. “I can relax during spring break since there isn’t school,” Mize said.

Top 5 Placed to Go Over Spring Break 1. Miami Beach 2. Cancun 3. Bahamas 4. Cabo 5. Maui

Fashion trends aplenty at middle school Allison Holland, Keiran Hayes & Sami Spaulding

In middle school, being fashionable is one of the easiest ways to express yourself, especially at WRMS. There are many trends around WRMS, but there are a few in particular students have noticed. “(Some fashion trends I see around the school are) vests, Chuck Taylor shoes, Nike shoes, jewelry, watches, skinny jeans, tights, hoodies, flannel shirts and sweat pants,” seventh grader Jayden Beach said. Porter has seen ac-

cessories like headbands being worn by not just girls, but guys too. “(I see people wearing) headbands,” Porter said. “I don’t know why guys wear them, but girls do it because it pulls up their hair.” As students and teachers see fashion trends whirling around the halls, most have a favorite. “(My favorite fashion trend is) joggers because they are comfortable,” seventh grader Keondre Porter said. Seventh grader Kayla Pagles thinks it’s hard to pick just

one favorite. “(My favorites are the brand) Pink because a lot of girls are wearing it and it’s cute, leggings, flower crowns because they deal with nature and graphic tees because they are fun to read,” Pagles said. This year, the dress code has had a considerable affect on the fashion choices students make. It’s become more challenging to choose what to wear, without violating the dress code. “I think it’s ridiculous,” Beach said. “I understand (restrictions on) stuff like fish nets, but I don’t

understand (the dress code about) leggings.” While Beach disagrees with some aspects of the dress code, secretary Brittany Vierling is glad the dress code is in place. “(I think the dress code is) a good thing,” Vierling said. “It keeps students from getting distracted.” Beach thinks the dress code keeps students from expressing themselves. “People wear what they want to wear,” Beach said. ”It expresses who you are.”

The Falcon Feather : Keiran Hayes, Allison Holland & Sami Spaulding Secretary Brittany Vierling and seventh grader Jayden Beach show off their favorie fashion trends.

Emojis used by many to express emotion Rachel Osborn, Katie Smith & Hunter Vondemkamp

Nowadays a text message isn’t complete without a splash of emotion, thanks to a laughing crying face, pile of poop or unicorn emojis. Emojis were invented in February of 1999 after Shigetaka Kurita noticed Japanese users

had an obsession with pictures, so he decided there needed to be a way to communicate emotions online. Now there are more than 1000 emojis avalible. Many people have come to know and love these emojis. Many students and staff at WRMS use emojis on a daily basis. They are often used in texting and social

media. Of the 1,000+ emojis, eighth grader Tate Schoffelman has a favorite. “The dude with the sunglass (is my favorite emoji), Schoffelman said. “He looks cool.” Seventh grader Ashley McMillian has a different favorite. “(I like) the unicorn because it is so majestic,” McMillian said.

Emojis are taking over today’s everyday texting and social media by storm. “I think they are necessary to show emotions (while) texting,” McMillian said. Schoffelman agrees. “I use emojis because instead of having to type out a whole word, you can just tap on it one time,” Schoffelman said. “You can show

emotions.” Apple and Android emojis each have their own style. Seventh grader Lucie Mize can tell a difference. “Apple (emojis) are more like circular and Android are more like blobs,” Mize said. Stacey Hoffman, Champions social studies teacher, likes how realistic emojis are now.

“I like the playfulness of the generic emojis,” Hoffman said. Hoffman has one emoji she uses the most often. “I use the winky one because that’s what old people use,” Hoffman said. “I like emojis because when you text someone, sometimes they’re sarcastic; it adds clarification to a text.”

March 13, 2017

Student Life

p. 6

#Goals common saying, hashtag by teens Jackson Rohn & Jordyn Henderson

This year goals have made a sudden breakthrough on social media. Many people have been using it to describe what they want to be like. Seventh grader Grace Sakai is one of many students who use the hashtag and term frequently. “(Beyonce is my favorite celebrity goal) because she is perfect,” Sakai said. Eighth grader Aiden Droge wants to have a

relationship like Claire and Josh’s. “(Claire and Josh) take cute pictures,” Droge said. Eighth grader Jennifer Diaz thinks another couple is goals. “Elle (Bray) and Tucker (Simpson are relationship goals) because they are cute and nice together,” Diaz said. Seventh grader Na’Tural Goldeione believes there are more than just relationship goals. “(Heavon and I are

sibling goals) because we mess around a lot and fight,” Goldieone said. Sakai believes family is also #goals. “(My family is goals because) they are crazy and fun,” Sakai said. Others at WRMS think they are #squadgoals. “I have a squad and we mad lit,” Diaz said. Goldieone does not think of herself personally to be goals. “(I do not think I am goals) because I’m not in a relationship,”

Goldieone said. Diaz believes that to be goals you need to be able to have someone look up to you and look good while doing it. “People say I have good eyebrows and cool outfits, (so I am goals),” Diaz said. Sakai however, believes that anyone can be #goals. “(Everyone is goals) because they are unique and special in their own way,” Sakai said.

The Falcon Feather : Jordyn Henderson & Jackson Rohn Sibling seventh grader Na’Tural and eighth grader Heavon Goldieon consider themselves #siblinggoals.

Snapchat filters a favorite of students, staff Davan Brady & Carsyn George

It’s not uncommon to see your friends with dog noses and ears, rainbows coming out of their mouths or deer antlers thanks to the snapchat filters that unreeled in September of 2015. Snapchat filters definitely stepped up the selfie game in a big way. The Snapchat filters were created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. When it first started in 2011, it was named Picaboo, but in 2012, it was renamed to Snapchat. Eighth grader Keely McGlinn, enjoys using Snapchat filters. “I like the dog filter because when I talk, the tongue

comes out,” McGlinn said. She uses the dog filter every day, but enjoys using other filters as well. “If I could make my own filter it would be in relation to food,” McGlinn said. “It would be a Hershey’s chocolate bar and my face would be in the middle. Seventh grader Elijah Whayne is also a big fan of Snapchat filters. “I use Snapchat filters every day,” Elijah Whayne said. Whayne’s favorite Snapchat filters are the scary ones. Often these filters promote new horror movies. “I like the scary filters because they make me look weird and they add excitement and scariness to my day,” Whayne said.

Whayne would create a scary filter if he could make one himself. “If I could make my own scary filter it would be a zombie Santa Claus,” Whayne said. WAVE math teacher Courtney Chilcoat, enjoys using Snapchat filters like many of her students and colleagues. “I use the Snapchat filters almost every day,” Chilcoat said. Chilcoat’s favorites are the voice changing filters. “I enjoy the voice changing filters because they are very entertaining,” Chilcoat said, “like the high-pitched voice changers such as the deer and the bee filter. My favorite one is the deer filter.”

The Falcon Feather : Snapchat Seventh grader Elijah Whayne and WAVE math teacher Courtney Chilcoat show off their favorite Snapcat filters.

Makeup loved by many, disliked by some Keiran Hayes, Allison Holland & Sami Spaulding

Styles change all the time. A couple of years ago, makeup was just a way to make yourself look prettier for formal events. Nowadays, it’s all some students at WRMS care about. “I wear eyeliner and mascara,” eighth grader Jade Rhine said. “It enhances my face.” Seventh grader Bralyn Smith thinks makeup hides a girl’s true appear-

ance. “I prefer (girls) without (makeup),” Smith said, “so I can see what they actually look like.” Many makeup fans have a favorite makeup item. WAVE math teacher Courtney Chilcoat’s favorite makeup item is mascara. “It makes my eyes bigger,” Chilcoat said. Other makeup fans have a favorite brand. Rhine’s favorite makeup brand is M.A.C. “(I like M.A.C.)

because it’s better than others and works better,” Rhine said. “I don’t know any other brands.” There are many people around WRMS who feel that some are judged for wearing makeup. But, there are also students that feel teachers and other students have nothing against them wearing makeup. “Yes (I think) some boys judge girls for wearing makeup,” Seventh grader Mia Amaro said. Rhine has never had to feel the embarrassment

for being judged. “No, I’ve never been judged for it,” Rhine said. Chilcoat thinks tween girls around WRMS tend to wear a little too much makeup for their age. “I can tell by how much foundation girls wear,” Chilcoat said. “The makeup they wear only makes their acne worse.” While many WRMS students wear makeup, some choose not to. “I don’t wear makeup because I don’t want to wash it off or get acne,”

The Falcon Feather : Allison Holland Many students around WRMS like to show off their makeup talents.

Amaro said. Amaro also has many ideas of why people wear makeup around WRMS. “(I think girls wear makeup) because some girls don’t think they are pretty,” Amaro said.

Many students and teachers have different opinions on whether or not makeup is necessary. But overall, it is based on each person’s decision for themselves.

Personal pet peeves differ around WRMS Brynn Fitzgibbons, Hunter Jones & Nevaeh Steck

Nails on a chalkboard, obnoxious eating and sarcasm are some of people’s biggest pet peeves at Washburn Rural Middle School. All Stars language arts teacher Whitney Estenson’s pet peeve is repetitive

noises. “(I hate) anything repetitive, alarms going off, pencil tapping, highlighter caps,” she said. She has had this pet peeve for as long as she can remember. “(When students do this,) I ask politely for them to stop, then I remind them if it happens again,” Estenson said. “When I started

teaching a lot of students would do it all at once.” Eighth grader Vivian Penzig has two pet peeves. She dreads when people are sarcastic or have incorrect grammar when speaking. “(I hate when) people say that they could care less, but they actually do,” Penzig said. “It’s incorrect grammar.”

There’s multiple ways to overcome the pet peeve without being rude. “(I) tough it out mostly or walk away from the problem,” Penzig said. Seventh grader Cade Boswell hates when people take his food. “I’m a big boy and I need my food at lunch,” Boswell said. “I would get it back physically.”

Another pet peeve of Boswell’s involves teachers. “(I hate it) when they call on me and I don’t have my hand raised,” Boswell said. “(They do it) to catch people off guard or embarrass them.” There always has to be a reason behind this annoying action. “(I feel) upset, I don’t want to answer,” Boswell

said. “It’s most likely a tough question to answer if no one raises their hand.” Pet peeves will stay with you your whole life but sometimes it annoys people more than other times. “(It’s been going on) my entire life,” Estenson said. “It won’t ever stop; any repetitive noise will always annoy me.”


March 13, 2017

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8th grade boys basketball teams have winning seasons Izzy McEvoy, Ben Mulegwa & Austin Weast

This year’s eighth grade boys basketball team’s hard work and passion has paid off. The A team went undefeated, ending its season 12-0 with a first place finish at the Centennial League tournament in Emporia. The B team ended its season 11-3. B team player Uriel Soria thought the team worked well together because they weren’t selfish and they all passed the ball to each other. “(My favorite part of the season was) when we played the Lawrence team,” Soria said. We only scored two points in the first half, then came back in the

The Falcon Feather : Austin Weast A team player Joe Berry wins the tipoff to start the game.

second half and won the game.” Soria wanted to start playing basketball because of the thrills of the game and the excitement of running down the court. “(Our toughest opponent was) Shawnee Heights because we lost to them both times and we made mistakes, not because they were better than us,” Soria said. A team player Andre Chavez’s favorite part of the season was the bus rides. “(On the bus rides,) we talk, listen to music and make’s,” Chavez said. “I usually sit with Joe, we always sit together and all of us usually sit in the back of the bus.” Chavez has been playing basketball for a year and

enjoys playing the exciting sport. “I have been playing basketball for a year and it has been something I look forward to during the school year,” Chavez said. A team player Isiah Esquibel has been playing basketball for four years and loves being on the court. “My favorite part of this season was when I did a crazy spin move against Shawnee Heights,” Esquibel said. Both Esquibel and Chavez believe Shawnee Heights is the biggest rival of Washburn Rural Middle School because the games are always very close in score. “They are very strong, they play hard, they never give up, and we always have

a close game,” Chavez said. This year’s coaches were Jason Tremblay and Steve Chooncharoen. Tremblay’s favorite memory from this season was coming home from away games and eating. “When we go out to eat after away games it is always interesting and fun,” Tremblay said. The team made Tremblay proud in a number of ways, but the way the B team never gave up and usually came back to win in the second half might have been his proudest moments. “The best part of being a coach is building relationships with the players,” Tremblay said, “and building a different relationship with my students who are also basketball players.”

Sports fanatics looking forward to March Madness Davan Brady & Carsyn George

March Madness is just around the corner and WRMS students and staff are looking forward to cheering on their favorite teams. Eighth Grader Reid Hughes is going to be cheering for KU. “I have grown up liking the Jayhawks and they

are better than K-State,” Hughes said. Hughes will be watching the games on the floor of his basement. Hughes, along with his sister, parents and cat, all like the Jayhawks. “We will all plan to watch the Jayhawks together during March Madness,” Hughes said. Eighth grader Ryley Gibson will also be cheer-

ing for KU. “The Jayhawks are my favorite team and I think they have a shot at winning,” Gibson said. “I think they will get to the championship and win the whole thing.” She will be watching the game at her house with her family. WAVE Social Studies teacher Winston Heilman also will be cheering for

the Kansas Jayhawks. “Rock chalk Jayhawk all the way,” Heilman said. He has liked the Jayhawks since he can remember. “It is enjoyable to watch due to how fast they play,” Heilman said. Another reason he loves the Jayhawks is because of Frank Mason and Devonte Graham. “I think Kansas has a

chance to make it all the way to the Final Four and might be able to make it to the championship and win it all,” Heilman said. Voyagers Science teacher Di Roney will be cheering for the under dog Duke Blue Devils. “I’m a diehard Blue Devils fan,” Roney said. She has been a Duke fan for 20 years. “I used to be an Ari-

zona fan, but my husband transferred me over to Duke,” Roney said. She thinks the Blue Devils will reach the Elite 8 and might have a slight chance to go farther. “If no one is tripping, I think they have a shot at the Elite 8,” Roney said. March Madness starts March 14. The championship game will take place April 3.

7th boys have successful basketball season Gavin Berberich, Kalle Del Biaggio & Arrik White

Both seventh grade boys basketball teams recorded winning seasons this year. The A team went 8-3, while the B team went 10-1. B team player Mason Grogan was excited to be a part of the WRMS basketball team this year. “I chose basketball because it is fun to play and I get to travel on away games and miss school,” Grogan said.

A/B team player Robby Bolin plays basketball for a different reason. “(I play basketball) because I’m athletic and I love the sport,” Bolin said. B team player Drew Esmay has a strong skill when it comes to basketball. “(My strongest skill is) my driving because I’m tall enough and strong enough to get the ball to the basket,” Esmay said. With 18 players on the team, everyone had different goals. “(My goal was) to

have fun and do the best I could,” Grogan said. Esmay had a similar goal. “(My goal was) to play the best I can and score,” Esmay said. Bolin’s goal was more focused on his teammates. “(My goal was) to try and work with my team and win as much as we can,” Bolin said. This year’s coaches were Jeff Garland and Brandon Macha. “I enjoy coaching and there was an opening,” Garland said. “(My


w/ Tanner Morrow

eighth grade

boys basketball player

favorite part about coaching is) watching them get better and seeing them come together as a team.” This year the seventh grade basketball players all had fun with each other. “(Our relationship is) really good because I know and see them a lot,” Grogan said. Bolin also thought knowing his teammates off the court helped in having a strong relationship. “It’s great because most of them were on

my team before and are friends with my friends so we bonded,” Bolin said. Garland sees when his players are getting along well, but it doesn’t happen every year. “Every year is different,” Garland said. “Some years the teams blend and some work well.” This year was one of those years. “We are a brotherhood,” Esmay said, “because we all look after each other.”

What’s the meaning of “Chachi?” “It is someone who qualifies as being annoying/wild and is a genuinely happy dude or not dude.”

What is your favorite pick-up line? Why? “Hold it right there, Chachi because Chachis need to hold it right there.”

What was your most embarrassing moment as an eighth grader? “Just falling all the time in front of people I don’t want to fall in front of.”

Describe your perfect date. “First, I wouldn’t go on a date with any Chachis. Probably just watching a dope romantic movie and just cry all night together.”

The Falcon Feather : Kallee Del Biaggio A team player Xavier Esquibel drives the ball to the hoop against Shawnee Heights.

What is your spirit animal? Why? “I’m the African sloth monkey because they be just falling all the time.” What NBA player do you see yourself as? Why? “Klay Thompson because he sometimes is falling, but also quiet and goofy.” If someone made a scent of you, what would it smell like?

What would it be called? “It would smell like chocolate chip pancakes and would be called African sloth monkey.” If you could put yourself in a room with anything, what would it be and why? “African sloth monkeys because I’d blend in because I’d be falling and they’d be falling.”

By: Ethan Hensyel, Gloria McClain & Andres Velazquez


March 13, 2017

p. 8

Robinett still coaching after 28 years Sidnie Alegria, Riley Faith & Gavyn Pyle

Submitted : WRMS yearbook Wrestling coach Mark Robinett talks to his team before a wrestling meet in the 2013 season.

One teacher at WRMS has been teaching and coaching since 1989, for 28 years. That teacher is Mark Robinett, HEAT science teacher and coach. Robinett has coached football, intramural basketball, track and wrestling. In all his 28 years of coaching it is hard for him to choose a favorite sport because they all are special and different in their own way. Robinett’s players are thankful they’ve had him as a coach. “He made us

work hard and helped us when we didn’t know what to do,” eighth grade wrestler Christian Ahlf said. Robinett has made valuable memories throughout his coaching career. “I remember how much we have improved and changed since seventh grade,” Robinett said. Robinett focuses on certain aspects during practice with his players. “We try to talk about what they need to do to improve and what they’re doing,” Robinett said. “A big part is how to be a team player and

work.” Robinett makes his players want to improve. He has set the bar very high for future coaches. “He motivates me and teaches me,” eighth grade football player David Huckstep said. “When I get something wrong, he doesn’t yell, but encourages us to do better.” It’s clear to his players that Robinett loves what he does. “He’s exciting, he’s enthusiastic and he loves to do what he does,” Huckstep said. Ahlf appreciates the knowledge Robinett passes on. “(He) shows us cool moves to use

on our opponents,” Ahlf said. The teaching done on the wrestling matt is different than in the classroom. “(I enjoy) teaching in a different environment and teaching different topics,” Robinett said. “It is still learning.” Coaching has impacted Robinett’s life and changed the way he interacts with his students. “(Coaching has) allowed me to get a chance to know my students well,” Robinett said, “and see them grow into young adults.”

Students, staff firecly support favorite teams Ethan Hensyel, Gloria McClain & Andres Velazquez

Washburn Rural Middle School’s students and staff members like to support a variety of sports teams. Seventh grader Allie Schooler’s favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. “(My favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers because) they work hard and they’re good with their community,” Schooler said. Eighth grader Landon Bradstreet also enjoys watching football, but supports the Miami Dolphins. “(I like the Miami

Dolphins because) I was born there,” Bradstreet said. Champions science teacher Brandon Macha has fun watching a different sport. “(I like watching) college basketball,” Macha said. “(My favorite team is) KU (because) I have just been a Jayhawk fan my whole life,” Macha said. Macha is committed to watching his team play. “(I watch them play) every time they’re on television,” Macha said. “I don’t think I’ve ever missed a game in years.” Bradstreet is also a fan of the Jayhawks.

“(I also like) Kansas basketball,” Bradstreet said. “(I like them) because I live next to Lawrence and they do better than K-State.” These supporters also like watching a specific player throughout the course of the game. “(My favorite player is) Frank Mason,” Macha said. “I don’t know why, I just like him.” Bradstreet also has a player he likes watching on his favorite team, but it’s because of something he accomplished. “(My favorite player on the Miami Dolphins is) Jay Ajayi because he was the fourth player in

the NFL to have two consecutive 200-yard rushing games,” Bradstreet said. Schooler also has a favorite player on her favorite team. “(My favorite player on the Green Bay Packers is) Jordy Nelson,” Schooler said. “(I like him) because he’s from Kansas and he’s a good athlete.” Bradstreet watches his team whenever he gets the chance. “(I watch the Dolphins in person) when they play the Chiefs in Kansas City,” Bradstreet said. “I’ve watched them play once in person and the Dolphins won 31-3.”

The Falcon Feather : Ethan Hensyel, Gloria McClain & Andres Velazquez Seventh grader Allie Schooler, Champions science teacher Brandon Macha and eighth grader Landon Bradstreet show their support for favorite sports teams

Athletes get pumped up before games Ellie Meier, Tucker Simpson & A’niya Suttingon

Most athletes don’t just go out and play a game, many have certain things they do to get their head in the game. It might be a tradition for the team, a routine or something personal to the player. “It’s usually pump-

up music (that I listen to),” eighth grader Riley Palmer said. Many athletes use music to get themselves focused on the game. “I listen to Fall Out Boy,” eighth grader Lauren Roche said. “It helps get me pumped up before the game because it’s really energetic music.” Rap is another very popular genre among

athletes. “I’ll just listen to the rap station,” eighth grader Dylan Brady said. Seventh grader Caleb Carter also listens to rap to get pumped up. “I listen to (the rapper) 21 Savage,” Carter said. Some athletes like to do an individual routine to help calm themselves before a game or prac-

tice. “My muscle memory and repetitive repetition that I practice a lot at my house and at practice (helps me stay focused),” eighth grader Bishop Murray said. For some athletes, the problem of having enough time to get pumped up comes into play. “I don’t really have enough time (to do a

routine),” Brady said. Being “hyped” isn’t what all athletes experience before a game. PE teacher Jayme Lindstrom has played sports her entire life, but didn’t always get that hyped up senstation before a game. “I don’t know if I get hyped, I get kind of an anxious, excited,” Lindstrom said. Lindstrom fed off

her teammates’ positive energy when she was younger to get hyped before games. “My friends (and) my teammates, we fed off of each other,” Lindstrom said. There are many different ways and techniques to get hyped for a game, but as long as you are ready to play, that’s all that matters.

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


March 13, 2017 dear day

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school year length

DEAR Day not needed Make years shorter DEAR Day occurs every Monday during EO. It is an acronym for Drop Everything And Read Day, which means you have to read for the duration of EO. However, we do not believe that it Gloria McClain, Andres is beneficial for stuVelazquez & Ethan Hensyel dents and we do not like DEAR Day. it. However, if you don’t On DEAR Days, you like to read and you are are not allowed to do forced to, then you’re anything but read a book, probably just going to so you can’t get any of end up hating it more. your homework done in Another reason EO. This could potential- DEAR Day is not benly cause students to have eficial is because it does unfinished or late work. not prepare you for high Also, many students school. Since we won’t be have activities outside of doing it in high school, school, which interfere there is no reason to be with getting their work doing it now. Instead done on time. of doing something we Some students at won’t be doing in high WRMS strongly dislike school, we should use reading, so why force us this time to prepare for to do something we don’t the challenges that will enjoy? Others think that occur in high school. if you’re forced to read, Some teachers do not then you’ll learn to like even enforce DEAR Day.

They say that as long as it looks like you are reading, then it is fine with them. Some even let kids do homework. This is not fair for the students whose teachers actually make them read. For the teachers who let us just look like we’re reading, why can we not use our time wisely and finish all of our work? However, some students like DEAR Day and think we should keep it around. If they want to spend their time reading in EO, then that is perfectly fine, but all students should have the right to choose what they want to do. We strongly believe that DEAR Day should not be an event at WRMS because it is not beneficial, students do not enjoy it and it’s causing us to have more homework.

dress code

Loosen the dress code The dress code at Washburn Rural Middle School is too strict. Girls should be allowed to wear leggings without having to wear a long shirt with it. Leggings don’t show skin and they’re comfortable. They also go with everything, so there’s no reason they should have to be worn with a long shirt. Girls can’t wear certain clothing because it’s a “distraction” to guys. You shouldn’t stop girls from wearing what they want because a guy can’t stop himself from looking. Instead, guys should be taught not to look. We aren’t saying girls should be able to prance around in skimpy clothing, but boys need to be taught to be gentlemen.

Kylie Harsha & Kelsey Herman

Thin-strapped tank tops are also outlawed for students. Showing your shoulders isn’t a sexual display. I mean, come on, they’re shoulders. Several rules in the dress code have to do with students showing their skin, like not being able to wear jeans with holes, which is ridiculous. If students can wear shorts in school that show their legs, they should be able to wear ripped jeans with only little bits of skin showing; it’s definitely less skin

than an entire leg. Some people might say they don’t look classy, but they are simply a fashion trend and who are we to decide whether or not someone should take part in a harmless trend? Hats also aren’t allowed, but why? Hats aren’t bad and they aren’t a distraction. People may argue that wearing hats inside is a sign of disrespect, but it’s just a hat. Students intentions aren’t to be disrespectful while wearing it, some of us just like hats. I’m sure many students would agree, WRMS’ dress code should be changed. When girls, or anyone for that matter, wear clothes they love, they feel confident and comfortable with what they choose.

I think we should have a shorter school year. If we had a shorter school year, then we would have a longer summer break to spend outside with our friends. If this happened, we would have to have extended school days, but we would have more time out of school on summer vacation, which would be worth it. If we had a shorter school year, we would spend less days at

school so the school would spend less money on expenses Mike Mercer such as breakfast, lunch, etc. Also, I’m pretty sure the teachers, principals and janitors would enjoy having a longer vacation so they could go on trips and see their friends and do what-

ever teachers do. If our school year was shorter, then we would most likely be outside more. Running around and playing with our friends would help us get fit and healthy and I feel like it might make us overall healthier people. And, being healthy is always a positive. It is easy to see that having a shorter school year is a great idea. How about we try it next year?

Keep school years same length School years should be no shorter and no longer than what they already are. If the school year was any shorter, our school days would have to be longer. Although having shorter school years would allow us to hang out with friends more often, we already have plenty of hours in a day to be with our friends. Since the days would have to be longer, more students

Maddie Williams & Erica Culberson

would start to doze off during class. This could easily affect someone’s grade. Some kids already fall asleep in class, but even more kids would start to doze off and

that is definitely not a good thing. Having a shorter school year would change our breaks and possibly cause our breaks to overlap with other school districts. If you have friends from other schools, they have a different break than us, which would suck. The length of a school year was set for a reason. It needs to stay the same.

Have a fantastic Spring Break March 18 - 26 Bullying

2nd Hour Haris Ashfaq, Gavin Berberich, Davan Brady, Micah Copp, Erica Culberson, Kallee Del Biaggio, Brynn Fitzgibbons, Carsyn George, Kylie Harsha, Ethan Hensyel, Kelsey Herman, Hunter Jones, Gloria McClain, Izzy McEvoy, Mike Mercer, Morgan Moss, Benjamin Mulegwa, Elena Rosenbaum, Rylie Sinning, Riley Soph, Nevaeh Steck, Andres Velazquez, Austin Weast, Arrik White, Maddie Williams

3rd Hour Sidnie Alegria, Ellie Armstrong, Noah Brown, Becca Brown, Riley Faith, Gunnar Gee, Keiran Hayes, Jordyn Henderson, Allison Holland, Isaiah Huckins, Caitlynn Manthe, Will Meek, Ellie Meier, Bowan Murray, Rachel Osborn, Gavyn Pyle, Jackson Rohn, Rama Sabbarini, Tucker Simpson, Katie Smith, Sami Spaulding, Jesse Stolle, A’niya Suttington, Anthony Taggart, Hunter Vondemkamp, Madison Warner 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:


March 13, 2017

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Headbands elevate style to whole new level Not wearing a headband and trying to look fire? You’re doing it all wrong. All headbands are great for an everyday look, or when you are playing a sport. They keep your hair out of your face and you’ll look great while doing it. We think everyone should wear headbands because when you are rocking out on Guitar Hero, they can keep

the hair out of your face when you are trying to hit 100% on “Through the Fire and Flames” on expert mode. Trust us, you’ll need a headband. There are many styles of headbands made like skinny, thick, plain colors, patterns and many more, you just have to find the perfect one for you. Some of our per-

Jordyn Henderson & Jackson Rohn

sonal favorites are the Mizuno Viktory headband and any Nike headband. For us, the material feels

perfect and doesn’t give us those nasty headaches or the line indentions in your forehead after wearing it for a long period of time. The different types of materials that you have to choose from are basically endless. There is cloth, nylon, polyester, elastic and so much more. There are more than just athletic headbands that you wear with

tech vs. newspaper

shorts and a T-shirt, or during a game. If you are looking to step it up a bit and go fancy, there are always flower crowns for those special occasions. Beaded headbands are also always great for special occasions or if you just want to look good at school or wherever you are going. We wear headbands for a lot of reasons: to keep the sweat from getting in our face if

we are working out or in a game, to keep the hair out of our face, or just because we look cool while wearing them. They also make us stand out and have our own style. It is easy to make our own statement without saying a word to anyone. So if you are serious and want to step up your game, then cop a headband. You’ll be 100 in no time.

nike vs. adidas

Tech best of all electives Nike beats Adidas any day Tech is hands down the best elective of all of the electives you can pick. For any seventh graders wondering what elective to take, you can’t go wrong with tech. Tech is the best because you get to work on a lot of different projects. You get to design and learn how to do so many different things and get to do way more cool stuff in tech than any of the other electives. Tech is the best because there’s multiple things to do, like

Noah Brown & Bowan Murray

cutting metal, building with wood, and virtual welding. Other people say that newspaper is better because you get to interview people, but you don’t get to design and build stuff you like in tech. Tech is a good

learning experience because you get to design stuff on different web sites. We get to use TinkerCad and design anything we want to 3D print. For instance, I, Bowan, made a finger fidget spinner. Some people argue that they like newspaper more because you can blog about anything you want to express yourself unlike Tech. But in Tech we get to express what we like to do through our builds. Want to make sure you have a fun eighth grade year? Then chose Tech.

If Nike and Adidas were in a fight, Nike would slam Adidas to the ground and knock them out. POW! Nike lays down the law for sports brands. Adidas cannot compare. One reason is because Nike gives you more options to choose from. A lot of Nike shoes do not last as long and the material is weaker, but the shoes they make are way more comfortable than Adidas shoes.

Isaiah Huckins & Will Meek

Another reason Nike is better is because Nike usually costs less. Adidas has a pair of shoes that sell for $2,000. Why pay $2,000 for a pair of Yeezys when you can pay $100 for a

pair of nice Nike shoes like Kobes? Even with Adidas costing more than Nike, more people still go to Adidas for soccer, but Nike brings in the crowd for every other sport. Nike is the number one basketball brand and that’s one spot where Adidas cannot even come close to Nike. Nike is the obvious winner between the two brands.

Warner prefers newspaper Adidas offers more comfort Newspaper decide what is definitely the you want to best elective. write about It’s the best and you can elective bewrite about cause you can what interests be creative and you. Other independent. people might In newspasay that you Madison per, you can can customize Warner write unique what you make stories. Othin tech, but ers might say in newspaper, that you can be creative you can customize your in tech and build cool article and blogs to things, but in newspamake it how you want, per you can write what also. you want and the whole You create someschool gets to read it. thing for the whole In newspaper, you school to see in newscan choose what topics paper. Everyone can you work on. You can see what you’ve worked

hard on and they can enjoy it. Others may say that tech is better because you can build things instead of writing. But in newspaper, you get to write about your opinions and interests in blogs and you can make your writing fun and unique. It’s clear that newspaper is the best elective out of all of them. You can be creative and make something for the whole school to read. If you’re looking for a good elective to pick, newspaper is the best choice. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Adidas is pensive than the best sports Nikes shoes, brand out they are way there. more comAdidas fortable and shoes are betcomfort is ter running what matters shoes than when it comes Nike. They to athletics. Caitlynn have more Lately, AdiManthe comfort in the das has come soles of their out with more shoes so they stuff and it’s are easier to run in. everywhere. People Even though Adidas have been wearing shoes are more exAdidas sweatshirts,

running shoes and the classic black and white striped sneakers. Adidas has soared in popularity. Eighth graders are all over WRMS can be seen sporting those three classic stripes or the old school trefoil symbol. Are you convinced that Adidas is better yet? I would be.

Last day of school is May 25!

Follow the WRMS Yearbook on Instagram @wrmsyearbook


March 13, 2017

p. 11

Leenerts lands role in short films Micah Coppy, Elena Rosenbaum & Riley Soph

Soon Washburn Rural Middle School students will get to see one of their fellow Falcons on the big screen. Eighth grader Sam Leenerts has been in two films, a short film called “Top Sail” and another film is called “No Eyes Have Seen.” “I was outside doing a short film and I was playing a character named John,” Leenerts said. “John is mean to people so he throws a rock at a kid and he finds an evil shed that attracts him.” Although Leenerts is the actor, his parents are a part of what made his dream happen. “We submit auditions - travel for various training opportunities and roles Sam has been selected for and casting calls as we are able,” Mark and Wendy Leenerts submitted photo said. He was interested in acting Eighth grader Sam Leenerts acts on set of the short film “Top Sail.” when he was younger.

“Sam first started mentioning his interest in acting as we watched various Disney channel shows when he was 6 or 7,” Mark and Wendy Leenerts said. “Sam has been actively interested in acting for about 4 years.” Sam traveled to different states for the short film. “I have gone to South Walton Beach in Florida, Houston, Texas and Orlando, Florida,” Sam said. While Sam’s parents love being able to travel with him to support his dream, it can be difficult to travel with seven siblings. “Seizing available opportunities with the demands of a large family, school, church and other obligations can be challenging,” Wendy and Mark said. “Due to our other children, we do not get to go together very often, although we did have the opportunity to be together in Florida for some auditions and training through Disney.” Sam’s favorite part of acting is being different characters.

“I like creating someone different and new that people haven’t heard of,” he said. Sam’s dream for acting is being the main character in a famous movie. “(I want to be the) main character (in) Star Wars 10, 11 and 12,” he said. Eighth grader Christina Burdett has known Sam since third grade and is very supportive of his acting career. “He works hard and goes to many auditions,” Burdett said. “He is one of my friends and I give him advice.” Many of Sam’s friends look forward to watching his movies when they are released. “I think they would be fun to watch since I know him,” eighth grader Faith Marney said. Even though Sam just finished filming, he is already planning his next acting career move. “The director of the short film,” Sam said, “wants me to be in a movie of his.”

Teachers do variety of activities after school Brynn Fittzgibbons, Hunter Jones & Nevaeh Steck

Believe it or not, teachers have lives outside of teaching. Many spending time with their kids and significant other, others have outside jobs. Voyagers reading plus teacher Randi Stones said that parenting is all she does aside of teaching. “(I) watch movies with my children and sometimes play games,” Stones said. When Stones was young, she did the same thing with her parents. “(Watching mov-

ies) was what I did with my parents when I was young,” Stones said. Stones and her husband watch movies every Sunday with their daughter Lucy and son Charlie. “(We) watch movies every Sunday and play games whenever we have enough time,” Stones said. Champions language arts teacher Kyle Nelson is busy with his family after school. He also runs races and exercises often. “I exercise, run in races, coach my son’s soccer team, travel as much as I can and cook with my

wife,” Nelson said. All of these activities have a positive impact on the next day. “I enjoy all of them because they charge my batteries for the next day at school,” Nelson said. “(Exercising) greatly improves my mental and physical health.” Eighth grader Christopher Villegas thinks teachers do a variety of things in their spare time that don’t involve school. “Students aren’t the only things important on their minds,” Villegas said. “They are focused on other activities.”

Villegas believes teachers could possibly have side jobs such as building houses, welding or working at a grocery store. “(The jobs) help them with financial and economic growth,” Villegas said. While Stones loves her outside-of-school activities, she does have a dream job and afternoon. “(I would) take my kids to the movies and buy a big bucket of popcorn,” Stones said. “(I’d work at) Barnes and Noble in the Young Adults section.”

submitted photo Voyagers reading plus teacher Randi Stones enjoys Baskin Robbins with her two children Lucy and Charlie.

WRMS students, staff travel often Micah Coppy, Elena Rosenbaum & Riley Soph

Some students and staff at Washburn Rural Middle School are quite the travelers. The trip to a vacation spot can be long, but WAVE language arts teacher Christin Barkemeyer knows how to pass the time. “Usually on a plane, I will read and in a car, I will listen to music or talk to the people I am with,” Barkemeyer said. “(but) I hate plane and car rides.” Eighth grader Zakariya Ahmed passes time while traveling in a different way. “(I like to) watch movies,” Ahmed said. Out of all the places that Ahmed has traveled to, Vancouver is his favorite. “The weather is perfect and my family lives

there,” Ahmed said. Other students at WRMS travel to visit out-of-town relatives, like eighth grader Olivia Ndungu. “I travel to Texas because my uncle’s family lives there,” Ndungu said. “We go there for birthdays and special occasions.” Barkemeyer enjoys traveling to places more than once. “(I have traveled to) Paris twice, Orlando a lot for dance competitions, Table Rock Lake, Colorado and Chicago because my brother used to live there,” Barkemeyer said. Barkemeyer’s family goes to Table Rock Lake for a certain reason. “My family has a boat so we’d go out on the lake,” she said. Barkemeyer and her husband Keith also

lived in China for a year. “After college I got a teaching job there,” she said. Ahmed has also traveled to many different countries around the world. “I went to Japan, Saudi Arabia, England and Bahrain,” Ahmed said. “I (also) used to live in Dubai.” While these Falcons have traveled to many destinations, they still have places on their wish list. “I want to travel to Italy because it’s great and the scenery is amazing,” Ndungu said. Barkemeyer wants to travel to Ireland. “It looks really pretty and the castles are cool,” Barkemeyer said.

submitted photo WAVE language arts teacher Christin Barkemeyer and her husband Keith visited the Louvre in Paris in the summer of 2012.


March 13, 2017

p. 12



Look at the eyes and information below each photo to try and guess The Falcon Feather staff member!

“I’m obsessed with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.”

“I hate K-State.”

“My family goes to Hawaii every year.”

“I like the show ‘Shameless’.”

“I wear size nine shoes.”

“People make fun of my ears.”

“I ride horses.”

“I like memes.”

“I like to babysit.”

“I strongly dislike A’niya.”

“I like KU.”

“I passed out in SFA this year.”

“I fell off a train when I was six days old and had to be taken to a animal hosptial.”

“I passed out in fourth grade because I held my breath for almost four minutes.”

“I love Adidas.”

“I’m a ginger.”


“I shred hella thane.”

“I only hate purple because it’s a K-State color.”

“I like the Chicago Bulls”

“I’m Mrs. Davis’ favorite.”

“I’ve been anemic since I was a toddler.”

“I can play hopscotch on your hairline.”

“My favorite movie/ book is ‘Harry Potter’.”

“My favorite color is orange.”

“I gave Tanner Morrow apple juice during lunch.”

“I was born in Las Vegas.”

“I love swimming.”

“I ride quads.”

“I strongly dislike Elena.”

“I wear size 10.5 in shoes.”

“I wish to be Michael Jordan, but Michael Jordan has no hair.”

“Zakariya is my only friend.”

“My pendies are on point.”

“I’m better at running than Ethan.”

“I’m a ginger.”

“Nike stolen base.”

“I hate Kansas.”

“I strongly dislike Maddie.”

“Everyone at Qdoba knows my name.”

“Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”

“I strongly dislike Kylie.”

“I have to pee when I laugh.”

“I was born in New York.”

“I’m addicted to sour gummy worms.”

“I love ‘Supernatural’.”

“I think LaMelo Ball is the best basketball player in the world.”

“I play softball.”

“I am the GOAT.”

“I’m goofy sometimes.”

“I’m the only person who likes Corinne on ‘The Bachelor’.”

Row 1: Riley Faith, Rylie Sinning, Izzy McEvoy, Sami Spaulding, Will Meek, Ethan Hensyel, Madison Warner; Row 2: Ellie Meier, Allison Holland, Kylie Harsha, Gunnar Gee, Gavin Berberich, Brynn Fitzgibbons, Keiran Hayes; Row 3: Gavyn Pyle, Micah Copp, Sidnie Alegria, Tucker Simpson, Kelsey Herman, Andres Velazquez, Bowan Murray; Row 4: Riley Soph, Jackson Rohn, Erica Culberson, Jordyn Henderson, Austin Weast, Katie Smith, Jesse Stolle; Row 5: Noah Brown, Maddie Williams, Anthony Taggart, Ben Mulegwa, Davan Brady, Hunter Vondemkamp, Arrik White; Row 6: Nevaeh Steck, Hunter Jones, Rama Sabbarini, Elena Rosenbaum, Rachel Osborn, Morgan Moss, A’niya Suttington; Row 7: Caitlynn Manthe, Haris Ashfaq, Ellie Armstrong, Becca Brown, Mike Mercer, Carsyn George, Isaiah Huckins; Row 8: Gloria McClain, Kallee Del Biaggio

The Falcon Feather 3-13-2017  

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

The Falcon Feather 3-13-2017  

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