By Rori Wagner
Last year the Clear Amana School District decided to change the Clipper Logo. After debate, they decided to allow students to vote for the best logo of their two choices.
Why is the Clipper logo being changed however? The Clear Creek Amana High School never seemed to key students in.
Laurie Haman, Communications Director at CCA, said, “There have been several different Clipper Ship logos over the years for the Clear Creek Amana Community School District. The last Clipper ship being used was a picture perfect rendition of a Clipper Ship, but it was complicated when it came to applications on helmets, certain signs, uniforms, and vendors struggled with the applications process because of the ship's fine details. Because this ship was complicated, many CCA staff and vendors were using different ships and some substituted anchors, sterns and various ship parts so CCA had no consistency in the CCA Clipper Ship logo.”
With this problem, Clear Creek needed a solution; they wanted a consistent logo that would be easy to use on multiple applications. On top of that, Haman emphasized, “[CCA needed] a guide book to give direction on the logo use. Without a guide book, there is no consistency. The guide book will spell out exactly how the logo can be used, what font to use and what PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors to follow.”
In the process of changing the logo, the Clear Creek Amana School Board of Directors voted last fall to decide if the logo would stay a ship and decided to keep it a ship, according to Haman.
Students were involved in the decision due to “the student committee [feeling that] the final logo decision should come from the student body; therefore all students from the Middle School and High School were given the opportunity to vote on the logo of their choice. Students voting were excited for the change and had positive comments to share.”
In the end Haman thinks that, “having a consistent, easy to use logo will pull all CCA activities together as one unified brand for the Clear Creek Amana Community School District. Our community loves CCA, and wants to see our brand out there. It makes an impression on kids and adults, and is a source of pride. The more that you see the same logo out there, the better.”
By Holli Duke
Photo Courtesy of Maria Russel
As the class sizes rise at Clear Creek Amana, each year graduation tends to get a little longer. Every year the amount of valedictorians and salutatorians gets bigger, as previous tradition is every valedictorian and salutatorians give a speech at commencement. The administration decided it would be best to shorten the amount of time given to the speakers since every class tends to get a little bit bigger than the last.
A new tradition will start with the graduating class of 2018, Mark Moody said, “One of the valedictorians will be given the opportunity to address the senior class during the graduation ceremony.” He continued, “There will be two additional speakers from the graduating class. Any graduating senior is eligible.”
To regulate this, there will be a selection committee of students and staff that will then select their top two choices, a majority of the committee will be students. The selection committee will not be made aware of the authors of the submission until a decision has been reached. Candidates can’t be on the selection committee.
Another big change was switching the graduation ceremony to Friday, May 25th, a weeknight.
Moody stated, “In 2 previous parent surveys, the majority of respondents were in favor of or indifferent to moving graduation to a weeknight.” He continued, “People’s only real concern is advance notice to plan. If we adopt a standing date, that would address the biggest concern and rule out/eliminate graduation as part of the yearly calendar discussion.”
Iowa has been named the best state to live in according to U.S. News & World Report. These rankings were released on tuesday. They follow specific criteria and give rankings for many individual categories. These categories and Iowa’s rank are as follows:
Though Iowa is receiving such national attention, students here at CCA have some varied opinions on their home state. Senior Chloe Beckler stated, “I think it’s hard to believe since everyone says they want to leave when they graduate and the weather isn’t always great.” She later added though that she can understand the rating because, “It is a comfortable place to live and the communities are very close and welcoming.”
Freshman student Aaron Feinberg also commented on the national recognition, “I’m proud to be in the state that is number 1. I do agree with it because Iowa is a pretty safe state to live in and I do believe people can make a living here easier than being in bigger city or state.”
Both students are unsure of whether they will stay in Iowa but included that neither of them would mind spending their lives here. “I believe I will always keep my roots in Iowa,” Said Feinberg.
By Rori Wagner
Heroes can be as obvious as the princes in fairy tales and superheroes saving the day. However, not every hero saves with their strength. Not every hero is in the spotlight.
Your hero might be the vet who saved your pet or your parents for all their hard work.
For some students, heroes come in the form of teachers, whether it’s just giving them a little extra help or believing in them.
Many students at Clear Creek Amana Middle School appreciate Reagan Boeset’s help through their classes, support, and just a little smile.
Reagan herself believes that she’s not a hero, “I realize hero can mean different things to different people at different times of their life, but I really don’t see myself that way.”
Contrary to that, students believe she is a hero for the time she spends to get to know them, the extra help in and out of the classroom, and effort to make students have fun with her lessons.
All of these reasons have something to do with what Reagan strives to do, connect with her students. To her it is,“the most important part of being a teacher, being able to build a rapport with each student. Nothing else matters if you can’t, in my opinion, make that connection. I would like to think this is one of my strengths. I genuinely love getting to know my students and what they are all about in and out of the classroom. In 12 years of teaching, I feel that the ones I couldn’t ‘reach’ or make a connection with, were the ones who got the least from having me as a teacher.”
Because of all the connections Reagan makes she has found through the years that her own kids and students inspire her more and more to teach. Along with that she loves teaching about her favorite subjects, science and STEM.
She says that , “[She loves] that STEM is all about the ever-changing set of skills and ideas that we need to have and know to be able to navigate our world. It is pretty easy to show the real world application of what we are doing and get kids to see the ‘why.'”
On top of teaching STEM in the classroom, Reagan heads up the middle school's Science Olympiad and Robotics’ teams.
Reagan enjoys doing these extracurricular activities for her students. She commented that, “the students having an interest brought me to it. Middle school is all about exploring and determining what your strengths are, what your passions may be, and [building] confidence in those areas! Without having clubs and teams like Robotics and Science Olympiad a lot of students wouldn’t find some of those strengths and passions!”
Heroes can come in all shapes and sizes, not just being like the ones you hear about in the books. And teachers might be one of the most inspiring of them all
By Holli Duke
Photo Courtesy of Center and Policy Priorities
Iowa lawmakers have approved a new education budget for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The budget has been sent to Governor Kim Reynolds to be processed and approved. The budget is a one percent increase, or roughly 32 million dollars, to the 3.2 billion dollar budget already in place. Although, that seems like a very large sum of money, many teachers and administrators are worried it won’t cover steadily rising costs.
According to The Gazette, Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids said Republicans, “wimped-out” and are “kicking the can down the road with a measly little injection of money.” Hogg deemed the move “pathetic.”
However, representing Republicans say that public education is a priority at the Capitol amid budget constraints, according to Education Week.
In more rural school districts, such as Clear Creek Amana, some superintendents warned that financial obligations like putting more money toward employee retirement plans will eat up a lot of the new appropriations, resulting in losing money for student activities, extracurriculars or sports.
“I truly believe a student’s zip code should not determine the quality of education that they get,” Senator Amy Sinclair continued, “Our hope is to bring the district cost per pupil to the same level for every school district over the course of time.”
Teachers in Cedar Rapids are already protesting the bill and cuts it will produce. More than 50 staff crowded board rooms on Monday to oppose district changes to take away everything but base wages from employees contracts. Teachers in West Virginia have been on strike for the same cause. These teachers are protesting their changes to pay and benefit on yearly contracts.
Photo courtesy of CCA District Website
All around the world people are divided by the barrier of language.
So what happens when you get a foreign student in the classroom?
The first step you should take when communicating with someone that speaks little of your first language is to learn some of theirs. This shows that you are making an effort to learn more about them and their culture.
Another tip to take when talking to a foreign student is to take it slow. They are just learning your language. At first the other person will probably only know a few words of this language so stick to the basics. Don’t try to use large vocabulary words, even if you think they are easy it is hard for individuals learning a language to talk to native speakers of that language.
The main reason for this is that people speak incredibly fast in their first language, so for newcomers it is hard to keep up conversations. Just talk slower and don’t feel annoyed and frustrated if the person your talking to asks you to repeat what your saying or to slow down. A tip for when your starting to feel annoyed at a foreign student is to imagine if you were in their shoes and were just learning a new language. How would you feel?
Another idea to keep in mind when talking to a person who doesn’t known your first language well is to be respectful. They might say the wrong thing from time to time just correct them in a respectful way so they don’t get offended and stop talking to you as much.
Sure talking to someone that doesn’t know your language well is hard at first, but you’ll get better with it in time and eventually you could be the best of friends.
The layout for North Bend Elementary’s new all-inclusive playground
Photo Courtesy of Principal Brenda Parker
By Olivia Smyka
For the past few weeks, teachers, families, and community members from North Bend Elementary have been raising money for an “all-inclusive” playground they plan to have for the school.
The playground will be accessible and enjoyable for all children, including those with disabilities. According to the Press Citizen, those in wheelchairs will have access to ramps as well as a merry-go-round. The playground will also have lower monkeybars and a “cozy dome.”
“This playground is important for all of our students...everyone can be included at recess,” stated Brenda Parker, Principal of North Bend Elementary. “This is an inclusive playground that is accessible for students with disabilities and pieces of it are geared toward meeting sensory needs.” She described the playground as “a gathering place where all students, no matter their ability or disability, can participate side by side with their peers.”
To build this playground, North Bend Elementary set up multiple fundraisers, including Choose Kind, which helped the school made money through selling t-shirts. The school also had a coin drive and applied for grants. Principal Barker mentioned that parent-teacher group member Chris Mundt worked hard on the grants.
Because of the fundraisers and grants, the school has reached their goal of $60,000. They are now hoping to include additions to the playground, including several stand-alone sensory pieces.
"The most important piece is the accessibility for all students,” Principal Parker said.