Archive for the ‘NJHS’ Category

Looking at a pillow made of plastic bags, eighth graders Melanie Vannoy and Natasia Coyle learn how to make them at an NJHS meeting.

By Andrea Darnell
Cougar News Blog

      NJHS members are making mats and pillows for the homeless. The group is gathering plastic bags and getting donations from other students and staff.
      The members are crocheting strips of plastic bag together to make the mats. They take the bags and cut them into loops to get them ready to be crocheted. The mats are passed out in the Phoenix/Metro area by ministers at Savior Lutheran Church and New Season Christian Fellowship Church.
      Making the mats will give NJHS members a chance to exercise their leadership skills. It will also give them a chance to demonstrate empathy. Making the mats will help members give back to the community while at the same time work together as a team.
      “I believe that the mats will help people regain a sense of dignity as well as gain a sense of self satisfaction,” adviser Lisa Schroeder said. “(Students can take) pride in knowing that their contributions are providing people with some comforts that are much needed in difficult living and alternative living situations.”
      Mrs. Schroeder said that she got the idea from “sure luck.” While making a trip to the office, Mrs. Schroeder ran into student services receptionist Jodi Rodgers and Mary Schroeder from Savior Lutheran Church.
      “I thought it was a cool idea and a great way for the NJHS students to help the community as well as participate in helping the environment,” Schroeder said.
      Many student are working on making the mats. It takes hundreds of bags to make one mat, but in the end they feel it’s worth it.
      “I do believe that making the mats will help many in need,” Angelica Lopez said. “It will give homeless people a mat and pillow to sleep on during the night.”

Jaden Unise, 8, serves up a cup during the NJHS chili cook-off on Oct. 26.

Jaden Unise, 8, serves up a cup during the NJHS chili cook-off on Oct. 26.

By Anyssa Pena
Cougar News Blog

      Members of the NJHS raised over $300 for Project Help on Oct. 26 with its third annual chili cook-off.
      The money raised from this event will go towards purchasing turkey dinners for families in need this holiday season as well as assist in purchasing holiday gifts for children through the Angel Tree project.
      The event included many different chilis entered in by the contestants. Students and parents could enter a chilli dish or come out to try the chilli and vote.
      Mrs. Schroeder was happy with the the turnout and the amount of money raised.
      “I believe that this year was a successful fundraiser as we had a nice turnout of over 15 chili entries,” she said. “In addition, we raised more funds with this event this year than in years prior.
      The chili cook-off is a fundraiser for NJHS students to learn leadership skills like accountability, teamwork, and time management. Mrs. Schroeder is in charge of organizing it so she does have some expectations from the student to show that they are responsible enough to have another fundraiser.
      “My expectations of my NJHS students in hosting organized community events, is to learn communication, dependability, and a sense of responsibility and citizenship within their community,” said Schroeder.
      Even with the success of the event, the group is already thinking about next year’s cook-off.
      “I am always looking for new ideas and ways to improve events,” said Schroeder.

Seth Wright plays the egg game during lunch. The game, along with NJHS coin drive raise money to help CCJH donate turkey dinners and Christmas gifts. (Photo by Hannah Molino)

Seth Wright plays the egg game during lunch. The game, along with NJHS coin drive raise money to help CCJH donate turkey dinners and Christmas gifts. (Photo by Hannah Molino)

By Chloe Mayes
Cougar News Blog

     A lot of students love spending Thanksgiving with their family, or waking up on Christmas Day to go open all their presents. Although this all sounds great, but some people don’t get the privilege of opening presents or getting a nice meal on Thanksgiving. This is why Cactus Canyon had the egg sale and is now having the the coin drive. Tina Jada in charge of the egg sale and National Junior Honors Society is in charge of the coin drive.
     The egg sale, which was from Oct. 17-19, is when students pay 75 cents for a plastic egg, open it, and there is a paper inside saying what the prize is. The donated prizes range anywhere from a yo-yo to a huge Pikachu stuffed animal. All the money the school raises on the egg sale is going toward The Angel Tree.
     “The egg sale raises money and is a fun event for students at CCJH. Since it helps those less fortunate and provides fun, I think it is a worthy cause,” said Jada.
     The Angel Tree is where kids that do not get the privilege of getting gifts for Christmas write down what they want for Christmas on a piece of paper and hangs it on a tree. Then other people pick one of the papers from the tree and buys the gift for the kid. The egg sale started on the seventeenth of October and ended on the nineteenth. The only time students are able to buy eggs is during their lunch.
     During the coin drive, classes compete on who can raise the most money in a certain amount of time. The top three classes get rewarded, and all the money that is raised is going toward buying Thanksgiving dinners for families in the Apache Junction Unified School District.This event is being run by NJHS. They are going to take all the money raised and are going to buy as many meals as they can for the families. The coin drive started on November 1.
     “The coin drive asks all in the CCJH community to provide Thanksgiving for some families,” said Jada. “There will be a pizza party for the winners, one in seventh grade and one in eighth.”
     Although, some students did the egg sale just for the prizes, some were happy that they were helping people. Eighth-grader Elisa Pacheco, feels really great about this event.
     “I feel great,” said Elisa Pacheco. “I’m happy we are helping people out.”

NJHS students take a photo on their trip to Disneyland. (Photo by Talon Izbicki)

NJHS students take a photo on their trip to Disneyland. (Photo by Talon Izbicki)

By Lexi Demery
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon National Juniors Honor Society took a trip to the happiest place on earth.
     NJHS left to go to Disneyland and California Adventure after school on Wednesday, April 20. This trip wasn’t only an award for their hard work, but also for leadership training.
     “Students gained the confidence to overcome obstacles,” said Tammy Howard.
     Directors Tammy Howard and Paige Reesor started planning the trip months before they left. Members of NJHS had to stay at an average GPA of 91 percent and had to complete 20 hours of community service in order to go. Students had courage and determination to accomplish goals and believe in their dreams.
     “The trip is great motivation for me to keep being a good person and keep my grades up,” said eighth grader, Haile Miller.
     This trip has been going on at CCJH for many years. Howard and Reesor decided to include the leadership piece and make the trip longer last year.
     “I was extremely excited to see the growth and critical thinking of our students,” said Howard.
     This trip is about learning how to be a leader and just have fun. The NJHS team finally got a chance to unwind and relax for all their hard work, in the form of Southern California.
     “I’m excited because it’s going to be my first time at DisneyLand and hopefully I will meet Mickey,” said Miller.
     The leadership training was to teach the students to have confidence and to be courageous. NJHS applied their leadership training at Disneyland by listening and learning about others interests and planning an imaginary party.
     “We discussed diverse point of views, like everyone thinks differently and it’s okay because it could lead to great things,” said Miller.


By Alexa DeLorenzo
Cougar News Blog

     NJHS advisers recently distributed applications to Cactus Canyon students who show great character, leadership, citizenship, scholarship, and service.
     Art teacher Ms. Paige Reesor and language arts teacher Tammy Howard gave the opportunity to dozens students who have the required characteristics to join National Junior Honors Society. Like other requirements for NJHS, this application was tough for some of the 57 students who earned admission to the organization.
     “It was difficult to fill out the application because it made you think about the traits of an NJHS member and how you can comply to them,” said Kirsten Sinelli.
     Ms. Reesor and Ms. Howard both have high expectations when it comes to looking through the application. Each student needs to show that they should be apart of this program and need to explain why they think their capable. Students need good grades, and to care about and help others.
     “I look for students who keep their grade point average up, but I also look for students that show great character,” said Ms. Reesor. “They are kind and helpful to others, and they do their very best in life.”
     Good behavior is just one way to get into NJHS, grades are a very important part in becoming a member. Not only do students need to earn a 91 average in seventh grade, they must keep it there to stay in NJHS.
     “It was challenging to keep my grades up last year because it’s different from elementary school and you really have to take care of yourself,” says Kirsten Sinelli.
     Community service is also key in NJHS. Helping out teachers, helping students, even taking care of the school is what community service is about. NJHS members are required to participate in at least 10 hours of service to earn the right to go on the end-of-the-year trip to Disneyland.
     “I think finding time for community service will be a challenge, and I plan to get my hours by helping in the library,” says Sinelli.


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By Alyssa Flores
Cougar News Blog

     National Junior Honor Society had a chili cook off on Friday, Nov. 14. NJHS worked on serving desserts, water, lemonade, and, of course, tasting chili. NJHS had four contestants enter the cook off, Derek Christensen, Tammy Howard, Paige Reesor, and Heather Lundquest. 50-70 people showed up at the event.
     It was $20 dollars to enter the chili and $10 dollars per person to taste. Reeson said she was pleased with the number of people who came.
     “About 50-70 people showed up,”said co-adviser Paige Reesor.
     NJHS members came up with this event to raise money to lower the cost of the NJHS Disneyland trip. Not only for the trip, but so families can gather and enjoy a good time. The families got to eat desserts and serve as judges for the chili.
     “There was nine chilis for tasting,” said co-adviser Tammy Howard.
     The chili cook off competitors were voted for best choice and best decorated table. They were able to decorate their table and come up with clever chili names. The winners were Candi Wyatt in first place,Heather Lundquest in second place, and Derek Christensen in third.
     The judges for the competition were Mrs. Castelhano, Mr. Williams, and Mrs. Henry.
     “The judges shared how difficult it was to make their decisions, because all of the chilis were good,’’said Howard. “Miss. Reesor and I really had a great time with the students, family members, and community members that came out to support the event.
     The NJHS students worked very well and seemed to enjoy the event. They raised over $500 dollars. Their goal was to get $400-$500. The Disney trip will cost around 400 dollars for each member, for a bus, food, and a hotel room. NJHS members can bring extra money to spend.

By Alyssa F.
Cougar News Blog

Eighth graders are starting the school year off right with NJHS. Qualifying Cactus Canyon eighth graders are getting papers filled out for the National Junior Honor Society.
The new advisers Miss Ressor and Mrs. Howard have exciting things planned ahead, but the students will still have high academic expectations like always.
“Putting in the extra effort pays off in the long run for their education,” said Miss. Reesor.
The NJHS advisers have more things planned to keep the students busy for the school year.
Mrs. Howard and Miss Reesor have things planned for the year like the Disneyland trip, fundraising, and community service.
“We would hope the students gain a sense of accomplishment, character, and leadership skills,” said Mrs. Howard.
This year is going to be different from the other years of NJHS. Some things will stay the same like the meetings, the officer positions, etc. but, they plan to raise money by having a V.I.P section at the sport games which is very different from other years. However, they will not be able to have the breakfast bar due to new Smart Snacks rules.
Students that worked hard and got an “A” average in their seventh grade year were invited to participate in NJHS.
“I have learned that working and being dedicated can pay off, I can get opportunities such as this one,” said Angel Meeks.
Some NJHS students take an extra step to not only get in to NJHS, but to do other after-school programs. They join in activities such as the Leo Club where they do community service and Best Buddies where they interact with kids and make friends.
There will be an induction ceremony for new members on Wednesday, Sept. 10, in the PAC at Apache Junction High School.
“I’m really glad to be in NJHS; it seems interesting and fun to do,” said Jessica Conrad.

By Holly S.
Cougar News Blog

National Junior Honor Society students are visiting The Magical Kingdom this April as a reward for all the hard work and dedication they have put towards the club. After having to go through hours and hours of volunteering and keeping their grades in check, they get to relax and rewind.
On April 25, students are required to meet in the school library to board the bus that will take them straight from Cactus Canyon to Disneyland and will spend their day, from opening time to closing time, riding rides and exploring Disneyland with their groups. Then ride all the way back that night to Cactus Canyon where parents will pick up their students.
Besides looking good on a college application, Disneyland is one of the biggest perks of being a part of NJHS. The trip is fun for all of those attending; teachers, chaperones, and the students.
“The main agenda is fun,” said NJHS sponsor Carol Dolle. “We ride the bus all night, play all day until Disneyland closes, and ride the bus all night home again. If that isn’t fun I don’t know what is.”
The students are ecstatic to be going to Disneyland with their friends and spend time in the magical place. Some students have been to Disneyland before, but for others this is their first time visiting.
“I have only been to Disneyland once, so the best part of the trip will be getting the chance to go with my friends,” said eighth-grader Ashli Albertsen.
Although the main objective is to have fun, the students are expected to be on their best behavior while visiting. They are given the opportunity to walk alone with periodical check-ins with the chaperons giving them a “sense of responsibility,” as Albertsen puts it.
After a year of devoting themselves to school work and doing their service hours, now is the time for NJHS students to have an awesome weekend to celebrate their accomplishments.
“This trip is the reward for working hard and fulfilling the requirements of NJHS,” said Dolle. “I hope they feel proud of that accomplishment.”
Tags hang on the Angel Tree, waiting for someone to pick them up and purchase the gift.

Tags hang on the Angel Tree, waiting for someone to pick them up and purchase the gift.

By Kayla Mix
Cougar News Blog

Christmas is right around the corner bringing presents, food, and family together to celebrate. Yet even as people are going around being happy and getting ready for this special holiday, there are some who don’t have life as easy as others, and that is where the CCJH National Junior Honor Society comes in.
NJHS, is a program for students with good grades and a caring heart. Being in NJHS means that the students get to help the community when they need it. So with Christmas coming up, it would be the perfect opportunity for the students in NJHS to help. The Angel Tree Program is a program that gives a helping hand to families in need. The Angel Tree is a Christmas Tree that sits up in the front office of Cactus Canyon that has tags of childrens names and what they would like for Christmas on it hanging up. Then someone comes up and grabs a tag then buys the present for that child, so when Christmas comes that student will get what they want.
NJHS students enjoy the feeling of giving back and helping others in their time of need, so since Christmas is coming up they are giving back and helping others.
“I expect that the students will take away the good feeling that comes from being of service to other people,” says Carol Dolle.
This year the Angel Tree program is helping two families which are provided by Project Help.
“I think it is really amazing to see how we can do can help change someone’s life,” says Allison Snowball.
Dolle said this is a great program and there have never been any extra tags on the tree because the community and district are very generous. This Christmas will be more than just a holiday for two families, it will be that special time of year where you can find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog

National Junior Honor Society is one of many top organizations that honor students who exhibit supremacy in areas such as leadership, service, character, citizenship, and scholarship. More than 100 students have been established into the program this year at Cactus Canyon.
E-mails were sent out to 109 students Aug. 25 informing them of the accomplishment. Students were thrilled to be invited into NJHS, knowing its benefits and all the educational opportunities.
“I am very excited to be part of NJHS because of all the cool and fun things I saw my sister do a few years ago,” said eighth grader Wesley Hoffman.
To qualify for NJHS, a student’s grades needed to be at a 90 percent average in seventh grade and he or she must demonstrate outstanding citizenship and behavior.
“The first requirement is a 90 percent average during the students’ seventh-grade career,” said adviser Carol Dolle. “The second is excellent behavior and citizenship. We ask the student’s seventh-grade teacher to endorse the students that qualify academically. In other words they give us the big thumbs up.”
Mrs. Dolle and reading specialist Lisa Smith are the co-sponsors.
One of the duties of being in NJHS is doing 20 hours of community service. A handful of students were giving the option to come to the school’s cafeteria Aug. 31 to do their first two hours of their community service. Throughout the year they will give students a chance to fill in some of their service hours.
“We do a variety of service projects. One of which is the Angel Tree where we help to wrap presents that are donated and given for distribution through Project Help,” said Dolle.
On Sept. 18, students will arrive at the Performing Arts Center at the high school to attend their induction that legally states they are apart of NJHS.
Students and teachers are ecstatic for this year and expect the utmost excellence from all members in NJHS.
“We look forward to a wonderful year together as the 2013-14 National Junior Honor Society of Cactus Canyon Junior High,” said Dolle.