Archive for the ‘Assemblies’ Category

StuCo president Tiffani Morris speaks at the year's first assembly.

StuCo president Tiffani Morris speaks at the year’s first assembly.

By Chelsey McCarthy
Cougar News Blog

     Every student and teacher loves having a fun, active assemblies. Cactus Canyon is now having them every quarter as well as having spirit competitions between the seventh- and eighth-grade students.
     The events are a way to recognize student achievement in athletics and academics.
     Most students dressed up in class colors for the first quarter school assembly in October. The colors are red for seventh grade and purple for eighth grade. The colors are the same ones the classes will have at Apache Junction High School.
     “It shows that the students care for our school. It is also really fun showing off our school spirit and watching students do the same,” said eighth grader Meagan Clark.
     CCJH had another competition between seventh and eighth graders in which they would sing a song, once the music cut out it was a contest to who could sing the words the loudest. A group of staff judges awarded a banner to the eighth graders for having the most spirit during the first assembly.
     “I think the spirit competitions and the spirit competition we had gives the students personality and allows them to have fun and get loose,” said eighth grade teacher Jeremy Seaman.
     The students and teachers hope Cactus Canyon continues to have assemblies and different spirit competitions help improve the school spirit. Those could include costumes, art shows, and colorful hats.
     “I would love to participate in more creative spirit competitions,” eighth grade teacher John Leal said. “I would also like the participation of students who don’t normally participate.”
     In addition to improving school spirit, there are other benefits to having the assemblies.
     “I think students learn during these events, in addition from being a part of the community, is it helps them know how to act appropriately in big groups,” said eighth grade science teacher Regan Roach.
     The next assembly and spirit competition will be Thursday, Dec. 17. Students are again asked to wear their class color to school.


By Damian Lopez
Cougar News Blog

     This upcoming school year at Cactus Canyon, teachers and faculty plan to adopt a new way of showing school spirit, pep assemblies.
     Teachers hope that these assemblies will make students more prideful of their community – in this case, their school. In the past few years teachers have started to notice a reoccurring trend, the lack of school spirit. By having these assemblies, teachers are hopeful that students will bond, while showing pride for their school.
     “The staff noticed that students aren’t as engaged in school as they had been in years past,” said science teacher Regan Roach, who will organize the assemblies. “By having pep assemblies, we are hopeful that students will bond while showing pride in the school.”
     Student council members are hopeful that these will bring encouragement to Cactus Canyon’s sports team and just boost overall school morale. The ironic part is that none of the current StuCo members have actually taken part in one.
     “I have never participated in one of these events before, but they look like they will be very fun,” said StuCo member Nicholas Morehead.
     It has been four years since CCJH has put on these assemblies. According to Mrs. Roach, there will be an introduction of the members of our current sports teams, competitions between classes, competitions between students and staff, and a lot of noise and cheering.
     “I believe that students will learn to be more encouraging of each other,” said Mrs. Roach.

By Jessica Conrad
Cougar News Blog

     Students were recently able to learn about bullying in a powerful way. On Friday, Nov. 21, the Power Team visited the Performing Arts Center at the Apache Junction High School for an anti-bullying assembly filled with stunts and memorable speeches.
     Both seventh and eighth grade students at Cactus Canyon were able to attend a preview during the school day for the three night show at the PAC.
     “The Power Team taught the students how to use their strength to achieve goals and to never give up their vision,” said Principal, Courtney Castelhano.
     Last year, Student Council and Ms. Davis’ Lifeskills Class had their own anti-bullying assembly called “Spread the Word to End the Word.” That assembly included skits, speeches and a powerpoint presentation made by Student Council and a special guest speaker.
     “The year’s assembly was different in the fact that we have never had this group present before,” said Castelhano. “Also, they had more of an animated presentation.”
     Cactus Canyon has had anti-bullying assemblies in the years past, but none of them compared to this year’s.
     “The speaker of The Power Team told a lot of personal stories, “ said eighth grader Wendie Orozco. “I liked how they used stunts to explain their stories.”
     Castelhano is hoping to have more anti-bullying assemblies in the years to come. She says it’s a good thing to have because it brings awareness in the junior high level.
     “We want students to gain knowledge of the effects of bullying and also good character,” said Castelhano.
     The Power Team show promises “amazing feats of strength and power with a message of hope and inspiration.”

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By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog

On Oct. 11, BMX stunt riders grinded their way into Cactus Canyon during the half day lunch period and performed for staff and students.
The BMX Stunt Masters ‘shredded’ up the ramps with stunts and tricks, while also informing students about bicycle safety in a matter of 45 minutes.
Students were in awe as they watched bikers do gravity-defying tricks like backflips, leaping over each other’s heads, and many other crazy stunts that made the crowd go wild.
“I think the backflip was the best part because nobody knew if he could do it,” said seventh-grader Kaileah Goucher.
“I enjoyed the show very much; it amazed me a lot,” said eighth-grader Janelle Digos.
John Parker, the founder of Stunt Masters, has been touring schools all over the country and delivering their message to students that young people can be active, have fun, and still be safe since 1999. Parker has competed in the X-Games 11 times, winning four medals. He also walked away victoriously from the MTV Sports and Music Festival twice, and won multiple ASA World Tour events.
“I love my job. I’ve been riding bikes professionally for over 15 years,” said Parker. “Having a job that came from a hobby and sport that I’m passionate about is bliss.”
This was Stunt Masters second year visiting Cactus Canyon and most likely not their last time visiting.
“Our group and I would be happy to visit Cactus Canyon again,” said Parker. “The students were very appreciative and seemed to take away some valuable inspiration. I was happy to meet a few BMXers in the crowd.”
The students really got a kick out of the show and hope for an opportunity to watch them perform again.
“I would absolutely love it if the riders came back, they are so amazing and they
seem like they always have fun doing what they do,” said eighth grader Alissa Mahon.
Assistant Principal Joyce Gingrich hopes students enjoyed the show and were inspired by the BMX bikers that nothing is impossible and with enough hard work they could accomplish anything.
“The parts I saw were great,” said Mrs. Gingrich, who helped organize the event. “I hope they were able to see how much hard work it takes to do something well,” said Gingrich.

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By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog

Last Friday, guest speaker Mark Trombino from Motivational Small Talk Incorporation visited Cactus Canyon to share his inspiring story and guide the students through bullying and how to overcome it.
His presentation included funny impressions, a few clips from inspiring movies, and stories about his past.
Staff, students, and Mr. Trombino himself were very excited for Friday’s visit and were hopeful that the assembly would be a success.
“I was very excited to visit Cactus Canyon,” said Trombino. “I have heard great things about the school and know that this message will help improve an already excellent school.”
Students from Cactus Canyon had to walk to the high school’s PAC center after attendance was done in their ZAP classes to attend the presentation that lasted about an hour.
Principal Courtney Castelhano was enthusiastic about Trombino’s visit and hopes it will make students think twice before acting in a way that might hurt someone else. Her goal is to make Cactus Canyon a safer, happier school.
“We truly want to create a culture of caring and kindness here at CCJH,” said Castelhano.
Students appreciated how Trombino intertwined his life into the presentation to make them realize that he’s an average person just like them and how easy it was for him to get bullied.
“My favorite part of the assembly was when he integrated his life story into the presentation,” said seventh grader Ashli Albertsen. “I love hearing experiences from other people because it makes me feel how real it is.”
Trombino, a little person, is 3 feet 3 inches tall and knows just how hard it is for kids and knows how it feels to be different from others, which is why he created his organization to help kids through bullying.
“I started Motivational Small Talk with my partner Gail (six) years ago. Since then, we have spoken at hundreds of schools and impacted thousands of lives,” he said. “So I am very confident this message will hit home with the students, staff, and community. It will help empower those who are bullied to stand up for themselves.”
As planned, many students walked away from the assembly with a new outlook on bullying and how they can make Cactus Canyon a better school.
“Mr. Trombino’s visit impacted my views on bullying because he gave examples on the different ways bullying can happen,” said seventh grader Trinity Izbicki. “He gave examples of his own personal experiences with bullying and that bullying can come in many different forms, whether it has to deal with shortness or the way you look. Either way, bullying is not OK and Mr. Trombino presented that it isn’t and that we should take a part in it and become better people.”
Overall, students said the assembly was a fun and entertaining presentation they were glad they had the opportunity to attend the assembly.
“I enjoyed the presentation greatly because the speaker touched my heart and made me realize that bullying is a huge problem and that everyone should take a part and try to put a stop to it,” said Izbicki.