Archive for the ‘Spirit’ 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.

CCJHS Award from international

By Natalie Delintt
Cougar News Blog

     The Best Buddies program at Cactus Canyon is starting up again this year and with an award that will hopefully bring in new students to participate in the club.
     Desirae Davis, the director of Best Buddies at CCJH, won an award for inclusion, building friendships, leadership, and furthering Best Buddies knowledge in CCJH and the Apache Junction community from Best Buddies International.
     “This award makes me feel fabulous because we worked hard and got recognized for it,” said Davis.
     Best Buddies is a club that students can be a part of to help and make friends with other kids who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
     This year the new batch of buddies will be participating in Buddy Prom, Friendship Walk, monthly parties, chapter meeting, and fundraising events.
     “I’m excited to make friends, go to the parties, and decorate,” said Katie Wood, an 8th grader in Davis’s class.
     Davis hopes that this award will attract more students to join Best Buddies and help the kids who really want a friend to be able to talk to and hang out with.
     “The award might help the kids realize that the club is good and will want to be a part of it,” said Davis.
     Best Buddies has helped Davis’s students get out of their shells and talk to new people. They have learned that making friends is easier than they thought and talking to be people is also easy.
     “I learned that it’s okay to meet somebody, don’t be shy,” said Wood. “:If it wasn’t for Best Buddies, then I wouldn’t have as many friends as I do now.

Eighth grade StuCo representative Jessica Grabowski make an Elvis Presley decoration for the Welcome Back dance Aug. 27.

Eighth grade StuCo representative Jessica Grabowski make an Elvis Presley decoration for the Welcome Back dance Aug. 27.

By Skylar Sosa
Cougar News Blog

     Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! Well, not quite. However, Student Council members are doing their very best to make Cactus Canyon’s Welcome Back dance look exactly like it with this year’s theme.
     Cactus Cactus is kicking off the start of a new school year with a great DJ and MC that help get everyone involved and decorations that feature landmarks from one of America’s most famous cities. While StuCo members hope everyone has a great time, many students don’t realize how much the Cactus Canyon dances build school community.
     “I think it is really important for kids to have positive experiences at school because it helps build school spirit and pride and reminds people that Cactus Canyon is a great place to go to school,” says StuCo adviser Jason Davis. “Things like dances and sporting events give everyone a chance to interact differently than they do during a normal school day.”
     Whether the student is a seventh grader who’s never been to a dance, or an eighth grader and that’s done it all before, StuCo members are working their hardest to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time dancing and having fun with their friends.
     Even with the dance being a just a few days away, council members are feeling confident that they will have everything looking flawless for the attendees of the dance.
     “I don’t think that the pressure is bad at all,” said eighth-grade representative Jessica Grabowski. “Student Council has done such a great job that there’s nothing to be worried about because of how far we have gotten.”
     The Las Vegas dance will definitely be be different from past dances, because of the four-day school week. Since the dance is on a Thursday, there will be no school the next day, which means no late night studying or homework.
     I like going to the dance and want to go to it because it’s so fun to hangout with friends, listen to music, dance, and get to meet new people,” said eighth grader, Haile Miller.
     With all the games, decorations, and junk food, people often forget about what they are really there for: to dance. This year’s dance theme is perfect for this, and everyone will be having a great time just having a fantastic time with their friends.
     Mariana Rios said, “The dance seems really exciting and the theme is not like other dances and I think that adds more anticipation.”
     The Welcome Back Dance will be 5:15 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27. Tickets are available during lunch at the Student Services desk.

StuCo Vice President Angel Meeks paints Mario and Peach to decorate the Loving Legends Valentine's dance on Feb. 12.

StuCo Vice President Angel Meeks paints Mario and Peach to decorate the Loving Legends Valentine’s dance on Feb. 12.

By Rose H.
Cougar News Blog

     Love is in the air at Cactus Canyon and with the annual Valentines Day dance approaching, it’s not surprising to see why.
     This year’s Valentines Day dance has a unique theme, “Loving Legends.” The dance will be showcasing this theme through artwork of famous couples throughout history, created by Student Council. Examples of these couples are Romeo and Juliet, Jack Skellington and Sally, Elvis Presley and Priscilla, and so forth.
      “I want everyone to see what my class and I created to make everybody’s night legendary,” said Matt Martinez, Student Council representative.
     Students will be able to expect the usual DJ and MC from previous dances, as well as the same enjoyment and fun atmosphere.
     “We’ll have the same DJ and MC combo that we’ve had at other dances, which everyone seems to really enjoy,” said Jason Davis, Student Council adviser. A new aspect that this dance will be featuring is an optional dress code, which is “Dressy Casual.” This has been highly requested by students for a few years. Students are encouraged to wear nicer clothing, although it is not required and not formal or semi-formal clothing.
      “Students can show up in shorts, flip-flops, and an old Spider-Man tee shirt if they want,” said Mr. Davis. “But, many people choose to dress up for the Valentine’s dance, so this is a good guideline.”
     The dance will be held Thursday, Feb. 12, in the gym and cafeteria. It will be from 5:15 7p.m., however students are urged to purchase tickets before hand to be able to attend 15 minutes early. These will be sold during lunch. Students who are going must also have been in attendance earlier in the day.
     Student Council is very excited for attendees to join them and hope everyone has a grand time.
     “When it comes down to it, what makes a good dance is a cool atmosphere, good music, and a lot of junk food to eat,” said Mr. Davis. “The people that like those things can expect to have a good time.”

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By Kayla Mix
Cougar News Blog

Bullying. It’s a big problem that happens worldwide. With this big problem at hand what are schools supposed to do? Not sit here and wait for things to change all by themselves. No, students and teachers alike must come together to put a stop to this problem, and that is exactly what Cactus Canyon Junior High is doing.
Cactus Canyon’s office staff and administrators have come up with a spirit week to raise awareness about the problem of bullying. The week will be Sept. 30-Oct. 4.
“Everyone deserves a safe, friendly environment to learn and work in,” said behavior coach Carol Dolle. “If we can stop bullying on our campus we will be providing that environment for our students.”
This week should be taken seriously because this is a very serious problem that all schools are dealing with. Many people who work in the office came together with the ideas for Spirit Week. Monday was Courteous Cougar Day, Tuesday is Super Hero Day, Wednesday is Put a lid on Bullying, which means students can wear hats all day long. Thursday is Black out Bullying Day, and Friday is Team Day so students wear jerseys from different sports teams.
An important lesson of spirit week is to treat everyone equally and that everyone is different and special in his or her own special way.
“Spirit week makes me feel more involved in school activities,” said Vanessa Silbar. “And like I fit in.”


By Sam Collins
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon is having its own version of an ugly Christmas party. The StuCo Winter Social will be get-together where all students will be able to hang out, watch a movie, drink hot chocolate, and eat some cookies.
Council members thinks the event – from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 – be a great time to get in the holiday spirit.
“I helped plan it, so I think the Winter Social will be fun (because) there’s friends and games there,” said Ryle Loftis, member of StuCo and in charge of the social.
Entrance is free, but hot chocolate and cookies will be for sale. Attendees can get a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts cocoa and a cookie for $1.
Student Council adviser Jason Davis said the event is meant to be laid back and that gift cards will be awarded for the students wearing the ugliest sweater.
“No one needs to even dress fancy, just put on an ugly Christmas sweater and show up,” Davis said. “It’s not a dance or a pep assembly where people expect to be able to be wild and crazy, but it’s a time where people can just come on campus and hang out.”
Council members hope the event will be something easy and fun during a season that can be very hectic.
“There’s plenty of craziness and complications around the holidays,” Davis said, “so we’re happy to provide an opportunity to attend something that’s lazy and not complicated at all.”
Many students are already excited about the event and can’t wait to come.
“I’m planning for everyone to have fun with friends and play games and watch movies,” Loftis said.
To promote the event, StuCo created decorations, posters, and tried to bring up the spirit for this special social. Some of the teachers even want to come. It’s expected to be a great time for the students.

By Megan Lay
Cougar News Blog

As students walk into the Halloween dance tonight, they will be walking into a scene right out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Student Council has spent weeks making decorations to get the cafeteria ready for the event, which goes from 6:15-8 p.m. StuCo adviser Jason Davis said the group prefers to make decorations rather than buy them.
“We don’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations because it takes away from the money we raise for StuCo and the school,” Davis said. “But we also want to make the gym and cafeteria look festive and spooky because that helps determine whether or not people have a good time.”
StuCo members have created the several characters from the movie, the forest of holiday trees, and the swirly mountain from one of the film’s most memorable scenes, as well as the cover of the DVD.
“Yes, it took a lot of time to prepare, but it was and is always fun working with the other members of student council,” said eighth-grade representative Samantha Collins, who is team captain for this dance.
There are other activities that are going to be at the dance. For example, instant photos, a costume contest, and root beer float sales. The costume contest will happen at 7 with awards for the scariest, weirdest, most original, and cutest costumes.
This week is also spirit week, which ends Friday with Superhero Day. The other days have been Twin Tuesday, Wizard Wednesday, and Thwacky Thursday.

By Bobby Bauders
Cougar News Blog

Student Council will be hosting a trivia night from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 26. The group is trying out new events this year and has not tried a similar event in the past.
The game is played by teams of four to six players and every team is able to answer every question. Teams choose many points is worth based on how confident they are in their answer. Players are not allowed to use any technology to search for their answers.
During the game, StuCo members will act as waiters and waitresses and will be serving snacks and drinks to the teams. Players will have a menu and be able to order what they want just like they were in a restaurant.
Student Council adviser Jason Davis said the group is trying to put on one event per month to help build school spirit. It will be a time for students to spend with friends and test their knowledge on random information.
“Trivia Night is promoting education and school spirit in a fun way,” said eighth grade representative Abby Davis.
“This type of trivia is very popular among adults,” Mr. Davis said. “We thought we’d try it out and see how students enjoy it. I know it’s not something they are used to, but I really think those that come out will have a great time.”

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By Sam Collins
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon Junior High held its very first pep assembly Aug. 29. CCJH never had a pep assembly because administrators did not want to take away valuable learning time. But, thanks to the ZAP hour, the students got to show the school some spirit.
Student Council planned the event is just two days, but got lots of positive feedback for it. Eighth grader Kaci Beyer said she thought it was fun and high-spirited.
StuCo plans to have three more, one for each sports season.
“It’s hard to plan because we only have about 15 minutes (of assembly time),” adviser Jason Davis said. “Next time we’ll do better at promoting what’s going to happen and have even more fun.”
StuCo hoped for the students to have a lot of spirit at the assembly, and apparently, it worked. StuCo did their spirit-dance, played a fun game with the baseball and softball teams, and even had Carlos the Cougar, the school mascot, come out too.
“StuCo definitely did a good job holding the assembly, and should do it again,” eighth grader Olivia Marsala. “They were energetic, very interactive with the students, and kept my attention.”
One of the hosts, eighth grader Madison Kelly, was very proud of StuCo and the students’ enthusiasm. She would also like to thank the pep band for being awesome in the assembly. Even Kelly didn’t know what to expect.
“I loved the assembly,” she said. “I thought it was a great way to show our support to the athletes and pump up our Cougar fans.”