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Articles from October 2015

Ames High School All-State musicians named

Ames High School musicians will make another record showing at the Iowa All-State Music Festival, November 20-21. After auditioning Saturday, Oct. 24, in Indianola, 22 band students, 11 orchestra students and four vocalists were accepted. Three band students are alternates.

Band director Andrew Buttermore said according to records dating back to 1973, this is the second consecutive year Ames High School Band has broken its All-State record.

“The students worked hard and they were rewarded with these results,” Buttermore said. “I’m proud to be their teacher.”

Buttermore said the students were competing against much larger schools.

Band director Chris Ewan said Ames High School appreciates the community’s support of the band and music programs.

Band All-State Accepted and Alternates:

Maya Chen – Flute (orchestra)

Maria Werner Anderson – 2nd  Flute

Yushi Hattori – 2nd Flute

Caleb Kong – 2nd Flute

Jonah DeGeest – Bassoon (orchestra)

Kevin Park  – Clarinet (orchestra)

Dagney Paskach – 1st  Clarinet

Emily Rehmann –  1st Clarinet

Benjamin Moats – 1st Clarinet

Ana DiSpirito – 2nd  Clarinet

Neta Friedberg – 2nd Clarinet

Braeden Weyhrich – 3rd  Clarinet

Hayden Pritchard – 3rd Clarinet

Claire Dupuis –  1st Alto Saxophone

Jessica Rehmann –Tenor Saxophone

Nathan Paskach –Trumpet (orchestra)

David Vigil – 1st  Cornet

Malkan Santiago – 2nd Cornet

David Tarte – 1st Horn

Isak Werner Anderson – 2nd Horn (orchestra)

Aaron Mann  – 2nd Trombone

Channing Che – 3rd Trombone

Eileen Murray – Flute – 1st Alternate

Tianxin Xu – Flute – 2nd Alternate

Cole Thompson – Trombone – 2nd Alternate

Orchestra All-State Accepted

Chloe Barry – Harp 2 Orchestra

Isabel McLeod – Harp 2 Band

Fox Henson – Cello

Grace Kim – Cello

Esther Lee – Violin I (four-year All-Stater)

Tiffany Loe – Violin I (four year All-Stater – Gilbert student)

Joanna Held – Violin I

Jana Kim – Violin I

Beau Henson – Violin I

Maddie Tuggle – Violin II

Olivia Wong – Violin II

Choir All-State Accepted:

Julie Michelle Manohar

Andrew Bryant

Thea Brenner

Hannah Hartmann

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Ames High School student raises money for cancer research

To develop a simple and elegant marketing plan for a nonprofit fundraiser, Ames High School senior DeVaughn Stringfellow might say “it’s all in the wrist.”

Business teacher Vicki Hales gave Stringfellow’s class an assignment to create a fundraiser that could take advantage of all the themes October has to offer—from Halloween, to Breast Cancer Awareness, to football…

“I started thinking of black and orange and pink and fall,” Stringfellow said. “It just seemed like too much. Then I just blurted out an idea to raise money for cancer awareness. Not just breast cancer, because cancer touches more than that.”

Stringfellow said he got the idea to design a wristband as simple way to convey the clear, compelling message, “Ames High Cancer Awareness.”

“And choosing the colors orange and black will never to out of style at Ames High School,” he said.

Developing a business plan to produce and sell the wristbands taught Stringfellow how to face and overcome the inevitable obstacles.

“I didn’t have any money to fund the project, and I had a goal to get the wristbands in time for the next football game,” he said. “I asked (business teacher) Rhonda Schmaltz what to do, and she recommended talking to Alpha Copies.”

Stringfellow said Alpha Copies was willing to help, but couldn’t produce the wristbands within the timeframe they were needed.

“That’s when Mr. Evans stepped up,” Stringfellow said.

Principal Spence Evans approved using some DECA activity funds to front Stringfellow’s project so he could order 300 wristbands online.

“I didn’t know if they would actually arrive in time for October 16 football game, so I couldn’t promote them in advance,” he said. “They got here just in time for the game, so I sent some emails out and got some of my classmates lined up to sell them at the game.”

Stringfellow said he got more than 30 email responses within two hours.

Estimating he’s sold 250 wristbands so far, Stringfellow said he’s already covered his start-up costs and netted more than $100.

“I’m asking $1, but some people are giving more and treating it as a donation,” he said. “And I have more orders left to fill.”

Stringfellow said he was surprised that high school students would be so enthusiastic in their support of a cancer research fundraiser.

“This experience has me thinking about what it would be like to work for a nonprofit,” he said. “I’ve been involved in mission trips and helping people through my church, Christ Community Church, but this helps me see more of the business side of it.”

Stringfellow said he’s still researching cancer centers to receive the funds.



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English teacher James Webb receives Distinguished Service Award

James Webb’s passion for giving back to his profession and his ability to teach students how to master words and ideas that can change the world have been noticed. Webb, an English teacher and Mentor Teacher at Ames High School, is the 2015 recipient of the Iowa Council of Teachers of English Distinguished Service Award.webb

Erin Miller, a Teacher on Special Assignment for Language Arts, Social Studies, Music, Counseling, said Webb has a vision for what good English teaching can and should look like.

“He is the master of teachable moments, using the world around him to elevate students to places they never know or never considered reaching,” she said.

Webb admits there was a time in his career when he was growing cynical and disillusioned.

“After a few years of teaching, I felt discouraged and isolated,” he said.

When a peer encouraged him to attend an Iowa Council of Teachers of English conference, Webb said he discovered he was part of a community.

“Teachers just like me were giving up their limited time and resources to gather and encourage one another and share what they had learned in their teaching journeys,” he said.

Webb said his involvement with ICTE has taught him that teachers have a responsibility, not just to students, but to each other.

“I have become passionate about raising up young teachers and spurring on the veterans like me who sometimes convince themselves that none of this matters,” he said. “It does matter. We matter. Teachers matter.”

Webb is a frequent presenter at ICTE, and served for several years on the executive board. He has moonlighted as a composition teacher at Des Moines Area Community College, and coordinated with Iowa State University professors in composition and the performing arts. At Ames High School, Webb’s work has focused on curriculum integration and alignment; on leadership roles in initiatives such as Response to Intervention and Multi-Tiered System of Support, and on identifying, developing and mentoring young teachers.

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PEP Rally showcases student leadership and spirit


Ames Middle School Spirit has never been stronger, judging from first pep rally of the 2015-16 school year—thanks to the student-led Cyclone Leadership Council, who scripted, organized and led the event, Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Faculty advisor Sara Knutson said the SLC’s Spirit Squad team created the initial idea for the Pep Rally.

“They helped to lead the other students who divided into groups to plan and perform the dance mob, introduce our building wide social contract for the year, introduce the fall sports teams, and hold the dance contest,” Knuston said.

Knutson said the council is made up of 32 student leaders from 6th-8th grade.

“These students applied and were chosen to help lead school wide activities, develop leadership teams and promote community within our school,” she said. “They are the leaders of teams such as the Environmental Team, Spirit Squad, Welcoming Committee and Lunch Leaders.”

Knutson said the Cyclone Leaders will be recruiting other students to participate in planning and implementing student roles and activities within Ames Middle School.

Co-presidents Anna Snyder and Cooper Downs lead the Cyclone Leadership Council.

View Cyclone Leadership Council roster

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Ames High School students live stream event with NASA

Ames High School students in DeAnna Tibben’s Foundations of Earth Science and PreAP Earth Science classes may feel closer to Mars after participating in an interactive, live streamed event with NASA scientists, engineers, former astronauts, and cast members from the movie “The Martian.”

Organizers invited more than 100 high schools nationwide to participate from their classrooms, bringing the “So you want to be a Martian” event, hosted at Kennedy Space Center Thursday, Oct. 1,  to about 10,000 students.NASA

Tibben said the event was designed to spur students’ interest in space exploration and its benefits for science and humanity.

“This event represents a small but critical step in taking humans to Mars, and for making the earth a better place through the discoveries and solutions that happen along the way,” she said.

Tibben has an answer for people who question why we should we care about exploring Mars.

”To get there, we need to learn how to take care of plants, animals, soil, and ourselves,” she said. “We could use those lessons here on earth even if we never leave.”

Some of Tibben’s students said the “So You Want to be a Martian” event helped them connect the high stakes for science learning for humanity’s future.

Ninth grade student Jayna Wanamaker said, “If the Earth becomes unlivable, Mars could be an alternate planet to live on.”

Naomi Biela, also in ninth grade, said she thinks the experience of  contributing their expertise in making the movie “The Martian” helped scientists refine some of the logistics for getting to Mars.

“We still need to work on how to make it feasible to get there and survive,” Biela said. “NASA’s involvement with the movie was important—it sort of helped make a way for a trip to Mars to be even more possible.”

Panelists at the session included:

  • Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Division Director
  • Bob Cabana, KSC Center Director (and former astronaut)
  • Nicole Stott, NASA astronaut (retired)
  • Mackenzie Davis, actor, “The Martian”
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, actor, “The Martian”

More about “So You Want to be a Martian”

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