School News

News for McCulloch Junior High School


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
MARION (March 20, 2013) — A Marion Community Schools student tied for runner-up in the Grant County Spelling Bee, and five others were among the top 11 prize-winners.

Jinwon Pae, a fourth-grader at Kendall Elementary School, tied for second at the annual competition hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at College Wesleyan Church. She was among six Grant County students left in the competition by round four. The bee had started with 78 students.

By round five, only three students remained: Jinwon, along with two students from R.J. Baskett Middle School in Gas City, Meagan Aldridge, a sixth-grader, and Madison Jones, an eighth-grader who would go on to win the bee by correctly spelling “zealotry.”

But a front-page story in the Marion Chronicle-Tribune said Jinwon "almost stole the show." To read the newspaper's report, click here.



Kendall Elementary School fourth-grader Jinwon Pae competes in the final round of the Grant County Spelling Bee on March 19, 2013, at College Wesleyan Church in Marion as sixth-grader Meagan Aldridge and eighth-grader Madison Jones, both from R.J. Baskett Middle School in Gas City, look on. Madison went on to win the bee. To see more photos, click here.


Two other MCS students, Micah Hoeksema, an eighth-grader at McCulloch Junior High School, and Logan Barley, a fourth-grader at Riverview Elementary School, tied for fourth place, along with Emma Make, a fourth-grader from Lakeview Christian School.

Three other MCS students, Caleb Spitzer and Hannah Patel, both fifth-graders at Justice Intermediate School, and Danielle Manio, an eighth-grader at McCulloch Junior High School, tied for seventh place, along with Tristan Galeon, a fifth-grader at St. Paul Catholic School, and Seth Kemple, a homeschooled sixth-grader.

The top 11 finishers all earned prizes in the bee, which was in its fifth year at College Wesleyan Church, according to Alan Miller, director of university relations for IWU. For the third year, IWU associate professor of education John McCracken was the pronouncer.

Madison will go on to compete in the National Spelling Bee, set for May 28-30 in Washington, D.C. An all-expenses paid trip for her and a parent or guardian is part of the prize package she received as winner.

The bee is open to all fourth- through eighth-graders in the county. Each MCS elementary school, along with McCulloch Junior High School, sent the winner and runner-up of its school bee to participate in the county bee. Justice Intermediate School sent the winners and runners-up from each grade, fifth and sixth. Along with those who made it into the top 11, MCS participants in the county bee were:
  • Katie Erickson and Zoe Orrell, sixth-graders at Justice Intermediate School
  • Brayton Ramsey and Shane Williams, fourth-graders at Allen Elementary School
  • Erin Weatherly and Kahmia Wise, fourth-graders at Frances Slocum Elementary School
  • Isabelle Bento, fourth-grader at Kendall Elementary School
  • Corbin Havins, fourth-grader at Riverview Elementary School.
All MCS school-level bee winners were honored at the MCS Board meeting on March 20, 2013. Learn more and view pictures here.
 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Several students were recognized for success in academics and fine arts March 13, 2013, by the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees.

Those honored were:


Ethan Nguyen, McCulloch Junior High School seventh-grader, who earned a first place at a regional science fair at Ball State University last month and will go on to compete at the state and national levels. Learn more about Ethan’s accomplishment here. Also seen in the picture are Superintendent Steve Edwards, school board members Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts and Katie Morgan.



Zoe Stiles, a fourth-grader at Kendall Elementary School, and Annie Moore, a third-grader at Frances Slocum Elementary School, who both earned Gold Ribbons at the state level in the annual Symphony in Color contest that blends symphonic music and visual arts. Also honored but not pictured was Heidy Garrido, a first-grader at Kendall Elementary School, who was a Symphony in Color finalist. Learn more here. Also seen in the picture are Superintendent Steve Edwards, school board members Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts and Katie Morgan, along with art teacher Karen Fry.



Christian Kelley, an junior at Marion High School, who earned a Gold Rating at the annual Solo and Ensemble contest last month, and Kodie Young, an MHS sophomore who earned a Silver Rating at the same competition. Learn more here. Also seen in the picture are Superintendent Steve Edwards, school board members Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts and Katie Morgan, along with band teacher Wayne Garrett.
 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News MARION (March 8, 2013) — Six McCulloch Junior High School students have paved the way for those coming behind them to get ahead early in math, first pioneering algebra, then geometry. And the group has added to its achievements a 100 percent passage rate on the state’s end-of-course assessment for Algebra 1.

The eighth-graders – Truman Bennet, Anne Marie Conrad, Megan Griffin, Micah Hoeksema, Danielle Manio, and Darice Upchurch – actually sparked the idea of algebra at the school themselves, said their teacher, Steve Stuckey. The students came to him and asked for the class, he recalled, and arrangements were made for the group to take the course via independent study during their seventh-grade year.

The next year, Algebra was an official, traditional class included in the course offerings open to all McCulloch students.

Meanwhile, the six pioneers were at it again, taking geometry via independent study – again guided by Stuckey – and paving the way for the class to be offered in the traditional setting for all McCulloch eighth-graders next school year.


McCulloch Junior High School eighth-graders Megan Griffin, Darice Upchurch, Danielle Manio, Micah Hoeksema, Anne Marie Conrad and Truman Bennet work during their independent study period with Steve Stuckey, McCulloch Junior High School math teacher.


And Stuckey said the six are actually ahead of where he expected them to be at this point in the year.

That’s one of the positives of the independent study model, Anne Marie said. It allows students to spend extra time on specific concepts or skills when they need to, but also allows them to move quickly past the things they understand well, she said.

But independent study can be challenging and even draining. Anne Marie herself decided halfway through this school year that she wanted a more traditional setting. This semester, she’s attending Marion High School for one period a day, taking part in a geometry class.

Independent study takes quite a lot of self-motivation, she noted.

“If you need to be given homework daily, then it’s not for you,” she said.

But Stuckey noted the skills she and the others have learned – particularly how to use a textbook to actually learn, not just simply as a workbook from which to get assignments – will pay dividends the rest of their academic lives.

Megan said that was key to their success, noting: “We taught ourselves.”

Their test scores certainly reflect that success. During the winter testing window, all six of them earned a pass-plus rating on the Algebra 1 ECA, which is designed to assess students’ mastery of the state’s academic standards for the course. All Indiana high school students are required to pass that test, along with the English 10 ECA, before graduating. Stuckey’s students are halfway there before they even start high school.

And the 100 percent passage rate puts them far above state statistics for the test, too. Overall, in 2010-11, the most recent year for which stats are available from the Indiana Department of Education, 72.4 percent of first-time test takers of the Algebra 1 ECA (grades six through 12) passed. Of first-time test takers in seventh grade, 96 percent passed. Of first-time test takers in eighth grade, 91 percent passed.

And one of the six went one step further. Truman earned a perfect score on his Algebra 1 ECA (after earning a perfect score the year before on the math portion of the ISTEP+ test).

Many of the six expressed an interest in careers in the medical field, for which their success in math would be invaluable. But regardless of where the future takes each of them, their impact on their school, and the students coming behind them, can hardly be overstated.
 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
More than a dozen students were recognized for academic success and more Feb. 27, 2013, by the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees.

Those honored were:


Bradley Dennis, Marion High School senior, who earned a perfect score on his English 10 end-of-course assessment after moving into the school district from out of state, and Truman Bennet, McCulloch Junior High School eighth-grader, who earned a perfect score on his Algebra I end-of-course assessment.  Also seen in the picture are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ken Folks, school board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Greg Kitts, Katie Morgan, and Aaron Vermilion.



Corey Deaton, a Marion High School senior soccer player who was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s 2012 High School Scholar All-America Team, and Kyle Clark, MHS senior soccer player, who was named to the NSCAA’s 2012 High School Scholar All-Central Region Team. Learn more here. Also seen in the picture are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ken Folks, school board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Greg Kitts, Katie Morgan, and Aaron Vermilion.



Michael Culley, a Marion High School senior wrestler who was named to the 2013 IHSWCA Senior All-Academic Team, Hunter Williams, an MHS junior wrestler named to the 2013 IHSWCA Junior All-Academic Team, and Trevor Hiles, an MHS junior wrestler who earned honorable mention. Learn more here. Also seen in the picture are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ken Folks, school board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Greg Kitts, Katie Morgan, and Aaron Vermilion, along with wrestling coach Steve Swinson.



Michael Walters, Brenton Scott, Abbi Swafford, Moara Amagh, Arande Jones, Michael Berry, and Colton Johnson (and Shelby Simpson and Victoria Burk, not pictured), Marion High School JROTC members who earned third place at the Purdue Drill Meet. Learn more here. Also seen in the picture are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ken Folks, school board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Greg Kitts, Katie Morgan, and Aaron Vermilion, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News
Students and staff gathered the Friday before ISTEP+ testing for a pep rally to get in the spirit for ISTEP testing, which took place the week of March 4.

Principal Fox encouraged students to have confidence and be ready to prove that they're not "F" students, and McCulloch isn't an "F" school. Students also heard from some of their classmates about the importance of having the right attitude heading into ISTEP.



Principal Fox encourages students at the ISTEP Pep Rally Friday at McCulloch Junior High School.
See more photos here.


 
Teachers and staff members also surprised students with a video to encourage students - earning cheers from the students. Check out "Pass It Maybe" in the video player below.