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January 2016

2016 8th grade Geography Bee

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 14:10
Hyrum Devenport
Left to right: Josh Abbott, Silas Wallentine, Bryn Riley

On January 27, Salem Jr High held its second annual Geography Bee. The Geography Bee is a contest, resembling a spelling bee, but, instead of asking the spelling of words, the Geography Bee asks the names of countries. The purpose of the Geography Bee is to encourage eighth-grade students to learn geography. According to Mrs. Van De Graaff, a teacher at Salem Jr, who both ran and acted as a judge at the Bee, it was very successful at fulfilling this purpose. She says, “I had twenty kids in [my room] for the last month… learning country locations.” This year, Silas Wallentine, Bryn Riley and Josh Abbott took first, second and third places, respectively.

To determine who will participate in the Geography Bee, 8th graders take a test. The top 35 scorers are invited to participate. Participation, however, is optional. Only 29 of the invited 35 actually chose to participate this year.

The Bee itself is split into three rounds. In the first of these, the preliminary round, acts as an elimination round. The top 10 contestants in this round move on to the finals. In the finals, participants are asked questions, and, once they miss two of them, they are eliminated. The final two in this round go on to the championships. Answers in the championships, unlike previous rounds, are written, not spoken. Three questions are asked, and the person who gets the most right wins. If necessary, there can be further tiebreaker rounds.

The winner of the school-level Geography Bee can continue on to compete at state and, if they win there, national-ranking contests. While the prizes at smaller school Bees, atlases and board games, may seem trivial, the winnings at these more prestigious competitions are, as would be expected, much more illustrious. The grand prize of the national tournament is a Galapagos vacation and a staggering $50,000 scholarship.

Considering the success and reception of the Geography Bee, it is planned that it will continue to be a yearly event at Salem Jr High, much to the delight of teachers and parents. Hopefully, it will continue to inspire learning and knowledge in our students.

Opinions on Olympic Time

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Mon, 01/11/2016 - 10:19
Sophie Callister and Jocelyn Johnson

Olympic time is quite different than it was last year. There are many different opinions about it as well. We personally think that we should have olympic time on Thursday and then on Wednesdays we have advisory. This way we think people will want to try harder to be able to go to enrichments and it also gives an extra day to catch up in classes. We made a survey to send to the 8th grade english classes to see some students opinions on olympic time. Here are their responses.




Do you like having advisory on Thursday?



Do you like the time to look at your grades and make a plan during Advisory?



Would you rather have olympic time on Thursday or advisory?

olympic time: 21

advisory: 7

If you could change one thing about olympic time what would it be?

Want to change: Majority says they don’t want to sign up.

Don’t want to change:5 said they don’t want to change anything about olympic time and they like it how it is.

What is your overall opinion on olympic time?

18 people say they enjoy olympic time how it is.

13 people say they want to change olympic time to how it was last year.

As you can see there are many different opinions on olympic time that should be taken into consideration on how we can make olympic time better everyone. Thanks!


Look! A New Kid

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:12
Hadley Smith
Photo Cred: Sophie Callister

Have you ever been a new kid? It is one of the most horrifying things on the face of this planet. You have no Idea who is who, what classes you will like, If people will be nice and actually acknowledge you. I recently transferred to Salem Junior High and I was terrified. I came with the impression that everyone here would be total hicks and that kids would ride their tractors to school. I had met some people and they were very nice but from my other middle school experiences I figured that not all students would be as amazing. I was totally wrong. Every person I have met here has greeted me with a smile and a welcome.

At Salem Junior, there aren't a bunch of cliques, everyone knows everyone else and everyone is friends. When I came home from my school on the first day I told my mom that everyone at Salem was crazy nice. “like Canadian stereotype nice.” It is such a stark difference from my old school where if there was a new student a couple people would introduce themselves if they were aware that there was a new student. If you are a new student here at Salem or you are considering transferring to salem you should because you will feel welcome immediately and if you are worried about friends don’t because people will be lining up around the school just to meet you.  If you are already at Salem, thanks for being so amazing and keep up the good work! :)


Sports Highlight- Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 09:58
Sophie Callister

It was November 14, 2015, in the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne Australia. Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm were up to fight. It wasn’t until the 2nd round of the UFC 193 main event that Holly Holm had Rousey unconscious. It was an incredible win that will most likely be remembered forever in MMA history.

This huge event was over a month ago and people are still talking about how Holly Holm, the underdog, defeated the undefeated Ronda Rousey. According to, Thomas Myers says, “Indeed, Holm handed the unstoppable Rousey-- UFC’s most dominant champion and its biggest star--...”

Some say Rousey wasn’t well prepared and that Holm had the fight all mapped out. Others also think that Holly Holm just “got lucky”. Although some theories may be true, the main thing had to do with the fighting styles. These two fighters had a “mismatch of styles” which may have thrown off Rousey while also giving Holm an advantage. When the 2nd round came, it was a head kick knockout that had Rousey unconscious.

This kind of thing does not happen all the time when an underdog beats the undefeatable. So when it does, people go crazy and remember it for a lifetime. This miraculous and shocking fight will be remembered forever in MMA history.

Winter Sports

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 09:56
Sophie Callister

A lot of people might think that when December is over, winter is over. But that is definitely not the case. According to, spring doesn’t start until March 20th. During these last few months of winter, there are many different winter sports you can try out to stay productive. Some are outside, and some you can do inside! You can also do these sports almost anywhere in Utah! Some of these winter sports include ice skating, hockey, snowboarding, sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing.

Ice skating is one of the winter sports that you can do inside or outside. It is also a great way to stay productive and have fun during the winter. Ice skating is also included in other sports like hockey, which you can also do inside or outside. Both of these winter sports are also included in the winter Olympics. You can try out these sports at Peaks Ice Arena in Provo, just 20 minutes away!

Snowboarding and sledding are also good ways to stay productive in this cold weather. It helps with exercise because you have to walk back up steep hills to try again. You can go sledding and snowboarding at Peteetneet in Payson, or on any steep hill that is safe near you. Skiing is another great way to stay fit and is also included in the winter Olympics.

Lastly there is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is basically hiking, except you’re going through the snow. The snowshoes are supposed to help you keep your feet from sinking into the deep, cold, and wet snow. If you love hiking and you love snow, snowshoeing is the winter sport for you!

As you can see, there are many different winter sports that are fun, and easy to get to! If you’re not so into the normal sports, you can try some of these! These are just some out of many different ways to stay productive during the cold winter.

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