Governor Herbert's Invitation to "Do the Write Thing"


Governor Herbert launches Do the Write Thing Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 23, 2016) – The Office of Gov. Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice invite seventh and eighth grade students to participate in the seventeenth annual Do the Write Thing Challenge aimed at combating youth violence in homes, schools and neighborhoods.

The challenge offers students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence in their lives and submit an essay on their thoughts to resolve issues related to youth and cultural violence. The campaign emphasizes personal responsibility by encouraging students to make a commitment to do something about the problem.

Last year’s challenge involved more than 2,500 students, with more than 1,000 submitting essays from thirteen school districts and twenty-one schools.

The deadline for entries is Dec. 9, 2016. One boy and one girl will be selected, along with their teacher and parent, to represent Utah at the National Recognition Week in Washington, D.C. in July 2017. Top essays will be published and placed in the Library of Congress. All contest finalists, honorable mentions, their teachers and parents will be invited to attend a recognition luncheon where the top two authors will be announced next April.

Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the Do the Write Thing Challenge in their classroom curriculum. Lesson plans may be found on the Board of Juvenile Justice’s website,

For more information including rules and entry forms, visit

View the letter from Gov. Herbert to educators here.

Ms. James's Dance Fitness Class Featured in Newspaper

The article can be found on the website

The Daily Herald published an article today featuring PE and Health teacher Ms. James's Dance and Fitness class. Ms. James is a favorite among students at our school and her new class has been really popular with students. The article quotes Ms. James saying that she wanted to provide a fun alternative to regular PE classes, something that will get students excited about being fit and staying active. It goes on to say that about 110 students will benefit from Dance and Fitness this year. 

Follow the link to to read more about Ms. James and her exciting new class.

SaJHS News Blog is Live


Our journalism students here at SaJHS are proud to announce that their news blog is going live today. Students will be posting regularly about school, their community, and their interests. The blog is hosted by and for the time being isn't searchable on Google, but you can use and share this link if you would like to read about the great things that our students are doing.

80s Day at SaJHS

Jace Hancock, Cameron Taylor, Peyton Bowden, Makayla Morris, and Jacob Ith rocking the 80s look

This week is Spirit Week here at SaJHS and the students are showing up in their best outfits. Today was 80s day, and our students gave the teachers a run for their money with their 80s looks. They've owned 80s day. We love when students show their school spirit by participating in all of the fun events that we have throughout the year.

Students of the Month for September

students of the month - September

Congratulations to the year's first Students of the Month. They are already impressing teachers with their hard work and great attitudes. Way to go guys.

From left to right: Bethany Fifita 8th, Jack Guest 7th, Halley Lyman 7th, Nicolas De Santiage 8th, Sydney Ward 9th, and Garrett Cheney 9th


Bus Drivers Needed

Lana Hiskey

Nebo bus drivers and attendants wanted. The district provides needed training. Daily routes are open for the beginning of school. Starting pay for drivers is $15.23 and attendants $11.32. Please apply online at

Summer Meals

Summer Meals for 2016
Summer Meals for 2016

Summer Meals from the Utah Food Bank available for youth to 18 years of age. This is a great program to help our youth to have a nutritious lunch if it is not available at home. There is a Payson and a Spanish Fork site for our Salem youth. Please read the attached flyer for more information.

Oxford Comma is a Waste?

Lily Christensen
Picture Credit:


For the people who have never heard of an Oxford Comma, it is a comma that is used immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and or) in a series. It is also known as a serial comma. For example: In Jeff’s backpack, he carries a book, a pen, and an eraser. The Oxford comma is the comma right after “a pen”. This comma is not required, technically it is optional, all up to you, and whatever you prefer. But I am here to tell you, this comma is futile, pointless, and should never be used unless under special circumstances that require that a comma is in place.

The Oxford comma has no right to be in writing. The majority of the time, it is an unnecessary mark, a literal waste of ink. Even though it is optional, why keep it when everyone can discard it? When it is somewhat helpful in specific circumstances, you could just add it in. Most often the case is that there is no need for it to be attached. Sydney Ward, an eighth grader attending Salem Junior High School states her opinion, “The Oxford comma helps distinguish lists and makes a piece of writing look more polished, professional, and complete. It also properly distinguishes between compound and singular terms.” It may distinguish between singular and compound in some cases, but it can be useless altogether as long as you use a little rephrasing. It also doesn’t make a writing look “complete”, it makes a writing look as if it is carrying an unwanted and unwelcome mark. Not only that, if this comma is used constantly it can force hesitancy or confusion in the reader’s head, and slow down the pace of reading. All because of an expendable mark.

Some might argue that the Oxford comma is necessary to keep sentences orderly and intelligible. For example: I love my friends,  Adam Sandler and Olaf. Some might say that without the Oxford Comma this could be interpreted as you love your friends, who are Adam Sandler and Olaf. Although this is a good argument, if you rephrase this poor sentence it would be just as effective as using an Oxford comma.  Amy Huhtala, and English teacher at Salem Junior High, explains how in some cases the Oxford comma should be used to separate ideas, but when Huhtala was growing up, like many others, they were not taught to use it in school. Recently however, many teachers and students do prefer it, and in some cases they count it as incorrect if you don’t add it in. They should not use it because the coordinating conjunction is there for a reason, to take the place of the comma so there is no use for it. That is all.