A Week of Hope
Every year during the third week of February, a widespread celebration is held in the commons of Bonneville High School. Hope Squad, Bonneville’s peer-to-peer suicide prevention group, orchestrates the jamboree known as Hope Week. Every year a new theme adorns this fun occasion. A few themes from previous years include “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” “Hakuna Matata,” and “Just Keep Swimming.” Each theme hints towards suicide prevention by focusing on having a lively mindset. Inspired by Disney’s The Lion King, “Hakuna Matata” theme helped remind students to discard their worries and see the good in life. Following the Disney theme, “Just Keep Swimming,” from Finding Nemo is meant to tell people to continue life and not give up. Last year’s theme, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” was based on Disney’s Toy Story and aimed to remind students they are not alone.
Each year, Hope Squad provides engaging, theme-based activities and games in which all students, and even some staff members, participate. Some of last year’s games included a candy guessing game in which students guess how many pieces were in the jar. Forky sporks came to life in the commons to live up to the Toy Story theme. On a different day, students were given star necklaces and had the opportunity to "steal" the star upon talking to another student. Inspired by one of Toy Story’s settings known as “Pizza Planet,” free pizza was served in the commons to celebrate the week. Each teacher was provided Hope Squad attire, such as sweatshirts, so they could correspond with the other teachers during the week.
This year the theme is “Go the Distance'' from Hercules. Rumors have been circulating that there will be an obstacle course this year, as well as activities for everyone to enjoy. In an effort to prevent the accidental exclusion that occurred in previous years, Hope Squad aims to make Hope Week more inclusive for all this year. According to the group’s advisor, Lori Baldwin, Hope Squad members have worked diligently to ensure all students are involved and can find something to fit their interest. This year’s Hope Week will work to incorporate fine arts students, special education students, LGBTQ+ students, and students of other clubs and interests, as well as inviting staff and faculty to participate in the fun. This year’s activities are mostly still a mystery though; could a dance party take place? Or perhaps more free food? Whatever is in store for Hope Week, Hope Squad will make it fun, inclusive, and equal for all!
In the lower E Wing, the Bonneville High School debate team has an extensive trophy case showcasing the past victories that the school has achieved. Hopefully, another trophy is soon to take place alongside the others, as the Bonneville debate team heads to yet another tournament. With many upcoming competitions, there are multiple opportunities for the team to receive new awards.
Firstly, Rigby High School hosts the Trojan War tournament, which is a major competition that prepares debaters from all over Idaho for the stressful District and National Qualifying tournaments. The Trojan War tournament began on the 27th of January, a day which coincidentally had no school, giving many of the students less work to come back to in the following week. Excitingly, the tournament offered the Duo Retold speech event, which is a unique event in which two students interpret a children’s story by improvising stage cues in a limited amount of time.
As for the various regional competitions, students have been preparing for the upcoming District and National Qualifying tournaments. The District tournament is divided between three schools: Blackfoot High School will host Congress, Madison High School will host the other debate events, and Skyline High school will host the unique Big Questions event in which students are given a major philosophical question and debate on the best answer.
For those uninformed about debate events, there are four main events, excluding Big Questions:
This time of year tends to be incredibly busy for the Bonneville debate team because of the various qualifying tournaments, which will decide who attends the important competitions and even allowing some students to attend the National tournament in Kentucky. The end of this year’s debate season is coming to an end in only a couple of months. Thus, it is crucial that the team succeeds in the upcoming competitions.
While absorbed in life’s joys and sorrows, traveling to a different country can be truly eye opening for some. Traveling expands a person’s horizons and introduces them to the unique cultures of other places. A survey was sent out in January to the faculty of Bonneville, and they were asked about their experiences with other countries. The following are just a few of the answers to the questions that were received.
Based on the responses, some educators have been to all sorts of places around the world, while some traveled to just one foreign country. When asked about the purposes behind why they traveled there, many were along the lines of religious missions, academic reasons, and vacations. A few answers that stood out were Mr. Dresen, who teaches a variety of fine arts courses, has traveled to attend musical events like the World Choral Symposium (organized every three years in a variety of places), and Mr. Piper, the US history, military history, and cold war teacher, was a lifeguard in Saudi Arabia. For those who saw a variety of places, their answers were quite informative. Mr. Pyper, who teaches freshman history and mythology, lived in Italy for a while. “This list would be very long because while in Italy, I lived in Rome, Florence, Naples, and on the island of Sardinia. I can say I saw everything in Italy.” He goes on to say about how that trip was what got him interested in teaching world history.
Visiting a new country introduces plenty of new cultural traditions. In terms of food, many of the responses spoke about how they enjoyed the meals, while some described dishes that did not quite appeal to them at first, but grew to love some of them. When asked about culture shocks while in those places, Mr. Piper described his as such: “Waking up on the airplane going to Arabia and all the passengers had switched into their traditional Arab clothing, men in white robes and women in black dresses and covered faces.” Piper also says that he was almost arrested due to disrupting a shop owner before prayer time. Language moreover plays a big part in the experience of it all. Ms. Hinson, one of the school counselors, learned Portuguese in Brazil, and that later helped them learn some other languages. “In Europe, Portuguese helped me pick up more manners and conversational phrases in French and Italian when visiting.”
There were two final questions at the end of the interviews. The first being what their favorite souvenirs from those places were. Many bought items, ranging from clothing articles to small items such as miniature versions of landmarks. A few responded that their memories were much more valuable than any tangible item. The second question was if they would go to those places again or if they would recommend it to someone else. Many said they would, some already planning another trip somewhere, like Mrs. Coffield who is preparing for a German-American exchange program in 2024. A few said no to specifically traveling to the Middle East areas due to the conflicts and not traveling there at this time.
Thank you to the educators who were willing to take the time to answer in the interview, both those who were quoted in the article and those who were not. Traveling gives exposure to cultures that share the earth together, and helps gain an understanding of each other. Stepping outside of what someone calls home is quite the challenge. Perhaps the journey will be worth the struggle in the end when the traveler can tell their exciting adventures to those around them, either in present times or in the future.
Bonneville’s doors have a controversial past with the school. With all of the added rules for the doors designed to protect the people at this school from various threats, some students have spoken out about the inconvenience that this protection brings.
At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, all of the doors were locked except for the front door at the start of the day. Although few other restrictions were placed on the doors, many students still complained about the inconvenience of the doors. People have shown a preference to the old door policy, where they only locked the doors in the morning, compared to the new one. “I definitely think it was necessary for safety, but even then, it was easier to get [to] classes,” stated Jazmin Torres, about the new door policy compared to the old one. However, Torres still believes it has improved the safety of the school. “Overall, it was good for [the] safety of everyone.”
According to a form sent out recently, many people believe that the door policy has become much more cumbersome under these new conditions. Some people have complained about how difficult it is for certain students to reach their next class on time. Erin Carter, a paraprofessional (a trained aide) at Bonneville, discussed this difficulty at length: “It seems that those going to the seminary building are late there and late to their next class… and only [have] four minute long passing periods. That definitely doesn’t leave time for using the restroom and getting a drink.” Yet, Carter still agrees that the new policy is much more safe than the old one. “... I understand why doors being locked is a safety issue, with students not ditching and strangers not randomly coming [into] the building.” Many people agree that the door policy tends to be inconvenient; however, they can still admit that it is much safer.
The administration, on the other hand, finds the protection provided by the doors to be incredibly important for the sake of keeping the students of this school safe. Principal Levi Owen noted the planning that went on to implement this policy. According to Owen, “The new policy is a necessary step for us to ensure the safety and security of the school building. It was made after careful consideration and much collaboration with different staff members--including seminary teachers.” Other members of administration, including attendance secretary Amanda Van Orden, discussed the careful planning that was needed for this plan to be upheld. Van Orden expressed,“I don't think students and parents really know how much effort, time and thought goes into these decisions made by our administration. I wish they could see things from that different perspective.” This shows how the administration feels about their efforts being seen as a burden rather than a help.
While the students have shown disdain for the inconvenience that the new policy brings, the policy has kept the school much safer than the school was before. Not only is the school safer, the policy helps prevent students from leaving the school grounds by locking the doors.
Bonneville High School is a school that prioritizes working together in a community, similar to how a bee colony does. That community would not be what it is today without the amazing roster of teachers and staff. New educators join the faculty all the time, and the 2022-2023 school year is no exception. Shining a spotlight on one of these individuals, is Ms. Sebra, a geometry teacher who will now be known as Mrs. Minton after getting married over Christmas break. A journalism staff member conducted an interview about her new job.
The first few questions were regarding her schooling and how she ended up working at BHS. Minton attended Brigham Young University Idaho located in Rexburg, where she earned a degree in mathematics education. As for how she found a job at Bonneville, she said the following: “I saw job postings at Bonneville High School. I reached out to the email that was listed. I got a response asking to set up an interview and to fill out an application.” When asked about how the interview went, she said it had gone well and she was hired shortly after.
The second half of the interview was about the actual teaching part of her job. Minton was asked how her first few weeks of teaching had been, if she had any practice or help prior. She replied, “I was so excited to start teaching and to get to know all of my students. I had to adjust many of the strategies that I was using since they were not effective. I had a great mentor who gave me advice and helped me with my questions.” It’s very understandable that the methods of teaching have to be accommodated to fill an individual's needs, which brought the interview to the next topic about the struggles of being a teacher in her first school year after getting the job. Minton states that the main problem is finding a strategy that can best help her students. “It can be hard when students don’t want help when I know they have so much potential.”
Some extra questions were asked towards the end of the interview. Minton was asked about how she would describe her students. “My students have been amazing to get to know. I love hearing about their life and what they like outside of school. It has been special to see students who lack self confidence in math start to come out of their shell.” The interview concluded with the final question of what she sees in the future of her career as well as her goals. Minton said that she has not thought much of the future, though she would enjoy continuing to teach at Bonneville.
Special thanks to Mrs. Minton for letting the journalism staff do an interview with her. It is amazing that BHS has such a fantastic teacher and many other aspiring new educators within the staff and faculty this year. The future is unknown, but Bonneville will still be here and hopefully teaching the generations to come. It’s going to be a great year for both those who have been here for years and those who have just been acquainted.
My Story - English and Italian
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Winter break is a special time for many families, religions, and people. There are quite a few holidays celebrated during November through January, but the most commonly celebrated is Christmas. For this time, there are countless winter activities to be practiced. Some of these activities include baking, sledding, skiing, and indulging in holiday treats.
During winter break in the United States, countless people gather around a Christmas tree, usually pine or artificial, and exchange presents wrapped in vibrant paper with ribbons and bows. In some places, mainly Israel, a dreidel is spun during Hanukkah to play a traditional game. In Australia, a present wrapped like a peppermint candy called a Christmas cracker is pulled from each side so that gifts spill out. In Germany, shoes are filled with goodies for children from Saint Nikolaus, and children are on their best behavior in fear of Krampus. Krampus, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is a demon who travels with Saint Nikolaus and punishes children who are not on their best behavior.
Baking is an important part of winter break for participating countries. A plethora of cookies are baked, along with cakes, breads, and numerous other foods. Foods eaten during festive dinners include hams, turkeys, pies, yam dishes, salads, soups, and breads. Families and friends often gather together to prepare meals in celebration of the holiday season. According to Global Citizen, there are many different foods which are eaten according to holiday, country, and tradition. In the United Kingdom, a “christmas pudding” is eaten; this pudding consists of a bready base filled with sweetened fruits. In Brazil, an especially sweet glazed turkey is prepared for the family to share. In Norway, dried fish is served covered in butter and cream sauce. Winter is also the season of giving, so many of these treats and meals are shared and donated. For the sake of holiday spirit, many people choose to volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal sanctuaries to bring joy to all. Due to the colder weather, many supplies are needed for homeless shelters and low-income families.
Family is the heart of winter break for many students, staff, and faculty at Bonneville High School. A survey of BHS members showed more than half of the school’s population will be using winter break to spend with their family; many teachers who are not originally from Idaho Falls go home for the holidays. Because of this, winter break is highly valued throughout the school district. One question in the poll was, “Is two weeks enough time for winter break?” 67.6% of BHS students and faculty voted yes, while a much smaller 32.6% voted no. Less than two weeks of winter break would be hard for those learning and working at BHS because the school has become accustomed to the long break, and less time would be able to be spent with family and friends. These statistics show that two weeks off is the perfect time for our school to get a long breather, and not forget too much coursework. Any less than that would be hard for our school, because even though school is very important, most will put family first.
Dancing Among the Stars
Every year, high schools all over the U.S. host a school dance called Sadie Hawkins; this year, the theme of the dance at Bonneville High School was “Dancing Among the Stars.” The difference from this dance and others is the factor of stripping away the gender basis of asking; anyone can ask anyone.
The first part of Sadies is the daytime activity. The overall idea is a group of dates to do an activity together and enjoy each other's company with the opportunity of taking group and single photos. Edison Bare, a junior at BHS, said in an interview “The day was an absolute blast! We went to the museum, played lazer tag, and ate dinner at one of the girls' houses. It was a lot all day but was super fun!” Spending time with loved ones can really be what makes these the best days ever.
This year, BHS Theater was responsible for the decorations of Sadies and making it look spectacular. The day before the dance, the school was evacuated due to a battery leak, not allowing the theater students to arrive at a later time and still do their job of decorating the school for this marvelous event. Bare again shared her opinion on the matter: “There were a lot of little things that really pulled the whole theme together and made it fun.” The dance was limited to the commons area and the hallway to the front office with the lockers, cafeteria, and rest of the school blocked out with black paper coated with white dots to resemble the night sky.
The dance portion included a DJ, individual photos, and a small variety of food. The dance officially started at 8:30 p.m., but the bigger crowds did not form until about an hour into the dance. During the event, there were a couple line dances interspersed with many slow love songs to give people the opportunity to dance together. Bare stated, “I enjoyed being able to party with my group, and [the DJ] played a good amount of slow songs, not too much or too little which I thought was nice.”
Sadie Hawkins was the second school dance of the year, and it will not be the last. These activities are the makers of memories for the students who attend. High school dances can make the overall experience of school more fun and enjoyable for students.
Rose Le Boudec
With Spanishs, Frenchs, Russians, Koreans, and many other nationalities, Bonneville High School is an international meeting place. With over thirty exchange students, Bonneville is probably the school with the most exchange students in Idaho Falls.
A foreign exchange student chooses to discover a new culture, country, and language. The students decide, on their own, to go to a country that they do not know. Thirty-two exchange students are currently attending Bonneville; for some it is their first year, for others it is their second. Livia Bock is from Germany, and she is entering her second year of school here at Bonneville High School. She said, “[I chose to do an exchange year] because I always wanted to experience this and learn more about America, and improve my English. And [I chose] to come back so I can graduate here.”
Emma Verhofstad, BHS’s only exchange student from the Netherlands, stated “[I chose to do an exchange year] to learn English and to experience a new culture, and because I don’t know what to do after high school.” Hailing from South Korea, Jaekwon Song said “[I chose to do an exchange year] to improve my English, that’s the main goal.” What may seem strange to Americans is that most of the time, when an exchange student chooses to come to the United States, they hope to live the “American Dream” (Football games, Homecoming, Prom, etc.). For Song, his reason was “to learn some culture [and] meet a lot of people all over the world.” Verhofstad said, “I already knew English, so I won’t be able to learn a completely different language, and because America is pretty cool!” These two exchange students have settled in well at Bonneville High School. Song was on the soccer team, and Verhofstad just got back from the State competition in swimming. According to Verhofstad “[I do like my new life here] and I think it will be very outgoing.”
Being a foreign exchange student is not just about living their dream. An exchange student grows up, opens up to the world, and makes countless encounters, but also misses their family, friends, and home. They have to be ready to sacrifice their old life to open up a new chapter.
On May 6, 2021, two students and one staff member were wounded in a school shooting at Rigby Middle School. The attack on the school just ten miles from Bonneville High School put many people on edge and is one of the factors for the new security measures at BHS this year.
In a newsletter from September 22, 2022, the BHS principals detailed the new changes. The staff is still trained to move, secure, and defend their classrooms and students. A new set of controlled access doors were installed near the office, which require a secretary to unlock them to let anyone into the school. According to the newsletter, “These doors will funnel all visitors to the main office in order to gain access to the building.” This is done by locking the majority of the outside doors before, after, and during school hours, making the new doors the only entrance. A security film was installed over the exterior glass doors and windows that, according to the newsletter, “will make accessing the building by breaking windows almost impossible, even with a firearm.” Additionally, BHS administration is not allowing students to use the Hive doors as an exit anymore.
Recently, a survey of 80 Bonneville students and staff members revealed how they felt about the new security measures; 28 students voiced complaints about the locked doors. Khalee Burgess, senior at BHS, said, “I understand locking them during class periods but locking them before school is frustrating because I have to park by the AUX gym and it's annoying having to walk clear to the main entrance.” Many students use the parking spaces near the auxiliary gym or the Hive doors either for a zero-hour, band, choir, drama, or just because the rest of the parking spaces are full. Because most of the outside doors are locked, students parked on that side of the building or coming back from lunch, an appointment, or a class at the tech buildings can experience major inconvenience.
Many of the students and staff surveyed had ideas to make the school an even safer place, some more feasible than others. Mr. Harris and Mrs. Wagner, two staff members at Bonneville, suggested adding locking doors to the classrooms with open doorways; however, this is not possible because those classrooms contain emergency exits and legally have to remain open to the hallway. Other changes mentioned included metal detectors at entrances, requiring student IDs to scan to unlock doors, and even using hypothetical AI police hamsters to guard the doors. As senior Samuel Memmott said, “They are small! They are police! They are hamsters! Nobody gets past these little buddies!”
Although these changes may be inconvenient at times, they are for the protection of the students who attend Bonneville High School. Gordon Howard, director of D93 security, stated, “We, as a community, need to be more proactive when it comes to school safety.” The best way to create a safer environment at school is to take safety more seriously.
Campus News is where stories relating directly to Bonneville reside. Most are reports on school activities and events.