Category Archives: Student Life

Third Trimester: The End of the World?… Story by Miranda Paddack

Everyone is talking about the end of the world: CERN, climate change, the blood moon, etc.; however, no one is talking about Third Trimester at FBCHS. Who would be talking about Third Trimester anyway? Christmas break is still 32 school days away!

Magnificent Art... Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Magnificent Art… Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

After collaborating with the High School staff, Mary Jenson has put project-based learning in motion for third-trimester, “We want to make third-trimester fun,” stated Mary. No midterm or final just one project, with a catch nonetheless. Innovation, this theme has been the idea since the baby stages. This theme was originated to honor our schools namesake, Dr. Bird.  The recent death of Mr. and Mrs. Bird makes this a wonderful tribute to their lives.

What is project-based learning? Project based learning is a type of teaching method in which students spend an extended period researching one topic. The focus of our final trimester will be innovation; the project we decide to create will be worked on in nearly all classes, the classes also be focused on this topic. For example, the history class could be about the history of innovation and science classes about innovating something. Group or single, you can pick your “team” in study lab. The project will count for a part of all your grades, completion of this project is your key to passing.

Forrest M. Bird Charter... Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Forrest M. Bird Charter… Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack

The students and staff are being challenged third-trimester to innovate the world in which we live. To look at the problems of this world and to solve them with real life answers in our projects.  This could be the most innovative form of education our world has ever seen.

The School News is Back?…Story by Catherine Jay

Getting our news... Mr. Webber is helping us find topics for our third batch of stories. Photo-by Catherine Jay
Getting our news… Mr. Webber is helping us find topics for our third batch of stories. Photo-by Catherine Jay

Rising from the flames, the Bird Eye News is finally back in business! Our school’s newspaper is something that has been known to ‘die’ it gets dropped from the classes offered because of the enrollment being too low and Mr. Webber’s need to offer more history electives. But now it’s taking a different turn. The end result is for the class to hopefully manage itself like a club. Being able to run the website, handle updates, and keeping up with all the news. Will we be able to handle it? That’s what this trimester will decide.

The Bird Eye News is the high school newspaper that was started in 2013 by Mark Webber and the journalism class at the time. This actually wasn’t the first time he had started a school paper. In 2011 there was a high school and middle school paper that didn’t do too well. It was far more expensive due to the fact that they printed out a physical paper. So in order to make it better, they changed it from the expensive paper publications to be strictly an online newspaper. Good choice. Thus, the birth of the Bird Eye News. This was created because Mr. Webber wanted the students of FBCHS to have a voice to report the news by keeping others informed about events happening around the student body and the community of Sandpoint.

Hard at work… Orion Syth is hard at work trying to make our website interesting and new.
Hard at work… Orion Syth is hard at work trying to make our website interesting and new. Photo-by Colleen Kindred

However, the Bird Eye News hasn’t always gone smoothly. No, in fact it’s met many bumps in the road. The high school paper went dormant as well which showed that it may not have been successful. However that’s not the case. Mr. Webber soon explained in the interview why the paper went dormant once again. “The Bird Eyes News died, or should I say went dormant, because of a need for me as a teacher to offer more history electives to meet the eight history credit requirements the school has for graduation. I am hoping that this year I could continue with the great staff I have into another trimester. If that doesn’t happen, I am hoping the staff will keep the online news site alive as a club”

Being required to teach core classes resulted in the paper becoming dormant a couple times before it was brought back this year. Having a main goal in mind, Mr. Webber and his class are striving to maintain the journalism class and keep the news alive. However, there are still some concerns that Mr. Webber holds for the future of this class. “My main concerns when starting the paper again was would I find motivated students who would see the freedom of the press as an important right to exercise and really commit to the class and the continual need to publish new stories.” The future of the paper will hopefully turn into a club if the class’ enrollment doesn’t increase.

The future of the Bird Eye News rests on the shoulders of the student body. Will we be able to keep it running for as long as we can? Will it become dormant once this trimester ends? Well, that’s the hard part about this class. Nobody knows, but if we try our hardest to keep the journalism class active and the Bird Eye News going, then maybe we can discover new and interesting things. So, in your spare time, why not read some of our articles. Perhaps after reading one, you might consider joining journalism as well.

Yearbook most likely to come back to life! … Story by Lauren Stidham

This year Annika Hinds and Alison White are bringing back the school yearbook.

Yearbook is an art and a science... Alison White works on her physics project in science class, but during her personal time, she and her friend Annika Hinds are creating the school's yearbook. Photo-by Lauren Stidham
Yearbook is an art and a science… Alison White works on her physics project in science class, but during her personal time, she and her friend Annika Hinds are creating the school’s yearbook. Photo-by Lauren Stidham

They want to bring it back because they miss being able to sit down with friends and look back at the highlights of the school year. Students would have no way to take memories into their hands and reflect upon them after the year is over. The school has no other records of the year’s highlights outside of the yearbook. The yearbook is also important to them because it will help grow their artistic skills.

White and Hinds are setting up a yearbook committee. They want two or three students that are willing to help them make this happen. They are recruiting people via email applications and are accepting applications September 29th through October 2nd. This new committee will be put to work designing the book, taking pictures, marketing, and writing summaries on events.

But it isn’t just Hinds and White that are bringing the yearbook back to life! They will need us students to take part in the “most likely to…” vote. “We need communication from students to make this happen.” White says when asked what the challenges of making the yearbook will be. The reason why yearbooks have died in the past is because lack of effective marketing and student response. The way we can help keep it alive as a student body this year is by actually purchasing it. A yearbook can be beautifully designed and filled with great memories, but still die because nobody buys it. “In past years, the yearbook has failed due to lack of motivation from the students.” Hinds explains.

So, will the yearbook come back to life? It sounds like that is really up to you and I.


See previous issue from 2013: The Yearbook is on Life Support! Keep Trying or Pull the Plug?: Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Rusty: Our Informal School Mascot? … Story By Alistair King

Who is this mysterious cat? Is he just another stray or a cat with a story to tell?

Yearning for some Purring… Rusty the Cat is seen in the High School being petted. Photo-by Darth Syth
Yearning for some Purring… Rusty the Cat is seen in the High School being petted. Photo-by Alistair King

Rusty the cat was seen walking into both of the Forrest Bird Charter schools. Often distracting whatever class he happens to wander into. While this has mainly been over in the Middle School gym who keeps their door open, he has also evaded the difficult security of the loose high school window screens.

But where did this overt friendly cat come from? An interview with the cat’s owner’s granddaughter, a student at Forrest Bird Charter Middle School, sheds some light on this subject. Sunshine Osborne says that Rusty is seven years old and that her grandparents got him from “some lady” quite a few years ago.

According to Ms. Osborne Rusty is “very annoying” and really just wants attention. This desire for attention is quite obvious, and it is encouraged by the students at both the High School and Middle School. One student Emily Invernon said “I pretended that I needed to use the bathroom so I could pet the kitty.” This is definitely a distraction but a good one at that.

Many complaints and petitions have come out from among the student body wanting to allow Rusty to be free to walk around the school as he sees fit, but the idea has been disregarded due to the students allergic to cats. A few students have even gone as far to research the laws about cats in school to attempt to find a loophole. An Idea from Michael Bigley would be an area where students can go when they need a break to pet the cat when he is in this specific area free from the rest of the school. That is of course if he decides to show up.

What are his regular activities? This reporter followed and talked with Rusty for near to an hour. At first, Rusty was cautious about having someone come up to him and start taking pictures but was soon excited by the prospect of meeting a new person. “I always missed it when people wouldn’t take the time to have a nice conversation,” Rusty stated, “It can really brighten my day.” He really just wanders around the schools now that he has a relative in the school so close. “The petting isn’t all that bad either.”

Fun in the Sun… Rusty relaxes after hunting a pest in the underbrush. Photo-by Darth Syth
Fun in the Sun… Rusty relaxes after hunting a pest in the underbrush. Photo-by Alistair King

His regular activities consist of wandering around the Middle School once it opens up, attempting to get into the elusive High School. He also clears the school grounds of any rodents or pests that happen to be there. After his morning activities are done he will go and pester the retirement home’s dogs and then head back in to the neighborhood to get his well deserved rest.

Could this great cat be our new informal mascot? It’s honestly up to the student council to decide whether they want to believe that or not. While the administrative might not be so inclined the students can still believe and accept it.

Student Council Winnings… Story by Miranda Paddack

A Unified Front.. President Ellie Mearns and Sophomore Rep. Carissa Lonzisero friends on council
A Unified Front… President Ellie Mearns and Sophomore Rep. Carissa Lonzisero friends on council.  Photo-by Sherman Peabody

The student council votes we tallied and presented during lunch September 25th. Their first official meeting took place September 29th. For those who missed this exciting event Jack Meier is now the Director of Social Media, Andrew Van Winkle as Secretary, Deryk Harlan as Treasurer, Orion Syth as Vice President, and our one and only Eleanore Mearns as our brave new President. These are not the only members of the student council, our representatives are very important too. They attend meetings and are the voice for each year; Drew Meier and Kai Jacobs as freshmen reps, Carissa Lonizisero and Matthew Deacan for the sophomores, Martin Chilcott and RJ Rogers for the juniors, and Amanda Berntsen for the seniors.

Oddly enough, the representatives were more willing than the “actual” student council members to answer questions about the first council meeting. All reported that they made progress, as well as getting to know one another. “The first student council meeting was productive because we all talked as a team and everyone listened to each other. We talked about everything on our agenda in one meeting and our agenda helped the group stay focused,” Stated by Carissa Lonizisero.

When asked if they believe this year’s Student Council will make a good team, all gave similar answers. “Yes, because we all were born to have an impact that no matter how small the role we can still,” Kai Jacobs boldly stated.

“I’m positive that this group is going to be a good team. Already we are working together making decisions and getting great ideas,” said by Eleanore Mearns.

“That’s a question that will be answered in the near future. I know a few people on the student council, but there are some people I don’t know. I’m interested to know if the student council will work together as a team just as much as the rest of the student body,” Stated by Amanda Berntsen.

With barely a whisper on the fate of the fall dance, the student body is left to wonder. However, the word is that an announcement regarding this event should take place Wednesday, October 7th. This school is filled with students raving about the 1985 move “Back to the Future.” Why? Well, this year is when Marty McFly and Dr. Emmet Brown travel too, October 21st, 2015, the year of hover boards. Students have been speculating that the dance could be “Back to the Future” themed. Will this dance be themed, or will there be a special event commemorating this event?

Director of Social Media? What’s That? . . . by Catherine Jay

More Communication... Director of Social Media will improve student council communication. Photo-by Mr. Webber
More Communication… Director of Social Media will improve student council communication. Photo-by Mr. Webber

Social media is a big thing in our lives right now. It helps us connect to people from around the world, share our ideas and accomplishments, and helps bring people together. So why not combine it with student government? The head of the student government at Forrest M. Bird Charter School has added this new position to the student government. Now what is this position you ask? The Director of Social Media is the title of this newfound role. Why was it added? Well, that’s why I interviewed Holly Walker herself, the woman behind this new position in our school’s student government.

On September 14, 2015, Holly Walker was interviewed about her most recent addition to the student government. The Director of Social media actually was inspired by the events of last year and the events that transpired through student government. According to Ms. Walker, last year there was a photo historian who was responsible for photo documenting everything in the course of the year. A student also created a Facebook and Instagram account which needed constant attention. This inspired the position Director of Social Media. The person in charge of this position must regularly maintain Instagram and Facebook, with the clearance of Hillary DeCecchis. Sending email blasts are another thing in which they must get clearance for. Communication with the tech lab is key part for this person for website updates as well as updates to the reader board in the study lab. Coming up with marketing and media campaigns for all of our school’s events is also a part of this position. Doing all of this, while maintaining a steady supply of pictures.

After getting the interview from Ms. Walker, I went straight to interview the candidates. The first candidate to agree to my interview was Kolton Carroll. Mr. Carroll said that he has been completely informed about the position and still didn’t back out because of all the responsibilities which he has been given. Handling all of these things aren’t something that will shake this candidate from this position. “I’m running because I know this is a position I could handle 100%, and I know the works of most all social media websites. Plus I would love to be a part of this school’s student council.” Unfortunately, since this interview Kolton Carrol has decided to drop out of the race.

The other candidate, Jack Meier, hasn’t responded to any of the requests for an interview. His posters, however, have been causing somewhat of a positive stir with the witty, “You have my sword, but do I have yours?” slogan that has spread throughout the school.

It will be interesting to see what this new position will bring to the school and student body throughout the school year.

Who will be the New Commander-in-Chief?… by Charles Harrison

The presidential elections are coming up on Friday. We have three candidates: Ellie Mearns, Brandon Michelsen, and Savanna Stierle.

More than a book worm... Ellie Mearns is a presidential hopeful this 2015 election.
More than a book worm… Ellie Mearns is a presidential hopeful this 2015 election. Photo-by Charles Harrison

Ellie Mearns, presidential candidate, stated, “The president stands for the student body, council, and school. They are the orchestrator, leader, and main communication point of everything they stand for. So personally, I believe that this person has to be organized and well rounded. This year, we have had a lot of good people running, all qualified for that job; it’s super rad.”

Ellie Mearns also stated that she would be happy to debate the dress code with the school board, and that she wishes for school fundraising to be more in the hands of the students. When asked about her motivation to run, she gave this answer:

“I am so motivated for this council. In the past years, they [the student council] have all had their advantages and disadvantages. So, I would really love to combine all of their past advantages.  Also, student council is such a great experience; I just wish everyone could be council position of choice … I really hope to make this year the best.”

A man of vision... Brandon Michelsen delivers his vision to the student body.
A man of vision… Brandon Michelsen delivers his vision to the student body. Photo-by Charles Harrison

Candidate Brendon Michelsen gave brief, honest answers. When asked about his motivation for running, he answered “I was motivated to run for president because several of my friends recommended I should. Because of their encouragement, I joined this race.” When asked about fundraising, he answered that he did not have a plan and would address that issue later. He did however give some more specific answers. When asked about his plan for the school, he stated, “My main agenda is to re-organize the way we as a student body communicate our ideas to the council. I hope to make it easier for student’s ideas to reach the ears of the representatives and parties involved in the council.”

Willing to lend a hand... Savannah Stierle assists Vice Presidential Candidate in journalism class while during her interview. Photo-by Charles Harrison
Willing to lend a hand… Savannah Stierle assists vice presidential candidate Orion Syth in journalism class during her interview. Photo-by Charles Harrison

Candidate Savannah Stierle has stated that she wished to change dress code, allowing more shirts and reviving hoodies on Fridays. She also said that she would change the lunch program to include more healthy options. For fundraising, she said “…I would like to do fun things such as bake sales, car washes, etc. With these fundraisers, I would like to create bigger and better dances, better supplies for teachers, ect.” She said that she chose to run “Because I feel as if I really hear my fellow students, and I believe I can really make their wants happen.”

Your write-in candidate... Senior Colin Hislop wants to make a difference in the school and brings his previous council experience with him.
Your write-in candidate… Senior Colin Hislop wants to make a difference in the school and brings his previous council experience with him. Photo-by North Idaho College

Presidential Candidate, Colin Hislop, is running as a write-in candidate for president. He is a senior who has served on student council for two consecutive years as a class representative. “I think fundraising is going to be a very important part of the student council’s job, but I would prefer not to release any of my plans until after the election.” He stated that he would not change the lunch program, stating that “changes to the day to day schedules… could cause harm that would outweigh the good,” and that the lunch program was “very solidified.” When asked about his motivation for running, he gave this statement: “My main motivation for running entails the fact that I feel like I would do a good job. I have a lot of past leadership experience, with that I want to help this council grow and benefit the school as a community.”

It is important for everybody to choose a presidential candidate who they believe will represent them, not just the individual person, but also the entire school the best. I invite you to carefully read every response given and make a choice that best suits your beliefs about the school. I also have the complete interview answers; and if requested, I can publish those along with the questions for a more complete picture of the candidates and their stances on the issues. Remember that these are brief summaries of the candidates’ opinions, and I encourage you to walk up to the candidates themselves or talk to them during the Q and A sessions if you want a more detailed answer or have specific questions for the candidates.

The Treasurer is More than Meets the Eye . . . by Lauren Stidham

Most people don’t realize just how important the treasurer is, a good treasurer is usually behind a successful event. They are in charge of the budget, advising the student council on the spending of money, work with Greta to write sign and deliver checks, do ticket sales, and organize spreadsheets for ticket sales.

So the treasurer has to find a balance in the budget to bring out the full potential of every dollar.

Former President Nolan Stidham states the best qualities in a treasurer is someone who will get their job done without being asked and someone who has skills with making budgets. If the treasurer sits around and waits to be reminded to do something that burdens the president. So a treasurer is someone who stays on task and is on it and is good at giving wise economical advice.

Amanda Berntsen is a senior with experience handling money who hopes to make an impact in her last year, one way she wants to do this is by being your treasurer.

“Let’s make this year fun!” . . . Amanda Berntsen is working hard to get stuff done to allow more time for fun. Photo-by Lauren Stidham
“Let’s make this year fun!” . . . Amanda Berntsen is working hard to get stuff done to allow more time for fun.  Photo-by Miranda Paddack

Her slogan “let’s make this year fun!” was created because she wanted to make her last year at Forrest Bird one to remember. She wants to create an experience that will make this year a fun one for everyone.   As your treasurer Amanda would like to benefit you by fine tuning the budgets and saving money for the future student council.

Amanda Berntsen already has plenty of experience with money from helping her mom run her retail store. Her job at the store is to make budgets for new items, take inventory, and book keeping. While working at the store she learned just how important her job of making budgets and saving money is. All of these skills will be valuable as a treasurer and will definitely help. Also being treasurer would help Amanda gain experience for in the future when the chases her dream job of being an accountant. “To ask what the importance of being treasurer is like asking what the importance of student council is.” I think that this quote in itself displays her passion and understanding for the position.

Amanda showed good character during our email interviews. She responded as soon as she realized that she got the email. She acted as quickly as possible and apologized for anything that came in later then she would have liked. Also when she responded, I have to note that she used clear, easy to understand sentences that gave me the impression that she was quite professional even before I had even really met her. I can already tell that she puts lots of effort into what she does and takes time to do it right.

For 'Murika . . . Deryk Harlan running for Treasurer. Photo-by Miranda Paddock
For ‘Murika . . . Deryk Harlan running for Treasurer. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

The other candidate running for treasurer, Deryk Harlan, has no comment.

Candidates vie for Vice-Presidential Responsibilities . . . by Miranda Paddack

The fate of student council is in the air with this years’ election. In the past, we have had council’s run us broke, or double, even triple our money. The Vice President organizes dance committees, collects student suggestions, assists the President, and on occasion covers for the President. Who are this year’s candidates, and what do they want to change in this school?

His kitten is cutest.... Orion Syth VP hopeful. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
His kitten is cutest…. Orion Syth VP hopeful. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

Orion Syth is running in the election for the position of Vice President. The competition is hot, using cookies and his clever slogan, “We are the voice,” to win over the student body. Will this be enough? “I think that my chances are as good as the other candidates. We all are stuck at an even 3.33 repeating chance. Hopefully with me having that little extra .1 percent!” Orion seems to be content with any outcome but clearly, he wants to be the President’s right-hand man! Improving communication between teachers and the student body are Mr. Syth’s main concern.

Department of Wombat Defense... Carissa Lonzisero hoping to make changes though the VP roll. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Department of Wombat Defense… Carissa Lonzisero hoping to make changes though the VP roll. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

Carissa Lonzisero is using no posters or other campaigning techniques; however, she may give a joint speech with Ellie Mearns, who is running for President. Miss Lonzisero and Mr. Syth have very similar ideas on what would improve our school environment. “A change I would like to make is having the student council members work together more than in the past. Another thing I think we should do as a student council is listening more to other student’s suggestions on how we can improve the school and make events more fun so more students come!”

Mirror Mirror on the Wall... Tara Smith willing to work for the student body as VP. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Mirror Mirror on the Wall… Tara Smith willing to work for the student body as VP. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

Our final candidate is Tara Smith, handing out candy as well as hanging posters making this a tough vote for students. However, Miss Smith is not as hopeful as the other candidates, “To be completely honest, I am a little challenged by my competition because the other person(s) have been in the school longer and have more experience.” Confidence is key, Smith has plenty of that, but nerves seem to be in the air. Miss Smith is taking a very different direction on what changes she would like to see. “Changes I would like to try and make this year is to have more activities and events.” With a fall dance on the way, this seems to fall under Smith’s forte.

Secretaries: Paper & You . . . by Alistair King

Many of us have heard about the upcoming student council elections, especially with the impressive number of candidates this year. Many of the candidates are our friends, and if two are running for the same position then it will make a hard decision. Here to help you choose is the interviews of the secretaries; Andrew Van Winkle and Emily Invernon.

Our Next Great Leader? ... It's possible Andrew Van Winkle is ready to take notes. Photo-by Darth Syth
Our Next Great Leader? It’s possible; Andrew Van Winkle is ready to take notes. Photo-by Alistair King

Andrew Van Winkle is in the eleventh grade and was in student council last year. Andrew’s platform is keeping student council organized and keeping detailed notes. He really wants to fix what went wrong with the student council last year he says, “Last year they were just writing the overviews.” He also wants to have the students’ voice be openly heard in student council and wants to find an innovative way to get their voice heard. So far, his campaign strategy has been handing out cookies and candy with the Michelsen-Syth campaign, hanging up a poster, and generally getting his face out there. His greatest strengths for the secretary position is his experience and his intelligence. There is also another candidate that has equal claim, Emily Invernon.

Stretching for Student Council... Emily Invernon promises to be flexible with student council responsibilities. Photo-by Darth Syth
Stretching for Student Council… Emily Invernon promises to be flexible with student council responsibilities. Photo-by Alistair King

Emily Invernon is also in the eleventh grade and is running for the secretary position. She wants to run for this position to “take on some more responsibilities”. She’s not sure where she wants to go with this position, but she wants to make changes that are better for everyone and be the voice of reason for the student council. Her campaign strategy is telling the truth and being honest to the people she talks to. Emily’s greatest strengths for this position is wanting to improve things for everyone, she can keep calm during difficult situations, and has a great understanding of people. But, what do these people think of their opponents?

When asked about their competition, they both had nice things to say about each other. Andrew Van Winkle believes that he has an even chance with his opponent. He also thinks that popularity could be a factor in determining the new secretary. Emily views Andrew as a good friend and only wishes him the best of luck in this upcoming competition.

The secretary position is all about taking meticulous notes during discussions, posting notes daily to the student drive, and work together with the social media director on marketing and publications for events. But what do our candidates think this position entails? Andrew Van Winkle believes the secretary position entails taking notes and making sure they make the right choices. Emily Invernon’s definition of the secretary position is making sure that everyone knows everything that is going on, as well as taking notes.

It’s a scary note filled world out there, we will soon know who has the talent to take it on.