Category Archives: Student Life

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.

FBCS Crossword Puzzle…by Thomas Ruppert


2. The ____________ teacher is the newest to her subject than the other teachers.

7. December 12th is a ________

9. The ____________ has the school “gym” in it.

10. The _________ is where the cooking classes work.

13. Something we use for our classes every day.

14. The school paper is called the ____________ news.

16. is a period for students to study.

18. The last ____________ of the month is the FBCS rock concert.

20. Webber is the Journalism advisor.


1. December ___ is when winter break starts.

3. The _______ is where to go if you wish to play football at lunch.

4. The principal of the high school is___________.

5. Happens every Friday if you don’t have an NC.

6. The___________ takes students to Clark Fork.

8. You can earn high school and college credit at the same time with________________.

11. Where the lost and found is.

12. of Allegiance We do the _________________ before we go to advo.

13. Our student body president.

15. The________ is where the drama students practice.

17. serves hot lunch on Friday.

19. The __________ room is one of the rooms with the garage doors.

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

This Year Forrest Bird Charter School (FBCS) might be facing a devastating loss; the death of the yearbook. Earlier in the year student council tried to revive this important tradition amongst high school years by giving the student body an ultimatum; purchase 100 yearbooks or wave goR.I.P. Yearbookodbye. It’s now the end of November and saying that this attempt was unsuccessful would be the understatement of the year. FBCS’s journalism teacher, Mark Webber, stated that he doesn’t think students are actually understanding that if they don’t reach this goal of 100 yearbooks they are saying goodbye to the yearbook not just this year, but forever. Is FBCS really okay with that? Junior Tommy Smith said “I would really like to have a yearbook, and I know a lot of other people agree with me; It’s just that people our age have so many things on their mind and remembering to buy something that isn’t tangible yet is something that is hard to make the top of our priority lists. I think yearbook would have a better chance if they were pre-purchased by the school and then put on sale for the students, that way we could receive them the same day we pay for them.”
Many of you are asking why exactly the goal is set at 100, and what happens if we don’t reach it. The goal was set at 100 yearbooks because the yearbookYearbook Sales company FBCS goes through has a minimum purchase requirement of 100 yearbooks for the page number and price break that the FBCS staff wanted. If the student body were to fulfill this goal a yearbook class would be created next year once again and a yearbook teacher would be budgeted in. On the contrary, if the student body fails to meet the yearbook goal, they will be looking at the yearbook’s less-qualified, younger cousin; a Shutterfly photograph book equipped with only 20 pages, a page amount that isn’t sitting well with the staff. Educational Leader and English teacher, Mary Jensen, stated that with the new addition of about 60 FBCS students; it’s going to take approximately 15-18 pages just for student pictures. That doesn’t leave much room for “fun” pictures of anything else such as pictures of drama districts, extra-curricular activities, prom, etc. Without these events it actually defeats the purpose of the yearbook. After all, Mary Jensen, Educational Leader and administrator of FBCHS, may have a point; think about it, do you really want 20 pages filled with nothing, but other student’s portraits?
As of right now, everything is up in the air, and the power to decide what happens to the yearbook ultimately lies in the hands of the student body. This means that as a whole the student body really needs to ask themselves, “Do we want a 2013-14 yearbook? Is this year important enough to us to document the memories we have made as high-school students?” If so, then it’s time to step up and make a commitment and effort towards making the yearbook happen this 2013-14 school year and to secure its future.

Wednesday’s : EXTENDED LUNCH !

On the last Wednesday of every month, all the students of the Sandpoint’s

Forrest Bird Charter School have something very special…

If you are a student at the Forrest Bird Charter School, you might have noticed

that on the last Wednesday of each month, you get an extended lunch. This idea

was created by James Mize (the culinary arts teacher) and Paul Gunter (Music

Teacher).  The normal lunch at the Charter School normally last from 11:35 to

12:05. With this brand new idea, the students can have their lunch for about an


Extended Lunch 1Students also have the opportunity to dress down for the Wednesday concert if they bring two dollars ro two cans of food.  All proceeds are donated to the local Sandpoint food bank. Also, the school lunch only costs three dollars.  Not bad a meal and a music concert for less than 5 dollars . The originality is that the lunch is prepared by the cooking class. This class is directed by James Mize. James Mize has teaching at Forrest Bird Charter for many years.  Through the years, he has learned what the students really like and want.  The thing that take James’ class out of the crowd is the amazing quality of the food. The lunch that they propose for this occasion is much better

than what you will ever find in any other school. By the way, Forrest Bird

Charter School is one of the only school’s in Idaho who supports a cooking


The orginal plan of this extended lunch is that the students can part-take in a concert that is prepared by students of the school. Paul Gunter, the music teacher,

who had the clever idea to offer this concert. ” I like the idea of having an extended lunch each month, it provides an opportunity for students to showcase their talents” he said. The first concert this year was such a success ! It was very creative, we saw a student who made electronic modern music only with his Game Boy. This first gig really made

people excited. The Charter school gives the opportunity the students to practice

their music with a Rock Band class taught by Paul. “This extended lunch gives

the rest of the student body the opportunity to see what their peers have been

working on in music class as well as private lessons”.

The second edition was on october the 24th. This time, 7 differents bands

performed. They were from the middle school and also from the high school.

The audience’s response was awesome…People of New York might have heard

the audience applause ! Most of the music performed was composed just for this

occasion, the result was professional.Paul Gunter at the drums

Every last Wednesday of the month, the students will have the opportunity to see and to enjoy a concert. To do this concert, Rock Band’s student have to work  and to

practice a lot to be prepared. “The show must go on” and for sure, all the concerts that are performed have a real professional quality.

“The groups I choose to play are from my classes or students in the school that are involved in music in some way, shape or form” said Paul. This way, Paul can be sure of the quality of the music that will be performed.

As you might guess, Forrest Bird Charter is a very enjoyable place !

Dramatic Much? You Bet! Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Recently the drama students participated in INTAF (Inland Northwest Theater Arts Festival) a two-day event about drama, acting, and tech for high school students. The festival was attended by over 320 students and offered 40 classes, which ranged from stage combat to belly dancing, stage management, pantomime, fencing, and improvisation techniques. The classes were taught by revered drama instructors and performers from the area. Students also got the opportunity to enjoy several performances and speeches from the very instructors that taught them.  The Blue Door Theater, a professional acting company in Spokane, played twice for the audience, and a cabaret singer put on a wonderful performance. Overall there were five showcases (musical performances and one-man acts put on by other students) as well as a catered dinner.

A group of drama students in mid-act

Forrest Bird Charter School’s drama teacher, Wendy Thompson said “INTAF was a true dream because students get perspectives of theater arts from professionals, other teachers, and other students. They experienced new tactics and reviewed old ones simultaneously. INTAF is a whirlwind of knowledge, experience, and entertainment. We drove away tired and thrilled. We are already planning to attend next year!” Senior drama student, Charles, added to that by saying “The experience was mind-blowing, and I had a blast. You really got the chance to work with professionals, and that was truly amazing.”

Furthermore there is a buzz throughout FBCS about the drama class having a real shot at the state competition. First however they must place in Districts which are being held on November 23rd at Lake City High school; the top 1/4 to 1/3 of all competitors will progress to state, which is a two-day event held from December 6-7 in Twin Falls, Idaho. The drama class has several entries in most acting categories ranging from original serious to published serious and humorous, and several of their competitors are second-year returners. Wendy Thompson said “I believe we will place at Districts. We have talented actors who specialize in characterization. We work on character building often; when we are on stage we are crazy loud and boisterous, that is usually a sign of FBCS actors evolving and morphing into a new personality. We work hard as a team, and help each other in and outside the classroom to perfect our acts.” This year, the drama class will be performing their acts for FBCS students, teachers, and parents, who can’t make it to the out-of-town shows, to enjoy on November 26th.

- The infamous drama faces
The infamous drama faces

All together the INTAF experience seems like it was pretty magical and an extraordinary experience for the drama class. Hopefully the experience for these talented students continues on through Districts and State. Birds Eye News bids good luck to our fellow classmates on their theatrical arts journey!