1050 S. Main Payson, UT 84651 - (801) 465-6025 - (801) 465-6067 fax
By McKell Wall
Basketball games, football games, they do it all. Dance Company is one of the most well known dance groups in our school. With nine seniors, seven juniors, and five sophomores they strive to entertain audiences with their technique and emotion shown in their dance performances. Dance Company does many different styles of dance but their main style is definitely contemporary.
“I absolutely love dance company, the closest friends I have made are from dance co. We always have so much fun and we have so many inside jokes. I especially love this year because as president I feel like all the other girls are like my little sisters. So watch out, you mess with one of them, momma bear will come out,” said Dance Company President, Mckenna Wilson.
Other officers of Payson High Schools Dance Company include— President: Mckenna Wilson, Vice Presidents: Jerika Hiatt and Annie Mills, Secretary: Shantell Smith, and Historian: Stacie Tranchell.
Our own Payson High School Dance Company will be before you know it. They will be performing at the Fine Arts Assembly on December 21st, as well as in the Dance Department Showcase on January 7th. The Dance Company showcase, where each team member has their own choreographed dance, will be sometime at the end of April, with tryouts following in the beginning of May. Let’s get out and show our support to these amazing girls!
The months of December, January, and February are huge for Payson’s drill team. Although they perform all throughout the school year, these months are their competition season.
“I feel we did really well for our first competition. We were really together as a team. We gave it our all and I think that we showed the new girls what competition is really all about,” said senior drill member Camille Thomas. “Our team is so full of great dancers; this is our year to take region.”
Recently they just finished up their first competition at UVU on December 8 where they took 3 in Military, and 5 in Kick. Junior, Becca Brown, took 1 in Drill Down and senior, Jade Burton, took 4th with her solo.
Becca Brown took first place out of all the competitors in 1A, 2A, and 3A in Drill Down, a competition based on following commands,
“It was a really cool accomplishment, it felt great,” said Becca Brown on dominating.
The drill team has always been close. They spend an hour every day during A1 together practicing and nearly 3 hours in the morning on B days. So it would seem obvious that these girls have seen each other at their best and worst.
During the season the girls are working out harder than ever. They aren’t allowed to drink caffeine, their attendance is on lock, and their time is more limited than ever. Their boyfriends gave us some firsthand testimonials on the hectic side of the competition season.
“There are a lot of rules. They can’t do anything because they’re so busy, and when they’re dressed in their drill clothes its all hands off. No boys allowed,” said Austin Warnick, boyfriend of senior member Crystal Turner.
The season is super stressful for the girls because they’re practicing harder than ever to be competitive.
“They’re always ornery,” said Hunter Allsop, the peanut butter to Shay Krebs jelly. “Shay’s always really busy and stressed.”
It really pays off to have a girlfriend on drill though. They never miss a game and have tons of pretty, charismatic friends.
“Because they’re all Cassidy’s friends they’re always cheering for me when I’m playing,” said sophomore basketball player and BF of Cassidy Gull, Dannel Brown.
And, if you’re with one drill girl, you get them all. The good and the bad.
“If you’re with one drill girl, you’re friends with all of them. There’s a lot of drama during competition season because they’re spending so much time together – and you hear all about it,” Austin Warnick said. “But Crystal is Crystal, she never let’s anything bad change her.”
National Honors Society is out making a difference this Christmas season. They have done many things to serve others. The things they have done are the angel tree, went caroling at Mountain air nursing home, served dinner at the Wal-Mart Christmas party and fed the homeless.
“Serving people during Christmas makes me happy for what I have and makes me grateful to be in a position to help others,” said NHS member Damaris Ballamis.
These things may have been simple things to do but it made a big difference to the people they have served.
“It made me feel happy to serve the homeless,” said Anna Fordiani.
They have given a gift to someone who can’t afford to get a present for Christmas, visited the nursing home and sang to them to make their day just a little bit better, fed people who are less fortunate and served people at a Christmas party.
“Feeding the homeless made me see how fortunate I am. The whole Christmas season means more to me when I’m out serving others,” said Cherilyn Elder.
Many people’s lives were impacted for the good this Christmas because of the wonderful thing they have done.
By Braden Clark
There are some notable cheerleading groups in the world today the Cowboy, Laker, and Raider cheerleaders, those cheerleaders sure do know how to keep their fans cheering. Here in Payson we have an excellent group of girls, a total of 16 girls, who always are looking to pump up the crowd no matter the score.
“I like how involved the student section gets with our cheers, it makes me really happy when they cheer with us,” said sophomore cheerleader Celine Grenz.
Cheers begin and end with the cheerleaders, with cheer captains Breea Mahaffy, Hailee Barrus, and Taelor Hooks, they create fun cheers that the student section loves to cheer along with. Along with being excellent cheerleaders, the cheerleaders love their teammates and love spending time with them after school.
“I love having the bonding time we have together! We all have so much fun together as a team and I love knowing they all have my back,” said junior Ariane Keele.
Another thing that our cheer squad always does, is perform at halftime at football and basketball games. They always take concerted effort to entertain their fans.
“I love the natural high I get when we perform at halftimes, it is awesome!” said sophomore Taelor Hooks.
The girls have worked really hard this year, practicing all summer and practicing every B-4 period. If you want to see these girls perform, be at the next home basketball game and cheer on our basketball team while our cheer team lead us in cheers!
By Cherilyn Elder and Megan Ballamis
Payson High’s concert band, orchestra and jazz band did phenomenally at their Christmas concert December 13. Jazz band opened up the concert with six songs. Instrumental solos were done by Abby Bennion, Josh Tracy, Grace Heaps, and Nathaniel Meyers. A vocal solo was performed by Karanda Heimuli.
Orchestra played next. One of their songs, “Fiddle Like the Dickens,” featured students as soloists: Kari Thompson, Dallin Johnson, Sam Hayes, Jessica Barker, Ryeley Butler, Jenna Wright, Cherilyn Elder, Chloe Thompson and Taelyr Mortensen.
They sounded very prepared and did a really good job at staying together with the rhythm.
“My goal was to have everyone feel good about the performance. It’s all about self-esteem and confidence,” said Mr. Collins, band and orchestra director.
Symphony orchestra, consisting of concert band and orchestra, performed last. Rachelle Wilkinson, Stewart Evans, and Christianna Ward played solos. One of symphony orchestra’s songs, Pirates of the Caribbean, threw off the Christmas groove but was intense and fun to listen to. The last piece, O Holy Night, sounded beautiful and was a great finale to the concert.
“We all did well because we put in a lot of personal practice time,” said bassoon player Gabby Hammond.
The band and orchestra also performed in the Fine Arts assembly on December 21.
By Brigham Flint
It’s that time of year. The season for hanging ornaments on trees, giving out presents, and filling the air with the uplifting music of the Christmas season. This past month, the Payson Choir did just that.
On December 12, they started into the spirit of Christmas by singing at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. They continued to bless others with their musical talents by performing their annual Christmas Concert exactly one week later. The concert was called “Carols with a Twist” because it took traditional songs such as Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, and Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy and added a new element to it. Choir members sold Poinsettias previous to their performance to raise money for the event.
Apart from simply singing, the choir is involved in helping others in need.
“The choir is really close to the community,” commented Kim Skousen.
This past month, they contributed an evergreen tree to the Festival of Trees, a charitable event where Christmas trees are auctioned off in order to raise money for families who are in need this time of year.
Apart from singing and helping the community, the choir is impressive simply for the people that are in it. Many choir members enjoy the class simply for the social aspect of it.
“I like singing with friends and making music,” said David Green.
Whatever the reason, choir members have certainly blessed the lives of those throughout their school, and community this past month.
On December 12, Payson High School math teacher, Amy Fox, received the 2012 - 2013 Crystal Apple Award. Fox has worked at Payson High for 9 years, and is loved by teachers and students alike.
“Miss Fox is probably the best math teacher I’ve had,” said Jaisha Webb. “She really knows how to explain math concepts to each individual person.”
Fox puts in long hours to help her students understand math, and loves that moment when students just seem to get it.
“I love when students have that Ah-Ha moment,” Fox said.
Fellow teachers nominated Fox for the Crystal Apple Award for the example she sets as a hard-working and dedicated teacher.
“She’s the first one here, cares about students, comes early, and stays late whenever she can,” said fellow teacher, Melissa Brotherson.
Penny Finch is the 2012-2013 recipient of the Payson High School Classified Employee Award. Finch as worked at Payson High for 13 years and helps all the teachers and students at the copy center.
“I love the copy center because I get to visit and interact with all the staff and students,” Finch said.
The teachers at Payson High appreciate how helpful and cheerful Finch always is.
“It doesn’t matter how quickly you need Penny to copy something for you , she never complains and is always happy to help. She really makes Payson High School a better place,” said English teacher Krystal Baker.
By Spencer Durrant
On Monday, November 12th, Payson High School had its annual Veteran’s Day Assembly. Former Green Beret medic and holder of two Bronze Stars Kyle Hill gave a presentation, and it was the most moving presentation Payson High School has ever heard.
Hill talked about his experiences in war, and how it changed him as a person. More with emotion rather than words, Hill was able to communicate his love of country, of freedom, and of doing good in a rapidly regressing world.
Hill’s presentation was screaming at the audience to understand that we all have potential to do greatness. Hill’s achievements that he shared with us are incredible; fighting and serving as a Green Beret, he was part of one of the greatest special forces groups in the world. But he himself said that his own greatness paled in comparison to the greatness that he knows we all have.
And that is the message he wanted us to hear and too feel. The message of how bettering ourselves will often better others as well.
I want to add my voice to his and thank him for his service. And remember, there isn’t anything you can’t do if your put your mind to it and better yourself.
Also at the assembly, the winners of the Social Studies essay contest were announced. Keaton Evans took first, Brigham Flint took second, and Taylor Brown took third. Evans wrote about voting.
“I belive that voting is an issue, that everyone should be involved, and everyone that can vote should vote,” Evans said.
Flint also wrote about voting.
“ It’s an American right,” Flint said.
Evans won the 50 dollar grand prize, Flint won 25, and Brown won 15.
By Braden Clark
There comes a point in time where each person will have to be a leader. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, however the way you act determines what kind of leader you become.
November 10, On the campus of Utah State University, hosted the ALE (Aggie Leadership Extravaganza) students all around the state of Utah, and even some from Nevada and Idaho.
Lander Crook and I made the three hour travel to Logan where even a hellacious snow storm couldn’t even stop us. When finally made it to the campus we were greeted to with speakers, who proceeded to instruct us about what it takes to be a leader.
“If you can dream it you can do it” was the theme of the whole extravaganza and was printed on the back of every USU Ambassador t-shirt. The whole point of the conference was to show that anything can happen, you can become the leader you want to be if you work toward it.
“After high school it isn’t about who you know anymore; it is about who knows who you are,” one speaker.
She spoke of how important networking is in the future, and how to get people to remember who you are. The future is laid out for us and it all depends how hard we work to get the most out of it.