Suzanne students stand tall at summt in Walnut Valley

The 8th grade Summit field activities focused on team building through physical activities.

The 8th grade Summit field activities focused on team building through physical activities.

By Walnut Valley Unified

Suzanne Middle School 8th graders took a giant step forward in breaking down the walls of stereotypes and learning about the people around them during the 6th annual Summit. The exciting day of activities included workshops, discussions, and a motivational speaker.

About 475 students were divided into three groups to rotate through breakout sessions in classrooms, the field, and the multi-purpose room. The topic of the day was “Understanding and Overcoming Stereotypes”

“Students were mixed up into groups so they could get to know peers that they might not otherwise meet,” explained counselor George Ann Cusson.

The entire 8th grade class participated in a day of reflection and opportunities of personal growth,” said teacher Marla Rickard.

Classroom sessions allowed students to look at the impact of judging people and to reflect on personal impacts on all the parties. Some of the activities included If You Knew Me Well, the Tootsie Pop, and the Playing Card.

The field activities focused on team building through physical activities, a favorite was the Human Pyramid.

During the Stand Tall challenge in the MPR, students learned more about themselves and each other. They analyzed the Iceberg Theory to find ways to drop below the water level to get to know their fellow classmates.

Rickard and Cusson created the event made possible with the help several teachers and staff members, PLUS and PALS service club members, and leadership students. Thirty-one Walnut High School students and two graduates also come for the day to facilitate and lead all the breakout sessions.

“Without them the day would not be as successful. It’s a true team effort,” Rickard said.

“I think the kids are learning more about what they say to each other and to think before they speak,” said WHS senior and ASB president Phillip Silesky,

In one game, students asked their neighbor questions from a bowl. Some were serious  - what would you do if you knew one of your friends was taking drugs? And some were funny – if you were invisible for one day what would be the first thing you would do?

“I probably wouldn’t even know I was invisible and just go to school!” one student replied.

After lunch, WHS graduate and motivational speaker, Dee Hankins spoke to the class about goal setting, rising above any situation, and encouraged the students to live their life with purpose.

Suzanne Middle students get trophies for Math Olympiad program

Suzanne 7th grade Math Olympiad winners with teacher Amy Erickson.

Suzanne 7th grade Math Olympiad winners with teacher Amy Erickson.

By Walnut Valley Unified

Suzanne Middle School students were among the 110,000 students worldwide to participate in the 2013-2014 Math Olympiad program.  The Math Olympiad contests challenged students to solve unusual and difficult problems and to think creatively.

The team participated in a series of five monthly contests of 5 problems each, from November to March, and weekly practice sessions with Suzanne math teachers and coaches Amy Erickson and Victor Lu.

“The students responded well to the challenge and were recognized for their achievements during an end of the year awards celebration,” Erickson said.

Students were awarded trophies for top scores in each grade level as well as pins and patches of recognition.

For the 6th grade, William Lin came in first with a total of 21 correct out of 25. William Lin, Darren Chen, Derek Wang, John Chou, Amber Tsao, Jennifer Zhang, Tyler Xu, and Melony Yu all received silver pins to signify a top 10% score.  An embroidered patch was also awarded to Liwen Xia, Nicole Chiang, Katherine Lee, Catherine Wang, Curtis Lin, Daniel Ahu, Marco Chan, Jeremy Hsiao, Louis Wong and Kevin Chen for placing in the top 50%.

In the 7th grade, Aaron Chang was awarded the 1st Place trophy along with a patch signifying a top 50% score. Alice Zhang, Ethan Lin, Oscar Chou, Sylvester Yue, Angela Zhu, Jordin Wang, Felianne Teng, Yi Chen, Jerry Guo, Sheldon Zhu, Derick Tseng, Phillip Leung and Jing Wong also received patches for their 50% scores.

In the 8th grade, Eugene Lo was awarded the 1st Place trophy along with a silver pin recognizing his top 10% score.  Christopher Wang was also awarded a silver pin. Kevin Jensen, Lydia Chan, Fabiola Delvillar, Charles Gu, Matthew Nguyen and Irene Zhou received patches for their 50% scores.

Suzanne students compete in AMC 8 math contest in Walnut

Fifty-three Suzanne Middle School students participated in the challenging AMC 8 math contest during the 2013-2014 school year.  One student, Colby Chang, earned the gold metal for his school.

The AMC 8 questions covered many different topics, which exceed the normal middle school curriculum.

It is a 40-minute timed competition with 25 multiple-choice questions. The top-ten middle school students will also be taking the AMC 10.

Colby Chang, grade 7, took home the gold medal with a top score of 23 out of 25. He was also awarded an Honor Roll of Distinction Certificate for scoring in the top 1% in the nation.

Aaron Chang, grade 7, was awarded a silver medal and an Honor Roll of Distinction Certificate for scoring in the top 1% nationally.

Tied for bronze medals were Eugene Lo, Christopher Wong, both 8th graders, and Angela Zhu, a 7th grader.

In addition to bronze medals they earned Honor Roll Certificates recognizing their top 5% placement in the nation.

Joining them with Honor roll Certificates were fellow 8th graders Kevin Jensen, Matthew Nguyen and Lydia Chan.  Honor Roll Certificates were also given to 7thgraders Oscar Cho, Ethan Lin and Derick Tseng.

Sixth graders earning Honor Roll Certificates were Darren Chen and William Lin. Darren, William and Jennifer Zhang were additionally awarded Certificates of Achievement for scores above 15 as sixth graders.