Category Archives: School News

One Can Can Make a Difference

by Sierra Maldonado

Rockwell Charter High School is doing a food drive for local families that need food for Thanksgiving.

There are more than 2,000 homeless people across the state of Utah. Donating even just one can of food can help someone not go hungry this holiday season.

How it works: Beginning tomorrow, November 7, there will be a box for each grade to donate their cans in the library. When you donate, the librarian will have you count your cans and fill out a can to hang up on the poster in the hallway. The grade with the most cans donated will win a pizza party!

It’s not just canned food you can donate. We accept other non-perishable food items, as well. Here are a few ideas of things you can bring:

– Canned beans
– Canned soup
– Canned fruits
– Canned vegetables
– Canned meat
– Cereal
– Rice
– Peanut Butter
– Pasta

These are things that food banks need the most, but any and all non-perishable food donations are welcome. If every student donates just 5 cans of food, we will have almost 2,500 cans of food to donate! Let’s help people in our community have a memorable Thanksgiving.

The canned food drive begins tomorrow, November 7, and ends Friday, November 16.

Students campaign to bring cheer team to Rockwell

by Ashlee Milton

Photo: Rockwell’s cheer team in 2014.

Three students are working together to bring back the Rockwell High cheer team.

“We all want to come together to bring something more to Rockwell,” said Rockwell sophomore Kiera Barker. “It would be cool to show support for the sports teams by cheering at their games.”

Mikayla Tanner, Skilin Hacking, and Kiera Barker are some of the girls advocating to bring the team back. The last time Rockwell had a cheer team was in 2014 and was ended due to all the participants graduating.

“We all want to come together to bring something more to Rockwell. It would be cool to show support for the sports teams by cheering at their games.”

– Kiera Barker, sophomore

Mikayla Tanner, a senior at Rockwell, has had some experience with cheer and tumbling for about a year and a half. She brought the idea to Misty with the intentions of starting a team to help all feel like they have a place at the school.

“I think a lot of people at Rockwell could benefit from having a cheer team here,” said Tanner. “I want to be part of creating a place for people to feel included and feel like they can bring more spirit to the school.”

Having a cheer team would help bring more people to the games and more spirit to the school.

Image via Sydnie Holland

10 Years: 10 Changes at Rockwell

by Kaylee Birnbaum

Rockwell turned 10 this year. Here are 10 changes to Rockwell in the 10 years it’s been open.

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Original plans for Rockwell when it opened in 2008.

1. Appearance. A big and probably most obvious change to Rockwell is its appearance. The brick in the commons didn’t used to be painted blue, it used to be plain brown brick. There’s been a few changes to the gym as well. The wood floor used to be a darker wood and the words “posse” and “outlaws” above the bleachers weren’t there. The most recent change to Rockwell’s appearance are the images and quotes on the ceilings in the hallway.

2. Uniforms. Boys and girls both were required to wear khaki pants and any color button up polo of their choice. The dress code was actually picked by the students themselves nine years ago. Mr. Beck did it this way so that if the students were to complain about uniforms, it would fall back on them. The idea behind uniforms is that we are a Charter school and we had a certain image to keep.

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Four of Rockwell’s teachers who have been here since it’s opening in 2008: Mr. Hull, Candice, Ms. Holt, and Mr. Young.

“I didn’t really like the whole uniform thing,” said Andy Young, a current teacher at Rockwell who has been teaching at Rockwell since its opening. “I don’t believe a uniform makes you smarter.”

 

The uniforms only lasted for, roughly, the first two years of opening.

3. Sports. Rockwell’s sports weren’t always a part of the UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association). In its first year, Rockwell sports were not part of this association. In its second year, though, the drill team was the first to compete in the UHSAA. Rockwell won the state basketball title that year.

4. Clubs. Rockwell used to have some really unique clubs. There was a D&D club, a chess club, a snowboarding club, and even golf.

“We have really become a more unified school,” said Rockwell teacher Amy Holt, who has been teaching at Rockwell since its opening. “I think that’s because of all the sports, clubs, and programs we have had through the years.”

5. Cheerleaders. Even though Rockwell has never had a football team, we did have cheerleaders at one point. They cheered for the boys and girls basketball teams and also at the volleyball games. It was a fun way to bring school spirit and energy to our sports games. Due to drama with the girls, Rockwell decided to discontinue the cheer team.

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Rockwell Girls Varsity Basketball team 2013-2014.

6. Enrollment. There were more students enrolled here at Rockwell the first year of opening than ever before. There were roughly 600-630 students the first year with up to 30 students in some classrooms. The average amount of students is 530; we currently have 503 enrolled. Once Westlake opened in 2009, we lost about 200 kids.

7. Cafeteria. The cafeteria used to be called “the outpost.” People claim it was more like a store rather than a cafeteria. They had food and snacks that you could buy and the food was catered for a little while.

8. Teachers. Just like any other school, we’ve gained some and lost some. We’ve had a lot of teachers come and go in the last 10 years.

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Mr. Young in Rockwell’s early years.

“Charter schools are difficult,” said Holt, “especially if you are a first year teacher.”

Mr. Beck has done a great job in unifying our school.

“I think the main thing is teaching, and Rockwell can be more challenging than most,” he said. “I give teachers a hard time because I feel that they need to have all their crap together.”

9. Student Involvement. Students are getting more involved. That’s an important part in becoming a school is to be involved and aware of all that’s going on around. Being involved is also a good way to be able to be social.

10. Change. The last and biggest and change of Rockwell is that it will always be changing. There are things that can always be improved in ours and every other school. It’s about figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

“Every year seems to bring new challenges with incoming generations,” said Candice, one of Rockwell’s administrators. “We’re excited to see what the future has in store.”

Changes at our school have been positive thanks to the administration, faculty, and all the students who have gone here. Happy 10th birthday Rockwell.

We’ve Got Spirit…How ‘Bout You?

by Sidney Bernabeu

Rockwell may be a small school but their school spirit makes the school seem a lot bigger.

Rockwell’s students are enthusiastic about cheering on their school. They cheer on their peers whenever the chance to arises. Students aren’t afraid to show some school pride; they cheer on the school’s teams as much as they can. Student government organizes activities and assemblies for students so they can show school spirit by getting involved and have some fun while doing it.

Rockwell encourages its students and community to get involved in service, each year the school does a “change wars” fundraiser to raise money to bring holiday cheer to Rockwell families. Rockwell’s students always come out to support their school it doesn’t matter when it is, students always come.

“I love Rockwell,” said senior Aubri Bailey. “I love how small it is. I love the teachers and I love how everyone knows each other. I also love playing volleyball and softball here. Honestly, I’m not ready to leave high school. High school is my safe place. I’m graduating, and I’m excited, but I’m scared at the same time.”

Rockwell students love to support the school at various events.

“I think Rockwell has a lot of school spirit. We come together at basketball games and make sure we support the teams. But I feel like we need to support the school as a whole – not just the athletic events. School spirit isn’t just about cheering on the athletic teams – it’s about cheering on the school.”

– Katherine Pinheiro, junior

Whether students have been here since 7th grade, or have transferred in mid-year, they love what they find here at Rockwell.

“I came from Orem High mid-year, and I love that the teachers are a lot more accessible here,” said junior Peyton McCann-Ashton. “Having moved in the middle of the term and being socially anxious, it is difficult for me to start a conversation to make friends, but here, I didn’t have to. Everyone is friendly and that makes it easier to talk and have fun with others.”

Sterling Parker: The Voice of Rockwell

by Alyssa Smith

Since the age of three, basketball has been of interest to Coach Parker.

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“My mother enjoyed sports and bought me a little hoop that hung on the kitchen door,” he said. “I would put my underwear on backwards and shoot all day.”

Parker grew up on a mink ranch on Dimple Dell Road and had chores as early as five years old.

“My folks taught me how to work early in life,” he says. “I am still working and I am 70 years old.”

This work ethic has carried Parker through difficult times in his life.

 

Parker has been going to high school basketball games since he was a young boy, and sports have always been a big part of his life.

Parker currently enjoys coaching the Rockwell boys’ basketball team. He feels fortunate to know the players and their background stories.

“Teaching them to be successful in life is very important to me,” he said. “I try to help them see that failure is not an option.”

 

Parker has been teaching and coaching at Rockwell for 6 years. He started announcing games as the voice of Rockwell before he began coaching the sophomore boys team four years ago. He looks out for students and is a friend to all.

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“I want each student to know they are loved and that everyone has self worth,” he said. “We are all someone.”

Parker also enjoys having friendships with the staff and working with people he cares about.

“Working at Rockwell is an amazing experience,” Parker said. “I get the choice blessing of working with my daughter, Candice, every day.”

Rockwell faculty members appreciate Parker and his dedication to the students, the basketball team, and the school.

From Walkout to Lockdown: Rockwell Students say ‘Enough is Enough’

by Kaya Garza

Students at Rockwell Charter High School participated in a nationwide protest against gun violence Wednesday by walking out of their classrooms at exactly 10:00 am. More than 65 Rockwell students participated in the peaceful protest that lasted 17 minutes.

IMG_4992“When the walkout happened, quite a few students went to the back parking lot,” said Rockwell sophomore, Katie Hull. “During the 17 minutes, we paid respect to the victims. A couple students read the names of every victim in the Parkland shooting. It was really powerful.”

The walkout lasted for 17 minutes to honor those 17 students who lost their lives in the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Rockwell students exercised their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the right to form assembly as they chanted things like “enough is enough” and “17 minutes for 17 lives” while marching from the back of the school to the front. Some students also marched with signs that said things like “enough” and “17 minutes.”

But not all students felt walking out was the correct approach. Some felt the alternative “Walk Up, Not Out” movement would be more effective.

“I felt like the walkout wasn’t the right way to go about it,” said Rockwell student Mikayla Tanner. “Walk Up is approaching new people and showing them they have someone there. When you’re talking to new people they feel valued. None of those shooters felt cared about. It wouldn’t just help end gun violence, but suicide and self harm as well. But I wasn’t against it, I still support everyone who decided to walk out. Just for me personally, it wasn’t the best approach.”

Approximately 30 minutes later, after students had already gone back to their classes, Rockwell counselor Misty Madsen received a call from police about a man who showed up to the Maverik near Rockwell with a rifle strapped to his chest.

“I was just chilling and teaching when there was an announcement about a lockdown,” said Rockwell teacher Jacob Hampton. “I was already having a discussion about the walkout with my students when the announcement happened, and I also got a text that went out to all the staff. I instructed my students to go to a corner as I turned off the lights and removed the door magnet.”

The lockdown was called off about 20 minutes later when the man left Maverik property.

“The man mentioned that he heard Rockwell was participating in the walkout and he wanted to spread some kind of message about his rights as an American,” said a Maverick employee. “He wasn’t doing anything illegal, as Utah is an open-carry state.”IMG_5002

This man intended to “educate” Rockwell students who participated in the walkout about the Second Amendment, but police confirmed there was no immediate threat to the safety of students and staff at Rockwell.

“Sadly, too many people misunderstood the aims of the walkout – students and adults, alike,” said Rockwell’s Principal Darren Beck. “That was a horrible way to teach people, by scaring them.”

This lockdown taught Rockwell some important lessons about how to stay calm should a similar situation ever arise again.

“I think that we, as teachers, staff, and students, learned that we need to be more prepared if something like this were to happen again,” said Rockwell student Megan Nelson. “We should have more drills. These kinds of things could last for hours and people were freaking out after a few minutes. It really put things into perspective.”

Athletes of Rockwell: Senior Night

by Alyssa Smith

The girls basketball team celebrated the seniors last week as they played APA Draper at home.

“Seniors: this is your last home game,” said Coach Troy Gifford. “So play your hearts out.”

This year’s team consisted of four seniors – Destiny Dipo, Megan Nelson, Kylee Berry, and Livia Chatwin – and two foreign exchange students – Sofie Larsen and Aom Kayhasai. Some of them have decided to take up basketball this year and have learned a lot in the process. Destiny Dipo has been playing high school basketball at Rockwell since 9th grade.

“Obviously the team changes every year,” Dipo said. “We just keep getting better and better.”

The team will miss having these seniors and exchange students next year.

“I wish I could come back and play next year,” said Aom Kayhasai, an exchange student from Thailand. “I love these girls so much.”

The girls on both JV and Varsity put everything into that game and came out with a win. The varsity score was 48-30.

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