12th Annual Junior Martin Luther Competition

October 31st, 2019 at 8:30AM in the St. John’s Historic Sanctuary

As a Lutheran church and school, we are proud of our Christian heritage and the Junior Martin Luther Competition was designed as a way for us to celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther.  It was his courage that laid the foundations of our faith today.  Every 6th grade student that has attended St. John’s since 2008 has spent the month of October participating in a variety of classroom learning activities that have exposed them to a deeper understanding of Martin Luther’s life, his relationship with God, the condition of the early church during his lifetime, and the good news of our Salvation that is found in the New Testament.

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This year’s finalists included Jack Schirrmacher, Lexi Krumes, Amanda McArthur, Trinity Laurenson – Aumua, Joshua Grack, Calista Somerville, Faith Novak, Miah Lovett and Kylie Snyder.  The Alternates for the competition consisted of Emily Paul, Ella Clapper and Olivia O’Day.  Their participation in class, quality responses to weekly reflection questions, results from the Reformation in Disguise scavenger hunt, knowledge and understanding of Luther’s Table Talk memoirs, memory test scores, and Luther’s Dates quiz results were just a portion of the criteria that earned them a spot in this year’s competition.  This competition consisted of several rounds of questions that pertain to the important dates in Martin Luther’s life, his favorite passages from Scripture, his Table Talks memoirs, his small catechism, and much more.

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This was a single elimination event.  One incorrect answer removed a finalist from the competition.  All correct answers were confirmed with the statement, “this is most certainly true.”  After 35 minutes of intense competition, Trinity Laurenson–Aumua,   from Mrs. Van Blarcom’s homeroom, won the competition!  After winning the competition, Trinity proceeded to nail the 95 theses on the Castle Church door.  Last year’s winner, Chanel Kruse, presented her with a Martin Luther bobble head doll along with the Luther Cup Trophy that will be displayed in her homeroom for the remainder of the 2019 -2020 school year.  Her picture from this event will also be displayed in the Middle School hallway on the Junior Martin Luther Legends wall of fame.  Congratulations Trinity!

Nathan Mercier, 6th grade

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The 29th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins,  twenty-four 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attend an on-campus “retreat.”  The morning sessions of August 5th, 2019 provided this year’s team the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events it will host for the upcoming school year, including:

      • Spring Spirit Week planning
      • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
      • Habit of Mind presentation training with Mr. Mercier

 

  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier

 

    • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle
    • Life Group Leader training with Mrs. VB
    • Shepherding instructions with Mr. Stuewe

After eating lunch with Dr. Hollatz,  Mrs. VB was gracious enough to host a team building pool party at her house.  This gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our schools student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2019-2020 school year.

By: Mr. Nathan Mercier, 6th grade, Student Leadership

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Peru Project – Part II

In part 1 I outlined this project which St. John’s students have been supporting for the past 9 years.
Once my wife, Patty, and I have a list of projects our work begins. One of the major projects we wanted to take on was quickly started:  the awning to cover the space between the two classrooms.
The biggest consideration was where the awning would be of most benefit. The next was timing:  how to get the structure built and the awning made so that both would be done before we leave in July.  Two different people are needed, a carpenter and an awning maker.  The last consideration was that the entire structure needed to be done in such a way that it can be unassembled and moved when the government comes through with the funds to remodel the school. This could be as early as this September or up to several years.
Lola wanted the space between the two largest classrooms covered. (See the first picture.)  This decided we then began to work on how to best coordinate structure with awning.  The carpenter gave us a time frame for completion just before we were to leave Perú. That meant the awning person would have to work from dimensions given by the carpenter rather than taken from the actual structure. This is risky at best. In the end we decided to have the carpenter build a structure the same size as the structure covering the play structure. (See picture #2)  to our amazement these dimensions fit almost perfectly into the desired space. And even better: because the two structures will be identical it will allow  Lola to design the space in the new school around the shade structures, placing  them end-to-end. It will add continuity in the long-run.
This decision also allowed the awning person to take more accurate measurements from the existent awning for the new awning. We took bids from several awning makers and chose the one who offered quality and the best price. It would cost about $850 for a high quality, water/weather proof material made to special order and installed.  About a week later we returned from a short trip to Cajamarca to find the rolled up cover (photo #3) hand delivered and ready to installed when the carpenter finished his work.  It weighs about 300 lbs.
The carpenter was called and came to the school to get the measurements for the awning structure. We agreed on a price (about $1500 equivalent in national money: Soles) and we went to Trujillo to exchange dollars. (Picture 4 shows the structure being put in place.) While there we went to a local store called Sodimac to see if they had prefabricated shelves the size we wanted. Sodimac is a Homedepot-like store which recently has come to Trujillo. While convenient it doesn’t offer a lot in terms of shelving. Nothing we could find fit the dimensions needed.  We wanted to steer clear of donating something which would just be makeshift. The units we did see were expensive and low quality.
So we began looking for plan B.  A family member recommended a young man in the town who had recently built some cabinets for a local restaurant. The young man’s name is Meikel and he works with a material he calls melamine, a kind of particle board covered in formica-like material. He could build sturdy shelves to the dimensions we wanted at less cost than the prefabricated odd-sized units we had looked at.  It did mean more footwork for us, but assured something which will endure the hard use they will receive, while adding uniformity to the classrooms.
The photos 5 and 6 show Meikel, the handy man, constructing the five shelves in our living room. It took he and his wife two days to put them together and they looked great.
Part three:  going shopping for things on the wish list.

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Peru Project Update!

The Perú project is well under way. For those who dont know, the students at St. John’s have been supporting a small preschool in the coastal town of Las Delicias, Peru for the past 9 years. The school provides education to the poorest children in the small town.   The significant impact these donations have had over the years can be viewed here:
http://perunuevaesperanza.weebly.com/donacion-2017.html
This year we arrived at the school on June 14th, 2019 to determine how we could best help the school.  The fund had over $7,000 which was raised over the past several years by SJLS students. We hoped to do something with technology for the students, and as well to replace the awning structure donated by St. John’s 8 years ago. This original structure was only to be temporary and outlasted our expectations considerably.  Being made of metal the ocean breeze has eaten away at the structure and awning. We planned to replace it with a wooden structure. The first picture shows the original awning and it’s poor state of condition.
The present principal is a real go-getter.  Since the beginning of her time at the school she has recognized the importance of St. John’s donations and has done her part to meet expectations.  All of this can be seen in the video link given above.  The principal, Lola Kong, let us know that the best technological support we could give would be large screen televisions with USB ports. They have free access to educational videos. This seemed a very viable way we could help. As seen in the second photo, far left, the television for the 5 year olds is small and ineffective.
As well, Lola expressed the desire to have a series of shelves,  all of the same size and color to replace the makeshift shelves used around the classrooms. (see the third photo) These makeshift shelves have served a purpose but not being made for storing things, they were second best.
And finally Lola gave us a “wish” list of items they could really use:  dolls for the children to play with (see video link mentioned above—at the very end), as well as puzzles, musical instruments, costumes (firefighter, police, nurse/doctor, carpenter), hand puppets, a First Aid box, megaphone (for emergency drills), basketballs, volleyball, soccer balls, cones for PE, curtains for the 5 year old classroom, play kitchen sets, magnifying glasses, rulers, plastic chairs for adults (12 for parent meetings) and PE/emergency whistles to name a few.
Patty, my wife, and I had our work cut out for us. In my next installment I will show the progress being made.
Doug Stone, Spanish Teacher grades 7-8
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Tide Pool Fun and Learning!

The 5th grade students and teachers wrapped up their school year by exploring the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.  Before going to explore the 5th graders studied what the tide pools are made of and the different types of animals that can be found in the tide pools.  After visiting the tide pools, the students had to use the information they learned from the field trip to create an animal that they thought would be perfectly adapted to live in the tide pools. The students also wrote a haiku to describe what they experienced on their trip and to summarize their learning.

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A Reason to Celebrate!

Last week at St. John’s was one of the highlights of each school year – Expression Explosion and V.I. P. Day.  It was a week to celebrate our students’ talents and hard work throughout the year.  Our 2nd graders have been working hard on their writing skills the past few months and got a chance to share them with our Expression Explosion guests and V.I.P.’s.  They had persuasive letters to their parents with very convincing arguments.  They created their presidential profile with campaign promises if they become president someday.  Their sincere hopes and concerns for our country and its citizens is very inspiring.  They’ll have my vote someday!  April is poetry month so they wrote Haikus and Couplets to work on their descriptive skills.  Jack described a leopard as a “slinky animal” and “hunting predator” and Slater described a viper as a “ terrifying slitherer” in their Haikus.  Working with rhyming in couplets was a challenge, but Autumn wrote that “Monkeys swing to trees on bendable knees” and Emily wrote, “Listen as the donkey brays.  If it’s hungry, it will graze.”  It’s so fun to read all of the wonderful poetry the 2nd graders wrote!

The week ended with classrooms packed with V.I.P.’s.  Our 2nd graders practiced their public speaking skills by presenting one of their writing projects to our guests, working on reading with expression.  They were very polished and definitely impressed their audience. What a blessing to have so much loving support through these special V.I.P.’s, including grandparents, parents, older siblings, and family friends.

The greatest reason we all have to celebrate as a family of God is coming up – Easter.  As we journey to the cross throughout Holy Week, we focus on the loving sacrifice our Lord made for all so that we can have new life in Him.  We have so many blessings at St. John’s to celebrate, but that is the greatest one of all!

By: Mrs. Cathy Meier, 2nd Grade

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5th Grade at Riley’s Farm!

Last Thursday and Friday, our fifth graders were able to take part in a wonderful field trip to Riley’s Farm.  This field trip is an overnight adventure where the students are Revolutionary War soldiers.  The students get to reenact battles between the British and the colonists.  They eat rations like a colonial soldier would eat. (They also get the delicious Riley’s Farm feasts as well.)  They participate in training drills and writing with quill and ink.  They are able to actively see some of the things that the colonists may have encountered regarding the Stamp Act and other intolerable acts that took place under British rule. The fifth graders also enjoyed a rousing speech given by Patrick Henry.  The students were excited to participate in this unique hands-on learning experience.

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