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posted: 6/6/2012 8:26 AM

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Music matters

By Dylen Greenenwald, Christina Hernandez and Christian Shin

Miss Crawford's homeroom

Mrs. Wysocki says, "There's always some kind of music for everybody!" She has been playing instruments for 44 years. In those 44 years she learned to play the saxophone, recorder, auto harp and the piano. Out of those four instruments, the saxophone is her favorite. "I play music two hours a week and listen to music a good one hour a day," says Mrs. Wysocki. Every week she practices with her choir and also played her sax at West Oak's own Jazz for Jacob. She shared, "I have a natural beat and I always wanted to play a musical instrument." On a scale of one to 10, Mrs. Wysocki enjoys music on a level 10. Her whole family plays music and sometimes "jam" together. "You have it in you. Don't let anyone say you can't," says Mrs. Wysocki.

How math counts

By Diego Cisneros, Luis Garcia and Daniel Morales

Miss Crawford's homeroom

Do you know you're using math even when you don't know it? According to Mrs. Curley, math affects our lives everyday. For example, we use fractions in cooking and in many other things. She also said, "We use math in jobs, such as a doctor uses math to figure out your weight, bank workers count money and use decimals " She also said that kids practice or use math at home in ways that are different from school, such as measuring how far you kick a soccer ball and how long it takes you to do your homework. Another thing according to Mrs. Curley, is math can change our lives by understanding how to save money. The last thing Mrs. Curley shared was that it would be really hard or that we couldn't last a day without using math.

Science rules

By Trevor Freeman and Issis Botello

Mrs. Delfino's homeroom

"GO OUTSIDE, go to the Planetarium, go to Chicago Museums and the zoo," said Mrs. Kroll, science teacher at West Oak Middle School. This was in response to the question, "Where she would recommend students go to learn about science over the summer?" Mrs. Kroll said, "Go online and do an activity with a friend." She told us about a project using "oobleck," where they made lava lumps and many other things. When asked why she became a science teacher, she responded, "I have always been fascinated with science, physics and life science."

Over the years

By Antony Simonoff, Alan Lucas and Brandon Martinez

Mrs. Bernau's homeroom

Dr. Promise, the retiring superintendent of Diamond Lake District 76, opened up to us on his service as superintendent of 18 years. He'll miss the district, including the 2000 Referendum, the students performing, and all the people and staff. He also stated that one of his favorite people was Mr. Willeford, the principal, who he hired 9 years ago. His hardest thing to do is to fire staff. Also, it'll be good to air-condition all three schools, not just West Oak. He said that if he wasn't a superintendent, he'd be a principal, for he had that job before, and a principal sees kids more than a superintendent. He also has met Dr. Petrella, who is a good person who will do West Oak well. At this, our interview ended. He thanked us, and at that we parted.

Ways to stay fit

By Nicolas Ryding, Victor Noriega, and Kimberley Marcos.

Mrs. Morris' homeroom

Have you ever thought of living a healthy lifestyle? Well, Mrs. Piland from West Oak Middle School told students to drop the electronics and go outside and exercise. Mrs. Piland works out sometimes only 25 or 30 minutes, but she tries to exercise more. She normally runs about 3 miles. Her favorite exercise is running. When her daughter gets home, they both go to the park. Mrs. Piland jogs and her daughter is in her jogger. Mrs. Piland encourages students to play outside with some friends. When she goes out to eat, she orders fish or different types of salads. When she was little, she was very active. At the age of three she started dancing and continued for 13 years. She joined volleyball and track in middle school and high school. Mrs. Piland said, "Always try to be healthy." Remember, if you stay healthy, you get more opportunities in life.

Stop bullying now

By Andy Cuevas, Mark Ortiz and Erik Vargas

Ms. Lynch's homeroom

Do you know about a problem in schools that can make kids feel sad, depressed, isolated, and unworthy of friendships? This problem is called bulling. Bullying can be physical, like pushing, hitting, and shoving, or it can be verbal like name-calling, gossiping, or even through body language and isolation. Bullying usually happens in unstructured places like the bus, after school, in the hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms and playgrounds. Bullying starts when someone decides that he is better than others. Bullying can begin at a young age, but it usually becomes the worst around middle school. Even adults or bystanders can be bullies. A bystander is someone else that just watches bullies.

You might ask, "How can we stop this behavior at our school?" According to Mrs. Markech, the West Oak School social worker, we need to stand up to bullies. Her advice is to be firm and direct and tell the bully that it is NOT ok. Students should not be afraid to stand up to bullies. Although it is easy to pick on others when everyone else is going it, kids need to make the kinder choice. Mrs. Markech's advice is that, "you don't have to be friends with everyone, but you need to be friendly and treat them with respect."

At West Oak, students fight bullying through the program Rachel's Challenge. Mrs. Markech explained, "Rachel wanted us to make a difference by spreading kindness in school. This behavior creates a chain reaction and a community that cares for each other. Rachel's challenge to everyone is to respect differences in others and to spread kindness." West Oak students are excited that Rachel's example can help West Oak to become a school without bullies and a place where kids feel good about themselves and their choices.