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Junior Journalist Update from Mead – By Ananya M.

In every classroom at Mead Junior High, each staff member has a sheet of paper up on their wall about how they wish to fulfill the District 54 Promise. Each of these statements varies from teacher to teacher, but they all share one thing in common:  Every staff member promises to help their students become the best version of themselves, and in every class, I have seen teachers doing this. However, there is one teacher in particular who has done an extraordinary job of making me the best person I can be this year. Mrs. Mijal’s eighth-grade science room has become one of the most familiar places in the building to me, as it is where I am most excited to travel in the day.

I have Mrs. Mijal for third period science, but this is not when I have noticed this lively teacher’s presence. Mead’s Rube Goldberg team, sponsored by Mrs. Mijal and Mr. Hirshfeld, is when it hit me. Mead’s team has spent hours on end, working on their contraption for competition day on February 23. Whether it was staying after school on the half day of conferences until 8:30 p.m. or coming in early at 7 a.m., Mrs. Mijal was always willing to do whatever it took to help my partners and I. All of us have made so many good memories together. We’ve jumped for joy when we figured out how to finally get a certain step to work, or when we made the connection between Rube Goldberg and Willy Wonka. We laughed when we tricked a member that three people also on the team were triplets, which lasted for over a week. Whatever happened, Mrs. Mijal was always standing ready to get into a joke (or mediate it) or help us with mixing the epoxy.

But in my mind, the jokes, scars of hot glue burns and high levels of stress are not what I will remember Rube Goldberg by. By far, it’s the friends I’ve made that have really made this experience enjoyable. I’m not the type of person to approach another and strike up a conversation; however, being a part of this team has made me do that and I am not regretting it. We get along so well (most of the time) that it made me realize maybe talking to people isn’t so bad. Really, it’s Mrs. Mijal and Mr. Hirshfeld who have allowed this to happen, and I am forever thankful to them. To everyone who has helped me become who I am today: Mrs. Green, Mrs. Tamulis, Mrs. Wells, Ms. Basak, Mr. Hirshfeld, Dr. Coy, Mrs. Mijal, Mr. Bautista, Mrs. Paulson, Ms. Falato, Mr. Fletcher, Mr. Donlan, Mrs. Kneif, Mr. Forti and anyone else who has made me better without me even realizing it. Over the past two years I have grown so much as a musician, as a student, as a individual, that it is hard to keep track of everyone who has made a lasting impact on me, so I hope this article will — with them knowing it or not — address those people too. Thank you for the greatest gifts of all: Friendship and knowledge.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their March article we asked our Junior Journalists to write about a staff member who is fulfilling the 54 Promise.