September/October 2015

Bike Racks

By Gianna Negrete

Ensign School is currently looking into revising the bike rack procedures currently used.  Staff and students have noticed that getting in and out of the bike racks is hectic.

Personally, I feel there was a loss of spots because the bike racks in the middle aisle had been moved to form a square and about 20 bike spots were gone. Now we have moved the racks back into their original position and this has really helped kids park their bikes since there are so many more kids this year than last year.

The office also put up signs and announced that students should not park their bike on the side gate. Overall, thank you teachers and staff for making the bike racks more accessible!


Welcome to Ensign, Mrs. Johnson!

By Jennifer Garcia


I’m very excited to introduce a new language arts teacher in campus which would be the amazing Mrs. Johnson! Mrs. Johnson is a hardworking, creative, and interesting teacher. She has been an English teacher for 25 years, and this is the very first time she has ever taught middle school. To get to know her better, I asked her a few simple questions that help me understand what kind of person she is.

Q1. Why did you want to become an English teacher?

A. “I love stories and teenagers.”

Q2. What does your perfect day look like?

A. “Going sailing with my husband seems like a perfect day.”

Q3. What are your favorite books?

A. “To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tale of Two Cities, and finally Les Miserables.”

Q4. Do you participate in any sports?

A. “I run, sail, and ski.”

Q5. Describe your teaching style.

A. “I like teaching by telling stories and I teach in detail.”

Q6. What is your favorite part of Ensign so far?

A. “I love how incredibly nice the staff is.”

It was an absolute pleasure interviewing Mrs. Johnson and I got to learn new things about her. I hope she has a wonderful and fun year at Ensign, and many to come.

Who We Are...

Writers: Zoe Arthur, Shiloh Bryant, Kiona Carriker, Bryson Del Valle, Luke Fyvie, Jennifer Garcia, Ava Glassen, Hannah Morris, Gia Negrete, Elizabeth Peters, Roxy Salinas, Sterling Solomon, Amanda Wertheimer, Avery Wooden.

Editor: Elizabeth Peters

Instagram: Shiloh Bryant

Webmaster: Ava Glassen

Advisor: Kristine Cross



Interview with Mr. Sciacca!

By Ava Glassen and Sterling Solomon


This year we had the pleasure of welcoming our new principal, Mr. Sciacca, to Ensign Intermediate School. We got to know him by asking him a few questions about himself:


1. What interests you in Ensign?


“Students have an amazing dynamic of working with our community; elementary and high schools and that is what interests me in Ensign.”


2.  What are you looking forward to this year?


“I am looking forward to getting to know the teachers and students, establishing trust with each and every one.”


3.  What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?


“My favorite things to do outside of school are root for University of Arizona football and basketball; spend time with my kids and family.”


4. What makes Ensign different than the other schools you've worked at?


“Ensign is the most diverse school. Kids are coming from polar opposite places, relationships, household advantages, and disadvantages.”


5. What do you want to improve at Ensign?

“There is always a way to make something better but I haven’t been here long enough to know.”


6. If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

“I would want to have an endless supply of Chipotle burritos, T.V. for access to sports games, and my family.”


7. What is something fun you did this Summer?

“I rented a houseboat and went to Lake Powell.”


Overall, Mr. Sciacca is a great addition to the Ensign team and we are so excited to have him!

Keith Hawkins

By Elizabeth Peters

On Tuesday September 15, we had an assembly. In the assembly, Keith Hawkins talked to both grades about the type of person we wanted to become.

We learned from his three wonderful children and their unexpected words of wisdom like when his daughter said, “I would rather be a good nobody than a bad somebody.” This applies to many of us here at our school because sometimes we find that we want to be noticed but don’t feel that we will be by just being kind. It is important to remember that each kind word and action will help and will never be forgotten.

 He also reminded us on how people “follow actions not words.” I must say I was confused and put my hand on my chin when he pressed his hand to his jowl. One of the most important points he touched upon is “have fun, don’t be funny.” As middle school students we think that being funny and disrespectful is cool. I don’t know about you but I would rather be thought of as kind since I don’t like having the chills.

The assembly was not all serious. However, he allowed us to play Simon Says to demonstrate his point; don’t worry if you sat down first so did I. We can all learn something from his speech.


66 Outrages Excuses for Being Late to School

By Jennifer Garcia and Kiona Carriker

You know early in the morning when you don’t feel like getting up and going to school, but you know you’re going to miss many assignments? So,then, you decide to try to make it to school on time, you rush out the door and head towards school but you realize that you are going to, unfortunately, be late. Here are the 66 most outrages, preposterous, and unacceptable excuses for being late to school.

  1.  “There was bike traffic.”
  2.  “I got a call from Obama.”
  3.  “I was stuck in jail."
  4. “I had to help an elder pick up her medication.”
  5. “I won’t be in school on time. My brain is full.”
  6.  “ I can’t come to school because my cat is very lonely and stressed out.”
  7. “ I had to go audition for American Idol.”
  8. “I heard it was going to snow.”
  9.  “My grandma made me go to early bingo.”
  10. “My sim was having an emotional meltdown and I needed to be there for her.”
  11. “I was abducted by alien and after being transported to the mother ship, the aliens decided not to suck out my brains. They sent me back home.”
  12. “The line was too long at Starbucks.”
  13. “I had to feed my pet piranha.”
  14. “I saw Elvis.”
  15. “I was waiting for my deodorant to dry.”
  16. “My alarm clock kept going off while I was asleep.”
  17. “A groundhog bit my bike tire and made it flat, so I was late.”
  18. “I wasn't late. I just failed to be on time.”
  19. “I was too busy sleeping to be on time.”
  20. “I fell asleep in the shower.”
  21. “There were three wasps in my bedroom so I hid under my bed for three hours until my Mom came back from work. I came as soon as I could though."
  22. “I was just really, really, early for tomorrow.”
  23. “My bed is more comfortable than school.”
  24. “I was caught in a flash mob.”
  25. "I walked into a spider web on the way out the door and couldn't find the spider, so I had to go inside and shower again."
  26. “I feel like I'm in everyone's way if I show up on time.”
  27.  “I was attacked by a raccoon.”
  28.   “I ran into a parade.”
  29.   “I thought time was on my side.”
  30. “I had to catch a Pokémon.”
  31. “ There were three wasps in my bedroom so I hid under my bed for three hours until they flew out the window.”
  32.  “I was late to class because it was foggy this morning and I couldn't find my way to school."
  33.   “You gave me the wrong directions.”
  34.   “I got hungry and ate my homework.”
  35. “I was late because I was late! Remember: “it is better late than absent!
  36. “I got stuck in the elevator”
  37. “It was the aliens!! They told me to be late!! I swear!!!
  38. "My dad’s, grandparents', uncle's, friend's, goldfish died.”
  39.  “Sorry I had an epic battle with my hair this morning."
  40. “I missed my bus, and had to ride a turtle to school.”
  41. “I had to stay home finishing season 4 of My Little Pony.”
  42. “I had Taco Bell, enough said.”
  43. “The paparazzi wanted an interview with me.”
  44. “I couldn’t find my clothes.”
  45. “I’m going to be late today and every day from here on. I just got a letter saying that I may have won 20 million dollars.”
  46. “I squeezed all the toothpaste out of the tube and spent ages putting all of it back in.”
  47. “I was at home sleeping, dreaming I was at school.”
  48. “I had to save my fish from drowning.”
  49. “I invented a time machine, and it messed up.”
  50. “I was in the halls and I heard someone say that you weren't the best teacher ever, so I had to beat them up.”
  51. "My cat had the hiccups.”
  52. “I had to go save Narnia.”
  53. “I had to teach my horse how to play poker.”
  54. “My underwear got stuck in the locker.”
  55. “Sorry I'm late; I got sidetracked at Krispy Kreme's.”
  56. “Today is 'National be late to school day.”
  57. “Flying monkeys took my brother and flew to China."
  58. “I’m not late. I was thinking about school on the way in.”
  59. “I had a rap battle with George Washington.”
  60. “Your watch must be fast.”
  61. "I was hungry so I stopped at Whole Foods. Their sushi is actually pretty good there. Have you had it?”
  62. “I broke my hip while doing a cartwheel.”
  63. “I didn’t chose the late life, the late life chose me."
  64. “There is no 'I' in school.”
  65. “A three-headed chicken water horse attacked me on the way to school.  I swear it’s true.”
  66. “I don’t like arriving on time."

Band Review - 21 Pilots!

By Shiloh Bryant 

Band Review

In my opinion, Twenty One Pilots is an amazing band. Everything from their music, to their lyrics, to the two band members. Their music style (schizophrenic pop) is very unique, and fans call it many different things. The band consists of two members, Tyler Joseph the lead singer and the piano player, and Josh Dun, the drummer. While their music may sound happy and poppy, their lyrics are actual poetry. By dealing with depression, Tyler and Josh have saved lives. They help you deal with problems in your life, and help you gain consciousness as well. Their songs are so enjoyable and it also brings awareness to problems, not only you are facing, but they help you understand others, as well. 

tyler and josh 3.jpg

The Fan Base

Twenty One Pilots’ fan base is called the “Skeleton Clique.” Fans from far and wide gather on social media or in real life, and speak of the meaning of the bands lyrics, draw tons of fan art, and laugh together like one big family. Like every fandom, there are problems that people are having. The main issue on social media regarding Twenty One Pilots is; fans that have been there since before Tyler and Josh’s album Blurryface, have been picking on “Fake Fans.” But that problem is now dying down. The fans are so kind and now is a great time to listen to their music and join the fandom!


Personal Opinion

Twenty One Pilots is personally one of my favorite bands. I’ve been a fan since their second album (Vessel) was released, (when I was in fifth grade.) Their music and songs have helped and inspired me so much. Without Twenty One Pilots, my life would be very different. I’m so glad I discovered them. My favorite albums of theirs are Vessel and Twenty One Pilots. If you were going to listen to this band, I would suggest listening to the following songs first: "Holding onto You," "Isle of Flightless Birds," "Ode to Sleep," and "Polarize." Those are just a few that I feel would help transition you into the band as a listener. I hope you take the time to listen!

tyler and josh 2.jpg

Click on the link or copy paste and search to hear some of their music!


What Are Seventh Graders Most Nervous For At Ensign?

By Avery Wooden & Sterling Solomon

We asked the students a specific question because we know that transferring from a sixth grade classroom at an elementary school where the schools are small, to going to a middle school where the school is much bigger, is frightening for a lot of kids, so we went out at the seventh graders lunch time and asked 24 students the same question, “What are you most nervous for at Ensign?” The options we gave them were teachers, homework, mile, being tardy, dress code, getting lost, and other(s).







Being Tardy


Dress Code


Getting Lost


Other (grades)




Here’s the Why Behind People’s Opinions:

Isa Glassen: “I chose homework because I want to get straight A’s all year and never fail a test.”

Audrey Karlin: “I was nervous for homework because I usually get really stressed out when I have a lot of homework.”

Lindsey Blanchfield: “I am nervous for the mile because it looks really long and we have to do it … 1 time a week.”

Kate Lipkowski: “I didn’t really know the school and I thought I was going to get in trouble.”

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Getting To Know Ms. McCartney, the school physiologist!

By Hannah Morris


Q: What did you do before you came to Ensign?

A: “I was working at Mariners and Lincoln and before that I worked in Chicago.”


Q: What is the main difference between the schools in California and the schools in Chicago?

A: “[In Chicago] all classes are indoors, they don’t have recess, Chicago schools are taller.”


Q: What is your favorite color?

A: “My favorite color is blue… I know it is kind of boring but it is just so calm and relaxing.”


Q:   What is your favorite animal?

A: “My favorite animal would probably be any animal you would find during an African safari.”


Q: What is your favorite memory and why?

A: “Moving to Chicago, it really changed my life… it helped me realize that I could do anything.”


Q: If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

A: “Martin Luther King. Why would I want to meet him? Because he’s amazing.”


Q: Where were you born and why is it great?

A: “I was born in Mancato, Minnesota, and it is great because I had the best childhood: I could ride my bike everywhere and did not have to worry about getting kidnapped or something.”


Q: What did you want to be when you were older as a child?

A: “I wanted to be a world famous DJ… I still want to be a world famous DJ.”


Q: If you could go anywhere in the world and why?

A: “I would like to go to South Africa to go on a safari and to see my dear friend who moved there.”


Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “My favorite album is The Postal Service and my favorite song is 'Great Heights'.”


Q: If you could own on business in the world what would it be?

A: “I would own a fashion and travel blog”


Q: What are some things you could not live without?

A: “Coffee, cupcakes, French fries, The Walking Dead, my Mini and my iPhone.”



Getting to Know our New Assistant Principal, Mrs. McDowell!

By Luke Fyvie


Ensign School (ES): “Where did you work before you were a principal?”

Mrs. McDowell (MD): “I worked in office as district administrator, and before that I worked in Long Beach.”

ES: “How do you feel about coming to a new school and meeting new people?”

MD: “I am super excited about it… Middle schoolers rock!”

ES: “What was your dream job before you became a teacher?”

MD: Before I was a teacher, I wanted to be a child psychologist!”

ES: “If you could talk to one person, who would it be?”

MD: “I think it would be really cool to sit and have a conversation with Magic Johnson because he is such a sports icon and a great business man.  Plus, he’d be really nice and funny!”

ES: “If you could travel to one place, where would you go?”

MD: “I would want to travel to Tahiti to float on the waves and get a tan!”

ES: “What’s been your favorite moment in life so far?”

MD: “Probably when my darling daughter was born.”

ES: “What are you looking forward to the most this year?”

MD: “I am looking forward to having a great year, and getting to know each and every one of you.”

Transitioning from Standard to Honors: Mr. Becker and Mrs. Reilly

By Ava Glassen and Amanda Wertheimer


After Mrs. Libengood’s retirement from Ensign Intermediate School, Mr. Becker and Mrs. Reilly had the pleasure of taking over the honors classes for the eighth graders. We asked them a few questions about the transition.


  1. What are you most excited about for eighth grade honors?

Becker: “I am most excited for the opportunity to use my craft more completely and to teach the students more information about the subject.”


Reilly: “I am excited to get to know all of my students. I am also excited to read more great works of literature, including The Princess Bride and The Scarlet Pimpernel.”


  2.  What is the biggest difference between honors and regular English?

Becker: “The biggest difference is the positive behaviors and the willingness to push forward and work hard.”


Reilly: “The biggest difference between the two is the pace.”


  3. Were you nervous to follow in Mrs. Liebengood's footsteps?

Becker: “I was slightly overwhelmed to follow in her footsteps and tried to be prepared and well-suited for the year.”


Reilly: “Yeah, I was nervous at first because I care and want to do well.”

    After interviewing these two outstanding teachers, we can conclude that while this transition might be a bit overwhelming, it broadens their teaching spectrum. We’d like to thank Mr. Becker and Mrs. Reilly for giving us the opportunity to interview them.