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Twin Oaks students speak out on their school

By: Sarah James, Principal's Column
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Our principal, Mrs. James, had each sixth-grade teacher choose their best writers to help with this article. We then thought up a survey that consisted of six questions. All students completed this survey, and then turned them in to the office. The results are in¦ We asked them what was their most memorable experience at our school. Many students love the field trips they have been on. Most of our fifth and sixth grade students remember the week-long trip to Walker Creek Science Camp as the highlight of their time here! Not only was it a blast, but for many it was their first time away from home. Soon to be middle school students also enjoyed their trip to the San Francisco Exploratorium and their fifth grade trip to the Aquatic Center. A majority of Twin Oaks students agree they will always remember their class celebrations, but some other students thought differently. They remember more heartfelt things like meeting friends that will last a lifetime. My favorite memory is when I was in Kindergarten and on Valentine's Day my dad came to my class, said Allison Gerber, a third grader in Mrs. Shirhall's class. Hailey, Kyla and Crystal (sixth) remember their fourth-grade trip, when my friends and I were on the news singing in the rain at the outdoor ice rink! In second grade when a yard duty bought me a year book for turning my behavior around in the lunchroom, remembered sixth-grader Marc. Other memory makers¦bowling in first grade, making my reading goal and going to the office to see Mrs. James, P.E., VAPA, being elected to student council, hatching baby chicks in kindergarten¦ Isn't it funny that students don't remember homework?! Students at Twin Oaks are also looking forward to their years ahead for a variety of reasons. Joe Nobriga, in Mrs. Scheitlin's second grade, is looking forward to third grade because he wants to learn times math and division while Nathan Thibeault is looking forward to reading harder books! Blake (third) is looking forward to the great subjects in sixth grade while many others are looking forward to the next grade and new friends. Field trips that top that list are: The Puzzle People in second grade, all of the fourth grade trips, and of course the big one to Walker Creek Science Camp in the fifth grade as well as eating seconds or thirds on Friday pizza day. Three third graders are looking forward to going to the prom in sixth grade¦who wants to break the news?! While a few sixth-grade students will miss Twin Oaks, all are looking forward to the end of the year here and their years ahead in middle school. When asked if they could name one person who has helped them succeed at Twin Oaks, hands down it was our great teachers. Every one of our teachers is remembered by someone along their path here at school. That just goes to show that teachers make a difference for things they least expect! Joey, a third grader, said, Mrs. Sanders (second grade teacher) because she kept pushing me to read more. Mrs. Manner and Ms. Muller are remembered for opening my eyes that school can be fun and helping a lot in writing. Mrs. Schuler will be remembered for getting me ready for middle school and Mrs. Newman because she taught me how to do my homework correctly even if I got them wrong! Mrs. Magner helped students get organization and Mrs. Grinnell helped me enjoy reading and now I love it! Many students also said it was a parent or even a brother or sister who helped make things easier to understand. Zack Dallas (sixth) says, It would either be my mom or dad because they have helped me with work and encouraged me. Mrs. Heirigs, an instructional aide, was frequently named as someone who helps students succeed because she helps with things in class when kids don't understand and on the playground she's really nice. We found that friendships also help students succeed in school. Comments included he helps me with stuff I don't get, for cheering me on when I don't get math, for helping me stay on track, for her positive attitude, his great sense of humor, she's smart and she challenges me, she's always there to help me when I am down. Other staff recognized as helping students succeed includes Mrs. Bridges (speech pathologist) for helping me learn how to say the ˜ch' and ˜sh' sounds, Mrs. Kilbourne for teaching me English, and Mrs. James because she was the one who encouraged me to get good grades and reach 100 percent. When asked what she likes best about the staff here, Mrs. Nobles shared, I am very impressed with the dedication and professionalism of my third-grade team and the staff in general at Twin Oaks. There isn't a single person who doesn't put each student first. The staff feels that everyone is friendly and helpful so the friendships and bonds are long lasting and that creates a sense of family that Mrs. Schuler feels is important. At Twin Oaks we use a program called the Six Pillars of Character. The six pillars are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Every month we focus on one of the six pillars. Each teacher nominates one student who demonstrates that trait constantly. These students go to a luncheon, with all the other chosen students. We also use pink slips, which first through sixth grade students receive for doing good acts. The slips are pulled from a box every Monday at lunch. The person whose name is pulled from the box will receive a certificate and a treat. From Kindergarten to sixth grade, the staff also thinks that the focus on the Six Pillars of Character have had a positive influence on students. Mrs. Ditman (computer lab) and Mrs. Byers (librarian) see that students here are truly trying their best and help one another whenever they can. After looking at all the surveys, it is obvious that we have a lot of timber wolf pride. Many other schools are great, but Twin Oaks Elementary School stands out to students here.