On Saturday, October 28, our Tigers celebrated big as the Tiger football team took the league championship. And the night before playo s, our middle school drama department presented a delightful rendition of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood by Mary Lynn Dobson. Both Mr. Bost (SJCS Athletic Director and Tiger Football Coach) and Ms. Laverman (Middle School Drama Director and Fourth Grade Teacher) find their greatest joy in seeing students develop their gifts and grow in confidence.
Mr. Bost said with a smile, “I love being around the kids. I love seeing them grow as athletes but also as young men. The students start in 5th Grade saying ‘I can’t do this’ and finish as 8th grade leaders on the field. Often students enter middle school with no experience in a given sport. I get to watch them excel as they interact with each other and work for a common goal.They will take what they learn in sports into the rest of their lives.” One of our 8th grade students, Ethan A., participated in both football and the play. ”It was a crazy weekend to say the least. Friday we had two play performances and I have to say that the evening performance was flawless. Then, not even 12 hours later, I was a contributor on the football championship team. I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to do both the play and to be a part of the football team that made SJCS history."
Both events showcased students who discovered talents and growth opportunities as a result of our “no cut” policy. Eighth grade student Mary shared, “If there were cuts in the drama tryouts, I may have not even done the play. But instead, I have done it all three years of middle school. I would never have realized how much I loved acting and chosen to participate in it. The highlight of the play this year was when half the cast was crammed backstage and we were all smiling anticipating our next cue. All our nerves were gone and we were all just filled with happiness because of the fun we were having.” Natalie, another 8th grade actress, would tell future middle schoolers, “ Don't wait to try the drama performance. Go for it! You'll learn so many things, you'll love it, and you can find that inner dramatic character in yourself.” Meredith added, “It's nice to have a judge-free environment to practice lines and get used to being an actor!”
Ms. Laverman believes in accepting all students who want to participate in the play whether on stage or backstage. “Being involved in drama lends itself to lifetime skills such as public speaking, working with peers, being comfortable in your own skin, and encouraging each other. When students don’t support each other it shows up on stage. We have to fit together and work together to be in sync.” Mr. Bost adds his support of our “no-cut” policy in sports. “Giving all students a chance to participate is important because middle school is a time that kids should try anything if they have an interest in it. You never know what
it could lead to. We want to foster in them that they have the freedom and ability to try things and see where God has gifted them. Being part of a team is important for everybody.
“Our students see professional sports on TV and come into a sport thinking that being an athlete is all about promoting self. But in our athletic program we focus on being a good teammate and knowing your role whether or not you are on the field. Throughout the championship game the players on the sidelines knew their goal was to encourage and support the players on the field. I love this picture of our team working toward a common goal, even from the sideline.”
After interviewing a number of good candidates, we are happy to announce that one great candidate for the Middle School History position stood out, and Justin DenOuden will be joining our middle school team. Mr. DenOuden has been on campus quite a bit this year, subbing in various grade levels, and he truly feels that God has called him to stay permanently. He is a credentialed teacher and brings several years of teaching experience with him. When you see Mr. DenOuden on campus, please give him a big welcome.