Earthquake Relief Desperately Needed

A small child in Haiti is rescued by a rescue party member.

A small child in Haiti is rescued by a rescue party member.

Several weeks ago and the last couple of days have seen some of the worst natural disasters in history. The 7.0 magnitude quake in the impoverished country of Haiti rocked the capital city of Port-Au-Prince to it’s foundations. Limited aid and supplies were able to get into the country quickly due to the tiny airport and damaged airstrip and seaports. Even now, Haiti is struggling to rescue and aid those who were injured in the quake.
Now just yesterday on Saturday, February 27 another brutal earthquake has emerged, this time in Chile’s second largest city, Concepción. The 8.8 magnitude earthquake is easily 50 times more powerful than the one that occured in Haiti. The Chilean government stated that already the death toll has climbed to 708 and more than 2 million people have been displaced from their homes.

People, amidst tear gas, run away from police oficcers during looting in Concepcion, Chile, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. A 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Chile early Saturday. (AP Photo/Aliosha Marquez)

People, amidst tear gas, run away from police oficcers during looting in Concepcion, Chile. (AP Photo/Aliosha Marquez)

At this point in time, Chile is not accepting foreign aid, but the people of Haiti still need you help them. Food, camping supplies, and money are welcome and any amount that can be given is acceptable. The Student Counsel and FCS are collecting donations for Haiti now in the red cups placed in every classroom. If you would rather make an online donation or want more information, find out how to help at or

Lunch:Then and Now

PICT0940 School lunch is something that everyone has had to go through at some point. But if you think back, the school lunch from your childhood is very different from the one that was on your tray today. Without a doubt lunch has been changed significantly over the years. Verlene Mann One begins to wonder exactly how much has changed over the past ten years. Verlene Mann, affectionately known as Grandma to many students at FMHS, has been working here at the school since 1988 and has personally seen the metamorphosis of the lunch program over the years. PICT0938First, let’s get some background on the lunch we have today. Our cooks spend 7-11 hours on our lunch every day, sometimes starting the night before.  They are required by the government to follow strict guidelines regarding nutrition and portions.  The main change in Fort Morgan’s lunch program in the last 10 years has been the way food is prepared.  Foods that were once prepared from scratch, like breads and desserts, are now premade in boxes.  However, sauces and gravies are still made completely from scratch.  Ten years ago, when so much of the food was made from scratch, it took the same amount of time as it does today. Only ten years ago, there were at least three other cooks on staff.  But Mrs. Mann says that she wouldn’t change much. “I’d like some more interaction with the kids, so that they know how much time goes into planning and preparing their food.” Even if the food is different, we know that our lunch has the same care and attention that it used to.

Another Kids Play on the Way

The children’s play toured the elementary schools of Fort Morgan on Friday, January 23rd. The group presented the short play to Trinity, Pioneer, Sherman, and Columbine. IMG_2046
They also had a free performance at the high school at 7 p.m.. The play “The Ever After” is a comedy about fairy tale characters making amends with each other on a talk show. Snow White tries to make up with the Evil Queen. The two Ugly Stepsisters try to patch things up with Cinderella (even if it’s only so they can hit on her Prince), and the Frog Prince even makes a special appearance.
The production was student directed by Sam Wilkinson and Rachel Smith. These student produced children’s plays are a new addition to the drama department. A spring children’s’ play is in the works now. It seems likely that the production will be an adaptation of “The Emperors New Clothes”. Auditions for that student production will be held in the third week of February.

Will You Be the Next Youtube Sensation?

Avi signed a record deal with Brushfire Records

Avi signed a record deal with Brushfire Records

Have you ever wished you could become the next big thing on youtube? Sure you have, along with most of the people our age today. For Zee Avi that dream is a now a reality, not only that but her popularity on youtube has translated to success in the real world.
Avi, (full given name Izyan Alirahman) is a Malaysian singer-songwriter who lived in Kuala Lampar (an island in Malaysia) since she was 12 years old. She posted her first video on youtube in September 2007 under the username KokoKaina, which is still in use today. After a lot of positive feedback she was featured on youtube’s front page. She was discovered this way by Patrick Keeler of the The Raconteurs who passed her along to his manager Ian Montone who also manages The Shins and The White Stripes. He then connected her to Emmett Malloy who signed her to Brushfire Records. zee_avi
Avi uses the ukulele in a lot of her songs, giving her music a light and dreamy sound. Her voice is a little like Billie Holiday, a little like Doris Day and a lot like an up and coming indie pop artist. Her debut album was released in May of 2009.
Avi is not the only one to taste youtube success. People like Fred, Shane Dawson, and Shaytards are featured regularly on youtube’s front page because of their popularity and deals they have made with youtube. So if you have dreams of your fabulous and amazing talent being discovered through youtube, don’t be so quick to dismiss it as a pipedream.

It’s FORENSICS not forensics!

Forensics is all about acting, not investigating a crime scene.

Forensics is all about acting, not investigating a crime scene.

On January 8th 2010, the Forensics team left at a very early 5:30 in the morning for their first meet of the New Year. The name Forensics might bring to mind the TV show CSI or a crime scene but any Forensics member will be quick to say “We don’t cut up dead bodies!” Forensics is actually a club where students practice acting and debate skills. Then at the meets they compete against other schools.

There are several different competitions in Forensics. Students can compete in separate sections, including solo acting, duet acting, interpretation of acting, poetry, debate, creative storytelling, and original oratory. The Ft. Morgan Team competed in the following events; Dramatic Interpretation, Original Oratory, Humorous Duet Acting, and Creative Storytelling.

At the Limon meet, one FMHS student made it to finals. Samantha Wilkinson, competing in Dramatic Interpretation (Which is basically acting with a script) took home 3rd place. The Forensics Team only has one regular meet left, which will be hosted in Brush. After that they will go to the state competition in Denver on January 29th and 30th.

Little Shop of Success

The FMHS fall musical this year was a smashing success. If you didn’t attend, you missed out on a great show. This drama department got approval from the administration to put on four shows this year as opposed to previous years where only three shows were done. The community met the popular musical “Little Shop of Horrors” with great enthusiasm on the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Record ticket sales heralded the success of the show.

However, that was not the only first for the FMHS Drama Dep. Little Shop of Horrors brought many new things we hadn’t ever seen with our local high school productions, including a split role, a motorcycle, a rock band on stage, and a giant talking man-eating plant. The show was very interactive with the audience. Actors came out into the seats during songs, the motorcycle was driven up and down the aisles, and vines fell around the audience in the finale. The memory of this show will have crowds eagerly returning for the next FMHS Drama production. Follow the link to Little Shop of Horrors on wikipedia to read the story of the musical and learn more.

Angel Tree

Angel Tree InstructionsIn the northwest corner of the commons there is a Christmas tree. It is frosted white and covered in multicolored lights. There is one different thing about this tree. Angels made of paper with green writing on them serve as ornaments.
The Angel Tree is a service project put on by FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students). On each Angel there is information about a local student or child who is in need this Christmas. It gives the child’s age and what they need to make their Christmas better. Recipients of the presents will be anonymous and the givers will also remain nameless.

The Angel Tree is a great way to give back to the community.

The Angel Tree is a great way to give back to the community.

Giving without gaining anything except a good feeling is what the Angel tree is all about according to FCS sponsor Zach Stream. “[The project] is to help out students in Ft. Morgan who might be in need, and who would otherwise not get any presents at home.” He said.
It is the Angel Tree’s 4th year here at FMHS. Most of the gifts are winter clothing but toys are popular with the younger children. Last years Angel tree received a lot of support from the school with over 70 gifts given to young people in need. They are looking forward to more of the same love and support in 2009.
To give a Christmas gift through the Angel tree a student or staff member can pick an ornament off the tree set up in the commons, buy the specified gift, wrap it, and return the gift with the angel attached to either club sponsors Mr. Stream or Ms. Jordet.

Keep Your Cool When Your Hot Under the Collar

If you’re the type of person who loses their cool easily, then you’re certainly not alone. People get hot and bothered about all kinds of things on a regular basis. Conflict is part of our daily life. It’s unavoidable at work, school, or at home. When people spend a lot of time stuck together they get sick of each other. That makes it that much easier for there to be misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anger and grudges. Anger Management The important thing is for people to control their anger. If you are unable to pick your battles or simply can’t control yourself when you’re angry, then you will have problems interacting with people for the rest of your life. Not only that, you could get kicked out of school, lose your job, or even do some jail time. Ezine Articles gives you ten ways to handle your anger so that you won’t lose more than your temper.

Anger Management – 10 Top Tips to Put You Back in Control of Your Temper!
1. Take a deep breath … wait… take a few more…
Breathing calms the body, and by reducing the physical signs of anger, calms the mind. When something has angered you, rather than erupting spontaneously, or sending off an angry letter or email, breathe deeply and then exhale – and the exhalation should be longer and more complete then the in-breath (say, in for seven seconds and out for ten). Repeat this several times and continue until you’re physically calm.

2. Don’t deny your anger………..but consider the consequences
Anger should not be suppressed. Storing anger only builds to a more explosive eruption later. It’s best to “use it and lose it” – i.e. let go of the anger, NOT lose your temper. Anger can be used appropriately or inappropriately. It is appropriate when you use it to achieve a desired outcome. It is inappropriate when the anger uses you, takes over and brings about an unconsidered and unwanted outcome.

3. Eat properly …. and drink sensibly
Healthy but not excessive eating, drinking lots of water, avoiding enjoying tea, coffee and alcohol but not in excess are all sensible responses to irrational emotion or tiredness. They may also prevent and control stress headaches.

4. Recognise tiredness and stress
One of the most common places we recognise that we are tired and/or stressed is in a car. This is where most arguments between spouses or companions occur. The trigger may be not following the best route, heavy traffic or the poor control of another driver. The consequences of losing your temper may be an insufferable journey or, worse, an accident. You might injure someone, kill or be killed. Rather breathe deeply and wait.

5. Control your environment
As anger specialist Mike Fisher* says, ” Anger thrives in a toxic environment, feeding on itself. If you manage to stay calm at work or in a car, other people will be less stressed and angry, which will in turn help you to control your own anger”. If need be, take time out and remove yourself from the place of the dispute temporarily. Step outside for some fresh air if at all possible or employ some other kind of diversionary tactic.

6. Anger as a justified response to wrong-doing should be proportionate
There are times and situations when it is completely appropriate to be angry, but when for example, one goes into a rant because one of your employees has dropped and smashed a glass, this is disproportionate. On the other hand, becoming apoplectic at the breakage of a valuable antique vase is by no means unjustified! However, it won’t help the person responsible who will, assuredly, be feeling pretty bad with no help from you.

7. Focus on the issue rather than on the person
When we are angry it is easy to use terms like “you always get things wrong when you speak to clients”, but this tends to bring about a response like “no, I don’t always, just in this case, but you always say always!!” Focusing on the issue will produce a very different and less emotional response. Do try not to generalise if you must vent your anger.

8. Get help
If you are in a persistently stressed and angry state to the detriment of your health, wellbeing, and relationships with others, it is really sensible to seek help from a doctor, therapist or coach. Help may come in the form of advice, medication or suggestion for life-style change, but someone else is far more likely to see the bigger picture.

9. Join a support group
Examples would be The British Association of Anger Management or Alcoholics Anonymous, or your place of worship – one’s church, mosque or synagogue. Joining a meditation, yoga or tai-chi group often provides a nurturing community for dealing with lower-level stress.

10. Take responsibility
A problem may be caused by another person, or situation, but until you recognise that the greater problem of your excessive response to a negative situation rests with you rather than with others, you are unlikely to improve the situation. As soon as you start to blame others, focus on your own errors or misconceptions that have clouded the picture, and accept responsibility.


Don’t respond to taunting or insults with physical violence. Sure, you’ll feel satisfied for a few seconds after you hit them but after that you have to face the consequences, which could be anything from explusion to jail time. The person you hit wins, because you’re the one who pays the consequences. If you don’t think you can act rationally toward the person you’re mad at, then get away. Change seats, leave the room, or avoid that person for awhile. There is nothing wrong or cowardly about avoiding a person you know will get you into trouble. Just ask yourself if the person is worth landing yourself in juvey for. If the answer is no, then you don’t need to be fighting that person.

Suicide Prevention

Number of Suicides in the 100,000's

Number of Suicides in the 100,000's

Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for all persons regardless of age, sex or race; the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24; and the fourth leading cause of death for persons between the ages of 10 and 14.”- Friday, J.C., Ph.D., “The Psychological Impact of Violence in Underserved Communities,” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1995, pp. 403-409.

Teen Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the US. The third leading cause, coming in only after motor vehicle accidents and homicide. To help prevent teen suicide it is important to be aware and able to recognize the warning signs.
Even though about four boys die for every girl as a result of suicide, girls think about and attempt suicide twice as often. This could be because girls tend to use less lethal methods such as cutting their wrists or taking pills, and boys are more inclined to use guns, hanging themselves, or jumping from heights. In a recent national survey of high school students 60% said that they had thought about killing themselves, and 9% admitted to attempting to take their life at least once.

Reasons For the Spike in Suicide Rates
o It’s easier to get the tools of suicide (Pills, guns, etc…)
o The stress involved with living in the world today is greater
o Pressure to succeed in school and college is tough
o We are fed violence constantly in the media

Signs to Look For
• Talks about death and/or suicide (maybe even with a joking manner).
• Plans ways to kill him or herself.
• Expresses worries that nobody cares about him or her.
• Has attempted suicide in the past.
• Dramatic changes in personality and behavior.
• Withdraws from interacting with friends and family.
• Shows signs of depression.
• Begins to act recklessly and engage in risk-taking behaviors.
• Begins to give away sentimental possessions.
• Spends time online interacting with people who glamorize suicide and maybe even form suicide pacts.
• changes in eating and sleep habits
• loss of interest in usual activities
• withdrawal from friends and family members
• acting out behaviors and running away
• alcohol and drug use
• neglect of personal appearance
• unnecessary risk-taking
• preoccupation with death and dying
• increased physical complaints frequently associated with emotional distress such as stomach aches, headaches, and fatigue
• loss of interest in school or schoolwork
• feelings of boredom
• difficulty concentrating
• feelings of wanting to die
• lack of response to praise
• indicates plans or efforts toward plans to commit suicide, including the following:
• verbalizes “I want to kill myself,” or “I’m going to commit suicide.”
• gives verbal hints such as “I won’t be a problem much longer,” or “If anything happens to me, I want you to know ….”
• gives away favorite possessions; throws away important belongings
• becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
• may express bizarre thoughts
• writes one or more suicide notes


Ways to Prevent Suicide

Steps teens can take:
o Take your friend’s behavior and discussion of suicide seriously.
o Encourage your friend to seek professional help, accompany if necessary.
o Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t be alone in helping your friend.

Steps parents can take:
o Keep medications and firearms away from children.
o Get your child help (medical or mental health professional).
o Support your child (listen, avoid undue criticism, remain connected).
o Become informed (library, local support group, Internet)

Forms of Professional Help

Counseling. This can be done individually or with family and friends. Techniques allow the teen learn to cope with life. Often, when a teen learns how to handle problems (and families learn how to help), the desire to kill him or herself dissipates.

Residential treatment. This is treatment in which a suicidal teen goes elsewhere to live for a time. This can be a special treatment facility, or it can be a therapeutic boarding school. In these settings, the teenager is monitored 24/7 in order to prevent a suicide attempt. Additionally, most residential treatment facilities have trained professional staff that can help a suicidal teen.

Medication. This is often seen as a last resort, or as something complementary to other treatments. It is important to note that in some teenagers, medication can have the opposite effect desired; some studies show that for some teens anti-depressants actually increase the chance of teen suicide.

If you have thoughts of suicide, know someone who has thoughts of suicide or who you think has thoughts of suicide then don’t hesitate to act. Talk to an adult that you can trust or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you. You can also visit

Drama Rama!!!

The FMHS Drama Club has an ambitious goal this year. They are planning on a traveling children’s play where the drama cast will put on a small show at the elementary schools in the area. The play will be directed by students this year. Auditions are being held Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th at 3:30 and 6:00. Rehearsals will be held every Wednesday after school during drama club. This is an opportunity for the Drama Club to show the community it’s stuff and it’s also a chance for talented actors who didn’t make the cut in the school production to show their stuff. Evil Stepsisters

The play The Ever After is a short skit involving fairytale characters and what happened to them after the happily ever after. The cast of characters includes Cinderella and her two step sisters, Snow White, the Evil Queen and the Magic Mirror as well as a few other well known fairytale personas. It is simply a short show directed towards younger viewers. The production date is January 22nd and on that day the cast will hopefully be able to visit all the elementary schools in Ft. Morgan, and possibly Brush and Wiggins
schools as well. The relitively small cast will travel around to the different schools taking all of their props, costumes and the entire set with them. The break down and set up of the set at each school will be entirely up to the cast and crew. Mrs. Yentes will come along only to supervise, the show is going to be put on entirely by students. This is an exciting experiment, let’s hope it goes well for the Drama Department.