By LIBBY CLUETT
Nine Mineral Wells Junior High students shared with Mineral Wells ISD trustees Tuesday how some students can make a difference when they come together with a purpose.
At each monthly board meeting a school is spotlighted. For her school's presentation this month, MWJH Principal Kelly Wilkerson invited student representatives from some of the school's clubs and organizations to present to trustees.
“Hopefully we brought a variety of what what's going on,” Wilkerson told trustees.
Before students spoke, Wilkerson quoted Margaret Meade, saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
She said this is not only one of her favorite quotations, but it sums up what board members would hear from the students in front of them. The children introduced themselves and explained what their club had to offer students in various ways and why they chose to be a part of the group.
One of the more community-oriented clubs is perhaps the MWJH group calling their organization “Save the Baker.”
Seventh-graders Britney Barbee, Keirra Pruitt and Shelby Shipp explained their organization's purpose.
“We are raising money to clean up the Baker and help the Southlake development group [Southlake-based Hunter Chase Private Equity] clean up the Baker,” said Shipp. “We would all like to see the Baker Hotel like it was in the 1970s and earlier. And I, personally, would love to hear all of the old stories that the people have had. And I'm sure there are great memories.”
“I think the Baker shouldn't just sit there and rot,” Pruitt added. “Think about all those people who had great memories in it.”
The group leaders said they would be developing a fundraiser, selling “various items at low prices” for “last-minute shoppers.”
In addition, several clubs provided varying opportunities for MWJH students to become involved.
Eighth-grader Kelsey Shirley explained “Ram Buddies” to trustees.
“My organization allows us to become friends, or buddies, with children who have disabilities. I chose this organization because I want to make friends with kids who might have a harder time making new friends and I want these kids to know, no matter what, I will always be with them,” Shirley explained.
Jaelin McMinn explained what the cooking club does, working as a team to help each other learn to cook.
He said he chose this organization because “on my Dad's side of the family there have been cooks. Another reason why is I get to meet newer people. And the last one is, you know, you get a reward at the end” – a comment that drew lots of laughter from trustees and the audience.
Seventh-graders JaMiah Fisher and Caden Snow presented on the organization Youth Alive.
“What it does, it's a positive influence on students and we get together with other students around the school from all different backgrounds, it doesn't matter, to get together to talk and about faith and just stuff that's going on at the school that [is] positive,” Snow said. “And what we'd like to do in the future is help out with community jobs and school projects.”
“At the club fair a little while ago, we had seven people sign up. But this last week we had 44. That's only in seven weeks,” he added
Snow said the club invites guest speakers, and [students] recently heard from a missionary from Tanzania, Adam Fogelman, who talked “about the mission he does and also about prayer.”
“Youth Alive is about bringing people together … and learn about the Lord,” Fisher, the club's vice president added.
Snow explained that the club would begin a new program called “My Class, My Mission.”
Elizabeth Gomez presented about two organizations she is involved in at MWJH – the Green Team and Yearbook.
She said the Green Team educates MWJH “on responsible, eco-friendly habits. We have saved probably 60 pounds of cans from the landfill. We have been recycling paper in all classrooms.”
Gomez shared a Christmas tree the club made, using discarded magazines, to help decorate the MWISD District Services Center.
Regarding the MWJH yearbook, Gomez said, “This year the yearbook is being created by students for students. The theme is 'Game On,' and to kick things off, we have designed a cover contest, where students submitted ideas for the cover.”
Gomez showed trustees the winning submission. She said yearbooks are now on sale and can be ordered online.
“Yearbook staff is looking forward to putting together one of the best yearbooks yet,” she concluded.
Eighth-grader Carolina Zambrano informed trustees on what the MWJS Student Council was doing as an organization.
In addition to teacher recognition, she said the students in the council work to make their school a better place for fellow students. Zambrano said she chose the organization because she likes to be involved and likes to interact with students her own age and likes to see the school become better so other students can be safe and have fun.
Wilkerson explained that student council had an open sign-up, where more students could participate, provided they had the grades, and got teachers and parents to sign off on the student's involvement. She said officers were elected, but this allowed more students to serve “at large.”
Barbee and Pruitt also presented on their involvement with University Interscholastic League competition, which they said allows students to join an educational competition. Pruitt said they just attended competition on Tuesday.
“I enjoy this organization because it makes education fun,” Barbee said.
“It makes you want to thrive to win,” added Pruitt.
Wilkerson told trustees these are just a few of the clubs at MWJH and added, “There are some other clubs that are expected to get started that kids have already been saying they want.”