Athletes of the Month - September

by Isaac Hammond and Kayla Palmer

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”-McKenzie Treanor

This month Salem Hills High School honors McKenzie Treanor for her achievements in volleyball and academics. This year, Mckenzie is averaging 27 kills (a hard driven hit to the opposing side of the court scoring one point) and 4 aces (a point scored from serving) a game, while maintaining the required GPA to participate in extra curricular activities, she has truly become a force to be reckoned with on and off the court. She aims to use these talents and her appetite for success to take her to an out of state college and to someday launch her into professional volleyball. Coach Treanor says, “I just love her! She is such a great athlete, but beyond that she is such a great person; a very dedicated student and athlete and an absolute joy to be around.” McKenzie enjoys many things about this noble sport: punishing her opponents with a barrage of high-velocity volleyballs to the face or chest, doing the team’s celebratory dance “The Burnie”, and enjoying countless hilarious moments with her teammates. In addition to volleyball, there is much more to this warrior of a woman. Outside of school and sports she enjoys church activities, spending time with her family and friends, and occasionally eating a good snack! Her peers describe her as very driven, a great leader, and super fun. Well done McKenzie, and congratulations on being Septembers athlete of the month.


Sione Wolfgram has been selected as athlete of month for his dominant success in football. Head Coach Monte Morgan said, "He is really helping move our team along. On the field he is our running back and linebacker and averages 110 yards a game, 15 carries/game, and about 9 yards per carry." Coach Morgan also noted, “Sione is a great athlete and a great student; he is very hardworking and is always wanting to get better. He also has great Skyhawk spirit.” As a captain and a senior on this years football team, Sione is striving to uplift the skyhawks to make it to this years state playoffs by demonstrating hard work and the will to succeed.  Sione stated, “The will to win is nothing compared to the will to prepare. In order to succeed, it is essential to give 110% in practices, just as you would in a game."  In his spare time he enjoys fishing. He has even caught a 170 lb marlin off the cost of Guantanamo Bay. The fish took 5 fishing poles and 2 boats to hook. Sione is much like the fish; it usually takes about 5 guys to take him down in a football game. congratulations to Sione on being Septembers athlete of the month.

Athletes of the Month - August

Congratulations to Melissa Brimhall and Brandon Edmondson for being selected as the Athletes of the Month.

Melissa Brimhall is a junior here at Salem Hills High School.  She is on the girls’ soccer team and loves being on the team. She mostly enjoys the great friendships that she has made on the team and being able to spend time with them on and off the field. Melissa is most notable for her tenacious defense. Coach Gillie said, “Melissa is a great leader on defense.  She works hard, is very aggressive, and she doesn’t let anything get her down.  Also, she is very positive and a great player for the team.” Melissa would likes to play like a flying squirrel by gliding in between her opponents. Congratulations to Melissa Brimhall on being the August Farmers Insurance Player of the Month.

Brandon Edmondson, a senior at Salem Hills High School was named the Cross Country Student/Athlete of the month for August. Cross Country is a long distance running sport where a typical race is three miles long and varies in difficulty.  Coach Bart Thompson said, “Brandon Edmondson has a great vision. He believes in his team with his whole heart and knows they can do anything.”  Brandon is a hard worker; he lifts weights at six a.m. and often runs practice when necessary. He is focused and has his sights set on nothing but the best for himself as well as his team mates. Coach Bart Thompson also stated, “Brandon is a great asset to the team and he greatly deserves this recognition.” Congratulations Brandon Edmondson for being the Athlete of the Month. Best of luck to you and your team this season.


Class of 2011 Valedictorian Courtland Cook


Courtland has represented our school extremely well over his career here at Salem Hills. He was a member of the football team where he was selected to the Academic All State team. He is a member of the choir and was a vital member of the 2011 Knowledge Bowl championship team. Courtland was chosen to represent Salem Hills High School as our Mathematics Sterling Scholar. He plans to attend the University of Utah next fall.

SHHS 2011 Salutatorian


Class of 2011 Salutatorian Kaetlin Brackner
The Salem Hills Salutatorian this year is Kaetlin Bracken. Kaetlin has accomplished many great things in her career at Salem Hills High School. She is a member of the orchestra, she ran Cross Country and Track where she was a three year varsity runner and Academic All State her senior year in both sports. In addition to her extra-curricular activities she has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while taking many AP classes and preparing herself to attend BYU next year.

SHHS Soccer

by Will Towse

Wednesday, May 18th the boys soccer team heads into the first round of state playoffs for the 4A title. The team’s record stands at 9-5-1 with only a few games left in the season. Today Salem Hills will face off against Mountain View who is 3rd in their region. Payden Pemberton is leading our region in goals with 14 on the season. Salem Hills most recent game was against Spanish fork where they tied in double overtime with a score 2-2. Salem has a great team this season and is expected to go far in state play.

FBLA Closing Social

By Maddie Bowers

On Tuesday May 10th FBLA had their closing social at Mi Rancherito. It was a great turn out, about twenty people showed up. It was the perfect opportunity for everyone to get acquainted with the other members and to say goodbye to the members who won’t be here next year. Tyson Menlove said, “This year has been a great year for FBLA! We have participated in a lot of fun activities and competitions. Next year will be just as great, so come and join us!” Some of the activities include; cross country skiing, sledding, decorating pumpkins for the elderly, helping out with Barnett Elementary School’s fall carnival, and other service projects. For FBLA week they had a guest speaker from Vivint, an ice cream social, and Chinese food for lunch. They attended state competition, region competition, and fall leadership. Many of the members say FBLA is about having fun, learning about the business world, testing business skills, and learning how to be a leader.

Summing up the SHHS Art Show

Alec Barney
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Many students contributed with great pieces of fascinating work in the Salem Hills are show but the results made it pretty clear that Amanda Smith blew the competition out of the water. Amanda Smith won the art show in both Faculty and Student choice awards with her painting “Inspired by Morgan Weistling Painting”. She also came in second with her painting “He Hath Made All Things Beautiful”. Another great contributor who came in second and third in both polls was Nate McNaughton’s painting “Glorious Mountain” Other Honorable mentions were given to Blake Adams, Trent Ship, Megan Brimhall, Jace Walker, and Hailey Neilson. It was a fantastic art show indeed full of intriguing talent.

Jacob Johnson excels at Science Fair

by Lorena Smithey
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Most science fair projects don't take two years to complete, nor do they end in an awards ceremony with millions of dollars in scholarships, cash and prizes, but for one senior at Salem Hills High School, this is his reality. Jacob Johnson has been working for two years on his science project titled "Motivation and Cognitive Function: examining the effect of motivation on low-stake test scores." His research involved more than 200 student subjects and months of preparation. Johnson now has the opportunity to present his findings at the International Science and Engineering Fair, which will be in the Los Angeles Conference Center on May 12. Johnson will speak to a panel of judges, including Nobel Laureates and other dignitaries. The awards ceremony on May 13 will announce the winners of $4.4 million in scholarships, cash and prizes. Among his supporters and mentors is Brad Shuler, a science teacher at SHHS. "This is a pretty big deal," Shuler said. "It is a goal Jacob has had for several years now. I have been involved with science fairs for 15 years and have only known one student who was selected to go to Intel ISEF." Additionally, Johnson credits Dr. Mikle South, a professor from Brigham Young University. "Dr. South coached me through the statistics and the deeper parts of psychology behind it," Johnson said. "He helped me take the actual project and make it a reality." According to Johnson, his presentation in Los Angeles could be as short as 10 minutes, or twice that depending on the number of questions the judges ask. "To make a good impression on the judges during the Q-and-A, you have to be able to change thought processes quickly and answer satisfactorily," Johnson said. "You will be tested. You have to know your project inside out or else you'll get eaten alive." This science project first gained public attention when Johnson presented it to the Nebo District Science Fair in February of this year. There, Johnson won Best in Show, which meant that he was in the top 10 in his school district. In March, after presenting his project to the region science fair at BYU with 250 other student competitors, Johnson won the Mu Alpha Theta award for advanced mathematics, and landed one of five spots available to present at the Intel ISEF. "I am most excited about meeting others with the same interests and aspirations as mine," Johnson said. Johnson's award-winning motivation project started with a test. He gave high school students from Salem and surrounding cities a 19-question survey with questions that were similar to an IQ test, including multiple choice, logical deductive and "what comes next in the sequence?" questions. "I randomly assigned people to two groups: motivated and unmotivated," Johnson said. "I prefaced the test by telling the subjects, 'This is a test for research. If you score 80 percent or higher you will be entered into a drawing to win $25 to iTunes.' For the unmotivated group, I simply told them it was a test for research." Johnson discovered three major things about motivation after his research. First, the students in the "motivated" category were found to be 6.1 percent more motivated than those in the other category. Second, Johnson asked the students how much they were motivated by the iTunes drawing. Their answers surprised him, because he found there was no sign of a difference between those who were motivated by the iTunes drawing and who weren't. Lastly, one question Johnson asked was about what motivated the students. Many were motivated by food, money and prizes, but those who were intrinsically motivated, or driven by their own personal achievement, did 8 percent better on the test. "I have worked with Jacob for three years on different projects," Shuler said. "I have been impressed by his effort and development as a scientist. Jacob doesn't just think like a scientist. He is a scientist. I see great things for him in the future. The sky is the limit." A study like Johnson's has multiple applications. "In education, if teachers tell students to shoot for 80 percent or better on a test and motivate them with a bonus point on their exam, they may try even harder," Johnson said. He went on say that when employers pay closer attention to what motivates a potential employee during the hiring process, they may have better success hiring those who are intrinsically motivated, or offer individualized extrinsic motivations to the ones that are motivated with material things. Johnson has high expectations for his future. He received an $80,000 scholarship to Westminster College, but intends to go to Utah State University. There he wants to study psychology and research, and especially wants to continue studying motivation. Shuler also believes in Johnson's bright future. "I believe this award will open doors for Jacob and give him experience and the confidence to accomplish great things in the future."

Salem Hills teams up with UVU for biotech research project

by Lorena Smithey
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Ten years ago, biology class looked like a dead frog splayed across a metal pan, the smell of formaldehyde wafting throughout the room. Now, with classes like Salem Hills High School's biotechnology course, offered as concurrent enrollment through UVU, biology has become so much more than frog dissections. "We are part of a new STEM grant in conjunction with UVU and SLCC to sequence the DNA of a type of bacteria, known as Halorubrum salsolis, that is only found in the Great Salt Lake," said Brad Shuler, Salem's Biotech teacher. Halorubrum salsolis got its name through a grade-school competition. According to Shuler, its name was chosen because it "sounds scientific" and quite literally means, "salty red thing that lives in salty environment with lots of sunlight." But name aside, H. salsolis is the subject of groundbreaking science. "It's a big unknown. We don't know that much about it," Shuler said. "The Great Salt Lake is unique and right now -- other than brine shrimp -- there is not a lot of commercial benefits of the lake. Some have suggested that once we figure out the biochemistry of the organism, it might be beneficial for a variety of purposes, whether it be biofuel or something else." Mapping H. salsolis's genome is an expensive task, however. According to Shuler, a grant from UVU in the amount of $55,000 has made this research possible for Utah Valley high school students. With the grant dispersed to 14 participating schools in Utah, half of the high schools are in Utah Valley, including Mountain View, Springville, Pleasant Grove, Timpanogos, Provo and Salem Hills. The grant money was used to purchase equipment that makes the research project possible. "Salem purchased equipment for DNA analysis. One is called a spectrophotometer; it measures concentrations of DNA and proteins. And thermocyclers for PCR reactions; these make small samples of DNA into big samples. It basically copies the DNA," Shuler said. "In class, we are in the process of doing the bacterial transformation of the cloned copies of the DNA. Eventually, they'll use the gene sequencer at UVU to complete the DNA analysis." Even with help from schools all over the county, this project may take as long as three to five years to complete. "It's a very painstaking process. There's millions of base-pairs to analyze and you can only do about a thousand base-pairs at a time," Shuler said. Students in biotech participate in many DNA-related projects. "They've had opportunities to extract their own DNA, to see what their genotype is," Shuler said. He went on to say that after spring break, the students will be testing their DNA for the "taster" gene. Apparently, only a fraction of people can taste a chemical called PTC, and Shuler's class will be testing their DNA to see who has the "taster" gene. Biotech differs significantly from a regular biology class. Shuler attests that biotech helps high school students because of the many connections it makes to possible careers. "It's lab-based," Shuler said. "It really requires technique and equipment that wouldn't be used in a regular bio class. It includes a lot of other fields like: pharmaceuticals, medical biotech, genetic engineering, crime-scene analysis, identity analysis and environmental biotech."

SHHS Tennis

by Nate Christensen

Well it seems things are looking up for Skyhawks tennis. The varsity team was able to pull a win over the #2 Spanish Fork Dons in a region match on Tuesday April 19th but keeping them at their current position of 3rd. Chris Beckett did an amazing job beating his opponent in a tie breaker setting a school record of only one region loss over his varsity tennis career at SHHS. Parker Dunn, in his first year of tennis, competed as a singles player for the Junior Varsity team on Tuesday and was excellent in form. Winning in the final set, he fought hard and made some key points. His hits were extraordinary, some being virtually untouchable. Salem is still fighting and doing well. We hope to see them place in the region tournament soon to come in May. Keep it up Boys Tennis, we are all cheering for you. GO SKYHAWKS!