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People of the Past and Present 2017
by Mallory Pfeifer, Sara Nelson and Ella Roach


Dylan Haag will be Michael Phelps Chance Aldama will be Alexander the Great

Mallory Pfeifer will be Gwen Stefani
Sara Nelson will be Nike Creator, Phil Knight
Ella Roach will be Shakira

The People of the Past and Present is a way to learn about history and how to get information out of a biography. The seventh and eighth graders are writing speeches and making posters about a person of their choice. These people are in a wide range from John F. Kennedy, Shakira, to the Starbucks creator. The seventh graders will present these individually, while the eighth grade in pairs. We will present these at the People of the Past and Present night, which is March 14th at HMS. Be sure to bring change because we will be raising money for the school.

Vex Robotics Club at HMS
by Melanie deFreese

In the picture, from left to right: Damon Taylor, Coach Don Kosmicki, Coach Terry Shield, Tyler Jacobson, Ryan Salisbury, Coach Chris Salisbury, Daniel deFreese, Max Hunter, Hayden Wiese, and back row: Coach Matt deFreese.

The Holdrege Dusters Robotics Team has spent the last two weekends participating in this year's VEX Robotic Challenge. The year's first competition for us was  January 14 at Kearney High School. Thirty Vex Robotics teams from all over Nebraska competed. The Duster's team has three robots participating in this year's challenge. The robots have been designed, built, and programmed by the six students involved in the group. Current students involved are in grades 7-10, but the group is open to any student in grades 7-12. Students currently involved are Daniel deFreese, Max Hunter, Tyler Jacobson, Ryan Salisbury, Damon Taylor, and Hayden Wiese. Coaches Don Kosmicki and Terry Shield, who are teachers at HPS, have been working with the team on this year's challenge since school began. They meet once or twice a week in the evenings trying to perfect their robots. The team is lucky to also have two parent coaches involved, Matt deFreese and Chris Salisbury.  
VEX Robotics is the leading and fastest growing robotics program for middle and high school students. VEX offers students the exciting opportunity to immerse themselves in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through the fun of building robots. The construction system is highly versatile. allowing students to build whatever they can imagine. The system is accessible to multiple ages and experience levels.

On January 21, the team competed at the CREATE Open hosted by Axtell Public Schools. This robotics tournament saw 14 robots competing in the challenge. All three Duster robots made it to the first round of finals, with two robots going as far as the semi-finals. This coming Saturday, they will be attending one more competition at Ravenna Public Schools. Between each event, the students have made adjustments to their robots both mechanically and with programming trying to further their success.

Quote from coach Terry Shield: " The sad part of the story is that we are running out of funding to keep this going. We have relied on grants and out of pocket money. It is not possible for us to purchase the robot challenge each year because of cost. That makes preparing for the tournaments tough. We keep plugging away though. There is a lot of positive that comes from the group teamwork, problem solving, and reliance on each other.”

Each year, a new VEX tournament game is released and the teams have to re-engineer their robots to meet the new challenge.

6th Grade Students Identify Their Goals
by the 6th grade team

The 6th graders recently had to complete the statement, “Before I die, I want to…” The goal was to have students think of a dream, goal, or accomplishment they could see come true in their lifetime. The responses ranged from places they wanted to visit, people they wanted to meet, or ways they could make the world better. So, if you see a 6th grader in the hallway, don’t be afraid to ask, “Before you die, what do you want to do?”



HMS Holiday Food Drive Results
by Jean Berreckman

OUR GOAL WAS “2017” items
Overall winner was Mrs.Grimm’s Homeroom with a TOTAL of 644!!!
Top Homerooms in each grade:
1st Place in 8th Grade - Mr. Callan’s H.R. - 544
1st Place in 7th Grade - Mr. Petit’s H.R. - 227
1st Place in 6th Grade - Mr.Sanderson’s H.R. - 279
1st Place in 5th Grade - Mrs. Grimm’s H.R. - 644
1st  5th - 1,243
2nd  8th - 922
3rd  6th - 698
4th  7th -399



5th GRADE:  
  Mrs. Grimm - 644 
Mrs. Ericksen -  237 
Mrs. Bult - 182 
Mrs. Veal - 180 
TOTAL - 1,243

    6th GRADE:
Mr. Sanderson - 279
Mrs. Schneider - 199
Mrs. Wells - 152
Fiene - 68
 TOTAL - 698

7th GRADE:
Mr. Petit - 227
Mrs. McCroden - 82
Mr. Hild - 54
Mrs Fuehrer - 36
TOTAL - 399

8th GRADE:
Callan - 544
Mrs. Anderson - 276
Hartzog - 63
Komenda - 39
TOTAL - 922


THANK YOU TO ALL HMS Students & Staff!
From: The Phelps County Food Pantry!                    
Your contribution is very much appreciated!
One can make a difference!
“1 CAN” did make a DIFFERENCE!

Holdrege 7th Graders Participate in Hour of Code
by Kirk Petit

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly depend on understanding how technology works.

But only a tiny fraction of us are learning how technology works. Fewer than half of all schools teach computer science.

That’s why our 7th Grade students participated in the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code. Holdrege was a participating member.

During the hour of code the students had the opportunity to work on various computer coding programs dealing in high interest subject matter. Their goal was to see how many lines of computer code that they could write during the 45 minute session. The event was a great success as it opened the eyes of the students to future career possibilities.

Our Hour of Code is making a statement that Holdrege is ready to teach these foundational 21st century skills. To continue bringing computer programming activities to our students. This is a chance to change the future of education.

Students Use Math to Plan Trip to Henry Doorly Zoo
by Tasha Kruse


Students in Mrs. Kruse’s math class are taking a virtual field trip to the best zoo in the world, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. During our trip, students have been learning valuable life skills such as calculating the cost of the amount of gasoline needed to make the trip and added expenses along the way such as food and lodging. Students will be learning how to plan on a budget and still have fun! We love the Henry Doorly Zoo!

November 14-18, 2016
This year’s theme for American Education Week is:
“Great Public Schools:  A Basic Right and Our Responsibility”

American Education Week - November 14-18 - represents real opportunity and possibilities for America.  Our wonderful system of public schools in America give opportunity to every child, a chance at success unequaled anywhere else in the world.  As the backbone of American education, public schools provide the possibilities that any one of those children might someday find a cure for cancer, reach the stars, or solve global warming. Those possibilities alone make American Education Week worth celebrating.  All Americans are encouraged to honor the public school system and the individuals -- educators -- who make a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.

American Education Week was born shortly after World War I.  With 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees illiterate and 9 percent physically unfit, representatives of the Nebraska Education Association (NEA) and the American Legion met to seek ways to generate public support for education. The conventions of both groups adopted resolutions for a national effort to raise awareness of the importance of education.  In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines called for designation of one week each year to celebrate education.  The first observance of American Education Week occurred in 1921 with the NEA and American Legion as the sponsors.  A year later, the U.S. Office of Education joined as a sponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.

Thank you to our Holdrege Public Schools Administrators, Board of Education and our staff members for their dedication, hard work  and commitment to our students.
To kick off the week, the entire staff was asked to wear their "Stand as One" t-shirt for a picture that will go into the Holdrege Daily Citizen. This is the Middle School Staff Picture. Picture by Jerry Buck.

Students Participate in Drone Flying Challenges
by Betty Bricker & Tim Sanderson

Approximately 20 students from Holdrege Middle School signed up for an after school club to learn to fly drones. Betty Bricker and Tim Sanderson led the program using Parrot Minidrones from ESU #11. Students used iPads and the Tynker app to write the code to make their drones complete flying challenges and an obstacle course. The students are having lots of fun while learning to code. Because of the interest in flying drones, we hope to be able to offer this program again in the spring so more students can participate.

Zane Ivey and Adriene Ingraham

Hayden Wiese & Wyatt Telford

Tyger Franks & Jadyn Taylor

Lilie Scism

Rylee Smith & Alison Walker

Andrew Graf


Imagine That

Written by,

Alexis Gill,

Maggie deFreeze,


Karley Hudson

Our article is about the 6th grade imaginary island assignment. Mrs.Wells, the 6th grade social studies teacher, assigned us  imaginary islands in September. We were supposed to create an island based on something we love: anything from ice cream to dogs to sports. We were then to create a brochure urging people to come visit our island. The class later voted on which islands and brochures were their favorites out of the class, and the winners received candy. Mrs.Wells proudly displayed all of our islands along with our brochures for everyone to see.

And Then There Was Tone!
By: McKaden Smith, Jaxson Karn, Ava Wells, and Harrison Skiles

     It was a normal day in reading and nothing unusual was happening. Then Mrs.Schneider came in yelling, “Why are you talking so much? Why are  you all yelling?!” We all stood looking at her frozen in terror. Next she explained tone to us. She said, “An author’s tone affects your mood.” This is what we would be studying in reading. 
     Tone is how the author's words or an illustrator's pictures can change your emotions. This helps the author express feelings through paper and pencil. In Mrs. Schneider’s reading, we decided to make tone pumpkins. We selected a vocabulary word we were unfamiliar with and had to draw a pumpkin to express the tone of the word. There were many cool pumpkins; some resembled anger, disgust, calmness, and nervousness, just to name a few. (see pictures below)
     We also chose a page from a book that emitted a tone and boxed certain words or sentences that would match the tone we chose. Each person then drew an illustration on the page to match the tone.  For our examples, we did things like Word War II stories, and pages from Maniac Magee  and  The Lord of The Rings. These were  fun little projects we did to help us understand tone.

The Scholastic Book Fair will be coming to  
Holdrege Middle School

October 22-27, 2016

Hours for viewing the book fair:
Monday, October 24:  7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, October 25:  7:30 am– 4:00 pm
Wednesday, October 26:  7:30 am – 6:00 pm*
Thursday, October 27: 7:30 am –2:00 pm and 4:00 – 8:00 pm*

  Remember......encouraging your child to read helps to ensure his or her success! 
 Bring friends and family to shop for birthdays and early Christmas gifts, or just to stock up on reading materials.  The Scholastic Book Fair will include the newest titles as well as books that are fun, interesting and inspirational.  Adult titles are also available.  Out of town family members may also shop at our online book fair. Beginning October 19, you may visit http://www.scholastic.com/bf/holdregemiddleschool2 to place an order online. Books will ship to the school. All proceeds from the book fair will go to purchasing new books for our library.  Help support our school while encouraging your entire family to read! 
*The book fair will be open the evening of Wednesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 27 during Middle School Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Eight Grade Reading Experiences The Hunger Games 
by Renelle Hartzog
Previous winners of The Hunger Games, Braden Powers, Alex Wells, and Kloey Kirwan join the current victor, Logan Wood.
Logan Wood is reigning victor of The Hunger Games
During the first quarter, the  eighth grade students have been reading and participating in The Hunger Games. Each student was given a job including stylist, gamemaker, tribute, mentor or escort as introduced in the novel. Each class was split into two districts and all eight districts competed against each other to crown a victor. Stylists designed costumes and vehicles for their tribute to wear in our Opening Ceremonies/Interview. Mentors created a poster advertisement with their tributes slogan, as well as, a training station to prepare the tributes for the Games. The escorts were responsible for filming a commercial in order to get sponsors for the tributes. The gamemakers planned and prepared a game for each day in order to eliminate tributes. This year’s victor is Logan Wood, who beat out the competition by completing a physical test as well as a logic puzzle.

This year our previous victors joined us for the finale. Kloey Kirwan, Braden Powers and Alex Wells shared about their previous victories and cheered on our two remaining tributes.The second quarter, each class will be reading  a different novel. The novels included: Divergent, Michael Vey: Prisoner Cell 25, Al Capone Does My Shirts and The Hobbit  The third quarter all sections will be reading a variety of short stories, and the year will conclude with reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

Pre-Algebra Students Create Circle Words
by Stephanie Fuehrer

Megan Belgum drawing her circle words

Drawings by Sydney Allmand
In Mrs. Fuehrer's pre-algebra class students have been working with all kinds of circles words.  After practicing making circles with compasses and learning all of the different features, students created a picture using all of the circle words they had learned.  They traded pictures with a partner to identify each circle word in their partner's picture.  Students realized just how many examples of these circle words there are out in our world today.

Mrs. Fuehrer's Reading Class Writes Poetry
by Stephanie Fuehrer

Ella Roach creating her poetry book
In Mrs. Fuehrer's reading class students have been exploring the world of poetry.  They have listened to, taken apart, and written many types of poems.  Each student has been working hard on creating and publishing their own poetry books.  At the end of the quarter, students will be presenting a memorized poem of their choice.  The students will also be submitting their favorite poem to the National Student Poetry contest put on by the American Library of Poetry.

New iOS Apps to Track iPhone and iPad Usage
by Betty Bricker
​Parents, here are a couple of iPhone apps that may be useful in tracking and limiting your (or your childs) iPhone or iPad usage:
​​Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit.
Moment Family allows you to Monitor your entire family’s iPhone and iPad use from the comfort of your own phone. Set aside time for your entire family to be screen-free during family dinner time. Enforce limits when someone, including you, is using their device too much.

Eighth Grade Artists Study Baroque Era
by Brandy Edgren

by Levi Kruse

by Makynzee Collier
The 8th grade Individual Experiences in Art Class recently studied the Baroque era of art.  Baroque art is known for its drama, its dark emotional palettes, and its sense of introspection.  We specifically looked at works by Carvaggio and Gentileschi which portrayed tenebrism.  Tenebrism is defined by exaggerated light and dark contrasts.  With these new concepts in mind, we headed as a class to the copy machine.  Each student laid their hands and face against the glass and made a dramatic self-portrait.  We then used these photo copies as a basis for a charcoal drawing.  The results were very dramatic and, honestly, somewhat creepy.  The students did a great job with this very challenging project. ​

Fifth Grade Goes 1:1 With Chromebooks
by Brook Bult
This year students in 5th grade have been issued a Chromebook for use at school. They will carry the Chromebooks from class to class, using them as is appropriate for each subject including IXL in math and language arts, accelerated reading tests, Google Classroom assignments, research projects in science and social studies along with weekly geography contests in social studies.  Students will also use them for typing training and programs such as Quizlet and Spelling City when assigned in class. Computers will not be allowed to go home with students until the 7th grade.  The students are enjoying their new responsibility!

6th Grade Science Class Experiments with Chocolate
McKaden Smith, Max Dutcher, Hannah  Swearingen, and Dylan Reha

Hershey Chocolate Density Experiment

Scientific Method Steps:

1. Ask a question

2. Do background research

3. Form a hypothesis

4. Test your hypothesis with an experiment

5. Analyze results and draw a conclusion

6. If hypothesis is true, report your results.If false, go back to step 3



We completed an experiment called “The Density of Chocolate.” The lab group consisted of McKaden Smith, Max Ducher, Hannah Swearingen, and Dylan Reha.Our research question was, “Do different sizes of of chocolate have different densities?”


Our hypothesis was: “The density of chocolate is not dependent upon the size of the piece of chocolate.”



First we had to find the mass of one piece. We used a scale to measure the mass. We then had to pour water into a graduated cylinder and make sure you REMEMBER the amount of water BEFORE you put the piece of chocolate into the graduated cylinder. Once you put the chocolate into the graduated cylinder, measure how much the water rose. Also make sure that the chocolate is fully submerged in the water. Then repeat these steps with a half bar of Hershey's chocolate and a full bar of Hershey’s chocolate. Then, record all of your data in a graph or table. After we measure the volume and mass of one piece, half of a bar, and a whole bar we could calculate the density. Density is mass divided by volume. Our data table can be seen below.



We calculated the density of Hershey’s Chocolate to be 1.3g/mL regardless of its size. This supports our initial hypothesis stating, “The density of chocolate is not dependent upon the size of the piece of chocolate.” In conclusion, the density of a substance does not depend on its size. The density of a substance depends on how tightly packed the particles of the substance are.


8th Grade Alternative to Accelerated Reader
by Brian Komenda
The 8th grade will be using an alternative to AR this year for reading.  Once a quarter each student will be responsible for a Book Share.  There are different choices (see below) for doing the Book Share.  Students will have the opportunity to be creative and excited about their book.
Book Share
Each quarter the students will be required to read ONE book approved by your reading teacher. During the last week of the quarter, they will choose to assume a role from the list below. They will be given one class period to work on the project and the rest will be finished on their own. They will then share their project with a small group in class. Teachers will use a rubric to grade the project. Make sure to check it for the specific details. Students may begin working on your project as soon as you would like, but it will not be due until the end of the quarter.

Student Role for book share:

Book Reviewer: As a reviewer, you will have a persuasive tone as you highlight reasons why someone else would enjoy or learn from your book. Some possible project ideas include but are not limited to: magazine-like review, web cast, fake newscast about the book, editorial column, campaign propaganda such as a pamphlet, or you can choose one assuming the role of reviewer
Book Marketer: As a marketer, you will design products inspired by the book. These products could be “sold” to buyers based on the book’s good ideas. Possible project ideas include but are not limited to: video or board games, movie trailer, movie story-boards, children’s books, action figure and display box based on characters,and theme-based amusement parks or restaurants.
Book Artist/Sculptor/Poet: As an artist/sculptor/poet, you will show your admiration for the book by designing a piece of art that will inspire others to want to read the book. You will have to think deeply about the plot.
Book Fan: As a fan, you will create a tribute to the book that shows devotion to the author or subject matter. Some possible projects include but are not limited to: a webpage tribute, a letter praising the author or publisher, a piece of fan fiction, a survival guide for the character, a scrapbook, write yourself into the story…
Book “Free Spirit” Agent: As an agent, you will be sharing your passion for the book by creating a project other than those suggested above. If you select this option, you will need to explain your project idea to your teacher BEFORE you begin. One possibility would be the “Crissey Character Cluster” (see Mrs. Hartzog for info).


Meet Tonya McCroden, 7th Grade English Teacher
by Tonya McCroden

Hello everyone!  My name is Mrs. McCroden and I am the new 7th grade language arts teacher!  I am excited to be a Holdrege Duster and have the chance to wear my favorite color, purple! I grew up in Abilene, Kansas, but have lived in Minden for the last 15 years.  I am married with four children ranging in age from 18 to 3 years old.  We have two dachshund puppies.  The male’s name is Mason and is long-haired and the female’s name is Daisy May.  She is a short haired dachshund. In our free time we like to camp at Harlan Lake and go out in the boat.  We love sports in my house and can’t wait until college football starts again.  I would have to say we are a house divided as I am a Kansas State University Wildcat fan and my husband is a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.