Staff and students are back to school with mixed feelings. Before the winter break, staff raised school spirit by surprising the student body with a Student Appreciation Day on December 19. Principal Mohamed addressed the students, speaking about the importance of creating a positive school environment. This was followed with a reminder about the friendly historical rivalry between the East and West Ends of Manitoulin. The staff were all wearing shirts representing the end of the Island they live on. East and West End teachers divided up and had a tug of war contest, which the East End won. Students from Grade 9 were invited to participate in the next round, then Grade 10s, then Grade 11s, and then Grade 12s. The last two rounds were boys versus boys, and girls versus girls. Overall, the student body enjoyed and cheered enthusiastically during the mini-tournament. Following the tug of war, there was a dance party in the cafeteria, spike ball in the front foyer, floor hockey in the gym, a movie playing in the library, and board games in one of the classrooms. Popcorn and hot chocolate was available in the Foods classroom.
April Torkopoulos, Students’ Council Prime Minister and Grade 11 student, said “I think it’s really thoughtful that the teachers organized an entire afternoon for us students to relieve some of the stress and pressure that school can give us. It was a fun event that I think everyone enjoyed.”
After a two-week holiday, the students and staff prepared to return to school. Of course, there was stress about returning to the high pressure atmosphere of end of semester projects and exams. Students saw their friends, talked about their holidays and got down to work preparing for exams and final projects. Unfortunately, the return was chilly. For the first three days back at school there was a lack of heat in the school, due to a broken boiler. Thanks to a repair team, the school got heat back before of the week. Thursday and Friday were both snow days, due to road conditions.
The Mustang girls’ hockey team won against Lockerby on Tuesday, continuing their winning streak. Their game for Thursday, January 11 against L’Horizon was postponed due to the bus cancellations in both Sudbury and on Manitoulin. Due to the inclement weather days, Friday’s benefit game for former Mustang and hockey player Connor Croft had to be postponed. The girls’ team is going to be playing against Espanola, and the boys’ will be playing against Lockerby. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Connor as the Island rallies for one of their own.
The senior boys’ basketball team is having a difficult season but are keeping their hopes up and as a bonus, both the junior and senior teams are receiving new jerseys. The boys had a games scheduled for Thursday against Central Algoma but, again, due to bus cancellation the game has been postponed. The girls’ volleyball team had a tournament in Elliot Lake on Wednesday, January 10. The girls won all of their games and have continued their winning streak from the start of the season.
The Manitoulin Metal Robotics team has received their challenge for the FIRST Robotics competitions this year. The team will be playing FIRST PowerUp, and they will be playing in alliances with other teams. As a rookie team, the goal is to perform one important task in the competition reliably. The team is working on designing the robot currently, and will begin building shortly. Manitoulin Metal have six weeks to complete their robot.
The Sound of Music musical is well underway at MSS. The cast has been working hard for two months with rehearsals on stage and singing. The show will be running from Thursday, February 15 to Saturday, February 17. Tickets will be on sale soon at Guardian Pharmacies in Little Current, Mindemoya and Little Current, and in the IDA pharmacy in Gore Bay.
On Monday, January 15 Ms. Bauer and Mr. Roy’s Grade 11 and 12 Native Studies classes went to the Laurentian University School of Architecture to see a commemorative exhibition by Christie Belcourt about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The exhibition is titled “Walking With Our Sisters.” The floor installment is a walk through where visitors remove their shoes and see sacred, decorated vamps (moccasin tops), made to represent victims. More than 100 children’s vamps were added to the installation to show the injustice towards the many children who never returned home from residential schools.
First semester is almost over, and students and staff are staying positive even though it is a stressful time of the year. ‘Til next time, stay golden, Mustangs.