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March Madness takes over Boundary County Middle School
in more ways than one
March 28, 2018
by Ashley Guttin

March Madness is the biggest collegiate basketball frenzy of the year, and the Boundary County Middle School leadership students make it a school wide event! From March 13 to April 2, 68 NCAA basketball times all join in a bracket and compete until there is one remaining champion. People all over the country predict who the final teams will be, but Boundary County Middle School takes it to a whole new level.

To start off March Madness, each homeroom/advisory class in the school is randomly assigned one of the top teams in the bracket. Then the advisory classes are given an allotted amount of time for the students to completely decorate their classroom doors and portions of hallway to show their team spirit. The middle schoolers’ competitive side is in high gear as they go all out to represent their colleges. They research facts, interview alumni, and decorate their doors with their best artistic ability. Everyone in the school contributes. The lucky advisories that had Robotics members incorporated their tech savvy side by including self-controlled moving machines on their doors. This competition also helps the students to start thinking about colleges, and educate them on all the options out there.

These elaborate decorations don’t just stop at the doors. Students decorate the entire hallways from floor to ceiling in vivid colors representing their colleges. The adornments include lights that illuminate the long halls, and thumping music that keeps the students excited and adrenalized. Along with collegiate themed doors, hallways, lights, and music, there is also snacks. Many students fill out brackets and predict who will win.

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Now that we are down to the Final Four, the leadership students have their winners narrowed down. Josh Pinkerton and many other students think Villanova is going to win, but some students like Rayne Martin are going for Kansas. BCMS leadership teacher Mrs. Hinthorn is willing to take a bet on the Michigan Wolverines this year. We will see who is right in a matter of days. March Madness turns BCMS into a party that excites all staff and students.

Once all the students have finished their ornamental decorations, community members are invited into the school to judge the winner with the best embellishments. A combination of school board members, principals from around the school district, and a variety of other community volunteers all donate their time to come in and listen to the students’ presentations on why their decor is the best.

This year Mrs. Stolley won the competition for the 6th graders with her theme revolving around the superstars from Xavier University. For 7th grade, Mrs. Kerttu’s advisory won decorating their portion of the hallway with Texas Tech gear. And finally, the 8th graders in Mr. Bonnell’s advisory dominated the competition with the favorite local team, Gonzaga. Thank you to all the community members who helped with judging the competition.

The leadership students are doing so much for these events, and they are having so much fun while doing it. Some of the following leadership students described their favorite parts of the week. Dyani Wortley says that she “Loves the competitiveness of all the classes and the colors that are everywhere!” Katie Smith “Had the most fun putting up the decorations.” Some students like Eika Willis enjoy “Doing the doors with all the students and then seeing the judges come in. I also like the last day because there is so much excitement in the school!”

The BCMS Leadership students put on a variety of other events to go along with March Madness. A tradition created over 3 years ago, March Gladness, spreads positivity all over the school. Teachers are anonymously put into a bracket and secretly enter nice quotes weekly for all students and staff to see. The most favorable quotes move on in the bracket until there is only one winning quote left. Because the competition stays completely anonymous, the winner is only revealed after the competition is over. Every week there is a category to guide the staff members to choose their quotes. Categories include Minion quotes, pick-up lines, and even memes. March Gladness puts a smile on everyone's faces.

The middle school also puts on a Student vs. Staff game in the spirit of March Madness. For each quarter, a different grade plays staff members (With the 8th graders playing 2 different quarters). Every middle schooler is nervous for Mr. Rice’s dunking skills! Just before tip-off, Ken 'doc' Toulene will be awarding a plaque to the students of BCMS for their ongoing support of the local veterans' organizations. This year alone the students awarded over $400 to each of the following groups: the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans. Each year the student body, coordinated by Mrs. Hinthorn's Leadership class, raises money to help vets-in-need

The Boundary County Middle School leadership class is so involved in their school and our community. We want Boundary County to be aware of their involvement. The middle school is assisting the Hope House with a clothing giveaway in mid-April. The leadership class is also applying for the High Five Grant, which is a $10,000 fund for the middle school to use for building a new multi-purpose court in front of the school in order to encourage kids to be healthy to fight childhood obesity.

The Middle School Talent Show is coming up at the end of the year, and many gifted students will be performing in front of their peers. And finally, coming up in May, is the Forget-Me-Not Walk at the Bonners Ferry High School track. This amazing event is meant to bring the community together and walk as friends to remember those loved ones we have lost, something all of us can relate to. It raises money for scholarships available to our local high school students as well. So, let’s support Boundary County Middle School and their outstanding leadership class by supporting their involvement and events they put on!

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