Hey Gang, How's It Going? the St. Johns Sun Is Spending the School Year with Three Students and One Teacher. in Our Third Progress Report, We Find Them Learning New Things, Participating in Extracurricular Activities, Leaving the Past Behind and Finding a New Home

By Mitchell, Mac | The Florida Times Union, November 22, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Hey Gang, How's It Going? the St. Johns Sun Is Spending the School Year with Three Students and One Teacher. in Our Third Progress Report, We Find Them Learning New Things, Participating in Extracurricular Activities, Leaving the Past Behind and Finding a New Home


Mitchell, Mac, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Mac Mitchell

One month ago, Coralis Mendez was placed in a new third-grade class at Mill Creek and told us her favorite subjects were reading and math. Since then, not much has changed.

One month ago, Lindsay Whitsell was an A/B honor roll student and landed a role in the Jacksonville Community Nutcracker Ballet.

One month ago, Evan Hall was playing in his last season of high school football and made the decision to attend the University of Central Florida next fall.

One month ago, Lisa Dowling said she and other faculty members still were settling in at the new high school, which they now happily call home.

Story by Mac Mitchell

mac.mitchell@thestjohnssun.com

Mendez says she has been learning so much in the past few weeks that she is having trouble remembering it all.

One of the things that she does remember comes from her favorite subject - math. Mendez is in the process of learning her multiplication tables.

"I can go as high as seven times seven," she said. "But my favorite is 10 times 10. That's a hundred."

She said life in Ms. Milton's third-grade class is keeping her busy reading short stories, learning about volcanoes and studying the proper use of nouns.

"Ms. Milton is a great teacher and teaches us new stuff everyday," she said.

One thing that helps Mendez process all the information is her new pair of pink glasses.

"I can see the board a lot better now, and I think they're pretty," said Mendez.

The past few weeks have been monumental for Whitsell, who started a new sport, spent most of her free time rehearsing dance routines, completing homework and managed to make all As on her most recent report card for the first time.

"I finally got straight As, which I'd never done before," she said. "That has been my goal for a coupe of years and I was really excited that I did it."

Whitsell, along with her good friend Taryn Kinnett, has also joined Liberty Pines' winterguard team.

"Taryn talked me into it," said Whitsell. "I wanted to try something different and thought it would be fun. And it is."

The girls are learning team dance routines, and have started working on basic flag handling skills.

"It's a little harder than I thought it would be," said Whitsell.

When she isn't practicing with the winterguard team, or rehearsing for the Nutcracker, Whitsell says most of her time is spent in the books.

"When I'm home I mostly just do homework," she said. "Lots and lots of homework."

With Bartram's football season at an end, Hall said he expected to have more free time on his hands.

"I'm still getting used to life without football," he said. "It's weird not having practice, and I thought I'd have more free time, but I'm still really busy for some reason."

Hall recently attended his last high school homecoming dance.

"After the dance some friends came to my house to build a fire and roast marshmallows," he said. "We had a real good time."

Hall said that with everything seeming to be winding down, he was ready to just move on to college.

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Hey Gang, How's It Going? the St. Johns Sun Is Spending the School Year with Three Students and One Teacher. in Our Third Progress Report, We Find Them Learning New Things, Participating in Extracurricular Activities, Leaving the Past Behind and Finding a New Home
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