Taking a high school level class of any category is difficult and challenging, but the right teacher could turn a painful class into an enjoyable one. Ethan Johnson is one of those teachers.

Mr. Johnson was born in Michigan with very little memory of his time there, as he moved to Grand Junction, Colorado for his parents work. He enjoyed his childhood playing lots of sports and achieving excellence in his school work. Ethan has always been the creative type; Art was his favorite subject in school and he also attended art club.

From art, to soccer, to NHS, Mr. Johnson was a very well rounded student. He attended Grand Junction High School in 2004. During his freshman year, he played Varsity soccer for the high school. Throughout his high school career, Ethan played Varsity soccer, making it to state twice, and he was a captain for the team his junior and his senior year. Mr. Johnson graduated in 2008 with a 3.9 GPA.

For Mr. Johnson, high school wasn’t the end of his passion for soccer. He got a scholarship from Colorado Mesa University to play division two soccer. This was a very impressive feat by continuing his soccer to the next level. He played soccer throughout his studies at CMU, and did a very good job balancing his difficult classes with the busy schedule of a college athlete. Mr. Johnson graduated in 2014 with a degree in Art education.

If you looked at Ethan Johnson’s résumé you would see that he worked at Pablo’s Pizza in Grand Junction, and he also worked at multiple Romanian food vendors. His commitment was put to the test during this time because he had a very busy schedule with schoolwork, his jobs and also soccer, clubs, and he still needed time to summon all of the energy left over and direct it towards his art. After college, Mr. Johnson applied for a job here at Fruita 8/9 and began his career as an art teacher. Mr. Johnson also didn’t leave his soccer passion behind. He is also the boys’ varsity coach at FMHS and the Girls Varsity coach at Central HS.

Overall, Mr. Johnson has grown a lot from the boy he was in Michigan. The biggest obstacle that Mr. Johnson has overcome to get where he is today was surprisingly, his confidence. Mr. Johnson pushed himself going out of his comfort zone, by being confident and putting himself out there. By doing this, he achieved greatness in academics, athletics, and his hobbies. I believe it’s safe to say that confidence was Mr. Johnson’s biggest obstacle, but is now the root of his success.

Mrs. Kostelecky

Mrs. Kostelecky is the Registrar/Counseling Secretary here at the 8&9 school and her job includes registering all of the new students that come to Fruita and helping students change the schedules. She grew up on the western cost in San Diego and also in the Continent of Asia specifically in Yokohama Japan. Mrs. Kostelecky was a matador at Mount Miguel high school Spring Valley CA before she went to collage to get a cosmetology license. She was born in Alaska on August 7th in a certain year that is “Confidential”.

As I stated earlier Mrs. Kostelecky was raised in Japan. Her father was in the navy and he got stationed in Yokohama where she lived until seven years old. She and her family lived in the military housing. Because her father was in the Navy, the base was near the ocean. The culture there is very different but she say that it was a good experience. Japan is a very densely populated country but according to Mrs. Kostelecky everybody is super friendly. Even today she has remnants of Japan in her home and in her cooking.

Mrs. Kostelecky is married and has two kids. Before she worked at our school she was at FMS, Shelledy Elementary, and even worked at Visualeyes eye-care in downtown Fruita. The reason that she chose to work here is because she says, “the Fruita 8/9 office rocks”. She works in public education is so that she could have the same schedule as her kids and spend more time with them. You may remember that she has a cosmetology license but she would rather spend time with her kids.

In conclusion, you can see that Mrs. Kostelecky is a very interesting person and has had many cool life experiences. She helps or school function smoothly and if you have any scheduling problems you should give her a visit in the counseling office.

A teacher, a mother, a role model… Mrs. Willford

Ask anyone that’s every taken an AP class who their favorite teacher was, you are sure to hear them say Mrs. Willford. She is hardworking and cares so much about her students. Through all the things she has to teach us, Mrs. Willford always finds a way to make an activity fun. But there is much more to Mrs. Willford than just being an ordinary teacher. She is not only a mother, but did a great deal of things leading to where and how Mrs. Willford got to where she is today.

Growing up she had 2 sisters. She didn’t have a favorite because they were both the same to her; kind and helpful. She was born in North Dakota but quickly moved to the Grand Valley. She spent most of her life here and will continue to in the future. She lived in the Grand Valley for 7 years as a kid. Growing up she wanted to be a marine biologist. She was a good student and had it pretty normal growing up. Once she reached High School she finally knew that teaching was what she wanted to do. So that’s what she did.

Once she went off to college at CMU she was determined to be a teacher. She was not only a student but an athlete. She played soccer at CMU as well as studied to be a teacher. Once she graduated she went off to go work as a teacher. She has been at the Fruita 8/9 since it first opened (11 years). Mrs Willford has helped out the school ever since. When she first came to the school she was not an AP teacher. She started out as a Global Studies teacher then moved up in recent years.

Mrs. Willford not only did all these things but has a wonderful family. She has a son and a daughter and works hard to keep them happy while maintaining and handling her work for the school. Like I said if you ask anyone that has every had Mrs. Wilford will say she was the best AP teacher that they have ever had. Her hard work and determination has paid off and led to who she is today.

In conclusion Mrs. Willford is not only an amazing teacher but has an amazing backstory of hard work which leads to who she is today. Without the soccer, basketball, love for teaching and family she wouldn’t be the same. She is a truly interesting person with an even more interesting story on how she got to where she is today.

More than a Librarian… The story of Mrs.Cummings

The Fruita 8/9 School has a great librarian who always does her best to help out the school. Although students might not see her every day, Mrs. Cummings always tries to brighten student’s days when she sees them. From dealing with teenagers every day to organizing hundreds of books, the life of a librarian sure seems hard. This is why I decided to interview her this week. Interestingly enough, she had a very interesting backstory, and has a great sense of humor. I am sure glad she’s our librarian, and I hope you guys get to know a little more about her. And remember if you see Mrs. Cummings around the school, make sure to tell her thanks for being such a great teacher, and fun person to have at school every day.

Growing up, Mrs. Cummings lived in Casper Wyoming. It sure seemed like she had a great childhood from playing with her 6 siblings, to dedicating herself to academics as well as playing basketball. Mrs. Cummings has 2 brothers, 2 step brothers, 1 step sister, and 1 sister. She was very busy helping out her many brothers and sisters every day, as she was the 2nd oldest sibling. When she was not busy with family you could often find her with a nose in a book, or on the basketball court spending countless hour’s practicing. Growing up her mom always wanted her to wear pretty dresses to school, but Mrs. Cummings often chose to dress more of a Tom Boy, and embrace her athletic side. She was always a dedicated student, but didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up until she had an awesome English teacher for both 7th Grade and 12th Grade. From the 2nd time she had the teacher she knew she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. However the road to getting there was harder than you would think.

Mrs. Cummings went to College for 6 years to become a teacher. She started schooling at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Here she got her Bachelor’s degree, however wanting to become a teacher, she spent 2 more years at CU Denver getting her Masters. “The school was pretty hard, but after that everything came easy” she said. Shortly after getting her Degrees she has to take a teaching test, and then applied to be a teacher her at Fruita 8/9. Not many current students know but she started out as an English Teacher… She taught Literacy here for many years, but after our Librarian left she stepped in as a replacement and has done a great job. “I love working in the library and learning new things about the students, and engaging in important conversations with them” she also said. Although Mrs. Cummings wasn’t always sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, it sure seems like being a teacher is the perfect fit for her, and she’s done a great job at it.

Mrs. Cummings has been the librarian for a few years now, and she says it has been great. However I was interested what her daily life consisted of. Because nmost of the time, you can either find her behind her desk helping out students, helping with computers, or organizing books. But the life of a librarian is more than it seems. There is a lot of behind the scenes work. Every month or so she has to re decorate the library with different decorations and sometimes themes for holidays. She is always trying to get students engaged and does her best to get her students reading. From putting up fun posters to taking countless hours to organize books, Mrs. Cummings is always on the move and improving our library. She is also very passionate about; literature. Her favorite types of books to read are historical fiction, and other types of fiction however sometimes she likes to change it up and engage herself in an interesting non-fiction. Mrs. Cummings also keeps a list of her books she reads every year so if you want to see that ask her for more information. She loves students who are curious and love to learn so I highly encourage everyone to go out and discover more about our library. In all, Mrs. Cummings had a very interesting childhood that influenced her to become the great teacher she is today.

Librarians are almost always stereotyped as grumpy old and don’t have much to do, however Fruita 8/9’s unique and awesome librarian Mrs. Cummings tears apart these stereotypes and brings an engaging vibe to the library. From growing up with a lot of siblings, to going to college at UNC, and CU Denver Mrs. Cummings had a very unique childhood.  If you guys want to know more about her feel free to ask and check out the great library and fun decorations while you’re at it. Hope everyone has a good day.

  • Brayden Kelley BLOG 1

The Backstory Behind the Birch

Mr. Yancy Birch was born on February 22, 1988 in Grand Junction, CO. He grew up in a military family with two older brothers. The sports he played in his life consist of baseball, basketball, and football. When he was in his freshmen year, he decided to devote his life to teaching and graduated from the University of Nebraska. Nowadays, he teaches Law and Global studies along with a study hall at Fruita 8/9.

The reason I chose to interview Mr. Birch is because he is an amazing teacher. When we take notes in class, he presents them in a clear way to understand and wright down, explains them to the entire class to help fully understand it, and even promotes discussion between students on the subject. Not only that but Mr. Birch’s Global Studies class (the only one I have with him) is one of the first classes I have ever had in the nine years of school I’ve been through that PRIMARILY teaches you about AMERICAN HISTORY (not Egyptian, Mayan, or any other culture as the PRIMARY subject for the ENTIRE YEAR) as well as what’s going on in the current world and how it affects us on a day to day basses.

The Strong Will of Mr. Wilson

Ask anyone in the Fruita 8/9 school who their favorite teacher is—what their favorite class is—and the answer will likely be Mr. Wilson’s literacy or mythology classes. He is widely known as one of the coolest teachers at the school, and one of the school’s favorite teachers. But do they know the man behind these amazing classes as well as they think they do? The answer is no; he has an incredible backstory that may go unspoken of.

Mr. Wilson was actually born in England, which is a bit of a surprise. His dad was in the military, which led to his family moving around a lot; living in Germany, and eventually Michigan in United States. Much like Fruita, the part of Michigan he lived in was rural (farms, corn fields, acres of distance in between houses is not uncommon). In other words, Wilson was a bit of a country boy when his family suddenly moved into the big city of Detroit. A city that is known for being tough to live in is even tougher for someone accustomed to quiet farm life.

“I developed some empathy, I think, for being the new kid, being the different kid, or things like that,” Wilson says. He was beat up and bullied, unfortunately, for being the new kid when he moved. Over 77% of students have been bullied in the United States, and it is a serious issue that is, hopefully, on its way to being resolved. It’s devastating that Mr. Wilson had to be one of those kids, but he would never have been who he is now if it hadn’t been for that.

It was not the switch in environments that led Mr. Wilson to become a teacher, though. When asked why he had decided to become a teacher, he explained that he was an ‘A’ and ‘B’ student until senior year of high school. He mentions that he had begun to slack, and his history teacher Mr. Cummins saved him from that hole he was digging himself into. Wilson began to come to class tardy almost every day. Mr. Cummins called Wilson out in front of the entire class once and chewed him out, which was likely a very embarrassing experience; however, later, the teacher talked to him about why he had called him out. He explained that he was upset with Wilson disrespecting his class, but that he cared and wanted him to succeed. Mr. Wilson says that he is the main reason he became a teacher.

Although he could not become a teacher right away (since he went into the air force straight out of high school), Mr. Wilson went to college to teach as soon as he could. He began teaching in a large school in Ohio before moving to Colorado to explore his hobby of mountain climbing, and continue teaching here, of course. Wilson says he really likes the Colorado lifestyle and the people here.

Mr. Wilson truly is an amazing teacher, and he proved that it is best to stay strong through life—and that one can do anything with grit. He is one of the most respectable teachers here, and one of the most respecting. He is a huge inspiration to the entire Fruita 8/9 school, and he deserves many thanks for his incredible teaching and his strong will.



(Thanks for reading!)

Mr. Nash, an English Teacher With a Big Heart.

Growing up in the mid 1900’s, Mr. Nash lived an interesting teenage life. For one he found himself carefree for most of his teen years, no pressure, good grades and lots of friends for certain. While living his teenage years Mr. Nash was surprisingly different, despite getting good grades and being stress free Mr. Nash was very off task and talkative. While he wasn’t a trouble maker per say, he wasn’t the greatest saint, but was an average teen just like the lot of us. Growing up Nash had always had his priorities straight, given form the fact that he was raised in a special environment with loving parents. At home he’d always maintain expectations clearly, completing his civil duties and even being a caring son was important for Mr. Nash. As a child and even as an adult Mr. Nash had always loved being outside with the luscious scenery of nature. He’d be constantly hiking with friends and found himself innovating in the world of engineering with his woodworking skills, these hobbies set him apart from most people especially most teenagers of this generation. On a lighter note Mr. Nash loves all American foods. “Nothing beats a good old’ American hotdog”, Mr. Nash exclaimed excitedly. This paired with other meats like steak or burgers gives him a special taste in the world of American culture. When asked about the teenagers in this day of age Mr. Nash replied, “Kids today are no different than the ones I grew up with”. In fact for the most part the teenagers of today fill Mr. Nash with pure nostalgia invoking the image of himself in most situations. “Teens are the spittin’ image of my friends”, he replied. Now in his later life Mr. Nash is proud of his position in education and his loving wife and children. In the end Mr. Nash has changed quite a lot form his earlier years but in all actuality he is still the same person, with a big heart.


Mr. McClure’s Interesting Life

Mr. McClure is a study hall teacher, who enjoys working with teenagers.

He is an interesting person due to the things that he does in his off-time, which mostly include travelling, and spending time with his family. He has been on every continent, which is a rather huge achievement since it normally costs a lot to travel intercontinentally. Though travelling would seem to be his passion, his favorite subject in High School was History. His High School life was fun, and the world around him during his High School life was friendly, as everyone seemed to get along. Historical events during his education were the Space Shuttle “Challenger” exploding mid-flight.

Mr. McClure’s teacher life started when his career changed while he was 35 years old, warranting him to pick another career path. He wanted to work in Grand Junction, but Fruita 8/9 offered the first job. The path he took in order to become a teacher involved 5 years of teacher preparation, and 2 years for his master’s degree. However, this person isn’t just about teaching, he’s also about extensively travelling. He has been on every continent. In his spare time when he isn’t travelling, he rides bikes with his family, and overall spends time with them.

The Life of Mrs. Muller

Ms. Muller went to Redlands middle school and had good friends. She told me a story of how Mr. Henderson predicted her homecoming date, he was right. She loved sports like Volleyball, basketball, track, and she started Varsity as a freshman. In college she had a great schedule with a lot of downtime to hang out with friends, and she only lived 4 hours away from her family so they stayed close. She went to Colorado State University. I asked her why she chose ELA, and she said that she failed at learning to being a math teacher first. I also said why did you chose the F8/9 school instead of the other schools, and she said that she loved the staff. She wanted to be a teacher because she limg_19051oves kids. Her first job was at Starbucks, and she use to live in Ft. Collins. She enjoys watching sports like football and basketball on her free time, as well as go on runs. Ms. Muller is an amazing teacher that’s really funny, and chill with her classes. She will mostly be upfront with you on saying do you have this turned in, and you need to turn in your work. Which can really help when you need it. She makes class a lot easier with her style of teaching and everyone that has her class loves her. She is one of those amazing teachers that you get to know and have a good year with.



The musical genius Mr. Argo

img_17931From the looks Mr. Argo is a scary guy but after talking to him he is a badass dude. He has been teaching for 36 years he likes to travel hike and has a passion for Rock N’ Roll Music

As a child Mr. Argo was active where he played tennis, basketball, and baseball he collects baseball cards and has a big passion for rock n’ Roll music some of his favorite bands are The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and beach boys. Mr. Argo wanted to teach because of his influential directors and his inspiring mother.

Mr. Argo decided he wanted to peruse his passion for music. He got his undergrad at eastern New Mexico and got his masters at western state his teaching style is “Tuff Love” or the “Old School method” on the weekend Mr. Argo likes to travel with his 21 year old son and wife. His advice to students that want to become teachers is to find your passion and learn everything about it. When I ask him for life advice he says quote “In everything you do, give it your all”

My experience with Mr. Argo has been awesome I had is class last year all year in Guitar and History of Rock N’ Roll class. I can now say I have experienced the “Old School Method” Mr. Argo is a gnarly guy and I hope a lot of people get inspired from him