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Sup with the Sup
Episode Three: Catching Up With Students at the Start of the School Year

Welcome everyone to the next episode of Provo City School District’s What’s Up with the Sup’ podcast. Today is August 25th, 2023. I am Superintendent Wendy Dau and I am super excited for the podcast this week. With the school year in its early stages, I wanted to catch up with a few students to see how the school year is going and to talk to them about their experiences at school.

So this week I will be joined by four students, Eliza Doxey from Timpview High School, Lilly Tuinei from Provo High School, and Emily Astle and Dottie Worthen, who are sixth graders at Provost Elementary. But before I talk to them, let me share some of our weekly updates.

SEP conferences for secondary schools are coming up on September 19th through the 21st. Look for more information from your student’s school.

Please continue to check your school’s website, calendar, and social media for important information and dates.

If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, remember to send in your application within the first 30 days of school. This process does need to be completed every year.

Please remember to update your information in PowerSchool. This process also needs to be done every year so that we know how to contact you in case of an emergency.

The next school board meeting will be a study session and a business meeting on Tuesday, September 12th. Study sessions generally begin at 4 p.m. and are held in Board Room 1 at the District Office. Business meetings start at 7 p. m. and are held at the Professional Development Center at the District Office. Both meetings are open to the public.

The Foundation’s Links for Kids golf tournament will be held on September 28th. If you are interested in participating, please visit foundation.provo. edu.

And don’t forget, my weekly videocast will be coming from me on Friday as well.

And now for our community feedback section. At the end of each podcast, we ask our listeners to submit any questions or topics that they would like us to address on the podcast. So thank you to those of you who have submitted questions and feedback.

Not every question we receive warrants a full podcast episode, but we also want to acknowledge the questions and provide some answers. So we have created the community connection segment where we will answer one of the questions whenever we receive them.

So this week question comes from listener Flor. Flor asked me to address safety issues in the drop off and pick up lanes at our schools, and we know that these drop off and pick up lanes before and after school are kind of a crazy time. With multiple cars all trying to go through the same area, and there are tons of kids everywhere it can be hectic. Each of our schools has unique drop off and pick up areas. As such, each school works to identify and communicate these drop off and pick up instructions specific to that location. We try to have as much adult supervision in these areas as possible for the safety of both our students and their entire family.

But it is important to remember that we need to work together. So we ask our parents to please be very patient during the drop off and pick up times and follow the school’s established guidelines. Please drive slowly, stay calm, be patient, and work together to get our students to and from school safely.

Later this year, we do plan to have an episode devoted to all things related to school safety.

So thank you for your input, Flor, and I hope you’re looking forward to that podcast as much as we are.

If any of you have any topics or questions you would like us to address on the podcast, please email us at

Wendy: So I have Eliza Doxey here with us today. She is the student body president at Timpview High School and is a senior because obviously you have to be a senior to be a student body officer, correct?

Eliza: Um, well, actually anyone can be, but usually it’s seniors, but yes.

Wendy: Okay. Well, I’m glad you corrected me. So see my experience. We come from, we’re only seniors. But you’re a senior student body president at Timpview High School. Welcome to our podcast.

Eliza: Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.

Wendy: It’s exciting to talk to students. This is going to be the best part. So this is going to be awesome. So I want to start by just, we can kind of get to know each other a little bit better and be a little vulnerable for a minute. I want you to think of a story of something that’s happened to you in school. Maybe in high school, maybe in middle school, either something embarrassing or something interesting or just funny, something you would like to share. And, um, I’ll start since I’m putting you on the spot and making you think about it.

Eliza: Okay. Sounds good.

Wendy: Okay. I’m a redhead, so I’m kind of fiery and I’m a little outspoken sometimes. I was a senior in high school and in choir and I was one of those back row kinds of people like would heckle the teacher and whatnot. I liked doing that. So, uh, sat on the back row and our principal came in and told us that we couldn’t go to a concert in St. George because he couldn’t get the buses because the district had told him that he wasn’t allowed to have the buses and blah, blah, blah. And we’d been working really hard for this. And so of course, Wendy Dau being the person that she is, she raises her hand on the back row and she goes, Dr. Homer. Why are you so spineless that you are not fighting for us as students? And I remember the whole room just went dead silent. Like she just called the principal Spineless.

Eliza: Hey, that’s awesome.

Wendy: Yeah, I know. I know. Here we go.

Eliza: You started young.

Wendy: Yeah, I did. Started young. So and he’s like And he points at me in my office. And so, yeah, it was, it was all good. So actually laid out a plan. We got our buses, it was great, but I became known as the person who called the principal spineless.

Eliza: Hey, but that’s great. We want someone that’s not spineless as our, as our administrators.

Wendy: Yeah, it’s awesome. It was all right. So we got it all worked out. All right. Share your story.

Eliza: Okay. Um, mine’s not. As good as that one, but it is pretty funny. Mine’s more embarrassing. Um, in high school you go to a lot of dances. This was, I’m pretty sure it was my junior year, so last year was, it was a girl’s choice or girls ask dance. So I was getting a group together and we were gonna all go to the dance, but it was a couple weeks before the dance and I made this group shot with all the girls. And I thought I knew all the boys that the girls were going to ask. And I was like, well, we might as well start early with all this planning. So I made a group chat with the boys and the girls on it. So I added everyone on it, and I sent out a message like, Hey everyone, like, this is our group chat for the dance. Um, and anyways, but then I figured out later, Later that day that one of the girls on the group chat hadn’t asked the guy that I thought she was going with yet. And I was like, oh crap, like I just spoiled the whole thing. So I like saw her at school and I was like, oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. Like I just spoiled your whole thing. Like do you even want to go with him or like did I just ruin it? And anyways, we were good friends. It was totally fine. And she dealt with it in an amazing way, and they both went to the dance and it was awesome, but But it was a funny moment.

Wendy:Oh, that’s good. It worked out great.

Eliza: Yeah.

Wendy:Oh, good job.

Eliza: Yeah.

Wendy: Well, it sounds like you have some good friends that are willing to, like, just be chill, so that was good.

Eliza: Yeah.

Wendy: Oh, thank goodness. And I’m glad, I’m glad you didn’t put somebody’s name in there that she didn’t want to. Yeah, that would have been bad.

Eliza: That would have been bad.

Wendy: That would have been super bad. Okay, so now we’re gonna, we’re gonna get started in our questions. Are you ready?

Eliza: Yeah.

Wendy: This is not intense, so you can take a deep breath. It’s going to be great. Okay. So school started last week. Tell me how it’s been and, and has it been hard getting back into the routine, like getting up early and. Talk to me a little bit about that.

Eliza: I think it’s been really fun to see everyone again. And we’ve been on summer break and lots of people have been on trips. So we haven’t really seen each other’s faces very much. So that part about it is fun. I think the academic part is a little bit challenging for everyone because we haven’t been doing, you know, school stuff for a couple months. So it’s kind of hard to get back into the groove of academics. But as far as the social part of it, I think it’s been really fun to see everyone again.

Wendy: That’s awesome. I love it. So every year it seems like I always feel this great energy. I love the start of school, right? It’s just like all the anticipation and kids pick out their clothes. At least I would pick out my clothes. I don’t, I don’t know if we still do that or not.

Eliza: Oh, that’s definitely definitely still a thing.

Wendy: Okay. So. Just a lot of excitement. So, what are some of the things that you feel like students at Tempview are most excited about going into the school year?

Eliza: That is a great question. I think, kind of going along with what I said before, I think students are most excited for the social things. Like, just being with their peers. Like, for example, going to, like, sports games. Like, for example, yesterday. Or two days ago, so I play soccer and I got to see lots of our students at the game and I just think that’s something that lots of students look forward to and not only sports, there’s also drama and lots of other activities too that I think students are really looking forward to because that’s something that they’re interested outside of school.

Wendy: It’s awesome. And it’s always fun to see your peers and kind of different, you know, kind of demonstrating their talents right in these different areas. That’s very exciting. And I know it’s a little rough, because you’re not in your new part of your building yet. And so you still have all of the plywood walls.

Eliza: Timpview still have a construction site.

Wendy: Yes, still a construction site. So that, so that is definitely hard. You guys have been awesome in trying to deal with all of that. So what were you most nervous about, um, in terms of starting this school year?

Eliza: Hmm. What was I most nervous about? At Timpview we do a freshman orientation day and I had the opportunity to give tours to some of the new freshmen and some of the new students.

Wendy: Oh yeah.

Eliza: So I was giving them a tour and I know this school like I’ve been here for four years but when I was giving them a tour I realized like man this school looks a lot different than it used to. At least that might not be the case for other high schools but for Timpview we have lots of construction so there’s. New, like tunnels going every which way. So, um, but yeah, I was giving them tours and I was like, wow, I actually don’t really know where I’m going.

Wendy: You’re like um, see, this is how you’re just like a senior because everybody’s kind of clueless, right?

Eliza: Yeah, exactly.

Wendy: Oh yeah. I’ve been lost in a couple of those tunnels myself as I’ve been going through Tempe high.

Eliza: So it’s a crazy time.

Wendy: It is. It is definitely a crazy time. So looking back at when you started high school, is there anything that you wish you would have known like someone had shared with you and and if so, what is that and what advice would you give to the freshmen at Tempview?

Eliza: That is another great question. I think I’m still kind of figuring out like what I would tell my younger self. But there is one thing that I know for sure is a piece of advice that I would give to freshmen right now. Um, it’s just to not burn any bridges and just to be kind to everyone. I know we say that a lot, just be kind to people, but it’s so important. Like, you never know what someone’s going through on a given day. Like, I’ve had hard days. I know some of my friends, or maybe some people I don’t even know, like, everyone’s had hard days, and we can’t really see that because people are so good at hiding it. But, if we can just be kind to each other, no matter what our backgrounds are. I know sometimes it’s like, you’re in high school and you’re like, oh, well, that group of kids I can’t really talk to because of this or that or whatever, but, If we just treat everyone as like a friend, even if we may not know them super well, then it’ll be so much better in the long run. And you’ll have such a better, um, high school experience. So

Wendy: I love, I love that. I think so many times we get caught up in, I don’t know, there’s just weird dynamics and, and we just need… imagine what would happen if every single time we interacted with another person, we just, we started from that place of kindness. Right? Yeah. So think about all of your social media. Sometimes we want to add something snarky to it or whatever. And instead we just build people up. Imagine what kind of a movement we could create if we did that instead.

Eliza: Exactly.

Wendy: It would be pretty, it would be pretty powerful. So I love that advice.Thank you for sharing that. I couldn’t agree more. What do you wish your teachers or the adults in the building knew or understood about kids and what they’re going through.

Eliza: I think it’d be really good for teachers to understand that we have lots of things going on at once. Like, um, I know when we get older, like in college, it’s most of the time it’s like I’m focused on my studies and this is like kind of my life is just, I mean, not that it’s just school, but you’re more focused on that when you’re older. Like in high school, we’re still kids. Like we, um, have lots of different things going on. We’re trying to balance life. I know lots of kids are involved in extracurricular activities. So I think that’s just one thing to keep in mind is that we’re busy and we do our best to get our schoolwork done, but we’re also trying to juggle other things.

Wendy: Well, and not only that you’re juggling also your family is important, right? And, and so you have to make time for them and you have. The extracurriculars, which we know help kids actually stay more connected to school and they actually do better in school. Sometimes it seems counterintuitive, right? Like, well, I’m, I’m so busy then I can’t get my schoolwork done, but actually the kids that aren’t engaging in those extracurriculars are having more issues. So I, I do think that’s really important. It isn’t just because kids are being slackers. Sometimes it’s, you literally ran out of hours in the day, right? You needed to sleep a little bit,

Eliza: I’ve definitely felt that before.

Wendy: Do you have a favorite experience with a teacher or a teacher that’s made a great difference in your life or a fun, um, lesson that a teacher taught that you’re just like, I don’t even think that person knew how life changing that was. Do you have something like that you would like to share with us?

Eliza: Yes, I do. I have been very lucky to have lots of amazing teachers. Um, if I could give a little call out though. I’d love to, um, highlight Mrs. Taylor at Timpview. She’s a math teacher.

Wendy: All right. Mrs. Taylor, are you, I hope she’s listening.

Eliza: I know. I hope she is too. She is definitely one of my favorite teachers I’ve ever had. And I don’t even like math. Like, she just made the biggest difference for me. I knew going into this class that it was going to be a really difficult class. Um, it was like a college credit class and I was a little bit stressed, but she just made it clear that like, I can ask as many questions as I want like this is a like a place that is like safe, you know, and we can learn and she just, I don’t know, she also is human about it. Some teachers are like robots and they just throw information at you, but she was human and like super, super kind and understanding and was really focused on the success of each of her students. I remember like after she had graded the test, she would hand them out and she would hand each one out and say like, Oh, like, I know that you can like, do better next time, or like, come, come after school, I can help you, and like, just things like that.

Wendy: That’s wonderful.

Eliza: She is, she is an angel. I love her so much.

Wendy: That’s pretty incredible, and it has made all the difference, right?

Eliza: Yeah.

Wendy: So, and actually encouraged you To have the courage to do something hard that that you’re maybe not as good at, but you were willing to try it because of the difference that she was making.

Eliza: Exactly.

Wendy: That’s pretty powerful. I was even excited to go to math class, which never happened before. Oh, that’s incredible. I love hearing that. All right. I got to send a note to Mrs. Taylor. Or actually, probably better. I need to sit in on her class. It sounds like.

Eliza: Oh, yeah. For sure.

Wendy: See what magic is happening there.

Eliza: Yes.

Wendy: Okay. I’m going to take note of that. Okay. Now. I’m new to Provo, and so what should I prioritize in coming to support and see at Timpview High School?

Eliza: At Timpview, we have lots of fun activities coming up, but I’d say one of the most community building and fun things that you could come to is our, we have a homecoming week, and um, so that involves lots of different things. We do dress up days at school, um, there’s a football game on the Thursday of that week. I think coming to the football game and it’s more than just a football game. There’s lots of community members that come, um, there’s the homecoming royalties and it’s just a really fun event.

Wendy: It’s just a great event, right?

Eliza: Um, if I remember right, it’s September 14th is the football game and then the actual homecoming dance is the 16th.

Wendy: Okay, perfect. Yeah, that sounds great because I think Provo has their homecoming week the same week. So I can arrange that when it goes Thursday, Friday, I can figure that out. So that sounds awesome. It sounds very exciting. And I will be at the Provo Timpview game. Yes. So that’s going to be super fun. Yeah. So I’m going to have to be orange for like the first half and green for the,

Eliza: yeah.

Wendy: So we’ll figure that out for sure. It’ll be great. Is there anything else that you, um, that you want to share about your, um, experiences or what, what’s been happening or shout outs that you want to give to individuals and how they’ve really helped you as you’ve, as you’ve started school this last week and a half?

Eliza: Yes, I’d love to give two shout outs. Um, number one is just to the students at Timpview. I love each and every one of them. I haven’t had the chance to meet all of them, but I just want them to know that I love them and that I’m going to be here for them and that they can come to the administration or to Student Gov whenever they need, if they have any questions, and we really just want them to succeed.

And the second shout out is to Timpview’s principal, Momi Tu’uaua.

Wendy: She is amazing. Amazing.

Eliza: Like, I… She, she’s just amazing. Like, she comes to support, like, every different group. I’ve never seen someone support people that much. Like, and she always has a smile on her face. Like, you’ll see her in the hallways saying hi to, like, literally everyone. Like, everyone. She, she just, she’s like everyone’s mom. And her name’s Momi, which is not even, which is totally great. She’s just, she’s amazing.

Wendy: I’ve known Principal Tu’ua for quite some time. And just the passion and the caring, you know, attitude that she has for everyone. Like you, and the warmth. It’s, it’s pretty, she’s incredible. She’s a great life force for Timpview, I think. So if we wanted to get more students to listen to this podcast, because it’s new, what would be some of your suggestions for some topics that students would care about?

Eliza: I think it’d be fun to talk about, like, things that we see like in day to day life, maybe like life hacks. Like this is how you can, I don’t know, something like that.

Wendy: Ooh, I love the life hacks. We I’ll make sure we’re writing that down. So that’s, that sounds genius. So I want to make sure that you reach out to me if you think of some things that would be some great topics. I would love it cause I, I really want it to be very student centered.

Eliza: And I’ll get some ideas from the students at Timpview.

Wendy: That would be amazing. I would love that. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us. This was, this was great to talk with you. And I guess I’m going to see you at the game. I think, um, tomorrow night at seven o’clock at Provo high school. I hope all of you are there.

Eliza: Yeah, it’s going to be fun.

Wendy: All right. Thank you again.

Eliza: Thank you so much.

Wendy: So, my next guest on our podcast is Lilly Tuinei, and she is a student at Provo High School, and we’re going to talk for just a minute with her about the start of the school year and everything that’s been going on. Lilly, before we do that, tell us a little bit about yourself. Like what are some of your hobbies and how long have you been a student at Provo High? What grade are you in? All the good things.

Lilly: So, I’m going to be a senior this year, and I’m starting my final season of volleyball. And I’m pretty excited for that because we’ve got a lot going on for our program. Uh, the coaches and the girls have been putting in a lot of effort, so it should be going pretty well. And something else I like to do is art. I’m in my AP art class right now, and that’s been pretty fun so far. So,

Wendy: so you’re an artist and a volleyball player. That’s amazing. Wonderful. Well, welcome. Thank you so much for being on our podcast.

Lilly: Of course.

Wendy: So tell me a little bit about how the first week of school has gone. It started last week. Was it difficult to start waking up early, or get back into the routine, or is it just like, no, I wake up early, I’ll, you know, tell me a little bit about that.

Lilly: So that’s the interesting thing. Since I am a senior, you know, a lot of kids have been having such like, light schedules because they do all the classes that they need to their previous years.

And so they can have like gap periods. So that’s what I’ve been kind of doing these past couple of years. So I actually only have two classes each day. It’s really nice. So then I go to school from 11:15 to 2:15 each day and have two class periods.

Wendy: Oh, my goodness. That sounds like a dream schedule. If I didn’t have to be at work till 11, that would be amazing.

Oh, my goodness. Okay, that’s great. So it wasn’t difficult then to get back into that routine of school because you didn’t have to, like, be at school at 730.

Lilly: Yeah, not at all. It’s been super nice sleeping in.

Wendy: That’s good. And it sounds like you’ve planned well ahead so that you could have some of those breaks your senior year because you worked really hard in your ninth and 10th grade year.

Lilly: Yes, I’ve definitely tried with my senior year in mind, definitely for sure.

Wendy: Were you nervous at all to start school or? You’re like, no, I’m a senior, I got this down.

Lilly: I think there always is a bit of nervousness for those, like, classes that may seem harder, you know? Like, there’s so many college level classes to, um, provide a, like, advantage that they can use. So I feel like those can always be a little bit scary at first, but once you get used to those sort of things, they can be really helpful instead of something that’s scary.

Wendy: And kind of giving you a head start when you get to college, right?

Lilly: Mm hmm.

Wendy: That’s awesome. What are you most excited about for the school year?

Lilly: What I’m most excited for is my art class, actually. I’m in AP Art right now, as I previously said. And we’ve got a lot of projects that are coming up. And we’re actually going to collab with the dance program. and do something with art and dance combined, so that should be fun.

Wendy: That sounds really exciting. That sounds great to work with another teacher in another program. What is your favorite medium of art? Are you a, do you draw, do you paint, do you ceramics, all of the above?

Lilly: I love to watercolor just because it’s, it’s pretty easy for me. It’s something that I’ve done ever since I was younger, but my teacher has been very good at introducing us to new mediums and such like that.

Wendy: That’s awesome. I’m glad to hear that. Think about some of the advice that you would like to give to freshmen. Something that you wish you had known as a freshman that someone had shared with you. What would that be? What would you like to tell them?

Lilly: I would say start your study habits now. Start these habits of like coming home and studying your notes, which you make every single night, like something that you do regularly. Do your reading for all your classes because you’ll regret it later. Trust me. I’ve done that before and it is not fun, so put in the work now so you don’t have to do it later.

Wendy: Sounds like you have some experience with that. We all have experience with that, right? What is one thing you wish your teachers knew or understood about students at school?

Lilly: I think there’s a lot of things in people’s lives, you know, that can conflict and make it hard for them to come to class and to have that time to study. And just being able to be there and having the resources that they may need to accomplish their goals despite things which may be happening outside of class.

Wendy: So recognizing that students are humans and that there’s a lot going on that’s just beyond what happens in the school day, right?

Lilly: Exactly. It’s okay to forget things and being able to have a little bit of grace for that is nice sometimes.

Wendy: I love that. Have a little bit of grace. I think that’s great advice for all of us when we’re interacting

Lilly: mm hmm.

Wendy: Thank you. Who has been your favorite or most impactful teacher and or an activity or something that just really Made an impression on you throughout your high school experience ?

Lilly: The first thing that comes to my mind is my math teacher. My math teacher is Mr. McClain at Provo High School. He’s always gone out of the way when, like, a student doesn’t understand to be able to help them to accomplish their goals if they, like, want a specific grade. If you put in the effort to do so, he will help you to reach your goals. And it’s been very nice working with him, um, having his class the past couple of years.

Wendy: I think that’s awesome because there’s so many kids. shy away from math or get nervous about math. So knowing that we have Mr. McClain at Provo High School, it sounds like I need to go and visit his classroom and kind of see the environment that he’s creating there for students. It sounds like it’s been a good experience for you.

Lilly: Yeah, he’s also very nice and funny. So that’s also around a lot.

Wendy: That’s helpful, right? What do I need to know about Provo High School? Like if there was some piece of information that you’re like, coming into Provo High School, Superintendent Dau, this is what you need to know about our school. What would that be?

Lilly: I would say a lot of the kids are really inclusive, and go out of their way to like, be involved with things, so it’s not too hard to find people who are willing to help at Provo High School.

Wendy: I think that’s one of the things I noticed when I was over there on the first day of school and at back to school night was just the climate was really welcoming and just seeing kids interact with each other. It was a really great thing to watch. I can see why you would say that. What is something that I need to put on my calendar to make sure that I come and see at Provo High School in the next year? And it could be several things.

Lilly: The first thing that came to my mind is actually tomorrow, there’s a football game with, uh, Provo High’s football team and Timpview, and I don’t know, a lot of people at our school have been talking about it. It’s like, you know, these two rival schools finally coming together.

Wendy: That rivalry. Yep, for sure. And I was definitely planning on being there, so I’ll have to wear orange for one half of the game and my green for the other half of the game, right? Perfect. So, you’re gonna be there?

Lilly: Yeah.

Wendy: Oh, yes.

Lilly: Of course.

Wendy: That sounds amazing. I look forward to that. I think that’s going to be a great matchup. If we wanted to get more students to listen to the podcast, particularly high school students, what would be some topics that we should cover on this podcast that would make students excited about it?

Lilly: For sure Club week. There’s a lot of fun things coming up when that comes.

Lilly: Club week. So we could, we could go in and interview different presidents of clubs or members of clubs and kind of highlight what they do at the school.

Lilly: Mm hmm.

Wendy: And so when is club week at Provo High School?

Lilly: I’m not exactly sure. I think it’s towards the beginning of October.

Wendy: Do you guys have like a club rush that you do and kids are joining clubs at that time or are you just highlighting the clubs?

Lilly: Uh, usually like during lunchtime we’ll have all the club presidents come in and do have their little booth that people can walk around and see.

Wendy: Uh, that definitely sounds like something I need to get on my calendar and do an episode about to highlight all of the great things that are happening at Provo High School. Thank you so much, Lily, for meeting with me and for talking with us about your first few weeks of school.

Lilly: Of course.

Wendy: It’s been great.

Lilly: No problem.

Wendy: Well, everybody, this is Superintendent Dau, and I am here at Provost Elementary, and we are interviewing some 6th graders from Mr. Sprunger’s class. What, what?

Alright, I have Emily Astle here, and Dottie Worthen, and they have agreed to talk with me a little bit about the first days of school. So, how are you guys doing?

Emily and Dottie: Good. Good!

Wendy: Thank you so much for being willing to talk to me today. And they have big smiles on their faces. So I wish you could see how much energy they have because it’s pretty great. We’re going to start out by having a little bit of fun. So I thought it would be kind of fun to share maybe an embarrassing story or a funny story from when you’ve been in school. I’ll start because I feel like I need to put myself out there right first. So, I was in… First grade elementary school at recess. I grew up in Bountiful and so there’s the cement ledge that I was going to go sit down on. I was waiting for my turn for hopscotch and I sat down on the ledge and it was excruciating. The pain was terrible. I sat on a cactus for crying out loud and there were like a billion of those little cactus needles that went into my bum and my mom worked so I could not call my mom. My mom couldn’t come pick me up so I had to call my sister and my sister had to come pick me up from high school and she was tweezing with tweezers, tweezing out every single little needle from the flippin cactus. It was, oh, it was terrible, and people were laughing at me. It was horrible, but I survived. Here I am. Superintendent, right here, sat on a cactus.

Emily: So one time I was going to the bathroom at school, and it like, I slammed my face in the door.

Wendy: Oh, was it like the stall door?

Emily: Yeah.

Wendy: Oh, that’s terrible.

Emily: It was not that hard, and it just like, gave me bloody nose. So then I just had a bloody nose at the school.

Wendy: Oh no. That’s the worst, right? Was your teacher helpful?

Emily: Yeah.

Wendy: Okay. That’s good. Oh, whew. But people were wondering like, what happened in the bathroom? That’s what I would worry about. I would be like, what’s going on in that bathroom? Do you have a story for us Dottie?

Dottie: It’s not the most embarrassing.

Wendy:That’s okay. That’s okay. It can be kind of semi embarrassing.

Dottie: Well, in second grade I had my eye surgery, and my eyes were bloody red.

Wendy:Oh, that, oh. Did you have to go to school like that?

Dottie: Yep.

Wendy: Oh, my goodness. But people knew. Were they nice to you?

Dottie: No.

Wendy: Oh, terrible. They Oh, that’s not good. That’s not good. Okay, see, um, we’ve all survived, right? Even though that we’ve had, even though that we’ve had some, uh, craziness. We have now been in school for a little over a week. So tell me about the first week of school. How’s it gone? And what have been your favorite parts? Either one of you can start.

Emily: It’s been really good. I really like school.

Wendy: Good. What’s your favorite subject?

Emily: Um, math. I like all of them.

Wendy: Oh, I love that. Good, I love it. That’s awesome. What about you?

Dottie: Um, it’s been good. It’s been taking a while to get used to homework because last year I didn’t have homework.

Wendy: Oh dear, we’re in 6th grade so now we have homework, right? Oh, how many minutes are you spending on homework?

Dottie: 45.

Wendy: Oh, okay. About 45 minutes on homework. And then do you have a rule like you have to do your homework first and then you can go do other stuff or do you do it usually later?

Dottie: Later.

Wendy: Later. What about you?

Emily: I usually do it right when I get home.

Wendy: Oh, good job. Makes it easier.

Emily: Yeah.

Wendy: Okay. So is it hard to wake up early? Were you used to sleeping in in the summer or did you?

Dottie: Nope. Nope. Nope.

Wendy: You got up early all summer.

Dottie: Yeah. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep in. The latest I’ll sleep in is 830.

Wendy: 8:30. Oh, my goodness. What about you?

Emily: I had to wake up for swim team, so I’m used to it by now.

Wendy: Oh, that’s good. So, a swimmer. Oh, we have a swimmer, too. I used to be, but… Oh, that’s great. So, what are you most excited about, about being a 6th grader at Provost Elementary?

Dottie: We’re in charge of field day.

Wendy: Oh, that sounds exciting. And when is field day at the end of the year?

Dottie: Yeah.

Wendy: Very cool. Okay. What else? What’s something else?

Emily: We also get to do the musical.

Wendy: That’s going to be incredible. Do you guys know what musical you’re doing yet?

Emily and Dottie: No.

Wendy: No, but that’s going to be super fun, right? Yeah. So you guys are going to make sure and invite me.

Emily and Dottie: Yeah.

Wendy: To the musical right? Because I want to, okay good, because I definitely want to come and see you guys in the musical. That sounds really fun. I’m excited for you. What were you most nervous about? Not sure. Maybe you’re not nervous because it’s sixth grade.

Dottie: I mean, yeah, before, like, I figured out that I had Emily in my class and this year is stronger. I was nervous.

Wendy: That’s going okay.

Dottie: I at least needed Emily in my class. Nailed it. We got the two of you.

Wendy: So you guys have been friends for a while.

Emily and Dottie: Since fourth grade. Yeah, fourth grade.

Wendy: Oh, that’s awesome. Okay, so a little, a little bit nervous, but kind of used to school and you have friends in the class. So you’re good to go. Okay, what advice do you have for, it’s maybe like a first or a second grader, like if you could, if someone could have given you some advice, what would you want? What, what advice would you give the younger kids?

Dottie: Be happy.

Wendy: Be happy. Love it.

Emily: Don’t be worried about all the tests, because they’re just like little tests, maybe.

Wendy: Oh, I like that. Okay, so don’t, don’t be too worried about it, because they just kind of help us know where you’re at, right? So that we know how to, how to fix things and make sure that you’re staying caught up. What makes Mr. Sprunger an awesome teacher?

Dottie: He’s Mr. Sprunger.

Wendy: Oh! Enough said, right? Okay.

Emily: He, uh, reads like… Good books to us and I really like book club

Wendy: And you love book club. Okay. So are there some books that you’re looking forward to reading?

Emily: Yeah. Right now we’re reading lion, the witch and the porch.

Wendy: Oh, CS Lewis is the author. That is one of my favorite books. Have you read it before?

Emily: Ummm, I might have

Dottie: I‘ve seen the movie.

Wendy: You’ve seen the movie, you might’ve read it. It’s all. It’s one of my favorites. I remember reading that when I was in elementary school too.

Dottie: Yeah, Mr. Sprunger was in a bluegrass band so he once brought his guitar.

Wendy: He brought his guitar?

Dottie: And sung us a song.

Wendy: Oh my goodness! Was that awesome?

Emily and Dottie: That was really cool.

Wendy: Okay, that’s pretty cool. That’s a pretty talented teacher that you have there, right? What are the goals that Mr. Sprunger has for you? This year. Do you remember?

Dottie: Like if you’re quiet to talk more.

Wendy: Okay, so he wants you to participate, right? And, and wants you to speak up. I love that. That’s important.

Emily: And we’re supposed to read, like, a lot, which is really fun.

Wendy: That’s good. He really wants to challenge you in that, because reading’s pretty important, right?

Emily: Yeah.

Wendy: That’s awesome. Love it. Okay, so you guys are the oldest students in the school, because you’re sixth graders, right? What’s cool about that? Is that something that’s cool? Like, I felt like that was really cool when I was in elementary school. It’d be like the oldest. So what is the best part about that besides planning field day?

Emily: Um, we get to, um, do a world fair.

Wendy: You get to do a world fair. So tell me more about that. Do you know more about that?

Dottie: Everybody will study a country of their choice.

Emily: Yeah, and then you, like, present it to all, like, the littler kids and, like, everyone in the school.

Wendy: Oh, so they get to see how smart you are about that country.

Dottie: Parents come.

Wendy: Oh, I love it.

Dottie: You could come.

Wendy: I’m definitely coming. You better invite me, right?

Emily and Dottie: Yeah.

Wendy: Because I better be seeing you guys like all year, right? You’re going to invite me to all your cool stuff, right? Okay, what questions do you have about going into middle school? Are you nervous about thinking about going to middle school?

Dottie: I don’t want to go to middle school.

Wendy: I don’t want to go to middle school.

Emily: I think it’ll be fun.

Wendy: You are going to have the best time. You, it, it will be pretty great. Okay, so activities I’m going to come to, musical, uh, World Fair. Anything else that you think I need to put on my calendar?

Dottie: Sneak into field day.

Wendy: Sneak into, oh, I think I, I think we need to make that happen.

Dottie: Yeah, because then you could like play our games.

Wendy: I would love that. Oh, superintendent versus the sixth grade.

Dottie: You should come before everybody else goes.

Wendy: Okay, okay, so come earlier. Alright, I got it.

Dottie: So you don’t have to play with like, first graders.

Wendy: Oh my goodness, I’m excited about that. Sothat should be great. Okay, um, what’s been your favorite est thing you’ve eaten at lunch?

Dottie: Doritos.

Wendy: Doritos! That sounds not nutritious. But it’s still really good. Anything else that’s been really great so far?

Emily: We made like chocolate cake and stuff at home to bring to school.

Wendy: That’s pretty great. Anything that involves cake is pretty incredible. So, so you’re excited for this year though.

Dottie: We made up a new game.

Wendy: You made up a new game and what is it?

Dottie: We call it Volley Squared Volleyball Foursquare.

Wendy: Oh, and are you guys playing that at recess. Yeah. It’s like, yeah, you can only set it or bump it. And if it hits you, square you out. Yeah. And if it hits out, you’re also out.

Wendy: Oh my goodness. I love hearing about that. That’s very creative. So you guys are having a good time at recess too?

Emily and Dottie: Mm-hmm. definitely.

Wendy: So in the classroom, things are awesome. At recess, things are good. I love it.

Dottie: Especially snow.

Wendy: Oh, okay.

Emily: Yeah.

Dottie: You should see it’s in the snow.

Wendy: In the snow. You guys are crazy in the snow.

Dottie: Very crazy. We go down the slide head first.

Wendy: Well, why wouldn’t you

Dottie: fall off the spiderweb? On purpose.

Emily: On purpose, but not very high.

Wendy: Okay.

Dottie: But still kind of like,

Wendy: Because the, because the snow like cushions you. Right.

Emily: Fall the right way.

Wendy: Alright.

Emily: I don’t like head first.

Wendy: Oh, that’s good. That’s good. So you, you have targeted falls. Yeah.

Dottie: Last year we put our faces in the snow and we like, we’re like, that looks like an old lady.

Wendy: It probably did.

Dottie: Yeah.

Wendy: It probably did. So, well thank you so much for talking to me this afternoon about your experiences coming back to school. It’s been really fun and I look forward to seeing you guys throughout the school year. Okay,we’re going to say goodbye now to Dottie and Emily from Provost Elementary. Thanks you guys.

Emily and Dottie: Bye.

Wendy: Thank you everyone for joining me for this episode of What’s Up with the Sup’. As always, all episodes will be posted on Spotify, YouTube, and the district website. Again, if you have any topics or questions you would like us to discuss, please email us at podcast@ Next week will be our first podcast in September.

And throughout the month of September, we are going to be student focused and highlight. them as they do amazing things in our schools and community. Please don’t forget to join us for our episode next Friday, September 1st, where I will talk to a sixth grade student at Westridge Elementary, Emi Kim, who has spent the past two summers raising money to provide diverse books to libraries across our district and others throughout the state.

Until next time, have a great weekend, everyone.

Shauna Sprunger
  • Coordinator of Communications
  • Shauna Sprunger