Singing Out About the New Choir Teacher!

Due to previous instances, McDowell Exchange School has had to hire a new choir teacher this semester, after having a substitute for a few months. Her name is Miss Barbieri (students call her Miss B), and being new to McDowell, we would like to get to know her better. We asked her questions about her job and her students. You can read her answers are down below, if you would like to know her better, too!

First, we asked her opinion on the classes she teaches throughout the day. Her reply was, “I love my classes. They make me so happy, and it’s really exciting to see so much progress already!” Next we wanted to know Miss Barbieri’s plans for her choir students. She said, “Um, I hope to make my students independent musicians when they grow up. I want to make them powered enough and have enough skills to learn music on their own.” After that, being seventh graders in choir, we wondered what Miss Barbieri thought of our seventh grade choir class. She told us, “There are a lot of seventh graders, and are very energetic. They are developing musicians.” After asking this, we thought of what her opinions might be about her eighth graders, too. She said, “I think my eighth graders are amazing singers, and quick to learn. We’re already done with two pieces. They’re just cruising through!” After this, of course, we had to know what she thought about her high schoolers. Naturally, we asked her about them as well. “My high schoolers are funny, awesome, and intelligent. They are very ambitious, and are ready for whatever I throw at them,” was her reply.

At this point in the interview, we decided to have a little fun with jokes. We asked if she had seen the spirit said to haunt the very choir room we were in! “A–are you serious? No, really, are you kidding me?” She said, surprised. We told her that we were kidding, and she laughed.

Next we wanted to focus more on her life. We asked what her hobbies were. She said, “Besides music, I like to spend time outside, like hiking. I do this in my free time, which I don’t have very much of. I also like crafting, knitting, and embroidery.” You may not have know that, at the age of twenty-two, this is Miss Barbieri’s first job at teaching. So, we asked how long she has wanted to be a music teacher. She told us, “I decided on Choral Music Education in my senior year at high school. It’s been five years since I chose that. Music was my favorite subject in school and I want to share it with others!” Knowing that music has been Miss Barbieri’s passion since high school, we wanted to know why she chose this particular job. Her answer was, “Good question! I love this area of Ohio, and I wanted to be a choir teacher. There was an opening here, and I took it. I love this job!” The final question we asked was what drove her to become a choir teacher. “Music was my favorite subject in school. In my junior and senior years, I realized that music was not only my favorite subject, but what I was best at! Music is something that can be spread and make people feel awesome.”

That was Miss Barbieri, the new choir teacher! We definitely got to know Miss Barbieri better. It was also great to learn more about her steps to becoming a teacher and her other interests. Hopefully, as she is new to the district, she will feel more comfortable around us, too!


Featured Staff Member: Mrs.Borland

borland-photo          Hello! It’s Rain and I have a new blog post to share with you. For my post I chose to interview one of the staff members at McDowell middle school. The staff member I chose to interview was Mrs. Borland.  Mrs. Borland is the librarian here at McDowell. In the interview I asked Mrs. Borland these questions:

 1) How long have you been working at McDowell?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: “I have been working at McDowell for twenty years.”

2) What is your favorite book?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: ” Out of all books I have read, I would say the Bible is my favorite.”

3) What is your favorite part of working here at McDowell?

Mrs. Borland’s answer:  ” I really enjoy motivating students to read.”

4) Have you ever worked at a different school; if so for how long?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: “I was a substitute for four years. I have been to Circleville, Zane Trace, Teays Valley, and Westfall.”

5) What is the most challenging part about being a librarian?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: “The most challenging part would be having enough money to buy the books for the library.”

6) What was your dream job when you were a child?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: ” To be a naturalist at a nature park.”

 7) How many children do you have?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: ” I have a son and a daughter. I also have three grandchildren.”

8) Where is your hometown?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: “My hometown is Chillicothe.”

9) Do you have any pets?

Mrs. Borland’s answer: “Sadly, I don’t have any pets. I did have a Cocker Spaniel named Wrinkles.”

                           It was a lot of fun interviewing Mrs. Borland. I really liked talking to her. Thank you  for reading my blog!


Featured Staff Member : Mr. Fyffe

I interviewed Mr. Fife, the McDowell 8th grade pre engineering teacher.

 Here are the questions that I asked him along with his answers.


What is your favorite part of McDowell Middle School?

The environment and the people because they are all very friendly and fun to be around.


What did you do before you became a teacher at McDowell?

He was an environmental engineer in Jackson County at a waste water facility.


What is your favorite part of teaching?

He enjoys the interaction with the students and also being a role model and seeing how he can influence students throughout their lives.


What is your favorite thing to teach in your class?

His favorite thing to teach would have to be robotics.


Why did you become a teacher?

Mr. Fife became a teacher because he wanted a career that impacts lives and has a positive impact on people.


Who is your idol?

His idol would be his father because he was a strong figure and taught him all the great things he knows.


What was your favorite subject as a kid?

His favorite subject was science.


What is your favorite book?

His favorite book is The Lord of the Rings.


What is your favorite Disney movie?

Robin Hood is his favorite Disney movie.


What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

He likes to have cookouts and play corn hole.  He also enjoys playing sports like golf and likes to play video games.


It was very fun to get to know Mr. Fife, especially because he is new to McDowell, and I can’t wait to have him next year.





About Mr. Lytle

20160929-080714.jpgMr. Lytle is the 8th grade social studies teacher here at McDowell. I have  asked him a few questions to get to know him better these are his answers.

Q. What do you think about the app Pokemon Go?

A. “I like it, I like anything that makes people explore their surroundings and Pokemon Go does that”

Q. If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be?

A. “I would go to  Belgium and visit the World War battle fields and cemeteries. I would also want to go and taste Belgium waffles and chocolate.”

Q. What are some other hobbies that you have?

A. “I play the bass guitar, I enjoy watching soccer games, I like learning new things, and playing video games”.

Q. What are some other jobs that you have had?

A. “I was forklift operator, a landscaper, I worked at the Sierra Club (an environmental group), a delivery boy, and a cook”

Q. Do you have any musical talents?

A. “I play the bass guitar in a band.”

Q. Who is your favorite musical artist?

A. “Pink Floyd

Q. What do you like to do on the weekends?

A. “Watch soccer games, watch Buckeye games, and work around the house.”

Q.What is your favorite food?

A.”Well I could go sweet or savory but i’ll have to go with meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and green beans”.

Q. Do you have any pets if so what kind?

A.”I have three cats named Indie, Boo, and Lucky”.

Q.Where in the world have you traveled?

A.” I have been to Alaska, all over the American west, I lived in Oregon, I have lived in Texas, I have been to Mexico, Costa Rico, and to Montreal Canada”.

Those are all of the questions I gave Mr. Lytle, and those are his answers. I loved getting to know about Mr. Lytle and his interests.



Mr. Svetek

I asked Mr. Svetek, our science teacher here at McDowell, nine questions. Here are his answers.

Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?

A: I had a high school geometry teacher that helped me become excited about school. I was never a very good math student, but he helped me get excited about math and showed me if I put my mind to it, I could do anything.

Q: Why did you want to teach science?

A: I wanted to teach science because of my curiosity of the things around me. Science gives us a way to understand why things are the way they are, or why something does what is does. Science helps us explain the unknown.

Q: What is your favorite project to do out of all of them?

A: My favorite project is the marble roller coaster project because of the excitement it brings out of my students.

Q: Why did you want to teach at McDowell?

A: I am a Logan Elm graduate so I have tremendous pride in our schools and in our community. McDowell is a wonderful place to call home.

Q: How long have you been teaching for and what year did you start?

A: I have been teaching for 15 years. I started teaching in the 2000/2001 school year here at McDowell.

Q:  What is your favorite and least favorite thing about this job?

A: My favorite thing about my job is helping students understand and learn something new and grasp a concept that maybe was hard for them before. The least favorite part about my job is seeing students waste their talents. We have many talented students here at McDowell and some of them for whatever reason don’t want to  work hard and use those talents.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: For fun, I enjoy playing basketball, golf, and watching the Ohio State Buckeyes play football.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: I would travel around the United States with my family visiting all of the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives Guy Fieri goes to in his show on Food Network.

Q: What is something you want everyone to know?

A: I want everyone to know I have enjoyed having them in my class this year and I hope they have learned something from my science class.

Now you know a little more about Mr. Svetek, the science teacher at McDowell.


Featured Staff Member: Mrs. Helsel

Mrs. Helsel is the 7th grade art and 8th grade enrichment art teacher here at McDowell.  Today, I will be asking her questions to get to know her better.

Q: When did you decide to become a teacher?

A: In high school.


Q: Do your students ever inspire you?

A: Yes


Q: What is your favorite time of the year?

A: Fall or Spring. Fall because of all the new things that are happening, and Spring because of the weather.


Q: Have you taught any other grades than 7th and 8th?

A: Yes, kindergarten through 6th grade.


Q: What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

A: To see the Northern Lights or to see Michelangelo’s Pieta.

Now you know a little more about Mrs. Helsel.


Mrs.Riddle staff member of the month



Mrs.Riddle is Mcdowell middle school’s  7th Grade math teacher, she also teaches advanced math.  In this article you will get to know her a little bit better.

Q: Why did you become a teacher?

A: “Both of my parents were teachers, so I always grew up in a house where education was valued.  I loved learning and knew I wanted to follow in my parents footsteps.”


Q: Would/Did you want to teach another subject? If so what subject?

A: “I actually taught LA [language Arts] for 6 [six] years. I loved it, but was excited to change to math.  As of now, I’m not looking to move to another subject.”


Q: How many pets do you have? What are they?

A: “I have a labradoodle dog, Zoey.  She is 1 ½ years old and we love her to pieces!”


Q:How can you deal with kids (teenagers) all the time?

A: “… Some days are better than others!  I’d rather deal with teenagers than wipe noses and tie shoes!!  However, now that I have a teenager at home, I have less patience some days at work.”


Q: What is your favorite sport, is there a certain team?

A: “Favorite sport [to watch] is watch is baseball/ softball.  I love to watch my kids play, but the cincinnati Reds is my favorite pro team.”


Q: What was your favorite grade in school?

A: “First grade, I still remember my teacher.”


Q: Where do you wish you could visit?

A: “I love to travel. I would love to head to scotland.
Mrs.Riddle also gave some advice to student coming up  to 7th grade next year.  Get and stay organized!  Fill in your agenda book daily, complete homework and prepare for test and quizzes, [and] some time needs and should be spent on schoolwork at home.   


McDowell’s Super Staff Member – Mrs. Fox-Bowers


For my blog assignment, I decided to interview Mrs. Fox-Bowers.  She helps the students who are struggling catch up and she helps them understand tough lessons.  I think Mrs. Fox-Bowers is one of the most important of the faculty/staff.  Without her, a lot of students would fall behind in classes and grades.  Here are a list of questions that I asked her and her answers.

Q: What is your full job title?

Education Specialist for 7th and 8th grade Science

Q: What do you do as your job?

I go into the classroom and help certain students and I also pull students out and take them to the resource room for extra help.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I have horses and cattle that I take care of on my farm.  I also like to garden and do other outdoor activity’s.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

When my son was 3 I realized how much I like being around kids.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

16 Years.

Q: Do you enjoy teaching?

Very much!

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing the students and watching them grow.

Q: Would you rather have your current job or do another job in the school?

My current job.


Q: What is your least favorite part about this job?

Dealing with students who do not do their homework.  I also hate having to discipline a child.

I hope that you learned something from this interview and if you are struggling with science, go talk to Mrs. Fox-Bowers, i’m sure that she will be happy to help.