Random 9th Grade Features

Kiana Childs

Hiking Into Highschool

by Bridget Burr

Kiana Childs is an adventurous 9th grader who loves to spend time outdoors. Childs went to middle school at John Muir, a small school of fewer than 200 kids with a close community where it was easy for her to create more intimate relationships with her classmates. Childs says that since coming to AHS, she has missed her John Muir teacher, Marcia Ososke, whom she describes as incredibly kind and caring for her students as individuals. With the larger school community at AHS, Childs has made many new friends, and although her friend group has expanded, she says that she’s still close with her classmates from John Muir. 

John Muir School prides itself in its curriculum, which integrates outdoor learning and wilderness skills, allowing kids to learn outside the classroom. Childs says that her class often went on educational outdoor trips, such as memorable excursions to the Oregon coast. Although she loved those trips, her favorite John Muir adventure was the “8th Grade Backpacking Trip:” a 5-day trek along the Rogue River trail. The 40-mile adventure wasa steep and narrow expedition along the Rogue River. The students practiced wilderness survival skills, learned how to ensure water was clean and drinkable, and prepared their own food. While describing the trip, Childs grinned and admitted that she was dehydrated and tired… but happy after the experience. 

Along with outdoor adventuring, Childs also participates in Cirque. She explains that Cirque is a combination of tricks, poses, and drops that you do on hanging silk fabrics, trapezes, and hoops. For Childs, there is a certain fear of falling: either by wrong positioning, incorrect wrapping, or a wrong grip on a trapeze or hoop. But there is also a thrill and confidence in knowing she’s capable of doing it: “you always get in the mindset where you’re really scared. What if I fall out of this drop? What if I break my neck or something? Then the moment you do it, you feel free.” 


Nathan James Taylor

Cody’s Companion

By Sequoia Snogren-McGinnis

Excited to get out of Algebra class, AHS 9th grader Nathan James Taylor agreed to settle on the concrete in front of Mr. Wileman’s classroom on the third floor of the Humanities building to talk to The Rogue News. He was decked out in classic high school attire: tennis shoes, athletic shorts and a simple tee shirt. 

Taylor began grade school in Grants Pass but moved to the Ashland School District without objection for the beginning of middle school. Taylor tells a story about a friend at a middle school in Grants Pass, explaining why he was glad to be at AMS: after punching another student, his friend got suspended for the remainder of the day. Taylor’s concern is that “it’s a win for the kids,” meaning that they might gain more than they lose by being allowed to leave school. He and his family have decided that he should continue his education at Ashland High School instead of in Grants Pass, and so far, Taylor is enjoying AHS. 

Taylor is fully responsible for his dog Cody, who is a Labrador mix. Cody was originally named Coda but was renamed due to the simplicity and ease associated with his new name. As a 7th grader, Taylor got to pick the dog out from a shelter himself and says that he likes having this companion. Even with the large job of taking care of Cody, Taylor reported that he had little trouble balancing the responsibility of school, football and leading a social life, even though “football doesn’t really help with having time to yourself.” 

Taylor’s free time is spent mostly with his friends or listening to classic 70s and 80s music. Some of his favorite bands are Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Rolling Stones. “I got some of my friends into [these bands],” Taylor divulged, “because they were listening to dubstep.” His friends mostly consist of those he met at AMS, but he also spends time with friends from football and from his other classes.


Jaden Margulis

Racing into the School Year

By Alex Brehmer

Jaden Margulies, a quiet 9th grader, spoke just outside her algebra classroom. When asked if she liked math, she shrugged. “It’s fine… I mean, it’s good for a class.” Under further interrogation, she admitted that she doesn’t really like school. Suddenly, her face lit up. “I love to ride horses!,” Margulies exclaimed. 

Margulies has been riding horses for ten years and grew up surrounded by them. She houses 11 horses at her home and rides at Rising Hope Stables here in Ashland. Two of her horses are former liberty horses from the world famous Cavalia circus. Given that they’re performance horses, they know a lot of tricks. Margulies didn’t get a list of their commands with the horses, though, so she has a lot of fun guessing their cues. 

Margulies plans on joining the equestrian team this year. Ashland High School’s equestrian team went to state last year for drill – an intricate and elaborate horse dance. Margulies enjoys riding both English and Western with her horse, but she hasn’t quite mastered the jumps. “There are all different kinds of horses. Some horses are much more difficult because they buck and rear and bolt. Others are ‘push button,’ where you ask them to go and they start to walk and do whatever you want them to.” 

Margulies’ favorite thing about riding horses is the opportunity to be around animals. In addition to the horses, she also houses 30 other animals. She lives on a “private petting zoo,” a home packed with 6 dogs, 9 cats, and 15 other miscellaneous pets roaming her yard. She hopes that in the future, she’ll be able to continue to work with animals as a trainer. School might not be her favorite thing, but that’s only because Margulies has dreams of things much bigger. It’s only a matter of time before she’s headlining Forbes’ “30 under 30” as a world renowned rider, trainer, and go-getter.