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PCHS approves clubs, new and old

The list of clubs approved at Park City High School (PCHS) this year is a testament to student creativity. On the list are some old, stand-by clubs that have been active at PCHS for years. Also included on the list are a few clubs that haven’t previously existed at the high school. The list of more than 14 clubs includes some unique, diverse, and unexpected groups.

Some of the popular offerings are chess club, art club, Help for Honduras, Key Club which is a volunteer club, environmental club, music clubs, and others.

The club application deadline was last week. John Eccles, founder of the Portuguese club, explained that students had to fill out a form that outlined the club’s goals. They also had to find a teacher willing to serve as club advisor, and provide a list of club members so school administrators understand that the club will be viable.

Eccles explained that two types of clubs exist at the high school, curriculum-based, and non-curriculum-based. Curriculum-based clubs expand on a topic taught in a class or series of classes at the high school. Students interested in putting together a club unrelated to an established class can form a non-curriculum-based club. Eccles said that he thinks the school would approve almost any club, as long as it isn’t completely controversial or irrelevant. PCHS clubs don’t receive any money from the school, explained Hunter Bibb, volleyball club founder.

Doug Payne, PCHS activities director said that the school approved three new language clubs this year, including an American Sign Language club, Italian club, and Portuguese Club. Also new this year, according to Bibb, is the first segregated club, a boys-only volleyball club.

Volleyball Club

The volleyball club began as an informal group of friends getting together after school to play, Bibb explained. They began playing last spring, and each week, more students showed up to play. The club now has over 30 members and they have about an equal number of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Bibb said that they decided to apply for recognition as a school club because it makes them more legitimate and, ultimately, they’d like to organize games against similar clubs at rival schools, and they need to be recognized by the school to do so.

The boys hone their skills by scrimmaging against each other. The team is trying to organize a game against the PCHS girl’s volleyball team, explained Tommy Martin. The volleyball club practices at City Park on the sand courts, but the girl’s volleyball team plays on hardwood floors in the gym, and the two teams haven’t been able to agree on a fair venue to hold the game.

Club member Steven Roth said that interest in the team rose dramatically during the Olympics, and he thinks the success of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh may have caught the interest of some of the students. Gage Rogers said that volleyball is a sport that you can progress in relatively quickly. He thinks that, since participants see improvement almost every day they play when they’re first learning, it’s easy for kids to get hooked on the sport.

Portuguese Club

Another unique, new club at PCHS this year is a Portuguese Club. Eccles explained that there’s a healthy interest in Brazilian culture at the high school. He thinks that a lot of this interest stems from students who are fans of Brazilian soccer or music. Also, the club has a number of members who have traveled to Brazil or Portugal.

Eccles said that the club will focus on learning about Portuguese-speaking countries and the language by studying elements of culture by watching movies and listening to music.

Eccles said that PCHS has an exchange student from Brazil, Gabrielle Torres, who will be instrumental in helping the club achieve its goal.

Club advisor Matt Nagel speaks Portuguese. Nagel said that it’s really important for students to hear authentic Portuguese spoken if they want to learn any of the language. Eccles said that he and some of the other club members have been studying Spanish, which they hope will serve as a base for learning Portuguese. Eccles explained that the club has members who have traveled to or participated in foreign exchange programs in Brazil. Others became interested in the club because they work with Brazilians at the resorts or in local restaurants, according to Eccles.


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