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Campus teacher Hallie Rojeski celebrates 30th year of service

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Hallie Rojeski has given the eighth grade students the Constitution test since 1989. She is celebrating 30 years at Fresno Christian.

Each fall, the eighth grade class sits down to take the menacing 200-point Constitution. After students face the exam, they celebrate with an annual luncheon following the test.

The first Fresno Christian Constitution test was given 30 years ago in 1989, when Hallie Rojeski started teaching junior high world and American history. But originally the test was only 100 points; however that changed to 200 in ‘97. The test covers details about the three different branches of government all the way to the 27 amendments.

Rojeski believes the test is important so that the students become educated about the U.S. government. She wants her students to understand the government in which they live in and be able to formulate their own thoughts and opinions and not just listen to what others say.

“I think it is important for them to know the truth about their government, the background of it and the Biblical principles that actually are in the Constitution,” Rojeski said. “In spite of what somebody might say, to really have read it, most of it themselves, is so important. I want them to know what’s there rather than what somebody else says it is saying. They also need to have an understanding of how the government is supposed to work.”

Rojeski also holds high expectations. She sees potential for a 100 percent score to occur, which has not happened since ‘96.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

After all the eighth grade students take the Constitution test, they are treated to a luncheon by parents.

“I expect everyone to pass and expect everyone to have put in the effort,” Rojeski said. “I would love to see somebody to get a perfect score. It has been a long time and I have people who are capable of that. But my expectation is that they come out of it feeling that they have accomplished something, that they have worked hard, and that’s been rewarded by how well they did on the test.”

Rojeski continues on to share about the luncheon and how it came into existence after a few years of a much less extravagant celebration. She sees the luncheon as a celebration for the student’s hard work

“The luncheon began as a gathering in the two classrooms here, in rooms 626 and 628, and a few parents putting together a taco bar or something like that,” Rojeski said. “After about four or five years, we actually started doing a real luncheon, and that has been going on now for 20 years at least. It is done to be a reward for their hard work. They don’t know the score on their test, because they’ve all taken it but they have no idea, and I’d rather it be that way so that they’re all excited.”

Junior Toryn Triplitt interviews Hallie Rojeski about the annual Constitution test in the following podcast.

Eighth grade students feel a mixture of emotions entering the test. Ava Castiglione, ‘23, is both excited and nervous and has pinpointed what exactly she needs to focus her studying on.

“I would say that I am excited and nervous at the same time,” Castiglione said. “Excited because we get to have amazing food and we get to dress up, but nervous because it is a big test and a big part of our grade. I feel prepared, I guess. I have been studying every night just to make sure i get everything down. I definitely need to study the amendments because that is a major part and if I miss that my whole grade will go downhill.”

Micah Friesen, ‘23, is nervous because of the size of the test, but feels prepared.

“I am very nervous because of all the questions,” Friesen said. “I feel prepared because I study with friends, and just study when I can. I am looking forward to finishing the Constitution.”

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The luncheon celebrates and honors the 2018 eighth grade students after months of studying after they have completed the test, Nov. 30.

High school students who attended FC in eighth grade, also took the infamous test. Many went through the same emotions the current junior high students feel. Austin Duffy, ‘19, did not enjoy the test at the time, but looking back realizes how beneficial the test was.

“In eighth grade, I viewed it as a chore, but looking back, it was an important test for all American students to take,” Duffy said. “It is important to know the history and ideals of your nation. I really enjoyed the tri-tip served during the Constitution luncheon. It was very tender and juicy. Also I enjoyed the rice pilaf and the madeleines were simply divine.”

Adalyn Richardson, ‘21, remembers being nervous for her test, but now realizes the preparation for a test of that size taught her many study tactics and about the government.

“I remember being really nervous before taking the constitution test,” Richardson said. “Learning and prepping for a test that important and large, ended up becoming beneficial later. Like studying for finals. Also, studying this topic made me more aware and educated about our government. Completing the test was the highlight of the day. Feeling relieved and accomplished after taking the test was the best part.”

While the test may seem intimidating to prepare for and take, it often leaves students with a sense of accomplishment and educated about the U.S. government. Those who have taken the test are encouraged to comment below about their experience and/or their thoughts on Rojeski’s class.

For more articles, read last year’s article: Eighth grade prepares for annual U.S. Constitution test. Read The Feather’s last articles: Campus groups perform in ‘Lessons and Carols’ Christmas concert and Journalist explores the concept of community.

This author can be reached via twitter @toryntriplitt and via email: Toryn Triplitt.

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