Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat varsity tennis captain chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK and DANIELA MORA

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School varsity tennis captain Dorothy Clerk. Clerk shares laughs about her celebrity crush, pet peeves and where she will go after high school. As always, the Clerk answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Berkeley bound Wildcat chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK and DANIELA MORA

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School senior Arnie Corpus. Corpus responds to questions about his future at University of California, Berkley and on the badminton team winning first place in the Citrus Belt League this year. As always, Corpus answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Revealing the story on ‘Huggy Wuggy,’ children’s game character

By KENDRA BURDICK

“Huggy Wuggy” started out as a character for a children’s game rated for ages eight and above, but was recently updated to 12 and older due to concerns about disturbing uses of the character online.

Melonie Aunclair, a sixth grader attending Moore Middle School, says, “It’s hard to not think about your fears when toys around you remind you of them.” (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

It all began with a horror PC game released in 2021 called “Poppy Playtime.” In this game, the player is investigating an old, abandoned toy factory and the objective is to retrieve VHS tapes and survive revengeful children’s toys.

Huggy Wuggy—a large creature with wide lips that showed rows of sharp teeth and bulging black eyes with long limbs— is the most recognized character from the video game. He’s a toy that follows the player around in the dark and getting caught by him means being eaten by his sharp teeth.

When the developers realized the amount of attention the character received from players, they converted the character into a children’s plush toy.

According to the news site “Parents,” the character’s high exposure resulted in “kids [who] were offering to hug classmates and whispering vulgar things in their ears and reenacting the game on the playground.”

Another place kids can get exposed to the character is through YouTube and TikTok. Deal Parochial Primary School fears the videos aren’t getting filtered because “Huggy Wuggy” doesn’t strike them as being a bad thing due to the name.

Some TikTok features make fan art with the game’s theme song, “Free Hugs,” in the background. However, other TikToks display images like Huggy Wuggy and his sharp teeth racing towards the camera.

Common Sense Media says, “While there’s no graphic violence or gore… the horror nature of the game will likely be too scary for younger audiences.”

A recently released statement by the Dorset Police Cyber Protection Officer warns parents that children may be viewing graphic fan-made videos that are popping up on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.

“The manipulation of child-friendly items into threatening characters exploits the sense of security a child would feel around these things,” says Common Sense Media. “They may suddenly be terrified of something that had never been a worry before. Horror games could hamper that growth by creating unnecessary anxiety and stress.”

Children are exposed to the character through YouTube and TikTok, and children that get scared from the game, videos, and toys are prone to have problems, such as anxiety.

What had started as a PC game character turned out to be a character that many children fear.

Citrus Valley’s Lindsey Chau kicks off into a new season of her life

By JASMINE ROSALES

Lindsey Chau, a senior at Citrus Valley High School and girls varsity soccer captain, reflects on her time in high school as she prepares for the University of San Francisco with a Division I soccer scholarship.

 “My biggest accomplishment so far is either getting Offensive MVP for CBL for the second year in a row or getting Athlete of the Meet at CBL track finals,” Chau says. 

Lindsey Chau receives her Most Valued Player Award at the 2021-22 soccer season banquet. (Courtesy of Hung Chau)

With her senior year coming to an end, it is bittersweet.

Chau says, “I’m going to miss my high school soccer team so much. I made some of my best friends and had an amazing time playing soccer. We’ve accomplished so much as a team so I’ll definitely miss that.”

Chau has also had an impact on the people she has crossed paths with.  

Ava Lopez, a sophomore at Citrus Valley says, “Lindsey is all around a great person and player. She genuinely cares about you whether it be on or off the field. She is so humble. She is truly a one of a kind player, teammate, and person.”

Natalie Thoe, a junior from Citrus Valley, shares, ”Lindsey is one of the most hardworking people I know. She is the definition of heart when it comes to anything. I’m so lucky to have had a chance to work with and learn from such a great player and I cannot wait to see what she does next.”

These past four years, including the COVID year, were tough on everyone. Chau admits that these past years have caused her to grow as a person. 

Chau says, “The past four years has allowed me to mature from a teenager into a young woman. I look at things in a more positive light and love to take on challenges.”

“Frankly, COVID took a huge toll on my life mentally and my junior year of high school was very hard,” says Chau. “Although I struggled, I was able to find a new version of myself that’s much stronger, open-minded, and excited to take on the world.”

Looking on the bright side in every situation, Chau pushed forward. 

Currently, her favorite hobbies include spending time with her boyfriend, hanging out with her friends, playing soccer and running track.

Chau’s overall goal in life is to run her own business, or become a professional soccer player for the National Women’s Soccer League. 

Taking possession of the ball, #10 Lindsey Chau drives the ball up the field. (Courtesy of Hung Chau)

“My biggest role model is Pelé because he was a young teen from Brazil who didn’t come from much but was able to make it out and become one of the greatest soccer players of all time,” said Chau. He has such finesse and fire to him which makes him so admirable.”

Chau earned a Division I scholarship to the University of San Francisco. Before making a decision, Chau did her research on all her offers and USF had exactly what she wanted. The last step was to visit the campus and it sold her. 

Chau will be majoring in business analytics at USF and says she can’t wait for what the future holds.

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Citrus Valley: Students express appreciation for their moms on campus

By ETHIC NEWS STAFF

In honor of Mother’s Day on May 8, Citrus Valley High School students give appreciation to their mothers that work on campus. The following students responded to what they cherished about their mothers, what it is like to share a campus with their mother and if they had a message to say to their mothers.

Michelle Stover, chemistry teacher:

“I cherish her enthusiasm and care for her students.”

“It’s nice because I get snacks.”

“I love you mom.”

Michelle Stover is Citrus Valley’s General and Advanced Placement Chemistry teacher and her daughter Julianna is a sophomore at Citrus Valley. (Photo courtesy by Julianna Stover)

Kari Hill, Career Center Coordinator:

“I cherish how loving and helping she always is to me.”

“Having my mom on campus is the best because she can always give me advice where to go or what to do and help me with colleges.”

“A message I would like to give my mom would be thank you for everything you’ve done for me in the past 18 years. Now, I’m structuring a great future because of everything you’ve helped me understand and learn.”

– Ryan Hill, senior

Kari Hill is Citrus Valley’s Career Center Teacher/College-Career Counselor and her son is senior Ryan Hill. (Photo courtesy by Ryan Hill)

Kelly Teeter, counseling clerk:

“She’s really lovely, she takes care of me, she puts food on my plate, provides me with everything I need and she takes really good care of me.”

“For me, it’s nice because I’m diabetic so if something happens to me she’s there for me. She doesn’t have to worry so it’s nice for her too, and it’s just nice having her here.”

“Thank you, thank you for doing everything you do and thank you for being here.”

– Lucas Teeter, freshman

Kelly Teeter is a counseling clerk at Citrus Valley and her son is Citrus Valley freshman Lucas Teeter. (Photo courtesy by Lucas Teeter)

Maisie McCue, principal:

“I think that she is very empathetic and compassionate so she can help you through lots of stuff just because she’s able to relate.”

“It’s interesting but I’ve already had her on my campus for three years because she was my middle school principal also. But like, middle school was a little better than high school though. It’s still nice though, being able to see her every day at school.”

“Just that I love and appreciate you.”

– Kylie McCue, sophomore

Masie McCue is the principle of Citrus Valley, and her daughter is Citrus Valley sophomore Kylie McCue. (Photo courtesy by Kylie McCue)

Joan Snavely, telepresence paraprofessional aide:

“I cherish the fact that my mom is someone I can count on to be there for me.”

“Some people think having your mom on campus could be tiring, but its definitely made my high school experience easier. Whether it’s using her microwave for lunch or always having a classroom that I can feel safe in, she’s always been there for me.”

“Thanks for all the snacks during passing period, and bringing me a little bit of home while I’m in school.”

– Maggie Snavely, senior

Joan Snavely is the telepresence aide for Citrus Valley, and her daughter is Citrus Valley senior Maggie Snavely. (Photo courtesy by Maggie Snavely)

At Citrus Valley, these individuals take on the dual role of mother and staff member and this Mother’s Day their children’s appreciation for them does not go unnoticed.

Featured Photo: Ethic News thanks mothers everywhere. (Emily Walos/Ethic news image)

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Guadalajara native Dona Ayala chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK and DANIELA MORA

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Translated by DANIELA MORA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School Guadalajara native Dona Ayala. Ayala responds to questions in Spanish about her life inside and outside of school as well as maintaining her culture in America.  As always, Ayala answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

College Overview: Berkeley is divided to accommodate different majors of science

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

Basic:

The University of California, Berkeley, or UC Berkeley, is located in the Bay Area near San Francisco and it was founded on March 23, 1868. It is the state’s first land-grant university and the first campus of the University of California system.

According to its website, the University was “born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations.”

An image of the golden bear mascot of the University of California, Berkeley and its famous pose. (MAURICIO PLIEGO/ Ethic News)

Safety:

Compared to the average college campus across the country, Berkeley received a D+ based on on-campus, city, and regional crime rates according to the College Factual website. By calling 911, the UC Police Department responds to emergencies and provides programs such as the Community Service Officer program.

Tuition/budget:

According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the tuition cost for California residents is a total of $39,550 which includes the tuition, student health insurance plan, room and board, food, and books and supplies. Nonresidents must pay for everything listed prior, plus a $29,754 nonresident supplemental tuition, which is a total of $44,008.

Graduation and Acceptance Rates:

UC Berkeley is one of the most selective colleges in the country as it has a 17% acceptance rate. It has become more competitive each year and as of 2022, Berkeley may be forced to cut 3000 freshman seats according to the Los Angeles Times. College Simply reports that UC Berkeley has a 91.2% Graduation rate which puts it in the top five graduation rates in California, with the California Institute of Technology, Pomona College, and Stanford University ahead of it. 

Majors:

Berkeley has more than 130 academic and 80 interdisciplinary research departments separated into five colleges across one school.

  1. The College of Letters and Science is an intellectual adventure with a broad-based liberal arts education.
  1. The College of Chemistry offers courses in all fields of chemistry.
  1. Berkeley Engineering is a department known for its outstanding reputation and tradition of impacting teaching and research.
  1. College of Environmental Design involves programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban studies.
  1. The Haas School of Business offers courses to help understand the modern business world. This is the only college that only allows Junior year transfer students to attend.

Facilities and Amenities:

The campus itself has plenty to offer as it features three fitness and wellness centers, four swimming pools, five tennis courts, seven basketball courts, and an outdoor track and field. There are also two natural facilities such as the rope course within the redwood trees and the open waters of the Berkeley Marina.

Career Development and Services:

The UC Berkeley Career Center has plenty to offer as an organized website helps students by class, or population, and can help through jobs/internships, career planning, and getting involved in workshops and events.

Notable Alumni: 

Aaron Rodgers is the current Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers but he is also an alumni of UC Berkeley. He first attended Butte community college for about a year before transferring to Berkeley and becoming the starting quarterback and guiding the team through a 10-2 record.

Lights, camera, action: what Wildcat & eAcademy performers have to say about Spring Showcase

By ISAAC MEJIA

The Redlands East Valley High School theater department presented its Spring Showcase on Friday, March 11. While the department traditionally performs a musical in the spring, this year they decided on a showcase in which students were allowed to perform and collaborate on acts of their choosing. 

The show consisted of many scenes from popular movies and tv shows including “Mean Girls” and “Victorious” as well as acts from acclaimed musicals such as “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” 

“My favorite part has been working with my friends, and seeing how talented everyone is. Getting to act is amazing, but my favorite part [is] having fun with other actors,” said Connor Bromberger, a senior at REV. 

REV senior ​​Leilani Baldwin said, “The people are so supportive and loving. Needless to say, they are some of the most fun people I know.”

Many of these acts required students to work together creatively for weeks. 

Grace Castell, a senior at REV, said her favorite part about the showcase “has to be working with my friends. There’s never a dull moment with them.”

Bella Mia Fraley, a freshman at Redlands E-Academy said, “Being on stage, the lights, the sounds, it’s all so fun, and I hope I can do more productions with this school in the future.”

While preparing for the showcase was full of excitement, performers admit that the process was stressful at times. 

Nina Brown, a freshman at E-academy said, “The preparation process has been really stressful, but also really fun. It’s always fun to go to rehearsal and practice.”

Ella Fletcher, a senior at REV, said the showcase was “definitely a little stressful, but that is always a part of performing onstage because performers care so much that what you see onstage is as perfect as possible.”

(From left down to right down) Evie O’Brien, Lizeth Lopez, Rose Blatchley, Ella Fletcher, Dana Hatar and Megan Rimmer starred in Ex Wives from “Six” the musical. Their performance was the closing act of the night. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Junior Evie O’Brien (left) and senior Connor Bromberger (right) stand next to each other with weaponry during their portrayal of Henry vs his Demons. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News photo)

The actors and actresses of the showcase had their own unique individual experiences. Behind the scenes, the tech and stage crew had their own experiences as well.

eAcademy freshman Dakarai Marshall said “I have learned a lot more than I expected, such as using power tools. I have had fun learning these life lessons and skill sets that I will benefit from forever.”

Moments before the show, the cast sits around the set patiently waiting to be called by the tech crew for their last mic check. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Liliana Arroyo (left) and Lelanie Baldwin (right), two of the soloists of the night, pose for a picture outside of the theater room.  Arroyo performed “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from Grease while Baldwin performed “Breathe” from In the Heights. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

(ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News video)

For some students, the Spring Showcase marked the beginning of their theatrical career at REV. However, for seniors, the showcase was the last time that they would set foot on the Blackstone Theater Stage and perform in front of a live audience.

Fletcher said, “I am happy to be a part of this production, but it is a little bittersweet. I do wish it was a full show though, but I’m happy to be involved!”

“It’s a surreal feeling to know this is the last time I will walk on and off of the Blackstone Theater stage as an attending REV student, ” said Baldwin. “I had grown so much in my craft in this very building.”

 “I do wish we could have done an actual play, but having the freedom to create a scene on our own is still just as great,” Catell said. “As long as I have fun and get to be with my friends, then I don’t mind! I will miss all the people I got to work with once I graduate though.”

Teacher Feature Q&A: 18 Questions with Citrus Valley’s Katie Mackenzie

By DESTINY RAMOS

Katie Mackenzie, a tenth grade honors English teacher at Citrus Valley High School, who is in her 18th year of teaching, answers 18 questions about herself.

Mrs. Mackenzie has been teaching for 18 years. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic News photo)

Teaching Reflections

Q: How long have you been teaching?

Mackenzie: I think this is my 18 year of teaching.

Q: What is the nicest thing a student has done for you?

Mackenzie: Students are just very lovely. They write nice letters and say hello. Recently, my daughter’s student teacher was a former student and that was really fun to reconnect with him and he wrote me this really lovely letter where, in the end, he was complimenting my daughter but also complimenting me and saying that I inspired him to teach and that was really special. Especially since it’s so many years later. 

Q: What’s the most frustrating thing about teaching?

Mackenzie: I think it’s just things that are out of my control. Like the pandemic, it was really hard.

Q: Which of your lessons is your favorite to teach?

Mackenzie: I like teaching writing. I like after you guys have finished an essay, even though it’s kind of boring. I like going over it because I think it’s helpful. I like when it feels useful, like ‘okay we’re going to get better at this’ so I do actually like going over writing.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your students?

Mackenzie: I like the energy and I feel like sophomores, in particular, get happier as the year goes on. I like sophomores because they are funny and play a little bit and they aren’t too bogged down by stress quite yet, so I love that about them. I also like that they are open to sharing their ideas and they always have good insights that I don’t always think of and I really like learning from them.

Q: What is your favorite story you tell your students?

Mackenzie: I don’t like to talk about my life very much to my students. Like little things, but they’re often interested in how I met my husband and how I studies abroad and I do like to talk about how I studied abroad because it’s fun and it can inspire other kids to do that and I think that it was a really awesome experience but I tend to not talk about my personal life very much. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching?

Mackenzie: I think it really is the connection with kids and getting to meet new people every year. It is interesting how we meet now but then sometimes I meet up with them much later and I do think that sometimes people come into your life when they’re supposed to and I feel lucky to get to meet all these different people and learn from them every year.

Other Favorites and One Pet Peeve

Q: When you aren’t teaching, what is your favorite thing to do?

Mackenzie: I like to hang out with my friends, I like to travel a lot. That’s probably my favorite thing to do actually. I love to travel.

Q: What’s your favorite place that you have been?

Mackenzie: So I studied abroad in Oxford, that’s where I met my husband, and while I was there I got to travel a bunch, and so we went to Prague and Scotland and France and all those places because it’s easy. And my husband’s from South Africa so I’ve been there and I really like South Africa and New Zealand, we’d go because it’s where his brothers live so I don’t know. I feel like I could live in New Zealand but I really liked Prague as a city.

Q: Who is your favorite author?

Mackenzie: Honestly Shakespeare. I know it’s lame but he is my favorite author.

Q: What is your favorite holiday?

Mackenzie: Christmas 

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Mackenzie: I don’t like bad attitudes, like when people are grumpy all the time.

Fun Facts

Q:  If you never became a teacher what do you think you would have become?

Mackenzie: : I used to think it would have been fun to be a lawyer because I like to argue and because I like to think about stuff like that and I like to debate and I love lawyer shows but I don’t think I would have liked the lifestyle. But, I think I would have liked to be a lawyer.

Q: Are you a tea or coffee person?

Mackenzie: Tea

Q: What movie can you constantly watch and never get sick of?

Mackenzie: I really like the A&E miniseries Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcey.

Q: What brightens your mood when you are having a bad day?

Mackenzie: My family, being with my daughter and husband makes me really happy.

Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Mackenzie: I think I would move to New Zealand. Of all the places I’ve visited, I think it’s the place where I would be the most happy living. It’s a little bit like Southern California because it’s coastal and it’s kind of metropolitan but there is a lot more open space and it’s very beautiful. 

Q: What was the last book you read?

Mackenzie: It’s from my book club. It’s kind of dark but it’s called ‘Deep Water.’

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2022/05/21/preguntas-y-respuestas-sobre-la-caracteristica-del-maestro-18-preguntas-con-katie-mackenzie-de-citrus-valley/

Seneca Village: Integration in the 1800’s

By ELIZABETH MOLLOY

Central Park is an American icon however the history of the park is not widely known. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News Photo)

When thinking about Central Park, one of the last things that come to mind is what was there before the park. The area where Central park is located was very rural considering most people lived in what is now lower Manhattan. 

With slavery ending in New York and European immigrants flocking to the city, there was a feud between free African-Americans and immigrants concerning jobs and housing. With a need for jobs for free people and a need for immigrants to get jobs, Lower Manhattan became violent. There were fights over jobs and homes so people decided to move upwards to start fresh. In the 1820s land started going up for sale in what was Seneca village. Andrew Williams, a shoe shiner,  bought three lots of land. After Williams bought the lots, other free people began to buy land and a community developed. According to www.centralparknyc.org  the land was being sold by John and Elizabeth Whitehead who owned all 200 lots of Seneca Village.  Moving out of lower Manhattan into the Village provided black families an affordable safe place. This was also the beginning of equal rights between people. In New York in the 1800s African-Americans could only vote if they owned land and by buying the affordable land in Seneca Village, they could vote. According to www.ny1.com, when Irish and German immigrants started to move uptown as well, they moved into the village. Seneca village was one of the first integrated communities with African-Americans and White people living together. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion church then bought several more lots and the church was founded then in 1821.

Over 30 years, the population in NYC quadrupled and the white “elite” believed that the island would be swallowed by development. In 1853 they called for a city park to be lungs for the booming city. Since most of the so-called elite were from Europe seeing the Champs Elysees, Kensington Park, and other such parks, they believed NYC should have the same.  750 acres were set aside to build this park and unfortunately, that included the community of Seneca Village. About 1,600 lost their homes since they lived among those 750 acres of land. The people who proposed the idea of a central park sugarcoated how people in Seneca village really lived, and not in a good way. They described the residents of Seneca village as living in “shanties & shacks”. They were calling it no man’s land, squatters village, and used other very derogatory terms. Although integration was starting, racism was still very much an issue. Seneca Village residents did what they could to salvage their land but nothing helped. 

The idea Seneca Village was a poor ‘shack’ village was just not true. In 2011, a team of archaeologists excavated the area where the village was located between 82nd-89th street. They had 250 bags of objects to analyze, the bags are now located in NYC’s Archaeological Repository.  By analyzing the objects, it was found that Seneca Village was more wealthy than it was assumed to be. Comparing artifacts from Seneca Village and Greenwich Village, which was an upper-middle-class neighborhood, it was found they had many similarities. Ironstone plates, porcelain, a comb, a smoking pipe, a roasting pan, and part of what used to be a toothbrush were found. The toothbrush was not common among the middle class until the 1920s. From records, it was found there was a high level of education in the village.

Seneca Village was not filled with poor people living in shacks, it was an upper-middle-class neighborhood and an educated integrated community. But to the elite, it was nothing to save. Residents filed objections against the forced removal but that didn’t help. Seneca Village residents as well as the other 1,344 people that lived on that land, had their homes seized. The neighborhoods were destroyed and pathways, bridges, arches, and thousands of trees replaced them. Central Park was finally done and Seneca village was no longer.

New York is finally acknowledging this history. A temporary exhibition with plaques of information was set up in the park. “Land, property ownership…that’s how you get wealth and you pass wealth on from generation to generation…but when a new highway needs to be built the bulldozer comes in, Seneca Village was no different,” says Cynthia Copeland, a public historian. 

The key takeaway is although Central Park is an American icon and NYC wouldn’t be the same without it, we still need to recognize the history and what was there before the park. Although the park is a beautiful piece of nature tucked away in one of the largest cities in the world, the way it was created was not. People lost homes, jobs, and their safe places to create this park. This history needs to be recognized, or else history repeats itself. Because it’s not African-American history or integration history, it’s American history.

In the heart of Redlands: The Kimberly Crest House

By ELIZABETH MOLLOY

A drawing of the historical Kimberly Crest House located in Redlands. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News)

In search of places with deep history, local places don’t usually come to mind. Downtown Redlands or the Smiley Library might stand out, however, there are plenty of hidden tokens of history around Redlands. 

The Kimberly Crest House is one of many. The Kimberly Crest House and Gardens were built in 1897 by Cornelia Hill. The house is built on six acres of property and was originally built without the Gardens. The Gardens were added by the second owners, John Alfred & Helen Cheney Kimberly, in 1909. After the death of Kimberly, Mary Kimberly Shirk inherited the house. 

Shirk was an advocate for women’s education and her mother was an avid supporter of The Women’s Club Movement. Shirk’s father was a founder of the Kimberly-Clark Paper Company. Today, the company manufactures paper products as well as medical instruments. 

The inspiration for the house was a French castle that Hill had visited. The specific architecture the house is based on is French Chateau architecture. French Chateau architecture showcases a type of home inspired by French country homes, specifically built in the Loire Valley. These houses have asymmetrical plans with ornate and complicated roofs and facades. 

According to the CityOfRedlands.org, most of the inspiration for the home is French, the Gardens were added in 1909 with the Italian Renaissance architecture in mind. The Gardens include ponds, fountains, rose gardens, plenty of trees, and more. 

 According to KimberlyCrest.org, the house is a Petite Chateau with 22 rooms and 7,000 square feet. The house consists of three stories: the first floor was used for greeting and entertaining guests, the second floor was a personal floor used strictly for the family, and the third floor has another bedroom and a screened porch. The porch was used most likely during the summertime. Part of the third floor was sectioned off as the servants’ quarters that also included a separate bathroom. 

The house has an attic and basement but these cannot be accessed on a public tour. A separate carriage house was built for the horses and carriages that the Kimberly family-owned with an extra bedroom inside for the horse caretaker. 

Today, the house is open to private and public tours. Weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, memorial services and luncheons are also held at the house.

East Valley’s new Maker Lab encourages creative skills

By CYRUS ENGELSMAN

Sophomore Deacon Carreon stares at a sign made by the librarians that says, “THE LAB”.  Each letter of the sign is meant to represent a different piece of technology available for students to use in the Maker Lab at Redlands East Valley High School. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)  

The Redlands East Valley High School has had a few recent additions on campus, renovating and updating the library, including a new Maker Lab.  

The Maker Lab is a new area filled with technology to help benefit and to inspire creative passion for students.  The Lab is managed by head librarian Korrie Krohne, who was excited to finally be able to show off the Maker Lab.

The Lab is equipped with sewing machines, cricket machines, arts and crafts supplies, fifteen cameras, and 3D printers and scanners.  

The new Maker Lab had been in preparation and construction stages since 2019 and had it soft opening in the Fall of 2021 with a few events.

Krohne said, “I am so thrilled to have the space available to students. When we came back from Winter Break this year, all the scaffolding and other parts of the renovation were out of the way, and we can now use the lab the way it was meant to be used.”

Junior Josh Buridck adds strings to a face mask he recently created in the new Maker Lab at Redlands East Valley High School.  This is one of the final steps of the face mask making process.   (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

To counteract large amounts of students from overcrowding the area, students have to sign up in advance to use the lab.  There are a variety of ways to sign up for the maker lab: the library tab on the schools webpage can bring up a form for personal projects, teachers can sign up the entire class to do a lab, and the librarian-led labs that students can sign up for.  

Librarian-led labs can be a variety of activities. The first of which was face mask making, students from all grades came together to create their own masks to make and keep.  When the second librarian-led lab was announced in December of 2021, students created their own Christmas ornaments.

Senior Amira Carthell sews her face mask together with the help of librarians at Redlands East Valley High School. This is the first step to the face mask making process.   (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Krohne plans to have many more maker lab events in the future.

“I intend to run labs using the different lab equipment both after school and during lunch,” said Krohne. “Additionally, starting in the month of March, I plan on opening the lab one day a week during lunch time to support what people need–if they are working on a project they can come up on that day and use supplies available to them in the lab.”

Korrie Krohne, head librarian at Redlands East Valley High School, demonstrates how to use a sewing machine to the participating students.  The machines were used for students to sew face masks together and take home.  (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Teacher feature Q&A: 15 questions with Citrus Valley’s Shannon Rooney

By NADIA CENICEROS

Shannon Rooney, an advanced placement and honors biology teacher at Citrus Valley High School, in her 28th year of teaching, answers 15 questions about herself.

Mrs.Rooney has been a teacher for 28 years (Jasmine Rosales/Ethic News Photo)

Teaching Reflections

Q: Is there anything that you wish you’d known when you were a first-year teacher?

Rooney: I wish I knew that it was OK to be friendly and chat with students. I was afraid to be a person that first year and I had a lot of classroom discipline problems as a result.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best part of teaching?

Rooney: I love watching my students grow and decide what they want to do when they graduate from high school.

Q: What is the most frustrating thing about teaching?

Rooney: The state is constantly changing the responsibilities placed on schools. It is hard for all of us to keep up; classified, teachers and administrators. That or the lack of cell service in the E building.

Q: If you never became a teacher, what do you think your other job would be?

Rooney: I would probably have been a veterinarian.

Q: Who inspired you most to become a biology teacher?

Rooney: It’s a tie: My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Fields or Mr. Rooney (Shannon Rooney’s husband, Rob Rooney, also teaches AP Physics at Citrus Valley High School).

Q: What is the most difficult topic that you have taught your students?

Rooney: Gene Regulation is very complicated. Students must work hard to understand how most cells contain the same DNA, but cells use that DNA differently.

Favorites and pet peeve

Q: What is your favorite life story you tell your students?

Rooney: I did not intend to be a teacher. After I graduated with my Bio degree, I was a substitute teacher at Colton High School. I was subbing in a biology classroom, and I was having a great time answering genetics questions. Long story short, Colton High offered me a job. 28 years later and here I am, still teaching high school Biology. I love my job. Keep your options open, try different things, you never know where one of those choices will take you.

Question: What is your favorite lesson to teach in biology? (In AP or Honors Biology)

Rooney: The Bacterial Transformation lab in AP Biology. We insert a gene into a bacterium, and it produces a blue pigment.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your students?

Rooney: I just enjoy chatting with my students. Teenagers are full of energy.

Q: When you are not teaching, what are your favorite activities to do?

Rooney: Reading, walking with Ozzy (my dog) and Mr. Rooney or Pilates

Q: What is your favorite thing in your classroom?

Rooney: The University and Navy Pennants that represent each of my family members.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Rooney: I dislike when someone asks a question, and another person makes a comment that makes the other person feel bad for asking.

Fun Facts

Q: Are you more of a coffee person or a tea person?

Rooney: Tea

Q: What is that one movie you can constantly watch and never get bored of?

Rooney: Inception

Q: What brings your mood up when you are down?

Rooney: Chatting with my daughters, talking to my students or playing with Ozzy (my dog).

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat Key Club president chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK and DANIELA MORA

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School Key Club President Audrey Yoh. Yoh responds to questions about how she balances taking all AP classes while also being a varsity athlete and what her future plans are after high school. As always, Yoh answers fast, controverisal “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Orangewood staff share Valentine’s Day memories

By ANGELINE ASATOURIAN

We asked five staff members at Orangewood High School what their most memorable Valentine’s Day has been. 

Karen Wilson is an OHS government teacher and coordinator for the Orientation Assessment Study Skills Insight Success program, better known by OHS students and staff as OASIS. Wilson said, ”My best V-day memory was finding out I was pregnant with my first baby in 2000.”

Bob Blank, OHS English teacher, shared that his first Valentine’s Day being married was the best. Unfortunately, his wife was sick and they did not have a lot of money. So being a newly-wed husband, he went out and bought her a big red teddy bear. She was very surprised and 20 years later, she still has it. 

Hand-drawn and colored Valentine’s cards. (AYEISHA FORDHAM and EMILEE WALTERS COOK/ Ethic News art)

Don’t forget to get Lou Ann Perry a Valentine’s Day card. Perry is the OHS English teacher and coordinator for the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. When she was in the second grade, Perry had filled out all of her Valentine’s cards to pass out to her classmates the night before and went to bed excited for the next day to come. Unfortunately for her, she woke up with the mumps, and could not go to school for a week. Perry never got her Valentine’s cards and candy from second grade. This “Single’s Awareness Day,” as Perry likes to call it, she would like to share the late great cartoonist Charles Shchult’z words, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 

Carli Norris, OHS principal, said that when she was in the third grade, her class had made the little Valentine envelopes and put them on their desks. She remembers taking them home after receiving them from her friends and classmates to open them. The candy that came with them was a plus.

Tito Costakes, OHS independent studies teacher, on the other hand, doesn’t really have any good or bad memories of Valentine’s Day. He just misses the days where he was single, playing golf and not having to spend a lot of money on a fancy dinner and fancy presents. 

Thank you to all the teachers and staff members for sharing their memories and stories.

Meet Redlands East Valley new counselor, Arline Troncoza

By SPENCER MOORE

Arline Troncoza is the newest addition to Redlands East Valley High School counseling staff. Troncoza is just like a regular counselor; however, she specializes in helping freshman students acclimate to the high school experience as they transition from middle school distance learning that occurred over the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years. 

The freshman Counselor Arline Troncoza smiles for a photo. (SPENCER MOORE/ Ethic News photo).

Troncoza says, “Typically, freshmen are mixed into the alpha for all counselors. But, this year because they have a single counselor assigned just to them, they are able to receive more one-on-one support.”

Troncoza says that she wants “to provide as much support as possible to ease the transition.” 

Troncoza would like the students at REV to know that she was the first person in her family to attend college, earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology at California State University, San Bernardino. 

Troncoza further cemented her place in her family legacy by being the first person to also attend and complete a master’s degree, continuing her education at California State University, San Bernardino.

As a student, Troncoza was very introverted and didn’t ask for help because she didn’t feel that there was any for her. 

As the new freshman counselor, she plans to help students who possibly feel the same way as she did to be as successful as possible. She plans to do this by being available for her students’ needs including social, academic or even if they just need someone to talk to. 

“This is my passion, being a counselor is not just a job for me, it’s something that I love to do, and I’m here for the students who need me,’’ Troncoza says.

Troncoza further details efforts that the counseling department has put in place for this new, post-distance learning Class of 2025, saying, “The goal is to be a bit more preventative to prepare them for the next three years, so we are doing whole class presentations and academic interventions for those who are struggling with grades.”

“I try to put myself in their shoes, and try to share similar struggles that I had when I was a student, to let them know that they are not alone, and that it is possible to get past the obstacles that they may be going through,” Troncoza says. 

One piece of advice that Troncoza thinks that every freshman would benefit from hearing and adhering to is “to not be afraid to ask for help.”

Troncoza says, “This is a new phase of your life, and high school is very different from middle school, so if one is struggling, ask us for help, ask us to teach you what we don’t know.”

Arline Troncoza is here for every freshman that may need her, and she wants everyone on campus to know that the counseling department is there for them, no matter what their need may require.

Citrus Valley spirit week leads up to Winter Rally

By NADIA CENICEROS and ELIZABETH MOLLOY 

Citrus Valley High School had a ‘CV Gets Trendy’ Spirit Week leading up to the winter rally. Citrus Valley students were encouraged to participate in this Spirit Week as a way to get excited for the upcoming Winter Rally.

Monday Jan. 24: Material Girl Monday (Dress in your best attire)

Jasmine Gurrola, Amaya Pantaleon, Lailyenna Ngo, Soriah Brunson, Natlie Velasquez, Emma Irene, Annabell Crummey and Nickolas Ramirez showed off their best attire. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Tuesday Jan. 25: I Wanna be a Cowboy Baby

Michael Okere and Amber Sibbett give a thumbs up for Cowboy Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Edith Gomez, Alexa Cano and Brooke Mendez smile for a picture dressed as cowgirls. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Angela Dov and Alexa Gonzales pose as cowgirls. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Wednesday Jan. 26: Anything but a backpack day

Alexa Gonzales poses with her toy shopping cart. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Erik Serenson holds a canvas bag for Anything But A Backpack Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Bailey Sacco decided to utilize a Home Depot bucket while Brooke Mendez used a PlayMate cooler instead of their backpack. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Angel Leon uses a cardboard box for her take on Anything But A Backpack Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Natalia Contreras shows off with a Lightning McQueen buggy on Jan. 26. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Thursday, Jan. 27: The Man, The Myth, The Legend (Dress like Adam Sandlar)

Natalia Contreras and Emma Vara showing off their best ‘Adam Sandler’ attire on Jan. 27. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Arianna Rodriguez poses for Adam Sandler Day on Jan. 27. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

College Overview: New York University equates to Ivy League status

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

NYU mascot Bobcat holding the Statue of Liberty’s torch. (NADIA CENICEROS/Ethic News art)

New York University is a private, non-profit, research four-year university that was chartered in 1831 by the New York Legislature led by Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin. According to the College Gazette, NYU is not categorized as an Ivy League school, however, due to the high prestige within the academic, research and athletic programs it has made it to be widely considered to be equal to any of the six schools within the league. 

Size:

Located in lower Manhattan, the urban campus is near Union Square and Greenwich Village and is one of the three largest landowners in New York City with it being 230 acres, triple the size of Columbia University. It also has a second campus near Brooklyn and has two other campuses around the world in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

Time Square, a famous tourist destination located in the center of New  York City and is known for the New Year’s Celebration and the billboards across multiple buildings within the major commercial intersection. (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Safety:

Crime rates within the area are known to be fairly low. Any crimes committed in the area of Greenwich Village are recorded in a Daily Crime Log located in the NYU Department of Campus Safety.

Tuition:

The tuition as of 2018 has been $77,632, which includes costs for books, on-campus room and board. Through aid given from the institution, state and or the federal government it can decrease to $39,772 and the tuition can decrease even further depending on household income and if New York is the applicant’s resident state. 

Graduation and Acceptance Rates:

According to College Simply, NYU has an acceptance rate of 21% making it one of the most selective schools in the nation as it is very likely that most of those who are accepted have high SAT and ACT scores, however, currently it is a test-optional school. This means that upon applying, it is not necessary to show them your scores. The graduation rate is 83% which is still higher than most, but it is low compared to other Ivy colleges, such as Harvard with a 97.6%

Majors:

The University offers over 143 distinct undergraduate degrees that are concentrated into 94 majors and 25 broad fields of study. Majors such as Visual and Performing Arts, Social Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences are the most popular among students. 

Facilities and Amenities:

The campus itself has plenty to offer as it features various athletic facilities such as an eight-lane swimming pool, weight room, state-of-the-art aerobic fitness room, climbing wall, basketball courts, dance and class space, pro shop and a snack bar. There is the Office of Global Services that handles any immigration matters for students and the NYU Box Office which offers discounted tickets for movies, broadway shows, sporting events and musical concerts. The campus offers areas to make students feel included such as the NYU LGBTQ+ center and the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and programs.

Career Development and Services:

Another facility on the campus is the Wasserman Center for Career Development, which allows students to use a variety of resources and services like a step-by-step process that involves mock interviews, workshops and on-campus recruitment opportunities. 

There is the NYU Handshake website that helps students to find internships and jobs on and off campus which has helped students to receive job offers after graduation. 

Notable Alumni: 

Elizabeth Olsen is a famous actress known for her role within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Scarlet Witch or Wanda Maximoff. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and graduated from NYU in 2007 with a degree in acting.

Q & A: Sheriff Grant inspires Orangewood students, speaks from experience

By DEBBIE DIAZ

Photos by ALEXIS GARCIA

Officer Otis Grant, From the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, came to speak with students from Kimberly Lott’s classroom at Orangewood High School on Oct. 5. 

Officer Otis Grant from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department speaks to the Orangewood High School class of Kimberly Lott, Language Arts teacher, on Oct. 5, 2021. Photo courtesy of Alexis Garcia.

DEBBIE DIAZ: Okay, This is Officer Grant, Sheriff’s Department Riverside, right? Okay, and your first question, can you describe a very distressing situation in which you remained calm and collected?


OFFICER OTIS GRANT:  I’ll probably have to say, sometimes when you come across people with mental conditions, they don’t comprehend exactly what you’re trying to ask of them, so sometimes you have to slow things down and you have to really explain things to them thing to them, like you’re talking to a child. Sometimes you have to raise your voice at them to find a way to communicate with people; different people in different ways. Some people you have to be very calm and talk low too, and some people you gotta get into their head, you gotta find out what they’re thinking, and that’s why you have to just, you know, to get what we call compliance.

Officer Otis Grant from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department is interviewed by Orangewood High School senior and Ethic journalist, Debbie Diaz, on Oct. 5, 2021. Photo courtesy of Alexis Garcia.

DIAZ: Okay, and then you had said previously that you wanted to be a police officer since you were young — six years old. Did anyone influence you?

GRANT: So I grew up in San Bernardino, and I remember one day, my father and I were out in the backyard, and one of my father’s friend with a police officer, he came by the house. We were talking on the roadway and got a hot call and as we were talking, what they call a priority call comes out, and the police officer took off and he was running with his lights and sirens and everything. And at that moment, I remember thinking, “Wow, that’s what I wanna do with my life. I know it.” It just hit me right then and there, I knew what I wanted to do in my life, and that was my defining moment. It was weird because I said I was five, six years old at that time. And fast forward, maybe 20 something years down the road, I went on a ride along with the San Bernardino Police Department, and I come across this guy and he doesn’t recognize… Because I was a lot older then, and I introduced myself to him and he was like, “You’re little Otis.” And I was like, “Yeah.” And I said, “Do you remember that day that you met me and my dad out in the backyard?” 

He was like, “I do remember that day.” He was like, “You were a little guy.” And I said, “Did you know that that encounter was the reason why I’m here today?” And he shook my hand and he hugged me. He was like, “Are you saying I did that for you?” And I was like, “That’s what you did for me,” and I was like, “I can’t thank you enough.” And it was a very proud moment in his career, but I know he never thought that he would have or someone like that, and it was that I got to meet the person who really opened my eyes to law enforcement.

Officer Otis Grant from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department answers student questions after speaking to an English class at Orangewood High School on Oct. 5, 2021. Photo courtesy of Alexis Garcia.

DIAZ: Right. Oh, that’s beautiful. Okay, now we’re gonna switch up to tobacco industry. Okay, how do you think your has affected students today… What’s that? The tobacco industry, how do you think it has affected students today?

GRANT: The tobacco industry has, it’s hurting kids because you have kids using these vape pens, you have kids that are putting chemicals in their bodies that they don’t really… No one really knows exactly what’s in these things, and they’re making kids addicted. The kids are getting addicted to these things it’s messing with their mental health and that’s with them addicted physically.. You’re seeing he is… When I worked in Heritage High School, we were getting kids once or twice a day that we’re passing out or bring found unconscious, I should say, whether it be in classrooms, the bathrooms, the PE area, and we would ask them what was the last thing that you remember doing it was like, Oh, I was going to vape pen, and you’re taking something that was marijuana, and then you’re making into a chemical form… Well, no one knows what chemicals are being used to break down the THC level… The THC levels now, and I don’t really know what they are, but the THC levels now that they’re using in vape pens and marijuana these days are a lot higher than what it was in the 60s, in the 70s, and that’s what’s really affecting people.

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat athlete chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK and DANIELA MORA

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School athlete Laviel Pickett. Pickett responds to questions such as “What his go-to-hype song is before a game,” “If he’s ever slid into someone’s Dm’s,” and more. As always, Pickett answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Involved Wildcat senior chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School senior Sadeen Elfaqir. Elfaqir talks about her life inside of school, what her favorite hobbies are and much more including some fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

(ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News video)

Sophia Partain takes center stage

By ELIZABETH MOLLOY

Many students participate in theater at Citrus Valley High School. However, some students are looking to take their experience a step further than just high school plays. 

Sophia Partain, a senior at Citrus Valley, is a perfect example of a student with that ambition. 

Partain has been a part of the Blackhawk Theater for four years and starred in the fall play Puffs as a lead female role. 

She is involved in choir and serves as the president of Thespians Club. She also participated in the French Club. 

In addition to theater, Partain is taking three Advanced Placement classes this year: AP French, AP Literature and AP Calculus. She is familiar with the academic rigor that AP classes possess, as she has taken them since freshman year. 

Her favorite part of being at Citrus Valley, in particular, is the rivalry between three high schools in the Redlands Unified School District: Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley High School and Citrus Valley. Since Partain attended Moore Middle School, she has many friends attending REV,  making the rivalries more exciting.

Partain says she’ll miss being a part of theater, her teachers and the friends she’s made at Citrus Valley. 

Sophia Partain, a senior at Citrus Valley High School smiles for a photo (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News photo)

In her free time, Partain enjoys reading a lot as well as crafting. Another hobby of hers includes crocheting, an activity she picked up during quarantine. 

Partain says her biggest inspirations are her parents and brother. Partain’s father is a Citrus Valley English 12 teacher and her brother, Jack Partain, is a sophomore at Citrus Valley. 

Partain’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Many of her peers have recognized her talent and success. 

Amber Sibbett, a freshman at Citrus Valley, says, “Sophia is one of my favorite seniors! She works incredibly hard and has beautiful talent. She makes sure everyone feels welcome and you can always count on her to do her part.” 

Emma Ritter, a freshman at Citrus Valley, participated in the play Puff and worked closely with Partain. 

Ritter says, “She is an amazing actress and it’s so much fun watching her. She is also super nice and really fun to talk to.” 

With only seven more months until her high school career is over, Partain plans for her future. She hopes to major in Musical Theater and apply to many colleges, local or across the country. 

Video: Getting know to Citrus Valley’s newest principal Maisie McCue

Created by EMILY WALOS Edited by BELLA ESPINOZA

Maisie McCue, Citrus Valley High School’s newest principal sits down to answer questions based off her past experience as a principal, her goals for Citrus in the upcoming year, and her impact at Citrus Valley both in the present and looking to the future.

Photos: Wildcats show creativity on ‘Anything but a backpack’ spirit day

By MIA ARANDA

Photos by AVA LARSON

Spreading to spirit weeks across the nation, the “Anything but a backpack day” trend has escalated in popularity as students approach unique alternatives to bringing their backpack to school.

Redlands East Valley High School held their “Anything but a backpack” spirit day on Wednesday, Oct. 28 as a part of their Halloween spirit week.

The idea is for students to creatively store their school supplies in a carrier that isn’t their everyday backpack. Although the possibilities were endless on what students brought, among some of these substitutes were ice coolers, strollers, mop buckets, suitcases and trash cans.

Photo 1: Redlands East Valley High School seniors Ebony Staten and Jalyn Gilkey bring a double baby stroller and a rolly chair on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 2: Redlands East Valley High School junior Raquel Van Diest pulls a mini metal shopping cart on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 3: Redlands East Valley High School sophomores Haylee Lyon carries a bindle alongside her friend Ashley Ranabauer on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 4: Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Jesse Mendez holds a Pampers Swaddlers box on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 5: Redlands East Valley High School junior Davinson Porto (left) pushes junior Xaviar Guardado (right) in a wagon on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 6: Redlands East Valley High School senior Kieran Robson carries a piano bench decorated with fake spider webs on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 7: Redlands East Valley High School junior Seth Bruer stands next to his mini fridge on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat executive president chats candidly 

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO

Filmed by ELLA FITZPATRICK

Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School Associated Student Body Executive President Shannon Cockerill. Cockerill answers questions about her life inside and outside of school as well as some fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the video. 

Q&A: Redlands child nutrition staff discuss school lunches 

By KENDRA BURDICK and MIYAH SANBORN

The quality of school lunches has been a subject of debate for districts around the country for many years and students have often expressed their dislike for them. Lunch distribution has posed many questions such as: Are they substantial for students? Are schools providing enough food to get students through the day?

At Redlands East Valley High School, there are baskets of fruits that students can have easy access to after they grab the rest of their meal. These fruits play a vital role in a healthy diet. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

In recent years, there has been a push to have healthier food in schools. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was designed to improve children’s health by reducing childhood obesity rates.

Despite the intentions of this legislation, many schools still serve unhealthy food to their students. A 2020 study, Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act On Obesity Trends, by the Harvard School of Public Health found that two-thirds of school districts serving lunches below the federal guidelines.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires that lunches served in schools must be improved and made healthier. 

To provide further insight on the substantiality of school lunches and how they are prepared, an interview with Josie Perez was held. Perez is the nutritionist at Redlands Unified School District. 

Is the food sustainable for a growing teenager? 

As the registered dietician for the school district, we go by the USDA standards to what we feed our kiddos, and our students at schools, the high schools, middle schools and elementary school level. So the amount of food in terms of what is provided by the USDA, we make sure we hit that and that if not go above that.

How do you respond to any negative comments about the food? 

In the lunch room at Redlands East Valley High School, there is a stack of empty cardboard containers that are no longer being used. Instead they are replaced by more plastic containers to hold the food in. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

I would have to say, I listen to it and we try to make modifications as we go along. I know like yesterday I got a call from a parent. She was concerned because her child felt that the school meals weren’t good and they didn’t like them. And I was like ‘oh, I’m sorry.’ I wanted that feedback because the way I see it, the more feedback I get from the students, I can make those changes on the next menu that comes out. It’s very helpful in seeing what you guys like or don’t like, what we think you might like versus the reality of what you really like.

Are there any meals served that you feel are distasteful? 

No, we try our best to pick the items we put on the menu as a team, and it’s not my own personal choice. We discuss anything new to be tested and see ‘ok, does this work? Will it not work?’ So, I’m proud of the choices we try to make for our district and if what we think doesn’t work we try to switch it out the next time around and find something more appropriate for the kids.

Do you think that the food served has enough culture involved? 

I try to balance that out when we can on the menu. We try to do things like a little Italian here, Chinese, do American. I wish we could get a little more ethnic diverse food, but that’s something that we can grow into time as we are still getting back into having our kitchens open. But if there are any ideas or suggestions of what students would like to have, we would be more open to hearing it and seeing if it’s something we could possibly make.

Two items on the school’s menu that are popular amongst the students are the pepperoni pizza and the spicy chicken sandwich, often served with chocolate milk. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

Would you eat some of the school lunches? 

Yes. I actually eat some of the school lunches, I try to go to schools and see how the sites are cooking and try it there and see ok “would I eat this? Are the kids eating this?’ I do try the food. 

What is the hardest thing about your job? 

I mean every job is hard but it’s just figuring out how to solve the problems and I know, like food choices and flavors, I’m not going to please everyone. But, we try our best to reach the mainstream. But, yeah, I think developing the menu can be hard at times. But, it’s actually really rewarding too because it’s interesting to see what the kids like and don’t like. 

How much input do you have on the menu selection? 

I have a good amount, but as I said, I share it with our department team. Here we have a team of three field specialists and then also a central kitchen lead where we evaluate products. We evaluate and taste to see if this is a good product, if we want to bring it in or not, so it’s definitely a team effort in siting what is purchased. 

To discuss some common questions, an interview was conducted with Denise Sathda. Sathda is a child nutritional services worker at Redlands East Valley High School and is responsible for school meal preperation. 

How many students get served the school lunch everyday? 

Between 850-900. 

How do you respond to the negative comments? 

Well, it depends on what negative comments, like if they say ‘oh it’s cold’ we say well I’m sorry you know it happens. And if it’s about the food you know it’s what they sent us you should be grateful, this is not a restaurant, you know we try to do our best with what they give us.

Are the ingredients in the food fresh? 

For the salads, we have the fresh spinach, the lettuce, the tomatoes, the cucumber. And the fruits we get daily also, all the fruits, the veggies.

What is the hardest thing about your job? 

We have many things to cook like everyday. Every once in a while, they will change the menu. So, we’re going to be changing the menu in October to see what the new menu is. We have the orange chicken and the cheeseburgers, we don’t just put things in the oven. We need to, you know, cook them, put together the sauce, the rice. The rice takes like two hours for example, so it depends on the menu. Some days are easier than others.


For more information on nutrition and food services at RUSD, visit https://rusdnutrition.org/.

Citrus Valley High School annual Fall Fest kicks off homecoming weekend

By JASMINE ROSALES and DESTINY RAMOS

Citrus Valley High School held their annual Fall Fest after school from 12:33-3:30pm on Sept. 24. This event gives each club a chance to fundraise for themself and attempt to sell out in the product they are selling. This provides a fun entertaining environment for both students and clubs.

Participating clubs had canopies stationed in their designated spots around the quad and each program was given time in sixth period to prepare their table for the chaos to come. As soon as the bell rang, students swarmed the quad with money in their hands ready to purchase goods. 

Each club is in charge of getting their own donation from businesses to sell at their booths. The quantity is up to club leaders and businesses to ensure they are within their budget. Club leaders are free to donate and help fund their materials being used. 

All the clubs fundraising were successful and Fall Fest was a hit with students enjoying their treats and meals after school in the quad. It is planned to return for the following school year and make another appearance on campus.

Photo 1: Students at Citrus Valley crowd around multiple clubs selling a variety of snacks and drinks. Lines during this part of Fall Fest became extremely long making it difficult for students passing through. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/ Ethic News Photo)

Photo 2: Fall Fest included the hosting of a talent show, where many students showed off their amazing talents. Sophomore Elizabeth Roman was one of the first performers, singing the song “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical “Waitress” with the help of ASB sophomore Briana Ton. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/ Ethic News Photo)

Photo 3: Fall Fest included the hosting of a talent show, where many students showed off their amazing talents. Sophomore Elizabeth Roman was one of the first performers, singing the song “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical “Waitress” with the help of ASB sophomore Briana Ton. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/ Ethic News Photo)

Photo 4: Sophomore Atalia Rivas performed a song on her guitar, showing off her talent with the instrument.  (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/ Ethic News Photo)

Photo 5: The students at Citrus Valley lined up to get a cup of Kona Ice. Kona Ice was one of the most popular snacks out of all that were available. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/ Ethic News Photo)

Homecoming Court tradition remains alive at Redlands East Valley High School

By MIA ARANDA

Homecoming has become one of the most anticipated weeks in the school year. Not only because of the dance itself, but due to the festivities surrounding the event, which includes a pep rally, carnival, spirit week, minimum day and the announcement of the Homecoming court at the Friday football game. Overall, these Homecoming celebrations help promote school spirit and welcome back students and faculty. 

However, students often become accustomed to these traditions without truly knowing how Homecoming came to be. 

Homecoming was originally used in colleges before it spread to high schools.

The University of Michigan is credited with beginning the tradition of Homecoming in 1911, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association,

Missouri Athletic Director Chester Brewer encouraged their alumni to return to their school for their annual football game against the University of Kansas, which drew a crowd for a weekend of festivities surrounding the game. Since then, its growing popularity among colleges has allowed homecoming to become a staple in American high schools. 

The Homecoming football game also draws much excitement as the Homecoming court is announced. 

The Homecoming court comprises students who are voted in to represent the student body as king, queen, princesses and princes. However, the tradition initially began with only women competing for the title of queen. 

At Redlands East Valley High School, one boy and one girl from each grade level need to be nominated from a sport or club to be a candidate. Then, after a voting period that is open to all students, the princesses and princes are announced at the Homecoming pep rally during school while the senior king and queen are revealed at the Homecoming football game. 

The REV Homecoming court was unveiled on Oct. 1 during their football game against Beaumont High School at Citrus Valley High School. Their court consists of the following students: Kadin Khalloufi as the king, Shannon Cockerill as the queen, Maxwell Cannon as the junior prince, Brooklyn Martinez as the junior princess, Palmer Aguilar as the sophomore prince, Amanda Morrison as the sophomore princess, Cash Dabbs as the freshman prince and Ciela Pickett as the freshman princess. 

Redlands East Valley High School senior Kadin Khalloufi wins Homecoming king alongside his mother Kathi Khalloufi on Oct. 1 during halftime of the REV Homecoming football game against Beaumont High School at Hodges Stadium. Khalloufi is the varsity football captain and was playing in the Homecoming game prior to halftime. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)


At REV, Khalloufi is a varsity football captain and participates in varsity wrestling, volleyball, Possibilities club, National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Key club, tutoring club and Speech and Debate.

“I think there is great honor in being the Homecoming king as you represent the majority opinion of the school,” said Khalloufi.

He continues, “It’s crazy to me that people actually wanted me to be Homecoming king and I still am in shock over it.”

Redlands East Valley High School senior Shannon Cockerill wins Homecoming queen alongside her father Brian Cockerill on Oct. 1 during halftime of the REV Homecoming football game against Beaumont High School at Hodges Stadium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

At REV, Cockerill is REV Associated Student Body Executive President, varsity soccer captain, the vice president of Chess and Games club and the president of the Red Cross club. She is also a part of varsity track and field, Key club, Mental Health club, NHS, CSF, Interact club and Heal club. 

“Everything I am in and have been involved in for the past four years helped me get to know a lot of people. I knew them from one activity or another and took the time to remember them and them remember me,” said Cockerill. 

“Being homecoming queen to me, is more than being a popular person. It was being someone people remembered for being kind, positive and friendly.”

Redlands East Valley High School seniors Kadin Khalloufi and Shannon Cockerill are crowned as Homecoming king and queen on Oct. 1. Khalloufi and Cockerill were both involved in Homecoming activities with Khalloufi as a football captain and Cockerill as the executive president for Associated Student Body. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Blackhawk alum Carl Keiser welcomed as a full-time teacher at Citrus Valley High School

By EMERSON SUTOW

Seeing familiar faces on campus is important and as the school year starts, Citrus Valley High School’s class of 2022 has started to realize former resident substitute Carl Keiser is back and has his own classroom.

Carl Keiser poses with Paul Beaumont, a previous teacher and now colleague. (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News Photo)

After spending two years teaching moderate-to-severe disabled students in transitional kindergarten through second grade at Cram Elementary School, Keiser is now at Citrus Valley teaching grade 12 English and Integrated Math IA and IIA.

Keiser says, “My Cram students have a very near and dear place in my heart because they were my first.” 

But, he is excited to tackle his first year at Citrus Valley and aims to show his students the true value of what they are learning.

Keiser says the biggest difference from subbing across campus is that he has the same students every day. 

“Seeing them at the beginning of the year and then at the end of the year will be truly rewarding,” Keiser said. 

Since most of his substitute teaching positions last for a month at a time, the amount of time Keiser has spent with his students is more than he normally would have. 

Keiser says, “We are already past a long term sub position, so this is already uncharted territory.”

Paul Beaumont, a world history teacher at Citrus Valley and one of Keiser’s previous teachers, said that Keiser “saw the practicality of what we were teaching and saw how it could be useful.”

He has used what he learned from being a student himself and transformed that into a teaching style that encourages and guides students. 

Beaumont has had a few of his students become teachers and even colleagues, but he especially believes Keiser is ready for the task of teaching. 

¨It’s great to see [Keiser] grow up, mature, and thrive in his profession,” said Beaumont. “He can do whatever he wants, because he’s got the skills.”

Kenneth McGrath, Citrus Valley Advanced Placement Literature and Composition and the Expository Reading and Writing teacher, remembers Keiser as a fantastic student and being super involved in school. 

McGrath said Keiser “is just capable of so much and is just starting to scratch the surface” with this new beginning. 

As he establishes the foundation of his new career, Keiser has taken inspiration from McGrath, Beaumont and Maria Deveau, a fellow Spanish teacher at Citrus Valley. 

With a strong team of supportive teachers, Keiser has readily made the shift from substitute to full-time teaching.

Autumn has arrived: Students in Redlands look forward to the new season

By KENDRA BURDICK

Starbucks has their decorations already on display which creates a nice autumn setting for their customers to enjoy as they eat their food and or beverage. (Photo courtesy Andrew James)

Autumn has arrived and Redlands is prepared for the shift into the new season. All around town, citizens are putting out pumpkins, flags and colorful objects, to celebrate the beginning of this new time of year. Decorations can be seen at people’s homes and businesses. Many buildings are decorated or filled with autumn products so that people feel a warm, inviting presence as they enter their establishments.

One of the businesses that have immersed itself into this season’s charm is Starbucks.  Many people look forward to the seasonal food and drinks that they showcase, and the cafe has added more drinks and food products to emphasize the autumn theme. Their seasonal offerings include items such as iced pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin scone and iced apple crisp macchiato.

Walmart and Smart and Final have stocked their shelves with Halloween and autumn decorations in preparation for the season. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News)

Retail stores are also starting to update their inventory to have more fall products for people to buy and celebrate the upcoming season. Target and Walmart have already put some Halloween-themed toys and small animatronics in their businesses. 

Along with decorations, creepy and creative costumes are on their way. Some stores, such as Party City, are providing discounts. The Halloween store Spirit Halloween in Redlands has a stock of different sorts of costumes and theatrical decorations.

Mel Megana Franco and Ashley Ranaballer are eager about autumn because Halloween is coming soon. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News)

Because of COVID-19, a vast majority of events designated to celebrate the autumn season were canceled or not celebrated as they were before the pandemic. But now, the events are starting to reconvert back to their normal ways.

One example is the Yucaipa Apple Butter Festival at Los Rios Rancho. Even with the fire that occurred on October 2, 2020, and the rebuild, Los Rios Rancho is planning to effectuate the festival. The Apple Butter Festival is from Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28 this fall.

Another event that helps revitalize the autumn spirit is the “Redlands Turkey Trot.” This Thanksgiving Day 5K run and a 1K “Fun Run” is held for kids throughout the beautiful city from 7:30 to 9:00 in the morning. The race course will start at Sylvan Park and interwork through the Redlands streets and around the University of Redlands before ending back at the Park.

Fae Norris can’t wait for the rain to relieve everyone from the high sweat-inducing temperatures and Eli Naser is enthusiastic for the football season to begin when autumn comes. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News)

The students around Redlands East Valley High School are excited about the season and looking forward to the cool weather. According to The Conversation, in the article  “Academic Rigor,” the weather throughout Southern California typically lifts from the heat and begins to cool when autumn comes. 

Other students are excited about the sports games that will follow, such as football, golf and water polo. A vast majority of students and staff are looking forward to the break and taking some time off to bask in the ‘season of rest.’

According to  “Peace Through Action * USA,” a web series devoted to keeping peace within our humanity, the season of Autumn “summons us to Be Peace… Being at peace is personal behavior.”

Nicholas Valencia and Megan Rimmer are zealous to do their favorite autumn activities. Megan plans to shop and Nicholas plans on eating. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News)

Zaryah Bernard, a sophomore on Redlands East Valley’s volleyball team, shows us that she’s anxiously awaiting to see the trees change colors. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News)

Autumn is blowing through the cities, making the leaves change, and letting people know that it’s time to set up events. Everyone is excited for the season and are eager to start its festivities.

Wildcat alumni April Saibene joins Redlands East Valley High School counseling staff

By MIA ARANDA

April Saibene, once a student at Redlands East Valley High School, has returned to REV this school year as a newly hired counselor. After working as a counselor at Clearwater Elementary School in Perris for two years, Saibene was first hired at REV as a temporary counselor covering grades ten to 12, last names Dj-J, but a few weeks into the school year, she obtained the permanent position.

Redlands East Valley High School counselor April Gamez in her office on Sept. 8. Gamez counsels sophomores, juniors and seniors with last names starting from Dj to J. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Born in Brawley, California, Saibene lived in Mexico until the age of three; her parents were both born in Mexico, therefore she is a fluent Spanish speaker. In addition, she has lived in Redlands and Mentone. In free time, Saibene enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband, Andrew, currently have a seven-month child named Sonny. Saibene also has three siblings: Diana Gamez (REV 05′), Frankie Gamez (REV 07′) and Angel Gamez (Citrus Valley 12′).

Saibene graduated from REV in 2010. She considers counselor Laree Orland a mentor during and after high school; Orland is currently the counselor that covers all Advancement Via Individual Determination students.

While at REV, Saibene participated in track and field and cross country, coached by Andrea Johnson, and softball with Jim Cruz and Sandy Crumrine as her coaches. She also played soccer outside of school recreationally. 

Saibene, being a lover of sports, had thought she would pursue a career surrounding sports in some aspect, such as by majoring in kinesiology. 

However, she ultimately decided to major in sociology. 

While working toward her bachelor’s degree at Cal State University, San Bernardino, Saibene worked as a waitress at Johnny’s Tacos and Sports in Redlands for four years.

Following earning her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Saibene then worked at Tom Bell Chevrolet for two years. While she was there, she was a receptionist and worked her way up to service writer and later assistant manager. 

Afterwards, Saibene attended the University of Redlands to pursue her master’s degree in school counseling while starting to substitute in the Redlands Unified School District. She graduated in 2019. 

In addition to coming back to REV, Saibene is also entering the same campus as her older sister, Diana Gamez who is  currently in her ninth year of teaching Spanish and Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher at REV.

Gamez used to eat lunch in her room and keep to herself, but now she tries to stop by at least once a day to visit her sister to say hello or have lunch together. 

Gamez says Saibene “has a heart of gold and is very compassionate. I know she really liked working at the elementary school level, but I honestly think she’s going to do great things at REV.”

Saibene attributes her sister to being one of her role models as Gamez was the oldest and most influential to her and her siblings. 

The personal one-on-one aspect of counseling is what Saibene loves most. She didn’t want to become a teacher because she feels she works better with individual, small groups compared to a big group. 

Amid this pandemic, Saibene believes that dealing with grief, lack of social skills and not being cognizant of school expectations are some of the biggest challenges that students are facing.

Due to COVID-19, losing family members has become a common occurrence for some students. 

As a result of distance learning for the 2020-21 school year, Saibene feels that some students haven’t developed a grasp for expectations for in-person learning, especially freshmen and sophomores who had never been on the REV campus yet. 

“Technically, our seniors were only here for a year and a half, so they didn’t really get a feel for the expectations or like the rituals, you know the things that we have here at REV that make it REV,” said Saibene. “I think that’s a challenge that [students] are facing; they just don’t know and they don’t know what to expect and they all still feel scared and nervous.”

However, in order for students to be successful in high school, Saibene strongly recommends getting involved in something at school, such as clubs or sports. 

“I would say make sure you stay involved, be nice to your adults, self-advocate for yourself, [and] speak up for yourself,” said Saibene.

At REV, Saibene aspires to be someone that students and staff feel comfortable coming to. 

“I hope to be a safe place for students and staff where they feel comfortable with me whether it’s sharing good news or bad news, if they need some guidance, advice, or just a room for them to vent,” said Saibene.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/10/22/la-ex-alumna-y-wildcat-april-saibene-se-une-al-personal-de-consejeria-de-redlands-east-valley-high-school/

Citrus Valley Homecoming prompts endearing proposals

By DESTINY RAMOS and SALVADOR BARERRA

Citrus Valley High School’s Homecoming for the 2021-22 school year is scheduled for Sept. 25. This announcement has prompted many students to ask their friend or crush to join them on the special night.

Juan Montes, a junior at Citrus Valley, asked  Citrus Valley junior Ashley Pham, to homecoming on Sept. 11. Pham, a gymnast and cheerleader, said yes to Montes after he asked with a walkway of  rose petals and candles and a poster that said, “If my puppy dog eyes don’t work, Maybe Leia’s will.”

“I was really surprised, because I came back from a four hour practice and that was the least thing I was expecting, so I was really happy and excited,” said Pham. 

The two are attending as best friends, proving that a homecoming date doesn’t necessarily have to be a love interest.

Juan Montes asked Ashley Pham to homecoming with candles, rose petals and a sign that read, “If my puppy dog eyes won’t work, maybe Leia’s will,” referring to Pham’s dog, Leia. The pair will be attending homecoming as best friends. (Photo Courtesy of Juan Montes)

Citrus Valley seniors, Evan Burnell and Milana Espinoza, decided to go to homecoming together. Blackhawk Baseball player Brunell asked Espinoza on Sept. 10 with a bouquet of sunflowers in one hand and a poster that read, “Will you be my sunshine at hoco?” in the other. 

Although the two were dating before Burnell’s proposal, they now feel their relationship is stronger than ever.

Evan Burnell and Milana Espinoza posing with each other in the school parking lot after the proposal. Prior to the homecoming proposal, the pair was already a couple. (Photo courtesy of Evan Burnell)

Citrus Valley junior Makenna Williams accepted Citrus Valley junior Julian Ramos’s homecoming proposal. Ramos, another blackhawk baseball player and member of Equality club, took Williams on Sept. 14 to the spot of their first date where he prepared candles in the shape of a heart awaiting her arrival. He asked her with a sign that said, “Will you make this night as special as our first date and go to Homecoming with me?”

Williams said, “It was fun and exciting. I got those butterflies that gave me first type of date kinda vibes.” 

The pair recently celebrated their year and a half anniversary.

Ramos said, “I was pretty nervous, but I was happy when she said yes, I knew she would be happy with how I asked her.”

Citrus Valley junior Makenna Williams and Citrus Valley junior Julian Ramos posing with their homecoming proposal sign. Williams and Ramos have been together for a year and a half and are looking forward to homecoming. (Photo Courtesy to Julian Ramos)

Dylan Wright, a sophomore at Citrus Valley, asked Citrus Valley sophomore Sophia Imoud to homecoming on Sept. 9. During the evening football game, Wright walked onto the field  in front of everyone in the stands and asked her to be his date.

Ihmud said, “I was really surprised. I was with my cheer team and then he came with his poster and proposed in front of everyone and I was really happy.” 

Wright said, “I knew I wanted to go with her, there’s no one else I’d rather go with then. I knew I had to do something special because she is a special girl. I was scared she would say no but she said yeah.”

Sophomores Sophia Ihmud and Dylan Wright pose together on the football field after the Sept. 9 game. He asked her to homecoming with flowers and a sign that read, “Flowers are the 2nd most beautiful thing. Can I go to homecoming with the 1st?” (Photo courtesy of Sophia Ihmud)

After Citrus Valley ASB social commissioner, Emily Walos, had given a speech to the school student body to promote the event at the Homecoming Fashion Show, Citrus Valley senior varsity football player Aaron Roque asked Walos to homecoming on Sept. 10.  

He went backstage with the help of Walos’s friends and was able to surprise her with a stuffed bear and sign that said, “I could not bear to go to hoco without you.” 

Walos stated, “I was really surprised, because he had planned it all with my best friend. I am so excited for homecoming to have a great time.”

Although they are going to homecoming together, they are only friends but feel closer as friends. 

Roque said, “I felt excited, I feel like I’m gonna have a good homecoming.”

After the ASB homecoming fashion show, senior Aaron Roque asked senior Emily Walos with a sign that read, “I could not bear to go to Hoco without you,” and a bear correlating with the sign. The two will be attending as friends. (Photo courtesy of Emily Walos)

Citrus Valley sophomore athlete Micah Magana asked Citrus Valley sophomore cheerleader Jaymie Requejo to homecoming after the Sept. 9 football game. He asked her in front of the cheer squad with a football that said, “Will you tackle me to hoco?” 

Requejo said, “It was very exciting. I was happy, and I wasn’t expecting to be asked to be homecoming.” 

Magana faced a challenge with the homecoming proposal as he felt anxious and nervous asking her to homecoming. Yet, the pair, who have recently begun dating, are very excited to go to homecoming together.

Micah Magana and Jaymie Requejo have been dating since the proposal on Sept. 9. (Photo Courtesy of Jaymie Requejo)

Citrus Valley senior baseball player Tevin Bookman asked Citrus Valley senior Morgan Hendricks to be his date in the quad on Sept. 9. He waited for her to come out of the E-building for lunch with the poster he created saying, “It would be an almond joy to take you to hoco.”

“I was excited. I wasn’t expecting it, so it was interesting,” said Hendricks. 

The pair, who had recently started dating, believes that homecoming brings others together in a way no one would have ever imagined.

A sign filled with Almond Joy candies read, “It would be an Almond Joy to take you to homecoming,” along with flowers. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Hendricks)

Sophomore Gavin Close asked sophomore Lillyanne Cesena on Sept. 15 with a poster that said, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I really want to go to homecoming with you. Homecoming?” 

Cesena said yes. 

“I was nervous but I kinda had some feeling he was gonna do it so I was a little bit prepared,” said Cesena. 

Gavin Close and Lillyanne Cesena stand together with the homecoming proposal sign and flowers. Close and Cesena will be attending as friends, although both believe something more may happen in the near future. (Photo courtesy of Gavin Close)

Whether or not students attend homecoming as a couple, friends, or alone, the event is a night promising memories and a fun experience.

Audio: 20 years after 9/11 Orangewood teachers recall shock and disbelief

By DEBBIE DIAZ, JOSEPH PACHECO and APRIL CABRERA

Three teachers at Orangewood High School recall when they first heard about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks: Mark Perkins, physical education teacher, Norma Beckwith, social studies teacher and Louise Gonzales, mathematics teacher.


Mark Perkins, P.E. teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Mark Perkins, physical education teacher at Orangewood High School, on what he remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Perkins recalls shock.

DEBBIE DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

MARK PERKINS: I didn’t find out about the twin towers until I woke up that morning and then — I don’t know how I knew it was on the news — but it was on the news. Oh, I know how I knew it was one the news. I had a cousin, my wife’s first cousin, he was doing his residency at the closest hospital to where the twin towers fell. When they were bringing victims in, they were bringing them to his hospital. So he called us just to let us know how he was okay. So that’s how I found out that morning about the twin towers. Does that answer your question?

DIAZ: Yes. What was your reaction when you first found out?

PERKINS: I would say the biggest reaction is shock. I would say, you know, my wife grew in a country, she was born in Africa, she grew up in a country where there was war and that kind of — the kind of behavior that happened in the U.S. on that day was like what she remembered happening in the country that she grew up in Malawi in Africa. And nothing like that had ever been seen before in America. So it was just shock the fact that bad guys could come in and do that to us, and we just let it happen.

PACHECO: No one have responsibility.

DIAZ: Do you know anyone that was affected physically by the attack?

PERKINS: Like I mentioned earlier, my cousin was in his second year of residency at one of the hospitals, so he got to see a lot of the victims that were brought in. So I can’t say that specifically victims, but it was interesting hearing. I mean he could look out his hospital window, and he could see the towers smoking and on fire. You know, when they collapsed, he was a first hand witness to that kind of a thing. So it was interesting to hear from his perspective.


Norma Beckwith, history teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Norma Beckwith, social studies teacher at Orangewood High School, on what she remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Beckwith recalls disbelief.

DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

NORMA BECKWITH: Getting ready to go to work, to teach at Clement Middle School.

DIAZ: What was your reaction when you found out?

BECKWITH: Disbelief initially. You know, when the first plane hit, it was like “What is going on?” But when the second one hit, I  knew we were under attack. And then fear. Fear.

DIAZ: Do you know someone that was affected physically by the attack?

BECKWITH: No, surprisingly on the West coast I knew absolutely no one. I mean, I knew of people, friends who knew people, but I was not impacted personally — my family, my friends — but, just am forever saddened about 3,000 plus lives that were lost.

DIAZ: Right, a tragedy, right.

PACHECO: Do you believe in any conspiracies?

BECKWITH: I absolutely do not believe in conspiracy theories. We were attacked by the terrorists, Al Queda. There is no conspiracy. They’re out to ruin our way of life.


Louise Gonzales, math teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Louise Gonzales, mathematics teacher at Orangewood High School, on what she remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Gonzales recalls shock.

DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

LOUISE GONZALES: I had just gotten to my classroom, getting ready to teach for the day.

DIAZ: And what was your reaction when you found out?

GONZALES: Shock. Shock. I didn’t really know what was going on.

DIAZ: What went through your head?

GONZALES: I just…shock. Like, “What’s going on?”

DIAZ: Do you know of someone who was affected physically by the attack?

GONZALES: No.

PACHECO: Do you believe in any conspiracies about the attack, like the government, or…?

GONZALES: No.

PACHECO: You just believe it was a terrorist attack?

GONZALES: Yea.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/09/22/20-anos-pasado-orangewood-maestros-recuerda-memorias-de-la-sept-11-ataques/

Departing Redlands East Valley teachers reflect on their career

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By ISAAC MEJIA and ALISSON BERMUDEZ

As the end of the school year approaches, students and teachers are increasingly closer to emerging from a stressful year into a needed summer break. However, for some teachers, the end of the school year represents more than a sigh of relief, and possesses greater personal significance. For some, it represents the end of a long career, an era filled with many refining and fulfilling moments. While, for others, it represents the beginning of a new journey, promising both the thrill of opportunity and uncertainty. This year, many Redlands East Valley High School teachers have decided to retire or advance their career through new positions separate from the school. What are some of their final thoughts and what will they do next in this new chapter of their life?


Wendy McClung

Wendy Mcclung smiles outside of her classroom in the D-wing. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

With an empathetic nature and passion for mental health, Wendy Mcclung, the mental health careers and mind matters teacher will be leaving REV to work in an administrative position.

She will be moving to the district office at CRYROP where she will be “in charge of their online program.”

Although Mcclung is excited for  “a chance to exercise [her] leadership skills and to grow as a teacher professionally,” she will miss her students dearly.

“They are why I do what I do, ” said Mcclung. I get to watch them grow and get to know them and watch them succeed and help them through struggles. You don’t get that one-on-one with them anymore.”

Mcclung’s genuine concern for her students’ well-being is a special gift: a gift that is not required, but one that she still possesses.  As she leaves the classroom, Mcclung says, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat. It was great to be here.”

Jody Bradberry

As she starts to clear her classroom of the posters on the wall, Jody Bradberry poses for a picture. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

One of REV’s most experienced English teachers, with a true heart for reading, Jody Bradberry is retiring this year.  

Looking back on her career, Bradberry is happy and feels a sense of accomplishment. “There are too many good memories; I’ve had a great career,” she said.

Bradberry is ready for retirement and will miss the interaction with her students the most: “It was all about the kids” she further said.

After school ends, Bradberry’s plans are short and simple: “I’m going to walk, do yoga, and read.” Even though she is retiring, her love for reading will continue to endure.

Michael Broguiere

Michael Broguiere smiles in front of the whiteboard in his classroom that is located in the English Building. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

After 36 years of teaching math, Micheal Broguiere, a sincere and genuine teacher, decided to retire this year. From his long career, Broguiere is nostalgic of the many comical and lighthearted memories that he experienced.

While teaching high school, Broguire told one of his classes that he wanted to buy a Vitamix Blender. In an attempt to help their teacher purchase a new blender, the class created a jar that they would pass around each day to collect change and raise funds for the blender. In the spirit of fellowship, Broguiere hosted a smoothie day for his class. “We were making smoothies all day,” he said. “It was an atmosphere of fun and good times.”

Broguiere was able to establish a sense of community among his students. This aspect of his teaching style will be missed as he heads into retirement; however, his retirement plans are not yet set in stone. “I may get a part-time job,” Broguiere said, but he has no intention of getting one this year.

When asked what he was looking forward to the most about retirement, he said, “You know, just not having to get up and be a slave to a clock. Just knowing that I’m somewhere that I’m not usually at this time of year.” The freedom to live spontaneously is within Broguiere’s grasp.

Fleury Laycook

Fleury Laycook stands in front of two of her personally crafted landscape paintings. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

The very compassionate and artistic Fleury Laycook chose to make the 2020-2021 school year her last year before retiring from her position as an English teacher at REV. Students will remember Laycook as one of the most sympathetic teachers on campus.

After 32 years of teaching a variety of subjects and thousands of students, Laycook reminisced of years of memories and shared multiple “stand out times” which included her position as the newspaper advisor and a participant in Mock Trial. “We won the Southern California LA Times High School Newspaper of the year award,” she said. “Another one I think was pretty cool was going to the state championships when I was working with Mock Trial.”

With such a creative mind, Laycook plans to focus on her hobbies of painting, writing poetry, and photography. “I’m going to have a lot of fun painting and other creative stuff,” she said. Laycook will be retiring into a life where happiness will fill her days through her hobbies.

One painting by Fleury Laycook that displays her dog amidst the Orange Groves in Redlands. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

Vanessa Aranda

Vanessa Aranda, adored for her relatable character and joyful presence on campus, will not be working at REV next year; instead, she has accepted a position at Orangewood High School where she will carry out her 19th year teaching a variety of social studies subjects, in addition to English Learner support, and Digital Journalism.  

Vanessa Aranda smiles inside of her Digital Journalism Classroom next to a sign with an inspirational quote from Nelson Mandela. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza Photo)

Throughout her career,  Aranda has always prioritized the voice of her students and became recognized on campus as an intentional teacher capable of making her students feel acknowledged and appreciated. This special aspect of her character can be seen as she reflects on one of her fondest memories as the Rock Painting Club’s advisor.

One day when her room was crowded with club members, “one of [her] students wrote on a portable whiteboard sign, “EVERYONE IS WELCOME. We will find space for you if you think it’s crowded” and propped it outside.  

She said, “Throughout the week, I would keep that sign up in my room, because I just loved how inclusive it was. It kinda symbolized exactly how I wanted my students to always feel in my class: welcomed and that it’s a space for them.”

Aranda’s time at REV embodies what it means to be a teacher that not only has a heart for teaching, but a heart for students as well. She will be remembered for going beyond the expected duties of her job to create an environment where students feel valued.

Shannon Nicholas

Shannon Nicholas smiles for a picture outside of her classroom. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

Shannon Nicholas is the third English teacher that will be leaving REV this year. After teaching for 15 years, officially reaching the halfway-point, Nicholas has accepted an administrative position at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel.

“So I will be moving to the beach,” she said.

Although Nicolas admits the move is somewhat frightening, because she will be working at a kindergarten through eighth grade school instead of a high school, she is still holding on to the thrill of the unknown and has a positive mindset. “I am very excited, she said. It is a new opportunity and a new adventure.”

While at REV, Nicholas has taught a variety of subjects which enabled her to teach the same students multiple times.

She said, “It was awesome, because I was able to build a greater relationship, and if you don’t have that, school’s boring. If  you don’t like your teacher, and you don’t get along, students will lack motivation. It’s part of teaching.”

Nicholas understands the value of a healthy student-teacher relationship, and she will allow her knowledge and understanding to lead her to success in this next stage of her life.

Ramon Cardenas

Ramon  Cardenas smiles outside the walls of the choir room. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

A powerful voice and prominent figure in the music department, Choir Director Ramon Cardenas is moving across the country to Tallahassee, Florida where he will be attending Florida State University.

Although uprooting to the East Coast is a dramatic life change, Cardenas is excited to have the opportunity to advance his education and earn his doctorate to teach at the college level.

As he reflects on his time spent at REV, Cardenas’ most memorable moments as a teacher were spent on retreats with his students. “We always had really good times there. Everybody was always just funny and silly, just cool to see people get involved outside of class,” he said.  

Even though distance learning extinguished almost all of the music department’s performances this year, Cardenas was able to experience one last “Hoorah” moment before last year’s shutdown. He said, “the choir concert we had right before the shutdown was the best concert that the choirs had.”

Cardenas will remain a well-liked teacher in the music department. 

Laura Brown

Laura Brown smiles at her desk. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza Photo)

REV’s English department is losing yet another teacher, Laura Brown. With a strong desire to teach her students how to speak and write intellectually, Brown has decided to retire at the end of the school year.

From her career, Brown believes the best thing about teaching is the wisdom she gained from her students along the way. “They’ve taught me so many crucial things–not about grammar–but about compassion and humanity and life,” she said.  

Although teachers are labeled as the educator, they themselves are constantly learning and their perspective on life is constantly developing. While working as a third grade elementary teacher, Brown remembers when she was humorously enlightened by one of her students.

“A very bright student named Wesley raised his hand and asked about the ellipsis. I didn’t know what that was, so I said, “Wesley, tell us what you know about the ellipsis?” He said, “That’s when you end a period with dot, dot, dot.’”

Although Brown is retiring, this is not the end of her journey. “I’m looking forward to new adventures with my family,” she said. “My husband and I will live in Utah during the spring and summer and in Florida during the fall and winter.” Brown’s grandchildren live in those two states, and throughout her retirement, she will be surrounded by her loved ones.


It’s no lie that teaching high school students is difficult. However, after speaking with each one of these wonderful teachers, it is evident that the struggles and stress are worth it. These teachers taught with passion and sincerity to help the young kids in their community. To be a teacher, you have to be sympathetic, patient, prepared, and always have the highest expectations for your students. All the teachers mentioned encompass these traits, allowing the students at REV to receive the best education possible and create some of the most endearing memories. REV is losing an amazing group of people, but from all at REV, the hope is that each of these teachers’ futures will be filled with happiness and opportunity. From parents, to students, to administration, the gratitude from so many people extends to these teachers. There is no doubt that they will be missed on campus.

Unfortunately, Rhonda Fouch was not available to interview; however, she will be retiring this year as well.

Theatre arts teacher Kaitlyn Daniels will no longer be working at REV next year as well.

After School Podcast Official: Always Face the Ocean, Season 1, Episode 8, Part 1

Hosted by AILEEN JANEE CORPUS, DANIELA MORA, CYRUS ENGELSMAN

Today’s episode is a part of a three part series that is all about the Redlands East Valley Wildcats’ girls’ athletic director, Rhonda Fouch (she/her) who also goes by Fouch and Coach Fouch. Mrs. Fouch has been working on impacting the lives of young people for 40 years, and is retiring this school year. Learn more about Fouch’s connection with the ocean, how long and how she ended up in Redlands, and what made her choose her occupation of Girls’ Athletic Director. This episode’s intro and outro song is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole.

Photos: Redlands students share what helped them persevere through the distance learning school year

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By CYRUS ENGELSMAN

Distance learning has been a struggle for many students of the Redlands Unified School District. However, this unprecedented year has not extinguished them from learning new hobbies, and spending quality time with pets and family. This collection of photos shows who and what possessions have provided students with a sense of permanence during the rapidly changing school year.

Mia, a 12-year-old dog, enjoys running around fields and parks. Despite Mia’s age, her owner Isabella Verjat, a junior at Redlands High School, still takes her for regular walks. (Courtesy of Isabella Verjat)

Paul McClure, Redlands High School junior, presents the yoyo that he practices with. McClure was inspired to learn how to yoyo after finding an old one in his house. (Courtesy of Paul McClure)

Valentine Edwards, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shares a picture of their cat, Duchess. (Courtesy of Valentine Edwards)

Redlands High School junior Sophia Feduska shows off an apple and raspberry pie she baked. During quarantine, baking quickly became one of her pastimes. (Courtesy of Sophia Feduska)

Kai, a one-year-old dog, enjoys hanging out with his owner, Redlands East Valley High School junior Abigail Gates. (Courtesy of Abigail Gates)

“My longboard helped me through the online learning school year, because it allowed me to focus on something besides my schooling,” said Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Aileen Corpus. She further said that “the community I have become a part of through my longboard is just amazing.” (Courtesy of Aileen Corpus)

Tyler Ardnt, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shows off his dog Grizzly, a two year-old husky-malamute, sitting comfortably in a cardboard box. (Courtesy of Tyler Ardnt)

Josie Burdick, a fifth grader attending Crafton Elementary School, reads books to help her get through distance learning. She enjoys reading adventure books, along with historical books to relax after a long day of learning online. (Courtesy of Josie Burdick)

“My dogs Hank and Ollie helped me stay loved,” said Redlands East Valley High School freshman Lily Shaw. (Courtesy of Lily Shaw)

Wildcat Beatriz Braga reflects on move from Brazil to California

By MIA ARANDA

While many students spend the summer heading into their sophomore year completing homework for their first Advanced Placement class or simply relaxing after surviving their freshman year, Redlands East Valley High School junior Beatriz Braga was adjusting to California after moving from Campinas, Brazil in 2019.

Beatriz Braga and her dog Alvin in Riverside, California in 2020. Alvin is currently 13 years old and has moved with Braga and her family to California. (Courtesy of Beatriz Braga)

With relatives in four different states in the United States, Braga’s family decided to make a life-changing decision and immigrate.

Braga explains that Campinas wasn’t the safest city in Brazil in which violence and robbery were frequent occurrences for residents. She recalls multiple experiences where she and her family had to call the police over incidents, even while living in a safer region of Campinas. 

When she was five years old, someone attempted to break into her house, prompting her parents and her to lock themselves in a room and call the police. Fortunately, the suspect was identified. 

At six years old, after she and her mom heard noises coming from their garage at 3 a.m., they saw two men fighting each other while almost breaking Braga’s gate in front of her house. The police were called and everything turned out okay. 

Braga said, “When I was 13, me and my family went to see the fireworks in the city. When we came back, everything was gone. That was in my aunt’s house, so me, my parents and my aunt, lost everything valuable you can imagine.”

“I used to hear gunshots at night, and I was constantly thinking that me and my parents were in danger,” said Braga. “This thought of ‘I’m in danger’ is not healthy at all.”

In Brazil, ancestral origins vary between regions. According to Braga, North Brazil consists mostly of indigenous people while South Brazil has many ancestors from Germany and Italy. In addition, some may come from nearby countries, such as Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, resulting in Spanish being more commonly spoken on the border. Despite the mix in races and nationalities, the majority of Brazilians speak Portuguese, which is the official language in Brazil.

“You will be very welcome there. Brazilians are really funny and respectful people,” said Braga.  “It is so easy to bond and create a friendship with someone there. Literally, we can tell our entire lives in one conversation, so you might ask yourself ‘Why is she telling me this?’ Don’t worry because it is a very Brazilian thing.”

Restarting her life when she was 15 years old was certainly not a simple experience. Braga had to leave some of her family and all of her friends behind in Brazil in order to move to Southern California. 

“I will not lie, it was not easy to make friends here either,” said Braga. “Most people at 15/16 already had a group of friends settled down.”

Beatriz Braga, her friends and her Portuguese teacher at their middle school graduation in Campinas, Brazil in 2018. Braga’s school system involved graduating middle school at the end of their freshman year. (Courtesy of Beatriz Braga)

Like many immigrants, the language barrier can be one of the most challenging aspects of adapting to an environment in a new country. 

“Some people underestimate your intelligence based on your accent or proficiency in English. It is very uncomfortable not being able to express yourself, and some people do not even try to help or understand a beginner,” said Braga. 

However, not only does being bilingual open up more job opportunities, it also allows oneself to have a greater view of the world around them and to better appreciate other cultures. 

“I would say, being bilingual and constantly switching languages, made my perception so much more ‘open,’ as well as my mind,” said Braga. “It seems like I’m able to understand the world around me more calmly and reasonably.”

REV Spanish teacher Susan Johnston said, “I was always impressed with her ability to switch languages quickly and correctly.”

Johnston continues, “Whenever I have a student in my class that speaks another language, I have an even higher expectation since I know they will be able to process a third language even more quickly. It has always been the case that exchange students or any other student speaking a language, other than Spanish, adapt more quickly and learn faster than some monolingual students.”

She and her family currently reside in Loma Linda. Braga has some family in Loma Linda that moved there about 12 years ago. She is a Seventh Day Adventist church member, as the majority of those in Loma Linda are. In Brazil, Braga had attended a Seventh Day Adventist school. 

Braga completed one semester of high school in Brazil before moving to California. At REV, Braga most enjoys being able to choose her own classes in her schedule. In Brazil, students didn’t have the opportunity to organize their own schedule. They also had 15 classes per week, compared to the six classes students have in the Redlands Unified School District. She notes that Spanish and English classes were required since the kindergarten level at her schools. 

She said of her REV teachers, “I would say I was very lucky to get to know all of my teachers. They are all very hardworking and friendly.”

Although Braga still has some family residing in Brazil, she is thankful for the opportunity to move and the new opportunities California has brought her. 

Braga said, “Restart[ing] your life can be very difficult sometimes, and fun too. Besides all that, I am very grateful for who I have met, and where I live now.”

Politics for Us provides growth and a new vision for Inland Empire femmes

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By JAZUI MEJIA

This is the official logo for Politics For Us, an organization run by Young Femmes. (Courtesy of Jazui Mejia)

One undeniable truth is that students have been nothing but loud as they uncover serious gaps in their social and political education. As racial incidents become devastatingly more frequent in schools, time and care are placed into building a sense of community and a mutual support system among high school students of color, making it a true definitive characteristic of this generation. 

Although it is natural to believe that the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 are the first classes of people to become pioneers of change, it is not the case. Meet Alejandra Davila, a Peruvian-born San Bernardino native that graduated from Cajon High School and Pomona College with a degree in Political Science and Gender/Women’s Studies. 

She describes how during her studies, the idea of a political education program for femme-identifying students came to fruition: an idea that would eventually become the Young San Bernardino Queens in Politics (now Politics For Us): 

“I developed the idea for the Young Queens in Politics program my junior year in college after taking two courses titled 'Women and Public Policy' and 'Voices and Stories in the Latinx Community.' They were the first courses I had taken that positioned the contributions of women
and people of color at the center of the curriculum. 

"Throughout the entirety of those courses, I was continuously shocked by how little I knew about historic and powerful women. I began questioning why the Civil Rights Movement, United Farm Workers Movement, and Women’s Liberation Movement had been summarized to a bullet point in my high school history classes. I wondered how empowered I would have felt if I had learned about the change-makers that had made my presence in educational and political spaces possible.

"Last spring, I enrolled in Professor Ochoa’s course 'Chicanxs/Latinxs and Education.' The class completely changed the way I viewed the education system and pedagogical strategies. Ira Shor’s book Education is Politics served as a point of inspiration for the program. Shor argues that there is no such thing as 'apolitical' classrooms with 'unbiased' teachers and 'neutral' curriculums; rather, classrooms and curriculums are inherently political. Shor posits that an empowering education is student-centered. 

"With these ideas in mind, I decided that I wanted to create a learning experience for young femme-identifying students in San Bernardino. With the mentorship of San Bernardino community organizers and educators, I founded the Young Queens in Politics program, space where young femme-identifying students could step into their power, raise their voice, and strengthen their sense of self. 

"The original program structure was a two-week afterschool program, the first one held at San Bernardino High School, and the second one held at Cajon High School. The first week of the program focused on the basics of the U.S. political system, the merits of civic engagement, and the current state of women in politics. The second week, students met with city council candidates and state representatives and asked their representatives questions about policy issues they were passionate about. Guidance on the college application process was also provided, and Claremont College Admissions Officers spoke to students.”  
- Alejandra Davila

Despite current global hardships, the program has grown tremendously and became a space that exceeded Davila’s previous vision. Davila and her planning committee which includes four radical women of color each equipped with a unique role and talents are responsible for the program’s growth. They work together to elicit powerful initiatives for the collective. 

One member of the committee is Kenia Garcia-Ramos, a sophomore at Pomona College studying both Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies and Gender & Women’s Studies. Based on the roles within the Social Change Ecosystem, Garcia-Ramos describes themselves as caregivers, storytellers, and guides.

Adriana Vazquez is a senior at Cajon High School who specializes in the role of a caregiver, a weaver, and a guide. Taelen Cobb, a senior at Pomona High School and a gifted storyteller boasts the additional talents of caregiver and healer. Lastly, Jazui Mejia, a sophomore at Redlands High School with a passion for being a visionary, builder and disruptor of all systems that do not serve an empowering purpose. 

Growth

Now, what exactly does the program’s growth look like?  Davila explains, “My two main goals were to create a very safe, empowering space to discuss “taboo” topics with femme-identifying students and to supplement their education with college resources. What Politics For Us is now, whether in-person or virtual, is a collective space where femme-identifying students can come and find their political voice, community and be somewhere where they can feel safe enough to learn about politics and education through a completely different lens. 

Young Queens in Politics was trying to replicate my education at Pomona which was just learning from the top to the bottom and saying “Let’s talk about laws, policies, structure, and theory’ whereas Politics For Us is much more localized and it’s more grounded in community, so more ‘Let’s talk about Black and Brown authors, let’s talk about social movements, let’s talk about what’s happening on the ground now.’”

Impact on Committee

For the Planning Committee, the complete shift in focus is something that has made a significant impact in their lives. Vazquez shares, “I think Young Queens was the first space where I definitely learned about what community was outside of school. I definitely consider that space to be where I realized what community is. Going into Politics For Us now, learning and establishing the sense of community as the center of our curriculum and what we’re trying to do, I love it even more, and it just makes me realize that I want this sense of community in college. When I’m writing my college applications and essays, I definitely had to talk about community a lot, as well as both Young Queens and Politics for Us.”

Cobb remembers the particular meeting day that turned everything around for the program, she reflects, “When we discussed the ongoing election, I only had feelings of helplessness, thinking we couldn’t do anything to change the way that our democracy was going. Then we began exploring what we need to look at locally. And these are, this is how these policies are just how these policies affect those how we feel about it. Then I was like, okay, like, now I can really add from a personal point of view, like, Oh, yeah, this is what’s going on here.” 

Cobb, similar to Vazquez, was inspired to write about this collective in her college applications, particularly as a way to resist the expectations placed on Black students in regards to writing about Black trauma:

“This collective has really helped me think when I’m doing my writing for college and realize that I don’t have to talk about trauma. A lot of colleges made it a point to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement during the presidential debate. I said ‘why are you debating about Black Lives?’ At the end of the day, that is so trauma-inducing. I’m tired of having to write about it even though everything that I am has been a Black person in America, but I don’t want to write about the trauma that comes along with that.” 

Garcia-Ramos feels that the program has made what is oftentimes inaccessible political education more widely available. “It’s taught me a lot about how to bring these ideas in a promoted classroom is selectively gate-kept. How we can really bring these topics that are so often just theorized about, into the lives of the people that we’re actually talking about. I think that we’ve been learning how we want community spaces to operate and how we really want to actually realize these things. Everything about this program is how education should be.”

Advice for Newcomers

The beauty of this collective is the connection and care between each individual. For this reason, if any young, Inland Empire, femme-identifying high school student is reading this and is thinking of joining in on the experience when the program opens up to the community in the coming months, the Planning Committee offers some words of wisdom. 

Davila makes sure to clarify misconceptions. “I’ve heard students say things like, ‘I just don’t have time for this, I don’t have time for another class’, but this is not a class. It’s not structured like your typical high school class, the ‘I’ll talk to you and you have to read all this stuff.’ It’s very much where we can all bring our experiences together and have more of a conversation. We reflect, we journal, we do a cool reading. That is what this looks like, because it’s more centered on the connection.”

In addition, Vazquez dives into the fear of being in a completely new space: “Advice I would give if you’re scared to come because you feel like you’re going to be the loner, or you’re just scared to come alone, tell your friends about it! If they’re your friends, and they’re supportive of you, and what you want to do, then let them know. If they say ‘okay, yeah, I’ll join you’, then there you go, you’re definitely not coming all on your own. If you can’t find friends to come and join you then don’t worry. You’re not going to be alone, because you have us, we’re here to support you. And we’re here to welcome you. We’re not here to lecture you and force you to learn. This is for you, hence the name Politics for Us.” 

To those that wish to break away from the mold created by schools, Garcia-Ramos suggests, “If you’ve ever felt frustrated with the way that your education has gone, if you’ve ever felt like you have been a loss of agency with your learning process or your education is not what you would want it to be, then I would say you should give this program a shot. If you ever want a space to, visualize, and imagine and disrupt and be emotional and talk, just like say whatever is on your mind about anything.”

Cobb keeps it simple and real: “We’re really not focused on pushing our opinions on others. It’s really like a round table sharing our opinions. It’s never like, ‘Oh, you think that? That’s weird.’ I would tell them to definitely join, come to meetings, and if they’re not feeling us, there’s no need to come back. If they are though, I’d encourage them to keep coming back, because we’re gonna have different topics and really expand on them.”


Each discussion, each reading, and every minute of both simple and authentic unity is being tailored by this team of young femmes, for young femmes. Every week, the Politics For Us (PFU) Planning committee comes together to work actively on a curriculum for when the program opens up. For more information on how to become a part of this space, follow @politicsforus_ on Instagram or reach out to Alejandra Davila at alejandra@politicsforus.org.

East Valley student wins televised talent competition for singing

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By ELLA FLETCHER and ALISSON BERMUDEZ

Through the pandemic, motivation has been hard to find. With the determination of certain organizations, some children have luckily escaped this fate and have been able to keep up with hobbies throughout this worldwide lockdown.

Redlands East Valley High School junior Sarah Urbieta has been an instrumentally talented student since the age of eight. Urbieta began her talented music journey by playing the piano, but her piano teacher soon opened her eyes to another musical instrument: her voice. This natural talent surprised everyone in her family as well. With the encouragement of both her family and her teacher, she enrolled in singing lessons. From now on, singing would  be a part of Urbieta’s life forever. 

Even with a worldwide pandemic, Sarah Urbieta maintains the motivation to work hard towards her life dream: to become a well known singer. (Courtesy of Sarah Urbieta)

On top of her singing lessons, Urbieta has joined multiple extracurriculars both inside and out of school. Her music knowledge has only grown as she has taken on both violin and bass in her school’s orchestra program. Outside of music Urbieta takes multiple Advanced Placement and Honors classes, is involved in French club, and plans to try out for REV’s volleyball team once she is safely allowed to. 

Despite this intense workload, Urbieta decided to enter Despierta America’s voice talent competition: Mi Hijo Es Un Artista. Urbieta’s mother approached her with the idea one day after school and, even though the studio was finished with the audition process, Urbieta sent her video audition in hoping she would still be accepted as a contestant.  

“Even if I didn’t win it would be a great opportunity for us. Get my face out there,” said Urbieta.

Despierta America not only accepted Urbietas audition but the studio contacted her saying that they loved her video! The team complimented Urbieta’s passion for music as well as her unique singing style. She was now a contestant and had to send in a second video of her signing. At this point in the competition the contestants would usually visit the Univision studio in Miami to be interviewed and further audition but Covid 19 concerns made it impossible. Her second virtual audition process went smoothly so the Urbieta family continued to wait. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CG_B-1zgN1M/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=13&wp=1480&rd=https%3A%2F%2Flaplazapress.wordpress.com&rp=%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fstudent-wins-cash-prize-for-voice-talent%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A929.4000000953674%7D

On Oct.16, 2020, Sarah Urbieta and her parents appeared on screen, tensely waiting for the outcome of the contest. After compliments on the winners voice talent and unique sound, a Despierta America spokesperson announced that Urbieta had won the competition. She and her family were ecstatic and relieved that Urbieta had finally won. 

“It was just one of the best things ever, you know? Where you fought so hard for something and you are finally able to get a win,” Urbieta said. 

Along with her win Urbieta was awarded 1,000 dollars to help her progress in her music career. The station also congratulated her on her win, saying she stood out from her competitors. After the competition, the studio’s team has visited her three times to congratulate, interview her, and to do a Holiday Special Thanksgiving designed to encourage those struggling during the current pandemic crisis. Despierta America’s support gave Urbieta a confidence boost and confirmation that all of her hard work had paid off. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CIFIQGTAAJv/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=13&wp=1480&rd=https%3A%2F%2Flaplazapress.wordpress.com&rp=%2F2021%2F04%2F05%2Fstudent-wins-cash-prize-for-voice-talent%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A1%2C%22os%22%3A932.5999999046326%7D

Urbieta has not had any major doubts about her music career because she has always been able to keep things in a positive perspective. The support of her family has really helped not only to maintain her hard working mindset, but also to forward her career in general. Her two young siblings are dragged around with Urbieta to auditions, festivals, and private events all because they are too young to be left alone in the house. The undeniable support of the family is what motivates Urbieta everyday to move forward and succeed in her dream. No matter the situation, time, or place, her family is right behind her ready to catch her falls and celebrate her victories. 

“If it makes you happy, you have to keep doing it no matter what,” said Urbieta.

She misses the energy felt when live on stage before the pandemic, such as her performance at the Mariachi Festival. 

Urbieta truly believes these words and fully intends to continue her music career, using this recent win as a springboard into future projects. This competition has given her national publicity and she is frequently asked to do private events digitally. 

Urbieta perseveres because she wants to pursue her music as a career and thanks to her hard work, vocal talent, and success with Diespierta America, her future is looking exceptionally bright.

“During my live performances I’m really just able to express myself and really just feel connected to the music and the audience. It’s something that has been hard to adjust to because for me it was kind of like therapy in a way. So I’ve had to adjust my mindset a bit and really just learn how I can still express myself and still interact with my audience. I just can’t wait for the moment I’m able to feel and experience that again!” Urbieta explains. 

To see more performances by Sarah Angel, search her Instagram handle @sarahangelmusica.

Redland’s Barton House Playschool opens its door for educational use

By KENDRA BURDICK

Even though the pandemic restraints many people from attending an in person school, Barton House Playschool makes themselves available. During these unprecedented times, the preschool is currently open as they uphold regulations to protect the students and workers while school is in session.

While many K-12 schools are currently closed, many preschools are still available to offer childcare for essential workers.

This establishment believes in a “play, discovery and curiosity” way of learning. On their website, they state that they “strive to provide an environment that encourages curiosity and discovery through play.”

Monica Strout, a mother of a BH Playschool student, said, “My daughter is so happy each day that she goes and is loved by all staff.” 

Barton House is one of the only public preschools, in Redlands, open throughout the time of COVID-19. They strive to make kids happy through this hard time. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)

They strive to make a safe environment for everyone due to COVID-19. They take precautions such as monitoring the children from being too close to each other, wiping down objects used in their play yard and making sure that all staff wears masks while on the campus. Though, the children wear masks while indoors, except at their snack time. 

Tina Stephens, assistant principal and former ten-year teacher at Barton House Playschool, said, “They do not have to wear them [masks] while playing outside, so they can get a good deep breath while running in the play yard.” 

Parents are asked to provide their children with a mask and an additional backup mask in case of a need for a change.he school does provide a disposable mask for a necessity; they hold quite the supply.

The teachers work with the children that have medical exceptions to attempt them to be comfortable with their masks; however, they are never disciplined or shamed about. But, there are not any exceptions with not being able to wear a mask.

Along with wearing masks, the teachers and other staff members do daily health checks before entering the school. Yet, staff members are not required to take a routinely COVID test.

There have been a total of three cases of COVID-19 at the preschool. After these cases were confirmed, the class was closed while students and teachers were quarantined for 14 days. Aside from this, there was no report of any students or other staff members getting COVID-19 in the school.  

Another guideline put in place is concerning if a parent catches COVID-19. The preschool asks that the child be quarantined for ten days from the date of the parent’s positive test.  If the child has any symptoms, the staff recommends the child to receive treatment; however, they cannot require it. 

Barton House Playschool makes all of these precautions and takes certain measures to keep the kids safe though the pandemic. All the teachers are holding the goal to give their students the opportunity to obtain an in-person education.

Redlands East Valley alumni offer advice they wish they had known before going into college

By MIRIAM YORDANOS

Waiting in anticipation for a college acceptance letter to choosing how to take the Advanced Placement exams, many seniors can feel overwhelmed as the end of the school year nears. Former members of Redlands East Valley class of 2020 offer advice to help current seniors enjoy their final moments as a senior and prepare for their transition from high school to college.  

 At REV, Jackson Houser was involved in many activities such as key club, interact club, and California Scholastic Federation. He was vice president of the National Honor Society and played varsity swim, and currently attends UC Irvine and is pursuing a major in psychological sciences.

Houser shares how he was fortunate enough to have the chance to live in the dorms at the university safely with the new modifications created due to COVID-19. Through this, he has been able to gain many new friends. 

Although the academics have been more demanding, he truly enjoys his classes and finds himself not minding the hours he spent on schoolwork.

“My advice to the current seniors is to ensure you enjoy and cherish your time at college, as it will truly be the best years of your life. There will be some difficulties along the way, so always make sure to take care of yourself first and foremost,” said Houser.

Elizabeth Amezquita attends Cal State University, Fullerton while taking her prerequisites to apply for the nursing program. Before attending CSUF, Amezquita played for REV girls soccer team throughout her whole high school career and was a link crew leader during her junior and senior years. 

Due to the pandemic, CSUF implemented programs to help students cope with online-learning through having monthly check-ins to provide people to talk to. 

Additionally, Amezquita tells how professors are being considerate and understanding of the difficulties of remote learning while making assignments. She shares there no need to be afraid to contact professors as they are willing to help any way they can.

Jacob Herrera posing at University of Southern California. Herrera is currently attending USC and believes the mindset of many college students is to work and have a good time, without worries of people’s opinion (Photo credit to Jacob Herrera).

 “Set aside time to focus on studying. Preferably, this time should be within a time that it would be reasonable to email professors if help is needed,” said Amezquita, “Finally, it’s not bad to not know what you want to study. Many of my classmates came into Fullerton with a major in mind and in the course of a few months, they ended up switching majors to something they had no idea they would like to pursue. You are young. Don’t be afraid to explore before you commit!”  

Another student at REV, Jacob Herrera, played an active role in its music program. He was a drum major of the marching band, student conductor and participated in the wind ensemble, jazz band and various other festival groups. 

Along with his contributions to the music program, he was the president of the philosophy club, a member of the math club and a captain of the track and field team.

Herrera is majoring in philosophy and physics with a minor in musical studies for trumpet performance at the University of Southern California.

He reflects how different USC is from high school, from the social environment to the learning environment. Outward appearances and hesitation to be oneself to appeal to peers is not an issue he believes. Collaborations, learning centers, teacher assistants and other avenues are also available to help students. 

“Focus on your needs in your college experience. Do what you like and find something that interests you. It’s so easy to get lost in outside expectations or distractions. Even if taking a semester off is what you need, do it! There’s nothing that should limit you from being you,” said Herrera.

Attending Cal State Poly Pomona, Kimberly Maldonado, a former member of the associated student body, Advancement Via Individual Determination program, math club and pride club, is majoring in civil engineering.

Living on the college campus, Maldonado enjoys the opportunity to be around people with similar experiences and views.

“Stay on top of your school but remember to breathe and be patient with yourself and that [you’ve] got this,” said Maldonado.

Redlands East Valley’s Christian Club impacts students’ mornings

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By ISAAC MEJIA

Christian Club has met for the last fourteen years at Redlands East Valley and existed at Redlands High School before REV was built. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo) 

Due to the current online school year, many clubs across the Redlands Unified School District have halted their activity. However, despite the many obstacles that distance learning presents, Redlands East Valley High School Christian Club remains one of the few clubs that still meets virtually. 

Christian Club is a Christian-based club with a mission to help students grow deeper in their relationship with God and other people of faith. The club welcomes all people to join and be a part of their experience as they dive into the Bible’s messages.  

Zoe Armida, vice president of Christian Club, said the club “is supposed to be a safe place for all followers and a place to help strengthen our belief and our love for God.” 

So how exactly does the club help students strengthen their faith in God?  During distance learning, the club meets every Wednesday from 8:00-8:30 a.m. Typically, members listen to youth pastors from different “Bible-based” Redlands Churches and are taught different sections of the Bible. They pray for each other and worship together. Scott Washburn, the club’s advisor, even plays the guitar and sings along with the students. The club offers a sense of community and does not force students to do anything they are not comfortable with. 

For many students, waking up everyday to sit at the front of a computer screen for six hours is stressful  and overwhelming. The club offers students the opportunity to start the day by equipping themselves spiritually. 

Washburn says, “Being a born-again Christian in high school is so important. There is so much stress just being a high schooler period. I don’t know how people do it without Jesus. His yolk is easy and His burden is light, and the peace of God that only the Holy Spirit can give transcends all understanding during these crazy times in everyone’s life [and] will put your heart at rest.”

The club aims to positively impact students’ mornings and provide them with any needed encouragement. It surrounds students with other people that have a heart for God and reassures them that there are other people in their school community that share similar beliefs. 

Karla Whitman, Christian Club Secretary, said, “It is great to see people who love God as much as I do, and are willing to spend their mornings coming to Christian Club. It is also great to hear God’s word during the middle of the week as it is the pinnacle of the week and usually the day I need the most motivation.” 

She further said, “It just makes my weeks going to Christian Club, because I know that the people there love and honor God, and I find that just so special. It is awesome that we are creating a community at school (even digitally) where we can feel comfortable to worship God and fellowship with other believers.”

The club does not require a lot from students. It is not an obligation or another responsibility that will add onto their growing plate; instead, the club offers the chance to help lift off that heavy burden students are carrying.

Students interested in joining Christian Club will not be met with judgment. Students are allowed to open up with students and engage to their liking. If students are interested in joining the club, they can email the club’s president, Miriam at at miriamyor.51979@redlandsschools.net or can go to the club’s Instagram @ rev.christain.club. The zoom meeting information is listed in their bio.

Amanda Gorman inspires teens to overcome stereotypes about disabilities

By LILY SHAW

Amanda Gorman: a poet, activist and inspiration. Overcoming speech and auditory processing challenges are very challenging, but Gorman didn’t let that stop her. 

A digital drawing depicting Amanda Gorman speaking at the 2021 Inauguration. At the Inauguration, she recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” and became the youngest poet to speak at an inauguration (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News art).

Nowadays, stereotypes are very common. People with disabilities are often underestimated or believed to be a burden or even be less successful than the average person. Gorman is living proof that disabilities do not determine your success.

Gorman was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder in kindergarten. Auditory processing disorders make it difficult to understand what people are saying. She also has speech articulation issues. According to Understood, a non-profit program dedicated to helping children who learn differently, this disorder makes it difficult for her to pronounce particular words and sounds. 

Although she battles these challenges, Gorman has been invited to speak at high-profile events. During the 2021 Inauguration, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in, Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” as the whole world watched. 

Zoie Wilson, a freshman at Redlands East Valley, said, “I thought Amanda Gorman’s poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’ was breathtaking. She addresses multiple topics that are very relevant to our country right now including economic, social and political issues. She also discusses racial injustice and black power.” 

Gorman’s uprising followed briefly after her poetry. Gorman has gained over 300,000 followers on Twitter and over 2,000,000 followers on Instagram after reading at the Inauguration. She also has had the opportunity to be featured on various television shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Daily Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Late Late Show with James Corden and a few others.

During the pre-show of the Super Bowl LV, Gorman entertained an audience of tens of millions of people. Gorman gave a new poem presentation of her poem “Chorus of the Captains.” Not only was her pre-recorded performance fantastic, but she is the only poet to ever perform at the Super Bowl.

Riley Hoekstra, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School, says, “I feel that Amanda Gorman is one of the people many teens will look up to. At age 22, she is the youngest person to speak at the Inauguration and the only poet to perform at the Super Bowl. She has shown that disabilities don’t stop her and overcoming stereotypes as a teenager is possible.”

The inspiration of Amanda Gorman will last forever. Three of her works: Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, The Hill We Climb and The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country are being published as books this year. Redlands-owned bookstore, The Frugal Frigate, is taking preorders of “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” for $15.99.