Foreign exchange student explores American high school culture at Redlands East Valley

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

Isabelle Ingebrigtsen is a foreign exchange student from Norway. She was Redlands East Valley’s cross-country manager last semester and plans to be a manager for track as well. Ingebrigtsen was inspired to study abroad after hearing the stories her father would tell her about times in the 80’s when he was a foreign exchange student himself.

She is involved in the program EF, Education First, which has provided “life changing education for global citizens” in 114 countires since 1965. When Ingebrigtsen was browsing on Youtube, she came across educational videos about EF. She also watched Highschool Musical, which depicted the idolized idea of American highschool. This popularized her traverse and she decided to try the American highschool experience.

In all places of the world, culture can differ widely. Coming from Norway, Ingebrigtsen’s culture is very different so when she came to the United States, she explained that, “people talked a different way and communicated differently than in Norway.” The American school system is also very different compared to hers. She does not have organized sports at her school, so if she wanted to participate in extracurriculars, she would have to participate in activities outside of school. Because of this, her school lacks the school spirit that REV displays. Because of this, she wanted to get involved and campus. She was Redlands East Valley’s cross-country manager last semester and plans to be a manager for track as well. 

The Norwegian school system is typically state-supported to ensure equal education for all. Meaning that the state also funds students’ college education. The school system is also divided into three levels. Elementary school, which is kindergarten then grades 1-7. Then, middle school (lower secondary school), grades 8-10. And lastly, highschool (upper secondary school), grades 11-13. 

When coming to the United States, Ingebrigtsen did not find it hard to adjust. She has been prepared for one of the many difficult parts of adjusting to a new country–the language. Ingebrigtsen began to learn english in grade 1, which is usually typical for other international countries because of the broad use of english around the world. When entering middle school, in order to get a diploma, it is required to pick a third known language to study, given the options of German, French, Spanish, or Chinese. So, she is very cultured for her age when it comes to foreign language.

Ingebrigtsen doesn’t have the opportunity to visit home during the school year, so she video chats with her friends and family in Norway whenever she gets the chance. Nevertheless, she does “love to hang out with friends” in her free time. She also likes to travel “so [she] wants to see everything including the culture and the sites in California.” Her favorite place she has gone to is the beach and seeing it’s “beautiful sunsets.” 

Before coming to America, she had dreams to live here, but after seeing how expensive everything is compared to Norway, those dreams came to a halt. However, she  “would love to come back for a couple months at a time in the future.”

When Ingebrigtsen leaves she will miss “[her] friends, the language, the access that [she] has to the beach, and the amazing food.”

Q&A: Wildcat Career Readiness Specialist discusses goals for program

By AALEYAH WINSLOW

Everyday Norma Nuno works with several students at Redlands East Valley High School helping them prepare for their careers and take necessary steps to ensure success. Nuno works with the Regional Occupational Program , and she oversees ROP ambassadors. Whether you need to know how to prepare for an interview or you just want someone to talk to Nuno is always there and willing to help.

Aaleyah Winslow, Ethic staff: What is your full name and position?

Nuño: Norma Nuno and I am a career readiness specialist.

Norma Nuno is pictured helping a student write a resume, for her first job, in the Career Center at Redlands East Valley High School. (Aaleyah Winslow/ Ethic Photo)

Winslow: How long have you done this?

Nuño: I’ve been working at Redlands East Valley for 5 years and 6 years for the ROP program.

Winslow: What schooling did you get to do this?

Nuño:I went to UCR and completed the Bachelors in child development, then I got my Masters in human development from Pacific Oak College in Pasadena.

Winslow:What inspires you to do this?

Nuño:I love the fact that I can help young adults pursue their careers because as a young adult myself I never had that opportunity. I walked into higher education blindfolded and it’s the scariest feeling but having the resources and giving students that sense of relief is the greatest feeling in the world.

Winslow: What does CRY ROP stand for?

Nuño: CRY means Colton Redlands Yucaipa and the ROP is regional occupational programs

Winslow:What is CRYROP’s mission?

Nuño:Our mission is to prepare young adults for a career either a technical or trade school. It’s just more like hands on, so we’re more industry based. We have mental health class, and then we have cyber security, video production, manufacturing, personal fitness trainer, and we have the student store as well.

Winslow: Who should take these classes?

Nuño:Everybody because why not?All students should be advised about ROP classes.

Winslow: Why are these classes encouraged?

Nuño:I believe ROP classes are like old school classes. You know back in our day, we had all these hands on classes, like we used to have babies that would come home with us with computers in them. These classes give you real life experiences that one day come in handy.

Winslow:How does an ROP class put one ahead from other students who are not in an ROP class?

Nuño: We prepare you for the outside world. We teach students how to do resumés, how to dress for a job interview, how to do interviews for a job, and how to follow up after you’ve completed the interview. Besides helping you with job resources, our ROP classes are also articulated, meaning that when students complete and successfully pass the class they receive free college credits.

Winslow:What is the most exciting part of ROP?

Nuño: The most exciting part of ROP are our Ambassadors.

Winslow:Where are these classes offered?

Nuño:They are offered in each high school. That’s why we are called Colton Redlands Yucaipa because it’s all the regions from Colton to Yucaipa.

Winslow: What is an ROP ambassador?

Nuño:An ROP ambassador is a representative of ROP, so they are the face of the program.

Winslow: What are the advantages of being an ambassador?

Nuño: ROP Ambassadors gain resources and you get to network a lot. They attend lots of leadership workshops where they gain social skills and at times, even get hired at these conventions.

Winslow: What else should people know about ROP?

Nuño: ROP classes not only give students free college credits but sometimes help students find their true passion. They get to test the waters to see if that’s what they really want to do when it comes to their careers.

Gerrards Market opens its doors to every Redlands family

By AVALON SALVADORE and KAT SUTOW

“I like to think the best way to own a business is to lead by example.”

Gerrards Market on W. Cypress Ave in Redlands CA is known by its motto “Big enough to serve you…Small enough to care!” (Kat Sutow / Ethic Photo)

The interior of Gerrards Market is characterized by an overall small-store feel as the establishment is dedicated to serving its community in an open and welcoming manner. (Kat Sutow/Ethic Photo). 

Gerrards Market is a local grocery store in Redlands, California that opened its doors for service 90 years ago. This quaint little shop provides Redlanders with an all-inclusive big name grocery store feel while still supplying all the charm of a mom-and-pop shop. Tom Reingover has been the owner of the store for the last 20 years; his major focus is to help support his local community and other local businesses. In this grocery store you can find products and merchandise that you can’t find in your local Stater Brothers or Vons alongside all your regular necessities. When you think of a store owner, you tend to imagine an individual constantly working behind the scenes; this description does not fit Reingover however. His hands-on involvement and everyday work not only grows the business itself, but builds Gerrards Market’s special brand of originality. “I like to think the best way to own a business is to lead by example,” said Reingover when asked why he is so involved in the store’s day-to-day operations. Gerrards Market is just one of many local businesses in Redlands but its uniqueness stems from the fact that it offers all of Redlands within its walls as it provides the community with a way to buy their neighbors’ products at an affordable price. 

Ethic News sat down with Reingover to further discuss his business and its impact on the Redlands community. 

Q Why did you decide to buy or own the store? 

A “I worked for a major supermarket chain for 25 years; it was a big corporation and I decided I wanted to do my own thing.” 

Q Why do you focus so heavily on Redlands?

A “We try to do what chain stores don’t do. Chain stores can’t really focus on local communities like independent stores can, so I try to focus on the independent small businesses in town that I can support. It’s fun and makes us unique.” 

Q What is the one thing that people should come here for? What makes this store special? 

A “It’s not just one thing; it’s hundreds of things you know? But the short answer is that we support the local community. We do so many things, and we have so many things that you can’t find anywhere else. Unique products, high quality merchandise, but primarily the reason you should come is because we offer products and services that nobody else in town offers.” 

Q What is your favorite part of the store?

A “My favorite part of the store would be the whole store. If I had to pick one thing it would be the local products. I love to do the local thing and support the local businesses.” 

Q Could you tell me some of the history of the store?

A “The gentleman that started the company was a fellow by the name of A.C. Gerrard; he started it and ran it for years. He started it in 1930 and then his son, Paul Gerrard, took it over and he ran it for 50 years. I purchased the store in 1999 from Paul Gerrard and the original family, so I’ve had it for the last 20 years.” 

Q A little more about you?

A “I started bagging groceries when I was 16 years old at Stater Bros. and I worked my way up. When I left after 25 years I was the President of Marketing for Staters Bros.” 

Q Why do you focus so much on small businesses?

A “One reason is that I’m looking for unique products that the customer can’t find anywhere else.”

Q Could you tell me more about the coffee and juice bar that you just opened? 

A “I’m trying to offer something that the chains stores can’t. For the most part, nobody’s doing what I’m doing here. Yes, we have coffee but we also have a full line of smoothies; we have a full line of acai bowls, and we have a full line of fresh juices. We also have homemade sandwiches.” 

Q You guys are running it all yourselves?  

A “That’s right.”

Q How do you get these ideas for everything in your store? A “I actually go all over. I go to food shows; I went to the San Francisco food show last weekend and the Chicago food show and one in New York to get products for unique stuff. I also rent a car and look at the grocery stores.”

Moreno Valley tragedy prompts district reflection on disciplinary procedures

By JOSEPH QUESADA

The Redlands Unified School District offers resources and encouragement to staff, students, parents and community members to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students. Similar flyers and information are posted across all RUSD campuses. (Image provided by Redlands Unified School District)

13-year-old Diego Stolz died from the injuries sustained from a brutal on-campus attack at Landmark Middle School on Sept. 16. 

The Moreno Valley School District came under fire after Stolz, a student at Landmark Middle School, was allegedly cornered by two other boys and violently beaten until he stumbled headfirst into a concrete pillar, triggering a seizure, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The authorities said that 13-year-old was transported to a local hospital where he then went into a coma and eventually passed away a little over a week later on Sept. 24. The brawl that took Stolz’s life was captured on video and posted to Facebook shortly after the fight.

Students and staff close to Stolz informed authorities that this violent outburst was not the first time that Stolz was subject to harassment on campus. The bullying was reportedly occurring for weeks with little to no response from school administration. 

Diego Stolz’s death is a case of on-campus bullying that had a horrific outcome. According to the Desert Sun News, the family of the 13-year-old victim is pushing a lawsuit on the Moreno Valley School District, seeking a settlement of 100 million dollars to account for wrongful death and civil violations. This death is sure to incite monumental changes in the disciplinary and safety programs of all schools in the district. 

On-campus bullying is nothing new to schools across America. In fact, many schools are taking extra measures to ensure that kids are able to report any harassment in an effort to prevent further escalation. For example, the San Bernardino School District is beginning to implement a system across all schools where students can anonymously report bully situations to staff. A group of district professionals is then sent out to the school to deal with the issue and ensure the safety of the student. 

Redlands Unified School District also holds bully prevention among one of its highest priorities. The RUSD website has information that states, “The Redlands Unified School District works hard every day to ensure students accelerate their academic achievement, and the safety and well-being of our students is a top priority.”

Students experiencing on campus bullying of any form should visit RUSD’s website under the student services section to explore options on how to seek help.

New Wildcat assistant principal advises perseverance to all students

Redlands East Valley assistant principals Rick Batres and Ron Kroetz walk around the quad during lunch on Oct. 24, 2019. Batres and Kroetz make themselves visible and available to speak to students on a daily basis before school and during lunch. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic Photo)

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

Even before receiving his position at Redlands East Valley High School, Rick Batres has always had some kind of involvement with the school, particularly through the family members who have attended the school over the past 8 years. Batres has lived in Redlands for 10 years now, and consequently all of his children received their education within the Redlands Unified School District. 

Batres is the newest assistant principal at REV, but this isn’t his first job in education; currently, Batres is in his 24th year in education.

With his longest stay at Rialto High School, Batres spent nearly 15 years as a teacher. Afterwards, he became an administrator in different sites across the Rialto School District for nine years, serving as an assistant principal at middle school and high school levels.

As an assistant principal, Batres will help students by encouraging dialogues, listening to them and offering advise. He does not plan on changing things at REV any time soon. “I only want to observe before I try to incorporate anything,” Batres said.

So far, Batres loves the job of assistant principal as he is able to build relationships with students, staff and parents. “The energy here is really, really cool,” Batres said. “You can feel it is a learning institution. You can feel learning occurring on this campus. It’s absolutely exciting to me.”

Rick Batres arrives early to Redlands East Valley High School each morning to get ready for the day and hold meetings with students or staff members when needed. In the half hour before the first bell rings, Batres leaves his desk to greet students and staff at the school’s main entry. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic Photo)

Originally, when Batres was in middle school and high school, he loved to play sports and hoped one day to coach students and stay involved with sports by giving back to the community. He would later attend Cal State San Bernardino University to eventually become a teacher and coach, consequently completing a degree in physiology.

Since college, Batres has had the same quote in mind: “Always persevere, as the different ups and downs in life will get you where you want to be, if you persevere.” This mentality kept him moving forward throughout hard times, and he would like to share this quote to the students at REV.

Batres maintained that his family is his motivation to keep improving and trying his best both in work and in life. Building relationships with students and staff is another plus for him that he sees it as a main part of his job. He believes this friendliness has a positive impact on himself and the school. He also feels that the Redlands Unified School District is mainly based on the idea that “we are all family” or interconnected. 

Most of Batres’ family is a part of the district, either as teachers, staff members or even students. For example, his wife, Kelly Batres, is a teacher at Moore Middle School and Zoe Batres, his daughter, is a freshman at REV. Both Zoe and Rick Batres said they feel “a sense of security” by having family so close in the area. For Batres, he would rather spend his free time with his family over anything else. 

As Batres begins his first year as an assistant principal at REV, he hopes to have a positive impact on every student this school year. He has faith in the students and believes it will be a great school year.  

Citrus Valley’s newest administrator, J.J. Martinez, is excited about his position as assistant principal

By JOSEPH QUESADA

Assistant Principal J.J. Martinez works hard to ensure many facilities run smoothly at Citrus Valley. (Joseph Quesada / Ethic Photo)

The 2019-2020 school year marks J.J. Martinez’s 12th year as an educator in the Redlands Unified School District. Before his time in the classroom, he attended the University of Redlands where he received a degree in mathematics with a minor in physics. Martinez got his start in the educational field by subbing and teaching summer school for the district before taking a job as a math teacher at Cope Middle School. Martinez explained that the connections he develops with students, and the chance to guide them toward further education is one of his favorite aspects of teaching. “I particularly enjoy student engagement and having the opportunity to connect with the kids through education,” said Martinez. 

Before transitioning into administration, Martinez spent two years as a “teacher on assignment,” meaning he served one year as a math instructor and the other as a technology advisor. The first three years of his time as an administrator was spent at Redlands East Valley High School as an assistant principal. 

Now at Citrus Valley, Martinez is in charge of coordinating many of the everyday functions that help the school run smoothly. Martinez oversees the discipline and behavior at Citrus Valley as well as the technology programs, special education and other select areas such as the social studies department and underclassmen related matters. His main goal going forward is to cover all bases in an effort to maintain the school’s efficiency and ensure that every student on campus has a positive experience. Martinez credited his strength as an administrator to his ability to work with peers in order to address the root of issues. “Interaction among other staff and students is essential to finding the source of any problem and will always lead to further success,” said Martinez. 

Eventually, Martinez hopes to find himself back in the classroom as a teacher but, for now, he is enjoying his new position.

Whiteboard question: How do you feel about homecoming being at REV?

By ALYSSA ORNELAS

Brooklyn Rios, freshman cheerleader. (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Eric Jones, freshman. (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Marin Mohr, freshman. (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Bryan Prietofigueroa, junior. (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Josh Vernecke, freshman. (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Security Officer Dave McDermott (left) and freshman Mauricio Pliego (right). (Alyssa Ornelas/ Ethic Photo)

Photo gallery: Citrus Valley Fall Festival kicks off the homecoming weekend

By ETHAN DEWRI

Emma Spendlove, Sarah McClung and Kassidy Burdette prepare and sell snow cones for Link Crew. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Luke Burroughs, Adam Wakoli, Max Herzog and Tim Le dance along the music played by the band and orchestra. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Despite the gloomy weather and sinking temperatures,  Citrus Valley High School’s many clubs and ASB set up booths, floats and activities to fundraise and celebrate the day before the school’s much-anticipated homecoming on Sept. 28, 2019.

The class of 2021 displays their class float for all to see during Fall Festival. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

The class of 2020 displays their class float, which Assistant Principal Curtis Marcell sums up as a visual representation of the year’s “2020 vision.” (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

During the hectic day, class periods were only 25 minutes long, the first rally of the year took place, Fall Festival began right after school and, lastly, Citrus Valley’s varsity football played against Grand Terrace High where, at halftime, the Homecoming King and Queen were revealed.

Ahlora Smith serves chicken tamales, beans and rice to customers for Ethic News. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Spanish club prepares nachos alongside DIY Club as it sells ice cream and soda. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Fall Festival itself was full of excitement as students enjoyed the various foods and drinks sold by clubs, the live performances and the simple joy spending time together. 

Jeremy Allen, musician in Citrus Valley’s band and orchestra, plays his trombone lively during Fall Festival. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Kelly Nguyen, president of Key Club, advertises taro bubble tea from Boba Tea House. (Ethan Dewri /Ethic Photo)

Ahlora Smith, CV chief executive officer, and Christina Andronescu, CV editor-in-chief, advertise Ethic News and its fundraising efforts. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Many clubs sold out quickly and are excited to begin planning how the funds will go toward their mission or activities. Sophia Cantuba, president of Make-A-Wish Club, is happy to announce that the club is “donating [all proceeds] to the Make-A-Wish foundation” to help fulfill sick childrens’ wishes. 

Chelsea Widjaja, secretary of Key Club, advertises Key Club’s Boba Tea House drinks to students. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Nena Ojukwu and Evadney Brooks, leaders of Black Student Union, sell chicken tenders, chips and cookies to fundraise for future events. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Black Student Union and Asian Student Union at Citrus Valley emphasize inclusivity and empowerment

By CHRISTINA ANDRONESCU

Black Student Union Vice President Nena Ojukwu (left) and President Evadney Brooks (right) encourage all students to participate in their club’s activities. (ETHAN DEWRI/ Ethic Photo)

Studies have shown that diversity in schools not only better prepares students for an increasingly diverse society and global economy, but it also improves cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, among students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Students that interact with peers of different backgrounds gain social-emotional benefits as well; the increased tolerance and cross-cultural dialogue only serve to improve civil society.

This year, Citrus Valley High School welcomed two new clubs dedicated to fostering understanding between cultures and promoting diversity on campus: Black Student Union (BSU) and Asian Student Union (ASU).

“I noticed around campus that a lot of people feel underrepresented, especially in Redlands,” said BSU President Evadney Brooks. “I also noticed that a lot of opportunities that were offered to my friends at other high schools [through BSU] were not offered here. I just wanted to open those possibilities to our students,” said Brooks.

BSU Vice President Nena Ojukwu hopes that in the long-run the club will successfully “educate students about African American history and culture,” but for now the main short-term goal is “to have fun.”

Brooks further elaborated on BSU’s future plans: “Our long-term goal is to establish an impactful and lasting club. Right now we’re working on making everything more permanent by listing and outlining all the activities we could do for years to come. I don’t want to make a club and once I leave, it’ll die out; I want BSU to stay.”

At meetings, BSU will hold “Real Talks,” biweekly discussions of controversial political or social topics, and organize games that relate to the matters discussed in the Real Talks. The leadership of BSU strives to involve students of all backgrounds in their discussions, as “having many perspectives from different minority groups is better than having the voice of just one minority group,” according to Brooks. 

“We want everyone to feel welcome and we accept all cultures,” summarized Ojukwu.

Asian Student Union Vice President Kayla Nguyen (left) and President Katharine Ngo (right) wish to empower their Asian peers and educate all students about various Asian cultures. (ETHAN DEWRI/ Ethic Photo)

The leadership of Asian Student Union similarly stresses inclusivity and positive dialogue between peers. President Katharine Ngo agreed that “with Asian Student Union, we plan to empower Asian peers and teach non-Asian peers about our culture.” In order to do so and spread the word, Vice President Kayla Nguyen plans “to have fundraisers and maybe get merchandise” while aiming to “hold events that will help bring fellow Asians together.”

Empowerment is at the forefront of ASU’s mission. Ngo described her hope for the club’s impact on campus: “Personally I would like to see other Asians holding themselves in a better light and seeing themselves like ‘my monolid eyes are very pretty,’ ‘my accent is pretty,’ or ‘my culture is unique.’”

At meetings, ASU will explore the main ideas of different Asian cultures, such as the annual holidays, key country facts and the basics of the language. But, before the club begins learning, Ngo and Nguyen hope to lead  “a social circle where we can learn more about each other and reinforce the feeling of a family or a tight-knit group.”

“Outside of our meetings, we currently have a karaoke night in the fall and our own Lunar New Year festival in the early year,” said Ngo. “It would be nice for both Asians and non-Asians to have a taste of our culture in a place where it isn’t so prominent, such in the OC or Bay Area.”

Overall, Ngo and Nguyen hope to communicate to Asian peers the following:  “We’re here and we’re a family—not invisible.” 

Asian Student Union’s officers are primarily underclassmen; they are a positive example of student engagement and leadership by demonstrating that students of all grade levels can play an active role in influencing Citrus Valley’s learning environment. Ngo and Nguyen both agree that although taking on leadership roles is challenging at times, “in the end, it’s worth it and we’re learning so much about Citrus in general.”

BSU meets twice a month on Fridays (every Friday during Black History Month) in Room C-08 

Contact Evadney and Nena through Remind. Text @cv-bsu to 81010 to join.

BSU’s Instagram: @citrusvalley_bsu

ASU meets every other Wednesday in Room C-29

Contact Katharine and Kayla through Remind. Text @cvhsasu20 to 81010 to join.

ASU’s Instagram: @cvhsasu

Severo joins Orangewood High School staff as new career center teacher

By GABRIELLA GODINEZ

Deborah Severo is Orangewood High School’s new Career Center teacher. 

Prior to working for Redlands Unified School District she worked for what is now known as Accenture, as a senior consultant for their Change Management division in Connecticut. Right after that she was head of the Education and Training division of the Western region for Aetna/U.S. Healthcare. 

While working for RUSD she worked at Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley High School, and Citrus Valley High School for ten years as the Career Center Teacher. 

She said that what she likes most about Orangewood is the students and staff because everyone is very supportive. At Orangewood, she is able to do what she enjoys, which is helping students prepare for their futures. 

Severo has a son who graduated from REV. The rest of her family lives on the east coast. 

For fun, Severo likes reading, writing, painting, taking hikes and traveling. She was born in France and lived there until she was about three years old, then moved to Connecticut where she grew up. Later, she left for college in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She has also lived in Hawaii, Georgia, and Louisiana. She’s lived here in California for the past 25 years. 

During her high school years, she started at Sheehan High School for her freshman year and for the rest of high school she went to Southington High School. For her college courses she went to Mount Holyoke College for freshman and sophomore years. Then she could not afford it anymore because her parents would not complete the FAFSA forms. Severo paid for it herself. She then applied for transfer to Rutgers University and graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology. 

Severo’s favorite foods are Italian and seafood. Her favorite music is mainly groups like Imagine Dragons and One Republic. 

Severo says that in 10 years she sees herself at Orangewood High School and also she aspires to have a book of her own poetry published. In the next 20 years she sees herself retired from the RUSD. 

Negrette begins new school year as office manager at Orangewood High School

By GABRIELLA GODINEZ 

Melissa Negrette is the new office manager at Orangewood High School. She worked at Citrus Valley High School for seven years as an administration manager. Before that she also worked at the San Manuel Administration Office for nine years.

Negrette had been looking for a change and that led to her promotion at Orangewood High School. 

Negrette has a husband and two children: a teenager and a toddler. She grew up in Highland, California and still lives there with her family. She says she likes where she has grown up.

While growing up in Highland she went to San Gorgonio High School and managed to graduate a whole year ahead of her class in 2003. After high school she chose to further her schooling and went to Ashford University to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Education Administration. 

Melissa Negrette sits at her desk in the Orangewood High School main office. (Ethic photo)

In Negrette’s likes spending her free time with her family and doing some self motivating activities such as group classes at the gym. She likes to listen to all types of music, but at the moment her “go to” music is country.

She says in 10 years she hopes to still be working at Orangewood High and in 20 years she hopes to be retired. 

Photo slideshow: Wildcats reflect on the 2018-19 school year

By LILIAN MOHR and ALISON BRADSHAW

Students at Redlands East Valley High School share thoughts on the 2018-19 school year.

“Albert is my favorite part of the school year,” says David (left). “David is my favorite part of this school year,” says Albert (right). Both students are in the PossAbilities Program at Redlands East Valley High School. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic Photo)
“I came new to the school this year and even though it was very hard to make friends and adjust, I got used to it and overall this school is very welcoming in a way and I liked my half of a semester here at REV,” says freshman Stephanie Hayes, who came to Redlands East Valley in the middle of the school year. (ALISON BRADSHAW/ Ethic Photo)
“It was a good school year and there were a lot of good memories from freshman year. It was a very exciting freshman year,” says freshman Arnie Corpus (left). “I made a lot of new friends”, says freshman Calvin Littlejohn (middle). Pictured on the right is freshman Carlos Perez. (ALISON BRADSHAW/ Ethic Photo)
Freshman Dylan Petersen says, “This year was very difficult but being involved with clubs and sports made it really fun.” (ALISON BRADSHAW/ Ethic Photo)
Sophomore Lauren Glaub (left) says, it “was a pretty crazy year but also a good one.” “There were so many fights, everyday you walked out of class there were would be a different group of people surrounding a fight, but it was overall a fun year,” says junior Sydney Baca (right). (ALISON BRADSHAW/ Ethic Photo)
“This school year was filled with many memories” says freshman Reagan Young. (ALISON BRADSHAW/ Ethic Photo)

Hill reflects on her first year in Citrus Valley’s Career Center

by JOSEPH QUESADA

Kari Hill, Citrus Valley’s career center coordinator, is nearing the end of her first year in her new position. Towards the beginning of the first semester, she was asked what she was planning to bring to the student body throughout the ensuing school year. With only four weeks to go until summer, she was interviewed again to see how things have gone for her and how she is enjoying her life in the career center.

Mrs. Hill said her approach to next year is summed up as “It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, only where you are going.” – L.M. Fields (RICHARD BUNNER/ Ethic Photo)

This year, Hill put a major emphasis on getting as many kids into college as possible, and she has really pushed to instill the idea of further education as both necessary and attainable. Over the last nine months, she has worked with students to apply for colleges, prepare résumé’s, fill out the FAFSA and student aid applications, apply for jobs, submit work permit applications and help students organize and plan out their goals for the future. Hill also introduced a variety of leadership opportunities to the students of Citrus Valley, including dual enrollment programs, internship positions, work experience programs, career outreach programs and job/career fairs here on campus. This year alone she has helped countless students fulfill their future plans by pushing them to get hired and enter the workforce, apply and be accepted to colleges and enlist in the armed forces.

The career center on campus is invigorated by Hill’s positive and helpful attitude. She works each and every day to give the center a welcoming and resourceful atmosphere that pushes students to get a head start on their futures. “The most rewarding part of my job is when kids bring in college acceptance letters; it just puts the biggest smile on my face,” she responded when asked what her favorite part of her job was. “This job doesn’t even feel like a job. Every single day I work for something new, and it is always positive. I love what I do, and I love helping each and every student reach their goals after high school.” Her caring and joyous character are what makes the career center here at Citrus Valley such an inviting resource.

While the 2018-2019 school year is coming to an end, Hill is already looking towards the future with the addition of more events and resources in mind. Next year, she is hoping to devote an entire month to college-related programs and events rather than the single college week that has been done in the past. This month will be used to spread awareness about the importance of attending college and to present their resources at Citrus Valley, which will help students to venture into post-high school education. Hill’s overall goal here on campus is to eventually have every single student apply for some form of secondary education or enlist in the armed forces by the time they graduate.

At the end of one year, it is apparent that Mrs. Hill is the right fit for Citrus Valley’s career center. Her bright and enthusiastic personality helps her to work closely with students to accomplish their goals, whatever they may be. Her importance to the student body should not be overlooked as she plays a huge role in planning out many Citrus Valley students’ post-high school plans and careers. All students attending Citrus Valley should be aware of the career center and the numerous resources that are available to help them with any college or career-related tasks.

Exploring Citrus Valley’s infamous E-building

By EMILY WALOS

What’s the most confusing thing in the world? Is it why you got that B in your favorite class? That problem you had on your math homework? What about that test you took in science? Well, for Citrus Valley High School students, it’s the E-building.

Ever since the school’s opening 10 years ago, the building that holds the science and elective classes has been the most confusing part of the campus. Normally a building’s room numbers are consistent, with the numbers getting bigger and smaller at a constant rate; however, in the E-building the numbers are all randomly placed.  For example, if someone is looking for E-121 and then see E-120, the original number that person was looking for could be in a completely different section of the building.

Freshman Molly Johnson

“On my first day of school, of course I was nervous about the new school; however, I thought I would be able to navigate the halls,” stated Molly Johnson a Freshman at Citrus Valley.

As her first day continued she was “doing pretty good” and was finding her classes on time. It wasn’t until she had Biology during fifth period that a major problem presented itself. She was lost in the E-building, so she continued to wander the halls noticing that none of the numbers went in a sequence. However, after circling the inside of the building multiple times, she saw what she had been looking for.

E-building Navigation: Undetermined

The halls have always been a frightening place, especially for freshmen as it is their first year in high school and they are still adjusting. Finding a class should be one of the easiest things for students to do, but it is still a constant struggle for almost all of the students of Citrus Valley.

Sophomore Grace Holle

Sophomore Grace Holle states, “My freshman year I was about a week late and I walked into my first period biology class where they were doing a lab, so my teacher sent me to another classroom to work on some stuff I had missed, and she gave me the classroom number, but I passed it like seven times before I finally found the ‘entrance door.’ I find it funny how many doors each classroom has because I always seem to only find the one we shouldn’t enter from.”

E-building Navigation: Undetermined

Many of the rooms in the building have two entrance doors and a door connecting to the classroom across or beside it. The two entrance doors can confuse wandering students as some teachers only allow for one door to be entered from.

Senior Elisa Ordaz Turbill adds, “Freshman year I would walk around wondering why none of the numbers matched, and I walked by my classroom three times.”

E-building Navigation: Undetermined

Students have tried to come up with systems to either explain the inconsistency or to at least help navigate it; however, many have tried and failed.

According to Alexander Hilbert, a junior at Citrus Valley, the only way to try to navigate the E-building is to “just memorize it.” During his three years at Citrus Valley, he claims he has never gotten lost only due to the fact that he took the time to try and memorize the location of all the numbers.

E-building Navigation: Memorized

High school life in general can be confusing for all teenagers. With most worrying about their grades, social life or sports, Citrus students are worrying about the same as they wonder if they will be able to just find their next class.

Fujii’s Gourmet works towards becoming an established business in the Redlands community


Ric Sutow stirring a batch of Fuji’s Gourmet teriyaki sauce. (KAITLYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)

By KAITLYN SUTOW

You may have heard that businesses take a lot of work. However, do you know how much effort is really put into them? Fujii’s Gourmet is just one example of the many businesses that take an immense amount of time, thought and care to get up and running to benefit the community.

Some of the first requirements were to set up a limited liability company, a kitchen to make the sauce in and a health permit. All the people involved in cooking also had to get their food handlers card or manager card.

A look into how the sauce is cooked in large batches of three to six gallons.
(KAITLYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)

Luckily, the business found a small commercial kitchen in Redlands that was taking new businesses and was affordable. Since they use the kitchen, the health permit is valid for that address and is already regularly kept up and inspected.

Next was to take the food handlers card and manager card tests. This insures everyone involved in the cooking knows all the proper rules and regulations when in the kitchen.

A line up of jars cleaned and ready to be filled with teriyaki sauce. (KAILTYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)

Once the legal parts, like permits and certifications, were put into place the next step was to get started on the product; the labels, jars, boxes, website and shipping still needed to be designed and set up.

For labels, the business found a company that would help them design and size the label for the jars they planned on using. They went through a few different designs before settling on one and ordering the labels. Later, they decided to use a different label design and kept the old one for the spicy flavor. Now they have a red themed label for the spicy sauce and a yellow themed label for the original sauce.

For the time being, the company uses glass jars often used for jams and jellies to package their sauces, but they plan to find a better alternative that still gives the product a handmade feel. The current jars are easily accessible but have their downfalls; they do not pour out well and are very heavy and easily breakable, making it hard to ship the jars for online orders.

In order to ship the online orders, boxes are required; the business chose to use a company that made the boxes affordable and in all the sizes needed for their jars. They plan on shipping jars in groups of one, four, six and 12 and filling in empty spots with bubble-wrap if there is an odd number ordered. The only con was that, to get the boxes to a reasonable price, they needed to order a mass amount of the boxes in all sizes.

The business did some research and found that shopify would provide them with everything they needed to set up and use their website. It is currently set up and personalized with pictures, descriptions and a little history of the business and recipe.

The website can be found at www.fujiisgourmet.com .

The final and most crucial step is to gain a following; the company is trying to build up their social medias and publicity so they can get into larger farmer markets. They are trying many methods to become a well known brand, like giving free samples and getting to know customers so they are more likely to get repeat business.

During this whole process, the company is trying to be as cost efficient as possible while getting to a point where it can sustain itself and be beneficial to the community. It has come a long way from its initial establishment and will continue to grow and expand in the future.

Keiser positively impacts Citrus Valley High School students

By KAITLYN SUTOW

Mr. Keiser (BELLA ESPINOZA/ Ethic Photo)

Carl Keiser is a well-known substitute teacher in the Redlands School District and has a great reputation with both students and teachers. He has subbed in the district for a year and has been a long-term sub for a few teachers at Citrus Valley, like McGrath, Goodland, and Carpenter.

He mentioned how he wishes to become a teacher at Citrus Valley in either special education or World history. Since he already is familiar with Citrus Valley’s campus and staff, he would be able to easily assimilate to daily life at Citrus and would make a great addition to the school.

Although Keiser’s dream of being a teacher did not start early, it wasn’t his only plan. He said growing up he dreamed of being the President of the United States. But he encountered a couple of teachers, Paul Beaumont and Ken McGrath, who greatly influenced him, making him pursue teaching.

Keiser was a part of the first graduating class at Citrus Valley back in 2012. He actually had some of the teachers that can still be found on campus today, like Robert Rooney, Shannon Rooney, Beaumont, McGrath, and Saldana, who have gone from being teachers to colleagues.

He then stayed local for college and graduated from UCR with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He says he planned on having other projects in addition to teaching and figured it would be good to have a business degree. One of his extra projects he plans to do is to join his family in their “real estate ventures” someday.

He says he had a very positive experience at Citrus Valley and enjoys the fact that he can come back to help lead and influence students during their high school years and help prepare them for college. He also loves how he can get involved in programs like speech and debate, comedy sports and student government.

“I firmly believe that everyone has to be their own person,” Keiser says. “But, I also believe that there are things that I have picked up along the way from influential people that have influenced who and how I am.”

A few of these influential people are his father, Carl John Keiser, his grandfather, Carl R Keiser, Dr. Gene Scott,  Paul Charles Beaumont, and Ken McGrath.

After almost finishing up his first year as a substitute teacher, Keiser says he tries to not only cover the subject matter when subbing but also prepare his students for what comes after high school.

Keiser has addressed how his students now have the most impact on him since he is preparing to have a classroom of his own. So not only is he teaching his students but they are teaching him and influencing the way he will teach his students in the future.

Overall, Mr. Keiser is a great teacher and is always up for a story from his high school days that all start with his signature line, “when I was in high school”; he is very funny and great to get to know because when with Mr. Keiser there are no dull moments.

Redlands East Valley French teacher explores French culture with students

Redlands East Valley French teacher Jennifer Baldwin goes over student responses in her French I class on Tuesday, Feb. 26. In this lesson, Baldwin reviews conjugation of French verbs in the present tense. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic Photo)

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

As a young adult, it is always difficult to decide what career to pursue. Choosing to be a teacher might not always be a young adult’s first choice; it wasn’t Madame Baldwin’s first choice, but her love of French culture and language inspired her to explore and teach high school students this alluring language.

In high school, Baldwin had no intention to take up the French Language, but her sister insisted that she should, which sparked her passion. When she graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a French major, a teaching position was available, so she thought she would explore her options. Eighteen years later, she is providing new experiences for her students and is also the advisor of the French club.

As Baldwin became more passionate about learning more about the language and culture of France, she decided to study a year abroad during her senior year of college in Aix, a city in Southern France. It was here where she really embedded herself into the French culture and “got better at [her] own abilities and confidence in French.”

As a result of her studies in the country, she has now gotten more involved with teaching and encouraging students to learn more. She has also found opportunities to work in France over the summers through a program organized by the Council of International Educational Exchange, and she travels with her students to help familiarize them more with both the language and culture that they have been studying.

CIEE’s program allows students and teachers to come together to explore cultures and languages. By studying or working abroad with students, says Baldwin, participants exchange ideas and experiences “to build bridges between individuals and communities.” This organization gives students the opportunity to expand their knowledge about all of the cultures and languages around the world.

Sophomore Lilian Mohr said, “Her class is a good balance of learning the French language but also being exposed to the French culture, learning about foreign exchange programs to be part of, and learning the importance of being bilingual.”

When Baldwin had first started teaching, she had no experience teaching a class, so for the first couple of years she attended night school and got her credentials and masters in education. “Experience is definitely the thing you learn the most from,” Baldwin said. By being put into classroom situations and working with students, she has put herself onto a straight path. Even now she is still learning new ways to teach more effectively.

Over the years Baldwin has gone on many indelible adventures, but these adventures are what inspired her to encourage her students to explore new cultures.  Everyday Baldwin enjoys interacting and teaching this foreign language and culture to her students.

Fujii’s Gourmet seeks to establish itself through hard work

By KAITLYN SUTOW

Fujii’s Gourmet is a small local business that is based in the city of Redlands. The business sells jars of teriyaki sauce that are made from a family recipe passed down for over 100 years.

The business was founded by Ric Sutow, who has “retired from financial services but was too young to fully retire.” The idea arose 30 years ago when Ric was in college. After retiring a year and a half ago, he finally decided to put the idea into motion. After many decisions, meetings and phone calls the business was officially up and running on Dec. 26 of last year.

So far, the business is set up and doing well.  Some worries are that it will not gain enough following and not earn back what has already been spent on it. Despite this, Ric says “it’s a lot of stress but it’s a lot of fun.”

There were many difficulties in setting up the company, and “it seems new issues arise daily.” Initially, the sauce was going to be produced in his kitchen; but, after speaking with the health department, it was ruled that it did not follow the “Cottage Food laws.”  As an alternative, it was recommended that it be made in a commercial kitchen, and he did just that.

He hoped to sell his sauce at local swap meets and farmers markets. Unfortunately, that was not an option as the events were not accepting new food vendors.  Another difficulty with selling at events is that, as of now, there is only one type of sauce available: original. Though this is true, he has already begun to branch out and make different varieties, such as a spicy teriyaki sauce.

The business hopes to grow and thrive in the community while setting an example of a successful business that starts from the ground up and is established through hard work.

Website:  https://fujiisgourmet.com/

There and back again: A Magister’s tale

By CHRISTIAN MORRISON

Steven Cruikshank sits in what he calls his “cave,” his desk in the corner of the Latin classroom at Citrus Valley High School, in January 2019. (Ethic Photo)

Before reading this article, it is important to note some key things. First and foremost, the two adventures listed in this article occurred a year apart. The interview with Steven Cruikshank in Adventure one happened in 2018; this was when he was in his first year teaching Latin in a telepresence class. During that time, Cruikshank was mainly teaching from the Redlands East Valley High School campus. Adventure two contains an interview with him that happened this year when he started teaching solely from the Citrus Valley High School campus.

Both adventures together provide a comprehensive analysis of how Cruikshank has evolved as an educator over the course of a year. At the same time, the two pieces also show how two schools honor codes, REV WAY and CLASS, have affected REV and Citrus Valley respectively over the course of a year. Through Cruikshank’s presence on both school campuses, he is also able to give an account of the unique school cultures present at both schools. With this necessary background information given, both pieces may be enjoyed to the fullest extent.

Adventure I

Steven Cruikshank is not an ordinary Latin teacher, or magister.

While other teachers on the subject are monotonously drilling their students on proper Latin verb conjugation and sentence structure, Cruikshank is energetically teaching these same things along with the finer points of Greco-Roman culture, which covers topics from wealthy Roman vacation houses to how Roman politicians gained power in Roman society, to not one but two classes simultaneously.

In addition to his amazing teaching skills, what sets Cruikshank apart from other Latin teachers is the unique telepresence system that he utilizes to teach students at both Redlands East Valley and Citrus Valley high schools Latin at the same time. This gives him the opportunity to interact with two different schools and their respective cultures on a daily basis.

“Telepresence is unique because, while it is just one classroom, the learning environment extends to two different school sites,” he says. Cruikshank is relatively new to teaching as this is just his second year of instructing students in the study of Latin and Greco-Roman culture.

Cruikshank use smartboard technology in the Redlands East Valley telepresence room in May 2018. (Ethic Photo)

Despite his short time being present at both Citrus Valley and REV, he has already made large impacts on both campuses. This year alone he has helped students at REV form the Latin Club, which works to provide extracurricular activities to promote greater involvement in the study of Greco-Roman culture among the student population at REV.

He also continues to play a great role in the Latin Club stationed at Citrus Valley, which to promotes the study of Greco-Roman culture through extracurricular activities. Along with the Redlands High School Latin teacher Maggie De La Cruz, he helped to form an interdistrict Latin club that connects all Latin enthusiasts at all three schools together.

Cruikshank feels that a greater amount of interaction with the Latin language and Greco-Roman culture is very beneficial to all schools in the district. “Latin is the foundation of all the Humanities, which gives foundation to modern languages and the arts, and allows students to gain better cultural literacy,” he said.

Another benefit of Latin is that it allows students to learn more languages with greater ease, especially languages that come from Romantic or Germanic roots. With a year’s experience of teaching telepresence classes, Cruikshank has gained much knowledge on how telepresence has a beneficial impact on the learning environments of both Citrus Valley and REV classes. “It allows for students to collaborate between school sites,” he says.

What is unique about the telepresence system is how it allows for students at both school sites to exchange thoughts on subject matters or class assignments to reach conclusions that help them gain further understanding of the subject as a whole. This certainly enhances the learning environments at both schools and allows students to dig deeper into the subject matter to derive understanding at a level that would not be possible in regular classes.

Cruikshank also says, “It allows for access to classes that would not normally be available at either school sites.” Most telepresence classes, such as Latin and Human Geography, would not be able to be taken as regular courses due to a lack of a great multitude of students that is commonplace among core classes. However, by combining classes of interested students at both school sites, telepresence classes are able to offer interesting courses that would normally be unavailable to students who are eager to learn subject material pertaining to those studies.

With interaction between students at different schools, which encourages learning at a deeper level, and greater access to interesting courses, Cruikshank is sure that telepresence classes have had a positive effect on learning environments of all schools that participate in such programs. The learning environment is not the only thing that is benefiting from telepresence courses, according to Cruikshank.

Through the nature and extent of thought exchange that occurs in telepresence classes, Cruikshank feels that such classes act as a bridge between school cultures for his students at Citrus Valley and REV. In recent years, both Citrus Valley and REV have enacted student behavior guidelines to encourage more positive learning environments; Citrus Valley boasts the CLASS (Character Leadership Attitude Scholarship Service) ideology, while REV shows pride in its newly implemented REV WAY (Be Respectful, Ethical, Vocal, Wildcats, Accountable, You!).

Cruikshank believes that these two student behavior guidelines are unique to both schools and reflect school cultures that are different from one another. He says, “If you break down CLASS and the REV WAY you get unique viewpoints.”

These unique codes help to define the cultures present at both schools. REV, he says, is characterized by great initiative and eagerness to experiment with new ideas, which is especially shown to him through REV students’ quick formation of a Latin Club.

Citrus Valley is characterized by a great dedication to ensuring that every student there is able to gain full advantage of their educational opportunities present at their school. These school cultures are built upon their respective CLASS and REV WAY codes that encourage the development of distinct cultures at both school sites.

However, Cruikshank firmly believes that REV and Citrus Valley should not try and use such diverse cultures to justify competition among the schools, but should instead encourage both schools to learn from one another and create a school environment that combines the best elements of both systems.

He certainly incorporates this practice in his own telepresence classes. “I take the best of the two and try to encourage academic excellence in the two schools,” he proudly reports. By doing so, Cruikshank is able to create a classroom environment that embodies all the ideals that are seen as necessary for effective educational advancement among the student population to occur.

This is all thanks to the telepresence system, which allows him to take part in and experience both school cultures firsthand. Reflecting on his teaching experience so far at REV and Citrus Valley, Cruikshank feels that it is both interesting and rewarding to teach at both high schools. “I get to be a part of both school cultures,” he happily states.

He loves teaching his Latin telepresence courses, which help to inspire students at both REV and Citrus Valley to engage more with the classical arts as a whole. Without a shadow of a doubt, Cruikshank believes that telepresence courses help to promote a better learning environment and contribute to the creation of better school cultures through the thought exchange the occurs between students at both schools: a concept that is unique to telepresence classes.

Adventure II

Cruikshank using the digital textbook on his smartboard in the Citrus Valley High School telepresence room in January 2019. He is teaching the Latin level one’s red book. (Ethic Photo)

Over the course of a year, a lot has changed for Mr. Cruikshank; however, a good amount has remained the same.  While he is still teaching Latin telepresence courses, he now teaches these courses solely from Citrus Valley. This, of course, is different from last year when he alternated between the two school campuses.  

Cruikshank continues to be best known for his dedication to helping his students explore the Classics inside and outside the classroom at both Redlands East Valley High School and Citrus Valley High School.  When REV wanted to start a Latin Club, he was completely on board and helped his students plan many cool events, such as a trip to the Getty Museum.

He recently took a group of students from both Citrus Valley and REV to Southern California Regional Amici Madness, which is a regional Latin convention organized by the Junior Classical League, where they were able to embrace their love for the Classics and meet many like-minded individuals.  Throughout his two years of teaching Latin in the Redlands Unified School District, Cruikshank has always been willing to lend a hand to his students when they wished to learn more outside of the classroom.

Teaching full-time at Citrus Valley has allowed him to become more acquainted with the Citrus Valley school culture, which has given him insight into the differences and similarities that it shares with REV’s school culture.  Because of this, he is able to effectively analyze the results of the CLASS and REV WAY systems by comparing the two school cultures unique to each school. Thus, at this milestone in the implementation of these two school honor codes it is important to revisit Cruikshank.  

This year marks the second year that Cruikshank has been teaching Latin telepresence.  Having experienced the telepresence style of teaching for over a year now, he has learned how to more effectively utilize the system and has grown as a teacher overall.  “Things get easier and with experience you focus in on things,” Cruikshank stated.

The growth that he experienced this year stemmed mainly from one unforeseen difficulty – being absent from REV’s campus.  Unlike last year, Cruikshank was unable to visit the REV class due to time restrictions that his class schedule placed on him; however, this did not stop him from teaching his classes effectively, but rather caused him to look for different ways to instruct the students and provide them with challenging course material.  “You find new ways to challenge the students,” he explained.

His new approach to teaching has, in turn, helped the students to grow by allowing them to learn new ways of viewing information and having them work collaboratively when doing work. Cruikshank believes that these skills that his students gain by participating in the telepresence system will aid them in college academics where a less-structured academic environment prevails.

In all of his classes, Cruikshank aspires to instill a love for the Classics in all of his students.  He sparks an interest in these studies through Greco-Roman culture. “I found that the culture of Greece and Rome is infinitely interesting,” he stated.  By studying Greco-Roman culture, students are able to draw parallels with other cultures; they are able to see how one culture affected the development of several others in various aspects, which sparks an interest to learn more.  

Cruikshank continues his grammar lessons via the book’s stories at Citrus Valley High School in January 2019. Here, he is emphasizing the endings of nominatives and accusatives. (Ethic Photo)

Becoming well-versed in the Classics has numerous other benefits for students in other areas of study.  “Classics has that wonderful aspect that it really does reach into other subjects,” Cruikshank said, “When you are learning Latin, you learn important things that relate to your government class and your English class.”  Through the Classics, students are better able to thoroughly analyze information they get in other classes as the Classics trains the mind to do one thing exceedingly well: think critically.

Cruikshank believes that the joy of doing and succeeding in something different is also what leads many students to enjoy the Classics.  The subject also allows students to really explore and express who they are. “It allows you to be yourself, explore yourself,” Cruikshank stated.  

When teaching his classes, Cruikshank firmly believes that the culture of Rome and Greece must be taught with the Latin to give the student full exposure to the Classics.  “The language exists in tandem with the culture,” he said.

The unique position that Cruikshank’s telepresence classes put him in have allowed him to see the effects of the CLASS and REV WAY school honor codes in each respective school.  According to Cruikshank, the two different school honor codes have produced school cultures that share more in common than not. “Kids are kids at the end of the day,” Cruikshank noted.  

When talking about REV’s culture, Cruikshank states, “REV has got a certain type of independency that I think is unique to REV.”  He also noticed that REV students had a go getter attitude when they quickly established a REV Latin Club right when he joined. Citrus Valley also has a sense of independence and a strong dedication to academics, which is very similar to REV.

For the REV and Citrus Valley students in his class, he believes that a combination of each school’s respective honor code and the telepresence system contributed to the distinct school cultures he perceives through them.  Both things have fostered independence in the students as well as confidence in their abilities. “I think it’s a product of the telepresence and school cultures,” he said, “Telepresence might bring it out in the student.”

When asked whether the CLASS and REV WAY systems have achieved their aims, Cruikshank replied, “They have been very successful.  At the end of the day, they are producing good things.” However, he notes that “we have yet to see full fruits from them.” Cruikshank attributes the systematic nature of the school honor codes to their success saying, “Most every student … knows the tenets.”  

Cruikshank says that he would not change a thing about the school honor codes as they are.  “They are very basic, very good things every student should foster,” he stated. He especially likes how both schools recognize students that embody a quality promoted by their respective honor codes, which he hopes they continue to do.

In his classroom, Cruikshank tries to “foster a more neutral zone.”  Since he has students from both REV and Citrus Valley, Cruikshank tries to unite both groups through their common love of Latin.  “We are Redlands united; we are a unique program.”

Steven Cruikshank at the smart board in his telepresence classroom at Citrus Valley.

Citrus Valley’s Perez aspires to be the best teacher he can

By RICARDO RAMOS

Citrus Valley High School teacher, Alan Perez, instructing his fifth period class. (GABRIEL STANFIELD/ Ethic Photo)

Alan Perez was a late bloomer when it came to deciding to become a teacher. He wanted to go directly into working as a truck driver his senior year, but his Spanish teacher motivated him to push himself, compelling Perez to apply for college.

Perez’s Spanish teacher, Alcaraz,  proceeded to walk him step-by-step through the college application process. During Perez’s second year in college, he realized that the feeling of having someone believe in him felt so great that he wanted to do the same for his students.

Perez received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California of Riverside and his teaching credentials from California State University San Bernardino. He now has been teaching at Citrus Valley High School for three years.

Perez states that his students’ achievements motivate him every day, and he has come to a realization that when he has had bad days it’s because he felt like he “failed the student’s in creating a lesson that could make them learn or improve.”

Perez feels fortunate to be surrounded by great teachers and always have them in the back of his head when teaching because he feels like he needs to reach their level. He seems to be accomplishing this each and every day according to Citrus Valley Junior David Huynh.  “If you ever need help on anything [Perez] will help you out. If you need anything, he’ll go out of his way and take time out of his day for you,” Huynh stated.

Being a teacher was not even close to what Perez wanted to do in high school. The fear of even talking in front of people made it the last thing he wanted to do as a job, but in college, his outlook shifted.

Citrus Valley High School social studies teacher, Alan Perez, working one-on-one with a student who needed help. (GABRIEL STANFIELD/ Ethic Photo)

The thing Perez enjoys most about teaching is the constant need for improvement. Perez left his job at Ross warehouses because he was doing the same thing every day. He states that he has “the opportunity to change and do things differently every day” when he teaches.

Perez says that the most difficult part of his job is the early mornings, which he thinks he struggles more with than the students in a class. That is why he “relies on his choco-mil to give him the strength to conquer the day.” Perez believes if he was not a World History teacher or AP United States History teacher he would very likely be a Physical Educator.  He does not think he would teach anything else.

Though Perez did not always aspire to become a high school teacher, he has since “impressed the veteran staff with his work ethic, his commitment to developing modern lesson plans and his connection with his students,” according to Mead, a World and the United States History teacher at Citrus Valley.

Perez’s favorite quote that motivates him to do his job is, “Be humble, be hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room.” Perez tries his best so that his students can learn and improve. Because of this, Mead also adds that “new and veteran teachers should strive to teach like Mr. Perez.”

Perez loves his job and the students, who motivate him to be better and improve as a teacher. Overall, Perez does his job not for himself but for the students.

Top 18 most viewed Ethic articles of 2018

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

Over the course of 2018, Ethic published over 200 articles or multimedia pieces. The most popular, according to statistics of most views, are below.

Titles are listed in the order from number 18 to the most viewed article of 2018. Click each title to view the original article or post.

18. “Video: What do you know about 9/11?”  

Video recorded by Bella Espinoza, Maggie Snavely, Alison Bradshaw and Ella Fitzpatrick and video edited by Mia Aranda, published Sept. 11, 2018 in Features.


17. “Melted crayon art

Written by Katherine Snavely, published Oct. 21, 2015 in Editor Columns. Photos also by Katherine Snavely.


16. “Video: REV Band beautifies campus with rose garden

Video recorded and edited by Drew Vines, published Jan. 22, 2018 in Features.


15. “Extension to Redlands Community Scholarship deadline shocks seniors

Written by Victoria Chung, published Feb. 2, 2018 in News.


14. “Redlands East Valley’s Coach Lunsford develops character on and off the field

Written by Mia Aranda, published Oct. 11, 2018 in Sports. Infographic also by Mia Aranda.


13. “The end of an era; Coach Bruich announces last season with Wildcats

Written by Carolina Sanchez, published Jan. 8, 2018 in Sports.


12. “Photo slideshow: Students from Redlands East Valley and Citrus Valley participate in the student walkouts

Photos by Tatum Mapes, Dorian Neighbors and Brandom Salgam, published March 14, 2018 in News.


11. “Wildcat wrestling team’s experience is source of strength in competitive league

Written by Mia Aranda, published Dec. 7, 2018 in Sports. Photos also by Mia Aranda.


10. “Mrs. Hill energizes Citrus Valley Career Center

Written by Joseph Quesada and Ricardo Ramos, published Sept. 26, 2018 in Features. Photo by Avalon Salvadore.


9. “Missing: Splash Kingdom’s Pharaoh

Written by Christina Andronescu, published Feb. 10, 2018 in News. Photos by Tatum Mapes.



8. “Murillo, Arellano: Students ‘will not be penalized’ for participating in Mar. 14 walkout

Written by Matthew Kristofferson, published March 14, 2018 in News.


7. “Redlands East Valley’s Julia Richardson balances extracurriculars, political campaigns and more

Written by Miriam Yordanos, published Nov. 26, 2018 in Features.


6. “Opinion: Dear Wildcats, Respect the stadiums

Written by Tatum Mapes, published Nov. 24, 2018 in Opinion. Photos by Brandon Saglam.


5. “Citrus Valley High School cheerleaders lead the way to victory

Written by Marylou Saldana, published March 7, 2018 in Sports.


4. “Hydro Flask Fever: CV students carry their water in style

Written by Jessica Lopez and Ahlora Smith, published on Oct. 17, 2017 in Self and Style. Photos by Jessica Lopez.


3. “Why DC is losing the race of movie universes to Marvel

Written by Tatum Mapes, published Dec. 8, 2017 in Arts and Entertainment.


2.  “The 10-step Korean skin care routine you’ll want to try in this dry weather

Written by Tai Gerren, published Jan. 8, 2018 in Self and Style.


1. “The truth about high school from a valedictorian’s perspective

Written by Victoria Chung, published April 23, 2018 in Editor Columns.


Redlands East Valley’s Julia Richardson balances extracurriculars, political campaigns and more

By MIRIAM YORDANOS

At the age of 17, Julia Richardson, a senior at Redlands East Valley high school, has been involved in extracurricular activities and political campaigns and has achieved academic success.

Coming from a small private school, Richardson decided to join the Associated Student Body and cheerleading at REV to make new friends. “Both activities have been extremely fun to be a part of through the ups and downs,” Richardson said, “and I can truly say that they make my high school experience 10 times better. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had and the people I have met through both of them.”

Julia Richardson performing a gymnastics act for the YMCA Circus. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Currently, Richardson is on the board for Assisteens, which is part of the Assistance League of Redlands, and has a job as a coach at Redlands Gymnastics Club.

Richardson has also been involved with the YMCA circus for 11 years. “I have made so many friends and memories and I really could not imagine my life without it,” Richardson said, “It has been the activity I have done the longest and it is crazy to think that I have literally grown up in it. It has not always been easy and I have learned to push through the challenges and setbacks, but I do not regret anything. It has taught and given me so much, and I am extremely grateful for that.”

On July 26, 2018, the executive cabinet of REV ASB (left to right: Austin Gaw, Julia Richardson, Amy Underwood, and Morgan Rapoza) takes a photo at Big Bear on day 3 of ASB Camp. ASB Camp is for current and new ASB members to bond and start brainstorming for the next upcoming year. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Throughout high school, Richardson has also excelled in her academics. Because of this, Richardson was able to participate in the class of 2018 graduation ceremony by walking as a member of the honor court, which recognizes the top ten percent in the REV class of 2019.

Richardson performing a gymnastic act in the YMCA circus. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

During the 2018 midterm elections, Julia Richardson’s father, Joe Richardson, ran for Redlands City Council in District 3. During his campaign, Julia and her friends were involved and very excited for the upcoming election.

Richardson and her cheer team mates takes a photo with the Universal Cheerleaders Association Top Bannana. UCA top bannana is awarded to the most spirited cheerleading group during UCA Summer Camp. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Richardson said, “He has been working so hard for so long, and it is amazing to see how it has all come together. He comes home from canvassing, a speech or another campaign event so excited and it is really the best thing to see. I have gotten to canvass for him and that was an interesting experience as well!”

Richardson and her cheer team mates works together to lift their cheer team mate. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Richardson loves to travel and would love a job that would allow her to do so. She has visited Europe three times and looks forward to visiting again.  

“There are so many cool places I would love to visit that I haven’t been to yet,” Richardson said, “so I hope traveling is a big part of my future. I think it is one of the most eye-opening and enriching experiences!”

At the ASB banquet, Julia Richardson (far left) and the remaining Executive Cabinet of ASB (left to right: Amy Underwood, Morgan Rapoza, and Austin Gaw) takes a photo on May 23, 2018. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

In the future, Richardson plans to attend a four-year college. She is considering majoring in many different areas, including the liberal arts.

“I am very interested in social justice,” Richardson said, “but I am not sure where it will take me. Right now, I am really considering political science because it is so multi-faceted, and I would have opportunities to focus on social justice issues. I have also considered journalism because I love writing and I could express my opinions and ideas about different topics.”

Julia and her cheer team mates takes a photo with the smudgepot at the Dodge Stadium on October 26, 2018. On October 26, 2018, the annual Smudgepot game was held against REV and Redlands High  School. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

New Redlands East Valley assistant principal Kroetz takes a shot

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Ronald Kroetz sets up his camera on the coast of Ireland during a family trip. Kroetz is an avid traveler and photographer. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Kroetz)

By MIA DELMONICO

“Dedicated, fun, and loving” are all words that describe an accomplished man that has begun a new career path at Redlands East Valley High School.

Ronald Kroetz, new assistant principal at Redlands East Valley High School, has had a successful career leading up to this point of being an administrator. He graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in mass communications but did not seem to know what career pathway he wanted to pursue.

With interests in media, news and television, Kroetz took a job as a TV news photographer for ABC News in Palm Springs, California. He maintained his position, earning 15,000 dollars a year, for five years. By this time, Kroetz had two kids and realized he needed a better paying job.

Because he did not want his family to move to a market-city, such as Las Vegas or Phoenix, Kroetz decided to interview for a teaching position at Palm Springs High School. Soon after, he was hired as the new video production teacher but had had no experience teaching. He describes his experience by saying, “I pretty much started out of the blue. I walked into class my first day and I had never subbed a day, student taught,interned, nothing.” With this in mind, he was determined to succeed, though his first thought was “Hello high school children. What do I do?” This is understandable for a “26 or 27 year old” in a situation like this one.

Unfortunately, Kroetz, along with 180 other education employees in his district, was laid off due to education budget cuts across California. After this, he was hired at Corona High School as a career technology teacher. After about 7 years of teaching on a middle school campus, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career as an administrator. He has now been an assistant principal for nine years, with this being his first year at REV.

Sunrise Coast, Lanikai Beach, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
Kroetz notes the movement in the wave in this photo taken in Hawaii and posted on his photography website. (Ronald Kroetz photo)

In addition to his administration work, Kroetz has expressed great interest in multimedia and photography. He has participated in photography classes in college and continues his passion through his own website.

On this site, he features photos in which he likes to focus on different landscapes with vibrant colors. To make the colors pop to the fullest extent, he often uses Adobe Lightroom to enhance his work. He chooses not to include people in his shots and also prefers to work alone so that he does not “feel pressured or like he’s taking too long.” In addition, he includes his own captions with his pictures, but occasionally uses quotes from other people.

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Photo taken by Ronald Kroetz in Montana. Kroetz explained that he does not intend for photos to necessarily reflect exact reality, but enjoys enhancing color and lighting. (Ronald Kroetz photo)

Kroetz has now been at Redlands East Valley High School since May of the 2017-2018 school year. Throughout this time he has excelled in his career as assistant principal and has begun to leave his impact on the school and its community. He is described by counselors Joe Gianni and Mollee O’day and counseling secretary Julia Smith as a “charismatic, friendly, and outgoing” individual.

Redlands East Valley teacher Celano promotes cultural exchange

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Featured above are Xiyu Liu, from China, and Gabrielle Burband, from France, at the “Meet and Greet Lunch” on September 5, 2018, at Redlands East Valley High School. At this lunch the foreign exchange students get to meet and interact with the students at REV, while also getting a chance to explain where they are from and what their hopes are for this school year. (Julia Falgout/ Ethic photo)

By LILIAN MOHR

Throughout the world’s history, people have been getting their education in other towns, other cities, or even other countries. Famous intellectuals, including the likes of Aristotle, even had to travel to receive their education. The idea of not waiting for the chance at the best possible education to just fall in your lap has been passed down through generations.

Nowadays these ideas still carry through into the modern day high school education programs that are happening across the world. Students of any age from hundreds of countries  now have easy access to programs that can allow them to travel anywhere to receive a new and exciting education while getting to experience new cultures, miles away from where they normally live. But even though the Foreign Exchange program is not a crazy concept, many students don’t even realize that these amazing programs are happening right now in the middle of their school.

Michael Celano is a language teacher at Redlands East Valley and also a mentor and adviser of sorts for the foreign exchange students that have come to the school for the past fourteen years. Even though he doesn’t truly run a Foreign Exchange Program, he is still a big part of the students’ lives when they come to REV. Here at REV there are currently four foreign exchange students and many more have visited through the years. These students normally stay for one year and get to experience an education in a completely new environment. There have been students from Japan, China, Argentina, Panama, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Australia, Spain and France. There have been so many that Celano has started to lose track. But for the students that are here, he has set up meet and greets, presentations and information meetings to inform REV staff and students of their presence in hopes to inspire interest in the REV student body.

Language and foreign culture has been a major part of Celano’s life since he started taking foreign language classes in high school. Throughout his high school years, he took Spanish, French and German. Then, once he got to college, he continued with his passion for foreign language and took even more classes. When questioned on why he has continued on this path when most students choose to just take language classes in high school, he said that he “found them fun and interesting” and felt inspired to become more educated on foreign cultures. Following his passion, he has traveled across the world to places like Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Peru, France and many more over the years. He even plans to continue his travels in the future with an educational trip to Guatemala in 2020.

Celano is a great source for students interested in foreign studies because he truly has seen and experienced so many different languages and cultures from around the world. He loves coordination with REV’s foreign exchange students because he enjoys “getting to learn about other countries and their cultures through the students.” He hopes that REV students will get to meet these new foreign exchange students at the multicultural assembly or when the foreign exchange students give presentations to the student body this spring. He hopes that these interactions with teenagers, who are the same age and going through the same things in life, will help encourage REV students to become an exchange student to another country at some point during their education or consider studying abroad in college.  

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Above are Gabrielle Burband and Ly Nguyen, talking with students at the “Meet and Greet Lunch” on September 5, 2018, at Redlands East Valley High School. They are talking about what country they are from and answering questions from other students. (Jonah Martinez/ Ethic photo)

After speaking with the foreign exchange students themselves, the true impact that this kind of experience can have on teenagers as they go through high school is quite impressive.  Ly Nguyen, one of the four new students here at REV this year, is spending her junior year here in the States all the way from Vietnam. A few weeks into this year-long journey, she already has had an amazing experience with the staff, students and the educational system here in America. Nguyen says she “loves the school so so so much” and since day one “all the friends she has met have been so nice and lovely” to her. Comparing her education back in Vietnam to here at REV, she feels that “US education is not as stressful as back in Vietnam.”  She “likes the education here because it’s based on things that can can help plan for her future.” The Foreign Exchange Program allowed Nguyen to experience a different culture and high school experience. Things like football games, Homecoming dances and Taylor Swift music videos are all things that many students take for granted here in the States that are educational and exciting experiences for foreign students.

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Above is Benjamin Milleder from Austria, at the “Meet and Greet Lunch” on September 5, 2018, at Redlands East Valley High School. He is talking with REV students about his experiences in Austria and plans for the rest of his stay in America. (Julia Falgout/ Ethic photo)

These programs are happening around the world with students from almost every country imaginable, and there is an amazing community of foreign students that are here at REV right now. People like Celano, teachers, classmates and everyone else here at REV have made an amazing impact on these students’ lives and will continue to change students’ high school experiences for years to come. 

Shout out to National Custodial Workers Day

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National Custodial Workers Day, celebrated each year on Oct. 2, is a reminder to thank custodial staff for keeping our school sites, work spaces, and campuses beautiful year-round. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic photo)

By MAGGIE SNAVELY

Oct. 2, 2018 is National Custodial Workers Day. This day deserves an acknowledgment of all of the hard-working adults that keep our campus looking nice and clean every day.

Sometimes the custodians on campus get overlooked and are forgotten. In reality, they are by far some of the most hard-working people on our school grounds. We need to stop and think about how different our campus would be without them. They keep our bathrooms clean and stocked and make sure we can eat our lunches on a clean table.

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Citrus Valley High School on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Students are welcomed to a clean and beautiful campus each morning, in great part due the behind-the-scenes work of custodial staff. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic photo).

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Mike Roque, Citrus Valley High School custodian (Bella Espinoza/ Ethic photo)

Mike Roque, part of the custodial staff at CV, states that one of his favorite parts of being on the Citrus Valley campus is “being around a great staff and student body.”Most of the fun events we go to have to be set-up and picked up by somebody. They are there before we arrive at school and after we leave. So maybe when lunch is over we can turn back around and pick up that piece of trash on the ground, even if it is not ours.

They are not just there to pick up after us. When you pass them in the halls or quad give them a friendly smile. Say good morning when you see them on the way into the school. Chat with them as they pass by you at lunch. Then after lunch pick up the mess and throw it in a trash can.

Roque also says that his least favorite part of his job is “cleaning off chewing gum around campus.” If we have the option, why not make their job a bit easier and appreciate that they are there. Take time to think about how hard they work every day. And make sure that that gum ends up in a trash can while you are at it.

 

Video: Highlights from Redlands East Valley’s homecoming football game festivities

 

The Redlands East Valley High School homecoming football game was played at Dodge Stadium in Redlands on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 and concluded with REV defeating Colony High School. The Homecoming theme “And the Winner is…” was celebrated with the half-time performances and presentation of the homecoming class floats and royal court. (Samantha Barajas/ Ethic video)

New club changes lives, one package at a time

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Redlands East Valley students wait in line for tacos sold by PACKS at the Club Fair on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. PACKS is a service club formed to create care packages for less fortunate people in the community.  (Miriam Yordanos/ Ethic Photo)

By MIRIAM YORDANOS

At Redlands East Valley High School a new community-service based club called Package of Hope, also known as PACKS, has been formed  to create and deliver care packages to the less fortunate.

PACKS was established by REV juniors Lily Cao, Tara Osborn, and Rylee Salot in the hopes of starting a club that would unite Redlands after they observed the amount of homeless people, hospital patients, and military troops in need of help.

Tara Osborn, the treasurer of PACKS, stated, “There’s a lot of community service clubs on our campus already, and we just wanted to figure out what our campus needed and what our community needed as well…So, we chose to make care packages for people in need.”

PACKS focuses on making care packages for military troops, veterans, children, and local homeless shelters. Each and every package is specifically handmade and designed for each group.

PACKS is able to create care packages through partnering up with local businesses and nationwide corporations. After receiving donations from businesses, the students organize care packages.

Along with helping the less fortunate, “this club will encourage the students of REV and they will be able to witness the impact of an individual effort can make when others are inspired to follow in suit” and will serve as “a land bridge for all students, businesses, and less fortunate individuals.

Students interested in joining PACKS attended the first informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, during lunch in room G-215. At the meeting, club purpose, membership requirements, and mission were discussed.

Mrs. Hill energizes Citrus Valley Career Center

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Kari Hill in the Citrus Valley High School career center. This is Hill’s 20th year teaching in the Redlands Unified School District, and first year as the career center teacher. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic photo)

By JOSEPH QUESADA and RICARDO RAMOS

Kari Hill, previously a health teacher for Citrus Valley High School, has now made the transition into the career center on the Citrus Valley campus. This is her 20th year teaching with 10 years at Redlands East Valley High School and 10 years at Citrus Valley.

Hill attended Cal State Fullerton where she received her Bachelor’s degree and later obtained her Master’s degree at the University of Redlands.

While her new position is a big change from the classroom, she loves it and has high hopes for the 2018-2019 school year. According to Hill, she plans to work diligently to establish a “bright and positive” atmosphere for all students looking to plan out their future goals and seek counsel on potential career options. She is especially excited to introduce her programs and develop relationships with students who may need her help.

Hill works with students to fill out work permits, enroll in work experience classes, fill out applications, submit student aid forms, and look over college requirements. She also plans guest speakers, develops study programs and creates college workshops to prepare students.

Overall, Hill plans to work at creating a welcoming atmosphere and invite any and all students to utilize her and the career center as a resource.  Hill always tries to live by Mark Twain’s quote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” She hopes that students will also be inspired and always feel welcome in the career center.

Hill also wants to gain exposure for the career center, making it more available and welcoming to students across campus. There are several ways in which students can come in contact with the career center. The twitter account for Citrus Valley’s career center (@CVHSCAREER) will post updates and news, as well as the school bulletin which will give annual information on events. In addition, there is also a facebook page (@ Career Center CVHS) that will give updates and news for CV’s career center.

Any student on campus who needs help with anything that relates to college and career readiness can best reach Hill in her office before school, during lunch, or after school or through her email at kari_hill@redlandsk12.ca.us.

Video: What do you know about 9/11?

Most students at Citrus Valley and Redlands East Valley high schools were born after September 11, 2001. Students from both schools share what they know about 9/11. (Sept. 10, 2018; Filmed by Bella Espinoza, Maggie Snavely, Alison Bradshaw, Ella Fitzpatrick; Edited by Mia Aranda/Ethic Video)

REV PossAbilities Club to host first special needs prom

By MIA DELMONICO

On Friday, May 25, Redlands East Valley’s PossAbilities Club is having its first special needs prom. It will be a day-long event for all students with special needs. Also in attendance will be football, baseball, choir, video production and ASB. This is to ensure that all the students feel included in this memorable high school experience. All of the special needs students are invited and Erin Herbert, REV special needs teacher and prom organizer, hopes “all kids have a date and get to go.” This new dance is extremely innovative and is expected to be an annual event.

Several of the students are looking forward to attending the special needs prom. One of these students is Heily Seghers. She says she wants “to go because it will be fun and I like prom.” In addition, she also added that she “is excited to go.” In order to make this special event possible, the kids have had to brainstorm ideas on how to raise money to bring the dance to life. They sold pies to help raise money throughout the first week of April. This event will contribute to some of the kids’ most memorable moments of high school.

Also, there are some students with special needs who will be attending this event with a job to fulfill. Having something to focus on during certain situations helps some of the kids avoid anxiety. Carlos Barbo will be taking pictures on this special day. He says “it’s easier to go when I have a job.” This outlet allows all of the students to be included and be a part of the prom.

Whether the students are there to help out at the dance or to simply have a great time, it is evident that there is excitement to attend. Its success is expected to be high and with that, an annual event will most likely come of it. Overall, the special needs prom is an opportunity for students of many different backgrounds to involve themselves in campus culture.