Blackhawks take victory over Wildcats football



The Redlands East Valley varsity football team faced off against Citrus Valley High School in Dodge Stadium on Friday, Oct. 8. A well-played game by the Wildcats, but the Blackhawks took the win with a final score of 7-57.

Redlands East Valley put up an admirable performance at the game. With the score aside, they showcased many great traits of the team. 

However, a few crucial flaws gave way to the landslide victory. These hiccups revolved around inconsistency.

Inconsistency with tackling was a huge part of the problem. Many times Wildcat defensive players were in the correct position but were unable to bring the opponent down. These occurrences resulted in Blackhawks gaining points and eventually touchdowns.

 Citrus Valley High School, wearing the white and black uniforms, kicked off to Redlands East Valley High School, wearing the red and black uniforms, on Oct. 8 during the third quarter of the game. This sight was a common occurrence due to Citrus Valley’s high score. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Another area of improvement is speed. The Wildcats’ safeties and cornerbacks were simply not fast enough for the Blackhawks’ wide receivers. The Blackhawks’ receivers would gain a lead between their defenders and easily catch a throw for massive gains of yards.

On the positive side, the Wildcats displayed many noteworthy attributes during the game.

The Wildcats’ quarterback had great, fast and accurate throws. He was throwing the ball quickly after receiving it which really helped the Wildcats pick up some yards. 

The Wildcats’ offense also improved play variety. More passing plays were seen in this game compared to the previous one and even a fake punt was attempted.

In addition, the Wildcats’ defensive line was working hard this game. Kaden Khalloufi, linebacker for the Wildcats, was able to sack the quarterback in the middle of the third quarter.

All in all, the Wildcats have some areas that need improving but put up a great and entertaining game on Friday.

Citrus Valley made their ultimate comeback on Friday, Oct. 8 as the varsity football team faced off Redlands East Valley. The Blackhawks put much hard work into this game, which clearly paid off with the win and score of 7-57. The varsity team had lost their previous two games to Centennial and Cajon high schools, with the winning teams leading by ten or more points.

One of Citrus Valley plays during the third quarter that resulted in another touchdown for the Blackhawks. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic News photo)

The Blackhawks were off to a great start. Eight minutes into the game, player number four made the first touchdown of the night, which was the beginning of the Blackhawks’ touchdown streak. 

The Citrus Valley Spirit Crew attended the game and led students with chants such as “you have no field” and “we can’t hear you.” Although the chants were well unexpected, the Blackhawks did not disappoint their team. 

The first quarter ended with Blackhawks leading 0-14. 

The second quarter was consistent with two touchdowns and one field goal. Wildcat player number 23 had gotten REV’s first touchdown, but that would have been the only time the Blackhawks would allow the Wildcats to score that night. At second-and-27 in the game, player number 4 made a 20-yard touchdown pass. The score was 7-27, Blackhawks leading by halftime. 

The third and fourth quarters had the Blackhawks leading by more and more points. Great plays were made that eventually resulted in the high score and victory against REV. The Wildcats may not have gotten the best score, but they did fight hard and gave an entertaining game.

Spiritleaders Ashley Pham, Jenna Negrete and Malani Tauli cheer for their team after the final Blackhawk touchdown in the fourth quarter. (DESTINY RAMOS/Ethic News photo)

Citrus Valley High School annual Fall Fest kicks off homecoming weekend


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redlands School District tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases


A new school year started for the Redlands Unified School District and a question arose on whether or not safety is enough for students. Since last month, the district website has become updated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 through a district dashboard on their website.

The district dashboard tracks and publishes confirmed cases within a two-week period for each school.  

The RUSD recently added a COVID-19 dashboard on the district website for the schools within the district. The dashboard includes a 14-day covid case chart and newly reported cases. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic Photo)

COVID-19 was first discovered in December of 2019, and later caused the global pandemic that still remains, two years later. Exactly a year after the first case was discovered, the first Delta variant case was reported. Since then, it swept its way through Europe before reaching the United States in March of 2021, where the variant is now predominant. 

Around the same time the Delta variant made its way to the US, most, if not all, students and staff had begun to make their return to schools all over the country. In the RUSD, learning online was an option while being on-campus was the other. Depending on the state, some students might not have had the option to learn from the comfort of their own homes. Many students were forced to go on campus or stay online, and others got to choose for themselves. Whether or not students chose to attend school in person, they would all have returned to school regardless of state in August 2021. 

As students around the US began school, COVID-19 rates escalated very quickly. In the span of a month, the seven-day case rate had risen from 30,000 per week on July 20, to 145,000 cases a week by Aug. 20. More than half of these cases were reported from students and school staff around the country. 

After a year of distance learning, half of the RUSD students returned to school in April. Many precautions were taken to ensure the safety of students. These precautions included the requirement of masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations around the school and the use of plexiglass in classrooms. 

Yet, all precautions, minus the mask requirements and hand sanitizer stations, were lifted in August. 

Some students agree schools are not safe to attend due to COVID-19 at the moment.

 “[Covid cases] can’t be controlled and are still spreading through schools regardless of masks. They both spread through sports, and through people who didn’t even know had covid or the delta variant,” stated Jenna Tampubolon, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School. 

Others prefer to attend due to their experience with lockdown earlier in the pandemic. 

“I don’t care if it’s smart or not, I’d rather live with Covid than go insane in solitude,” said Rico Weaver, a sophomore at Citrus Valley.

A link to the RUSD COVID-19 dashboard can be found at

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Citrus Valley Homecoming prompts endearing proposals


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pair recently celebrated their year and a half anniversary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cesena said yes. 

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

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

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

Opinion: Students take a stand for a change in school dress codes


Dress codes were created and enforced to help “keep students safe,” but has it come to a point where it’s going past boundaries? This has been a recurring topic and will continue unless there is a happy medium between both administrators and students. When it comes to dress codes, it’s made to keep both boys and girls responsible for their “learning environment” but how does it affect someone’s learning? With school back in session, this issue has arisen once again and possibly significantly more than before. 

From recent messages, students at REV hang posters to bring attention to the girls’ dress codes. This poster was located outside the girls restroom in the G wing.” (Photo courtesy of Mia Aranda)

Clothing is a very controversial topic, given the many arguments on it. Many pieces of clothing have been labeled as “provocative and inappropriate” to one person while it can be the complete opposite or not even an issue to others. 

With dress codes, everything varies between the material and the person, nothing fits the same for every single person. For example, a shirt, for one person it may look oversized and a little baggy. But, if given to someone else, it may fit just right. Dress code rules are different for every school. Some are more unrestricted than others, and so on, but do dress codes really cater to everyone? The dress codes can be a little biased at times. Many students can go around, for example, with a tight shirt and if you have multiple girls wearing the same shirt with different body types, there is a clear difference in how the shirt may look.   

Many girls worldwide feel targeted because of the set dress codes. Due to the controversy, there have been many protests made by students who have been dress coded and felt depicted by school administrators.

Marshall Scott, a freshman at Citrus Valley High School, states, “If a female needs to cover their bodies because it’s distracting the males in the female classes, then schools should work on teaching males not to sexual females.” 

Girls are told they are showing off their bodies in an inappropriate manner in a learning environment or to go change because their body is a distraction. Though the school’s intentions are to dress code their clothing to make a safe learning environment and for their own safety, it has reached a point where it hurts the students’ self-esteem. 

Yes, keeping a safe learning environment is the most important thing. But, is someone’s education really being tampered with due to a girl’s shoulder and collarbone?

Countless dress codes occur everyday, but the majority of them are towards girls. Many girls, especially recently, have claimed how much social media takes a toll on their confidence and fits the so-called beauty standard created by social media. 

Daniela Mora, a sophomore at Redlands East Valley, says, “I feel like our bodies are being labeled as distractions and it actually makes me extremely uncomfortable. It’s sad to think that I can’t dress for the weather just because I’m a ‘distraction.’”

Going to school and getting dress-coded has been said to be demoralizing because of what is considered revealing. A student wearing a tank top being told her shoulders are considered a “distraction” can be both upsetting and demoralizing because the outfit worn to school could have been something the student felt confident in. From firsthand experience, getting pulled aside to be told an outfit is distracting or too “revealing” can make someone feel self conscious because what is considered “too revealing” to the human eye?

Found on the first floor of the H wing, more students from REV band together to bring more attention to girls’ dress codes. (Photo by AJ Corpus/Ethic News Photo)

Recently, students have had enough and are now taking this matter into their own hands and making a change for the future.

At local schools, students have made and posted posters around their campus and created petitions to minimize unnecessary rules in dress codes. Some students have even teamed up together and all wore something considered “out of dress code” such as tank tops, sleeveless shirts, cropped shirts that show midriff and so forth to protest that it was not a distraction.

At Citrus Valley High School, girls from all grades contributed on Friday, Aug. 27 and all wore clothes that are considered “out of dress code” to make a stand. Students at Redlands East Valley have painted posters and hung them around campus.  

As multiple dress code petitions circulate and more stands are made against dress codes, students around the world will fight until students have the freedom to dress the way they want. So until then, stay tuned for future changes in dress codes for an end to this controversy. 

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Citrus Valley High School Black and Gold Brigade prepares for first major post-pandemic show “Accused”


As football slowly makes its way back to Hodges Stadium, Citrus Valley High School marching band, the Black and Gold Brigade, follows. BGB will return this fall with a brand new show with beautiful, well rehearsed music for audiences all around. BGB students have been working hard to prepare for their first big show of the season, “Accused”, after a long year of distance learning.

The marching band waits for instruction on the field during their first day of band camp. This instruction would later be used for the full field show. (Photo credit to Jeicy Jimenez)

Austin Meiners, the band director at CV, states, “It’s based loosely off ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and the whole purpose of the show is to use music written from old times classically and pop music to kind of tell a story about society misunderstanding and then eventually embracing someone who is different. It’s kind of a loose idea of that but mostly it’s just coming out of COVID and I want everyone to feel like they’re part of a team again.”

Meiners said, “The show has music, specifically for the halftime show, we’ve got classical music such as Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, that has been converted for the field. We have the main theme from a movie called ‘Kill Bill’ which is famous for that little whistle, and it also has a little bit of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ which is incorporated in the ballad and the closer.”

CV marching band has a variety of sections and instruments to hear in the stands and see on the field. From the woodwinds, which include the flutes, clarinets and saxophones, to the brass section, which include the tubas, trumpets and trombones, to the percussion, which include the marimbas, xylophone, snare, base and tenners. Along with color guards with their flags and rifles. These four sections come together to perform at home football games and multiple competitions across Southern California.

Just like all other school sports and extracurriculars, BGB lost their entire 2020 season. However, they had the opportunity to perform at a few football games in early 2021.

“[Losing the season] definitely had an effect on how we structured everything we do. But, we are doing our best right now to comply and be safe and responsible and give the students an opportunity to make music and art together,” Meiners stated.

Students talk amongst themselves during their time in the Blackhawk theater while learning their show music. During this time, BGB students would also prepare for a parent preview of the first few show minutes on the last day of band camp. (Photo credit to Jeicy Jimenez)

Teaching band in-person once again has given Meiners much joy after so long.

“I’m so happy to be back in this environment, the students here really give me a lot of joy. The marching band is a lot of fun, but it’s exhausting. I get home exhausted, tired and late many nights but seeing the result of their effort and their work is why I come back every day with a good attitude because I see the attitude and positivity it brings others on our campus,” Meiners explained.

Black and Gold Brigade is currently hosting a fundraiser through Snap Raise that will last from Aug. 19 to Sept. 15. Donations will be put toward new uniforms, equipment and travel costs for the season.

“I really appreciate getting some information out there and I really am glad that the marching band, I think, has a good reputation on this campus as a fun and positive school place and I hope it continues to be just that. I hope people enjoy our show,” said Meiners.

After much hard work and dedication, Black and Gold Brigade made their first appearance at the first home football game of the season on Aug. 27. The halftime show and game tunes were both major successes, according to many students and parents that attended the football game.

“They sounded and looked incredible. I can’t wait to see the completed show,” said BGB parent Christina Marin.

Black and Gold Brigade students take the form of an ‘A’ for their show titled “Accused.” The very first show on Aug. 27 was a two minute preview of what their complete show would look and sound like in competitions and future home games. (Photo contributed by Christina Marin)

BGB will have their first opener preview on Sept. 18 at Redlands High School along with other bands across the Inland Empire. Attend ready to cheer for BGB and the many other bands that take the field that night. Information on upcoming BGB performances will be advertised on the BGB Instagram and in the school bulletin.

Video: Citrus Valley “Enchanted” homecoming information

Created by EMILY WALOS


The executive cabinet of the Associated Student Body at Citrus Valley High School, seniors Jenna Negrete, Madeline Hernandez, Tora Bruich and Arianna Nelson, share information about the upcoming Homecoming Dance. The dance will take place on Sept. 25 on campus. (EMILY WALOS and BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic Media)

After 16 months of not being able to return to campus due to COVID-19, Citrus Valley High School has announced that they will hold a Homecoming for the 2021-22 school year. The dance will take place on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and will last until 11 p.m.

The location of the dance will be one of both familiarity and novel as it will take place in the school at the Citrus Valley quad. However, it will be transformed into a fairytale atmosphere as this year’s theme is “Enchanted.” Citrus Valley Associative Student Body is working with the production company Props AV to put on the event as they will provide the decorative elements of the dance.

Ticket prices for the dance are $65 with ASB, $70 without. Prices will increase on Sept. 20 to $70 with ASB and $75 without. The last day for students to purchase tickets is Sept. 23.

Each student will be required, before buying their ticket, to sign and turn in a dance contract which they are able to receive from the Citrus Valley finance office.

This year, Citrus Valley is allowing guests to attend the event, meaning students of Citrus Valley are able to invite other students from any other school as well as bring any graduate to the dance. The guest must sign a contract and purchase a ticket. The last day to turn in a guest pass is Sept. 22. 

Citrus Valley Compact Club works with local shelter to help animals in need


With students remaining in distance learning, clubs have been facing many challenges. However, one club at Citrus Valley High School, the Compact Club, is still making an effort to get members and the local community involved. 

The club has organized a community service project called an MYG, or Multiply Your Generosity, in coordination with the Compact Careers steering committee. According to one of the club Co-Presidents, Hayley Prinstein, “MYG projects are all about getting as many people in your community involved as possible, of course in a COVID-19 safe way this year.” The club has decided to work with Guardian Angel Animal Rescue, a local rescue organization in Calimesa, CA, that helps to get animals into foster homes and then works to find them their forever homes. 

Compact Club Co-Presidents, Emma Ainsworth and Hayley Prinstein, are both juniors at Citrus Valley High School. They had their first pick up on March 2 at Citrus Valley. (Photo credit to Sarah Keller)

Compact Club is currently working to get towel and blanket donations to give to the shelter and will soon also be accepting food and toy donations. They had their first towel and blanket pickup on March 2 at Citrus Valley High School. Club Co-President Emma Ainsworth says, “the pickup went much better than expected and we managed to get ten bags worth of towels and blankets.” The club has also managed to raise about 300 dollars to go towards supplies for the animals. 

The community service project will run until May and the club is hoping to increase participation even more. They will be holding a zoom meeting for anyone interested to come join and learn how to make cat and dog toys that will then be donated to the shelter. They will be holding another pick up at CVHS sometime in April where they will be accepting donations of towels, blankets, food and toys. There will also be an upcoming competition in which there will prizes awarded to first, second and third place winners based on how much they donate at the next pickup. These prizes will consist of gift cards of varying amounts. 

Compact Club is a student-run club on campus, dedicated to getting students more involved in their communities and helping them be college and career ready by connecting them with adults from many different career backgrounds. It allows students to connect with students from other schools along with adults who may be from career fields that interest them. There are also scholarship opportunities that the club offers. If anyone is interested in joining Compact Club,  they can message, follow the instagram @cvcompact or join the remind by texting @cvhscompac to 81010. 

Citrus Valley hosts campus tour for freshman


After a long year of distance learning, school districts have given schools the thumbs up to return to school in-person. The Redlands Unified School District slowly started welcoming students back by grade level starting with elementary, then middle school and finally high school students. High schools have a large number of students to begin with, so staff had to do a lot of preparation and organizing to ensure everyone’s safety and follow protocols in order to welcome high school students back starting Monday, April 19th. 

Link Crew Leaders work hard to familiarize freshmen with Citrus Valley’s campus and help them find their classes preparing them for hybrid learning. (Destiny Ramos/Ethic News Photo)

Citrus Valley and Redlands East Valley High School both had their link crew groups arrange a day to welcome freshmen on campus for an in-person tour as they missed their freshman orientation due to the pandemic. Both schools held the campus tour on Friday, April 16th, just two days prior from returning to in-person school. CV’s link crew set up groups of eight through 10 students for every two leaders. 

Erica Bauer, a freshman at REV, says “Every group had 10 freshmen and two link crew members. They showed us around the school and told us where specific classes are depending on our schedules. It helped me personally because as a freshman, and new to the district, I didn’t feel completely lost returning to school.” 

The tours started with link crew leaders leading their groups through every building and explaining what subjects were designated to which buildings. For example, on CV’s campus, the B building is where students can find math and foreign language classes.

Classes working together via telepresence to communicate and function in class as they normally would. (Joan Snavely/ Ethic News Photo)

As students toured their campus, they would also see the changes such as signs and markings on the floor to remind students to follow safety guidelines and maintain a safe distance from one another. Classes have been provided clear dividers for every table to help keep a safe environment. Teachers and staff all have placed hand sanitizer and tissues in every classroom and office space, as well as offering masks in the office. If a student or staff forgets their mask at home for whatever reason, they may go into the office and be given a new one. Nonetheless, students are encouraged to always bring an extra mask in their backpacks to ensure less possibilities of that happening. 

Both REV and CV are continuously working hard in order to ensure a safe environment for both students and staff, as well as doing their utmost to keep everyone engaged during hybrid learning. As staff and students are working simultaneously through these new rules and safety precautions, everyone is doing their best to push through the remainder of this school year.

Citrus Valley announces sports will have a season


After the pandemic became worldwide, mandatory quarantine was announced to ensure the safety of others. This included schools and various businesses having to close down last year in March 2020. The school year was definitely cut short due to COVID-19 cases, along with school events such as dances, meets and sports. 

Fast forward nearly a year later, school has been online ever since and trying their best to get everything back to normal safely. Many student athletes were taken back by distance learning, leading to many missed seasons. Administrators have been working very thoroughly and patiently to get the athletics back and now, as of March 2021, sports have now been cleared to return.

Given the news, coaches are working hard to get their players back and in condition to play games. Tryout dates for the first week of March have already been announced. Prior to this announcement, many fall sports such as football, water polo, cross country and volleyball have been practicing and conditioning in hopes of being cleared to have a season. Football coaches across the county were expecting to hear the news as of March 1, so the early approval was exciting to many coaches.

Coach Rich Lunsford at Redlands East Valley High School said, “I was absolutely ecstatic! Mostly for the seniors, because they were freshmen when I took over the coaching job at REV, so we have been through this together over the last few years and they’re all like my children. I knew how much of an emotional toll the suspension of play had taken on them all and to see the joy and excitement they showed when it was announced they’d get a partial senior season was unbelievable.” Lunsford also says that after football was approved, he “reached out and talked with each and every one of [the] seniors to make sure they were in for this one last ride together as a family!”

Dakota Sta Ana, a freshman at Citrus Valley High School, says, “With sports finally being back, it’s giving me hope that everything is getting better and giving me that small bit of normalcy that everyone needs.”

During a hard game against Redlands High School, Dakota attempts to score a point for her team. Water polo is among one of the many sports that schools are planning to continue (Photo credit to Charmaine Sta Ana).

Since they were the first sports to begin practicing back in the fall, many teams have already had their first game and meet back since the start of COVID-19. Spring sports such as softball, baseball, basketball, swimming and track and field have also started holding tryouts. 

Aidan Maldonado, a junior from CVHS, says, “Since sports like soccer have came back, I’ve felt that many people including myself are happy about it. Although a lot of us don’t like the restrictions, we’re still grateful for sports and the possibility of having actual league games in the near future.” 

Soccer girls awaiting instructions after conditioning. Practices are conducted with extreme caution and safety to reduce COVID-19 cases (Photo credit to Allen Thoe).

All coaches have taken safety precautions in order to hold practice and play games. Before practices, coaches take the temperature of each player and space warm ups at least six feet apart. Players will wear a mask to ensure the safety of others and still practice social distancing. On and off the field, players will continue to practice with a mask on for the majority of the time. Players are constantly encouraged to follow the hygiene protocol: to always wash and sanitize their hands before, throughout and after practice. 

“Sports practices have been really safe from a covid standpoint. The coach is very reasonable and fair with us choosing not to go to certain practices and he enforces the guidelines for our safety very strictly which I appreciate,” says Ariana Ghalambor, a senior at REV.

High intensity sports that include running, or even sports in the water may not wear a mask as it can become a breathing hazard for some. Along the lines of safety, sports like football or baseball will have players using their own gear to minimize the spread of germs. 

While players are doing their best to stay safe, parents and guardians are as well. At games, the crowd may be a bit smaller than normal, meaning there will be a maximum of four spectators per player taking precautions and wearing a mask the entire game to ensure everyone’s safety.

Since sports seasons started late, the seasons may be a bit shorter than normal. However, because they are shorter, teams can still participate in tournaments to make up for lost games. 

Ultimately, after a rough few months, things are starting to look up in the community as many establishments are slowly opening and restrictions are being lifted. Sports returning is just one of the many good things to come.

Redlands teachers recall memories from the Rodney King video 30 years later

Originally published in La Plaza Press


30 years ago today, KTLA aired a candid video of a Black man, named Rodney King, being brutally beat by four Los Angeles police officers. This eye opening video proved to Americans that racism remained persistent in this country as a year later it yielded a not guilty verdict on the charge of assault prompting the eruption of riots into the streets of Los Angeles and surrounding cities. 

Redlands teachers Duan Kellum, Jamie Ochoa and Kendra Taylor-Watson look back on experiences on how the Rodney King video affected themselves and society.

Redlands East Valley teacher Duan Kellum was a senior at California State University, Northridge in Los Angeles in 1991 when he witnessed the Rodney King video on the news. 

“My roommates and I saw the video on the news and we were not shocked by the beating,” said Kellum. “We were surprised that it was caught on film. ‘Finally’ we all said.”

The video of Rodney King was recorded from across the street by a neighbor named George Holliday. Holliday recently bought a Sony video camera about a month before, and after being awoken from the commotion in the middle of the night, recorded the beating from his apartment balcony following the high speed chase between King and the police. Later, Holliday sent the video to local news station, KTLA, who aired it on March 4. 

LA Police Chief Daryl Gates announced on March 7 that the officers involved, Laurence Powell, Stacey Koon, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno, would be prosecuted. The video was viewed by the grand jury which indicted the four officers within a week of Gates’ announcement.

The video also became monumental in highlighting the magnitude of police brutality against African Americans in the United States, as before then, ample acts of discrimination and racism weren’t readily exposed to the public compared to today’s access to modern technology and social media platforms. 

Over a year after the initial release of the video, Powell, Koon, Wind and Briseno were acquitted of charges of using excessive force on April 29, 1992. This provoked an outburst of riots in the LA area between April and May, known as the 1992 LA Riots. Resentment against the jury’s verdict fueled rioters to engage in looting, arson, and assault in local communities. 

Redlands High School teacher Jamie Ochoa had moved back to California from the Philippines in 1991 to discover the well-known video of Rodney King that was being displayed on various news channels. As an 11-year-old, she couldn’t quite understand the severity of the event. 

“There was chaos happening near me, tension, but I was so young, I could not understand,” Ochoa said. “It seemed cruel and unusual, hateful and filled with anger. My 10-year-old heart couldn’t take it.” 

“It was an odd feeling, seeing this violence happen on TV–real people, not actors–and it did not make sense,” said Ochoa. 

Citrus Valley High School teacher Kendra Taylor-Watson was living in Crenshaw in South LA when the riots transpired. 

Taylor-Watson was able to first-hand witness the severity and impact of looting and the riots in Crenshaw. 

“People were running with TV’s, couches, some even had food. I later saw others taking chairs and heavy metal equipment to break windows of local business. Glass shattering and mobs of people rushing into clothing stores, furniture stores, shoe stores you name it and it had been broken into,” said Taylor-Watson. “All up and down Crenshaw Blvd. Cars were pulled on the side of the road while the looters packed their cars with stolen items.”

LA Mayor Tom Bradley declared a state of emergency and about 4,000 national troops were sent to Los Angeles to help quell the riots. 

Altogether, the riots lasted approximately one week. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the riots yielded 775 million dollars in insured losses, about 1.4 billion dollars today. 

Taylor-Watson said, “The elderly especially suffered because they had to travel further to a grocery store, bank and other significant establishments that people take for granted until they are gone.”

The riots also intensified tensions between African Americans and Korean Americans in LA, as shortly after the Rodney King video, 15-year-old African American Latasha Harlins was shot by Korean American store owner Soon Ja Du on March, 16, 1991. Du had mistook Harlins for attempting to steal a bottle of orange juice leading to Du killing her on the spot. 

According to the United States Department of Justice, Community Relations Services collaborated with law enforcement and African American, Korean American and Latino leaders to curtail racial tensions as well as to cease violence and destruction in the city during the riots. 

Taylor-Watson said, “The community was forever changed after the not guilty verdict of the policemen that beat Rodney King.”

Nest and Den: Citrus Valley teachers share distance learning experiences, PART 1

Created by EMILY WALOS


What would a normal marching band season look like?

Due to the Covid pandemic Citrus Valley’s marching band will not be participating in any competitions for the 2020-21 school year.

What are some of the differences between your athletic and academic students?

Currently, students of the Redlands Unified School District must take a semester long government class during their senior year of high school in order receive their diploma.

How where students able to receive their instruments this year?

Many classes and clubs on the Citrus Valley campus have practiced grab-and-go experiences, where the advisors/teachers would have the necessities needed by the student and would place the items into the trunk or backseat of the students car. All staff, students and drivers where required to wear face masks and practice social distancing guidelines at all times. Clubs and classes that conducted these include Link Crew, the various theater courses, and several others.

Has your ability to encourage student growth been hindered in any way during the pandemic?

To help resolve the distance disconnect and produce the most natural/effective learning environment for students, the RUSD has made it mandatory for all students to have their camera on and be present in virtual classes. If students are present to class however, fail to abide by this rule teachers are to mark the student as a separate attendance category, called the G category which results in a call home to the parents just as it would an absence.

How has technology affected your teaching methods?

Students in Citrus Valley’s various music programs (including several levels of band, orchestra, piano and choirs) have shifted in a direction of learning music theory as well as composing music.

Have you seen an increase in the lack of motivation in your students?

Citrus Valley’s administration has encouraged staff to be understanding of students struggles and more lenient with circumstances.

Have you seen your students overcome technological boundaries and produce an unexpected result?

The RUSD has aided students through the switch to online learning by providing chromebooks for all students who apply for one as well as issuing out hotspots for students that do not have access to the internet or have unstable wi-fi. Students may apply for a chromebook or hotspot at any time by emailing Dr. Peter Lock, the head of the Academic Case Carrier Program and student welfare, at

What is the basketball schedule?

According to The California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section website, the status of CIF season 2 sports, which include badminton, baseball, basketball, competitive sport cheer, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and track and field are currently still underdetermination for competition in the CIF Southern Section Spring Sports Championships. However, they are scheduled to be resume their practice schedules in the beginning of March.

How are your teaching struggles as an arts teacher different from core teachers?

Currently Mr. Miners and Citrus Valley’s theater arts teacher Elena Villa are working to bring band and theater together in the school’s spring honor production of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars presented as a radio play directed by guest artist Ron Milts.

Opinion: Blackhawks share opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement


Although the Black Lives Matter Movement was originally started back in 2013, in the past few months it has gained a significant amount of attention and support from the media. After the death of George Floyd in late May, many Americans finally had enough and began fighting for the lives of black, Indigenous and people of color, and for those who have been affected by police brutality.

Although most would think there would not be anything wrong with this movement, many disagree and have begun to use the slogan All Lives Matter, opposing Black Lives Matter.

Image of the Black Lives Matter movement name with hands interlocked featuring multiple different skin colors. This is symbolic of the unity that defines the BLM movement. (Destiny Ramos Marin/ Ethic Photo)

As everyone has different views on the matter, a few people of different ages and from Citrus Valley High School were asked to share their honest opinion about the sensitive topic, so let’s review their outlook on Black Lives Matter

Laura Estrada, A freshman at Citrus Valley High School, 14, says, “It’s a great movement that is happening, it shows how people are now realizing that racism still goes on in the new world.” 

Sean Love, A freshman at CVHS, 14, says, “Black Lives Matter has been a topic that should [be] more powerful, not because of George Floyd but [because of] the overall message that should be received.” 

Jemila Odeh, A freshman at CVHS, 15, says, “I think Black Lives Matter is super important, I’m really passionate about it and what it stands for.” 

Christian Razo, A senior at CVHS, 17, says, “I honestly think people are making it too big of a deal, you know. All lives should matter. It doesn’t matter what color you are, you don’t need to subjugate one color just because of other people’s opinions. It should just be everybody’s the same and that should be it”

Vince Watts, 20, says “The peaceful protests are fine, but the riots bring nothing but violence wherever they go. Yes, we need to change something about the police, but [the supporters] need to change too. The way they executed it, the government got involved, funded the riots, started riots, everything like that is why I consider BLM an urban terrorist group.” 

Celine Rodriguez, a military wife and mother of 1, 21, says “I agree with the slogan that black lives matter. Black lives is a movement that [brings] attention to police brutality and systemic racism. It’s fighting for equality and basic human rights. I believe that people have taken a great cause and tried to twist it with the slogan “All Lives Matter”. While, yes, the statement is true, that all lives matter, it takes away from the problems that are going on in the black community, [and] the problems that not all people have to face on a daily basis.”

Christina Marin, a health care worker and mother of 4, 31, says, “My opinion about it is that, yes, black lives do matter, [but] so [do] all the other lives. I feel like the slogan has caused more divide in our country than unity. It’s actually caused more racism in our country and has divided so many people because of the actions of a few. I was raised in a minority family and taught that, regardless of your skin color, everyone is treated equally.”

Martin Marin, a hardworking football dad of 4, 32, says, “It’s important, but I don’t agree with it and believe that All Lives Matter. And all they are doing is dividing people more than they already are.”

Philip Ramos, an LA businessman, 46, “Black Lives Matter is important, It has its own identity, and should not be confused with all lives matter.”

Cecelia Ramos, a loving grandmother and former teacher, 76, says, “They have a right to a peaceful protest, because black people have been [treated] wrong for so many years, [and now] they need their voices heard.”

The only common ground between the few is that most of them view BLM as a positive thing, but recognize that a movement like this has great downfalls as well.

It is clear that everyone here has very different opinions on the subject, but at the end of the day, your age doesn’t matter when it comes to important subjects like this. 

Whether you agree or disagree with BLM, your opinion about the topic does not define who you are as a person, and should never be seen as a way to hurt people. 

Facebook “Adopt a Redlands Senior” group recognizes high school seniors with gifts

Originally published in La Plaza Press


No Homecoming or Prom. No school rallies. No fall Friday night football games. No concerts, plays, or sporting events. No painting student parking spots. No college acceptance celebration days. No paper toss. No end-of-the-year trip to an amusement park. It may be possible that seniors not experience an in-person graduation this year.

Class of 2021 high school seniors are facing the inevitable loss of their last year of high school. For them, this year is supposed to be remembered as a once-in-a-lifetime experience to cherish moments with friends and classmates before they all take on different paths following graduation. However, given the different circumstances imposed by the pandemic, seniors are forced to trudge through the year via distance learning without the in-person connections formed or developed with friends and teachers. 

Redlands High School senior Linda Estrada said, “It impacts mental health because it is stressful to try to teach yourself a lesson you didn’t comprehend in class and when it comes up to that quiz or test you feel uneasy because you don’t know if you taught yourself the correct way to do it.”

To incite positivity for these high school seniors, Marci Atkins, mother of a senior at Redlands High School, started a Facebook group titled Adopt a Redlands Senior. This event is open to any seniors enrolled in RHS, Redlands East Valley, Citrus Valley, Orangewood, the Grove, and Redlands eAcademy. Parents of the class of 2021 seniors are encouraged to post about their seniors where they tell the group about them along with a photo. Anyone else is welcome to read their post and comment if they would like to “adopt” them. By doing so, they commit to compiling a goodie basket or gift bag to deliver to their adopted senior’s house. 

With more than 200 people in the group, seniors have received overwhelming support through the delivery of gifts from people they didn’t even know. 

“I was surprised and very thankful,” said CV senior Destiny Shaughnessy, who received a blanket, car freshener, candle, bracelet and some candy in her gift bag.

“I think this helps seniors because they have worked hard and struggled to get to graduation,” said CV senior Azul Amaro. “Every senior/student has obstacles not just in school but in life as well and I think that with a small/big gift it can make a senior’s day, week, or month better.”

Amaro received a gift basket with a large assortment of items: a sketchbook, some sketching pencils, some fuzzy blue socks, a mermaid reef candle, a 2021 magnetic calendar, a blue glittery scrunchie, some candy and a bath bomb.

Estrada said, “It gave me a boost of confidence knowing people see what we are going through as seniors.”

Redlands High School senior Laura Estrada with a gift basket on Nov. 14. Estrada received a makeup palette, gift cards to Starbucks and Taco Bell, some scrunchies, face masks, and nail polishes from Sergio Vazquez, parent of a Citrus Valley high school senior. (Courtesy of Laura Estrada)

Anyone wanting to adopt a senior can find all the information through Marci Atkin’s FaceBook group “Adopt a Redlands Senior.” Even small gestures, such as flowers, balloons, or a card, truly brighten up seniors’ days. All people are encouraged to participate and appreciated greatly for making this year’s seniors feel special given these unique circumstances. 

Citrus Valley’s Robert Rooney shares experiences to improve student understanding in science


Student engagement and participation acts as a motivation for teachers to determine the most effective way of learning. In what seems as one of the most difficult departments to thrive in, students often find themselves lost and confused under the many, many concepts of science. Robert Rooney has found it best to share his own experiences to convey an understanding of the concepts and applications of his teachings.

Science Department Chair Robert Rooney teaches chemistry, physics and AP Physics 2 at Citrus Valley High school. Apart from his teaching credentials, Rooney says he is the academic leader of the Science Department, representing “the department at County, District and School Site level meetings.” He also manages the department budget.

However, Rooney isn’t the only one in his family that works in the field of science. His wife, Shannon Rooney, teaches honors biology and AP Biology in the room next to his. They have been teaching at the school since it opened in 2009.

Their daughters, Janelle and Megan, also share a rich history in the community. Janelle graduated from CVHS in 2017 and was a state-ranked shot putter in the track program. She is currently working as the shift lead at Starbucks for the United States Navy Reserve and is actively working towards finishing her college degree to become an elementary teacher. Megan graduated from CVHS in 2013 and has a degree in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego She is presently working as an outdoor manager for an adventure company in Utah.

Rooney has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California, Riverside in ‘87, and a Masters in Zoology from Arizona State University in ‘89. He worked as a quality control lab technician, but has always loved teaching. 

Rooney grew up in Rainbow, California, on a 41-acre ranch.

“I love the outdoors,” Rooney said, “[I] travel regularly to hiking destinations [in] Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and many places in California.”

Growing up Rooney had influences in his life. Rooney said, “Dr. Bill Mayhew at UCR was my academic mentor,” and “blended science with a love of the outdoors.” Additionally, Rooney grew up watching his father “teach at California State University in Long Beach.”

On the other hand, 20 years as a volunteer firefighter has helped him “develop resilience and strength in the face of adversities,” Rooney said when asked if any major influence has shaped him into who he is today.

Beyond his workdays, Rooney “shoots competitive Sporting Clays,” and finds joy in competing in sports that are “more accepting of a sore back and cranky knees.”

Nevertheless, distance learning has been proven difficult for many teachers alike, and has prompted many of them to change their lifestyle or methods of teaching to meet the needs of their students. When asked what challenges he had to overcome as a teacher, Rooney said, “Mountain living! We have been evacuated for seventeen days this semester and have lost power for as many as four days at a time. I always have a Plan B. And a Plan C. And a Plan D…”

“There is no substitute for laboratory experiences when teaching science,” Rooney said, “Simulation software is better than nothing, but it always does exactly what it is programmed to do. The best learning comes when a lab does not work as expected.”

Above all, Rooney encourages his students to “check their preconceptions at the door and work toward their goals,” regardless of the drastic change in learning.

Culinary arts teacher, Chanel Taitt, perseveres through distance learning


A carrot cake topped with pineapple made by Chanel Taitt during class time. This delicious dish is just one of many that Taitt has shown to her students (Photo credit to Chanel Taitt).

Chanel Taitt, the culinary arts teacher at Citrus Valley High school, has always had a special passion for cooking. She shares memories of baking in the kitchen with her mother at the age of just three. However, Taitt only realized that she wanted to pursue a career in culinary arts as a senior in high school. Taitt was accepted into the culinary arts program at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. 

Taitt explains that pursuing a career that she loves is one of her greatest life accomplishments. “I chose to go the ‘traditional’ route and earn my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology instead,” Taitt  said, “Two months after graduating from college, I enrolled into culinary arts school to take a chance on my passion.”

However, Taitt did not decide on teaching culinary arts right away. Before teaching, she has worked in restaurants, casual dining, catering and hospital kitchens as a chef and cook. She also has experience as an educator, personal chef, pastry cook, corrections cook, ice cream maker, bread baker and small business owner. Taitt said, “I have career experience outside of culinary arts, but I was always in the kitchen cooking or baking something.”

Unfortunately, there can be plenty of difficulties when it comes to culinary arts and distance learning. 

“Due to liability, we cannot send ingredients home to students, so I am also seeking out donations from outside organizations,” she said.

Even with these challenges, she wants the kids to find farmer’s markets and other places where they can find in-season ingredients. She will also be holding seasonal cooking competitions to help inspire the kids to get in the kitchen.

Dakota Wilder, a junior at CVHS, said, “She has made the class fun and exciting despite being in distance learning and I enjoy her class.” 

One of Taitt’s favorite parts of teaching culinary arts is seeing the confidence her students gain through the year.

“The independence and self-esteem boost from something they made and/or shared with a loved one. One year, I shared some toffee I had made with some students, but it was not part of the curriculum so one student asked me to show him how to make it. Instead, I instructed him through making it; he later shared that his Father was coming home from prison and he wanted to show him what he’d learned,” Taitt said. 

Taitt shares one of the more challenging elements of teaching culinary arts. She said, “Students don’t realize there is more to the subject than cooking. It’s science and there is math! Chefs and cooks work with weight, volume, portions and money.” 

Even with these difficulties, she hopes her students will walk away from this class with some self-sufficiency. Taitt believes that even if they do not end up going to college for culinary arts, knowing how to cook for oneself is a great step towards growing independent. 

Taitt said, “Many students want to learn how to cook for themselves and this is great self-sufficiency, so whatever cooking we can accomplish while in distance learning is great. As a young adult, you should be growing less dependent on others, cooking for yourself demonstrates some degree of self- sufficiency. Let me help you grow.”

Mic mishaps, WiFi issues, and Zoom benefits: students share distance learning reality

Originally published in La Plaza Press


If a historian were to one day indulge in the thickest textbook of them all, that being of the never-ending year 2020, a large portion of the content would probably be dedicated to the new dimension of distance learning and Zoom. 

The transition to distance learning was quite stressful for students having to attend multiple classes via Zoom every day while channeling their full attention to learning new content in front of a screen. Possible distractions arise at home, such as phone notifications, family members, or outside noise. For many students and teachers, Internet issues have also proven to be a struggle in learning. 

Redlands East Valley freshman Vincent Hernandez said, “When I was joining my class, I got kicked [out] more than four times because of my WiFi.” 

“One of my teachers got kicked out of their own class for like five minutes,” said REV senior Donecia Campos.

Without having the social aspect of school, it is understandable that students feel out of the loop or unengaged sometimes in class. Teachers have attempted to revive the social aspect of school by forming breakout rooms in their classes, a Zoom feature that enables the teacher to put their students in groups separate from the main Zoom meeting. These breakout rooms are generally used for discussion or collaboration for an assignment. However, oftentimes students feel the Zoom breakout rooms are too awkward when they’re with fellow peers they aren’t close with. 

“Some people in my breakout room were actually talking instead of being on mute the whole time and not getting any work done,” Citrus Valley freshman Aiyanah Johnson said. “That’s really relieving because breakout rooms can be very awkward.”

Amidst the difficulties of distance learning, it is somewhat alleviating to know that most teachers form a camaraderie with their students over common struggles. 

REV sophomore Faith Morales said, “I was drinking coffee in one of my classes and my teacher called me out saying she needs her coffee too in the mornings to keep her going.”

Alexander Marquis, a REV sophomore, said a common student phrase he hears is, “Teacher, you’re on mute.”

In particular, students notice that teachers struggle with forming connections with their students and getting them to participate through a screen. 

Citrus Valley High school freshman Joel Barbee said the most common phrase he has heard a teacher say in class during distance learning was “Please turn on your cameras, guys.”

“A funny moment from distance learning this year is that teachers are just as confused as the students. The mishaps are pretty funny,” said CV freshman Haley Bond.

For students, many funny class moments revolve around not realizing their microphones were on during class.

Barbee said, “I was on FaceTime with my friend and I forgot I had my mic on.” 

“I didn’t mute myself and I was screaming,” said REV junior Alex Miller.

Nonetheless, some students have been able to reap the benefits of having to do distance learning via Zoom. For example, a regular school day at Redlands East Valley, Citrus Valley, and Redlands High School would last from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but distance learning prompted the schedule to be modified to 8:30 a.m. to 2:12 p.m. allowing for a later start time and slightly earlier end time.

REV freshman Lauren Amaro said, “I enjoy that I can wake up later than I usually would for school.”

Likewise, REV freshman Mia Uribe said, “You can go to school right when you wake up. You don’t have to wake up early.”

Redlands High School junior Isabelle Verjat said, “I like that I don’t have to put on shoes and can sit however I want to. I also enjoy that my dog is around me pretty much all day.”

In response to something she enjoys about distance learning, REV junior Ella Fletcher said, “Not having to waste travel time? Wait no, being able to have my pets around 24/7.”

“We can eat during class and wear our pajamas,” said REV junior Ali Sirk-Bun.

Redlands High School junior Paul McClure said, “I can make my own lunch. It has been really enjoyable to cook up a good meal every day.”

REV freshman Arron Gomez said, “I brought my computer to the kitchen and made nachos.”

Bailey Bohannnon, REV junior, said, “[I] can sleep in between classes and I could literally take a shower during lunch if I really wanted to.”

Digital artwork, made with the app ibisPaintX, depicts the realities of distance learning. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza art)

As students head into the winter season, the distance learning chapter continues.

Redlands schools kick off school year with revamped distance learning program

By Ethic News staff

 As the Redlands Unified School District enters its sixth week of distance-learning for the 2020-21 school year, students, staff, parents and community members are adjusting to a new way of learning and educating.

Redlands East Valley history teacher and AVID advisor Cindy Gardner teaches from home with dual computers. In addition to modifying curriculum for remote learning, Gardner is also creating content for a new course she is teaching at REV, AP World History. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Gardner)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state mandates, the district made the shift to starting the school year with 100% online learning for students and staff alike.

There are new specific schedules for each of the different levels within the district: elementary, middle, and high school.

Elementary students complete the school day by 1:30 pm. Elementary school online meetings scheduled for kindergarten through fifth grade specifically accommodate for extracurricular programs, such as the Coding Club.

Middle schools are operating on a rotating block schedule ending at 2:05 pm. Considerations to accommodate choir, the Associated Student Body, yearbook and sport electives were included.

High schools have a traditional six-period day that ends at 2:12 pm. The district has also added seventh period or support time where students can get help from their teachers after the school day is over.

New resources have also been made available such as information on the “Grab and Go” meal programs for families who may rely on school provided lunches. All of the specifics are outlined on the RUSD website.

Although not being allowed to have students on campus is unlike anything that the majority of teachers have experienced prior to March of 2020, many are working to make the necessary adjustments so that students can still receive a high quality education virtually.

Pamela Holcombe, an English teacher at Redlands East Valley, says “We do the best we can. My word for the year is grace. I need to show it to my students. Distractions are different at home than they are at school.” 

Featured above is history teacher and Redlands Teacher Association representative Brent William’s classroom on the Citrus Valley High School campus, modified with an extra chrome book for distance learning. Many teachers are using two computers to present content and monitor students in zoom or google meet sessions more efficiently. (Photos courtesy of Brent Williams)

Featured above is the teaching space of Citrus Valley High School teacher Danielle Kinder, designed specifically to accommodate teaching from home. Kinder teaches AP European History and finds creative ways to deliver rigorous content through the screen. (Photos courtesy of Danielle Kinder)

Diana Gamez, a Spanish teacher and AVID advisor at REV, shares her interactive bitmoji classroom she created for virtual learning. Bitmojis have become a popular and creative detail that teachers have been using in their lessons for organization and visual engagement. (Photo courtesy of Diana Gamez)

Rhonda Fouch, a physical education teacher and the girls athletic director at REV, says “[distance learning] is challenging, and there’s lots of computer screen time for kids and teachers.” 

Laura Brown, another English teacher at REV, says, “It’s a lot harder. I work so many more hours trying to anticipate what I need to show visually, things I do automatically in person. I need to prepare differently because most students are visual learners.” 

Chad Golob, a math teacher at REV, says “distance-learning is not as effective with the majority of my students . . .I’m pretty much sticking to the way I’ve always taught, as I don’t believe that more technology is necessarily a good thing.” 

Featured above is history teacher and Link Crew advisor, Becky Buyak’s, classroom on the Redlands East Valley High School campus, modified with an extra webcam for distance learning. Provided with the choice, some teachers are opting to work from their classrooms on campus with no students, and connect with their students who are at home. (Photo courtesy of Becky Buyak.)

The students are also working to get accustomed to a totally new way of learning and being taught material. For freshman, distance learning has been their introduction to high school.

“Distance learning is harder than normal school for me because it’s harder for me to focus, and sitting in front of a screen for a long period of time is not easy,” says Gianna Benash, a freshman at REV, “Also, the work being provided is hard to do because the teachers have a hard time explaining the work.”

Riley Simmons, a freshman at REV, says, “As an incoming freshman, a lot is new for me. It seems this year I’m having a lot more work than I used to.”

Issues of ensuring that the mental health of students and staff are accounted for during these stressful times have also come to light.

In regards to mental health, Aidyn Barbosa, a freshman at REV, says “Distance learning has made it worse. I’m not going to lie. I mean, I had bad mental health previously but this just made it a lot worse.” 

Dylan Clark, a freshman at REV, says distance learning has impacted his mental health “a bit, because I’m isolated from everyone. It just gets lonely sometimes.” 

Nevertheless, students are finding new ways to cope with the current situation and keeping themselves occupied from home. 

Riley Simmons, a freshman at REV, says that after school, “depending on the day of the week, I’m doing homework or going to soccer practice.” 

While some are taking the more traditional route in staying motivated and organized with new school workloads, others are taking a more unconventional approach.

 “Bang energy drinks help me stay awake during class,” says Will VanDyke, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School. 

Ultimately, this school year has brought with it a lot of change and, in return, challenges. The members of RUSD continue to adjust and adapt, using a variety of communication tools to keep students and families updated on changes and announcements as they arise.

Quade Bielinski spreads positivity at Citrus Valley


Quade Bielinski, a junior at Citrus Valley, tries to make others feel at home on campus with his positive attitude on Mar. 3, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Quade Bielinski, a junior at Citrus Valley High School, is well known around campus for his positive attitude and friendly demeanor. He always seems to find a way to engage with new people and actively get to know others. Bielinski is a huge contributor towards making the campus a friendlier place. 

Despite hardships in his childhood, Bielinski explains that his past has taught him to be the person he is today: open and easily relatable.

Bielinski shares that he has not always been this affable and he moved around a lot as a kid. Bielinski said, “I was really shy when I was little and didn’t really talk to anybody,” making it hard to befriend others. Bielinski found that “the secret formula for being everyone’s friend” is making jokes and overall having fun.

“Everything that has happened in our lives has changed and formed us in some way,” said Bielinski. “I wouldn’t change anything honestly, I would leave my life the way it is…because I always find a way to be happy.”

He would like to remind us that “some people just need to learn to laugh,” as he views shared laughter as a way to uplift others, including himself. He frequently uses this method and brightens others’ day on the daily, always looking for a reason to be happy.

Despite being in the Cadet Corps program at Citrus Valley, Bielinski does not plan on enlisting into the military. Although he has considered this option, Bielinski expressed that he is looking for a profession that is more impactful on the community such as a firefighter or youtuber. 

“Markiplier [a popular Youtube personality] is a big inspiration for me,” said Bielinski. “He’s one of my role models. He is always having a good time and even if he’s not, he makes jokes which make other people’s day better.”

Bielinski also enjoys participating in extracurriculars such as beginning mens choir, JV volleyball, and assistant teaching for the intermediate drama class. Bielinski will also play the part of King Triton in Citrus Valley’s upcoming play production of “The Little Mermaid.” 

Due to Bielinski’s many involvements, he has the opportunity to bring smiles to many different faces. Quade Bielinski’s attitude shows that no matter a person’s background, it is always possible to put positivity into the world and help make the campus a happier place. 

Redlands East Valley boys’ soccer defeats Citrus Valley in electric fashion


The Blackhawk varsity boys team battles against the Wildcats for their last soccer game of the season on Feb. 7, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. “The game was balanced and the results could have fallen either way” says Alex Gaede, a Citrus Valley soccer coach. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

The atmosphere in the Hodges Stadium was electric as Citrus Valley High School had another chance on February 7 to strip the Citrus Belt League title from Redlands East Valley Highschool at the CV versus REV soccer game. This game decided whether Carter Highschool or REV took home the Citrus Belt League title.

With the players all lined up to start the match, the referee blew his whistle and the teams began their high stakes game. REV towered over the Citrus Valley team with their size, however Citrus was unfazed and properly prepared for the occasion. From the very start, REV looked for an early goal and missed many opportunities until Luca Russo landed a shot into the top left corner of the goal. 

Although the Citrus boys were losing, they did not give up; in fact encouragement and energy permeated through the team. Junior Yahir Ocampo leveled the score with a free kick, and with their heads held high, the referee signaled for halftime and Citrus ended the game tied at 1-1.

After halftime, the game pressed on. Citrus Valley boys were still fighting for a victory and REV was as motivated as ever to beat their inter-city rivals. Although during the beginning of the second half the score was equal—each team having chances to score—REV finally capitalized on a mistake by the Citrus Valley team. Though Citrus put in a valiant effort, it was still not enough to break the formidable defense REV posed, ending the game with a REV victory by a score of 1-2. 

Redlands Unified School District plans to hold the multi-school Genesis dance


(infographic courtesy of Citrus Valley website)

On February 28, students of all grades from Citrus Valley High School, eAcademy, Grove High School, Orangewood High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Redlands High School and RISE Program will attend a multi-school, multi-stage dance called Genesis held at the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center.

The dance will not only include multiple dance floors with several DJs, but also activities such as rock climbing, karaoke, arcade games, human foosball, caricatures and a chill lounge that are all fully included with the ticket purchase. 

Genesis’s doors will open at 7 p.m. however lines are expected and the dance will conclude at 11 p.m.

Before purchasing a ticket, students must turn in an additional waiver with the standard dance permission slips. This waiver allows students to participate in the rock climbing activities. 

The dress code for the dance is casual attire, however the school dress code still applies. Students are encouraged to dress warmly or in layers as the event has activities both indoors and outdoors. 

Students will be able to enter the dance by showing their student ID at the entrance as it will serve as their ticket. Re-entry to the dance once outside the doors will not be permitted.

This event that includes all of the RUSD schools is traditionally held once a year. However, it was not held the previous 2018-2019 school year, therefore this 2019-2020 school year is the dance’s comeback year.

Citrus Valley senior softball athletes sign with dream colleges


Graduation season is slowly approaching, and many seniors are finding the colleges of their dreams. On Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Citrus Valley High School’s Hall of Fame, many senior athletes proudly signed with their respective colleges. Two of those athletes are from the CV Softball Program: Sophia Gil and Sarah Mosqueda. As they signed, both athletes beamed with excitement and optimism for their futures.

Sophia Gil started her recruitment process with Waldorf University at the Colorado Sparkler Tournament in the summer of 2019. Her old coach, Neil Price, provided her with a list of schools that were looking for high school students of the 2020 graduating class, and Gil emailed almost every single one. Many replied, but Waldorf gave her an invitation to tour the campus and get a feel for their program.

During her visit at Waldorf University, Gil felt an immediate connection to the school. When asked about her first impression of the school, she replied, “I don’t know…I just felt really happy there, and I kept thinking about [Waldorf] when I left.” Two months later in November of 2019, the head coach, Lexy Determan, asked for her to sign, and Gil happily agreed. Now, Sophia Gil’s future is laid out before her as she plans to major in English and Literature to become an English teacher and author.

Sophia Gil signs her athletic contract to Waldorf University, starting in the fall of 2020. (Sofia DiCarlo / Ethic Photo)

Another senior who signed on Feb. 5 was Sarah Mosqueda. Her recruitment story began at a Vegas Tournament with her travel team, Explosion, which is based out of Grand Terrace. In between games, the assistant coach of Concordia University, Dave Golitko, approached her and asked if she was committed. As she was not, Golitko continued to watch her games, and got the head coach, Sarah O’Malley-Fisher, to come out the next day and evaluate Mosqueda as well. After watching Mosqueda herself, O’Malley-Fisher invited Mosqueda to visit Concordia, and they exchanged contact information. 

When Mosqueda first visited Concordia University in Chicago, she really connected with Chicago’s environment and the coaching staff, and she knew immediately that it was the place for her. When asked what she planned to major in at Concordia, Mosqueda revealed that she plans to major in psychology and minor in criminal law. 

Sarah Mosqueda signs her athletic contract to Concordia University, starting in the fall of 2020 (Sophia DiCarlo / Ethic Photo)

Academic Ceremony Week celebrates high-achieving Citrus Valley students


Citrus Valley celebrates the class of 2020’s 3.5 through 3.99 GPA students on Jan. 31, 2020 at the Citrus Valley theater. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Academics at Citrus Valley High School are highly valued as each semester the campus holds a week of ceremonies for students that received a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Between January 27 and January 31, the official week of the ceremonies recognized the first semester achievements of each grade.

Family and friends of the students were encouraged to come as, in preparation for the event, the school called families and sent home letters of notification. 

Ceremonies began at 11:25 a.m. and lasted around 20 minutes each. 

For all classes, the ceremony began with ASB members cheerfully greeting attendees at the doors of the Blackhawk Theater. From here, the students took their seats in the bottom half of the theater as families sat in the top half. 

Freshman Chaselyn Wheeler holds her academic letter with her certificate of Principal’s Honor Roll on Jan. 27, 2020. (Kelly Johnston / Ethic Photo)

Each ceremony was officially started by two ASB members who introduced the hosts of the event: principal Rhonda Bruce and assistant principal Doug McCasey. The hosts then gave a welcome speech and explained that there would be two groups taking the stage to receive their honors. The first group of students included those who earned a GPA of 3.5-3.99 and the second included those with a 4.0 or higher. All group sections concluded with a photo session for parents. 

On Monday, Jan. 27, the freshman received awards for the academic achievement of their first semester of high school. The students that made the Principal’s Honor Roll (GPA of 4.0 or higher) not only received their certificate, but also a CV letter patch that displays their achievement of high-point grades. 

The next ceremony took place on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and was presented by assistant principal Doug McCasey. The Principal’s Honor Roll student of this ceremony have already received their academic letter, which means from now on they will receive a pin at each annual ceremony until they graduate given that they stay on the Roll. 

Sophomore Eddie Barajas stands with his Principal’s Honor Roll certificate on Jan. 28, 2020. (Emily Walos / Ethic Photo)

Eddie Barajas, a sophmore and member of the Principal’s Honor Roll, stated, “It’s not really that hard being a Honors/AP student; it’s not that much work if you know what you are doing and are able to budget your time correctly. I recommend for everyone to at least try one out before they take general courses because if you find you are able to succeed in honors, you are one step farther than everyone else.” 

On Thursday, the school recognized its juniors. Here, a special award was presented to student Satwik Pattanaik by the Parent-Teacher Association president Christina Blomquist. The award recognized Pattanaik’s PTA Reflections Contest winning essay. The contest consisted of several different categories including video, essay and theatrical performances.  

Blackhawk boys basketball ends its season with a bang


 Citrus Valley High School’s varsity boys basketball team took on the Redlands Terriers on Jan. 29, 2020. Captains Devin Smith and Daniel Melero led the team towards victory, coming a long way as the team acquired a record of 7-8. Sophomore Jacob Taylor started off the game with a jump ball and the ensuing match was full of excitement as the first player to score was Citrus Valley junior Nate Coppi with an impressive three-pointer. 

Devin Smith, senior and varsity captain, attempts a closely contested shot inside the paint against Redlands High School, Jan. 29, 2020. (Emily Blomquist / Ethic Photo)

The players demonstrated their skills on the court as the first quarter was characterized by Coppi making a total of three three-pointers, and Melero shooting two three-pointers. Through it all, the crowd was on the edge of their seats, wholly invested in the outcome of the game and its victors. The second quarter was just as exciting as the first; Devin Smith ran onto the court and immediately scored a layup for the Blackhawks. As the game was heating up, Coppi got shoved, which gave him two shots at the free throw line, making the foul count for the second quarter six fouls for CV and one foul for RHS.

The third quarter started strong: the score was 33-24 for the Blackhawks and the team’s  communication was at an alltime high. Coppi made another three-pointer, Smith shot a two-pointer, and with three seconds left Taylor landed a layup, ending the quarter with a score of 52-40 for CV. Though RHS was only down by 12 points and had a chance to make a comeback, the Blackhawks’ defense was too strong. The game ended with Arnold Henrico scoring a layup that made the final score 73-61, a win for the Blackhawks.

Photos: Alternative style compliments Citrus Valley fashion


Alternative style and its many varients of expression make up a considerable fashion subculture at Citrus Valley High School. David Monterroso, a sophmore, often wears a very dark and edgy style that complements the fashion of others within his friend group, Jan. 22, 2020 at Citrus Valley High School, Redlands, CA. “It’s reassuring to see someone dressed similar so I know I’m not alone,” says Monterroso. (Kat Sutow / Ethic Photo)

Alternative is often used to describe lifestyles or aesthetics that do not fit in with the expected or “normal” appearance of everyday life, and it’s one of many channels of personal expression. The staples of this style includes accessories like chains, chokers or platform shoes, all of which may look cool or edgy but can prove to be bothersome or in violation of some school dress codes. This may cause issues in trying to keep your preferred aesthetic while working or attending school. 

In a way, the style brings people together as many alternative styles include band or show based accessories, thus showing what a person enjoys. Outward expression of alternative style encourages people to converse with others who have the same interests. This can be very helpful for people looking for new friends or even just finding someone to talk to.

Citrus Valley’s student library expects a new look after renovations


Faculty moves books from bookshelves to make room for renovations to the Citrus Valley library on Jan. 22, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. (Joseph Quesada / Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley High School’s library and computer lab is in the midst of some major changes that will bring new life and an updated feel to the space. The Blackhawk campus will receive brand new technology that will enhance the learning experience of students and promote collaboration between them. 

Cubicle-like glass rooms will be installed on the east side of the library space where the outdated Dell desktop computers once sat. These “Collaboration Rooms” will include touch screen computers and large whiteboards that will provide an open space to conduct group projects or hold group study sessions. 

The northern end of the library, closest to the quad, will be outfitted as an instructional area where classes can come work in an unique environment. Librarian Tiffany Brook explains that the furniture in this area will be largely rearrangeable, capable of accommodating classes of any size. The new space will emphasize individual compatibility, as Brook stated there will be “more modernized furniture that’s movable for space configuration, along with touch screen computers both inside the glass collaboration rooms and around the library.”

Citrus Valley faculty places caution tape around the library for renovations on Jan. 22, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. (Joseph Quesada / Ethic Photo)

The center of the library will serve as more social setting with booths and counters being installed as work spaces. Jordan Lovato, an assistant in the library, stated, “This area will be very good for reading, studying, working or even just relaxing. It will have sort of a cafe feel to it.” 

One of the most interesting new additions to the Blackhawk library will be the video production room outfitted with a full-size green screen and camera equipment. All students are encouraged to use this “Digital Storytelling Room” for video, media or film projects of any sort. At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, the Redlands Unified School District adopted the use of the editing application known as WeVideo, allowing students to work freely and easily with the green screen room. 

A storage room in the Citrus Valley library has been revamped into a new green screen room for students to use for media projects on Jan. 22, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. (Joesph Quesada / Ethic Photo)

Currently, the library is still in the early stages of renovation, but it is expected finish by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. If not, the renovations will complete prior to the start of the new school year in the fall of 2020. The overarching goal of these updates is to both prove Citrus Valley’s campus with a modernized feel and keep it up to date with the technology that is driving this age of education. 

Citrus Valley’s ‘greatest show’ rallies students into the new semester


Citrus Valley’s first rally of the semester consists of exciting performances, lively games and uproarious laughs on Jan. 24, 2020 at Citrus Valley High. “Being a Pep Commissioner, there’s so much constantly going on: thinking about who’s gonna be in the rally, what things do we want and how can we give the best possible rally for the school. Although there is so much hard work going into this, the payoff and having the best rallies in Redlands is amazing. Seeing students having an amazing time and knowing we made it happen is an amazing feeling. I’m so grateful to have a chance to make a difference in the schools overall energy,” says Fairlane Palacios, a Citrus Valley Pep Commissioner. (Ethan Dewri and Ronald Miller / Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley Cheer Update: Varsity performs at first competition of season


Citrus Valley High School’s varsity team cheers on the football game and motivates the crowd. (CV Spirit Photography).

Citrus Valley High School’s varsity cheerleading team went to their first cheer competition at Brea Olinda High School on Dec. 14, 2019. It was the team’s first time performing together as a group; tryouts were held for the competition team earlier in August for anyone to see if they had the talent and commitment to be on the team. At 6 a.m. on a sunny Saturday morning, the varsity team competed in the Super Large Novice division against ten other teams. Though they performed at 8:30 a.m., the team had to wait until 11:30 a.m. to hear their score and placement within the first tournament. Citrus Valley’s varsity team placed second in their division, and qualified to compete at the National Competition in February. 

The competition team changes every year with the arrival new, unique talent. This year there are multiple newcomers to the team who are not experienced with competitive cheer such as senior Cameron Mudget. Regarding joining the team, Mudget said “I wanted to do something different for my senior year and I thought it would be really fun.” The addition of the many new members only diversifies the girls’ collective abilities and only pushes the team to strive for another national title. If the team wins at nationals again, this will be their third time bringing home the national champion trophy, banner and backpacks. The team is now working hard to perfect their routine for the upcoming CIF competition and regional competition before nationals.

News Brief: Citrus Valley begins second semester Saturday School


Saturday School at Citrus Valley High School will be held on Jan. 25, 2020 from 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Students will need to report to the administration building outside of Room A-114 at 7:30 a.m. where attendance will be taken. Saturday School will be approximately four hours, which means that students will be given the opportunity to eat a free snack during their 20-minute supervised break at 10 a.m. No exceptions will be made for tardiness, and students must obey Citrus Valley’s dress code otherwise they will not be allowed to attend. Personal electronic devices will not be permitted for use during school hours and students must bring enough work to keep them busy for four hours.

News Brief: Citrus Valley comes together to celebrate service through a canned food drive


Nicole Regnier, Corinne Olson and Brandon Acosta, seniors at Citrus Valley High, donate cans for the drive on Dec. 12, 2019 at Citrus Valley High. Seniors and juniors collectively gathered more than 4000 cans during the project. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

During the last stretch of first semester and finals week, Citrus Valley High School staff and students dedicated themselves to this year’s canned food drive. Endorsed and organized by ASB, the drive provided canned and non-perishable goods to families in need through a partnership with the

Redlands Family Services Association. Christopher Galloway, Citrus Valley’s ASB advisor, stated that on December 13, the final day of the drive, the school collected “just shy of 5,000 [cans].” This number greatly surpasses the intended goal of 1,000 cans.

In past years, food drives at Citrus Valley have not been as successful, according to Galloway. However, in the future ASB is determined “to move forward with this [project] and put in effort to really do something for our community.”

To finish off the spirit of community, Citrus Valley held a holiday movie night on December 13, wherein the required entry fee was one can per person.

Citrus Valley provides options in engineering pathways


According Citrus Valley High School’s engineering teacher, Paul Bartlett, “engineering is problem solving” in its simplest form. It is a discipline focused on math but committed to finding modern solutions for modern problems. 

At Citrus Valley, there are two pathways for engineering: the Design Pathway and the Engineering Technology Pathway. The Design Pathway includes Tech Drawing class and Architecture and Design class, which are both one semester courses, and Pre-Engineering class, a one year program. On the other hand, Engineering Technology starts with Tech Drawing, moves to the semester-long Robotics class, and then advances to the Advanced Computer-Aided Design class. 

Brian Bartlett (left), a Pre-Engineering and Design and Technical Drawing teacher at Citrus Valley, helps Samuel Felix, a CAD student, on his project, Dec. 12, 2019 at Citrus Valley. The engineering pathway “provides another route for students to either go to college or career,” says Bartlett. “We’ve had engineering design and CAD drawing classes and now we have advanced CAD and robotics and architecture” says Bartlett. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

The Design Pathway covers structural, civil, mechanical, aerospace, environmental and computer engineering while the Engineering Technology Pathway focuses on manufacturing, 3D printing, and machinery like laser cutters and engraver tools.

Both courses participate in competitions such as the SkillsUSA Competition, which is career-based and consists of regional, state and national levels. The competition features “sectors,” or categories, such as Urban Search and Rescue, Architectural Design, Mobile Robotics, Additive Manufacturing and Principles of Engineering Technology. 

In the engineering classes, students use computer programs such as SolidWorks to generate and design projects before even building them. SolidWorks is highly advanced compared to similar available programs, making Citrus Valley’s students very lucky to have such resources. As most high schools and some colleges do not have SolidWorks, Citrus Valley’s engineering students can get ahead in their field by gaining crucial experience with cutting-edge tools and programs. 

Parker Fike, a senior and engineering program veteran, found the classes are fun but challenging as “it’s a lot harder than you anticipate.” Nonetheless, Fike still enjoyed the program and looks forward to a career in electrical engineering. 

Engineering student Nathan Almanger said that “there are a lot of problems you won’t expect” in reference to the pathways’ many challenges, such as missing pieces in a project or starting from scratch to create a working final product. Almanger also wans to pursue a career in engineering, but more focused on mechanical work. 

Although the engineering program is extensively rooted in difficult math concepts, it still allows all students work with their hands, express their creativity and possibly discover a new passion or career path. It gives participating students the opportunity to experiment with dynamic subjects that they may consider later in life when applying to college or choosing profession.

Photo Gallery: Winter-themed spirit week takes Citrus Valley by storm


Kelly Johnston, Gael Perez and Emily Blomquist wear their pajamas for the pajama-themed spirit day, Dec. 3, 2019 at Citrus Valley. “Wearing my pajamas is very comforting” says Perez. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

There are so few high school events that can bring together students much like the promise of Pajama Day. On the eve of finals and a long-awaited winter break, Citrus Valley High School held its holiday-themed Spirit Week beginning on Dec. 2, 2019 and ending on Dec. 6. The buzz of excitement and festivities permeated the week’s themes of Winter Wonderland, Long Winter Slumber (i.e. Pajama Day), Ugly Christmas Sweaters, Flannel Family, Santa Claus and Elves/Reindeers. 

Kenneth Carpenter, AP United States Government and Politics and AP Microeconomics teacher at Citrus Valley, teaches his class as he wears an ugly sweater for the spirit day on Dec. 4, 2019 at Citrus Valley. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

Ethic News staff participate in the “Flannel Family” spirit day on Dec. 5, 2019 at Citrus Valley. (Alyssa Martin / Ethic Photo)

Ricardo Ramos, Avalon Salvadore, Joseph Quesada and Emily Blomquist, students at Citrus Valley, wear Santa-themed clothing for the spirit day on Dec. 6, 2019 at Citrus Valley. (Alyssa Martin / Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley prepares for finals by ‘crammin’ with cocoa’


At Citrus Valley High School, the Link Crew program encourages juniors and seniors to involve and support underclassmen by creating a welcoming environment through events such as this year’s “Crammin’ with Cocoa” study session. This event featured upperclassmen Link Crew leaders helping fellow students by offering academic advice and specialized tutoring while enjoying festive sweets and beverages (Jill Wellington / Pexels)

Citrus Valley High School’s Link Crew program hosted their annual “Crammin’ with Cocoa” study session in the Blackhawk Bistro on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Link Crew leaders stayed after school and tutored freshmen who wanted help studying for finals.

Freshmen could focus on specific subjects relevant to their studying needs such as English, science, math and foreign language. When the freshmen arrived, they could join a line for free hot chocolate with whipped cream and a choice of cookies. There were tables set up around the bistro for freshmen to sit, study and work on any assignments or study materials.

The event went from 2:45 p.m. to  4:00 p.m. Link Crew leaders also had the opportunity to catch up on their own work while assisting others. Link Crew advisor Lisa Perry was able to help oversee and provide the event with food and drink.

A&E Brief: Elementary band students from local schools visit Citrus Valley High School


Elementary students practiced for their performance in the upcoming Christmas Parade at Citrus Valley High School on Nov. 22. These students will showcase all their hard work at the annual Redlands Christmas parade, which will take place on Dec. 7 in Downtown Redlands.

Citrus Valley band members worked with the elementary students to master their varied instruments through fun and interactive exercises. The elementary band practiced their marching on the Robert J. Hodges stadium track with the help of Citrus Valley’s marching band drumline.

After the long day of work, the kids were treated to a performance of the marching band’s current field show.

Devin Henderson, Musical Specialist Band Assistant, leads the Redlands Unified School elementary band practice at Citrus Valley High School on Nov. 22, 2019. The students were rehearsing for the annual Redlands Christmas parade performance. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic Photo)

Devin Henderson, Musical Specialist Band Assistant, leads the Redlands Unified School elementary band practice at Citrus Valley High School on Nov. 22, 2019. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic Photo)

Kaelyn Henderson, Musical Specialist Band Assistant, assists the Redlands Unified School elementary band practice at Citrus Valley High School on Nov. 22, 2019. (Maggie Snavely/ Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley’s ‘The Fatal Fifties Affair’ captivates audience members


For just a few days in early November, Citrus Valley’s Blackhawk Theatre Company put “The Fatal Fifties Affair,” an interactive play that directly engages its audience members to help solve a murder mystery. Images taken on Nov. 15, 2019 in the Blackhawk Theater. (Ahlora Smith / Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley’s Blackhawk Theatre Company recently put on the student-directed and interactive play of “The Fatal Fifties Affair.” The opening day was Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. and took the stage again on the 9,14 and 15. The play itself directed the audience be sorted into specific colors and seated accordingly on the stage. The cast was made up of seven students who portrayed a television family and two hosts. Jared Cotrufo, a senior at Citrus Valley, directed this play along side fellow senior, Stephanie Smith. Kaitlyn Hunton, who played the character of Winky, stated that the show “was fun and people who worked on it were kind and encouraging.” 

The play opens with the introduction of the show’s host, Barry West, played by senior Jeamil Haboud. Barry then brings out the cast of the hit 50’s show: Make Way for Winky! The first hour of the performance follows the cast as they discuss their lives after the show, reasons for returning and the book that Aunt Cora—played by junior Allison Johnson—was writing about her life on set. After the cast leaves for a commercial break, there is a brief costume contest among the audience members. In first place is senior Amber Neuschler, who is then suddenly afflicted by a coughing bout, prompting the host, Barry, to give her a cup of water. A cup of water that only causes her coughing to worsen until she can’t breathe—and then it revealed that it was cyanide in her cup. When the cast runs back onstage to discover the murder, Aunt Cora appears to be missing until she too comes running in—but with a knife in her chest. And so the investigation begins. 

The host, Olivia Rivera, announced to the crowd that the next hour will be split up into 30 minute intervals where, in the first half, the three color groups were able to look for clues. Each group got a packet based on the different characters and each packet had different activities to lead the group to the clues. During the investigation, audience members were able to engage each character to ask questions and see camera footage of the characters backstage during the incident. The hunt for the killer took the groups to the tech room, outside where the deceased was killed and even in the prop room. 

In the second half, the initial group enjoyed apple cobbler made by Citrus Valley’s Foods class and some hot chocolate while the other group went on to explore and gain clues. When everyone resettled in their seats the show began again, unraveling the clues and revealing the true killer.  The play is an overall enthralling and enjoyable experience for the audience and cast members alike. Max Herzog, who played the father, said “I had a great time getting to improv with my peers, and it was an extremely fun and great learning experience as a cast.”