Photos by DESTINY RAMOS, MARSHALL SCOTT and CRAIG MORRISON
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 Analysis:
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)
The bees are more attracted to the trash cans because of the pheromones that are released by the trash. Bees are being killed because they get caught under the lids of these trash cans. Some people have even suggested that governments should be working on a solution to this problem, but it may be too late for that. Photo made with Autodesk Sketchbook, a drawing and sketching app. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News art)
Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, honey bees have been very attracted to Redlands East Valley High School and are collecting in the trash cans and the trees around campus. They are hovering over students’ food and intruding on their lunch time: a time that would normally serve as a peaceful break from teacher instruction.
The bees have become especially troublesome to people with bee allergies because they are forced to constantly pass trash cans during passing periods and lunch.
“I have to be aware of the bees because of my allergies to bees,” Emiliy Jean Scott, a freshman at REV, said. “They’re mainly in the trash cans which are gross, and they’re beginning to bug people. I believe that they smell something sweet and that’s why they are going into the trash cans.”
Fae Norris, a sophomore at REV, said, “The bees are terrible due to my allergies and I don’t carry an EpiPen. I get attacked by bees a lot, and I think that if they were to move the trash cans away from the students, just so we don’t keep getting attacked.”
Sharon Dobesh, the pesticide coordinator in the Department of Entomology, explains the main reason for bees surrounding the trash cans.
Dobesh says, “They are just looking for new sources of nutrition since flower populations are declining.”
The bees are attracted to anything sweet, mainly items with sugar such as candy, granola bars and sugary drinks. They will also swarm around fruits such as apples, dragon fruit and oranges, which explains the swarms near the schools near the orange groves.
Bees form and create hives as their place of producing their honey for their spawns. The typical honey bee likes to live in rock crevices and hollow parts of trees in which they believe that it has enough space for their colony to live and survive. They construct their hives out of wax, which they chew to make it soft and bond it into honeycombs to form their hive.
In addition to bees inconveniencing students, they are also becoming a burden to teachers. Because of the autumn season, teachers are opening the doors and window seals of their classrooms to allow light and the thin breeze to brush through. However, when teachers open their windows, they are met not only by the seasonal breeze but by bees that fly into their classroom and disturb valuable instructional minutes.
REV earth science teacher Ted Ducey said, “The bees come through the windows when I have them open and cause a small disruption to the class.”
Kalynn Greenley, an English teacher at REV, says, “It’s affecting my class because it takes ten minutes to catch a single bee.”
In order to prevent bees from invading their classroom, many teachers on the lower level of the English building have been putting up magnetic screens on their doors. However, some teachers do not have these screens and are interrupted hourly by bees flying into their class.
The bees takeover has caused a loss of focus, learning and even disrupts students walking through the halls. With the orange groves right next to REV, there is no indication that the swarm of bees are leaving anytime soon.
At Redlands East Valley High School, student access to the restrooms has been limited. Since the end of August, the upstairs bathrooms in the K-wing have been closed.
The upstairs student restrooms in the K-Wing of Redlands East Valley High School have been closed since August. After the Devious Licks trend, REV administration thought it would be best to close the restrooms for the safety of students and to limit vandalism. (Ella Fitzpatrick/ Ethic News photo)
During each passing period — an eight minute time frame — the restrooms quickly become crowded with students. This is because there are only two restrooms for males and two restrooms for females open on campus with a student count of almost 1,900.
“Once when I really had to go to the bathroom, the line was so long that I was two minutes late to my class,” says Alicia Gullon, a senior at REV.
With every student that waits in line, another student may be late to class or must wait until another passing period and hope the line is shorter then. This may cause a rise in tardiness among students.
The passing period is meant to be a short time where students can quickly socialize with friends, eat a snack, and use the restroom while on the way to their next class. Some teachers do not allow students to use the restroom during class because it is what passing period is meant for. It is also to ensure that students get the most out of their instruction. However, having to wait to use the restroom can cause discomfort for students.
REV security officer Molly Gonzalez said, “From my standpoint, all of the tardy students that I deal with, they want to be tardy. They could care less. And I think that we forget that there are other students who do care.”
Some students, as well as staff, who have been late to class or have been otherwise affected because of this issue believe the second floor bathrooms of the K-wing should be opened.
“I don’t think it is something we need to debate. It makes sense to open it. I think it should be an easy fix,” says Gonzalez.
According to assistant principal Ron Kroetz, restrooms are closed due to a lack of supplies provided by the Redlands Unified School District including soap dispensers and toilet seat covers. This shortage is connected to the Devious Licks trend that began on TikTok in September. The Devious Licks trend encouraged students to steal and destroy school property which put everyone on campus at risk.
“These social media trends are tough to deal with sometimes when kids are being encouraged to vandalise the school,” says Kroetz.
As a solution, administration agreed to close the restrooms upstairs impermanently.
The school has also been short on officers, an essential part of campus safety. By opening up the bathrooms upstairs, security would need to accommodate and split up where they patrol.
“We don’t have enough staff to keep an eye on them,” says Kroetz.
“We can barely manage the two restrooms open now,” says Gonzalez.
With a lack of security officers on campus, they often have to be more vigilant.
“Recently, we have had girls go into the restrooms and start fights,” says Gonzalez, “And safety is going to overrule convenience.”
For Redlands East Valley High School’s homecoming, the different classes made their floats after their fairy tale theme called “Once Upon a Homecoming.”
Redlands East Valley High School sophomores decorated their homecoming float’s background as the ending page of the book “Hansel and Gretel” on Sep. 30. The sophomore class won best homecoming float. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
The class of 2025 created the grandmother’s house and a hooded girl with a forest background from a children’s tale on Sept. 30. Their homecoming float has the theme of “Little Red Riding Hood.” (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
The class of 2025 showed off their “catchy” play on words with their theme on the back of their homecoming float on Sept. 30. (KENDRA BURDICK/ ETHIC NEWS)
A trio of freshmen students begin to paint the tree trunks in the forest background of their “Little Red Riding Hood” float on Sept. 28. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)
The class of 2022 homecoming float had the words “Surrender Dorothy” in black clouds on Sept. 30. This showed off their theme of “The Wizard of Oz” perfectly. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
The class of 2022 added the yellow brick road and the tornado swept house to add to their scene on Sept. 30. All of their add-ons helped complete the float and earned them second place in the homecoming float competition. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
Two senior students painted the city of Oz in green on the “Wizard of Oz” inspired float on Sept. 28. All floats were inspired by the theme of fairy tales. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)
The class of 2023 created the beanstalk on their float to represent their theme “Jack and the Beanstalk.” This shows off their theme and how much effort they put in to make their float. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
REV junior Deborah Toma helps with painting the gradient of the “Jack and the Beanstalk” float in the REV autoshop area on Sept. 29. The REV Associated Student Body displays these floats during the homecoming football game and uses their funds and donations to gather materials for each float. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)
REV junior Deborah Toma (left) and ASB junior Emma DeDoes (right) work on painting grass on the juniors’ float on Sept. 29. Everyone was welcomed to volunteer and work on their class’s float. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)
Redlands East Valley students are seen working on floats, eating snacks or talking with friends on Sept. 28. The students building the float gain, not only, community service but also a fun time to spend with friends or make new ones. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)
The Redlands East Valley High School varsity football team faced Beaumont High School at Citrus Valley High School on Oct. 1. With both teams known for their offenses, this game was going to be the one to see.
Beaumont scored their first touchdown and two-point conversion within the first eight minutes of the first quarter. Shortly after, Beaumont High School recovered their onside kick and brought the football down the field for another eight points.
Redlands East Valley, wearing the black and red uniforms, at Citrus Valley High School kicking off the football to Beaumont, wearing the white and blue uniforms, to start the first quarter of the game. This marks the beginning of the REV homecoming game on Oct. 1, 2021. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News)
This trend continued for the rest of the first and second half resulting in a devastating 61-21 loss for REV. Beaumont’s size and skill difference proved too much for REV to handle.
Even though the score difference was great, there were still many great highlights for the REV team. Outstanding runs, catches, and even a hurdle were seen by REV and made many in the crowd go wild.
At halftime, the Redlands East Valley ASB announced the homecoming court and the king and queen for Homecoming for the 2021-2022 school year. This was topped off with a display of fireworks to celebrate the event.
Homecoming has become one of the most anticipated weeks in the school year. Not only because of the dance itself, but due to the festivities surrounding the event, which includes a pep rally, carnival, spirit week, minimum day and the announcement of the Homecoming court at the Friday football game. Overall, these Homecoming celebrations help promote school spirit and welcome back students and faculty.
However, students often become accustomed to these traditions without truly knowing how Homecoming came to be.
Homecoming was originally used in colleges before it spread to high schools.
The University of Michigan is credited with beginning the tradition of Homecoming in 1911, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association,
Missouri Athletic Director Chester Brewer encouraged their alumni to return to their school for their annual football game against the University of Kansas, which drew a crowd for a weekend of festivities surrounding the game. Since then, its growing popularity among colleges has allowed homecoming to become a staple in American high schools.
The Homecoming football game also draws much excitement as the Homecoming court is announced.
The Homecoming court comprises students who are voted in to represent the student body as king, queen, princesses and princes. However, the tradition initially began with only women competing for the title of queen.
At Redlands East Valley High School, one boy and one girl from each grade level need to be nominated from a sport or club to be a candidate. Then, after a voting period that is open to all students, the princesses and princes are announced at the Homecoming pep rally during school while the senior king and queen are revealed at the Homecoming football game.
The REV Homecoming court was unveiled on Oct. 1 during their football game against Beaumont High School at Citrus Valley High School. Their court consists of the following students: Kadin Khalloufi as the king, Shannon Cockerill as the queen, Maxwell Cannon as the junior prince, Brooklyn Martinez as the junior princess, Palmer Aguilar as the sophomore prince, Amanda Morrison as the sophomore princess, Cash Dabbs as the freshman prince and Ciela Pickett as the freshman princess.
Redlands East Valley High School senior Kadin Khalloufi wins Homecoming king alongside his mother Kathi Khalloufi on Oct. 1 during halftime of the REV Homecoming football game against Beaumont High School at Hodges Stadium. Khalloufi is the varsity football captain and was playing in the Homecoming game prior to halftime. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
At REV, Khalloufi is a varsity football captain and participates in varsity wrestling, volleyball, Possibilities club, National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Key club, tutoring club and Speech and Debate.
“I think there is great honor in being the Homecoming king as you represent the majority opinion of the school,” said Khalloufi.
He continues, “It’s crazy to me that people actually wanted me to be Homecoming king and I still am in shock over it.”
Redlands East Valley High School senior Shannon Cockerill wins Homecoming queen alongside her father Brian Cockerill on Oct. 1 during halftime of the REV Homecoming football game against Beaumont High School at Hodges Stadium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
At REV, Cockerill is REV Associated Student Body Executive President, varsity soccer captain, the vice president of Chess and Games club and the president of the Red Cross club. She is also a part of varsity track and field, Key club, Mental Health club, NHS, CSF, Interact club and Heal club.
“Everything I am in and have been involved in for the past four years helped me get to know a lot of people. I knew them from one activity or another and took the time to remember them and them remember me,” said Cockerill.
“Being homecoming queen to me, is more than being a popular person. It was being someone people remembered for being kind, positive and friendly.”
Redlands East Valley High School seniors Kadin Khalloufi and Shannon Cockerill are crowned as Homecoming king and queen on Oct. 1. Khalloufi and Cockerill were both involved in Homecoming activities with Khalloufi as a football captain and Cockerill as the executive president for Associated Student Body. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
April Saibene, once a student at Redlands East Valley High School, has returned to REV this school year as a newly hired counselor. After working as a counselor at Clearwater Elementary School in Perris for two years, Saibene was first hired at REV as a temporary counselor covering grades ten to 12, last names Dj-J, but a few weeks into the school year, she obtained the permanent position.
Redlands East Valley High School counselor April Gamez in her office on Sept. 8. Gamez counsels sophomores, juniors and seniors with last names starting from Dj to J. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Born in Brawley, California, Saibene lived in Mexico until the age of three; her parents were both born in Mexico, therefore she is a fluent Spanish speaker. In addition, she has lived in Redlands and Mentone. In free time, Saibene enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband, Andrew, currently have a seven-month child named Sonny. Saibene also has three siblings: Diana Gamez (REV 05′), Frankie Gamez (REV 07′) and Angel Gamez (Citrus Valley 12′).
Saibene graduated from REV in 2010. She considers counselor Laree Orland a mentor during and after high school; Orland is currently the counselor that covers all Advancement Via Individual Determination students.
While at REV, Saibene participated in track and field and cross country, coached by Andrea Johnson, and softball with Jim Cruz and Sandy Crumrine as her coaches. She also played soccer outside of school recreationally.
Saibene, being a lover of sports, had thought she would pursue a career surrounding sports in some aspect, such as by majoring in kinesiology.
However, she ultimately decided to major in sociology.
While working toward her bachelor’s degree at Cal State University, San Bernardino, Saibene worked as a waitress at Johnny’s Tacos and Sports in Redlands for four years.
Following earning her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Saibene then worked at Tom Bell Chevrolet for two years. While she was there, she was a receptionist and worked her way up to service writer and later assistant manager.
Afterwards, Saibene attended the University of Redlands to pursue her master’s degree in school counseling while starting to substitute in the Redlands Unified School District. She graduated in 2019.
In addition to coming back to REV, Saibene is also entering the same campus as her older sister, Diana Gamez who is currently in her ninth year of teaching Spanish and Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher at REV.
Gamez used to eat lunch in her room and keep to herself, but now she tries to stop by at least once a day to visit her sister to say hello or have lunch together.
Gamez says Saibene “has a heart of gold and is very compassionate. I know she really liked working at the elementary school level, but I honestly think she’s going to do great things at REV.”
Saibene attributes her sister to being one of her role models as Gamez was the oldest and most influential to her and her siblings.
The personal one-on-one aspect of counseling is what Saibene loves most. She didn’t want to become a teacher because she feels she works better with individual, small groups compared to a big group.
Amid this pandemic, Saibene believes that dealing with grief, lack of social skills and not being cognizant of school expectations are some of the biggest challenges that students are facing.
Due to COVID-19, losing family members has become a common occurrence for some students.
As a result of distance learning for the 2020-21 school year, Saibene feels that some students haven’t developed a grasp for expectations for in-person learning, especially freshmen and sophomores who had never been on the REV campus yet.
“Technically, our seniors were only here for a year and a half, so they didn’t really get a feel for the expectations or like the rituals, you know the things that we have here at REV that make it REV,” said Saibene. “I think that’s a challenge that [students] are facing; they just don’t know and they don’t know what to expect and they all still feel scared and nervous.”
However, in order for students to be successful in high school, Saibene strongly recommends getting involved in something at school, such as clubs or sports.
“I would say make sure you stay involved, be nice to your adults, self-advocate for yourself, [and] speak up for yourself,” said Saibene.
At REV, Saibene aspires to be someone that students and staff feel comfortable coming to.
“I hope to be a safe place for students and staff where they feel comfortable with me whether it’s sharing good news or bad news, if they need some guidance, advice, or just a room for them to vent,” said Saibene.
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.
The Associated Student Body at Redlands East Valley High School hosted Senior Fling on their JV baseball fields on Aug. 20 as a way to bring seniors together at the start of the school year. The event, lasting for two hours, consisted of free food from a taco vendor and activities, such as slip-and-slide, water balloons, ping pong, volleyball, cornhole and tug-a-war.
A taco vendor hands out plates of tacos, rice and beans to students on the junior varsity baseball fields at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
REV senior and ASB Multicultural Commissioner Catelyn Cummings said, “Personally, I thought not that many people were going to come. But, I feel like we had a good turnout and I feel like people are enjoying the activities, like I see someone at every station.”
Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Lilly Cooper, Emily Retamoza and Ella Fletcher play ping pong as one of the many activities offered at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photos)
Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Jose Contreras, Mariah Mora, Raven Silvestre and Adrian Martin sit in the grass and chat during Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
As a whole, the event was slow to prepare for and required a lot of volunteers, in addition to ASB members, to help set up. One of the main activities, the slip-and-slide, constantly demanded an ASB member to hold the hose during the event.
Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Soraya Coady, Luca Smith, Olivia Benz, Debbra Jedrysek, Ella Fitzpatrick, and Hanah Mansilla use the slip-and-slide at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photos)
REV senior Andrew Hallen played tug-a-war and ping pong. His favorite part about Senior Fling was “seeing new people and hanging out.”
Redlands East Valley senior Jay Gutierrez plays cornhole alongside junior Anna Engel at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
“It’s the bee’s knees,” said REV senior Keyvon Rankin. “My favorite part was losing tug-a-war, you know what I’m saying, that’s going straight into the scrapbook. I’m going to tell my kids about it.”
More information on upcoming REV senior events will be advertised on Instagram and in the school bulletin.
As the end of the school year approaches, students and teachers are increasingly closer to emerging from a stressful year into a needed summer break. However, for some teachers, the end of the school year represents more than a sigh of relief, and possesses greater personal significance. For some, it represents the end of a long career, an era filled with many refining and fulfilling moments. While, for others, it represents the beginning of a new journey, promising both the thrill of opportunity and uncertainty. This year, many Redlands East Valley High School teachers have decided to retire or advance their career through new positions separate from the school. What are some of their final thoughts and what will they do next in this new chapter of their life?
With an empathetic nature and passion for mental health, Wendy Mcclung, the mental health careers and mind matters teacher will be leaving REV to work in an administrative position.
She will be moving to the district office at CRYROP where she will be “in charge of their online program.”
Although Mcclung is excited for “a chance to exercise [her] leadership skills and to grow as a teacher professionally,” she will miss her students dearly.
“They are why I do what I do, ” said Mcclung. I get to watch them grow and get to know them and watch them succeed and help them through struggles. You don’t get that one-on-one with them anymore.”
Mcclung’s genuine concern for her students’ well-being is a special gift: a gift that is not required, but one that she still possesses. As she leaves the classroom, Mcclung says, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat. It was great to be here.”
One of REV’s most experienced English teachers, with a true heart for reading, Jody Bradberry is retiring this year.
Looking back on her career, Bradberry is happy and feels a sense of accomplishment. “There are too many good memories; I’ve had a great career,” she said.
Bradberry is ready for retirement and will miss the interaction with her students the most: “It was all about the kids” she further said.
After school ends, Bradberry’s plans are short and simple: “I’m going to walk, do yoga, and read.” Even though she is retiring, her love for reading will continue to endure.
After 36 years of teaching math, Micheal Broguiere, a sincere and genuine teacher, decided to retire this year. From his long career, Broguiere is nostalgic of the many comical and lighthearted memories that he experienced.
While teaching high school, Broguire told one of his classes that he wanted to buy a Vitamix Blender. In an attempt to help their teacher purchase a new blender, the class created a jar that they would pass around each day to collect change and raise funds for the blender. In the spirit of fellowship, Broguiere hosted a smoothie day for his class. “We were making smoothies all day,” he said. “It was an atmosphere of fun and good times.”
Broguiere was able to establish a sense of community among his students. This aspect of his teaching style will be missed as he heads into retirement; however, his retirement plans are not yet set in stone. “I may get a part-time job,” Broguiere said, but he has no intention of getting one this year.
When asked what he was looking forward to the most about retirement, he said, “You know, just not having to get up and be a slave to a clock. Just knowing that I’m somewhere that I’m not usually at this time of year.” The freedom to live spontaneously is within Broguiere’s grasp.
The very compassionate and artistic Fleury Laycook chose to make the 2020-2021 school year her last year before retiring from her position as an English teacher at REV. Students will remember Laycook as one of the most sympathetic teachers on campus.
After 32 years of teaching a variety of subjects and thousands of students, Laycook reminisced of years of memories and shared multiple “stand out times” which included her position as the newspaper advisor and a participant in Mock Trial. “We won the Southern California LA Times High School Newspaper of the year award,” she said. “Another one I think was pretty cool was going to the state championships when I was working with Mock Trial.”
With such a creative mind, Laycook plans to focus on her hobbies of painting, writing poetry, and photography. “I’m going to have a lot of fun painting and other creative stuff,” she said. Laycook will be retiring into a life where happiness will fill her days through her hobbies.
Vanessa Aranda, adored for her relatable character and joyful presence on campus, will not be working at REV next year; instead, she has accepted a position at Orangewood High School where she will carry out her 19th year teaching a variety of social studies subjects, in addition to English Learner support, and Digital Journalism.
Throughout her career, Aranda has always prioritized the voice of her students and became recognized on campus as an intentional teacher capable of making her students feel acknowledged and appreciated. This special aspect of her character can be seen as she reflects on one of her fondest memories as the Rock Painting Club’s advisor.
One day when her room was crowded with club members, “one of [her] students wrote on a portable whiteboard sign, “EVERYONE IS WELCOME. We will find space for you if you think it’s crowded” and propped it outside.
She said, “Throughout the week, I would keep that sign up in my room, because I just loved how inclusive it was. It kinda symbolized exactly how I wanted my students to always feel in my class: welcomed and that it’s a space for them.”
Aranda’s time at REV embodies what it means to be a teacher that not only has a heart for teaching, but a heart for students as well. She will be remembered for going beyond the expected duties of her job to create an environment where students feel valued.
Shannon Nicholas is the third English teacher that will be leaving REV this year. After teaching for 15 years, officially reaching the halfway-point, Nicholas has accepted an administrative position at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel.
“So I will be moving to the beach,” she said.
Although Nicolas admits the move is somewhat frightening, because she will be working at a kindergarten through eighth grade school instead of a high school, she is still holding on to the thrill of the unknown and has a positive mindset. “I am very excited, she said. It is a new opportunity and a new adventure.”
While at REV, Nicholas has taught a variety of subjects which enabled her to teach the same students multiple times.
She said, “It was awesome, because I was able to build a greater relationship, and if you don’t have that, school’s boring. If you don’t like your teacher, and you don’t get along, students will lack motivation. It’s part of teaching.”
Nicholas understands the value of a healthy student-teacher relationship, and she will allow her knowledge and understanding to lead her to success in this next stage of her life.
A powerful voice and prominent figure in the music department, Choir Director Ramon Cardenas is moving across the country to Tallahassee, Florida where he will be attending Florida State University.
Although uprooting to the East Coast is a dramatic life change, Cardenas is excited to have the opportunity to advance his education and earn his doctorate to teach at the college level.
As he reflects on his time spent at REV, Cardenas’ most memorable moments as a teacher were spent on retreats with his students. “We always had really good times there. Everybody was always just funny and silly, just cool to see people get involved outside of class,” he said.
Even though distance learning extinguished almost all of the music department’s performances this year, Cardenas was able to experience one last “Hoorah” moment before last year’s shutdown. He said, “the choir concert we had right before the shutdown was the best concert that the choirs had.”
Cardenas will remain a well-liked teacher in the music department.
REV’s English department is losing yet another teacher, Laura Brown. With a strong desire to teach her students how to speak and write intellectually, Brown has decided to retire at the end of the school year.
From her career, Brown believes the best thing about teaching is the wisdom she gained from her students along the way. “They’ve taught me so many crucial things–not about grammar–but about compassion and humanity and life,” she said.
Although teachers are labeled as the educator, they themselves are constantly learning and their perspective on life is constantly developing. While working as a third grade elementary teacher, Brown remembers when she was humorously enlightened by one of her students.
“A very bright student named Wesley raised his hand and asked about the ellipsis. I didn’t know what that was, so I said, “Wesley, tell us what you know about the ellipsis?” He said, “That’s when you end a period with dot, dot, dot.’”
Although Brown is retiring, this is not the end of her journey. “I’m looking forward to new adventures with my family,” she said. “My husband and I will live in Utah during the spring and summer and in Florida during the fall and winter.” Brown’s grandchildren live in those two states, and throughout her retirement, she will be surrounded by her loved ones.
It’s no lie that teaching high school students is difficult. However, after speaking with each one of these wonderful teachers, it is evident that the struggles and stress are worth it. These teachers taught with passion and sincerity to help the young kids in their community. To be a teacher, you have to be sympathetic, patient, prepared, and always have the highest expectations for your students. All the teachers mentioned encompass these traits, allowing the students at REV to receive the best education possible and create some of the most endearing memories. REV is losing an amazing group of people, but from all at REV, the hope is that each of these teachers’ futures will be filled with happiness and opportunity. From parents, to students, to administration, the gratitude from so many people extends to these teachers. There is no doubt that they will be missed on campus.
Unfortunately, Rhonda Fouch was not available to interview; however, she will be retiring this year as well.
Theatre arts teacher Kaitlyn Daniels will no longer be working at REV next year as well.
Hosted by AILEEN JANEE CORPUS, DANIELA MORA, CYRUS ENGELSMAN
Today’s episode is a part of a three part series that is all about the Redlands East Valley Wildcats’ girls’ athletic director, Rhonda Fouch (she/her) who also goes by Fouch and Coach Fouch. Mrs. Fouch has been working on impacting the lives of young people for 40 years, and is retiring this school year. Learn more about Fouch’s connection with the ocean, how long and how she ended up in Redlands, and what made her choose her occupation of Girls’ Athletic Director. This episode’s intro and outro song is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole.
By ISAAC MEJIA, ALISSON BERMUDEZ and ARIANA GHALAMBOR
Since school switched from in-person to online learning last March, the Redlands East Valley High School campus has undergone many changes that have affected students returning to in-person learning this year. Some of these changes are shown below.
Changes to the Library:
The library is now fully furnished with new lounge chairs that allow students to sit comfortably while working on assignments. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)
The library contains new collaboration stations each equipped with a lounge couch and a monitor. Currently, stations can only accommodate three students and are not allowed to be used to their full capacity. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
A sign posted on the library door politely reminds students to wear a mask. Due to current Covid-19 guidelines, students and faculty must wear a mask in order to attend school. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
As students enter the library, they are met with a bottle of hand sanitizer to help maintain personal cleanliness. This small addition can be seen in different locations throughout the school and is specific to the current school year. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
Changes to Campus:
Of the two sets of staircases in each building, only one staircase will be accessible to walk up, while the other will be used to walk down. This specific measure has forced students to take different detours to their next class. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)
Stickers were placed on the floor in front of the textbook office to remind students of the social distancing regulations which require them to maintain 6-feet distance when outside. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)
The office contains a secondary protective entrance which allows people to take their temperature before entering campus. After precautionary actions are taken, the individual at the front desk will unlock the door: the door remains locked otherwise; however, nothing is required to enter the first entrance. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
Due to the school year being held virtually, many extracurricular activities have had to adapt and change drastically. Theatre had one of the biggest changes, because no plays have been able to be performed this year.
This has not stopped students and teachers from getting creative. Teacher Kaitlyn Daniels gave students a chance to express their creativity with the Redlands East Valley Writers Bakeoff. The Writers Bakeoff was a class for the spring quarter where students were able to write and create their own plays.
Six plays in total were created and performed. Each of these plays are available to the public via the Redlands East Valley High School website. From all different varieties and locations, every play tells a tale that the students told through playwriting.
The showcases of student plays are a replacement of the spring play that normally takes place in the spring at Redlands East Valley. “I had a dedicated, creative, hard-working group of students that made this project and its final results possible.” says Kaitlyn Daniels, the theater director at Redlands East Valley High School. “I would absolutely love to do a project like this in the future. I really enjoyed the process and the outcome at the end of the eight-week experience!”
Distance learning has been a struggle for many students of the Redlands Unified School District. However, this unprecedented year has not extinguished them from learning new hobbies, and spending quality time with pets and family. This collection of photos shows who and what possessions have provided students with a sense of permanence during the rapidly changing school year.
Mia, a 12-year-old dog, enjoys running around fields and parks. Despite Mia’s age, her owner Isabella Verjat, a junior at Redlands High School, still takes her for regular walks. (Courtesy of Isabella Verjat)
Paul McClure, Redlands High School junior, presents the yoyo that he practices with. McClure was inspired to learn how to yoyo after finding an old one in his house. (Courtesy of Paul McClure)
Valentine Edwards, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shares a picture of their cat, Duchess. (Courtesy of Valentine Edwards)
Redlands High School junior Sophia Feduska shows off an apple and raspberry pie she baked. During quarantine, baking quickly became one of her pastimes. (Courtesy of Sophia Feduska)
Kai, a one-year-old dog, enjoys hanging out with his owner, Redlands East Valley High School junior Abigail Gates. (Courtesy of Abigail Gates)
“My longboard helped me through the online learning school year, because it allowed me to focus on something besides my schooling,” said Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Aileen Corpus. She further said that “the community I have become a part of through my longboard is just amazing.” (Courtesy of Aileen Corpus)
Tyler Ardnt, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shows off his dog Grizzly, a two year-old husky-malamute, sitting comfortably in a cardboard box. (Courtesy of Tyler Ardnt)
Josie Burdick, a fifth grader attending Crafton Elementary School, reads books to help her get through distance learning. She enjoys reading adventure books, along with historical books to relax after a long day of learning online. (Courtesy of Josie Burdick)
“My dogs Hank and Ollie helped me stay loved,” said Redlands East Valley High School freshman Lily Shaw. (Courtesy of Lily Shaw)
Within the last days of March, the Redlands Unified School District decided to open the school sites for the students through a vote made by the Board of Education. They opened and gave the choice to the parents to allow their students to stay at home and continue their education through distance learning or to go to in-person learning through a new, hybrid schedule. The Board of Education recently voted on “freezing grades” to supposedly make the transition easier for students. Teachers from different departments at Redlands East Valley had a variety of reactions and changes in their grading.
The English Department is co-headed by Eva Shinnerl, who is currently teaching Advanced Placement English Language classes, Composition and English 101. She has taught at Redlands East Valley for over twenty years, which has led her to gain lots of experience. Shinnerl says, “In my classes, all assignments are now worth the same amount as before in Google Classroom, but they go into Aeries as extra credit.” She goes on to explain how she listened to her students and so they will go “as high as possible.” Shinnerl also teaches Dual Enrollment English classes at Crafton Hills College and says, “those grades are not frozen because it’s not technically an RUSD class.” It is important to mention that this is her system and each teacher within the department was able to follow their own grading format.
The infographic represents a play on words as the Board of Education voted on freezing grades and shown above are letter grades freezing (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)
Doug Porter is the Math Department Chair and has taught mathematics since 2002. He is the current AP Statistics teacher and is also teaching Math One Honors classes. Porter says, “The REV Math Department has no official grading policy for the remainder of the 2020-21 year,” and that they have “agreed to use our professional and personal judgment to do what is best for the students and to maximize student learning/engagement over the next few weeks.”
Shinnerl teaching class during the Coronavirus Pandemic with In-person Students and Distance Learning students on the computer. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)
Within his classes, he gave the Final Exam before April 19. Porter explains, “That final exam score is now slowly being replaced through each assignment from now until the end of the semester.” He does guarantee that every student who participates will gain a much higher score on the final exam.
The World Language Department is composed of Spanish, French and Latin classes. Each has different teachers with many years of experience, but it is all headed by Susan Johnston and Michael Celano. Each has implemented their grading system and made sure each teacher within the department did the same. Johnston said, “Personally, I am allowing students to improve their grades by five percent if they complete all work assigned during the hybrid learning.”
Andrea Johnson-Bernardy is the current head of the Physical Education Department and she had explained that teachers had implemented a similar system. They all agreed to provide online work for those on distance learning and also have in-person activities such as walking and playing games with little contact. Some teachers decided to give extra credit but for distinct reasons.
Porter is letting the different sets of students know how each class will work on the day’s assignment on the whiteboard. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)
Fine Arts Department Chair Tracy Massimiano explained that each class had to have different systems due to a variety of concerns. The Ceramics teacher, George Bressant, is planning to “do some fun projects in class and take advantage of the small class sizes.” Kelly Tilson, a Digital Art Teacher, says, “This is an opportunity to gain knowledge and not fear anything”.
Electives such as the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, have also made tough choices based on the board’s choice on freezing grades. As a result, Jana Bailey, the AVID coordinator, says “our team agreed that because our curriculum builds on each other every year and we don’t want our students to get behind. There were certain assignments that had to count between now and the end of this year. As a result, we entered those assignments right away.” This includes personal statements, tutorials and scholarship essays.
Bailey explains that their students understand and have seen the importance of their actions. She says, “They have seen the success of our seniors, earning 100 percent college acceptance rates from UCLA, Berkeley, Irvine, San Diego, CSU Long Beach and others. They know that the extra effort is worth it.”
On Wednesday, April 14, five days before students returned to in-person school, Redlands East Valley High School students and parents received an email from Assistant Principal Ronald Kroetz. The email included an attached document to inform students of the many procedures set in place to help create a safe learning environment on campus. In regards to lunch, the document explicitly states that the school “anticipates that there will be a minimal choice of meal options” and “if you are a picky eater you might want to bring your own lunch”; thus, students were warned of a potential lack of variety; however, they were not informed of any other details that specify what on campus grab & go meals would look like.
Previously, students getting hot lunch would get to choose their lunch items from a selection, then proceed to checkout to pay. Now, prepackaged lunches at school come at no cost for students, which allows anyone to easily walk up to their school’s cafeteria to grab one.
According to Betty Crocker, the director of Child Nutritional Services, Child Nutritional Services is “providing a unique service.” She relates that “due to COVID and safety requirements, all of the [meals] are a cold service with items individually wrapped.” These safety guidelines limit the type of food available for distribtuion.
This prepackaged lunch consists of a total of five items: one pack of Jack Links’s chicken tender bites, sunflower seeds, applesauce, Beans and Veggie crackers, and a dragon punch. In addition, students are given the option to take an additional milk, apple slices, and applesauce that are not included in the packaged sack. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
Some students attending both REV and Citrus Valley High School have expressed their dislike for their school lunches and their inability to satisfy them.
This is the case for CV junior Janelle Gallegos. She said, “They are gross and not fulfilling. I eat sunflower seeds everyday for lunch, because it’s the only good thing they serve.”
While this is Gallegos’s personal opinion, her disapproval of the insubstantial quality of food is a common complaint shared by other students. REV freshman Kris Garcia said, “Well, see the problem is that it is very little food, and the very little food that they have is very trash food.”
Cia Anderson, a REV freshman, said, “It’s like prison lunch. Basically I was like telling my parents about it and they were like ‘yeah it’s like prison lunch.”’ Thus, Anderson acknowledged the lunches inadequacy and her parents agreed.
However, not all in-person students are upset with the current pre-packaged lunches and some have expressed their contentment.
REV sophomore Deacon Arne said, “I just really need to eat. I think it’s good.”
While it is true that students are given the option to prepare their own lunch for school, not all in-person students have that option. For some, school lunch may be the only meal that they receive all day. This stresses the important responsibility of the school to provide a nutritional and fulfilling lunch for students.
Lunch is especially vital for student-athletes, as it is generally the last meal they have before after-school practice or games. These athletes rely on a nourishing lunch to give them the needed energy to perform to the best of their ability in their sports.
The time at which the school will return to serving hot lunch remains inexact. Crocker states that child nutritional services “[looks] forward to resuming our hot breakfast, lunch and after school meal programs when we emerge from the pandemic”; however, there is no exact date that pinpoints when emergence from the pandemic will take place. Thus, on campus Grab & Go meals will continue for the remainder of this semester and possibly the beginning of school in august.
Redlands Unified School District Child Nutrition Services is still offering their Curbside Grab & Go meals for no-cost.
“This is where we provide all families bulk-style meals along with the individually wrapped meals, eggs, bagels, and strawberries,” said Crocker.
These bags, containing a week’s worth of meals, are available to be picked up between 6 to 8 a.m. every Wednesday at either REV, Redlands High School, Mission Elementary School, Clement Middle School or Beattie Middle School.
Starting April 19, Redlands Unified School District will be reopening the high schools to in-person instruction with new additions on campus and policies set in place.
According to the California Department of Public Health, all schools in red, orange, and yellow tiers counties can reopen schools. On April 7, San Bernardino County is in the orange tier as the virus spreads moderately in the county.
Prior to entering Redlands East Valley campus, students will be expected to provide responses to the daily email from Raptor Technologies that will prescreen their health and determine if the student should remain home or attend to in-person instruction each day. Raptor Technologies is a software to protect and help schools manage visitors. Now, RUSD is using the software to complete COVID-19 Health Screening Questions.
On campus, if pre-screening has already taken place remotely, a temperature check and ID card will only be needed to enter campus.
In-person learning students will need to wear these ID cards at all times on campus. ID cards will be distributed on the first day of returning to school, April 19.
All students returning for in-person instruction will need a district-issued Chromebook to be brought to school daily due to personal devices being unable to connect to the school network.
Along with these expectations to uphold, Redlands East Valley principal Robert Clarey shares what to expect in the classrooms.
“Classrooms will mostly look the same. The difference will be the spacing of students in the desks. Rooms currently have plexiglass shields installed on desks,” Clarey said, “This requirement is no longer a recommendation from the CDC, so many will come down during our first week back, according to teacher/student comfort level.”
An image of Redlands East Valley’s hallway with new signs on the floor. The signs are to create less traffic among students and prevent student contact. (Courtesy to Vanessa Aranda)
Along with the new additions to the classrooms, the campus has undergone a few changes.
To limit exposure between students, hallways will be designated as one-way. Signs will be posted around instructing students ways to enter and exit buildings and areas.
“The most noticeable changes to our campus are all the new mural work and the new tables in the quad area. We are in the process of ordering umbrellas for these tables to provide additional shade,” Clarey said.
The indoor cafe will not be open for dining. Lunches will be available to grab and go. Students will be expected to eat socially distanced in the quad. During lunch, clubs can meet if social distancing requirements are met.
An image of a REV classroom with plexiglass set up on the distanced desks. Pexiglass in the classroom were original recommendations of the CDC for schools reopening. (Courtesy to Vanessa Aranda)
On campus, all students and staff must wear a mask. Face shields do not offer the same amount of protection as a mask and cannot be worn alone. If one chooses to wear a face shield, they must wear a mask as well.
Students found repeatedly violating the expectations will return to distance learning.
“I’m still questioning the school reopening because there is only 10 or less weeks left of school, but I would feel relatively safe because I know many would follow policies and rules and be considerate,” said Ali Sirk Bun, a junior at Redlands East Valley.
In the event of a confirmed case at school, Clarey shared how contact tracing protocols are in place to prevent any surge of infection.
Over 700 students plan to return to in-person learning at REV. Clarey offers advice to any remaining students and parents debating whether to return to school.
“Do what is most comfortable for you. There are only 38 days of school left this year,” said Clarey
An image of Redlands East Valley building entrance with new signs. These signs promote entering a certain way to avoid traffic that would lead to close contact with others. (Courtesy to Vanessa Aranda)
While many students spend the summer heading into their sophomore year completing homework for their first Advanced Placement class or simply relaxing after surviving their freshman year, Redlands East Valley High School junior Beatriz Braga was adjusting to California after moving from Campinas, Brazil in 2019.
Beatriz Braga and her dog Alvin in Riverside, California in 2020. Alvin is currently 13 years old and has moved with Braga and her family to California. (Courtesy of Beatriz Braga)
With relatives in four different states in the United States, Braga’s family decided to make a life-changing decision and immigrate.
Braga explains that Campinas wasn’t the safest city in Brazil in which violence and robbery were frequent occurrences for residents. She recalls multiple experiences where she and her family had to call the police over incidents, even while living in a safer region of Campinas.
When she was five years old, someone attempted to break into her house, prompting her parents and her to lock themselves in a room and call the police. Fortunately, the suspect was identified.
At six years old, after she and her mom heard noises coming from their garage at 3 a.m., they saw two men fighting each other while almost breaking Braga’s gate in front of her house. The police were called and everything turned out okay.
Braga said, “When I was 13, me and my family went to see the fireworks in the city. When we came back, everything was gone. That was in my aunt’s house, so me, my parents and my aunt, lost everything valuable you can imagine.”
“I used to hear gunshots at night, and I was constantly thinking that me and my parents were in danger,” said Braga. “This thought of ‘I’m in danger’ is not healthy at all.”
In Brazil, ancestral origins vary between regions. According to Braga, North Brazil consists mostly of indigenous people while South Brazil has many ancestors from Germany and Italy. In addition, some may come from nearby countries, such as Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, resulting in Spanish being more commonly spoken on the border. Despite the mix in races and nationalities, the majority of Brazilians speak Portuguese, which is the official language in Brazil.
“You will be very welcome there. Brazilians are really funny and respectful people,” said Braga. “It is so easy to bond and create a friendship with someone there. Literally, we can tell our entire lives in one conversation, so you might ask yourself ‘Why is she telling me this?’ Don’t worry because it is a very Brazilian thing.”
Restarting her life when she was 15 years old was certainly not a simple experience. Braga had to leave some of her family and all of her friends behind in Brazil in order to move to Southern California.
“I will not lie, it was not easy to make friends here either,” said Braga. “Most people at 15/16 already had a group of friends settled down.”
Beatriz Braga, her friends and her Portuguese teacher at their middle school graduation in Campinas, Brazil in 2018. Braga’s school system involved graduating middle school at the end of their freshman year. (Courtesy of Beatriz Braga)
Like many immigrants, the language barrier can be one of the most challenging aspects of adapting to an environment in a new country.
“Some people underestimate your intelligence based on your accent or proficiency in English. It is very uncomfortable not being able to express yourself, and some people do not even try to help or understand a beginner,” said Braga.
However, not only does being bilingual open up more job opportunities, it also allows oneself to have a greater view of the world around them and to better appreciate other cultures.
“I would say, being bilingual and constantly switching languages, made my perception so much more ‘open,’ as well as my mind,” said Braga. “It seems like I’m able to understand the world around me more calmly and reasonably.”
REV Spanish teacher Susan Johnston said, “I was always impressed with her ability to switch languages quickly and correctly.”
Johnston continues, “Whenever I have a student in my class that speaks another language, I have an even higher expectation since I know they will be able to process a third language even more quickly. It has always been the case that exchange students or any other student speaking a language, other than Spanish, adapt more quickly and learn faster than some monolingual students.”
She and her family currently reside in Loma Linda. Braga has some family in Loma Linda that moved there about 12 years ago. She is a Seventh Day Adventist church member, as the majority of those in Loma Linda are. In Brazil, Braga had attended a Seventh Day Adventist school.
Braga completed one semester of high school in Brazil before moving to California. At REV, Braga most enjoys being able to choose her own classes in her schedule. In Brazil, students didn’t have the opportunity to organize their own schedule. They also had 15 classes per week, compared to the six classes students have in the Redlands Unified School District. She notes that Spanish and English classes were required since the kindergarten level at her schools.
She said of her REV teachers, “I would say I was very lucky to get to know all of my teachers. They are all very hardworking and friendly.”
Although Braga still has some family residing in Brazil, she is thankful for the opportunity to move and the new opportunities California has brought her.
Braga said, “Restart[ing] your life can be very difficult sometimes, and fun too. Besides all that, I am very grateful for who I have met, and where I live now.”
Through the pandemic, motivation has been hard to find. With the determination of certain organizations, some children have luckily escaped this fate and have been able to keep up with hobbies throughout this worldwide lockdown.
Redlands East Valley High School junior Sarah Urbieta has been an instrumentally talented student since the age of eight. Urbieta began her talented music journey by playing the piano, but her piano teacher soon opened her eyes to another musical instrument: her voice. This natural talent surprised everyone in her family as well. With the encouragement of both her family and her teacher, she enrolled in singing lessons. From now on, singing would be a part of Urbieta’s life forever.
On top of her singing lessons, Urbieta has joined multiple extracurriculars both inside and out of school. Her music knowledge has only grown as she has taken on both violin and bass in her school’s orchestra program. Outside of music Urbieta takes multiple Advanced Placement and Honors classes, is involved in French club, and plans to try out for REV’s volleyball team once she is safely allowed to.
Despite this intense workload, Urbieta decided to enter Despierta America’s voice talent competition: Mi Hijo Es Un Artista. Urbieta’s mother approached her with the idea one day after school and, even though the studio was finished with the audition process, Urbieta sent her video audition in hoping she would still be accepted as a contestant.
“Even if I didn’t win it would be a great opportunity for us. Get my face out there,” said Urbieta.
On Oct.16, 2020, Sarah Urbieta and her parents appeared on screen, tensely waiting for the outcome of the contest. After compliments on the winners voice talent and unique sound, a Despierta America spokesperson announced that Urbieta had won the competition. She and her family were ecstatic and relieved that Urbieta had finally won.
“It was just one of the best things ever, you know? Where you fought so hard for something and you are finally able to get a win,” Urbieta said.
Urbieta has not had any major doubts about her music career because she has always been able to keep things in a positive perspective. The support of her family has really helped not only to maintain her hard working mindset, but also to forward her career in general. Her two young siblings are dragged around with Urbieta to auditions, festivals, and private events all because they are too young to be left alone in the house. The undeniable support of the family is what motivates Urbieta everyday to move forward and succeed in her dream. No matter the situation, time, or place, her family is right behind her ready to catch her falls and celebrate her victories.
“If it makes you happy, you have to keep doing it no matter what,” said Urbieta.
She misses the energy felt when live on stage before the pandemic, such as her performance at the Mariachi Festival.
Urbieta truly believes these words and fully intends to continue her music career, using this recent win as a springboard into future projects. This competition has given her national publicity and she is frequently asked to do private events digitally.
Urbieta perseveres because she wants to pursue her music as a career and thanks to her hard work, vocal talent, and success with Diespierta America, her future is looking exceptionally bright.
“During my live performances I’m really just able to express myself and really just feel connected to the music and the audience. It’s something that has been hard to adjust to because for me it was kind of like therapy in a way. So I’ve had to adjust my mindset a bit and really just learn how I can still express myself and still interact with my audience. I just can’t wait for the moment I’m able to feel and experience that again!” Urbieta explains.
To see more performances by Sarah Angel, search her Instagram handle @sarahangelmusica.
Waiting in anticipation for a college acceptance letter to choosing how to take the Advanced Placement exams, many seniors can feel overwhelmed as the end of the school year nears. Former members of Redlands East Valley class of 2020 offer advice to help current seniors enjoy their final moments as a senior and prepare for their transition from high school to college.
At REV, Jackson Houser was involved in many activities such as key club, interact club, and California Scholastic Federation. He was vice president of the National Honor Society and played varsity swim, and currently attends UC Irvine and is pursuing a major in psychological sciences.
Houser shares how he was fortunate enough to have the chance to live in the dorms at the university safely with the new modifications created due to COVID-19. Through this, he has been able to gain many new friends.
Although the academics have been more demanding, he truly enjoys his classes and finds himself not minding the hours he spent on schoolwork.
“My advice to the current seniors is to ensure you enjoy and cherish your time at college, as it will truly be the best years of your life. There will be some difficulties along the way, so always make sure to take care of yourself first and foremost,” said Houser.
Elizabeth Amezquita attends Cal State University, Fullerton while taking her prerequisites to apply for the nursing program. Before attending CSUF, Amezquita played for REV girls soccer team throughout her whole high school career and was a link crew leader during her junior and senior years.
Due to the pandemic, CSUF implemented programs to help students cope with online-learning through having monthly check-ins to provide people to talk to.
Additionally, Amezquita tells how professors are being considerate and understanding of the difficulties of remote learning while making assignments. She shares there no need to be afraid to contact professors as they are willing to help any way they can.
Jacob Herrera posing at University of Southern California. Herrera is currently attending USC and believes the mindset of many college students is to work and have a good time, without worries of people’s opinion (Photo credit to Jacob Herrera).
“Set aside time to focus on studying. Preferably, this time should be within a time that it would be reasonable to email professors if help is needed,” said Amezquita, “Finally, it’s not bad to not know what you want to study. Many of my classmates came into Fullerton with a major in mind and in the course of a few months, they ended up switching majors to something they had no idea they would like to pursue. You are young. Don’t be afraid to explore before you commit!”
Another student at REV, Jacob Herrera, played an active role in its music program. He was a drum major of the marching band, student conductor and participated in the wind ensemble, jazz band and various other festival groups.
Along with his contributions to the music program, he was the president of the philosophy club, a member of the math club and a captain of the track and field team.
Herrera is majoring in philosophy and physics with a minor in musical studies for trumpet performance at the University of Southern California.
He reflects how different USC is from high school, from the social environment to the learning environment. Outward appearances and hesitation to be oneself to appeal to peers is not an issue he believes. Collaborations, learning centers, teacher assistants and other avenues are also available to help students.
“Focus on your needs in your college experience. Do what you like and find something that interests you. It’s so easy to get lost in outside expectations or distractions. Even if taking a semester off is what you need, do it! There’s nothing that should limit you from being you,” said Herrera.
Attending Cal State Poly Pomona, Kimberly Maldonado, a former member of the associated student body, Advancement Via Individual Determination program, math club and pride club, is majoring in civil engineering.
Living on the college campus, Maldonado enjoys the opportunity to be around people with similar experiences and views.
“Stay on top of your school but remember to breathe and be patient with yourself and that [you’ve] got this,” said Maldonado.
Christian Club has met for the last fourteen years at Redlands East Valley and existed at Redlands High School before REV was built. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)
Due to the current online school year, many clubs across the Redlands Unified School District have halted their activity. However, despite the many obstacles that distance learning presents, Redlands East Valley High School Christian Club remains one of the few clubs that still meets virtually.
Christian Club is a Christian-based club with a mission to help students grow deeper in their relationship with God and other people of faith. The club welcomes all people to join and be a part of their experience as they dive into the Bible’s messages.
Zoe Armida, vice president of Christian Club, said the club “is supposed to be a safe place for all followers and a place to help strengthen our belief and our love for God.”
So how exactly does the club help students strengthen their faith in God? During distance learning, the club meets every Wednesday from 8:00-8:30 a.m. Typically, members listen to youth pastors from different “Bible-based” Redlands Churches and are taught different sections of the Bible. They pray for each other and worship together. Scott Washburn, the club’s advisor, even plays the guitar and sings along with the students. The club offers a sense of community and does not force students to do anything they are not comfortable with.
For many students, waking up everyday to sit at the front of a computer screen for six hours is stressful and overwhelming. The club offers students the opportunity to start the day by equipping themselves spiritually.
Washburn says, “Being a born-again Christian in high school is so important. There is so much stress just being a high schooler period. I don’t know how people do it without Jesus. His yolk is easy and His burden is light, and the peace of God that only the Holy Spirit can give transcends all understanding during these crazy times in everyone’s life [and] will put your heart at rest.”
The club aims to positively impact students’ mornings and provide them with any needed encouragement. It surrounds students with other people that have a heart for God and reassures them that there are other people in their school community that share similar beliefs.
Karla Whitman, Christian Club Secretary, said, “It is great to see people who love God as much as I do, and are willing to spend their mornings coming to Christian Club. It is also great to hear God’s word during the middle of the week as it is the pinnacle of the week and usually the day I need the most motivation.”
She further said, “It just makes my weeks going to Christian Club, because I know that the people there love and honor God, and I find that just so special. It is awesome that we are creating a community at school (even digitally) where we can feel comfortable to worship God and fellowship with other believers.”
The club does not require a lot from students. It is not an obligation or another responsibility that will add onto their growing plate; instead, the club offers the chance to help lift off that heavy burden students are carrying.
Students interested in joining Christian Club will not be met with judgment. Students are allowed to open up with students and engage to their liking. If students are interested in joining the club, they can email the club’s president, Miriam at at email@example.com or can go to the club’s Instagram @ rev.christain.club. The zoom meeting information is listed in their bio.
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.”
A recent post on social media of the actions of students at Redlands East Valley High School led to a problematic week of final exams for students and administrators alike. Two female REV students, one a senior and one a sophomore, can be seen in a video posted on the platform TikTok making racial gestures towards a young Asian American influencer. This video went viral and school administrators, such as Robert Clarey, were contacted along with the district superintendent, Mauricio Arellano.
Both the family and authorities would be contacted over the situation and work with the school to find a proper solution. However, this would later create a backlash, as some students believe that the school and administration have failed them more than once and would do so again. Several students claimed that they had been in similar situations of discrimination, but the administration only stood by. Inara Khankashi, a sophomore from Citrus Valley High School, says that “at a school where the majority of students are people of color, it is unacceptable that acts of blatant racism just go by with no consequences.”
Students have expressed concerns about not only the incident itself but the district’s response to it. When the incident first was reported to the administration, an email was sent out that explained the school’s legal limitations to enforce any direct discipline due to the fact that the incident did not occur during school or on campus, although they did not condone the student’s behavior. Victoria Lee, a sophomore at REV, says “although I understand that the school may have their hands tied as [her] actions took place off-campus, it upsets me that these two students haven’t been correctly disciplined nor grew from their actions.”
Many students brought up the discussion of creating a resolution through a committee of students and administration. It was passed in October in response to the community calling out racism to be a health crisis. Within the resolution, it states “Now, therefore, be it further resolved that the Redlands Unified School District Board of Education will implement and reinforce, with intent and fidelity, policies and practices that reflect a conscious effort to ensure racial equity, equity of access and service, cultural education, and diversity at all levels within our organization”. Some adults, like Susan Broome, parent of two former students from RUSD, say “I oppose the resolution because of its many false premises and assumptions, and ideological promotion.”
Some students have expressed their disapproval and disappointment with the action that the district has taken towards the REV student. Joleen Bakalova, a sophomore from CVHS and a contributor to the resolution, says “the REV Administration should have followed the guidance we outlined in the resolution against racism. After all, what good is a resolution if it is not implemented.”
A post from the Wildcats for Change Instagram explaining the stance of the group and some students at REV. (Photo credit to Wildcats4change Instagram)
Wildcats for Change, a club at REV that looks to help fix social injustice at the high school and through the district, have created Instagram posts that many believe are much more helpful than anything the district has done. In response, the Redlands Unified School District has incorporated small townhall-like meetings for students. These meetings were separated into two days each for the different schools. Each had small groups in breakout rooms on the video communication platform Zoom filled with student and teacher representatives from Students For Change, counselors, and other district members to answer any questions for the students. Brooklynn Rios, a sophomore at REV, says “they spoke a lot about how they wanted to implement these changes to benefit the students and what standpoints we had about school and how it can be better.”
Featured Photo: An illustration depicting the feeling that many students have felt due to the past events, as some might feel muted and unimportant. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News Art)
Walk up the steps from the quad to the media center at Redlands East Valley High School and you will be given a hearty greeting by Korrie Krohne, teacher librarian. If it’s during Banned Books week, a teacher librarian’s favorite time of year, she’ll get you thinking about your first amendment rights with student-created art focused on once-forbidden reads. This self-described “book recommender,” won’t just encourage you to find your passion in the pages of books, but guide you on how to find reliable information in the cyber world. Ethic News had the opportunity to research a little into her world beyond REV, and found an extraordinary life-long educator with a passion for not just reading, but riding motorcycles, creating things, and eccentric names for her pets.
Erica Bauer: What is your position or title?
Korrie Krohne: My title is Teacher Librarian (She/her). I have a degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Just as I finished my program, they changed the title of my degree to Information Science–thus reflecting how librarianship has shifted from “book-learning” to information gathering. Librarians are very aware of the shift of how people access information. When public libraries were created in the United States in the early years of our country, our founding fathers felt that if we were going to have a nation governed “by the people” and “for the people” we had better make sure that we had an educated electorate. That is how important libraries were to our founding fathers. I wonder what they would think of information gathering now?!
Bauer: What are some of the classes you teach or main responsibilities with this position?
Krohne: I am lucky enough to teach lots of classes all over the school. I collaborate with teachers in all subject areas to teach research, including source evaluation. This, I think, is the most important thing I do. I hope that when students finish a session with me, each will have a better understanding of how to tell what a credible source is, and to understand the importance of making sure that you have a credible source, and not just for your schoolwork, for your everyday-life research as well. And yes, I do read as much as I can get my hands on. I like to read widely so that I can be a better “book recommender.” I also teach educational technology, how to use programs like WeVideo, so that students can create new stories for projects in which they present their information.
Bauer: Would you be willing to share a little about your family and/or pets?
Khrohne: I love animals. I currently have a one-year-old black German Shepherd named Loki. He’s mostly a good boy. We also have 2 cats: Marauder and Her Royal Highness Bill, Queen of the Universe (yes, she’s a female cat, and yes this is her whole name). She really does rule the house. She’s in charge of us all. But in my lifetime, I have had horses, chickens, and many other cats and dogs, and frogs. My oldest child is an Entomology major at UCR, that’s studying bugs. What he thinks is a pet, I don’t exactly agree are pets. He has some Madagascar hissing cockroaches and a Bird Eater spider, it’s a baby now but eventually will be about the size of a dinner plate. I am banking on the fact that by the time the spider gets that big, my kid will be living on his own–or Tiny (yeah, that’s her name) needs to move out! I don’t go in his room much.
Bauer: What led you to the position you are in today? Please feel free to include educational background and previous jobs.
Khrone: I have taught in the Redlands Unified School District for about 27 years. I started as an English Teacher at Redlands High School. When REV opened, I came over here to start the new school. While a teacher here at REV, I went to a part time contract for a while since my kids were babies, so I only taught until lunch time. When my kids were old enough to start school, I wanted to come back to REV full time, but Citrus Valley High School was just opening, and there was no full time spot here at REV. So, I taught at CVHS for a couple of years. While I was there, a book changed my life. The book was The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. (It’s part of the Sophomore curriculum, now). I was reading the book with a book group. One of the things that this allegory says is that the universe aligns for those who follow their personal legend. I guess that means following what is true and right for you. We began to discuss what our personal legends might be, and all I could say is, “I don’t know! I am a mom, and a teacher. I haven’t thought beyond right now!” My friend, the former REVHS librarian, Rebecca Johnston, said, “I know what it is! I am retiring; you should go back to school and get your degree and take over for me!” I laughed when she said that, but I couldn’t sleep that night. I went to talk to her, then applied to San Jose State University’s Library and Information Science program. It was the best thing I could have done! Librarians are my people; their love of First Amendment rights, and books and support of patrons!
Bauer: Where did you grow up? Have you traveled to any interesting places?
Krohne: I was born in Napa Valley, CA. When I was just a year old, we moved to Honolulu, HI. We spent a lot of time at the beach there. When I was 6 we moved back to Napa Valley. I lived there until I finished 7th grade. At that time, my Dad went back to school to become a dentist so we moved to Loma Linda where he attended the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. I have lived in Loma Linda since that time. I have traveled to England and Scotland. Someday, I would love to go to Italy.
Bauer: Did you have any mentors or role models growing up? How did they influence you?
Krohne: My dad is one of the most intelligent people I know. He inspired me to always do my best. I did have a 10th grade English Teacher who made me feel like I was a good writer. And Rebecca Johnston, the previous REV librarian, who saw that I could do this job and changed the course of my life!
Bauer: Do you have skills, interests or hobbies beyond the workday that you would like to share?
Krohne: I love creating things. It’s one of the reasons that I have included a maker space, which we are calling “The Lab,” in the library remodel. I have a minor in art but am especially drawn to working with fabrics. I am a weaver — I own 2 looms — and a quilter. I married a sculptor. My husband is the artist who created our wildcat bronze that is in front of the theater. So my favorite thing is any time I am creating things.
Bauer: What do you enjoy doing most with family and friends? How about when you have time to yourself?
Krohne: I love going on motorcycle rides with my husband. He does the “driving”; I hang on. I love riding because I have to be totally “there” in order to stay on the bike, so nothing intrudes on the experience. We did a ride through Utah and Colorado; that was my favorite. I hate riding where there are lots of people. We like doing Joshua Tree for local rides. It makes me feel strong that I can ride a 420 mile day, then do the same then next for several days in a row. We have a BMW touring bike and a Harley Davidson Dyna. When I have time to myself, I do love to read. I also like to quilt.
Bauer: What is something others may not understand or know about who you or what you do?
Khrohne: People don’t realize that as their librarian, I am here to support them in what they are interested in. Whether it is a personal passion they want to know more about, or a class project or a research paper, I am excited to help them to find the information they need and help them to learn new skills.
Bauer: What advice would you like to share with students today?
Krohne: Your lives will be consumed by information. You have access to it in ways no other generation has. I urge you to be careful consumers of information. Just because it’s “out there on the internet” doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Also, be so careful what information you give away. Your privacy is something that our forefathers fought for; don’t give your personal information and data away to companies just because they ask for it. You guys have no idea how your data is being used, and it frightens me a bit.
By LILIAN MOHR, MIYAH SANBORN, and ALEXANDER MARQUIS
As a large majority of high school seniors across the country are in the midst of cramming to determine the universities they want to apply to and rushing to submit their college applications on time, at times it can be easy to overlook the rest of these young adults who are taking equally challenging and exciting paths towards their future.
Maddie Lee, a high school senior at Redlands East Valley is a perfect example of a student taking a unique path after graduating as she is entering the military.
Her journey to get to this decision may have been paved by the sacrifices of her family, as according to Lee, her “family is full of military veterans and active-duty members so they were kind of an inspiration as I am in a way following in their footsteps.”
Her path, so far, has been an interesting one. Her main interest in the career has been due to her ability “to do anything that a man could do in a [male] dominated career.”
With this, she has dedicated her time to exercise to ensure she can fulfill all the physical requirements that come with this career, as Lee says, “I played a high school sport keep me in shape as well as extracurricular activities outside of school like jiujitsu.”
She is one of the growing numbers of women in the military, which, according to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, has been growing since 1973. Lee commented on the role that gender plays in this field and states, “I would say any female in the military…” would be her role models “… because I know I am able to do anything that a man could do in a man dominated career.”
Although Lee now is set on her goal to join the military, she has not always known what she wanted her future to consist of. “I’ve always had a few ideas in my head but it wasn’t until my sophomore and junior year that I narrowed down what I wanted to do with the Army,” says Lee.
Not only has Lee realized that joining the military is her dream job, but also that it is best for her for a variety of other reasons. “With this job I am able to do what I love without having to pay for schooling,” says Lee. With this opportunity, Lee has a chance to fulfill her dreams and also not have to worry about the expense of schooling.
Maddie Lee poses for her senior portraits. As she looks towards finishing her senior year and graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in the military. (Photo Credit to Gina Lee)
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.
By AKUL GUPTA, TATUM MAPES, INARA KHANKASHI, and JAZUI MEJI
Students For Change meets to discuss issues of inequality and oppression on a weekly basis. A contributor to the group’s rapid growth is the widespread advocacy of the aforementioned social justice movement. This club provides an outlet for students to discuss social issues that are not only affecting the other side of the country, but their home towns and school as well. Having started in the 2020-21 school year, Students For Change has already made significant waves in the Redlands Unified School District.
Daniel Waters, a senior at Redlands East Valley, says, “Not many people know what their gender identity and sexuality even mean. I know firsthand that my cousin does not feel safe about telling most people who they really are. I wanted to join Wildcats for Change to help stop the hate and discrimination against people like them. I represent a group in football players/athletes that is hardly known for accepting others, but I want to change the trend and inspire other athletes to use their power to advocate for everyone. I hope that this program inspires everyone to be better to each other by promoting acceptance, education, and love. I hope that more teachers will take action to establish that everyone is welcome and that no one should be made to feel inferior. I hope that more students will take the initiative to unite in uplifting each other. I think that our potential is unlimited and I hope that moving forward, more schools will adopt a similar program.”
Among the students, Terriers for Justice represents the change needed in their schools to advance conversations surrounding discrimination. At Redlands High School, student Kiara Choi said, “Personally, I believe that this group will make it easier to talk about inequality at schools. This is not an average school club; controversial topics that many may find uncomfortable will be discussed, and I think that this is an amazing opportunity for Redlands schools to educate their students on the hardships of different cultures in America.”
At RHS, teacher Lauren Holcombe stated, “I am incredibly honored to be one of the teachers to help lead this initiative. I have been so impressed by the maturity of the students in this group and their desire to work so hard to be leaders in both their school and their community to bring about positive changes when it comes to social injustice.”
Teacher Peter Cain, also from RHS, stated, “In my view, educators have a duty to listen to their students and make them feel they are all equal on campus and in their communities.”
More and more students have recognized the gross disparities within their school system, reflective of a much larger, grander issue within society. Schools in California recognize the statistical issue, which presents itself even within RUSD. An overarching issue unites a multitude of stakeholders within the Redlands community, as the school district recently banded together to create an initiative that aims to lessen the terrible impact of racism, systemic, structural and pervasive within the campuses.
Inara Khankashi of Blackhawks for Change said, “The K-12 Education system should educate students on issues relating to diversity and equality within their communities, and encourage the youth to embrace antiracism as an integral part of maturity.”
Students for Change consists of multiple high schools: Redlands East Valley High School, Citrus Valley High School, Redlands High School and Redlands eAcademy. They have created a collective movement for change, fueling the desire for equality and development to ensure every student receives equal treatment and opportunities. Students within the region have decided that silence can no longer respond to the apparent injustices and instances of racism on school campuses.
Featured photo: The official logo for Wildcats 4 Change. While this logo is used to represent students from Redlands East Valley, they are also part of the collective movement of Students for Change. (Photo courtesy of Wildcats 4 Change)
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.
The Associated Student Body at Redlands East Valley High School is continuing to put on their schools events that encourage school spirit and help to unite the students and staff, but now with the added challenge of doing it all virtual.
In years prior, ASB has used a combination of the traditions such as pep rallies and Homecomings along with new and exciting events such as food drives and unique spirit weeks, to engage students on campus. This year almost every event that was planned has had to be altered to fit social distancing guidelines and also work within the distance learning schedules.
Despite these unique situations, ASB has worked to put together activities and events for students and staff and have even more planned for the future.
At the East Valley Campus, Marin Mohr, the Sophomore Class President, says that “the sophomore class has been working hard to put on as many fundraisers as possible, for example our lemonade stands in Prospect Park. It is all to make sure that even though we aren’t in school, we still raise the funds to put on events that our grade and the rest of the school deserves.”
Mohr also says that “it has definitely been a challenge to get creative with ways to get everyone involved from home but I feel that everyone has been working hard to find fun ways to make sure this year is the best possible given the situation. The 10th graders, along with the rest of the classes are going to continue to plan and put on events for REV students and staff.”
The year began with virtual spirit week, which included students and staff dressing up for the various theme days during zoom calls.These spirit weeks used to be done in person and classes would tally up participation for different awards, so this was an event that could be transitioned into distance learning to keep some of the same traditions alive this year.
To coincide with the fall and Halloween season, REV has organized a pumpkin carving contest where students can participate in choosing the most popular pumpkin carving using Instagram polls. The Pep Commissioners have also organized a scavenger hunt around downtown Redlands. An R will be hidden at various locations and hints will be given out sporadically to where the R can be located. Students can go with friends or family to go find the R, take a selfie, and post it tagging REV Wildcats on Instagram for a chance to win various prizes.
Jack Tetrualt, the Executive President, says that “this year is definitely not what we expected but none of us plan to let it go to waste. We can’t say too much right now as things are still in the works, but we are all working on some upcoming events for everyone so stay tuned as always.”
ASB is just one of many organizations, clubs, and sports teams on campus that is continuing to adapt to the changing times during distance learning and will continue to do so in an effort to engage and connect the students and staff at REV for the 2020-2021 school year.
Featured Photo: Kasey Plumb, a junior at Redlands East Valley, poses with the “R” on Oct. 25, 2020, as a part of the scavenger hunt that the ASB organized. The first “R” was hidden outside of the local ice cream shop, A La Minute. Plumb was able to locate the “R” on the first day that the clue was released on Instagram.
In order to encourage others to vote, the art teacher at Redlands East Valley High School, Tracy Massimiano, made a video titled, “Vote 2020” featuring her students’ artwork.
Students from Advanced Studio Art, Drawing CP, and Art CP drew symbols of the United States and political parties. The bald eagle drawings were made by students from Drawing CP, and the elephant and donkey pictures were created by Art CP and Advanced Studio Art. Illustrations of Captain America are also displayed as part of a daily draw assignment Massimiano assigned.
The video art show includes appearances from Redlands East Valley staff along with the artwork. Photos of teachers with their “I Voted” stickers and mail-in ballots show they have already casted their votes.
Voting is encouraged for all registered and eligible U.S. citizens 18 years or older.
On Oct. 13, Redlands Unified School District held their monthly board meeting to inform and update the community of issues in the RUSD, including the status of a Redlands East Valley sports stadium.
The district has sent out a request for qualification and a proposal from architects for a stadium. They will soon be planning a rubric and grading the proposal from the architects. The proposal will be brought to the next board meeting for the board to deny or approve.
Paul Cullen, the interim assistant superintendent of business services, discussed in the board meeting how the district has $11 million in the district’s development funds.
Yet, only $6 million would be possible to be used for a REV athletic facility due to the district’s needs to replace portables, start street improvements near a future middle school, and repair the swimming pools at the high schools.
2 years ago, Redlands East Valley High School football team competed in a game in Redlands High School’s stadium. Over the past years, Redlands High School and Citrus Valley High School have been sharing their stadium with REV. (Photo credit to Shireen Takkouch)
Cullen advised against using the entire amount of $6 million for the stadium.
Cullen said, “Should anything catastrophic happen, the district would need that $6 million for repairs,”
Superintendent Mauricio Arellano agreed with the idea of possibly using part of the fund for the stadium and introduced the possibility of using $2 million from an appraisal of the district’s 9.1 acres of land towards the stadium.
During the community input segment of the board meeting, Laura Mapes, along with Melissa Campos and Jill Green, announced a committee formed called the Coalition to Support the RUSD in the Completion of a REV Athletics Stadium.
After hearing discussions in board meetings and being encouraged by local news outlets for a committee to be formed, these parents of RUSD took action.
“We are very eager to help RUSD in any way necessary,” Mapes said. “We have connections with other entities, businesses, parents, teachers and etcetera to ensure this stadium can be built under RUSD guidelines and supervision safely and expeditiously, so that it can be enjoyed by all in attendance.”
The committee plans to help supplement the completion of a stadium if needed through fundraising and asks the board to have the stadium to be on the agenda every monthly board meeting, a board member to be appointed to the committee, and to be able to work with the facilities.
At the next board meeting on Nov. 10, the board may vote on the proposal for a stadium for REV.
By ISAAC MEJIA, ARIANA GHALMBOR, NYLA DE CARVALHO and HANNAH PATRICK
Redlands Unified School District parents, staff and students were notified on Monday, Oct. 26 about the power outages that affected local areas and impacted the online learning experience for students and teachers.
Southern California Edison customers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino county experienced power outages. As many as 9,688 San Bernardino county customers were affected. The power outages throughout the counties occurred for two reasons: high winds and preventative measurements. According to the SCE website, “high winds can damage power lines.” As a safety precaution, they “shut off power in high fire risk areas as a result of extreme weather conditions.” The company restores power only after their crew inspects power lines and confirms that it is safe to do so.
Many students in or around the San Bernardino county area were among those affected and encountered the darkness within their houses and apartments. Some students reported that the stores and fast food restaurants in their areas were closed down by 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Others reported the produce in their refrigerator getting hot and spoiled or rotten, while others said they couldn’t shower, charge any electronics or do homework because the power was out. Some even chose to move locations temporarily.
Additionally, many students throughout the district struggled to attend classes. Even after the power went back on, Cyrus Engelsman, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, said that he still continued to struggle. “The power outage left my house without power or internet all day,” Engelsman said, “I was not able to go to any of my classes and missed out on a lot. When the power came back, some of our light bulbs ended up dead, which was very unexpected.”
Teachers across the district had trouble using Zoom as well, as many of their students could not attend class as regularly scheduled. Jana Bailey, an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator from REV says, “It didn’t really affect me, but it affected a handful of my students.”
Wendy McClung, a mental health teacher, said she had to change her lesson plans for the day to accommodate her students’ needs. “Although my home was not affected by the outage, many of my students were unable to attend class. I spent much of my day responding to emails and being mindful about slowing down my lesson so those who had missed the day could easily catch up.”
While some students and staff of the district dealt with the power outages, it was found in a small study with a sample of 15 students that 60% had been affected. Anneliese Reese, a freshman at REV in the unaffected 40%, said, “Yuh, was all good.”
Student-athletes and coaches have been anxiously awaiting the resumption of high school sports following the cancellation of the spring sports season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is required that if sports teams practice in person, they wear a mask if possible, minimize the sharing of equipment, and maintain a distance of at least six feet apart when applicable.
Redlands Unified School District recently transitioned into phase one of returning to athletic participation on Oct. 1. Student-athletes must complete the online athletic clearance process and sign a pledge to try to limit the spread of COVID-19. As for coaches, they must also sign the pledge and are required to complete COVID-19 online training.
Guidelines for phase one of returning to athletic practices include the following: outdoor conditioning only, ten or less per conditioning group, no equipment usage, six feet social distancing with masks, no spectators or media, and masks must be worn unless conditioning with proper social distancing at nine feet.
As a result of high school sports seasons being pushed back to January, three seasons had to be condensed into two. Fall sports for this year include football, water polo, volleyball, cross country and cheer with each following differing guidelines.
For example, water polo may use the pool facilities, but each lane is limited to only one swimmer with each person in every other lane going in the opposite direction.
In addition, cheer is prohibited from vocalizing chants and volleyball must conduct practice outdoors at this time.
Redlands East Valley football team practices consist of bodyweight conditioning exercises, such as upper, lower and full-body movements, footwork and agility drills, plyometrics and sprints.
Redlands East Valley head football coach Richard Lunsford times his players as they do sprint intervals on Oct. 20. Coaches wear masks the entire time and athletes are advised to put theirs on when practice ends. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)
“Being able to start these small group conditioning sessions has definitely given us a little ray of sunshine in the darkness that has lurked over us since this pandemic has begun,” said Richard Lunsford, head REV football coach. “I have high hopes for this upcoming season, but we will know much more in the weeks to come as the data continues to come in to health officials and we hopefully see the number of cases decrease.”
Prior to starting in-person practices, REV football engaged in virtual group workouts. Players now express their exhilaration to begin in-person training once again.
Football player Noah Sorenson, REV senior, said, “I am obviously very excited to be beginning practice. The situation as you know isn’t ideal and being able to have fun and stay safe is an incredible undertaking for anyone.”
“These things aren’t easy but the steps we take now will allow us to go back to normal,” continues Sorenson. “Here at REV our practices consist of conditioning and only conditioning which for now is fine because many of us need the help, but I do hope soon we will be able to follow the footsteps of both the NFL and college football in having regular practices and games, of course while keeping social distancing in mind.”
Redlands East Valley football players engage in conditioning exercises during modified practices on Oct. 20. Athletes were distanced at least six feet apart from each other on the baselines of the basketball courts. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)
REV junior Zachary Mendieta, a fellow teammate of Sorenson, said, “It’s definitely different than what we are all used to but I feel as if the transition went smoothly with how bad everyone just wanted to be back out on the field. I know that all of my teammates were so eager to be back to in-person practices that we just did anything that was told by administration.”
Mendieta recalls, “I even missed practices for a little head cold so I wouldn’t risk getting our sports shut down, and pre-COVID, I would always go for a little sickness like that.”
If a staff member or student does contract COVID-19, they are required to inform their school site so that RUSD Risk Management can determine the following steps.
Until then, all coaches and athletes must abide by requisite protocols concerning the safety of everyone at practices.
Lunsford closes football practice on Oct. 20 by reminding his players “you know the drill when you leave” followed by a collective response from his players: “masks on!”
Scrolling through Instagram, one might notice the array of accounts advertising their own handcrafted jewelry, clothes, candles and other delightful items. With the modern technology available to this generation, many small independent businesses are created from the painless act of starting an Instagram account.
Redlands East Valley High School senior Madeleine Lee, commonly known as Maddie, started her own business, called Crafted By Maddie, in September as a hobby to break the monotony of quarantine.
“I love wearing jewelry so I wanted to be able to design my own and create some for others,” said Lee.
Her collection of accessories include keychains, bracelets, beaded bracelets, dog tags, rings, necklaces and earrings.
Being a dog lover with two dogs at home, a golden retriever named Danner and a border collie mix named Happy, Lee was inspired to also start selling dog tags as part of her business.
Examples of the types of accessories Crafted By Maddie sells. Check out her Instagram, @craftedbymaddie, to view more accessories and prices. (Courtesy of Maddie Lee)
Lee describes the process of creating her accessories as quite simple. To create an accessory, she takes the metal blank for the desired product and starts stamping on top of the metal the message that the customer wants to be added. Lastly, Lee then bends the metal into the desired size.
“My favorite accessory to make would be rings because each of them is so different and I enjoy seeing what people want to wear,” said Lee.
Lee’s prices range from approximately ten to 20 dollars, depending on the type of accessory ordered. Oftentimes, there are bundles to order multiple accessories of one type for a flat price. Anything ordered does include a four dollar fee for shipping costs; however, customers in the Inland Empire are offered a free pickup option.
Her products generally take one to two days to be shipped, then three to four days to be mailed to the customer.
Richlyn Medina, Redlands High School freshmen, said, “Maddie is an old friend of mine from elementary school, so that’s how I heard of her jewelry line.”
“I think her business is a great way to support local companies, especially a young girl like her!” Medina said. “A lot of her stuff is customizable and she offers holiday jewelry as well. Her products are also very good quality and definitely affordable.”
At REV, Lee has been on the girls’ tennis team since her freshman year and is currently on varsity. Outside of school, she recently joined Jiu-Jitsu.
“To manage my time, I try to finish all my schoolwork during the week. That way on weekends, I am able to create more jewelry,” said Lee.
REV junior Shireen Takkouch became close friends with Maddie from playing on the tennis team together.
“People should definitely buy from Crafted By Maddie because of the variety and uniqueness. She can customize bracelets and rings with any personal quote,” said Takkouch. “For example, I wanted to put the name of the country I am from and it looks beautiful!”
Takkouch continues, “I believe people should support small businesses especially during these times, and with Maddie’s business, people can have fun with their style.”
Lee said, “Everyone has been so supportive, either from shouting out my page or buying from me. The support has been so great and I am so thankful for it.”
To purchase from Lee’s business, one can search for her Instagram handle, @craftedbymaddie. From there, she takes orders through direct messages.
Every Thursday at lunch, a group of Redlands East Valley students meet virtually to discuss mental health issues and focus on personal wellbeing within adolescents.
This year, the club is led by seniors Lizzy Wilson and Lauren Glaub, junior Joshua Masangcay, and sophomore Sabrina Schwendiman, along with Wendy McClung as the advisor. These cabinet members took an active role in the club due to their desire to spread awareness, increase involvement within our school and community for mental health, and promote change.
Wilson, the president of the club, stated “the Mental Health Club is a space to focus on how to better yourself and get through any struggles you may be having.”
The Mental Health Club meets weekly and touches on issues that students are currently facing and might impact students’ mental health such as distance learning.
Learning online has been a new, different experience that may lead to an increase of stress and anxiety among students as they attempt to adjust to this new way of learning.
Masangcay, the secretary, offers some advice for students struggling with online learning.
Masangcay stated, “It could help to set a schedule for a set timeframe that you work, so that you don’t feel a nagging sensation of not working when you’re supposed to, even if you don’t have work to do. And remember, we’re all going through the same thing right now! Reach out to others. It’s very comforting to talk to someone who can empathize with you, who knows how you feel.”
Along with offering advice to students struggling mentally, the Mental Health Club will be creating a website that would provide mental health support for REV and district students this year.
Glaub, the vice president, stated “The website is a place where students can come to find out what we are, resources, events coming up, where to find us, and all of our meeting information.”
Students interested in becoming a member of this club can join by joining the Google Classroom through the code K7W877T in order to access the zoom link to the meetings on Thursdays.
An infographic displaying statistics of adolescents and mental health. (Miriam Yordanos / Ethic News)
With laws in effect urging people to maintain social distance in order to prevent high amounts of coronavirus cases, many organizations have temporarily discontinued their volunteer programs or no longer accept new volunteers.
Volunteering has many benefits for students and the community. It helps individuals learn to problem solve, develop social skills, meet new people, and gain experience for a future career. According to the Help Guide, students partaking in the community “can also help protect [their] mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep [them] mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.”
Shannon Cockerill, a junior at Redlands East Valley, does over 100 hours of community service each year.
Cockerill stated, “Sometimes, when you feel lost, helping someone else find their path leads you to your own.”
Below are 5 ways you can gain community service hours safely during this pandemic.
Check in with seniors citizens
With the coronavirus outbreak, older adults and people who have pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk of suffering from COVID-19. Many seniors have been isolated in order to protect themselves from the virus. Being isolated from members of the community and their loved ones can lead to loneliness and cause depression, anxiety and more.
Contact local senior centers, nursing homes and retirement communities in the area to offer help by talking to senior members.
Due to the new laws in place pertaining to COVID-19, the district shifted from a traditional education experience to distance learning. Distance learning consists of 100% online learning for students and staff through the use of virtual class meetings and assignments.
This new method of learning has led some students to struggle understanding new concepts. Riley Anthony, a senior at Redlands East Valley, provides a solution to this problem by creating the Distance Learning Exchange as a forum for students and parents to ask for free tutoring and students and parents to offer free tutoring.
Anthony stated, “I created this group to help student who need help but also create opportunities for community service that other students might need,”
Due to how rapidly the virus is spreading, homeless individuals are very vulnerable to receiving the illness. Along with the virus outbreak, many families have been affected by the wildfires spreading in California. Many are in shelters, as they have been forced to evacuate their homes. This creates a need for care packages for members residing in local homeless shelters. Some items to include in the care package are hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, cleansing wipes, cold weather clothing, blankets and non-perishable snacks & bottled water.
Create and donate homemade masks
With state orders encouraging the use of masks for everyone and requiring them to be worn in public places, masks are essential to community members. Homemade masks can be easily made with any type of sewing material and sewing machines. Check out Deaconess to find many different organizations in need of mask donations near you.
Donate goods you produced
Many students have found themselves starting small businesses as quarantine has left them more time to pursue entrepreneurship. If students donate the items they have created in their spare time, the hours spent producing the goods created can count toward volunteer hours.
Also, check out resources, such as VolunteerMatch, that notify individuals of upcoming volunteer opportunities near their location for more and new ways to give back to the community.
An infographic describing different ways for students to get involved with the community during a pandemic. (Miriam Yordanos / ETHIC NEWS)
For many students, learning a foreign language can be difficult. However, learning in a distance learning environment makes things a lot harder for students. Because Spanish classes rely so much on in-person interaction, it becomes difficult to learn when you can’t interact with people as often. Teachers have been trying hard to help students in their journey, and have come up with a few ways to help their students who are struggling.
A lot of teachers understand how difficult the class can be in this setting and try to make it easier for everyone to succeed in. One of the best ways to learn a language is to speak it, which is hard to do in an online setting.
Redlands East Valley High School Spanish and French teacher Michael Celano said, “In online learning, when I ask a question to or for a response from the whole class, I often get nothing but silence, whereas when we’re all together in a classroom, I get plenty of response.”
Due to being in an online format, Celano believes that participation is crucial in improving language skills at home.
“Nudge yourself to speak [and] participate as much as possible and don’t be shy about it,” Celano said.
Although for some people, talking or showing their video isn’t a viable option with their Internet connection, there are still more ways to keep up in their class. Another way to learn is to listen to Spanish music, TV shows or movies.
REV Spanish teacher Shara Loy said, “Más que oyen el idioma en contexto, más aprenderán. [The more they hear the language in context, the more they will learn.]”
Loy believes this is an easy method to become better accustomed to the language. These media bring an interesting dynamic to learning, and can often be more fun than studying for long periods of time.
One aspect of Spanish class a lot of people forget is that the teachers are there to help you, and are a lot more reliable than people assume. Every teacher wants the best for their students, as REV Spanish teacher Arlene Luna said, “…as teachers we understand how difficult this is because it has also been extremely difficult for us too.”
Many teachers have after school office hours in which they help students with any difficulties with the Spanish language. While they are not a requirement, office hours with teachers can be very beneficial.
During this pandemic, education remains as one of the most important aspects of our lives. As difficult as learning a new language without much interaction can be, there are lots of methods people can use to learn regardless of their situation. Whether it’s studying with flashcards and notes, singing along to Spanish music, talking or texting with their friends in Spanish or relying on teachers, there are many methods and resources for people to use if the need arises.
Celano said, “We all struggle when we try to learn a new skill, but with patience and perseverance, you will get better and better, so stick with it!”
From 25 cent rent-a-copy comic to top 30 in the world on Line Webtoon, commonly known as Webtoon or Webtoons, “Charm!” is a superhero comic made by Redlands East Valley juniors Jonathan Choe, Trevor Masangcay, Arnie James Corpus, Prescott Neiswender and John Sullivan. “Charm!” is also known as “Charm! Luck,” and these student artists who created it are collectively known as the Charm! Squad.
The story follows a young man named Jax Jemp, whose extreme bad luck is its worst when he contracts an incurable disease. On his deathbed, he is given liquidized luck, and discovers a power within himself and a sense of justice to fight villains.
This up and coming comic is an underdog in the rankings due to the fact that other comics such as the well known The UnCommons have groups of professionals writing, drawing, and editing episodes.
It all started when Jonathan Choe, the creator and executive director, bought his first Japanese comic book, also known as manga, and thought that he could create something like it. Choe paired up with Trevor Masangcay, the concept manager, and started drawing, printing, and stapling all of the comics on their own time.
“Back when we were [in sixth grade and] doing physical copies, my job was largely copying and stapling them together, so I was literally just for hours and hours photocopying Johnny’s drawings and painstakingly making comics out of them,” says Masangcay.
The dynamic duo were letting fellow peers rent out their comics for 25 cents per copy every two weeks, but were not making much of a profit from it. In search of change, their female peers recommended scanning and posting their comic on Webtoons.
Everything one would see on “Charm!”’s comic is rebooted and hand drawn. Choe says that the storyline was horrible before the reboot, and the script really helped make it better: “Fun fact: […] the comic on the Webtoons is actually all rebooted.[…] I originally started this comic in sixth grade, and since there was no script, the story was really bad.” He also says that hand drawn comics were more natural than digitally drawing them.
Choe started to expand the “Charm!” Squad by adding Arnie James Corpus who is a writer and editor during the summer, and recently adding Prescott Neiswender and John Sullivan who are both creative and publicity managers as of last month. The “Charm!” Squad members have a flexible role; anyone can help edit, contribute ideas, or publicize the comic.
The inspirations for “Charm!” range from the manga “One Punch Man” by ONE, the comic Scott Pilgrim comic book series by Bryan Scott Lee in the writing, and the general love of drawing in every page.
“Charm!” courageously steps away from the cliche of “You can do anything and the power of friendship.” This comic fully acknowledges the concept of death and does not waste moments on the magic of love but, instead, the magic of hard work and dedication.
The “Charm!” Squad is hoping to expand to other webcomic platforms and continue to pursue “Charm!” during their high school career. Choe wants something to leave before there are no more fun times in college. The most recent and second season was released Oct. 12.
When it comes to the effects of the coronavirus and quarantine, people are quick to point out the obvious: boredom at home, not being able to go outside, and difficulty connecting with others, but there are more effects than just the obvious.
Living paycheck to paycheck is one of the lesser known, long-term effects of the pandemic. Those who live by waiting on the next paycheck work like a balancing act: trying to balance how much money is used on food, but also save for bills.
Destiny Gonzalez, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, understands this struggle. “It is worrisome, because you don’t know if this check will last the time it needs to, ” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes you have to cut some necessities off just to make it to the next paycheck.”
Photo made with Autodesk Sketchbook, a drawing and sketching app. (Aileen Janee Corpus / Ethic News)
For others, this was just another way of living, but it is now harder due to pay cuts and layovers. REV senior Celeste Chala also experiences the hardship of balancing money, “My mom gets really stressed out even more now because the rent is higher especially in a house, even if she is paying half the rent.”
REV sophomore Brooke Rowan and her family recognize the difficulty of adjusting to a lower budget, “As soon as we get [a check] we already know where the money is going, but we still seem to have a little bit of money to do some fun and cheap activities. Rowan and her family use their extra money “as vacations, trips to San Diego, [or] going to amusement parks.”
Losing one’s home, or commonly known as eviction, is another effect of the pandemic; it can bring extreme amounts of stress due to the fact that the tenant must leave at a certain date without accounting the amount of belongings in the home.
“It was the worst because the owner only gave us like a month to leave,” said REV sophomore Natalee Lopez, “and it was 10 years worth of stuff in the house”
Renters living under the threat of eviction experience poorer self-reported health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, according to authors of a 2017 study published in ScienceDirect.
“The [eviction] was stressful to [my mother’s friend],” said REV senior Celeste Chala, “it came to the point where [she was] so stressed out she had a seizure in Target. We were given a short amount of time and I believe that they expected us to pay some money up until move out day.”
Especially during this time of extreme changes, mental health can be greatly improved or deteriorated. Some students find ways to make use of the extra time at home by self-care and learning new skills.
“[I have m]ore time for mental stability,” said REV senior Gloria Bahena, “[and to] find peace within myself and develop new skills such as learning new languages.” Bahena believes that without quarantine, her mental health would have definitely been worse, but that too much of a good thing cannot always be good.
Some students might feel drained after being on a computer for so long or not having enough face-to-face interaction with friends.
“Honestly, I am a very social person,” said REV freshman Haylee Lyon, “and without physical contact, it’s very hard to find a way to stay positive.”
Other students feel relieved from not having to deal with drama at school, such as REV junior Chloe Moore, who said “I’ve had a lot of free time to focus on my mental stability. I’m so much happier, and I don’t have to deal with drama at school.”
Kaedyn Nelson a REV sophomore has been learning new skills and taking time to self-reflect. “I have started to learn how to drive, [and] I started dancing again,” said Nelson. “Distance learning has forced me to really sit down and pay attention, and get good grades. Yes, my freshman year was very bad: I was in and out of trouble, and I lost my phone for another year. During quarantine I was so stressed with the fact that I couldn’t go to school or see my friends or just go out anywhere, that I decided to make decisions to get me in trouble for the three months. After that I really focused on myself and what I could do better.”
Making sure that there is food on the table, moving out of a loved home, or taking care of one’s mental health are feats that anyone could be facing.
Rowan sees the light at the end of the tunnel, “I’m still sort of hopeful that we can get through this together as a whole.”
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.
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)
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.
As the Redlands Unified School District decides to finish the 2019-2020 academic school year through distance learning and close its campus until the fall semester begins, the focus on making the best of the next school year becomes an issue of importance for almost every student and staff member.
As seniors are unfortunately deprived of many significant events of their last year in high school, it does have the positive impact of encouraging the underclassmen to realize the true importance of these events and the lasting memories that they can create.
Events like prom, pep rallies, spirit weeks, and graduation are planned by the schools Associated Student Body, or student government. They have the responsibility of making sure these events are memorable for all of their fellow classmates.
Leading the charge for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year is executive president Jack Tetrault. On May 9, 2020 Tetrault sat down for a virtual interview and answered questions about himself, his new position, his plans for the future, and addressed many of the issues that the student body may have during this time of uncertainty.
When asked what initially made him decide to continue particitating in ASB as he entered into high school, Tetrault stated that “I had previous ASB experience at my middle school and I loved being able to impact the lives of the student body in a positive way. I wanted to continue being a leader and an influential part of making my peers have the most enjoyable high school experience possible.”
Since Tetrault will be entering into his senior year of high school and has had many years of experience in ASB there are quite a few accomplishments that he, along with the rest of the ASB, have made already.
Tetrault stated that “ASB has held countless events and activities that have been incredible and an overall positive experience for the school.”
He stated that “the event that I am most proud of it would definitely be our Genesis dance. Being able to see all five RUSD high schools come together and bond over music and games was incredible. The feedback from the students was nothing but positive and it’s safe to say this will not be our last Genesis event.”
ASB is a program that has been a part of the high schools in the RUSD for years and therefore there are many leaders, teachers, and students that have come before the class of 2021 have worked to shape the program into what it is today.
When asked who has influenced him, he stated that “it would be impossible to name them all as I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with supportive people who always keep me focused on my goals and aspirations.”
“To name a few off the top of my head I would of course say my parents. They have stuck by me every step of the way and have always supported me in my decisions.”
“Another is our ASB advisor Mr. Fashempour. His dedication to the student body is so inspirational and has always been a big part of my views on improving student life at REV. Again these are just a few of the many people who helped shape the person I am.”
Tetrault has already had experience as class president for the class of 2021, but this new role as executive president of ASB is a significant shift in responsibilities that not all of the students are aware of.
Tetrault stated that “the main difference between an Executive Cabinet role and a Class Cabinet role is the focus of shifts from leading an individual class to leading the student body as a whole.”
“I have been so fortunate as to have been able to serve as the Class of 2021 president for the past three years, so I definitely think my experience there will carry over into my role as Executive President. Obviously, it will be a step up from my past responsibilities but I am definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
As far as the upcoming school year is considered, Tetrault said that “ASB’s top priority coming into this year is improving our schools spirit.”
He stated that “I personally envy schools that are constantly on social media being praised for their packed student sections and over the top spirit weeks. I feel that REV has all the qualities and resources to become the staple of high school spirit, it’s just a matter of bringing everyone together and uniting for a common goal.”
The class of 2021 had to unfortunately see the class of 2020 miss out on important high school events and the rest of the student body lose the entire end of their school year.
This is a situation that no executive president has had to deal with before and when questioned on how this experience has influenced him, Tetrault stated that “I think the most important thing I took away from this unfortunate situation is valuing the limited amount of time we all have with each other.”
He said “as with all high schools, there is sometimes arguments and distaste between students but I feel that if there’s one positive to take away here it’s that all this: school, friendships, sporting events, dances, rallies, could all be gone in the blink of an eye, so why not cherish the time we have left with each other, set aside our differences, and come together to make this next school year the year that 20 years from now you look back on as the time of your life.”
Lorraine Booth: “It feels so surreal. Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but it feels like my four years were a waste. No prom, no graduation… It’s a series of unfortunate events.”
Joslynn Gomez: “That wasn’t very cash money of u covid-19.”
Analysse Marie Todd: “While school closing was very abrupt, and we weren’t quite prepared for it, we just need to stay positive and do what we need to do, we will be able to see our friends and family again. At this point that’s all that matters.”
Ethan Byrd: “idc.”
Ariana Wright: “No matter how hard the struggle may be, never lose hope, and never give up your faith in God.”
Featured photo: Redlands East Valley seniors fill the student section at a football game. (Photo credit to Lily Cao)