Spotify Weekly Playlist: Variety Pack


With hundreds of music genres it may be overwhelming on which ones to listen to. This playlist has songs from all types of genres. No matter if you are into blues or pop, this playlist has you covered. This is the perfect place to find something new.

Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

Riptide by Vance Joy

Just What I Needed by The Cars

Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz

Leave The Door Open by Bruno Mars

Africa by TOTO

Two Princes by Spin Doctors

Ride It by Regard

Faded by Alan Walker

I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman

News brief: Orangewood AVID students visit Whitewater Preserve 


The Advancement Via Individual Determination students at Orangewood High School visited Whitewater Preserve  on Nov. 18 to educate themselves on local environments that aren’t often being spoken about.

The trip consisted of hiking, observing, and talking. Out of the 26 students that attended, they were separated into groups with a naturalist that led them around the preserve while listing many facts about Whitewater. 

OHS AVID teacher Lou Ann Perry said, “Perfect day away for students, peaceful and a great way to reconnect with our environment, no cell phone distraction, great to take a break away from stress.”

The students and even the chaperones expressed that they loved being there. The rangers were always at work and kept busy maintaining the grounds for visitors. The hiking was slightly fast paced, but very informative as to what students were looking at while they were walking. 

John Aidoo, an AVID senior at OHS, says, “It was a great scenery that was surrounded by positive people and was very educational.”

The area and land at Whitewater is unique in its entirety. The landscape was dry land, but makes a home for many animals and its environment where “the animals don’t depend on the rangers for survival,” says naturalist Jennifer Lopez.

Izaiah Ramos, a junior at OHS, says,  “The hike up the mountains was nice and felt good overlooking something that isn’t busy roads.”

According to the naturalist, Jennifer Lopez, this land is now dry and used to be filled with water. It is surrounded by mountains. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

Orangewood senior Alexis Garcia and AVID teacher Lou Ann Perry hike with the group of students on Nov. 18. Naturalist Jennifer Lopez spoke to the group about where the water flows in from and how it helps the animals in the area. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

This pond is home to unique wildlife. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

Towards the end of the field trip, naturalists spoke to AVID students and thanked them for coming. (Photo courtesy of Lou Ann Perry)

Spotify Weekly Playlist: “Emo” hits of the 2000s


In the early 2000s, the “alt” subcultures flourished with many great hits that still define the ideology and feelings of the group today. These are a few of the classics that any former “emo” kid would recognise and enjoy.

Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance

Thnks fr th Mmrs by Fall Out Boy

I Write Sins Not Tragedies by Panic! at the Disco 

Helena by My Chemical Romance

Sugar we’re going down by Fall Out Boy

My Happy Ending by Avril Lavine

Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

Gives You Hell by All American Rejects

Dear Maria, Count Me In by All Time Low

Redlands Superintendent Mauricio Arellano visits Orangewood High School


Superintendent Mauricio Arellano came to Orangewood High School on Nov. 17 to speak to students and look at the new remodels in the classrooms.

“The purpose of coming was to meet the students, meet the staff, get to look at some of the instruction that’s happening,” said Arellano. “I wanted to look at some of the remodels, like the library, some of the science rooms are still kind of in process — it’s going to take a while. I hadn’t seen the new culinary kitchen, so there’s a lot of good — the PE room, so that was a big part of coming.”

Arellano was doing the visits with Susan Abt, president of the Redlands Teacher Association. This was their second visit after their visit to Redlands High School earlier in the week. 

Arellano said, “It’s not just me coming today, this is actually a collaborative schedule…so that people see us as a united force, that we’re here for kids and the staff and the principals.”

From left: Superintendent Mauricio Arellano, Orangewood High School seniors Debbie Diaz, Linayah Timmons and Joseph Pacheco and Redlands Teachers Association President Susan Abt. (Ethic News photo)

“I think it’s been very beneficial for everyone to see us together, working together as a team, instead of two different groups,” Arellano said.

Students in Kimberly Lott and Louise Gonzales’ classes made posters to make the superintendent feel welcome. 

Senior Victor Encarnacion Ruiz said of Arellano visiting his first period class, “He felt like a future self of us, looking down on us, and it felt like someone was saying, ‘Don’t worry’.”

When Arellano and Abt visited Gonzales’ Integrated I math class, Gonzalez said Arellano would ask students what they were doing. In Lou Ann Perry’s English 11 class, he asked students about their upcoming AVID field trip to Whitewater.

“I enjoyed asking a lot of the students as I walked through, you know, do they like the school, do they feel supported,” said Arellano, “and everyone — at least that I talked to — said they really enjoy the school and appreciate and feel like they’re getting support.”

“One kid told me that he was tired and yawned,” said Arellano. 

Arellano laughed and said, “That’s okay. I’ve had those days.”

Orangewood High School students in a Mathematics II class take notes on Nov. 17, 2021, while instructor Louise Gonzales explains out the new lesson they’re starting. (JOSEPH PACHECO/ Ethic News photo)

Orangewood High School teacher Matt Stewart works with a small group of students on Nov. 17, 2021. Stewart says, “We were discussing the Rube Goldberg contest — the upcoming rube Goldberg contest — where the final step is to open a book and so we were talking in class about how many different ways we can open a book with the machine.” (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

A new Culinary Arts kitchen, recently integrated into the Orangewood High School campus, is one of the new remodels of the school. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

3-D printers are some of the new equipment upgrades in Matt Stewart’s Career and Technical Education classroom at Orangewood High School. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

A remodeled Career Center was recently finished at Orangewood High School. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

Opinion: Homework should decrease in Redlands Unified School District


Homework has been required in academic settings for years, but is it really helpful for students? This question has been thrown around within the academic setting for decades since it’s invention in 1905 as a punishment.

Homework is an unhelpful tool to students and it is about time it is removed or at least decreased in schools. Homework does not only increase burnout and take up more of students’ free time, but it doesn’t improve academic abilities, as well.

Burnout has already been a problem for students in the Redlands Unified School District, making it hard for students to actually learn. This problem is escalated with teachers giving out homework on the weekends, which are supposed to be students’ break days. 

Redlands High School freshman Adrian Sandoval stated, “It’s a feeling that if you don’t face it, you feel even more disappointed, but if you deal with it, it ends with even more exhaustion — but that’s the only way to become calm and orderly again. If you don’t keep in the lines of managing time good and bad, it all ends up bad.”

The weekend homework point bleeds into the argument that homework takes too much of a students’ free time. Work life balance is constantly pushed in today’s society, but students are never able to achieve a healthy balance with the tons of homework pushed on them. Students are told that they should be able to have time outside of school, but the amount of homework received would tell them otherwise.

Citrus Valley sophomore Jasmine Rosales poses for a picture on November 12. The picture is supposed to symbolize the overbearing amount of work students receive.

With later start and end times, many students are unable to consistently get home at reasonable times. This means they could spend the rest of their evening doing tedious assignments that might not even help them.

This is the most common complaint among students: homework doesn’t help them improve academically. Alfie Kohn, an American lecturer and author with a focus on education, stated, “There is absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school.” 

Kohn also states, “At the high school level, the correlation is weak and tends to disappear when more sophisticated statistical measures are applied.”

What could be a solution to this homework problem? Simple, ban or decrease the amount of homework a student gets. 

Most, if not all, problems would be solved by just decreasing the amount of homework students get. Burnout would be decreased and students would have more free time without homework.

Homework has been a problem for most students for years and it’s about time something is done about it. 

It’s time districts learn what Doctor Kevin C. Costly of Arkansas Tech University has found in his research, that “In-school supervised study had a greater impact on achievement than homework, and achievement did not increase when students spent more time on homework.”

El consejojuvenil de Redlands involucra a los estudiantes en el gobierno local


Cámaras del consejo vacías mientras los estudiantes esperan que lleguen más junto con la concejal Denise Davis para comenzar la reunión (MAURICIO PLIEGO / foto de Ethic News)

La concejal Denise Davis, que representa el primer distrito de la ciudad de Redlands, ha iniciado un grupo para los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Redlands, llamado Consejo Juvenil de Redlands.

Un total de 30 estudiantes de varias escuelas en el RUSD como Citrus Valley High School, Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Loma Linda Academy y Grove High School postularon y fueron aceptados en el programa.

Desde que Davis, directora del Centro de Recursos para Mujeres de la Universidad de California, Riverside y profesora adjunta de la Universidad de Redlands, recientemente se interesó en que más personas participaran en el proceso político, inició el Consejo Juvenil de Redlands.

Davis dice: “Me gustaría tener más educación sobre el gobierno local y el compromiso cívico cuando estaba en la escuela secundaria, entonces estoy encantada de tener esta oportunidad de relacionarme con los estudiantes de la escuela secundaria en Redlands”.

Zaid Hintzman, estudiante de último año de Redlands High School, es miembro del consejo, presidente de Speech and Debate de Redlands High School y organizador de GenVocal.

Hintzman dice: “Estaba interesado en el consejo porque la concejal Davis parecía genuinamente interesada en capacitar a los estudiantes para que hicieran cambios”.

El propósito del Consejo Juvenil de Redlands es educar a los estudiantes sobre el gobierno local y el compromiso cívico. Pero también es un lugar donde pueden compartir preocupaciones y trabajar juntos para resolver problemas dentro de la ciudad.

Charles M. Duggan, el administrador de la ciudad de Redlands, está hablando con los estudiantes y respondiendo sus preguntas relacionadas con el cambio climático y la falta de vivienda. Duggan supervisa los diferentes departamentos y administra las operaciones diarias de la ciudad. (Foto cortesía de Denise Davis)

Miyah Lopez y Mauricio Pliego junto a Denise Davis como líderes de los recientes movimientos de Estudiantes por el Cambio en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Redlands. (Foto cortesía de Taryn Thomas)

El consejo tendrá un papel indirecto en afectar las decisiones tomadas dentro de la ciudad. Los miembros del consejo tendrán la oportunidad de interactuar con otros miembros del consejo, personal de la ciudad y otros que influyen en las decisiones dentro de la ciudad, según Davis.

Ella dice: “El consejo de la juventud me asesorará sobre cuestiones de política que consideren que deben abordarse en la ciudad de Redlands”.

Uno de los muchos miembros es Miyah Lopez, estudiante de último año en Citrus Valley. Ella es la directora ejecutiva de Blackhawks for Change, una iniciativa dirigida por estudiantes destinada a crear conciencia sobre los problemas sociales dentro del campus de Citrus Valley y la ciudad que lo rodea.

López dice: “Pensé que sería una gran oportunidad para ser educado sobre la estructura del gobierno local y quería hacer un cambio en nuestra comunidad. En esto, espero aumentar la diversidad en nuestro sistema, aumentar la igualdad racial en nuestra comunidad y tratar de hacer de Redlands un lugar seguro para todos ”.

Sophia Partain takes center stage


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotify Weekly Playlist: Road trip Vibes


Although most of the world is stuck inside, that does not mean we have to be sad about it. These are some songs that give you road trip vibes, but whether you travel or not this playlist can be a fun way to commemorate different places. Even if we all come from the same city, state or county, all places can be seen or celebrated differently, which can create a wide range of diversity and culture.

Portland by Bowling Shoes

West Virginia by The Front Bottoms

Los Angeles by The Midnight 

Beverly Hills by Weezer

Jesus in LA by Alec Benjamin

Hello Seattle by Owl City 

Miami by Taking Back Sunday

Welcome to New York by Taylor Swift

Houson by R.E.M.

Strasbourg by The Rakes

Getting know to Citrus Valley’s newest principal Maisie McCue


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

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


Photos by AVA LARSON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO


Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

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

Q&A: Redlands child nutrition staff discuss school lunches 


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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the food sustainable for a growing teenager? 

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

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

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

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

Are there any meals served that you feel are distasteful? 

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

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

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

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

Would you eat some of the school lunches? 

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

What is the hardest thing about your job? 

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

How much input do you have on the menu selection? 

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

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

How many students get served the school lunch everyday? 

Between 850-900. 

How do you respond to the negative comments? 

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

Are the ingredients in the food fresh? 

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

What is the hardest thing about your job? 

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

For more information on nutrition and food services at RUSD, visit

Orangewood SkillsUSA chapter donates to Redlands Animal Shelter



Orangewood High School students from the local SkillsUSA chapter decided to do a toy drive for dogs and cats. They took a field trip to the animal shelter on Oct. 28 to drop off the donations and to experience visiting the animals at the shelter. 

According to the SkillsUSA California website, their goal is to ”empower people to become world class workers to become leaders and responsible American citizens to help the citizens improve the quality and life of our nation’s future skilled workforce.” 

The OHS Skills USA chapter got students to help donate items for the local Redlands Animal Shelter. Members shared their opinion on the experience at the animal shelter and what caught their eye. 

Photos above: The SkillsUSA chapter from Orangewood High School took a field trip to donate items to the Redlands Animal Shelter on Oct. 28. The students held an animal toy drive at school and walked to the shelter to donate the items. (Photos courtesy of Alexis Garcia)

“They have more pit bulls than any other animal. It sucks because pit bulls are always in the shelter,” said Isaiah Dennie, OHS SkillsUSA vice president. “A lot because people think they are ugly, but they are actually very beautiful and cool dogs.”  

Johnny Dominguez, OHS SkillsUSA treasurer, said, “I think this place needs more money to be treated a little better and wish the animals get treated a little better, but they look happy,” said Dominguez.

Lissette Atkinson, an officer at the Redlands Animal Shelter, shared about how she felt with OHS students being there and donating.

“It’s great I love having you students here and we appreciate it a lot and for you guys to come visit us means a lot,” said Atkinson.

“And we are glad to give you knowledge about what the animal control does and what the animal shelter does, because not a lot of people know and a lot of people think, ‘oh they are just dog catchers, they are just there to catch dogs and there to be mean.’ Absolutely not,” said Atkinson. “We are primarily educators and we care about the animals and we want to make sure we give you guys the proper tools to be a successful animal owner.” 

According to the Skills USA website, they are “a national non-profit organization, who is serving middle school, high school and college students. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.” 

To learn more about California SkillsUSA visit

Redlands Youth Council engages students in local government


Empty Council Chambers as students waits for more to arrive along with the Council Member Denise Davis to begin the meeting (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Council Member Denise Davis, who represents the first district in the city of Redlands, has started a group for the students of Redlands Unified School District, called the Redlands Youth Council.

A total of 30 students from various schools in the RUSD such as Citrus Valley High School, Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Loma Linda Academy and the Grove High School applied and were accepted into the program.

Since Davis, the director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of California, Riverside and adjunct faculty member at the University of Redlands, has recently been interested in having more people involved in the political process, she started the Redlands Youth Council.

Davis says, “I wish that I had more education on local government and civic engagement when I was in high school, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to engage with high school students in Redlands.”

Zaid Hintzman, a Redlands High School senior, is a member of the council, Redlands High School president of Speech and Debate and an organizer with GenVocal.

Hintzman says, “I was interested in the council because Councilwoman Davis seemed genuinely interested in empowering students to make changes.”

The purpose of the Redlands Youth Council is to educate students about local government and civic engagement. But, it is also a place where they can share concerns and work together to solve problems within the city.

Charles M. Duggan, the Redlands City Manager, is speaking to the students and answering their questions related to climate change and homelessness. Duggan oversees the different departments and manages the everyday operations of the city. (Photo courtesy of Denise Davis)

 Miyah Lopez and Mauricio Pliego stand with Denise Davis as leaders of the recent Students For Change movements in the Redlands Unified School District. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Thomas)

The council will have an indirect role in affecting decisions made within the city. Members of the council will have a chance to interact with other council members, city staff and others who impact the decisions within the city, according to Davis. 

She says, “The youth council will advise me on policy issues that they feel need to be addressed in the city of Redlands.”

One of the many members is Miyah Lopez, a senior at Citrus Valley. She is the executive director of Blackhawks for Change, a student-led initiative meant to bring awareness to social issues within the Citrus Valley campus and the city around it.

Lopez says, “I thought that it would be an amazing opportunity to be educated on the structure of local government and I wanted to make a change in our community. In this, I hope to increase the diversity in our system, increase racial equality in our community and try to make Redlands a safe place for all.”

Lea este artículo en español aquí:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

However, she ultimately decided to major in sociology. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lea este artículo en español aquí:

Citrus Valley Homecoming prompts endearing proposals


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pair recently celebrated their year and a half anniversary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cesena said yes. 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Mark Perkins, P.E. teacher

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

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

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

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

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

PACHECO: No one have responsibility.

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

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

Norma Beckwith, history teacher

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

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

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

DIAZ: What was your reaction when you found out?

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

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

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

DIAZ: Right, a tragedy, right.

PACHECO: Do you believe in any conspiracies?

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

Louise Gonzales, math teacher

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

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

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

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

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

DIAZ: What went through your head?

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

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


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


PACHECO: You just believe it was a terrorist attack?


Lea este artículo en español aquí:

Photos: Wildcat seniors gather for food and activities at Senior Fling


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.

Lea este artículo en español aquí:

Opinion: Toxic masculinity continues harmful and outdated stereotypes in modern society


Toxic masculinity is a social dilemma, forcing stereotypes and causing men to be oppressed emotionally and physically. In recent years, however, these stereotypes have started to be broken down by people everyday, eliminating its harmful effects on both men and women. 

Toxic masculinity is the result of society’s attitudes, viewpoints, and stereotypes focusing on how men should behave and their roles. This term appeared around 1980-1990 and has been used with sexism activists, feminist activists, and against appaling steryotypes towards men. Toxic masculinity has been forced on men and is sometimes the way they cope with trauma or conflicting situations. However, if we were to eliminate this thought process, then toxic masculinity could easily be eliminated and stereotypes wouldn’t be forced on men and women anymore. 

Toxic masculinity and masculinity are two very different things. Masculinity is being traditionally manly, and being masculine is fine for anyone, boys, girls, and everyone in between. Toxic masculinity is the mindset that every single person of the male gender must be masciline and do traditionally “masculine things.” 

For example, someone with toxic masculinity might say that things like wearing feminine clothing, painting nails, or crying makes them no longer a man because “real men” don’t do traditionally feminine things. This mindset is misleading, as nothing truly makes you a “real man.” If you identify as a man, then you are one. 

These labels and stereotypes can make men feel like they are not a real man can cause many unhealthy coping mechanisms and hurt young teens’ mental health. The pressure they feel to be a protector, show off their strength and be the provider can cause men to bottle up their feelings in order to avoid being seen as weak.

The expectation for men not to show emotion can only be maintained for so long since it isn’t being let out and handled in a healthy manner. When this emotion eventually does come out, it becomes an explosion and is let out through aggression. Eliminating toxic masculinity does not mean men need to be emotional and feel like they have to overcompensate their feelings; it’s simply getting rid of the pressure they have to hide these feelings since “they aren’t normal for a man.” 

Toxic masculinity is a social construct that, as stated before, gives men the mindset that boys all have to be traditionally masculine. Some boys are masculine, which is great, but there are many that prefer to be more “feminine,” which doesn’t make them any less of a man. They are still completely valid and should be able to dress and act the way they want to without being told they are not a “real man” or that “they must be gay.” A lot of boys who would prefer to be more feminine, are too scared to because of the effects of toxic masculinity on society. 

Though there is a huge stigma for men to be traditionally masculine, there are some examples of some amazing men who have started to break this social construct. November 2020, Harry Styles posted pictures of him on the cover of Vogue wearing a dress (the magazine didn’t come out until December of 2020). Styles received a lot of backlash and hate from this, specifically from a woman named Candace Owens. She said that we need to “bring back manly men” and that society can not survive without manly men. This was implying that Styles is not a “manly man” because he was wearing a dress. One thing that stood out to a large number of people was her double standard. She was angered by a man wearing a dress, while she had pictures of her in a suit. Styles responded to Owens by posting another picture of him in a slightly feminine outfit, with the caption “Bring back manly men.”

Many young men on social media are fighting toxic masculinity. On October 9, 2020, about 100 teenage boys in Canada wore skirts to school to protest against sexism, homophobia, and toxic masculinity. These boys attended College Nouvelles Frontieres in Gatineau, Quebec. Zachary Paulin, a 16 year old student, told a few people that he was going to wear a skirt to school that Friday, and, to his surprise, many of his peers joined him. When asked about the event Paulin said, “The double standard on the way society views out women and men is blatant. If a woman decides to wear a suit or pants, clothes associated with masculinity, it’s not a big deal, but the moment a man will do anything remotely feminine, whether it is to put nail polish, makeup or, in our case, a skirt, fingers are pointed and he gets insulted. People will say that he’s not a ‘real man’ and they will automatically assume his sexuality.” 

 Forcing men into traditionally masculine roles creates a toxic environment for those who feel like they need to fit this contract of masculinity. Eliminating these roles that society is forcing will allow men to feel free to express themselves and show emotions or sides of them they may bottle up or feel uncomfortable showing in fear of judgement. It will take time, but, if we slowly start getting rid of the toxic stereotypes, toxic masculinity can become a thing of the past. 

Featured photo: Digital collage created using images, phrases, and art to symbolize the stereotypes that are defined by toxic masculinity in modern society. From famous celebrities to school children, toxic masculinity scrutinizes and oppresses males when society feels they have strayed too far from gender norms. (Ethic Digital Art/Allison Stockham and Makayla Naime)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

College Board releases new testing options for Advanced Placement students


For the Advanced Placement exams for the 2020 school year, the College Board had to make adjustments to their typical exams unlike anything seen before. 

Typically, the exams are taken in person and take several hours to complete. They include proctors and multiple different sections such as free-response, multiple-choice and speaking, depending on the exam subject. 

In order to receive college credit for these exams, students would have to pass the exam with a three or higher, however some universities would only accept a four or higher. 

Due to the unprecedented circumstances of distance learning for the 2020 school year, the exams were heavily modified to only a 45-minute exam with only one testing section such as one free-response or open-ended question. 

Students were assured that they would still receive college credit for passing these exams, but due to technical issues or the difficulties of learning virtually, these exams proved to cause even more stress and anxiety for some students than in years past. 

Jack Tetrault, a senior at Redlands East Valley high school, says, “Last year’s testing was insane. I know so many people that had to resubmit or retake their exams due to the computer issues. It was really stressful for all of us.” 

As AP students and teachers entered into the 2020-2021 school year, the question of whether this year’s exams were going to be modified again remained. 

Early on, the College Board assured the public that the exams were not going to be modified as they were in the year prior and that only adjustments according to the COVID-19 guidelines were going to be made as far as safe testing conditions were concerned. 

Now, with the exams just a few months away, the College Board has released the official protocol for this year’s exams. 

Image of high school senior, Lilian Mohr’s laptop as she views the new testing information for this upcoming AP exams. College Board has updated their site with all of the newest information on this year’s exams. (Lilian Mohr/ Ethic Photo)

Students will be given two different testing options; the first being the regular in-person exams, on paper and the second being online exams with a secured browser that is downloaded onto the testing devices ahead of time. The in-person exams will be done with masks-on, social distancing with only 16 students in a testing room at a time and plexy-glass dividers around desks. 

As far as the tests themselves go, the in-person and online exams will be almost identical with only small modifications to certain subjects made to account for the possibilities of handwritten work being recurred for subjects such as science or math. 

Both teachers of AP classes, along with the AP students themselves were notified of these testing adjustments. 

Christina Vargas is a senior at REV this year and is currently enrolled in multiple AP classes such as Statistics and Microeconomics. 

“I think the tests this year are going to be very difficult due to the fact that we have ‘learned’ everything online and are still expected to take the same test as students who have been back at school this whole time.” 

Skylar Watson, also a senior at REV and enrolled in a total of six AP courses this year, says, “I feel the tests seem a bit chaotic this year with the multiple testing options, which is adding a whole other level of stress.” 

AP French teacher Jennifer Baldwin says she is “hopeful that students who have been in distance learning the whole time will have the same chance of passing their tests as those who have not. I hope the test graders will keep in mind that not all students have had the same learning environment and instructional time this year.”

Baldwin also says, “I want to emphasize that one test score cannot determine how much a student has grown and how hard they have worked to get where they are. The quality work that my AP students have continued to do in less-than-ideal circumstances has motivated me to try and keep working as hard as they do.”

COVID impacts each class differently: Grade-based reflections on a socially distanced school year


From a global pandemic that has popularized masks and coined the term “socially-distanced,” all the way to a presidential election that left the country forever changed, 2020 and 2021 have proven themselves to impact almost every aspect of life. 

Socially, young children have been learning the basics of sharing and making friends from behind a computer screen, while teenagers deal with the overwhelming presence of social media in their lives now consumed by technology. Student athletes are missing out on multiple seasons of sports, altering their athletic futures and scholarship opportunities. Performing arts students have not been able to perform in a play in front of an audience in school theaters since last March. Ask around, and almost everyone can find a way their lives have been changed this year. The question remains: does one grade, generation or group have it worse than another, or have some even benefited from these unique experiences? 

Dylan Watson, a freshman at Redlands East Valley, ended her eighth grade year in middle school through distance learning and was on track to begin her first year in high school. However, 2020 had different plans for her and the rest of the incoming class of 2024. 

“I feel that the worst part is not being able to meet new people and the learning aspect in my opinion isn’t the best,” says Watson, “But the best part is that I can sleep in for an extra hour because if we were in person, then we would start at 7:30.” 

She adds,“I think that next year, being a sophomore, I’m going to feel like I’m in the same position as the incoming freshman. I’m not going to know my way around the campus, so I won’t know where everything is.” 

This idea of having two full classes of “freshman-like” students on campus in the 2021 school year is one that seems to be one of the biggest impacts of distance learning on the 2024 and incoming 2025 classes. Although one is academically a year ahead, they are both entering into a school that they haven’t yet spent a day on campus. 

Watson says, “We still hopefully have three other years left, while for seniors this is their last time to make everlasting memories with the people in the class of 21′ before they step foot into their next chapter.”

Brooklyn Rios, a sophomore at REV, says she feels the positives of distance learning for her have been in “comfy clothes and sleeping in,” but the drawbacks are the amount of “homework and staring at a screen for so long every day.” 

Rios also speaks on the impacts that this year has had on her socially, saying, “I have not been able to interact with people in the classroom, at lunch or during passing periods. I feel when I see people now, it is always really awkward in evaluating the situation and it’s difficult not to hug someone you haven’t seen in forever because you are unsure how strict or instruct they are about COVID.”

Rios is a part of the graduating class of 2023, meaning she will be entering into what is arguably the most challenging year of high school next school year. If in-person instruction occurs in August 2021, this will mean that Rios and the other students in her grade will have only been on campus for a little over one semester before they enter into their junior year of high school. 

Rios says, “I feel like understanding topics that carry over from this year to next year will be difficult. I feel like learning has been very difficult and applying this knowledge next year will be arduous.”

Along with sharing her own experiences, she shares her opinion on the other grade levels. She says, “The class of 2021 definitely got the short end of the stick. They missed half of their junior year and most likely all of senior year. They won’t have a normal prom, grad-night or graduation. I think it sucks for them because senior year is such a big deal and they won’t have senior nights for their sports, final performances, paper toss day and so much more.”

 As more and more of the traditional senior year milestones pass by, uncelebrated this year, she also discusses a common topic: the comparison between the class of 2020 to the class of 2021.

“Last year’s class of 2020 got so many accommodations because everyone felt really bad about them not getting to finish senior year; however, class of 2021 got more stress with school and they are not getting as much sympathy as class of 2020 got. People kind of forgot that they have it really hard too.”

Several members of this year’s Redlands East Valley senior class pictured at the annual senior sunrise. The class of 2021 has attempted to organize as many of the traditional senior events as possible given this year’s unique circumstances and the senior sunrise is one that was able to be done outdoors. (Ethic News/ Photo credit to Jack Tetrault) 

Ashley Gonalez, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School, says that “this year has impacted my social life a ton. I began to text people less and stopped talking to a lot of people. But I think it helped me realize more about myself and get closer with the people I still socialized with.” 

Ali Sirk-Bun, currently a junior at REV, brings light to some of the major impacts that this school year has made outside of the academic factors. 

Sirk-Bun says that the best parts of this school year for her have been the “new improvements regarding addressing awareness of human equality” at school and within the district. 

After racially-charged incidents occurred at the end of first semester at REV this year, new initiatives towards progress on campus have been started with organizations such as the Wildcats for Change. 

“Since I am a junior, I will try to be as spirited, hard-working and have as much fun as possible next year to make up for lost memories this year,” said Sirk-Bun, “the seniors this year have it worse. It’s their last year at school and instead of going to dances, creating memories with friends and carrying out their last year; they’re trapped behind a computer as their last year of high-school.” 

As the days of what will be the last semester of high school for the class 2021 tick by and distance learning continues, Elijan Park, a senior at REV, reflects on the impacts of the past few months of school for him and his graduating class. 

“I think seniors definitely have it worse this year. The last year of high school is normally filled with events but since it is distanced learning we are unable to enjoy our last year.”

Park also discusses how challenging the college application process has been for him this year due to the circumstances. He says, “I think the worst part of this school year was trying to navigate college applications and other questions I may have virtually. It would have been much easier in person.”

With no clear end to the pandemic to pin-point, the class of 2021 has also begun to consider the possible reality of their first year in college being altered. Park says “I think my next school year will be a lot easier if things stay the same since I already am accustomed to online learning so if it has to continue next year I think I will be well prepared. But I think transitioning into in person learning may be the difficult part if that happens.”

Student’s grades and learning are being affected by online school


After a little over five months of online school, children all over the world have been negatively impacted by the lack of socialization, absence of in depth learning and failure to find positivity. During online classes, the grades of many students have seen a negative stride in comparison to previous grades. Many feel as if they are falling behind in reading and math due to the lack of interpersonal communication. 

“You aren’t in a classroom, [so] it’s really hard to focus with all the other noises,” said Emma Ainsworth, a senior at Citrus Valley High school.

Featured is a desk that is similar to one that many students face on a daily basis. Students have also been forced to face a difficult school year that can lead to loneliness and stress (Emily Prinstein/ Ethic Photo).

Many students have failed to turn in assignments due to the confusion on things such as due dates, where to turn in the assignment and even unclear instructions on how to complete them. Among the schools that have initiated online learning is Iowa State University, which notes that “without the routine structures of a traditional class, students may get lost or confused about course activities and deadlines.”

Teachers use different platforms for their students to turn in assignments, which can become confusing and overwhelming for their students. Many of these platforms are new to students such as Kami, Google Classroom, Edulastic and many others.

“Sometimes it can be confusing turning in many different assignments on all of the different platforms, and at times it causes me to forget to turn things in,” said Hayley Prinstein, a senior at CVHS.

During online school, many students also leave early from their classes while some do not show up at all. Students do this because they are unmotivated and believe their teachers won’t notice. 

Because of the lack of structure in distance learning, many students have resorted to cheating on tests and assignments. While their grades may show that they are doing well with online learning, it may be a different story at home. This greatly affects how students learn, and as they move onto further and higher learning they are not going to be prepared due to the way they have adapted during distance learning. 

Another issue that has arisen is the home life of some students. It is apparent that students need somewhere they can go to study and focus. While at home, some students struggle to find this place due to siblings, pets and other factors. 

In some cases, students may also not have access to all of the supplies they need such as not being able to access the internet. This causes significant disruptions to many student’s learning, and will only escalate further problems with assignments and tests. 

Overall, online learning has had its ups and downs for many students. While some schools hope to re-open their doors soon, students will have to make do with distance learning until then.

Research with Redlands East Valley’s librarian reveals a creative rider with a zest for life

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…”

Korrie Krohne, Redlands East Valley High School teacher librarian


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?!

“The Chalkboard Wall I am standing next to is a new feature in the library renovation. Here’s a link to the page I made about the renovation process… ” said Korrie Khrone of this 2020 photo. (Photo courtesy of Korrie Krohne)

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? 

Krohne’s one-year old German Shepard, Loki. (Photo courtesy of Korrie Krohne)

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?

Korrie Krohne next to her husband’s motorcycle. Long rides on the back of her husband’s motorcycle in open areas are one of her favorite things to do. (Photo courtesy of Korrie Krohne)

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.

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

Created by EMILY WALOS


What would a normal marching band season look like?

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

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

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

How where students able to receive their instruments this year?

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

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

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

How has technology affected your teaching methods?

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

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

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

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

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

What is the basketball schedule?

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

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

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

Redlands passes resolution 12 to help achieve true equality for all


 Images of equality and exclusivity symbolizing love for anyone  (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)

During the last Redlands Unified School Board district meeting on Oct. 27, 2020, Resolution 12 was passed with the help and support of the NEXGEN Student Board. Resolution 12 covers the topic of making the schools in Redlands Unified District inclusive to all.

NEXGEN United, a Redlands Unified student operated community organization working for “racial equality and justice for all”, declared racism as “a public health crisis” as said by their instagram. In doing so they created a resolution to bring to the attention of the RUSD school board. This is significant because, due to the recent California Assembly Bill 331, school boards are encouraged to incorporate curriculum to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ students, racial injustice, and all around inclusivity of students regardless of economic background, gender and/or sexual orientation. The school board will ensure this by implementing policies and practices, such as equity of access, services and cultural education. 

Some students on the NEXGEN board, such as Mauricio Pliego, a sophomore at Redlands East Valley, who “personally worked on the resolution” saw an “opportunity to create a more understanding and safer environment” for RUSD students. Inara Khankashi, a sophomore at Citrus Valley, and a NEXGEN member, is “extremely pleased it passed”. She said that “the District genuinely needs change and student representation, especially people of color ones, should assist in bringing out that change.” 

R-12 ensures that future Redlands students are informed and educated on racial, LGBTQ+ and other social issues. Through reinforcing policies, the district hopes that practices and RUSD student/member participation can bring them closer towards a safe and equal learning environment to lead to a brighter future.

A&E Hangouts: Cookie Corner bakes its way into the heart of Redlands


It seems as though Southern California has had a massive growth in terms of the dessert industry, specifically the baking industry. This has intrigued many people, including folks who you would not typically see as business owners. Some have been incredibly successful; others not so much. One could understand how risky dropping everything to become a full time baker would be. Additionally, add three children, with one more on the way, and you would get Elise and Matt Thomas.

Elise Thomas shares her inspiration for their bakery, stating “I’ve always wanted to open a bakery because I love to bake, and I think that with this busy world that we live in not everyone is able to bake. There are a lot of moms at work that aren’t able to bake, so my dream was to bring the fresh baked cookies to all the homes that don’t have the time to do that.’’

Now, their bakery has become a welcomed addition to the community.

 A common question one asks when deciding to go to a bakery is how good the cookies taste. The fact of the matter is, they are the best, biggest and most bang for your buck cookies in Redlands, and arguably Southern California as a whole. The thing that many will appreciate about Cookie Corner is how sleek it is. When compared to some other bakeries in SoCal, the aesthetic of friendliness and mellowness is a welcome change to the often unnecessarily brash and brazen look of many other establishments.

Oftentimes when you eat cookies, you will become thirsty. Do not worry though, as Cookie Corner has you covered in that aspect as well. They offer their take on a “Twisted Soda,” a soda mixed with certain syrups, creams and fruit. They are all named after famous streets in the SoCal area, but Redlands has the vast majority of the namesakes. This is a nice reminder of how down-to-earth and inviting this bakery is.

 Now, as amazing and inspirational their story is, there is but one downside. Unfortunately. it’s frankly unfixable for now. There is a lack of seating, both outdoor and indoor. However, this is fairly understandable regarding the lengths they go to in making their store Covid compliant, and they will most likely add seating areas later down the line, making this a prime hangout spot for students.

 One final thing about Cookie Corner is their location on Stuart Ave., and how it will impact their business down the line. The bakery is located near the Studio Movie Grill, a popular theater that will certainly boost Cookie Corner’s business in later hours of the day, almost surely spawning a memorable phrase such as “dinner, movie, and a cookie.”

With Cookie Corner’s friendly atmosphere, ideal location, inspiring story, and absolutely delicious cookies and drinks, it is almost impossible to not fall in love with this homegrown bakery. So next time you drive down Stuart Ave. do yourself a favor and pick up a cookie.

Featured photos of s’mores, red velvet, and salted caramel cookies from the Cookie Corner. Cookie Corner offers many other unique flavors such as snickerdoodle and orange blossom. (Courtesy of Vanessa Aranda)

RUSD board members and parents take steps toward building a REV athletic stadium


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. 

The Final Presidential Debate sees a change in behavior between the candidates


The last presidential debate between incumbent President Donald J. Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden was held last night at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The debate, moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, aired at 6 p.m. PST and concluded at 7:30 p.m. 

The candidates took the stage one last time under some new, agreed upon restrictions and regulations. For the duration of the 2 minutes given for a candidate to answer a question, the other candidate’s mic was muted to discourage interruptions like the ones seen in the first debate. Smaller increments of time were given for rebuttals and responses. 

These regulations, as well as Welker’s commanding moderation, proved to improve the quality of the debate and responses given. Dana Hattar, a junior at Redlands East Valley, said “I think the new rules improved greatly, since we can’t trust the two grown men.”

Ashlynn Meyer, a senior at REV, agrees with Hattar: “I think the new rules totally improved the quality of the debate because there were not as many interruptions, and you really got to hear what each candidate had to say.”

Arthur Meyers, another senior at REV, thinks that other variables likely influenced the candidates’ behaviors on top of the regulations. “I also think that both candidates were likely prompted by their respective teams to go out of their way to be more civil and respectful this time around.”

The new regulations provided each candidate the opportunity to answer the questions to almost completion, without the threat of interruption. “The debate was less hectic and more respectful, like a presidential debate should be,”  said Daniel Waters, a senior at Redlands East Valley.

“I think both candidates did a good job,” said Ashlynn Meyer, “there were a lot of accusations towards each other, but they each did a good job explaining the situation for the most part. There were many things that I hadn’t heard of before and legal occurrences that I didn’t even know had happened, so I’d say I learned a good bit from this debate.”

The question of who won this debate is still up in the air. Kyle Dennert, a senior at REV, said “I think both candidates did try to avoid the question, which is expected, but when something was brought up against the opposing candidate, Trump did a better job defending himself and was able to explain himself better.”

Joey Sousa, another senior at REV, offered a differing opinion: “Biden,” he said, “even though Trump may have seemed dominant, he spouted the same generic talking points and deflected constantly. Biden wasn’t much better though. He also deflected a bit, but not nearly as much as Trump.”

This final debate served as not just a last ditch effort to sway undecided voters, but also as the start of a new era in the conduct of presidential and other political debates.

Topics discussed at the debate included reopening plans, systemic racism, affordable healthcare and the candidate’s independent, foreign interests. Some of those topics and each candidate’s corresponding viewpoints will be briefly reviewed in this article.

Topic: COVID-19 Relief

In the midst of shutdowns and closings, the candidates were asked about their safe reopening plans. “What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time,” responded Biden, “I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing and… set up national standards as to how to open up schools and… businesses, so they can be safe.” Trump said “We have no choice. We are not going to lock ourselves up in our basement. We have to open our schools, and we can’t close up our nation, or you are not going to have a nation.” The president also expressed his hopes that a vaccine will be ready “within a few weeks,” saying that he has been working with multiple companies, who he claims are very close to developing a vaccine to be distributed by the military.

Topic: Healthcare

Over 20 million people use the nickname “Obamacare” for their healthcare. Trump said “I would like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful health care.” If the Supreme Court denies this request, however, Trump promised that he would work to reform the healthcare system. Biden said “What I’m going to do is pass Obamacare with a public option — becomes ‘Bidencare.’” Both candidates promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions. Trump criticized Biden, claiming that he wants socialized medicine like former candidate Bernie Sanders. “He thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden,” Biden said. “I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.”

Topic: The Environment/Climate Change

The candidates had starkly different solutions for environmental waste and climate change. Biden shared his plan of building 50 thousand electric car charging stations across the country, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and investing in renewable energy. While Trump said he supports the use of renewable energy sources, he claimed that they, particularly solar energy, are too expensive and inefficient to rely on at the moment. He also claimed that pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords was better for the country’s economy and a statement to persuade other countries to work to reduce their own emissions and waste. He took credit for carbon emissions being the lowest it’s ever been.

Topic: Minimum Wage

Biden said he wants to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars on a national scale. Trump, on the other hand, advocated for the decision regarding minimum wage to be left to the states. “How are you helping small businesses when you’re forcing wages?” Trump asked, adding that raising the minimum wage would lead businesses to let go of more employees to meet that quota. He claimed that the decision should be left to the states because the economies of each state differ, citing New York vs Alabama specifically.

Election day is Nov. 3. Due to the time it takes to process mail-in ballots, official election results are expected to be revealed at a later date.

Students take action to help mental health on campus at Redlands East Valley


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)

Redlands Unified high schools transition to the norm of online communication for all their college events


With the constant adaptations faculty and students have made through this pandemic, the annual college activities hosted by Redlands Unified School District career centers have found a way. 

These events are all provided and curated by the RUSD career centers. The designated offices and administrators have strived to create a vast assortment of college aid even through these unforeseen times. And though there may not be the same face-to-face environment, this new online setting won’t interfere with career center coordinators and their mission to help their students get ready for college.

The Redlands East Valley career center during a normal school year, would have been filled with students listening to numerous college meetings and receiving guidance from Vanessa  Fairbanks and other staff. (Photo Credit ROP CRS Norma Nuno)

As a central hub for the arranged activities, the Google Doc constructed by the career centers gives vital information to students anywhere from freshmen to seniors. The access to students is divided upon different days and times where the links are accessible from the document. If you have joined your graduating class’s Google Classroom, there may also be alerts and reminders there. Some of the various happenings include online informational sessions with select colleges and universities, various workshops and events with the UC’s, and then there are the opportunities from the RUSD college partnerships which also offer on-the-spot-admissions. 

A portion of the 17 pages long document created by four teachers, Kari Hill Citrus Valley High School Career Center Teacher, Vanessa Fairbanks Redlands East Valley High School Career Center Teacher, Deborah Severo Orangewood High School Career Center Teacher, and Christa Padilla Redlands High School Career Center Teacher helps and directs students in the right direction when searching for college events.

As far as the informational meetings, most colleges and universities have chosen to use Zoom as their main platform.  An advantage to these meetings is whereas previously there would be one or two admission counselors as representatives leading the in-person meetings, many colleges have designated a majority of their admissions team to be on the Zoom at the same time. This allows for them to be answering questions in the designated Q and A section while the presentations are being conducted. These Zoom seminars allow for a different environment where one would usually have to miss a class period to attend the in-person versions, but are now offered after school in the comfort of your own home.

Friday Fight Night: Taskmaster vs. Batman


Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).

Note: The Marvel Comics will be the main source of evidence for Taskmaster, and the DC Comics will be used for Batman.

When the word “superhero” comes to mind, one usually thinks of a caped-wonder with extraordinary abilities far from the norm. Individuals enhanced either by technology or some sort of accident seem to be the focus for fictional works involving heroes. On the other hand, there’s a small, gray area in between the spectrum filled by those without extraordinary abilities such as Batman, Green Arrow and Iron Man. A lack of representation for this small spectrum of heroes makes it harder for those without superpowers to be truly recognized.

In December of 2019, Marvel Studios gave an official teaser trailer for the Black Widow movie. Fans will finally get to explore the story of Natasha Romanoff, and perhaps learn how she came to become an Avenger. In the trailer, fans were also given a first look at what seems to be the main antagonist of the film: Taskmaster.

Taskmaster is described as a skilled tactician born with photographic memory and reflexes. In the comics, he works with underground terrorist organizations, and made a living working as a mercenary for hire. He is able to immediately replicate any technique or style by simply watching it once, from martial art masters to the Avengers themselves. This has made him a formidable foe that the Avengers have had to deal with since his official debut in the comics in May 1980.

Taskmaster watching Natasha's action scene from Iron Man 2 ...

Taskmaster carefully watches a video recording of Black Widow in Marvel’s “Iron Man 2.” He studies her techniques, and instantly learns them just by observing. (Marvel)

Taskmaster has gone through Marvel history as one of the most dangerous individuals on the planet, all without super-speed or the power of flight. This begs the question: would he be able to handle DC’s caped crusader, Batman? Batman is arguably the most well-known character in the DC Universe, showing great strength and courage while lacking any superhuman enhancements of his own. The two go toe-to-toe in this edition of Friday Fight Night.

Round #1: Training

When it comes to training, Bruce Wayne stands as one of the most skilled and prepared individuals in the history of fiction. According to the DC Universe website’s description of Batman, “using his family’s wealth, Bruce sought out the world’s greatest minds in criminology, martial arts, and the craft of detecting.”

A snippet from Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” showing Bruce Wayne’s outdoor training. He is capable of crushing oak and brick, showing the effectiveness of his training. (DC Universe)

Taskmaster is said to have truly mastered all forms of martial arts, boxing, archery, swordsmanship, gymnastics, acrobatics and sleight of hand. He has also learned various fighting styles from Black Widow, Captain America, Black Panther, Spiderman and Wolverine. This had led to him being known as one of the most dangerous men alive by Captain America.

Taskmaster initially spent his time “studying television footage of various superheroes and their techniques to expand his combat repertoire,” according to Marvel’s official website.

Not long after, Taskmaster began a school to teach aspiring criminals the ways of mercenary work and underground organizations.

Round #2: Arsenal

In the field of battle, it’s important to always be prepared. No one is more of a gadgeteer than Batman himself. Bruce Wayne has access to a wide variety of technology that he uses on a daily basis. His utility belt holds more than is perceived, from smoke capsules to small, explosive pellets.

An old and rather interesting design of Batman’s utility belt. This design dates back to May 1939, in Detective Comics #27. (DC Database)

Among some of Batman’s greatest inventions are the Batmobile, the Batcopter, Batarangs, Kryptonite-based weapons and a variety of different power suits to face off against bigger threats.

Taskmaster uses a number of different weapons, most of which are affiliated with the superhero he is mimicking at the time. He carries a steel shield, a broadsword, bow and arrows and, according to the Superhero Database, “energy claws (like Wolverine), energy webbing (like Spiderman), and shurikens.”

His arsenal also includes video recordings and tapes of various superheroes, as to mimic whichever techniques he wishes at any time. His choice in weapons closely relate to those of Marvel’s most prominent heroes, making him an overwhelming foe in the heat of battle.

Round #3: Achievements

Over the years, Taskmaster has been hired to eliminate some of Marvel’s biggest names. He was able to defeat Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Venom, using a flame sword. Furthermore, he helped take down Thor during a siege on Asgard in the “Avengers: The Initiative #32.”

Taskmaster vs Thor –

Taskmaster stares down Thor during a siege on Asgard. This image served as the cover photo for the “Avengers: The Initiative #32,” released in January 2010. (Marvel Comic Issues)

Bruce Wayne might have some of the greatest achievements considering where he stands in the superhero spectrum. Batman has single handedly defeated each member of the Justice League at least once. Additionally, he has also helped save the world from some of DC’s darkest villains such as Darkseid, Lex Luthor and Brainiac.

Another set of accomplishments from the caped crusader is his impressive arsenal of suits. Some of his best suits have granted him the power of flight, enhanced strength, invisibility, and destructive capabilities. Most notable is his Kryptonite Suit, which he used to defeat Superman so easily in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Now that the statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: Who would win in a fight between Taskmaster and Batman? Both have a considerable amount of training and skills in which they use in the field of battle. Both also have their reputation, which has aged well over the years of their existence in fiction. Let’s hope the new Black Widow movie, which was given a new release date for 2021, gives Taskmaster a warm welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Opinion: Why Digital Journalism?

Featured image is from the Digital Journalism Telepresence class in December 2019, celebrating Digital Journalism being approved as a course that fulfills the UC/Cal State A-G Fine Art requirement. (Ethic Photo)

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world” – Henry R. Luce


For some, Digital Journalism was just a semester-long class that they could take to acquire their Fine Arts elective credits, but for me it’s much more than that.

Throughout my first semester in AP United States History, I overheard several students always talking about Digital Journalism and I had always wondered why. It wasn’t until later in the winter time it dawned on me when I was approached by Mrs. Aranda if I would be interested in writing for her journalism class and joining the crew.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. In order for me to join digital journalism, it meant that I had to drop my year-long elective for AP computer science. It took me a few weeks of pondering, but the day before going to Winter Break I decided to take a leap and trust journalism.

I had been interested in journalism for a number of reasons: I was a good writer, I needed a creative outlet, I enjoyed the teacher in her other classes and I needed friends at that time.

As soon as I walked into the classroom and saw a classroom filled with bright-eyed students that were just as excited to be there as I was, I knew I was in the right place. I walked into the room with no expectations or even second thoughts. I walked in crouched over, with an awkward smile on my face as I hadn’t known anyone in the classroom. I decided to sit down at whichever desk was closest to the teacher, out of fear I wouldn’t fit in.

As soon as I sat down I met with other people that were similar to me. They were good writers too, they had also enjoyed having the creative outlet to dump all of their thoughts and passions into an article, and they were absolutely welcoming to me.

Immediately, I was excited to get to writing. I had a list filled with ideas for articles to write. But in January 2020, there were tensions between Iran and America that filled me with worry as an Iranian-American, so I got to work. It did not take long for me to write this article. It was what I was most passionate about: my culture, politics, current events. I had felt so proud of that article; it was my pride and joy. When I saw my name on the Ethic and La Plaza websites with my masterpiece, I felt a rush of happiness and excitement.

“Journalism, like democracy, is not something that is achieved. It is a work in progress, and not every day is as good as the last.” – John Maxwell Hamilton

That excitement and feeling I had from my first published article had filled me with motivation to continue writing. That feeling makes me want to continue to write to my heart’s content. Today, digital journalism is one of the classes I am most passionate about. The students in this class are like-minded and all unique in their own way and provide different outlooks on events that I was equally as interested in.

“Digital Journalism allows for me to write anything I want, wherever I want. Even from the comfort of my own home.” – author unknown

The class makes me feel empowered and safe, I enjoy every moment of digital journalism. I enjoy the “fun Fridays,” the independent writing time, being able to share my work with my classmates, discussing different topics in a fun way where we are all open minded to one another’s ideas. Digital Journalism for me means to be myself and to share my thoughts, ideas, comments, and personality. 

With this school year coming to an end, I know in my heart that I will miss Digital Journalism more than anything else (especially those boring chemistry and math tests).

“Either write something worth reading- or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

News Brief: Redlands seniors to receive complimentary yearbooks


Superintendent of the Redlands Unified School District, Mauricio Arellano, released a statement on the evening of April 27 that recounts the steps that the district has taken to adjust to quarantine life as well as some exciting news for Redlands seniors. 

In this letter, Arellano said, “we continue to keep our students of the Senior Class of 2020 at the forefront of every discussion we have” and, following the reassurance that a formal graduation will take place once laws permit, he announced that all RUSD seniors will receive yearbooks for free.

According to Citrus Valley High School’s yearbook advisor, Jennifer Moon, the organization had to ensure that the printers could print enough copies, and those are currently being worked on.

Refunds for pre-orders and other details regarding senior activities will be communicated with families in the near future. 

A two-day timeline: Coronavirus-related announcements increase locally and globally in the last 48 hours


The following timeline includes many, but not all, of the coronavirus-related announcements that took place between the evening of March 11 and March 13, 2020. Links may be included to provide additional details.

  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for Coronavirus in Australia

    March 11

  • Retirement homes in Redlands close

    March 12

  • World Ice Skating Championship cancelled

    March 12

  • March 12

    Washington state reports 500 cases

  • NBA Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tests positive for the novel coronavirus

    March 12

  • NBA season suspended

    March 12

  • March 12

    California Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health issue protocols and recommendations for the cancellation of non-essential large gatherings

    March 12 View full press release here

  • Redlands Unified Superintendent Mauricio Arellano announces cancelling of large group activities in the district

    March 12

  • Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre cancels March shows

    March 12

  • USA Gymnastics competitions cancelled

    March 12

  • Redlands Market Night cancelled for remainder of March

    March 12

  • President Donald Trump declares Coronavirus as a national emergency

    Redlands East Valley High School Advanced Placement Government and Microeconomics students watch President Donald Trump’s announcement during 5th period declaring the coronovirus a national emergency on March 13, 2020. (Ethic Photo)

    March 13

  • New York is in a statewide emergency

    March 13

  • California History Day competition switches to virtual competition in place of on-site competition

    Pictured above: The March 7 History Day awards ceremony program for San Bernardino County. This is the first year all three comprehensive high schools from the Redlands Unified School District will be advancing teams to the state competition near Sacramento, California. It was announced on March 13, 2020 that the competition will shift to a virtual format. (Ethic Photo)

    March 13

  • Concerts and artist tours cancelled

    March 13 View a list of recently cancelled concerts and musical events here:

  • Citrus Belt League announces that high school athletic sporting events will take place with no spectators

    March 13

  • Corona-Norco School District announces school closure effective March 16

    March 13

  • Murrieta Valley Unified School District announces school closure until at least April 6, 2020

    March 13

  • Los Angeles Unified School District announces school closure

    View LAUSD video announcement here:

    March 13

  • Long Beach Unified School District announces school closures that will begin Monday and stay in effect for at least five weeks

    March 13

  • San Diego Unified School District announces school closures

    March 13

  • San Bernardino City Unified to close all schools effective March 16

    March 13

Citrus Valley senior softball athletes sign with dream colleges


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saugus High School shooting hits close to home for the Redlands community


Iris Ruelas (left) and Emily Castro, juniors at Redlands East Valley High School, sign their names to show support against school violence, Nov. 19, 2019 in the REV security office. The poster was laminated and mailed to Saugus High School. (Alyssa Ornelas / Ethic Photo)

A school shooting took place in the Santa Clarita area at Saugus High School on Thursday morning, Nov. 14. The Saugus High School Shooting hit particularly close to home for one of Citrus Valley High School’s staff members. 

Jennifer Vincent, digital art teacher and drama department costume designer, informed students that her home town of Santa Clarita was the location of America’s most recent high school tragedy. 

Vincent recounted her 10 years of employment as a substitute teacher at Saugus High School. Vincent not only has ties to the school and community through previous employment, but she also has a strong friendship with Saugus High’s current principal and many of its staff members. 

Vincent stated, “This tragedy was very personal to me. I grew up in the community and worked at [Saugus] for nearly a decade. I actually knew the current principal, Vince Ferry, very well and babysat his kids when they were younger.”

Vincent explained that her friend, Detective Daniel Finn, was one of the first responders on the scene that day. Finn, who was off duty at the time of the attack, was dropping off his son at Saugus High School when he saw hundreds of students fleeing the campus in a panic. 

“Finn ran straight into the danger, with no bulletproof vest or weapon of his own; he assessed the situation and began applying first aid to students after the threat was eliminated” Vincent said.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the alleged attacker was a 16-year-old Asian male who wore all black and shot two teenage students, who later died at a hospital, and left several victims injured. 

“I was so shocked because of how close and tight knit the community is. You just don’t expect things like this to happen, especially not in an environment you know so well,” said Vincent.

Liam Mapes, junior at Redlands East Valley, signs his name on the poster for Saugus High School in the REV security office on Nov. 19, 2019. “It was something small that we at REV could do for Saugus,” Mapes said. (Alyssa Ornelas / Ethic Photo)

One of the teens killed was a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet and the other was a well-rounded cheerleader, according to Los Angeles Daily News. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department supplied the public with announcements through their Twitter account and various news services. 

Students of Saugus High School told KTLA that they had heard gunshots while walking to school, causing them to go to a park nearby the school to call their parents and alert authorities. 

Saugus High School will remain closed until Dec. 2 and the other schools in the William S. Hart Union District reopened on Monday, Nov. 18, according to Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is trying to track down more threats to schools by investigating numerous online threats that were later deemed non-credible.

Thousands came to honor the victims of the Santa Clarita shooting at a vigil that was held by the city in a local Santa Clarita park on Nov. 17 to mourn and remember the lives that were lost. 

The parents of both deceased teenagers attended to mourn with the thousands of friends and community members, according to the LA Times. Santa Clarita’s Central Park became a place for all to pay tribute and remember the victims by leaving balloons, candles, flowers and stuffed animals, all in the school colors.

Opinion: AVID program makes a positive impact on Orangewood students


At such a small school like Orangewood High School, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program has made a widespread, positive impact on students.

AVID is a college preparation program designed to provide students with the skills they need to be successful for college. AVID intends to support low-income, struggling students. The program teaches critical thinking, organization, teamwork, note-taking, and key writing skills.   

Orangewood High School AVID students play an interactive game that demonstrates the importance of teamwork and critical thinking in real-life settings. (Meccayda Gregary / Ethic News)

According to a statement released by AVID, 75 percent of participating students come from a low-economic status background while 80 percent are students from underrepresented demographics. Although students come increasingly varied backgrounds, they still outperform their peers across various subjects due to their AVID training.

Orangewood High School AVID students participate by learning about possible college opportunities at a college fair held in the Jerry Lewis Center. (Meccaryda Gregary/ Ethic News)

AVID helps struggling students by guiding them to a path to success with training in study and time management skills. According to an AVID statement, over 90 percent of participating student graduates attend college, and 89 percent of those students continue to attend college after two years. This goes to show the AVID program is effective in teaching students the skills they need to be successful in college and in daily life.  

The Orangewood High School AVID family poses for a photo together in front of their high school. (Meccadya Gregary / Ethic News)

Through the program, students are able to prepare for college, apply to the colleges that spark their interest, visit countless campuses, receive scholarships and engage with alumni. Otherwise, students may not have had similar opportunities or encouragement to even apply, much less pursue higher education. At Orangewood, involvement in AVID has had countless benefits. As a participating senior, I have applied to college, received acceptances from some universities and junior colleges, and obtained pending scholarships.

Students learn to appreciate and adapt to their AVID “family,” an experience that is helpful to those who need support from peers and teachers. In all, AVID is a beneficial program to struggling students and minorities with its high-preforming track record of leading students to success at Orangewood High School.

Citrus Valley Tedx Club holds its first event


Tedx Club Vice President Daniel Melero stands alongside invited speakers Caleb Rothe, Samir Chattergee and Michael Estrada as Tedx Club Co-Presidents William Zhao and Abhirim Balakrishnan stand to their left following the event. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

On August 16, a Tedx event—a showcase for speakers presenting well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes—was held at Citrus Valley High School and featured three speakers.

Dr. Michael Estrada, the program director for the University of La Verne, discussed the importance of drive and shared a personal success story on the matter.

Samir Chatterjee, a professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Technology Management and Design at Claremont Graduate University, spoke about the significance of design and artificial intelligence and its projected impact on the future.

Caleb Rothe, an instructional technology coach for the Redlands Unified School District, touched on the shift of the future and new ways of teaching that will ease the change of the new society.  

Estrada shared the story of his upbringing, describing how he was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt who all worked at hospitals and it gave him a positive view on health care professionals. But what really made him want to pursue medicine were the doctors who helped him when he needed surgery at a young age. The compassionate bedside manner of the doctors and nurses left such an impact on him that he wanted to become a doctor no matter what people told him. His success as a physician can be credited to his self-driven and hardworking personality.

Featured speaker Michael Estrada, the program director at the University of La Verne, poses after his discussion of the importance of tenacity and compassion. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

Chatterjee brought up the point that design and artificial intelligence are the path of the future. He gave examples of large companies and industries centered around design, such as Uber, which took over the taxi industry without owning a single car. Or Netflix, which put businesses like BlockBusters out of business since its online presence gives viewers access to hundreds of movies. Chatterjee posisted that A.I. is a step toward the future since scientists want to find ways for machines to be free-thinking and self-functioning, but this development will be at the cost of eliminating many labor intensive jobs.

Finally, Rothe discussed how the future is experiencing an “exponential change,” meaning that the future is changing faster than many people can understand. To combat this, some schools in the Redlands Unified School District have integrated more technology into teaching. This has sparked more interest in technology, which Rothe argued is the view of the future. Giving children the opportunity to pursue an interest in technology could not only benefit young students, but also drive the present towards the future. 

Together, the speakers covered many bases such as the future and the changing expectations for younger generations. The event was mostly science and technology based, but the speakers touched on business and future of the job market with the ongoing development of technology.

Redlands East Valley hosts its second annual PossAbilities prom


An amazing group of Redlands East Valley high school students gathered outside of the high school gymnasium Friday morning on May 3, as photographers captured the 2019 PossAbilities Prom.

The PossAbilities club is a program on the REV campus whose goal is to give special education students access to high school experiences that they deserve.

This year commemorated the second anniversary of the first possibilities prom on the Redlands East Valley campus. It was a daylong affair with lots of pampering, dancing and photos.

The week leading up to the prom was filled with students “prom-posing” to their dates, which helped to bond the general education students with their PossAbilties dates.

Sophomores Lilian Mohr, Sidney Boursaw, and Skylar Watson, asked senior Hiely Seghers to the REV PossAbilties Prom on May 2, 2019. (LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Around 8 a.m. on Friday, students left class and met up with their prom dates in the PossAbilities classrooms around campus. Students helped their dates get dressed, do their hair, paint their nails, do their makeup and any other pampering needed in order for them to feel great on their prom day.

Once all students were ready, outdoor photo shoots with friends and parents were taken outside the gymnasium. With the doors opening, the students were able to go inside and appreciate all the work that the PossAbilities club had put into this amazing day.

The theme was masquerade, and the PossAbilities Prom committee did not disappoint. From walls of streamers to beautifully decorated tables, the gymnasium was ready to make this prom the highlight of the students’ year.

After everyone fueled up on the Chick-fil-A catering, it was time to dance. Many of the students spent the majority of the day busting a move on the dance floor.

The PossAbilities club also made sure that the prom was welcoming to all students in which there were many activities catering to everyone’s interest. There was a photo booth and professional prom photos.

Erin Herbert, the teacher and advisor for the PossAbilities club, says she believes that events like the PossAbilities Prom are important to special education students because “when students are in high school, prom is one of their best memories” and “lot of [students in special ed classes] can’t go to regular prom because of sensory needs or accessibility” and the prom “creates a safe space for them to have those experiences.”

Herbert’s favorite moment of the 2019 prom was “the slow dance song when [I] saw a big, giant football player dancing with a tiny, little girl with Downs Syndrome, [her] heart just melted.”

She said that she thinks that in her 15 years of teaching “REV has been the most inclusive,” and she “has taught at a lot of different grade levels and a lot of different schools, but the students [at REV] are way more accepting and willing to go out of their way to include [special education] students.”

Junior Nick Millet went to the prom with freshman Alicia Gullon. Millet said, “My favorite thing about prom was the bringing together of Special Ed and General Ed kids in a way that made us all feel connected.”

Freshman Alicia Gullon and junior Nick Millet attended the Redlands East Valley PossAbilities Prom together on May 3, 2019. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)