Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)

 
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
School Reopens, One Year
                                                                                                                               Later (Page 3)

                                                                                                                               Lions Find New Activities in
                                                                                                                               Quarantine (Pages 10-11)

                                                                                                                               Musicians Receive Accolades
                                                                                                                               from State, CCSD (Page 20)

                                                                                                                          Senior Awards Night Honors
Volume 19, Number 2                THE NEWSPAPER OF SIERRA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL                                  Spring 2021 Top Graduates (Page 22)

                                                                                                         Student Athletes Hit
                                                                                                         the Clubs (Page 17)
Photo Courtesy of Ainsley Ayala

  Sophomore Ainsley Ayala competes on the uneven parallel bars at the Nevada State Gymnastics Championship on March 26 in Reno. Ayala took third place in the event.
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 2 NEWS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       NEWS Page 3

SVHS Graduation Rates Rise                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome to the First Day of School...
for Third Consecutive Year                                                                                                                                                                                                    in March!
By Jade Noochan                               Rickards said. “For the three previous years,
Staff Reporter                                the graduation rates were 91.96%, 91.9%,                                                                                                           By Jayniel Arreola                                   That buzz began the week before and          The maximum number of students is 16-18
                                              and 91.5%.”                                                                                                                                        Assistant Editor                               the week after spring break. Freshmen and          per classroom, based on classroom size.”
      Sierra Vista High School has in-               Anzalone believes that the increase                                                                                                                                                        seniors returned to school during the week               Callisto added that SVHS will be
creased its graduation rates for the third    in the school’s graduation rate is a team                                                                                                                On Mar. 15, 2020, Sierra Vista High      of March 22, and sophomores and juniors            maintaining social distancing and that
consecutive year, reaching an all-time high   effort, relying on input from students, staff                                                                                                      School shut down due to the coronavirus        returned the week of April 5.                      facemasks will be mandatory for staff and
in May 2020.                                  and families.                                                                                                                                      that flooded America with the disease.               New students needed maps and di-             students.
      This record-setting statistic was an-          “Our students have risen to the chal-                                                                                                       After one year of quarantine, SVHS has         rections to find their way around campus, a              “We will be enforcing social distanc-
nounced in the fall edition of Education      lenge, supported by our Apex team, our                                                                                                             finally reopened for a limited number of       process complicated by the implementation          ing, mask wearing, hand sanitizer in every
Now, a special version of Desert Com-         teachers, our support professionals, and our                                                                                                       students to attend classes in person.          of one-way hallways.                               classroom, and extensive cleaning through-
panion Magazine, published by Nevada          parents,” Anzalone said. “They have found                                                                                                                SVHS is currently following a hy-              Within the first two weeks, LifeTouch        out the day,” Callisto explained. “There

                                                                                               Graph by Jade Noochan
Public Radio.                                 creative ways to help students succeed,                                                                                                            brid for this school year, only allowing a     was on campus to take school pictures and          will also be assigned desks for students,
      “The school recently celebrated a       and our administration team has scheduled                                                                                                          small number of students in for two days       print student identification cards.                which will not be shared with other students

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Jayniel Arreola
16% increase in gradutaion rates in three     students in flexible ways to maximize their                                                                                                        a week. Assistant Principal Catherine                Callisto explained that there will be        throughout the day. All teachers will have
years, reaching 94%,” the article pro-        potential and ability to graduate.”                                                                                                                Callisto was very happy for the students.      three groups, called Cohorts. The total            extra masks, hand sanitizer, and general
claimed (“60 Standout Schools”).                     Both Anzalone and Rickards admit                                                                                                                  “I was very excited that our students    population for both Cohort A and Cohort            equipment like bandaids and alcohol wipes
      Principal John Anzalone said that       that this trend may not continue this year, as                                                                                                     would have the opportunity to come back        B, which is students that will be on campus,       for each room.”
the graduation rates at SVHS have been        the COVID-19 pandemic forced all students                                                                                                          to campus if they felt comfortable and be-     is very low.                                             Not only has the school classroom
growing steadily.                             to attend school through distance education.     with their credits before the graduation rate   the time is right,” he said.                      gin participating in some of the activities          “As of now we have just about 500 stu-       changed, the school hours have also been
      “Graduation rates have been steadily           Because many students struggled with      is announced by the district.”                        Anzalone looks forward to the oppor-        and events they have missed out on for a       dents under Cohort A and B, leaving about          modified.                                          On her first day on campus, freshman Natasha
increasing at Vista because of the hard       online learning, Anzalone said that this               While he is proud of the school com-      tunity to bring the school’s graduation rate      year now,” Callisto said.                      1700 students in Cohort C,” Callisto said.               “School hours for being on campus are        Ballard receives directions from Assistant
work and dedication of the entire Vista       school year’s graduation rates may drop.         munity to achieve such high numbers, An-        back to its pre-COVID percentages, but he               Assistant Principal Derryck Rick-              Although SVHS will be returning, not         from 7 am to 10:30 am, with the third block        Principal Ron Isaacs.
family,” Anzalone explained.                         “Graduation rates will likely decline,”   zalone knows that there are other important     knows that it may take a while for that to        ards was also excited about the students       everything will be back to normal.                 of the day occurring virtually for everyone        the year on Distance education,” Rickards
      Over the past three years, the num-     he explained. “Sierra Vista has touted a         things to consider as well.                     happen.                                           returning to campus.                                 “The classes will be set up in rows          and ending at 1:16 PM as usual,” Callisto          added.
bers have increased, according to Assistant   90%-plus graduation rate for the past few              “Though I am proud when we have a               “Though we may see a drop off this                “I was happy that we would be able       with classmates six feet or more from one          added.                                                   Many of the plans that are in place
Principal Derryck Rickards.                   years, but that will likely drop to 80% or       high grad rate, it is more important that we    year, we know we will adapt and see those         to see the students in person this year,”      another,” she continued. “The teacher will               All of these changes are happeneing          for SVHS are based on the reopening ex-
      “The numbers have gone up in small      so. I believe our students will eventually       find the best educational option for each       high numbers again very soon. We will do          Rickards said. “I miss the buzz around the     assign rows and seats for students to sit in for   in order to keep students and staff safe and       perience at nearby elementary schools that
increments, but they continue to go up,”      graduate, but they may not be completed          student, and get them across the stage when     this together.”                                   campus when the kids are here, so I am         the first block of the day and different rows      healthy.                                           opened earlier this school year.

Online Classes Cause Drop in Grades, Rise in Apathy
                                                                                                                                                                                                 looking forward to it.”                        and seats for the second block of students.              Rickards said that there will be a                 In February, CCSD elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   sickroom for students who are showing              schools, including Tony Alamo, opened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   symptoms of the coronavirus.                       for students from kindergarten through
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “We will need to work through the            third grade.
By Jennifer Padilla                           explained that he made adjustments in an               When they were learning in person,        help ends meet in their families,” he said.                                                                                                         district and contract tracing to determine               Assistant Principal Todd Lindberg
Senior Editor                                 effort to help his students.                     most students passed and seemed to pay          “Those situations are extremely difficult. I                                                                                                        who will need to quarantine and who may            said that the first day for the students was
                                                    “Overall, I have been a bit more le-       more attention to their grades. To some         feel for them in a big way. However, many                                                                                                           have been exposed to the virus,” Rickards          exciting.
      Student learning has been different     nient this year due to the difficult learning    teachers, that is not the case this year. It    students just need to get to work.”                                                                                                                 explained.                                               “It was great,” Lindberg said. “All
for everyone this school year, and many       circumstances we’re in,” he explained.           seems that many students are not as con-               As the second semester approaches                                                                                                                  “Extensive cleaning is done in any           of the kids were able to keep their masks
plans have been put in place for the safety         Independence plays a major factor in       cerned about passing their classes as they      its end, many students are hoping to see                                                                                                            classroom where someone may have been              on and to maintain social distancing. Both
of others. Some students have adjusted        distance learning, as most of the learning       were in previous years.                         a change in their grades, since distance                                                                                                            exposed to the virus as well,” Rickards            the staff and kids were excited and it was a
perfectly, while others have struggled to     has to be done independently by the stu-               English teacher Amy Cropley noticed       learning has taken a toll on GPA’s.                                                                                                                 continued. “Every school must establish a          great day for both Cohort A and Cohort B.”
grasp the content of what has been taught.    dents.This means that it is more difficult       a dramatic change in her students’ academic            This is especially true for seniors,                                                                                                         ‘sickroom’ separate from the Health Office,              Lindberg explained that the school
      Senior Maria Ponce is one student       to learn.                                        effort this year.                               such as Dominic Rieken, who is concerned                                                                                                            for students who are exhibiting symptoms.          implemented the same safety procedures
who faced some challenges this year.                Math teacher Amanda Phillips real-               “Second quarter, I really saw an over-    about his grades.                                                                                                                                   The regular health office will be used             that SVHS follows.
      “I struggled with being able to un-     ized that some students had a tough time         all attitude of apathy,” she said. “Students           “I hope to see an increase in my                                                                                                             for students’ needs that are not related to              “We have set up a sickroom for any

                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Jayniel AArreola
derstand some of the assignments and it’s     with this independent approach.                  seemed to give up, even though the second       learning curve, a higher gpa and a better                                                                                                           COVID-19.”                                         student that has symptoms of the virus,”
harder to ask questions,” she admitted.             “Students now have to be more of a         quarter is very important. It was disheart-     understanding of my work,” Rieken said.                                                                                                                   Rickards added that students who do          Lindberg said. “The playground equipment
      Online school can be difficult for      self-advocate, to come in for help, to ask       ening to see.”                                         Most teachers want students to re-                                                                                                           not follow the safety protocols for SVHS           can’t be used right now, which is disap-
students because of the lack of interaction   questions and to go through lessons on                 English teacher Steven Smith realiz-      member that there are many resources                                                                                                                will face consequences.                            pointing,and the bathrooms are limited.
and limited explanations due to shorter       their own as well as in the live sessions,”      es that online learning has also been hard      available to students to help during this                                                                                                                 “To add to Ms. Callisto’s points... if       Everyone is required to wear facemasks
class times.To help, there have been major    she said.                                        for students who had difficulty balancing       difficult time.                                                                                                                                     any student in Cohort A or Cohort B that is        and they are only allowed to eat lunch in
differences in assignments and grading              While some students have thrived in        schoolwork, work, and home life.                       “I really want to see students be more     Junior Amelia Mejorada poses for her yearbook photo in the auxillary gym on April 22 while        on campus, violates safety protocols by not        their classrooms.
policies.                                     on-line classes, many students’ grades have            “I know some students are dealing         proactive about their education,” said Phil-      her classmates wait patiently, masked and socially distanced. School pictures are traditionally   following the school or district rules will              “But they’re back with their class-
      English teacher David Jurvelin          been negatively impacted.                        with the virus, and some students work to       lips. “We are here to help you.”                  taken in October, but were postponed until students were back on campus.                          be moved to Cohort C and finish the rest of        mates, and that’s what matters.”
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 4 NEWS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     OPINION Page 5

District Expert Provides Answers to                                                                                                                                                                           Staff Editorial
Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines                                                                                                                                                                                   Add COVID-19 Vaccine to List of Requirements
By Theresa Villanueva                            they were able to make them so quickly for                                                                                                                         So we’ve been in this pandemic for           to keep students and staff healthy. Although              Some people are concerned about the              Finally, there are those who argue
Staff Reporter                                   the US market.”                                                                                                                                              what feels like ages now, and scientists and       wearing masks and using hand sanitizer             cost of the vaccine, but officials from the       that getting a vaccine should be a personal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              researchers have finally come up with a vac-       does help students who are currently doing         CDC have confirmed that the COVID-19              choice. But students are already required

                                                                                                    Photo Courtesy of LaPrecious Shannaon
      After nearly a year of the COVID-19              How soon after getting the vaccine will                                                                                                                cine that could possibly close it altogether.      education in person, having everyone take          vaccine is free to everyone who is willing to     to be vaccinated against a variety of other
pandemic, dosages of the vaccine are fi-         people become protected from COVID-19?                                                                                                                             Regardless of this, the question still       the vaccine will strengthen their immune           take it. This is a huge advantage for people      illnesses, such as measles and mumps,
nally being handed out to Americans, but               “You will start to have some immunity                                                                                                                  remains, who should get the vaccine, and           systems so they will be ready to fight the         who are not able to keep up with medical          which are not as deadly as COVID. If we
many people still have concerns about the        seven days after your first dose. Your immu-                                                                                                                 should they even be getting it at all?             virus if they are exposed.                         bills and other necessities, which means that     are already required to get those vaccines,
vaccine.                                         nity will continue to build and will reach a                                                                                                                       The most common fear of people con-                A good example of this fact just oc-         all teachers and students willing to take the     it makes sense to add one more to the list.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              sidering to take this vaccine is contracting       curred at school last week. After only a few              .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    immunization     and protect themselves can             Scientists have insisted that the only
      Clark County School District               peak about two weeks after the second dose.
COVID-19 Education Safety Manager                In other words, full protection won’t arrive                                                                                                                 the actual virus. Despite these specula-           team practices, one person associated with         offord to do so.                                  way to stop the coronavirus is by achieving
Christine Forsberg took a few minutes            until five or six weeks after the first shot.                                                                                                                tions, the Centers for Disease Control has         the SVHS baseball program tested positive                 Some people may argue that the vac-        “herd immunity,” which will happen when
to answer some questions about the new           That means it’s possible a person could be                                                                                                                   confirmed that none of the coronavirus             for COVID-19. As a result, all players and         cine does more harm than good. While CDC          at least 70 per cent of the world’s popula-
vaccines.                                        infected with the virus just before or just                                                                                                                  vaccines contain the live virus that causes        coaches were placed on a mandatory 10 day          and FDA scientists have evaluated reports         tion has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
                                                 after vaccination and still get sick. This is                Senior LaPrecious Shannon made a sign in honor of George Floyd when she attended a BLM          COVID-19 itself.                                   quarantine. This took place just days after        from a some people who experienced a type         Starting with students and staffs in schools
      Why do you believes people should          because the vaccine has not had enough time                  protest in Las Vegas in summer 2020.                                                                  This actively demonstrates that if           some of those student athletes had returned        of severe allergic reaction—anaphylaxis—          is a good first step in reaching that goal.
consider getting a vaccine?                      to provide protection.”                                                                                                                                      all teachers and students were to take the         to in-person education and a few days before       after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, those                 To sum up everything that has been
      “In short, to protect themselves
against the worst aspects of this disease, in-         Are there risks to taking the vaccine?
                                                                                                            BSU President Attends BLM Protest                                                                 immunization, it would make the school
                                                                                                                                                                                                              a non-risk environment for the virus.With
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the teams’ first scheduled game.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       If all members of the teams had been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    numbers have been very small in compari-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    son with the hundreds of thousands of Amer-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      stated so far, there are more pros to getting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the vaccine rather than cons. Having a
cluding death and disability. Based on what            “While there have been a few reported         By Janeah Castillo                                            She felt fortunate enough to experi-       vaccinations finally being granted to citi-        vaccinated against the coronavirus, no one         icans who have died from the disease itself.      school full of students and teachers who are
we know about vaccines for other diseases,       cases of allergic reactions - some severe -         Staff Reporter                                          ence a protest in which things were meant        zens of most countries, even the AARP said         would have tested positive.The students                   Despite cases like these, a reaction       protected from the virus that has taken the
experts believe that a COVID-19 vaccine          overall, these particular mRNA vaccines                                                                     to bring out change in a peaceful matter.        statistics show that the vaccine has been          would have been allowed to remain in class,        can happen after any type of vaccination,         lives of over 3 million people (and count-
may help keep you from getting seriously         have few downsides.                                              For many Americans, 2020 has been                The violence                               proven to help COVID-19 rates rather than          withou putting their classmates or teachers        but everyone turns to accuse the COVID-19         ing), will get us closer to having a new sense
ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting               “Overall, there are no serious safety               a year of tragedies, nationwide all the way       that was occuring in                             hinder them.                                       at risk, and the games would have taken            immunization as it seems to be the only           of normal again, and will hopefully help
vaccinated may also protect people around        concerns. The most common side effects                    down to Las Vegas, Nevada. The Black              Las Vegas had caused                                   At school, new policies are in place         place as planned.                                  factor possible.                                  stop the spread of COVID-19 altogether.
you, particularly people at increased risk       were pain at the injection site and symptoms              Lives Matter movement has made its mark           some not to attend the
for severe illness from COVID-19.                like fever and chills, similar to a flu shot. By          in speaking up for the injustices against the     protests, but to spread                          Lions on the Street
      “A definite upside is to build an          far the greater risk is from the disease itself           black community.                                  awareness through
immunity against a deadly disease that is
disrupting life as we know it. ”
                                                 and not from the vaccine.”                                       Police killed 164 black men and
                                                                                                           women in 2020, according to CBS News
                                                                                                                                                             social media instead. LaPrecious Shannon
                                                                                                                                                                   “ I have mostly posted awareness posts                 Should All Students Be Immunized Against Coronavirus?
                                                        Can the vaccine cause death?                       (Police in the U.S. killed 164 Black people       and petitions through social media,” stated
      What kind of vaccines are they?                   “While there are reports of a few fatal-           in the first 8 months of 2020. These are          Shannon. “I saw peaceful protests and I
      “The two manufacturers for the             ities that occurred after people received the             their names. [Part I: January-April] by LI        chaotic protests in Las Vegas, the country,
FDA-approved vaccines in the US are              vaccine, it has not been definitively shown               Cohen, Sept. 10, 2020).                           and other countries around the world.”
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Both vac-           that death was caused by the vaccine itself                      That was just in the first eight months          Black Lives Matter groups marched
cines are mRNA vaccines, a new type of           as opposed to other factors or pre-existing               of the year. It was heartbreaking across the      through the busiest parts of downtown Las
vaccine meant to protect against infectious      conditions. These situations remain under                 nation.                                           Vegas soon after the March on Washington
diseases.”                                       investigation.”                                                  Many people were upset and that is         demonstrations. Locals demanded that the
                                                                                                           spiked high numbers of protests in many           racial injustices in the system and the police
      How are mRNA vaccines different                  Where can someone in Las Vegas go                   cities in the U.S., including Las Vegas,          officers that used excessive force are held
from traditional vaccines?                       to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?                            Nevada. Not all were peaceful protests;           accountable for these deaths.
      “To trigger an immune response,                  “Vaccines are available now. A per-                 some were negatively affected by violent                The University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
many vaccines put a weakened or inacti-          son’s priority status in getting the vaccine is           riots and looting.                                was another location for peaceful protests
vated germ into our bodies,” she explained.      outlined in Governor Sisolak’s Prioritization                    There was a peaceful protest in Las        last year. Protestors gathered there last June
“Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach          Lanes of January 11, 2021. You can get a                  Vegas over the summer. Sierra Vista High          to demand rights for the black community.
our cells how to make a protein—or even          vaccine at your doctor’s office, and many                 School senior LaPrecious Shannon attend-                According to the Las Vegas Re-
just a piece of a protein—that triggers an       local pharmacies have them as well.                       ed a protest against George Floyd’s death.        view-Journal, it was a contrast between
immune response. Plus, mRNA vaccines                   “Distribution locations can be checked                     “I did go to a protest last summer after   peaceful and violent protest (https://www.       Vianca Munoz, freshman:                            Dasia Gresham, sophomore:                          Giselle Moreno, junior:                           Michelle Provencher, senior:
are not incubated in eggs, so that reduces       with these following resources.This infor-                                                                  reviewjournal.com/local/5th-night-of-            I think it would be nice, but it’s not necessary   Yes, it’s way safer for the people at the school   The coronavirus vaccine should be a require-      Yes, I think the coronavirus vaccine should be
                                                                                                           George Floyd’s death,” said Shannon, who
                                                                                                                                                                                                              because it would strenghten our immune             whose immune system isn’t as strong as others.     ment for students that are eligible to take the   a requirement for students because we have
allergic reactions. “                            mation changes daily, even hourly, so check               is the President of Black Student Union. “It      black-lives-matter-protests-ends-peaceful-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              system more before getting the vaccine.            As well as everyone having a lower risk of         vaccine. After months of not seeing other         requirements for OTHER vaccines (influenza,
                                                 back often. https://covid.southernnevada-                 was very peaceful and remarkable. It felt         ly-2043668).                                                                                        catching the virus and if they do it won’t be as   classmates and teachers, it would be essential    meningitis, etc), so it would make sense for
      How were they produced so quickly?         healthdistrict.org/vaccine/distribution or                nice to take action in order to seek justice            The Black Lives Matter movement                                                               strong as if they got it without the vaccine.      for these students to take the vaccine in order   kids to have to protect themselves from the
      “These [vaccines] take only a fraction     https://www.8newsnow.com/news/health/                     and a positive change for my community.           will not stop, not when the community has                                                                                                              to help slow the spread of the virus. There are   latest threat via vaccination.
of the time to manufacture when compared         coronavirus-health/vaccine-information-                   It is definitely an experience that I won’t       such passionate people fighting for rights                                                                                                             many students and staff with underlying diseas-
to traditional vaccines, which explains how      where-when-you-could-get-your-shot.”                      forget,”                                          for the community.                                                                                                                                     es that will need extra protection.
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 6 OPINION                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   OPINION Page 7

Distance-Education Provides Limited Student Learning                                                                                                                                                                              Negative Stereotypes Impact Students of Color
By Jennifer Padilla                                          for teachers as it is for students.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By Janeah Castillo                                       This year, I experienced another hurt-              Being discriminated against has defi-                Police brutality took the lives of
Senior Editor                                                      Student education matters, and it is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Staff Reporter                                    ful incident at SVHS. I was in a Google            nitely changed me in some ways that can be            Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Andre Hill,
                                                             important that students are learning and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            meet live session when a student who wasn’t        either beneficial or detrimental.                     Casey Goodson Jr, Jonathan Price, Dijon
      The 2020-2021 school year at Sierra                    grasping the material that is being taught by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Systematic racism has never ended          Black made a joke containing a Black ste-                  Having had experiences like these             Kizzee, Rashard Brooks, Daniel Prude, and
Vista High School surely has been unprec-                    teachers. It is also important that students are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          for one of the biggest minority groups in the     reotype.                                           makes me personally stronger and ables                many others.
edented and substantially out of the rdinary,                asking questions and engaging in lessons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          United States. The reason why we have a                  My teacher said nothing. I felt that she    me to have a backbone. I will strive to my                    The list just keeps on going. But
to say the least for students and teachers.                  to help with their understanding, but now it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          “Black Lives Matter” movement is because          had chosen to let the comment slide.               greatest potential without giving any atten-          people from every state in our country have
      Never has school taken place com-                      is nearly impossible to get the proper edu-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          there is no justice for my people in America             I couldn’t believe that someone really      tion to any negative comments or energy. I            taken part in protests and movements to
pletely online due to a global pandemic, so                  cation solely based on the circumstance of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          at all. It is truly heartbreaking that we have    said that. And I couldn’t believe that the         will only soak up the love and positivity that        bring justice to those dead.
it comes as no surprise that the way students                distance learning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to see such brutal and deadly force towards       teacher remained silent.                           others give me when they are supporting me.                  It is seen everywhere and nothing will
are learning has changed considerably.                             It is a common occurrence that stu-

                                                                                                                Image from ifunny.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the Black community.                                     In my own personal opinion, I feel                  As a student, I’m here to receive my          be silenced. Those names matter. It’s been
      I am sure that everyone can imagine                    dents will ask for their parents’ help on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 As a young Black woman, I see the          the only reason why the Black community            education just like the rest of my peers.             centuries that there is cruelty and oppres-
how the drastic change has impacted stu-                     certain assignments to help them better
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hate across the nation. I also face the dis-      is stuck in situations like that is because                But there have been a few occasions           sion against my people.
dents and their abilities to learn. How un-                  understand the material or how to do the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          crimation inside my own community, at             after slavery ended, African Americans             when I was asked if I was able to compre-                    In Las Vegas, it felt very impactful
motivating can it be to want to learn when                   assignment, but then again, parents can only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          work, school, social media, and other areas       were restricted to access to everyday needs        hend material that was taught in class.               seeing everyone come together in my own
students are logging into a class session                    do so much.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of my everyday life.                              necessary to survive.                                      Making sure I am able to “compre-             city to push for national human rights
when there are about twelve students and                           Parents are not attending the classes,          Like Bart Simpson, many students put little effort into their education.                                      I’ve experienced countless incidents              The system was designed from having         hend” subjects at hand?? Most of my classes           changes. Everything about these move-
half of them are sleeping.                                   or if they understand the lesson the parent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of racism and stereotypes at all the high         the Black community prosper. A Black child         are white dominated anyways, so of course             ments and protests makes the Black com-
      This learning environment is taking                    was most likely taught a different way, or                  It can be substantially harder to learn      together lesson plans and help students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          schools I’ve been to in Las Vegas. Prior to       is significantly more likely to be in poverty      I’m looked at differently.                            munity feel so fierce and powerful, because
a toll on most people right now, including                   only understands half of the assignment               online when there are different learners and       understand the work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sierra Vista High School, I attended Arbor        then the average white child.                              But I’m a student who goes out my             that is what we are.
students, teachers, and parents. Students                    Very rarely can students request the help of          only one way to teach, through a 30 minute-               At this point, it is up to students to put
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          View, Cimarron-Memorial, and Centennial                  Society was designed for African            way to make sure I succeed in school be-                     Unfortunately, some people looted
need to understand how difficult this transi-                a parent because neither the parent nor the           meeting on a computer.                             forth the effort to succeed. Teachers have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          High Schools. Racism exists at all of them.       Americans to rely on government assistance,        cause I am not the most athletic person. I            stores and took advantage of businesses
tion has been for teachers as well. Teachers                 student understands the lesson.                             Some students have taken their edu-          provided resources and time dedicated to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I remember two similar events that         hence many Black families live in poverty          use my brains to get me where I need to be.           during this time. That will not bring back
can only do so much to get students excited                        This is a new school year for students,         cation less seriously because of the circum-       students reach the best of their ability, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          occurre, one during my freshman year,             and would be on welfare.                                   Mind you, I am a Black woman in               those lives that were lost at all. It was so
to learn while being online; in person they                  which means the lessons and material are              stances, and it is hard to get students excited    it is now up to the students to decide how
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and another during my sophomore year.                    But that’s not the problem. The prob-       only AP and Honors classes. My classes are            chaotic that some people couldn’t just pro-
have other sources and opportunities to                      increasingly more challenging, which makes            about learning online.                             they will use those resources.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In both of my English Honors classes we           lem is that the comment is very insensitive.       never diverse. Most of the time I am in the           test peacefully and tensions started to rise.
engage with their classes, but now that ev-                  this season of learning even more difficult.                I believe teachers are doing the best               Students can learn just as they did
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          were reading Of Mice and Men and To Kill          Some people can’t help what they are born          minority. In most of my classes, I feel I am          All anyone can do is spread awareness to
eryone is participating in distance learning                 Every student learns differently: some are            they can in the situation. They work hard to       before distance learning, maybe even better,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a Mockingbird. Both books contains racial         into. On the other hand, not all families are      being secluded from the group because of              the matter at hand.
and only half of the class is attending live                 visual learners, some are auditory learners,          encourage students and get them excited.           but only if they make the effort. Attending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          slurs against African Americans.                  in those types of situations. But it really        my skin tone.                                                Some may say it brought the Black
sessions, it is just as difficult and frustrating            and some are hands-on learners.                       They are still working just as hard to put         live sessions is a good start.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Keep in mind, I am one of only two or      wasn’t appropriate to say that about Black                 I was one of only two or three Black          community along with other ethnic groups

                                                             Change to Grading Scale Creates Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          three black students in these classes. When       people as a whole.                                 students in most of my AP and Honors class-           closer because many people participated in
          The Sierra Vista High School                                                                                                                                                                                    we were reading, both teachers (who were                 Especially not in class.                    es. It is a struggle I have, but I feel like I need   the protests.
                  Mountain Lion                                                                                                                                                                                           white) emphasized those words and made                   A lot of these situations occur because     to keep proving myself worthy enough to be                   It is great to see there is a place where
                    Messenger                                By Jayniel Arreola                                     have a better chance of getting a passing               There can be a lot of problems that a         eye contact with me. It was very awkward,         nobody wants to speak up. That is why I was        in those advanced courses.                            voices can be heard about these significant
                                                             Assistant Editor                                       grade. The scale was changed from the             student may be dealing with through online          to say the least.                                 very upset at the fact that my teacher didn’t              I completely take that negativity and         issues at my school. BSU (Black Student
                    Senior Editor:
                    Jennifer Padilla                                                                                traditional scale to one that incuded a “mini-    learning, and this change could have been                  Usually, in a class where a racial slur    speak up knowing that she had some Black           make it into a driving force to prove others          Union) opens doors for anyone, not just
                  Assistant Editor:                                This school year has been very rough             mum F.” This gave hope to students who had        a big help for them.                                appears in writing, it is not said and it isn’t   students in the class.                             wrong and to strive for the greatness I know          those of us in the Black community, to
                    Jayneil Arreola                          for students not only in Sierra Vista High             achived significantly lower grades.                     Some students believe that this school        a big deal.                                              After the live session ended, I emailed     I can accomplish.                                     openly discuss these tasks and problems.
                   Staff Reporters:                          School, but throughout the schools of Clark                  A total of two hundred students across      year won’t even matter in the future and                   But in these cases both teachers           the teacher and showed her a screenshot of                 The truth is, Las Vegas is very diverse.      It is a very great outlet for Black voices.
                    Janeah Castillo
                                                             County School District.                                all four grade levels barely passed as a result   think nothing of it, but their poor could           said the word, and it made me feel very           what that student had written.                     And SVHS is one of the most diverse high                     This year, SVHS also began the Stu-
                      Seth Polston
                   Chrishawn Miller                                Many students have mixed opinions                the grading system being changed. How-            severely impact them later in the long run.         uncomfortable.                                           When it was brought to her attention,       schools in CCSD. I honestly love seeing the           dent Equity Cohort, a forum for students
                     Jade Noochan                            about online school when it comes to the               ever, the adjustments did not have much           Most, if not all, students have been stressed              As a freshman, I told my SVHS              it seemed to me that she acted like she didn’t     diversity here in Las Vegas.                          and staff to discuss issues of stereotyping
                  Theresa Villanueva                         topic of grades. Some students have bene-              impact on the hundreds of students whose          out from school this year.                          teacher about it. She didn’t say it anymore.      know. But I thought she must have read the                 We have allies who wanted to see the          and discrimination at school.
                  Faculty Advisor:                           fitted from online learning and have taken             grades were below 20 per cent.                                                                        She completely respected my boundaries            comment in class. It made my frustration           oppression come to an end. Every small ef-                   Being Black is beautiful. We will
                                                                                                                                                                            As students begin to procrastinate,
                   Pamela K. Poster
                                                             advantage of getting a higher grade, but                     There was a variety of reaction to the      assignments start to stack up into a pile and       and feelings. And I appreciated that.             even stronger because I felt that my concerns      fort made now will make a huge impact later.          fight for and demand justice in this country
 The Sierra Vista Mountain Lion Messenger is a student       others, not so much.                                   grading policy being changed. Some teach-         begin to destroy the motivation a student                  But when I attended another school,        were simply brushed away.                                  On the other hand, it takes traumatic         that claims to be free.
 publication of the Journalism class at Sierra Vista High          Toward the end of Semester l, the mo-            ers thought of it as a perfect opportunity to                                                         I asked that teacher if those slurs could be             What can be done to make sure com-          events for it to be seen through eyes ev-                    The history of racism hasn’t repeated
 School. It provides a public forum for the discussion
                                                                                                                                                                      had before.
 of ideas and events that affect the students and staff of   tivation that students had in the fall began           help students pass, while others did not find           This opportunity that the school has          something that went unsaid because of their       ments like these aren’t made?                      erywhere. Nobody sees the struggle from               itself; it has simply never stopped. It may
 Sierra Vista High School. Opinions expressed herein         to decrease, and they started to procrastinate         the idea fair.                                    given shows that students should never              meaning to the Black community.                          We Black students need to be respected      everyday life as a Black man or woman.                never fully stop, but it will start to diminish
 do not necessarily reflect the views of the advisor,
 faculty, administration, the Board of Education, or         rather than getting their work done. Some                    During Semester l, some teachers            give up and should try their hardest no                    And that teacher’s response was that       and well represented everywhere that we see        2020 was a year that sparked so much con-             with the powerful people who represent our
 the Clark County School District. Correspondence            students waited until the last minute to work          received little to no feedback from their         matter what.                                        “it is for educational purposes.” I was in        instances like these.                              troversy. We have seen so many Black lives            community and our voices.
 should be mailed to the Messenger at Sierra Vista High
 School, 8100 W. Robindale, Las Vegas, NV 89113.
                                                             on their assignments.                                  students. Although some teachers thought                A total of two hundred students have          shock. I believe that nobody who isn’t                   Those incidents made me feel worth-         taken from our community.                                    I know I will never stop using my
 Electronic messages may be sent to postepk@nv.ccsd.               After final exams ended for Semester             that the “minimum F” was not a good idea,         shown that it is possible. The others need to       Black should be saying those words be-            less, dull-witted, less confident, and isolated.           There is a now rise in emotion because        voices when it is valid and neither should
 net. All letters must be signed, and may be published in    l, SVHS decided to temporarily change the                                                                                                                    cause they don’t understand the oppression                                                                                                                 you. We have freedom of speech. Let’s
 the Messenger if deemed appropriate.
                                                                                                                    others found it a wonderful idea for students     follow their example and work hard during                                                             No student should ever feel unwelcome              of the racial tensions across the nation be-
                                                             grading scale, so borderline students could            to take into consideration.                       the last few weeks of school.                       experienced by the Black community.               during their educational time like I have.         cause of the deaths at the hands of police.           continue to use it.
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 8 FEATURES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FEATURES Page 9
Vista Voices:                                                                                                                                         Student Equity Cohort                                                                                                                                 Yearbook Staff Looks Back With Pride,
Thanh Presents the                                                                                                                                    Provides Venue to                                                                                                                                     Forward With Hope: Now, It’s Personal
                                                                                                                                                      Address Difficult Topics

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Screenshot Courtesy of Michael Clayman
Weather, “Whether                                                                                                                                     By Theresa Villanueva                                                                                                                                 By Theresa Villanueva                              seem to fill it out.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Staff Reporter                                           As they prepare to complete the year-
You Like it or Not”                                                                                                                                   Staff Reporter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               book, the staff had to find new ways to get

                                              Screenshot Courtesy of Vista Station News
                                                                                                                                                             During the COVID-19 pandemic,                                                                                                                        Dispite the challenges facing the year-      the book finished.
Senior Thanh Dang has made a name                                                                                                                     students have started to speak out about                                                                                                              book staff at the end of 2020, the Sierra Vista          “We’ve been sending out Google
for himself as the weatherman on Vista                                                                                                                changes they want to see around school.                                                                                                               High School 2020 yearbook, titled “Through         surveys to get content for our spreads,
News. He took a few minutes out of his                                                                                                                       A Student Equity Cohort was created                                                                                                            Our Eyes,” has been selected for inclusion         including pictures and quotes,” Jurvelin ex-
busy day to share his experiences.                                                                                                                    in order for students to voice their concerns                                                                                                         in the 2021 Jostens LOOK BOOK!                     plained. “It’s an online creation program,
                                                                                                                                                      and create possible solutions for the issues.                                                                                                               Advisor Dave Jurvelin is very proud          so that can be done from home.”
Mountain Lion Messenger: Who helps                                                                                                                           “The idea originally came from a                                                                                                               of his staff.                                            Events are being covered differently
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Members of the SVHS Bible Club meet weekly to share optimism and friendship, although there
and does the filming? Who compiles the                                                                                                                group in Washington that was shared with                                                                                                                    “This is a pretty cool achievement,” he      due to the circumstances.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       are fewer particpants than there have been in the past.
video for each presentation?                                                                                                                          me at a national conference and I decided                                                                                                             wrote in an email to the SVHS staff. “The                “Events are being covered through

Thanh Dang: Before Coronavirus, we
                                                                                                                                                      to bring it to our staff,” said Sierra Vista
                                                                                                                                                      High School Assistant Principal Catherine
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Clubs Go Virtual, Encouraging Students                                                               300+ page LOOK BOOK is essentially Jos-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ten’s showcase of good examples from their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               responses from Google Forms, joining
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Google Meet calls and screenshotting
                                                                                                                                                                                                       to Remain Connected at a Distance
                                                     Senior Thanh Dang presents his weather report from his backyard during the broadcast of “Vista
shot most of our news in a filming room                                                                                                               Callisto. “[BSU founder] Mr. Long and I                                                                                                               best books, and it is sent out to over 11,000      pictures, emailing students and asking
                                                     Station News” on March 17.
in the back of the classroom. There, stu-                                                                                                             decided to move forward with creating the                                                                                                             schools! It’s the second time we’ve had a          interview questions, or contacting students
dents had the responsibility of finishing            tice filming since my weathermanning is a       rush on camera, not going to lie. I have a       cohort here at Sierra Vista.”                    By Jennifer Padilla                               David Edgeworth said. “Last year, there            spread included in the Look Book (we made          through social media to ask for pictures and
the news within a time limit or finish the           lot simpler than news anchoring.                similar feeling when presenting in front                Students at SVHS have attended two        Senior Editor                                     were a lot of things that the board members        it in two years ago). This year, we’re in-         interview questions,” explained Savella.
following days after. One student and Ms.                                                            of class and trying to make it fun even if       meetings so far. Having a say in what goes                                                         were able to organize in order for the other       cluded in the section highlighting reference             The other editors agree, claiming that
Mosher would check in to see if we were              MLM: Where do you film the news?                some/all of my jokes or wacky actions            around campus is extremely important to                 Not only has online school impacted        members to get community service hours.            pages and ad spreads.”                             while the year was odd, the goal was the
doing work and to help in the filming                                                                end up failing on the masses. It’s very fun      them.                                            education, but it has taken a major toll on       This year, we’re not allowed to promote                  On the heels of that honor came a            same as it always is.
process. Now, we usually just film on our            TD: For weather or getting footage for the      to be on camera and it becomes not at all               “At the first meeting, we discussed       school clubs and extracurricular activities.      anything that takes place anywhere indoors.        seemingly impossible task for the current                “Even if it isn’t a “normal” school
own. I believes (broadcasting teacher)               news, we often went out of the classroom        embarrassing when you realize that you’re        gender and racial inequality,” explained         It has been a struggle for clubs and activities         “We have a few ways that people can          yearbook staff: to produce an annual that          year, we still wanted to put forth a yearbook
Ms. Mosher compiles all of the videos                and go around the school to find a spot or      presenting to high schoolers and not a           BSU president LaPrecious Shannon. “We            to function as how they had before distant        get hours online, but there’s really only so       features all the life of a school that is almost   for everyone to enjoy,” said senior Kait-
with the help of editing from another                whichever elective class we were covering       court judge or something.                        were just connecting through our experi-         learning.                                         much you can do for community service              entirely virtual.                                  lyn Savella, another editor. “Despite the
student named Jennie Guzman.                         that week. Ms. Mosher would also give                                                            ences and getting input from each other. It             Many clubs have not been attended          online,” Edgeworth admitted.                                                                          obstacles and difficulties everyone had to
                                                     us lists of different shot techniques that      MLM: How did you become a weather-               was really nice to get a chance to open up       or have struggled to have meaningful ac-                When it comes to meetings and online                                                            experience this year, we want to continue to
MLM: What is the most complicated part               we had to go out and get from outside the       man on Vista News?                               with someone.                                    tivities.                                         clubs, it is difficult to see interactions and                                                        provide everyone a book full of memories
of your job as a news weatherman? Is it              classroom like a “to-do” list. My favorite                                                              “We students at Sierra Vista should              Some clubs at Sierra Vista High            participation from students.                                                                          to look back on to show both the positive
more complicated doing it off campus?                spot to do that was near the lunch room in      TD: I volunteered during my freshman             have a voice about what we want to change        School, such as Key Club, Brighter Paths,               The Bible Club has still held its weekly                                                        and negative moments, revealing students’
                                                     the outdoors where students would hang          year, and I guess they liked how I acted         and how we feel at school,” she added. “It       and National Honor Society, offer commu-          meetings, but the number of student who                                                               strengths and happiness during this time.
TD: Being a weatherman, I think that the             out. Now I just go in my backyard in the        on camera and kept me around to do the           is important for students to have that voice,    nity service and volunteer opportunites for       participate is down from previous years.                                                                    “We also know how important year-
most complicated part of my job is to try            morning is about it. I did news anchoring       on-camera stuff very frequently. I think         otherwise nothing will ever change.”             the students, but due to the transition to              “​Certainly the biggest challenge with                                                          books are for seniors, and that one final
to position the camera so that they could            in my early senior days but it was an abso-     earlier memories of me doing stuff for the              Callisto explained that a number          online school, it is difficult to participate     having anonline school club is participa-                                                             book to add to their collection of high
see some sunlight hitting my face while              lute Herculean task to hang a green screen      news was when I presented the weather            of issues are currently being discussed          in these activities.                              tion,” President junior Eric Oytas said. “                                                            school yearbooks is significant,” she con-
still being able to read off what’s on the           without a proper stand.                         with our soon-to-be news director near the       among coordinators in the hope of making                “The negative is that we aren’t in per-    Although virtual meetings may be more              The cover of the 2020-2021 SHVS yearbook,          tinued.
screen of my computer. The noise of cars                                                             school’s twirling walk way and I just pre-       SVHS a positive and supportive place for         son, so having those connections and doing        accessible, they are less personal. Many           entitled, “NOW, It’s Personal.”                          With some creativity and dedication,
and other background noises often inter-             MLM: Why did you decide to participate          sented the weather in the most over the top      all students.                                    campus clean up and group projects hasn’t         members, like in regular classes, have their             The staff began as it normally would:        the staff has created a unique history of the
rupts the clarity of my voice in the film,           in front of the camera? How does it make        and zany way ever. I think I’ve mellowed                “Our ultimate goal of the student eq-     been able to happen this year,” Key Club          cameras off and mute their microphones.”           giving the editors their tasks and assigning       year that was lost. Thay call it, “NOW it’s
so I have to stop myself and redo it after           you feel?                                       out over time when I did more of the             uity cohort is to develop a guidebook that       advisor Kritsten Cuttita explained. “I hope             Online school has made it difficult to       coveerage to all staff members.                    personal.”
waiting for that noise to pass. It doesn’t                                                           scripted news anchor stuff, though.              addresses our students’ thoughts, opinions,      that we can still have meetings virtually to      get excited about learning and participation,            “It’s important to keep regular things             “The theme as well is very dissimilar,
help that I mess up several times in one             TD: One reason is that I like being on                                                           and strategies on how they would feel best       give everyone the opportunity to attend,          although these clubs are still functioning and     going despite the obstacles this year has defi-    meaning we’re taking on a different view
shoot! I don’t think it’s more complicated           camera is that I get to express myself or       MLM: Did you take broadcast last year?           supported by their teachers and school           even if they can’t stay after school, but I       trying their best to bring a little happiness to   nitely thrown everyone,” Jurvelin explained.       for the book,” explained Savella. “Due to
to do this off campus. I say that it’s much          convey some sort of coherent message.           Will you do it in the future?                    staff,” said Callisto. “After this is created,   also hope that we can get together and do         the school community.                                    But like many others, the students in        this, this yearbook is definitely a special
easier because I have a lot more time and            On camera, I could emphasize words,                                                              we will share it with our staff and hope         group projects again to have the students               Brighter Paths club advisor Heather          the publications class have had to rewire          one.”
leeway with mess-ups since I’m not try-              put more emotional weight on what I’m           TD: I did take broadcast last year. Funnily      to see even more positivity in our school        connect over volunteering.                        Kolb hopes club involvement will resume            and change the way they operate in order                 Certain changes have had to be made,
ing to find the time and place to film.              saying, and have a fun time with the screw      enough, I believe that I had to get pulled       climate and culture.”                                   “Friendships and bonds are formed          next year.                                         to successfully carry out this year due to the     but everything seems to be on track with
                                                     ups. The second reason is that I was tired      out of another class by Ms. Mosher be-                  Solutions are slowly but surely com-      when they volunteer together and they get               “​I hope to see more members, more           Coronavirus pandemic.                              yearbook distribution.
MLM: When do you film the news or                    of everybody else being too shy to get on       cause I was put in another elective at that      ing along to provide students comfort and        to know each other through those volunteer        community projects and fundraising, and                  “The difficulties this year have been              “We decided to change the deadline
have practice filming?                               camera (not to toot on my horn or any-          time for some reason. Without her recog-         reassurance for their matters.                   opportunities,” Cuttita added.                    more outreach to others at Vista,” she said.       about coverage and for students to partic-         so we are able to cover the whole school
                                                     thing) and just decided to do it so that we     nizing me at that time, I probably would                “Any issues that come up are being               NHS has also found it difficult to per-    “No one disagrees that the world needs to          ipate,” said junior Isabelle Vongpanya, a          year of 20-21,” said Vongpanya. “I’m not
TD: Since I have Video Production in the             don’t get a never ending discussion on          not have been back until senior year. I’m        discussed and worked through so that we          form communitiy service during this year.         share more positivity and self-confidence,         yearbook editor. “And fixing this problem          sure when yearbooks will be available for
morning now, I have the time between                 who was forced to go when nobody vol-           not looking to become a weatherman or-           can find solutions that best support our                “Online schooling has affected our         but the world is a big place. SoVISTA is a         has been somewhat resolved with the use of         students, but hopefully by the end of this
7:10 - 8:49 approximately. I don’t prac-             unteers. I have a little bit of an adrenaline   news anchor as a career, but it’s fun to do.     students,” said Callisto.                        club quite a bit,” NHS President senior-          great place to start.”                             Google forms, but only a handful of students       school year.”
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 10 SPECIAL FEATURES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SPECIAL FEATURES Page 11

                                                                 Passing the Time in                                                                                                                                                      John Foss,

                                                                       QuaranTEEN
Janeah Castillo,                                                                                                                                                                                                           history teacher and coach
senior                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I played a lot of golf during
I’ve been doing social media and                                                                                                                                                                                                            quarantine.
working out. I get paid and sponsored
on platforms such as Instagram and                                                                                                                                                                                  I learned to play after graduating
                                                                                             By Chrishawn Miller                                     Jonmark Fore,
tik-tok.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 from college.
                                                                                                Staff Reporter                                       science teacher and coach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I enjoy it because it can be very
I just posted more and became more                               For the past year, students and staff of the “Vista Family”                         A hobby that I somewhat relearned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            challenging
                                                                                                                                                     while in quarantine was basic
confident in my body to post about                                   have struggled during the COVID-19 quarantine.                                  gardening.
my weight loss journey.                                                                                                                                                                                              I like it the best when I hit a few
                                                                 To pass the time and to maintain their physical and mental                                                                                                                 good shots
                                                                                                                                                     I learned a lot of this while growing
We were in the house all the time,                                       health, some of them took on new activites.                                 up on a farm, however; learning to                                   It is an outdoor activity that
and I needed something to do other                                              Here are some of their stories.                                      grow crops in the desert was a new                                      is still allowed during the
than sleeping and eating. I wanted a                                                                                                                 challenge for me.                                                                       quarantine.
lifestyle change.
                                                                 Sydne Hooper,                                                                       I picked this hobby because my goal                            Usually I play with some friends.
I benefit myself and the community                               senior                                                                              is to always be as self-sufficient as
because I promote nothing but                                    I got a job as an indoor playground                                                 possible.
positivity, and I make money while                               monitor                                                                             I first learned it growing up on our
doing it.                                                                                                                                            family farm in Kentucky.
                                                                 I needed a job to make some money
                                                                 and save up for a car.                                                              This activity helped us grow our own
                                                                                                                                                     tomatoes and corn, and we became
                                                                 An added benefit was to be able to get                                              a bit more self sufficient in terms of
                                                                 out and socialize during the pandemic.                                              food production.
                                                                 I am now able to make a consistent
                                                                 income and buy things I need or want.

                                        Jennifer Padilla,                                                                                                                                     Jadon Vega,
                                        senior                                                                                                                                                senior

                                        While being in quarantine, I have done a lot of cleaning and organizing, and I found so many clothes                                                  I took a drone certification class at Ty’s Place in North Las Vegas through Jobs for Nevada’s
                                        that I do not wear or do not fit me, so I have started to sell them online and make money                                                             Graduates.

                                        I started to do this because I had so many clothes that I needed to get rid of and I saw other people on-                                             The only thing that was pretty much required was just to stay persistent in showing up to the classes
                                        line selling clothes online.                                                                                                                          and wanting to learn.
                                        I chose to start selling clothes because I wanted to make money and it was a better idea than just
                                        throwing the clothes away.                                                                                                                            The program took about 12 weeks to finish and now I’m certified to fly drones. In order to fly a
                                                                                                                                                                                              drone under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from
                                        I would like to say I benefit myself from selling clothes by being able to clean out my cluttered closet                                              the FAA . This certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements,
                                        and benefit buyers who are looking for good quality clothes at a really good price. I sell everything from                                            and procedures for safely flying drones, meaning I now know the safety requirements and
                                        never-worn $300 jeans to $100 dresses and tops between about $15-$60 because I want other people to                                                   measurements in order to fly drones in certain areas and job sites.
                                        feel good about themselves and what they wear without paying the price.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I would say the class wasn’t very difficult at all just as long as you paid attention as the instructor.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Luckily he was very cool and helpful.
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
Page 12 FEATURES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FEATURES Page 13
COVID-19 at SVHS                                                                                                 Mountain Lion Administration                                                                                                                                                                            First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...
Global Disease
                                                                                                                 Team Adds Two New Members                                                                                                                          Then Comes Baby in a Baby Carriage

                                                   Photo Courtesy of Steve Smith
Hits SVHS Faculty
                                                                                                                 By Jayniel Arreola                                                 “I enjoy both online classes and                 By Jayniel Arreola                                         Before the arrival of his daughter,                 Math teacher Patrick Panknin and his
Close to Home                                                                                                    Assistant Editor
                                                                                                                 and Jade Noochan
                                                                                                                                                                             physical school,” Carbajal said. “As a
                                                                                                                                                                             teacher, teaching on-line made me become
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Assistant Editor                                     Gaitan and his wife celebrated safely with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a small group of family members.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             wife Grace also have a new baby girl. She
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             was born at Summerlin Hospital on Jan. 29
By Seth Polston                                                                                                  Staff Reporter                                              more organized and opened my eyes to the                            Three teachers at Sierra Vista High            “We had a small group of family              at 3:49 pm.
Staff Reporter                                                                                                                                                               world of on-line instruction. It also helped               School have had a life-changing experience        members to celebrate, mostly our parents                  Panknin shared the story behind the
                                                                                                                       Sierra Vista High School welcomes                     me grow as a teacher. I of course prefer                   over the past year: they became fathers!          and siblings,” Gaitan explained. “My wife          baby’s name, Abigail Lee Panknin. It had
       As COVID-19 has ravaged the Unit-                English teacher Steve Smith and his wife Rose            two professional educators to its admis-                    classes to be in person, but have learned                        Secial education teacher Pierre Gai-        also held a small baby shower and we had           meaning behind it and was of significant
                                                        have recovered from COVID-19.                            tration team: Student Success Coordinator                   a great deal while on this new learning
ed States, many people have been infected                                                                                                                                                                                               tan and his wife Kelsey also have a new           packages being delivered all day for a few         importance to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo Courtesy of Patrick Panknin
and recovered, but some do not survive.                       Luckily, she had support from of her               Elizabeth Carbajal and Athletic Director                    platform.”                                                 baby girl. who was born at Summerlin              weeks.”                                                   “Her first name is Biblically-based
       Two of the English teachers at Sierra            husband to help her cope with the effects                Kenneth Gibson.                                                   While much of her current experience                 Hospital Dec. 12, 2020, at 6:49 am.                                                                  and her middle name is her grandmother’s
Vista High School have battled this virus,              of the virus, despite being infected himself.                  Carbajal is glad to join the SVHS staff.              is new, Carbajal is not new to education.                        “My wife and I named our daughter                                                              middle name as well,” he explained.
and another has experienced loss due to this                  “My biggest support was my husband,                      “I feel really fortunate to be part of this                 “I began teaching kindergarten in                    Evelynn Jade Gaitan,” he said.                                                                              The new parents are overjoyed and
devastating disease.                                    but he was also suffering from COVID at the              school,” Carbajal said.                                     2008,” she said. “I have been teaching for                       Gaitan said that he was thrilled to                                                            thrilled to have a baby daughter to be part
       English Teacher Steven Smith and his             time,” she said. “We were trapped inside our                   Her role is a new one at SVHS, but one                thirteen years, and I have been teaching in                have a daughter.                                                                                     of the family.
wife also contracted COVID despite taking               house with our 2-year-old daughter, which                that she hope will be valuable.                             CCSD for eight years.”                                           “I found out that we were having                                                                      “My wife and I were so excited,” he
all the recommended precautions.                        made us all a little crazy, but we were in it                  A student success coordinator provides                                                                           a baby during the Covid lockdown,” he                                                                said. “We have been together for over ten
       “My wife was infected by a coworker              together.”                                               leadership in the areas of behavior, advo-                                                                             said. “But once we got the news, my wife                                                             years and married for four,” Panknin said              Math teacher Patrick Panknin (right) and his
at her work who ignored the safety pre-                       For African-American Experience and                cates for students, helps resolve problems                                                                             and I were ecstatic. It turned an odd year                                                           happily. “We have always wanted to have a              wife Grace with their new daughter Abigail.
cautions,” Smith explained. “He infected                English teacher Kenneth Brown, the COVID                 that prevent students learning, and supports                                                                           dealing with Covid into an exciting one for                                                          family and are excited to be starting it with

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo Courtesy of JonMark Fore
a couple of others at her work, too, but he             experience was far more traumatic. He expe-              student achievements.                                                                                                  my wife and me.”                                                                                     a baby girl.”                                            “Abigail sleeps pretty well at night,
has apologized to us.                                   rienced a devastating loss when his mother                     “I want my students to become their                                                                                    Gaitan said that he absolutely loves                                                                  Panknin has so many thoughts rushing        but sometimes it’s difficult to get her to

                                                                                                                                                                     Photo Courtesy ofKenneth Gibson
       “His mother was also infected as was             passed away from COVID in mid-January.                   best selves and reach their full potential                                                                             being a father for Evelynn.                                                                          through his mind at the thought of being a         sleep at times.“ Panknin said. “She also
his brother,” Smith continued. “They were                     Brown believes COVID has not only                  through hard work,” Carbajal said.                                                                                           “Seven weeks into being a dad and I                                                            dad for the first time.                            loves to make messes and always loves to
not able to quartentine from one another                an great physical impact, but also a mental                    Carbajal became a teacher because she                                                                            loved it,” he said. “I really like seeing her                                                               “I am very excited to be a parent,” he      smile!“
in the home as well as my wife and I did,               impact on the people who contract it.                    wanted students to reach their full potential.                                                                         grow from week to week.”                                                                             admitted. “This is my first child, so there              Before she was born, Abigail’s par-
so he was actually infected again. All are                    “Humans are social creatures by our                She models this idea after teachers that she                                                                                 Gaitan smiled and added, “Her little                                                           is so much unknown and uncertainty in the          ents celebrated the baby shower and gender
recovered now though,” said Smith.                      biological design, so the desperation extends            had as a student.                                                                                                      yawns and smiles can really turn gloomy                                                              future. I just know that I want to be the best     reveal parties quarantine style.
       Luckily, the Smiths’ symptoms were               not only to survival but also to the necessity                 “The teachers I had through my aca-                                                                              days around. She’s been watching a lot of         Science teacher Jonmark Fore’s new son, Zayne      dad I can for her. I want to help her grow and           “We did a gender reveal party that
                                                                                                                 demic career truly inspired me to become a                                                                                                                               Blasio Fore.
not as severe as other people’s, and they got           of human connection” he said. “This can                                                                                                                                         playoff football with me. I also secretly                                                            learn to become the best person she can be.”       was socially distanced with just my family
tested relatively quickly.                              be imitated and initiated via technological              teacher,” she said. “They motivated me and                                                                             think she is becoming a Raiders fan. As of              Science teacher Jonmark Fore and his                Panknin realizes he will have to bal-       and my wife’s family,” Panknin explained.
                                                                                                                                                                             Kenneth Gibson is the new Athletic Director
       “I noticed I had [the virus] about               means, but there is little substitute for shar-          helped me achieve my goals with guidance.“                                                                             right now, she is on a strict sleep, eat, and     wife Leah recently had a baby boy. Zayne           ance his teaching career with being a full-        “For the baby shower, we did a drive-by to
                                                                                                                                                                             at SVHS. He also teaches Aex classes and
three days after my wife was experiencing               ing the same space and breathing the same                      Carbajal hopes to be able to help stu-                coaches a variety of sports.                               bathroom schedule. Mostly in that order.”         Blasio Fore was born at Spring Valley Hos-         time father.                                       maintain social distancing as well.”
cold-like symptoms,” he said. “That’s how               air as another human being.                              dents transition between in-person classes                                                                                                                               pital on Jan. 20.
it started with me too, like a cold that got
worse. She gets tested all the time at work
                                                              “We’ve lost friends and family to this
                                                        pandemic, so we’re aware that the threat is
                                                                                                                 and on-line education, and she believes both
                                                                                                                 are valuable ways to learn.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Kenneth Gibson is the new Athletic
                                                                                                                                                                             Director at SVHS. He is also an Apex
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fore and his wife spent much time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thinking about the name they gave their            Carbajal, Gibson Join SVHS Faculty
so when it came back positive I knew I had              real, and yet...still, we need people in the                                                                         teacher and a coach.                                                                                         second child.
it too, and I got tested,” Smith said.                  corporeal sense,” Brown added.                                                                                              Gibson has been a teacher for many                                                                          “For his first name, we wanted some-         (Continued from Page 12)                                     “You have to find common ground
       English Teacher Amy Cropley was                        Despite his loss, Brown remains hope-                                                                          years. Gibson had a clear view and a feeling                                                                 thing that wasn’t too cliche, but also not               Since then, he receives inspiration              and let them know that you truly care about
affected by this illness, and despite recov-            ful for the future of the community.                                                                                 in his gut that this was the career choice that                                                              something that he would have to explain all        from the students themselves.                          them. As people it makes a huge difference
ering, she is still feeling some of its effects.              “I do see a bit of hope on the horizon,”                                                                       he wanted to pursue in his life.                                                                             the time,” Fore said. “I know about strange              “The students and players I have taught          in helping develop those relationships,”
       “I was very lucky,” she said. “I did             he shared. “I remain cautiously optimistic                                                                                  “I knew I wanted to be a teacher                                                                      names because I have a first name many             and coached inspire me, because they go on             Gibson said.
not get very sick overall, but I had a pretty           that science can keep up with the relaxing                                                                           when I entered college,” he said. “I would                                                                   people seem to struggle with.”                     to do amazing things,” Gibson said. “That is                 At SVHS, Gibson will also be work-
                                                                                                          Photo from SierraVistaHighSchool.org

bad headache for three full days, and I lost            standards, and that we as a society have                                                                             always get this feeling as if it would be a                                                                        Fore feels confident about being a par-      why they’re my biggest inspiration.”                   ing with the Apex program. Apex is a

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo Courtesy of Pierre Gaitan
my sense of taste and smell.                            learned something about the inequities that                                                                          very rewarding career for me.”                                                                               ent because this is his second child.                    Gibson has a strong connection to his            timely credit recovery course that allows
       “You wouldn’t think it would be that             need to be addressed in our country.”                                                                                       Like Carbajal, he was inspired by his                                                                       “This is our second child, so while I’m      students and players.                                  students to get credit on their own time.
bad losing your taste and smell, but it was                   Brown hopes that people will have                                                                              own teachers and coaches.                                                                                    not an expert, I have some experience now                “I love working with the students and                  “It is a great program that really
actually very taxing on my mental health,”              learned to be kinder to each other once the                                                                                  “The people in my life who had the                                                                   and it gives me more confidence.”                  players, both in the classroom and on the              helps some of the students,” Gibson said.
she explained. “Not being able to take                  pandemic has ended and social experiences                                                                            biggest impact on me besides my parents                                                                            Fore looks forward to providing for          court,” he said. “It’s truly enjoyable while           “Apex classes help to keep students on
comfort in food when you aren’t feeling                 are allowed to return.                                                                                               were my coaches and teachers,” he said.                                                                      both of his children.                              watching students improve and learn.”                  track with their credits so that they do not
well is depressing. I am still suffering from                 “As we attempt to race ‘back to nor-                                                                           “I had a tremendous respect for [them] and                                                                         “Our goal with both of them is to give             It seems as if teaching and coaching             get left behind.”
those side effects today, about two months              mal’ at neck-breaking speed, I hope that our                                                                         decided that would be a great career for me                                                                  them a loving and safe home, while also            have been in Gibson’s life for a long amount                 Gibson believes that he made a
later. My smell and taste are back but only             new normal is a safer and more considerate                Elizabeth Carbajal has joined the SVHS staff               to help do the same thing for my students.”            Special education teacher Pierre Gaitan with          making them as self-sufficient as possible,”       of time now. He has learned how to develop             perfect choice to become a teacher and a
at about 80% capacity.”                                 one than existed before,” he said.                        as its first Student Success Coordinator.                                            (Continued on Page 13)       his new daughter Evelynn.                             he said.                                           relationships with teens.                              coach.
Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17) Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17) Student Athletes Hit the Clubs (Page 17)
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