Senator Square: CHS open house and ‘Unplugged’ an exciting success

September Teacher of the Month Kim Shepherd

September Teacher of the Month Kim Shepherd

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Carson High School opened its doors a little longer, a little wider, and totally unplugged for Sept. 11-17. Students and staff participated in daily activities supporting and encouraging a non-digital learning environment. Each day, five standards of Social and Emotional Learning were touched by encouraging students to power-down their phones and unplug. Responding to the “Carson Unplugged” theme Be Brave, students, Monday through Friday, turned off cell phones, shut off video games, removed earbuds, disconnected from social media by logging off Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, and then reflected and rebooted on Friday. Why would they do this? According to Time magazine, heavy social media users often feel frustration and sadness caused by “comparing themselves socially to their peers and not getting enough ‘likes’ because what people see on social media is the glossy version of others’ lives.” Blogger, Joshua Becker said about unplugging, “Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you; these experiences will never repeat themselves…if we are too busy staring down at our screen, we’re gonna miss all of it.” CHS students connected with the real world of face-to-face human interaction; wow, what a concept. Lunchtime activities included interactive non-tech game stations in Senator Square, a relaxing walk around the track, a performance by CHS Drama Club, Orchestra, and Jazz Band, and the creation of origami art in the North Foyer to name just a few available activities. Throughout the week, hundreds of students, the brave ones, were busy being the best they could be for each other, placing technology aside and interacting with eye contact, facial expressions, and audible voices. Who would have thought it possible in the digital age? The week was quite exciting to say the least. Writer, Erica Murphy said, “I realized that when I put down my phone and picked up my head, the people I saw were entertaining…doing silly things, interesting things, nice things, and we mostly miss out on all of it.” Not only did the students unplug, CHS unplugged as well with a major fuse on the main power line blowing. It caused the phones, the internet, and some of the lights to go out, and no this wasn’t planned as part of unplugging Carson High, but the irony was palpable. CHS is proud of those brave students who took on the challenge of unplugging from social media. Up next, the CHS SEL team’s Week of Respect happens Oct. 2-6.


The CHS Senators mountain biking team had its first race Aug. 27 at Tahoe High School. The North Tahoe Challenge is the first in a four race series, and the Senators showed up ready to ride. Top riders for the high school are Tobin McRae, coming in 6th for Varsity Boys, Taylor Jenkins in 7th place for JV Girls, Jens Robison in 4th, and Owen Lieder in 7th for sophomore boys. Top middle school riders were Elsa Harrison in 3rd and Annika Robison in 5th. The team’s next race is the Rattlesnake Round-up today in Reno. Contact Coaches Gary Casselman or Brigette Pugh for more information, 775-283-1754.


Though school has only recently begun, the Senator Scholarship Scoop is already online at with the latest in scholarships, testing, college visits, and grants every Monday; a representative from the University of Chicago will be at CHS at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday in the WNC Technology Center, and a representative from UTI will be at CHS Sept. 19-20 at 11:30 a.m. in the library. As if that were not opportunity enough, a representative from Linfield College will visit CHS Sept. 26 at 9 a.m., and a representative from UNR will visit CHS at 1:15 p.m. in the Tech Center. Students must stop by the Guidance Office for a pass.


Dance tickets are on sale Sept. 18-22 before school, after school, and at lunch Monday-Wednesday for $5 with an SBC sticker and $7 without! Thursday-Friday, before school, after school, during lunch and nutrition, tickets are $7 with an SBC and $10 without. Tickets are $15 at the door on the night of the dance.


Please consider joining many CHS teachers in purchasing a T-shirt in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. All proceeds go to Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, and order forms are available Sept. 15 with a picture of this year’s spectacular design. Orders and payment need to be made no later than Wednesday, so T-shirts are distributed by Sept. 28 and 29. Shirts are $10, $12 for 2XL, and $13 for 3XL. Call teacher Erin Been at 775-283-1764, or email her at


The Homecoming CHS Teacher Flash Mob and Wednesday Night Live happen Sept. 20 in Senator Square as well as at the Carson City Community Center at 7 p.m. Rehearsals have been happening all week, and the final rehearsal is in room 169 Sept. 19. Performances are Sept. 20 at lunch in Senator Square, and during the Wednesday Night Live performance at 7 p.m. that night. Contact Theatre Arts teacher Andie (Anderson) Wilkerson at 775-283-1680/1768, or email her at


Every month, the CHS staff, led by math teacher MaryAnne Weaver, is asked to nominate a fellow teacher for the much coveted Teacher of the Month award. This is no small accomplishment to win. It could take myriad years for a teacher at CHS to be nominated just once, not to mention actually receiving the award. The Teacher of the Month for September has been bestowed upon Kim Shepherd, a Comprehensive Life Skills (CLS) teacher in the Carson City School District. CLS, typically, is a self-contained classroom for students who need a functional curriculum as they’re positioned within the category of having an intellectual disability. A paraprofessional who nominated Kim Shepherd says about her, “Kim worked CLS summer school and was acting administrator…and she not only had all of the summer school curriculums done and ready to go, but she coached us, the paraprofessionals, on how to encourage and help the students learn what their goals were and helped us reach those.” The paraprofessional goes onto say, “She never hesitated to help us out if we needed help with any student, and she cleaned out the apartment and classroom so that we could function as a team; She made summer school fun, but also promoted learning with field trips out in the community, and the kids were excited about coming, and one absolutely did not want to leave and refused to get on the bus, so Kim truly cares about the kids and staff as she included us in all decision making and discussions.” A much deserved round of applause goes out to CCSD teacher Kim Shepherd.


For the Week of Sept. 4 to 8, the CHS Athletes of the Week are Rebecca Trejo for girls tennis and Christian Martinez for boys soccer. Congratulations to those students who contribute to their school through clubs and sports; this is another reason why CHS is such an amazing high school.


Andrew Morris is the CHS Student of the Week for too many good reasons to list; however, Andrew does a few amazing things around school like helping CHS librarian Ananda Campbell with organizing both paperback books and Chromebooks. Andrew is also taking many honors classes and says, “I am free to take to this year’s Homecoming dance.” Congratulations to Andrew Morris.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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