Senator Square: Carson High School Class of 2019 prepares to graduate

Phillip Brady

Phillip Brady

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Anticipation of graduation and trepidation about the future are the thoughts running through the veins of the Carson High School Class of 2019 as they contemplate walking onto the football field as high school seniors and bouncing off the football field as CHS graduates looking forward to the new places and faces of tomorrow. It is the last time CHS Seniors will ever attend their alma mater as students. Many graduates will endeavor to seek a higher education by moving up to the next academic level, going off to college, while some will attend a trade school, join the military, or simply begin employment in fields of their respective choices and abilities. Transcripts have already been sent out, and many soon-to-be graduates are already accepted and registered at the colleges they will attend across the nation and beyond. CHS grads will be attending Western Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College, Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada, University of San Francisco, University of Southern California, Brigham Young University Provo and Idaho, St. John’s University, Swarthmore College, Utah State University, Southern Utah University, William Jessup University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Belmont Abbey College, Boise State University, Academy of Art, Cal Poly Pomona, Arizona State University, Lindsey Wilson College, Azusa Pacific College, St. Olaf College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Vassar College, UC Davis, Westminster College, New York University, McGill University, The Institute for American Musical Theatre, and the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

All of Carson City is invited to attend this once-a-year event; it is exciting, inspiring, and emotional. On Saturday, white and blue robes will walk around the CHS athletic track amidst cheers of congratulations. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m., but arriving earlier will be worth the sacrifice of sleep as both sides of the field fill up quickly. Seniors are encouraged to show up for one last photo opportunity the morning of graduation; all graduating seniors will gather together in the Big Gym, wearing their caps and gowns, by 7:45 a.m. Family, friends, and guests should be aware parking and seating is limited, so arrive early. Handicap seating and parking is also available closest to the field, best seats in the house.


Collin Belnap, CHS teacher of Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering, as well as Project Lead the Way said, “I teach engineering at Carson High, and, as part of our class, we partnered with NWRPDP and UNR to launch a high altitude weather balloon May 28.” This project, recorded by GoPro cameras, launched a 3,000 gram balloon to heights above 75,000 feet. This is considered ‘near space’, more than twice as high as commercial jet airliners. Belnap added, “My students designed payloads that will conduct experiments in materials stability and the effects of high altitude/low air pressure on common items; this payload will even contain marshmallows to see how much they expand.” Belnap went on to say, “Another payload is carrying a model rocket connected to an Arduino circuit card wired to an altimeter, and, once the altimeter senses the payload is above 75,000 feet, it triggers the rocket to launch.” The rocket will have ‘High Hopes’ in its nose cone, wishes and thoughts for the future submitted by students and staff at CHS. They are printed on handmade paper infused with flower seeds, a bio-degradable paper which actually plants seeds as it decomposes. The entire payload is attached to a parachute system with GPS trackers and a HAM radio tracker in order to recover the payload. After reaching 75,000 feet, more than twice as high as a jet liner, and travelling dozens of miles away, the payload will land safely back on earth. The launch will also be filmed by a $1,500 drone fitted with a camera and will be live streamed on YouTube by Belnap’s students, who will be controlling the drone. Because helium is very hard to get these days, the balloon was filled with hydrogen, and, fortunately, Belnap said “Our friends at the University of Nevada, Reno have all the fireproof suits, gloves, masks and grounding wires, no static necessary, so they filled the balloon while I was in the classroom stringing the rocket payload since the students had re-designed and built it; we filled early because we knew it might get a bit windy, and it did, but it is easier to have the balloon filled and tethered than to try and fill in the wind.” The following students have been involved in this project and deserve all of the credit for the successful launch: Danny Arroyo Santoyo, Juan Brena Gutierrez, Kyle Brune, Ryan Cooley, Jacob Crossman, John Estrada-Rodriguez, Cash Farnworth, Matthew Gantan, Kyle Holloway, Manuel Hoyos Velazquez, Sarah Jackson, Sebastian Krueger, Nevan McIlwee, Jacobey Nord, Justin Nussbaumer, Guillermo Perez Roque, Nathan Reynolds, Casanova Segura, Chase Waldroop, Matthew Walker, Nicolas Baggio, William Breeding, Ashton Cook, Ismael Diaz Venegas, Caleb Grim, Logan Grime, Isaac Harrison, Jeremy Heaton, Andrew Ingram, Amberlee Ketten, Jonathan Laplante, Isaac Nelson, William Ore, Nicole Anne Orio, Christopher Palacio Nevarez, Alexander Robison, Logan Speakman, Eli Thomas, Lucio Vazquez, Tristan Wahl, Emmanuel Alvarez, Dustyn Banks, Damian Branco, Owen Carlson, Karla Coffman, Nathan Coffman, Amelia Graul, Liam Kordonowy, Owen Lieder, Noel Mesa, Saeed Mobaligh, Lance Pabst, Alan Padilla, Noah Presswood, Slade Pronk, Carlos Ramirez-Hernandez, Edwin Vazquez, Zachary Walksnoris, and Richard Woodward. Go to or to see multiple photos and the YouTube launch.


CHS Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering teacher Collin Belnap’s classes designed and built Corn Hole bean bag toss games. But they are not just for looking at; they are for sale, and at just $40, the cost of the materials. The money goes back into the account for the class. The green and white ones, the black ones, and the wood stained ones are already spoken for. The price is for the set and does not include the bean bags. If interested, please email


Volunteers are needed for this very important event. Safe Grad is almost here, and this event cannot take place without the wonderful and needed support of parents and community volunteers. Safe Grad is June 8 and 9. There are many times and options available. It is particularly difficult to fill the Midnight and later shifts. Signing up is easy; volunteers will go to in 3 easy steps: Click the link at, review the options listed, choose the spot(s) liked, and sign up. Volunteers will not need to register an account or keep a password, and does not share personal email addresses with anyone. Prefer not to use email, please call the Safe Grad volunteer Coordinator at 741-3918 or email her at


Going to college? Joining the workforce? Doing both? Whatever their direction, College Connections is available every day at lunch in room 257 to help students apply for college and scholarships. Also, Senator Scholarship Scoop is online at Go to ‘Academics,’ ‘Counseling Department,’ and ‘The Scoop’ on the left. The CHS Guidance Office is also there to help students. Applied to WNC yet? Call the Guidance Office at 283-1915, or email counselor Amanda Chambers at Seniors, stop by the Guidance Office and let counselors know where and to what college eighth semester transcripts should be sent. Any current CHS junior interested in JumpStart Career needs to pick up an application in the Guidance Office. If eligible, juniors may enter programs such as Auto Tech, Automated Industrial Technology, Construction, or Cybersecurity.


It is time once again to make an appointment for a senior photo in order to be a part of the 2020 CHS Senior Class in the Carneta yearbook. Studio Monet will be photographing seniors June 10 through 13 at the Marriott Hotel on South Carson Street. CHS English and Journalism teacher Patt Quinn-Davis said students need to “Book your Session at; you must schedule an appointment to be photographed.”


On June 1, CHS Physics and Astronomy classes are visiting the Grand Sierra Resort’s “Ultimate Rush” ride for their Practical Final Exam. Students will be equipped with camera systems and accelerometers for data collection. Those taking on this Practical Final Exam challenge include Andre Walser Castro, Abi Cowan, Crystal Vargas, Eric Tomita, Cinny Chan, Madison Matthews, James Shultz, Josey Payan, Nate Amrhein, Marcus Yeager, Sarah Jackson, Adelina Pachecho, Ryan Rose, Mary Milburn, Dominic Arroyo, Carmen Maciel, Owen Carlson, Mario Diaz, Levi Wood, Miguel Marquez, Jared Deselms, David Remer, and Alex Pugh. Making reference to his classes, experimentation, and research-gathering, CHS Physics and Astronomy Teacher James Bean quotes H.G. Wells: “We all have our time machines…those that take us back are memories...and those that carry us forward are dreams.” Bean is also a telescope operator and volunteer staff member at the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College.


Soroptimist International of Carson City offers a Girl of the Month (GOM) award for seniors who excel in academics and community involvement. Winners receive a $50 gift card, a certificate, and recognition of their accomplishments at the Soroptimist program meetings.  Monthly recipients are eligible for the Girl of the Year award which includes a $1,000 scholarship. GOM winners from September through May are Jasmine Reideiger, Aadra Reed, Rylee Santos, Jill Beglin, Nura Tung, Crystal Vargas, Cassidy Painter, Laina Aquino, and Fiona Carrick. Crystal Vargas received the highest honor as she is the winner of the Soroptimist’s GOM $1000 scholarship. Interested applicants may reach out to CHS Counselor Fawn Lewis for an application, which may then be emailed to Melanie Nelson at


As is the case in every profession, retirement is filled with both joy and sadness. Several CHS teachers are retiring this year, and the tears are flowing, but one in particular, CHS mathematics teacher Nate Girdner, decided he wanted to be closer to his family and transferred to a middle school in Gardnerville. Again, the tears began flowing, so several CHS teachers decided to take him out for some food and beverages, to wish him the very best, and they wanted to capture his going away with a photo and short note of encouragement in Senator Square. To Nate Girdner, and all CHS and CCSD transfers and retirees: May the road rise up to meet you / May the wind be always at your back / May the sun shine warm upon your face / And rains fall soft upon your fields / And until we meet again / May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


CHS Athletic Department’s Athletes of the Week for May 27-31 are Nicholas Melsheimer for Varsity Boys Swim and Dive and Abigail Pradere for Varsity Girls Track and Field. These athletes, and all students who participate in school functions through leadership, clubs, and sports, deserve a high level of recognition and congratulations.


Clare Stephenson is the CHS Student of the Week, nominated by CHS Spanish teacher Kathy Yao. According to Mrs. Yao, “Clare is a great learner and always wants to know more, and she is a very positive and cheerful individual.” Not only does Clare participate in her classes, she goes above and beyond in that she has won awards in both band and honor choir. On top of all this, Mrs. Yao said “One of my academically challenged students always wants to be Clare’s partner because she can explain and answer questions so well.” Congratulations to Clare Stephenson. CHS is a great place to attend because of students like Clare.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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