Senator Square: West Pointer and author visits CHS

Carson High School Fellowship of Christian athlete members posting signs of encouragement and positivity throughout the school.

Carson High School Fellowship of Christian athlete members posting signs of encouragement and positivity throughout the school.

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Capital City Arts Initiative’s relationship with Carson High School made it possible for Caleb Cage, a West Point graduate, Army veteran, and author to visit with CHS students and publicly read one of his short stories from his book Desert Mementos: Stories of Iraq and Nevada (2017). Cage, a superior storyteller, mesmerized students with a story of a young soldier, newly assigned as a platoon leader, having to lead over 30 men through the streets of Iraq in the middle of the night. As Cage read out loud to the students, no one moved, made a sound or talked with one another; it was as though they were able to stand in the shoes of that young platoon leader and experience what he must have been feeling, nervous, fearful and inexperienced. Himself a field artillery officer from 2002 to 2007, Cage also served as a platoon leader in Baqubah, Iraq in 2004, and as an information operations battle captain in Baghdad in 2006. He is also co-author of “The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq” (2008) with Gregory M. Tomlin. After Cage finished reading, he allowed students to posit questions, everything from constructing short stories from his military experiences to his time spent as a student at Reed High School in Sparks. Cage, a Reno native, briefly talked about his parents, both former teachers, about his wife and two children, with another on the way, and about the challenges and difficulties he faced becoming a writer. Cage spoke to students with enthusiasm, answering all of their questions and encouraging them to write all the time. Students also learned that after his Army service, Cage began his civilian career as a senior policy adviser to Nevada’s lieutenant governor, where he developed and managed several successful outreach initiatives aimed at serving Nevada’s veterans. In 2010, he was appointed to serve as executive director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS), a cabinet-level agency responsible for serving veterans through a comprehensive veterans’ service program and 180-bed long term care skilled nursing facility. Currently, he serves as Nevada’s chief of the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Adviser. Not only did Cage take time out of his busy schedule to speak with CHS students Feb. 26, he also spoke at CCAI’s “Brick” at 6 p.m. as part of CCAI’s ongoing Nevada Neighbors series. For information, contact Sharon Rosse, CCAI executive director, by going to or calling 721-7424.


The CHS Talent Show, hosted by Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), was held Feb. 27 at the Carson City Community Center with cash prizes awarded to the top five acts. The winners of the evening: Josh Ingram won overall best of show for playing the piano and singing, 1st place went to Hailey Ponczoch for singing and playing piano, and 2nd Place went to Ava Covington for singing and playing guitar. For non-singing acts, 1st place was Amara Tedford for her dance, and 2nd place went to Andrew Morris for his standup comedy and impressions. According to Angila Golik, “It was a wonderful night at the CHS Talent Show as we had an amazing group of students courageous enough to get on stage in front of 500 high school students and perform.” Golik added, “A tremendous thank you goes out to teachers and staff for voluntarily participating and helping me with the show: Jenn Minifie, Alan Matthews, Robben Williams, and Kacie Vermillion of Carson Middle School.” Not to be forgotten was the guest stage performance of Ann Britt and Billy McHenry. “Without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off the show,” Golik said.


CHS Varsity Cheer Team received 3rd place at USA Spirit Nationals in Anaheim, Calif. According to coach Sheila Story, “We competed against teams from all over the US in the Co-Ed Show Cheer Non-Tumbling Advance Stunt Division.” After the first day of competition on Feb. 22, the Varsity Cheer Team placed 4th and advanced to the finals. They then competed the next day, Feb. 3 and placed 3rd overall. This was the first time CHS Varsity Cheer Team made it the final rounds of competition and placed within the top three. Damonte Ranch High School also completed and came in 1st place in their division. They came to support CHS, and once the competition was over, they congratulated them with a Cheer Tunnel. Coach Story is grateful to DRHS for its support.


CTE students acted as tour guides and student leaders for 8th grade students from Eagle Valley Middle School Feb. 26 and Carson Middle School students Feb. 27. The middle school students toured CHS in order to both see the school itself and learn about all of the CTE classes offered.


FCA members, with CHS Adviser Ty McMillen, chose to make posters of inspiration and place them around school to encourage students to think positive thoughts on a continual basis, and to act on those thoughts instead of just thinking about it. CHS students are also always invited to “Pizza Tuesdays in Room 214.” CHS Adviser Ty McMillen has been busy this year working to foster unity and support for all students.


The Feb. 25 activity with CHS Library’s new event, Maker Monday, was coding. Students were challenged to create a team to code a Sphero Robot. A Sphero Robot, designed by the Sphero Company, is a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate plastic, capable of rolling around, changing colors, running programs, and being controlled by a smartphone or tablet. Students had to race their Sphero Robot around a track and move a bag of Skittles to the finish line. According to Librarian Ananda Campbell, “One team was able to code successfully, but has not yet finished the challenge, another team successfully built a mode of transport, but has not yet successfully coded the route, and the third team feels they are two tries away from finishing, but they ran out of time and are committed to finishing with the robots next week.” Maker Monday for March 4, by student request, is knitting. Maker Monday is an opportunity for students to ease their brains back into school after a weekend of sleeping in. Students are invited to come by the library at lunch and get creative; it is a little messy and a lot of fun. CHS Librarian Ananda Campbell is seeking local volunteers to lead lunchtime workshops in the future. Please call Ananda Campbell, library media specialist, at 283-1641, or email her at


CHS wrapped up League Competition at Spanish Springs last weekend as it continued its dominance of program oral interpretation with five members advancing to final round. In novice debate, Emma Peterson placed 6th, Heidi Barney took 2nd, and Maddy Dunlap took 1st. In senior debate, Vanessa Lezama broke into final rounds for the first time taking 4th, with team captain Sophia Peterson taking 1st. In original oratory, Jessica Knutson took 4th place, and Ryan Soulier finished 3rd with his first top three finish. On the debate side Citlaly Acosta placed 10th in novice Lincoln Douglas speaker points with teammate Ryan Soulier placing 6th. Captains, Evan Cherpeski and Sophia Peterson, claimed 4th and 6th in public forum debate speaker points and 1st place overall, winning all their rounds. This tournament also awarded sweepstakes bowls for top schools in the district, and CHS claimed five bowls, its highest number in two decades. The team finished 3rd for the season in duo interpretation, 3rd in domestic extemporaneous speaking, 1st in dramatic interpretation, 1st in program oral interpretation and 3rd overall in speech events.


The testing date for the ASVAB is March 5, and students must sign up in the Guidance Office. ASVAB scores are used to determine whether or not a person is qualified to enlist in the military and to assign that person to an appropriate job in the military. ASVAB tests are designed to measure aptitudes in four domains: Verbal, Math, Science and Technical, and Spatial, and the tests are presented in the order in which they are administered. For more information, go to or call CHS at 283-1910.


Parents, guardians and students, ACT testing takes place March 12 at CHS. The ACT helps students know whether or not they are college and career ready, assists students with scholarships, and is an entrance exam for colleges and universities around the country. CHS teachers are preparing students for the test with in-class activities, afterschool bootcamps and videos explaining the ACT’s importance. All CHS juniors will take the ACT test. It is the intent of CHS to continue to build on its past successes with students performing at the highest levels on this important exam. Call the Guidance Office at 283-1915 or e-mail counselor Amanda Chambers at with questions.


Seniors Buddy Ads deadline extended, but time is running out, so seniors need to get together with their friends and announce their graduation victory with a Buddy Ad in the 2019 Carneta yearbook. They may include photos and notes to each other and have it all come together in a Buddy Ad. Contact Room 136 or a yearbook staff member. What? Have not ordered a 2019 Carnetta yearbook yet? Parents, guardians and friends, the end of the school year is fast approaching; celebrate and congratulate graduating seniors this year with the purchase of a yearbook by going to or see Mrs. Quinn-Davis in room 136. Order before March 18 and pay $85. After, the price will increase by $5 to $90.


Sam Knutson is the CHS Student of the Week. According to CHS English teacher Emilee Riggin, “Sam has matured considerably in the last two years I have known him, and he is now always on task, quick with his literary analysis, works productively and sometimes teaches our class grammar when he wants to.” Congratulations to Sam Knutson.


This week’s Senior in the Spotlight shines on Julia Cruz. Julia is devoted to her studies, her position in clubs at the high school, and her future. Starting elementary school as a second language learner, Julia quickly caught up with her peers and now excels in AP English. She also excels in her other courses at CHS, which include several honors and other AP courses. Julia currently has a 4.61 GPA. It is fitting too that Julia is in the spotlight this week as she is always the one who lights up a room with her compassion and kindness. She is such an incredibly positive student with a contagious smile. Julia has been involved in many clubs at CHS since her sophomore year as a member of Blue Crew, formerly Link Crew, which holds events and does mentoring with incoming freshmen. She is also a part of National Honor Society and is CHS Senior Class Treasurer for student council. In addition to her studies and extra-curricular activities, Julia works as a tutor in one of the local elementary schools, and it is here she found her calling. Working with a Latina teacher has shown Julia the need for more diversity among the teachers within the Carson City School District, so she plans to attend Western Nevada College and then transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue her degree in Elementary Education. Congratulations and good providence to Julia Cruz, a young lady whose faith is strong and her future secure.


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