Senator Square: American Citizen Essay Contest winners announced

CHS Principal Gavin Ward, along with teachers Kyle Anderson, Charles Mann, and Brad Wick enjoying the Coffee Lounge Kick-off provided by the CHS Social Emotional Learning Committee.

CHS Principal Gavin Ward, along with teachers Kyle Anderson, Charles Mann, and Brad Wick enjoying the Coffee Lounge Kick-off provided by the CHS Social Emotional Learning Committee.

The American Citizen Essay winners are in, and they all have one thing in common: cash prizes. This year, the Carson City School District Board of Trustees selected the topic, “An early motto of the United States was e pluribus unum, which means ‘out of many, one,’ so how do we embrace diversity and inclusiveness to come together as one country?” Three winners were selected for each academic level — elementary, middle and high school — and winners will receive the following cash prizes: first place is $80, second place is $30 and third place is $15. Essays were judged based on adherence to the topic, quality of writing and originality of thought. It gets even more exciting, too, as the students and their parents have been invited to attend the school board meeting Nov. 26 when they will be publicly recognized for their accomplishment and receive their awards. Elementary school level winners are: first place, Roman Carlo Gonzales, fifth grader at Seeliger Elementary School; second place, Nickolas Cotsonis, fifth grader at Mark Twain Elementary School; and third place, Emma Gragg, fifth grader at Mark Twain Elementary School. Middle school level winners are: first place, Joseph Seddon, eighth grader at Bethlehem Lutheran School; second place, Samantha Steyn, eighth grader at Bethlehem Lutheran School; and third place, Treyton Maskaly, eighth grader at Bethlehem Lutheran School. High school level winners are: first place Ava Covington, 12th grader at Carson High School; second place, Deepti Arun, ninth grader at Carson High School; and third place, Stefany Rugama, ninth grader at Carson High School. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Sierra Room at the Community Center, and all are welcome to attend and celebrate the success of these students.


The Social and Emotional Learning Committee has decided to reach out to the administrators, teachers and staff of CHS in order to begin hosting a monthly staff breakfast in the CHS Library’s lounge. The SEL Committee is providing some delicious food, coffee and good, old company to start off Friday mornings. Kelly Edmundon, the Lead Safe School professional at Carson High, said, “One of the goals of the CHS SEL Committee is to help others build and sustain healthy relationships because students learn much more from us as staff than just the curriculum we provide in the classroom; they observe how we treat each other as staff, how we treat students and then they formulate ideas of relationships.” “The idea to host monthly ‘We Are Senators’ library lounge gatherings came out of a desire to show our appreciation for staff, because who does not love a good breakfast while also fostering healthy staff relationships that will surely impact our students in positive ways?” Edmundson added.


Throughout November and December, local businesses and events will be supporting Safe Grad by generously donating portions of their sales to the class of 2020’s end-of-year celebration. Firehouse Benefit Night is Dec. 16. All day long, dine in or drive-through, Firehouse will donate part its proceeds to Safe Grad. Safe Grad itself is set for June 8 and 9 and really in need of volunteers. Without the wonderful and needed support of parents and community, this event would not be possible. This year’s volunteer signup program is found by going to It is easy, too. Click the link, review the options listed, choose the spot(s) preferred and sign up. Prefer the old way? Please contact the Safe Grad volunteer coordinator at 775-741-3918 or email


November is almost over, and the CHS staff had fun wearing their college T-shirts and sweatshirts on Thursdays. Teacher J.P. Albert, who planned this, wanted staff to wear T-shirts and college sweatshirts of the college in which they graduated, or any college for that matter, as a way to encourage students to look ahead to the future and think about exploring universities. Albert said of it, “What better way than starting the conversation or planting a seed?”


Students who enjoy dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, visual arts and even the special arts for students with disabilities are being asked to participate in unleashing their inner artist in this year’s PTA Reflections contest with $5,000 available in prize money. This year’s theme “Look Within” calls for unique artistic interpretations. Students can enter in the appropriate division for their grade. Primary is preschool through second grade; Intermediate is grades 3 to 5; middle school is grades 6 to 8; high school is grades 9 to 12; and special artist is students with disabilities. Students can pick up submission guidelines and an entry form in the CHS Library, and submissions must be entered at the CHS Library by Dec. 4. Visit the Reflections virtual art gallery to learn more about prizes and scholarships at Questions? See CHS teacher Wendy Tims at or 283-1759.


Nevada Women’s Suffrage Celebration Committee is excited to announce the “How Did Women’s Suffrage Change American Society” essay and art contest. Application and guidelines are found at The NWSCC contests are open to Nevada students, grades K-12, and the NWSCC Essay Contest is open to Nevada students, grades 6-12. The deadline is Dec. 9. 1st Place winners at each grade level will receive $100, and 2nd Place winners $50. Questions: Contact Molly Walt at 684-0296 or email:


The CHS Guidance Department will be taking eligible students, those who meet University of Nevada, Reno freshman admission requirements, on a visit to the UNR campus Dec. 4. In order to directly introduce them to university life and the opportunities available in terms of majors, minors and career opportunities. For information about these field trips, please contact CHS counselor Nicki Hendee at


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 Click Academics, Counseling Department and The Scoop on the left. The CHS Guidance Office is also there to help students. Call the Guidance Office at 775-283-1915 or email counselor Amanda Chambers at Additionally, a UNR representative is coming 1:15 p.m. Dec. 3 to the Tech Center Conference Room. Sign up in the Guidance Office and get a pass to attend.


It is getting cold outside, and new coats and hoodies are needed to support the McKinney-Vento Students in Transition Program. Those wanting to help may deliver coats to 618 W. Musser St. and 256 E. Winnie Lane in Carson City. For more information about the coat and hoodie drive, please call 775-283-1526 or 283-1537.


Interested in going to Spain this summer to study, visit beautiful sites, live with a host family and learn conversational Spanish, or interested in going to Peru next summer to explore the world, try weird new foods, or see an actual wonder of the world? Contact CHS teacher Cadence Reed at 775-283-1663 or for Spain, or call Ben Spence for Machu Picchu, Kuzco and Lake Titicaca at Parents also can participate.


Winter sports are here, and everyone in Carson City is always invited to come on out and support the CHS athletic teams and programs. Upcoming scrimmage games begin Nov. 23 with girls junior varsity and varsity basketball playing South Tahoe High School at South Tahoe at 9:20 a.m. whereas the boys junior varsity and varsity basketball teams will scrimmage Whittell High School at Whittell at 10:50 a.m.


The following students participated in CyberPatriot Round II Nov. 15 from 10:55 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The students participating: Argust, Brenna, Avina, Marcos, Cooley, Ryan, Duckworth, Brianna, Eckery, Graeme, Farnworth, Cash, Guinn, Garrett, Kennison, Logan, Mclwee, Nevan Murray, Amber, Navarro, Kyle, Navarro, Travis, Pierrott, Diana, Rogers, Connor, Stankus, Adomas, Tackett, Mackenzie, Werlinger, Isaiah and Rodriguez-Contreras, Cristian.


The CHS Student of the Week is Amara Tedford. Amara received her nomination from CHS Spanish teacher Marissa Morrow who said, “Amara is a wonderful student; she is always prepared, on time to class, ready to work, knows the subject all the time, works well with others and has a great disposition. Congratulations to Amara Tedford, a young lady who positively affects the lives of others.


This week’s Senior in the Spotlight is Emma McCoy. Emma maintains a 4.3 GPA and is currently taking AP and Honors courses. She will be receiving the Advanced and Honors Diplomas as well as the College and Career Ready Endorsements on her diploma. Aside from being an excellent student academically, Emma has been a member of Health Occupations Students of America and National Honors Society for three years. Athletics have been an important part of her life; she has played basketball for CHS all four years of high school, the last two of which have been on the varsity team. She also volunteers at Carson Middle School helping coach their basketball teams and assisting teachers and staff. Her volunteer work has also included various activities through HOSA, NHS, and Christmas shopping for the less fortunate in the community. In addition to her extracurricular activities and volunteer work, Emma has worked part time at Yogurt Beach. Lastly, Emma is taking a CNA course at Western Nevada College this semester. Her experiences through CHS’ HOSA program, and the opportunity to take a CNA course has helped her realize her plan to become a nurse. She has applied to UNR, the University of Portland and the University of Oregon. Emma is compassionate, hardworking and kind. Those who know her have no doubt that wherever she goes to school, she will positively impact the lives of others and achieve success. Congratulations to Senior in the Spotlight Emma McCoy.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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