Senator Square: Time to appreciate a teacher

CHS Language Arts teacher Patrick Tobin preparing for Teacher Appreciation Week

CHS Language Arts teacher Patrick Tobin preparing for Teacher Appreciation Week


Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7, so please join in by sending, checks, credit card numbers, flowers, new automobiles, vacation packages to the 19th Floor of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Bronze Sculpture of Roman Abramovich, a $60 million jet, $80 million yacht, the Star of the East, The Kohinoor, the Taylor’s Diamond, King Abdullah`s gift to Obama, a waterfall on an island designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, George Condo-Designed Hermès Bag, a Chanel Bicycle, a Cartier pearl necklace, a gift card or an apple to a favorite teacher.
All joking aside, kind of, let teachers know they are appreciated. It is actually really easy as their first initial and last name allow for a message of encouragement. For example, is all it takes to send them an uplifting email. This upcoming week is going to be fun for teachers, if they are willing to tear themselves away from their desks, as Yogurt Beach will be at CHS May 3, Schat’s Pastries and Coffee May 4, Nachos from CHS Leadership May 5, Chick-fil-A Sandwiches May 6, and a tasty cookie in their mailboxes May 7. Being a teacher is, in and of itself, the perfect gift.

The virtual State SkillsUSA Photography competition took place April 20-23 with each school in Northern and Southern Nevada allowed to enter two competitors to compete in a state-wide virtual photography competition comprised of a submittal of a professional resume, a SkillsUSA PDP knowledge of the organization test, a professional photography knowledge test, and two photographer's choice photos, composited together to create one conceptual piece that openly interprets the theme “Landscapes - How I View the World.” Compositing in photography is the process of combining or blending two or more images using post-processing software, Adobe Photoshop for instance, to create a new image. Generally, composite images have a conceptual meaning which is stronger than the two images separately. Two CHS Senior and Level III Photography students, Katie Zarate and Trevor Castillo, entered the virtual competition, and after the judges scored all four components, Katie Zarate won first place and Trevor Castillo won second via a YouTube broadcasted virtual award ceremony. With her outstanding medal, Katie has also earned a spot in the National SkillsUSA Photography competition coming in June. Only the first place medalist from each state gets to compete in Nationals. I am so very proud of these two seniors because in with such a tumultuous year, they not only volunteered to do more than expected, they also strived to do their best and succeeded in their venture. This is the first time in the six years I have brought students to SkillsUSA CHS has had two students in the top three medal positions; moreover, this is the first SkillsUSA first place medal under my teaching. All this was accomplished during a global pandemic and in a less than kind year full of hurdles. These seniors have lost so many "rites of passage" this year, and this accomplishment for them is even more poignant. Please see the two composite images submitted by Katie and Trevor
~ Contributed by CHS Photography Instructor Kara Ferrin.

The CHS Virtual Spring Musical, Annie, will be streaming online May 7 through May 31. Tickets are $10 General; $5 Student and allow 48-hour access to the musical. I have attached some director's notes going over how we put the project together, and our first live performance of the year will be "Shakespeare in the Park" to be held May 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Nevada State Capitol Amphitheatre located just outside the legislature building. This year's event will include scenes from several of Shakespeare's romances including The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and More. This event is free to the public, and masks and social distancing will be enforced. Making a movie musical during a pandemic, with theatre closures, COVID-19 scares, late materials, snow days, re-casting, and so many schedule changes, has been the reality of trying to create performance opportunities at a time when performing, in the traditional sense, cannot happen. We easily could have decided to put off doing a musical until the theatres opened again and things returned back to normal, but we as a team decided we could not let our students lose one more opportunity if we could do something about it. Putting together a safe, engaging movie-making process was no easy feat as we began rehearsing with our actors together in small groups, fully masked, in our large Tech Center open space, singing socially distanced for short periods of time. This gave us the opportunity to create as “normal” an experience as possible, allowing our actors to play off each other and work together toward a common goal. We began filming in March. To make sure we adhered to the guidelines set forth by our state and our school district, our vocals were all recorded separately from home and edited together with recordings made by the orchestra, so none of what you see in the film is sung live or together in the same room. Scenes were filmed in front of a green screen, with each actor individually, and edited together. One silver lining to come from having to work this way was several of our Art students were able to contribute original paintings to serve as our backdrops, creating all of the scenery you see in the film by hand. After all of the pieces were finally completed and gathered, I had the arduous task of editing everything together into what you see on the screen, from mixing vocals and orchestrations to layering green screen footage on top of painted backgrounds, learning a new editing software, and a great deal of trial and error, nearly 100 hours in front of a computer screen, and we finally have a complete piece of virtual theatre to share with our community. From the Director, Andie Wilkerson No one has to tell you this year has been a tough one, but it has been especially tough for those of us in the performing arts. With our livelihoods putting us in danger, we have had to get creative in the way we make music, tell stories, and create experiences for both our company members as well as our community. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the wonderful, resilient, patient and talented cast, crew, and creative team I have had the pleasure of creating this piece of art with this year. Returning to CHS during a pandemic was not ideal, but this team has come together and made an impossible year possible. I am so proud of the contributions of every actor, singer, dancer, instrumentalist, artist, technician, and director has put into learning this brand new process, rolling with the punches, and giving their all to make this production happen. I especially want to thank my colleagues, CHS Fine Arts Department Chair Andy Sonnemaker, Band teacher Nick Jacques, String Orchestra teacher Dr. Brian Fox, and Art teacher Karen McCraw for believing in this project and devoting their time, energy, and expertise into giving our students an unforgettable experience.
The Nevada Builders Foundation is seeking candidates for its’ 2021 scholarship program. They believe college is not everyone’s path, and their focus is not on a student’s background, but his willingness to work and learn in the construction industry. Partnering with JOIN, Inc., NBF is giving students the means and initial training to enter one of their many well-paying trades. NBF will first give $500 for work gear; they will then match students with a tradesman in Carson City to receive a paid internship to become a tradesman. It is crazy amazing. NBF is even going beyond its 10 applicants limit too if more than 10 apply. The $500 includes boots, bags, tools, and a gas card or bus pass to make sure students are able get to get to and from their training and internship before their first paycheck. JOIN will facilitate OSHA Certification, a Life Skills course totaling 15 hours over three days, and guide access to further benefits. NBF will match students with one of their many established local contractors offering a paid internship and further on-the-job training in a student’s preferred trade choice. The NBF scholarship is available to ages 17-24 of any educational background, and they strongly encourage anyone with interest in construction careers to apply. Please contact Natalie Molleson (NBF) at 671-5246, JOIN, Inc. at 283-0125, or email Natalie Molleson at or Stacey Rich, Nevada Builders Alliance at

CHS Track and Field will compete against multiple schools at 9:00 a.m., April 24, at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. At 11:00 a.m. a CHS Varsity Softball, Baseball, and Junior Varsity Baseball double-header will take place at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School. A CHS Varsity Swim Meet against multiple schools will take place at Carson Aquatic Center at 2:00 p.m. For more information about upcoming CHS athletic events, go to and click the CHS Calendar under Quick Links on the left.

CHS Athletic Department’s Athlete of the Week is Jade Stotts for Varsity Boys Baseball. These athletes and all students who participate in school functions through leadership, clubs, and sports deserve a high level of recognition and congratulations.

Congratulations to Joe Ledezma on being named CHS Student of the Week. Honors World History, Geography, and Economics teacher Kelly Hogan nominated Joe and said about him, “Joe is a sophomore in my world history class and always has a great attitude, works hard, and is a classroom leader.” Employees within Carson City School District nominate the CHS Student of the Week, and it is often the students’ teachers who do the nominating though anyone in the district may do so by sending an email to

This week the Senior in the Spotlight is Karen Beglin. Karen is an outstanding student, maintaining a 4.8 GPA in her honors and AP courses. Along with staying on top of schoolwork, Karen is an integral part of the Carson High community as both an athlete and a leader. On the green since a young age, Karen quickly developed into an avid golfer. She has played for the CHS golf team for the past four years, finishing in the top five in the state of Nevada during her sophomore and junior years. She recently took first place in the Northern Nevada Women’s Amateur tournament. She has also served as team captain for the past two years. A leader both on the course and off, Karen has been heavily involved in Carson High Student Council throughout her high school career. She joined leadership her freshman year, acting as a class representative as a freshman and sophomore. Junior year she took on the role of Student Body Historian, and this year she was the Student Body Vice President. In leadership, Karen was involved in planning and running numerous activities, especially around Homecoming, Winterfest and Prom. Outside of school, Karen enjoys hanging out with friends, hiking, and doing watercolor painting. In the fall, Karen will join her sister, Jill at St. John’s University in New York. There she will major in business, minor in Spanish and continue with her golf career. Congratulations Karen! CHS is proud of you ~ Contributed by CHS Counselor Nicole Hendee.
Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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