Senator Square: Little Orphan Annie visits Carson High

CHS Theatre Arts students produce and perform Annie online on demand.

CHS Theatre Arts students produce and perform Annie online on demand.

No one has to tell you this year has been tough, but it has been especially tough for those in the performing arts. With our livelihoods in danger, we had to get creative in the way we make music, tell stories, and create experiences for both our company members and 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. Making a movie musical during a pandemic, with theatre closures, COVID-19 scares, late materials, snow days, re-casting, and schedule changes has been the reality of trying to create performance opportunities at a time when performing, in the traditional sense, cannot happen. We could have decided to put off doing a musical until theatres opened again and things returned to normal, but we decided we could not allow our students to 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 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 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, we finally have a complete piece of virtual theatre to share with our community. 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 every actor, singer, dancer, instrumentalist, artist, technician, and director 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’s 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 CHS Virtual Spring Musical, Annie, will be streaming online through May 31. Tickets are $10 general, $5 for students, and this allows a 48-hour access to the musical at Our first live performance this year will be "Shakespeare in the Park" 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 are required.



CHS teachers, and teachers throughout the Carson City School District, felt so appreciated and grateful to local businesses for their generous gifts. According to Administrative Assistant Kim Arnold, “CHS Teachers picked up Chick-fil-A for Teacher Appreciation Week, and they would like to thank all of our community sponsors who donated to our teachers; with all of the hardships these businesses faced during the pandemic, these companies stepped up and still wanted to support our teachers, and they were very generous.” A grateful thanks to the following businesses, which provided both food and other valuable items for National Teacher Appreciation Week May 3 – 7: Bully's Sport's Bar, Chi Skin Care & Massage, Chick-fil-A, Cipriani's Downtown Barbershop, Dutch Bros., Human Bean, Greenhouse Garden Center, Kona Chiropractic, Mom & Pop's Diner, Paul Schat's Bakery, Sassafras, Sunridge Golf Course, The Union, The Bus Boy Mobile Cuisine, Trader Joe's, and Yogurt Beach.



Winners in this year’s virtual SkillsUSA State competition took gold in several areas: Robotics Technology, Promotional Bulletin Board, Photography, and Job Skill Demonstration. SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Education partnership between students, teachers, and industry which works together to provide America with a skilled workforce. Most of the students were required to take written exams, submit contest portfolios, photos, videos, and competition notebooks, and the following students earned medals this year. For the Promotional Bulletin Board, a gold medal went to Kasandra Medina-Torres, Leah Roylance, and Gisela Vazquez. For Mobile Robotic Technology, a gold medal went to Cash Farnworth and Nevan McIlwee. For Job Skill Demonstration A in Culinary, a gold medal went to Brock Eckery. For Photography, a gold medal went to Katie Zarate and a silver medal to Trevor Castillo, and Molly Coen received a bronze medal for Job Skill Demonstration A. Gold medalists will go on to the national competition June 1 – 18. In addition to Molly’s bronze medal, she will serve as a SkillsUSA Nevada State Officer for the coming year representing Nevada in an April 23 elected leadership role. Nevada SkillsUSA is a student organization and works with the Career and Technical Programs to ensure high school students have the technical skills and job skills needed to become strong employees in the community. As a State Officer, Molly will assist in developing initiatives and provide guidance on how SkillsUSA can meet the challenges of creating a strong workforce. She will also conduct leadership training for Nevada SkillsUSA members. Molly has been an active member of SkillsUSA through the Culinary Arts program for two years and has served both years as a CHS SkillsUSA Chapter Officer. As with many skilled competitions this year, the National Leadership and Skills Conference will be virtual, with students required to participate in a live Zoom component and live contest demos, in addition to the above practical skills they have already demonstrated in the State competition held in April. ~ Contributed by SkillsUSA Advisors


Congratulations to Prom 2021 candidates Lily Roman, Ashley Pacheco, Rosalind Macy, Bryar Fancher, Cady Garratt, Kassandra Medina-Torres, Michael Roman, Kalin Gordon, Cash Farnworth, Kobe Morgan, Lander Smith, and Jeremy Heaton. Prom will take place May 15 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. with the crowning at 10:00. Attendees must check in by 8:30 p.m., or no entry, and all attendees must stay until after crowning before leaving. Parents will be called if students request to leave early. Additionally, all attendees must have their current Student ID to enter the dance in the CHS Morse Burley Gymnasium. Tickets, $35 per student, will be sold through May 14 at the CHS Student Finance window at lunch and after school until 2:30 p.m. CHS Seniors within Carson City School District are the only students invited to attend; however, CHS underclassmen may attend a senior’s guest. No guests from other schools outside of CCSD will be permitted. Moreover, all participants must have a negative COVID test or a completed vaccine document; failure to do so will result in not being admitted to the dance. Tests will be administered in the small gym free of charge on the following days and times. Last name of A - M: May 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Last name of N – Z: May 14. Under the age of 18 must have a permission slip signed. Dress must be school appropriate formal with no midriffs, strapless dresses, etc. There will be NO coat check, so attendees will be responsible for their own items, and attendees will be required to wear a mask at all times. For dinner, each attendee will be given two tickets to present at the food trucks. One ticket is for food, the other is for Kona Ice. Security will require random breathalyzer tests for attendees.


CHS Social Workers latest campaign is the My Healthy Coping Skill. With the idea of finals and graduation already here for seniors, students and staff shared how they manage stress in a healthy way through posts on Padlet and hand-made posters. CHS SSPs then took those posters and placed them in classrooms and on walls around CHS. In doing so, students and staff are able to look at them throughout May and learn new strategies of how to manage the stress they may not have considered, previously. Furthermore, this campaign shows how everyone has dealt with struggle and stress, regardless of age. Everyone can learn from one another and visually seeing the posters around school will reach a large number of people. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, or needs support, please reach out to Crisis Support SafeVoice Nevada at, Rural Mobile Crisis Response Team for crisis support through video at, call 702-486-7865, Crisis Support Services of Nevada at 1-800-273-8255, Text CARE to 839863, visit to chat, Nevada Crisis Line at 784-8090, Crisis Text Line at text HOME to 741741, or 911 for life threatening emergencies only. For information about this and other events like it, please contact Alejandra Ayala, CHS Social Worker II at, or call her at 283-1834. ~ Contributed by James Marrone, CHS School Social Worker II.


CHS Track and Field will compete against multiple schools at 9:00 a.m., May 8, at Carson High School. At 11:00 a.m. a CHS Varsity Softball and Baseball double-header will take place at Edward C. Reed High School in Reno. 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 Caydee Farnworth for Varsity Girls SoftballThese athletes and all students who participate in school functions through leadership, clubs, and sports deserve a high level of recognition and congratulations.



Congratulations to sophomore Spenser Bray on being nominated CHS Student of the Week. According to his nominating CHS teacher and Carson City Schools Orchestra Director, Dr. Brian Fox, “Spenser Bray is fiercely intelligent, goal-oriented, and shreds on the violin.” 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


Shiloh Cyphers has always been focused on her education and her future. Due to that motivation and drive, she has overcome so much and will be graduating this year. Upon graduation, she will be participating in a paid internship at one of the local community colleges. Along with taking her college bound courses, she also has been volunteering throughout the COVID crisis. She has been a part of the Carson City River clean up, served Thanksgiving dinner to families in need at the Carson City Nugget, and has devoted countless hours at the Nevada Humane Society. After high school graduation, Shiloh’s first choice will be to attend Truckee Meadows Community College; there, she hopes to further her knowledge and skills in Graphic Design and Anime ~ Contributed by CHS Counselor Monica Weaver.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment