Senator Square: Carson High students travel to Costa Rica

CHS students travel to Costa Rica over Christmas break

CHS students travel to Costa Rica over Christmas break

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By Ben Spence

(Editor’s Note: Spence is a Special Education, Gifted and Talented Endorsed, AP Seminar, Honors US History, World History, and Adult Education CHS teacher)


This past Winter Break, CHS teacher Benjamin Spence led a group of seven exceptional students on an adventurous trip around beautiful Costa Rica. Along with Gina Spence, Mr. Spence's favorite and most trusted sister, the group consisted of former and current students: Gary Cortes-Solis, Belkis Barrientos, Kaylee Konze, Audrey Cook, Noah Sa, Kana Teruya, and Madalyn Nolan. The current and former CHS students spent nine days traveling the entirety of Costa Rica and experiencing whitewater rafting, Zip-lining, hiking the rainforest both at day and night, scaling a volcano, kayaking, relaxing in the largest hot springs in the world, cruising croc-infested rivers, and being awakened by howler monkeys at 5:30 in the morning. A zip-line, or zip line, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial rope-slide, death slide, flying fox, or foefie slide (in South Africa) consists of a pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of stainless steel, mounted on an incline. Students saw and interacted with the most biodiverse place on the planet, ate local foods, and slept when they could. Student Kaylee Konze said, "This trip really changed my perspective on life, what I consider to be beautiful, what I consider to be important; it just really makes me think, and exploring the world gives me a whole new understanding of how I live my life and how others live their lives, and it can really teach people a lot about themselves.”

Mr. Spence leads yearly trips abroad, and this summer he is also leading groups to both Egypt and Peru. He is currently accepting limited enrollments for a 13-day exploration of Vietnam for June and July of 2023. Any community member age 14 or older is welcome to apply. For more information, and to apply for the tour, please visit Sign-ups before Feb. 26 may use the code VTM349 to take $349 off the tour price. Those interested may also email Ben Spence at for details.

CHS teacher and guest Senator Square writer Ben Spence




Mrs. Judith Robinson, an American Sign Language interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing at CHS, has passed away. She was liked and respected by both students and staff at CHS who had the pleasure of working with her. Both of her children, Thomas and Emma, also graduated from CHS. According to fellow CHS paraprofessional Charlotte Barnum, “Judith was a really sweet lady and really good with our special education students; she used to recite poems to me.” Originally from Great Britain, CHS Counselor Nicole Hendee said, “My favorite memory of Judity was when I had one of her students in my class when I was teaching, and at the end of the year, Judith hosted a ‘high tea’ where we were required to wear hats and gloves.” Judith will be missed.

CHS Paraprofessional Judith Robinson




The Senator ski team returned to business last week with a race at Kirkwood. Facing stiff competition, five schools from around the Tahoe Basin, the CHS "rippers" did not back down. Ella Wick and Bella Bertrand provided a one-two "knock-out punch" on Kirkwood's most difficult Slalom course. In a division which featured over 40 of the Nation’s best high school ski racers, Bella and Ella finished ninth and tenth respectively. The day’s other great performances were turned in by Samuel Barker, Madalyn Lind-Smith, Kelly Strasser, and Anika Bryant. ~ Contributed by CHS teacher and Ski Team Coach Kelly Hogan.

CHS Senators Ski Team practices Jan. 15 at Heavenly Mountain Sierra Frame, Alex Nurska, Tommy Callister, Sam Barker, Kelly Stresser, Maverick Morgan, and Sidney Ingram.



CHS Bands Spring Trip is scheduled for April 27 to May 1, 2022. All Wind Ensemble members are automatically invited to attend, but this does not guarantee they will be traveling with the band as all students must work hard to keep their performance skills up, show motivation to succeed, pass all classes, and fully participate in fundraisers if financial assistance is needed. As students will be missing school for this trip, they must be in good standing academically and be free of any attendance or discipline issues. All other band members not in Wind Ensemble will be invited to audition for the remaining spots on the trip. The trip includes round-trip transportation on a charter bus, three night stay at The Anaheim Hotel, 2-day park hopper tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure, a clinic at Cerritos College with Dr. Betancourt, soundtrack recording session backstage at Disney, all meals not in the parks, and Beach Party. There will be multiple fundraising opportunities to help offset the overall cost. These include fundraising surpluses from Chili Bingo Night, which will be credited to each participating students’ account to go towards the trip, Jazz Extravaganza ticket sales, the Adopt-A-Band-Member campaign, and Let’s Wine Together. For more information, please contact Band Director Nick Jacques at


French teacher Madame Sharon Miller will be escorting a group of students to France and Switzerland in June 2023. It will be an 11-day trip, and it includes airfare, hotels, two meals per day, and a full-time tour guide to Paris, the Loire valley castles, Mont-St-Michel, and the Normandy D-day beaches, and Switzerland. For information and details, go to, or contact Madame Miller at


Ever wanted to see the pyramids of Egypt, Zip Line down a volcano, whitewater raft down a jungle river, or eat a guinea pig? Come with Advanced Placement Seminar, Honors US History, World History, and Adult Education CHS teacher Benjamin K. Spence, M.Ed. on one of three exciting trips beginning this summer to Costa Rica, Peru, and Egypt. Ride camels, navigate the Nile, and experience life with a new perspective; it is more affordable than people think. See Mr. Spence in room 247, or email him at for details.


There is a Varsity and JV wrestling tournament at Placer High School in Auburn, CA, Jan. 22 with times yet to be announced. Also Jan. 22 at 11 at CHS is a junior varsity girls basketball game against Douglas High School at CHS as well as a freshman boys basketball at 12:15 against DHS at CHS. On Jan. 24, junior varsity girls basketball will compete at 3:30 p.m. at Galena High School, freshman girls will compete at 5, and CHS freshman boys will play at 6:15. Jan. 25, CHS junior varsity boys will play Galena High School 3:30 and CHS varsity girls will play GHS at 5:15 with the varsity boys game at 7:00. and a CHS varsity ski team meet at Alpine Meadows. On Jan. 26 at 4 at CHS is a multiple school wrestling tournament at CHS, and Jan. 27 CHS girls junior varsity basketball play Reno High School at 3:30 at RHS, freshman girls at 5 at RHS, varsity girls at 5:15 at CHS. CHS boys junior varsity plays Reno High School at CHS at 3:30, freshman boys play at RHS at 6:15, and CHS varsity boys play RHS at CHS at 7.

CHS Digital Media students Lurdes Hernandez and AJ Marhevka report current news and events to Carson High




The 2021-2022 school year is flying by, and first semester is finished, so it is wise for seniors to check out the latest Senator Scholarship Scoop at Visitors simply click Academics, Counseling Department, and The Scoop. As CHS and Pioneer High School seniors consider life after graduation, they may choose to look for some free money in the form of scholarships in which to pay for college. The beauty of this, too, is scholarships may be applied for year-round and awarded to college students throughout their entire four years in college. Many scholarships offered every year end up being awarded to no one because no one applied. There are thousands of national scholarships found at, and The CHS Guidance Office is also always available to help students choose and apply for scholarships. Email counselor Bridget Gordon-Johnson at to make an appointment. Essays are also needed when applying for a scholarship. Head to the CHS Career Center to see Mrs. Roman for help with a resume. CHS Seniors, please make sure to sign-in to a personal CHS Google Account for any of the PDF links to download these scholarships and edit them with the Kami App available via CHS Google.


The annual Sophie and Hans Scholl Memorial Scholarship is now open for application. This is the eleventh year of this scholarship, and Nevada high school seniors and recent high school graduates, those who have not yet started college or university and who either plan to study Political Science or German at a university or college in the United States, or wish to enroll in a university in Germany, are invited to apply. Upon completion of a successful application before Jan. 31, one scholarship will be offered in the amount of $1,200. Go to to apply. Also available for application by Feb. 1 is the Jackie Robinson Scholarship. This scholarship up to $30,000 for four years is awarded to minority high school students showing leadership potential and demonstrating financial need to allow them to attend an accredited four-year college or university of their choice. Go to to apply.



Congratulations to CHS Sophomore, Mori Kurland on being nominated Student of the Week. According to CHS Theatre, Musical Theatre, and English Language Arts teacher Andie Wilkerson, “Mori is a conscientious student and human being.” Wilkerson added, “He is always ready to help a classmate in need, asks many thoughtful questions, and is a model CHS Senator.”

Employees within Carson City School District nominate the CHS Student of the Week, and it is often the teachers who do the nominating, though anyone in the district may do so by sending an email to Congratulations to Mori Kurland in standing out so much so his teacher nominated him CHS Student of the Week.

CHS Student of the Week is Mori Kurland, a sophomore



Congratulations to this week’s Carson High School Senior in the Spotlight, Lilliana Ralla-Lanyi. Lilliana has always set high expectations for herself; she is very clear she hates to fail at anything and pushes herself to do her best. This is clearly reflected in how she approaches school. Lilly has taken Honors classes throughout her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. As a senior, she has filled her schedule with AP courses and has a 4.32 weighted GPA. She has received multiple academic awards throughout her four years at Carson High, and she plans on majoring in Sports Medicine or Athletic Training at a 4-year university. Lilly has eight siblings, and she and four younger brothers live at home with mom. To help ends meet, Lilly works full-time at Capitol City Sushi. She says her mom is a major influence in her life, stating, “She has always had high expectations of me no matter what situation we were in.” Lilly also credits Mrs. Smith at CHS and Mr. Shremshock, one of her middle school teachers, with believing in her more than she believed in herself. She plans on traveling around the world in the future, experiencing different cultures and making a difference in this crazy world in which we live. There is absolutely no doubt she will do all she sets out to do. Congratulations to Lilliana Ralla-Lanyi ~ Contributed by CHS Counselor Fawn Lewis.

CHS Senior in the Spotlight Lilliana Ralla-Lanyi


Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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