Senator Square: Carson High students, teachers care for themselves, others |

Senator Square: Carson High students, teachers care for themselves, others

Phil Brady

Where does the time go? Everyone has heard this a thousand times, but people still need to be reminded of the question anyway because everyone, regardless of what they believe, needs to stop and take a moment to enjoy the moment. The holidays are here, the semester at CHS is almost over, and Christmas vacation, also known as winter break, begins Dec. 20. This semester, like Santa’s sleigh, has flown by, but it is not over yet. Yes, everyone is busy, and working to exhaustion is tempting, but human beings need to take some time for themselves each day, stop running all over the place like life depended on it, and spend a few moments taking a look around, enjoying the beauty that is winter, saying hello to others, starting a conversation, reading a book, or watching a movie. Will this happen? Probably not as often as it should; but it is a nice idea, and some of it is taking place at CHS with students doing nice things for teachers and teachers allowing them to do it. At CHS, Varsity Football coach Blair Roman’s senior football players, along with some of the leadership students, delivered coffee to teachers and Christmas gift bags to three Comprehensive Life Skills classes Friday. Additionally, “Santa made an appearance … and the gifts were purchased, donated, and organized by the senior football players and by Leadership adviser Ann Britt,” Roman said. Other groups were doing similar activities too. Fellowship of Christian Athletes jumped in to all the holiday cheer by sharing hot chocolate, with any student who wanted a cup, and they also purchased, donated, and wrapped gifts for many less fortunate kids in Carson City. When all is said and done, most will probably keep trying to beat the clock; however, if that is the case then spend all that energy helping others this holiday season, but do not forget to stop once-in-a-while and smell the chestnuts roasting.


According to both Language Arts and Theatre Arts teacher Lynette Gardner, “I just wanted to let you know that our Thespian competition team performed at Spanish Springs High School on Saturday for Regionals, and because they changed the structure of the event this year, those who earned a score of ‘Superior’ qualified for the International Thespian Festival.” The qualifying CHS students are Ethne Myler, Natalie Maguire, and Hannah Walker; each earned Superior ratings. Gardner said, “If they can go, the competition will be held in Bloomington, Indiana June 22-26 and will be the international competition; all three of them can perform to compete for the Thespys awards and will also be able to audition for scholarships and schools.” This will be the 51st International Thespian Conference. Each of them received superior scores in Solo Musical performance. Natalie Maguire sang “I’d Rather be Me” from the musical Mean Girls, Ethne Myler sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. and Hannah Walker sang “No Good Deed” from Wicked.


This week’s Senior Project Highlight is Tania Samara Fernandez. She said, “For my Senior Project, I am tattooing as I have always dreamed of one day becoming a professional tattoo artist.” Senior projects are a great opportunity for community members to get involved with the CHS SP program in order to support graduating seniors. Tania also said, “The senior project has given me an opportunity to work more into my dream; I am now working with Black Harbor Tattoo and in the process of an apprenticeship I am learning more about tattooing and giving myself an extra push into the industry as I have been able to show them my work.” In the photographs, Tania is tattooing a half sleeve on a silicon arm.

“This is a challenge for me because it is a medium sized detailed piece which I have never done,” she said. “I hope to turn my dream into an actual career after high school.” Senior Projects for the CHS Class of 2020 are actively taking place throughout Carson City, and the SP Committee is looking for community members to volunteer to judge and review portfolios; reviewing takes place in April 2020, and judging for presentation day is April 27. Please sign up to volunteer at Contact Melisa Kunter at 283-1640, or email for more information.


The Angel Tree project, organized by Denise DeMarzo at Eagle Valley each year provides gifts to more than 150 kids within Carson City School District. Carson High has been participating for many, many years. This year many clubs/teams/individuals donated gifts for these families and kids. Thank you all. I’d like to recognize those angels among us making Christmas brighter for our community: HOSA, GSA & Advisor Patrick Tobin, CHS Varsity Baseball and Basketball, Leadership and two of Ann Britt’s PE classes, Partnership CC, FBLA, FCA, Blue Crew, Megan Schuler, Sarah Jordan, Wendy Tims, Steve Dilley, Mrs. Szanto, and many others.


The Social and Emotional Learning Committee and the CHS Library are partnering to offer ‘Brain Break’ activities, various centers and activities for off period seniors and special lunchtime activities for everyone else, including teachers, during finals week. Last year, CHS counselors made calming jars, and the students loved them. The goal is to offer an activity each day to go along with the theme of “Cool, Calm, and Collect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.”


Next week is the Blue Crew sponsored Cookies, Cocoa, and Cram. This is an opportunity for freshmen to get help studying for their upcoming semester final exams with Blue Crew leaders. According to CHS teacher and Blue Crew adviser Shanell Cavener, “This year we are taking over the health hallway from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m., so parents and teachers, please encourage the freshman to attend; attendance will be taken for teachers who offer extra credit.” “We will have different rooms for each subject all three days, Dec. 10 through 12, and signs will be posted for which subject is in which room, so just remind freshmen to bring their review an study materials, and we will do our best to help them get ready for finals week” Cavener added. Questions about this event? Call CHS teacher and adviser Shanell Cavener at 283-1747, or email her at


Imagine the change in employers and employees lives if they did something like this at their places of business. According to CHS Lead Safe School Professional Kelly Edmundson, “With holidays, it is common to show our appreciation and gratitude for others; however, we forget to ‘show up’ for each other during the non-holidays, so, in an effort to encourage ongoing recognition of the great work you all do, the Social and Emotional Learning Committee created a free card station.” Edmundson added, “The new ‘Appreciation Station’ will be replenished with cards all year long, so swing on by, take a note card, and pay it forward to someone.”


American Literature, Journalism, and Yearbook adviser Patt Quinn-Davis says, “Hello everyone, you may help the McKinney-Vento Students in Transition Program of Carson City Schools and purchase a Christmas present for someone on your list; I have a supply of New Zealand organic honey and skin balm, and if you like both products, maybe enough to buy some for yourself also, the products are $15 each, and all proceeds go to the McKinney-Vento Program.” Quinn-Davis has everything in her classroom, #136, for now, so come by, sample, and donate. Cash or checks are made out to CHS. For more information, please email her at


Local businesses and events are 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 thru, Firehouse will donate part its proceeds to Safe Grad. Safe Grad, itself is set for June 8 and 9, is really in need of volunteers. Without the 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. Just click the link, review the options, choose the spot(s) preferred, and sign up. Prefer the old way? Please contact the Safe Grad volunteer coordinator at 741-3918 or email


Every year, the John and Grace Nauman Foundation offers a $4,000 scholarships for up to four years of college will be awarded to Carson High School seniors who plan on attending UNR or Northern Colorado University, and $2,000 scholarships will be given to students attending WNC. Priority will be given to students majoring in Education or Engineering. Completed applications are due to the Guidance Office by April 1, 2020.


Winter sports are here, and everyone in Carson City is always invited to come on out and support the CHS athletic teams and programs. Please see the photographs of both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams. Please go to and click ‘CHS Calendar’ on the left to find out dates, times, and locations of upcoming games.


Tania Samara Fernandez, a senior, is the CHS Student of the Week. Tania was involved in Marching Band her first two years at CHS, but her interests changed and moved her into other forms of art. Tania was brought by her parents to Carson City from Mexico City when she was just two-years-old, and she has been her ever since. According to Tania, “My parents sent me to pre-kindergarten so that I could get extra time for me to learn English, but I then began getting more English than Spanish.” However, her parents noticed this and were not happy about it. Tania said, “They made me read and speak in both Spanish and in English so that I would not forget my original language.” According to the teacher who nominated her as Student of the Week, “Tania has great attendance, always wears a smile, puts her best effort forth in all of her assignments, and is a joy to have in class.” Congratulations to Tania Samara Fernandez. Her positive presence made her Student of the Week.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.