Senator Square: Carson High School students perform well at Nevada State Thespian Festival |

Senator Square: Carson High School students perform well at Nevada State Thespian Festival

Phil Brady
CHS 2017 to 2018 Theatre Arts Thespian Troupe 5180 State Award Winners.
Courtesy |

Carson High School Theatre Arts teacher Andie Wilkerson and her students earned multiple awards from the Nevada State Thespian Festival this past weekend. According to Wilkerson, “We had an awesome weekend at the NSTF, walking away with nine Excellent awards, a second highest rank, and three Superior awards for highest rank that qualify us for the International Festival in June.” Wilkerson also said, “The kids were able to participate in several workshops and classes, watch plays produced by some of the top theatre schools in Nevada, and even had two students perform featured roles in the ‘Opening Number,’ a one act for the entire conference made up of theatre students and educators from all over Nevada.” Junior Cassia Giustra and senior Alexa Haight each received a Superior award for their musical theatre pieces. The following CHS students also received the top thespian Excellent awards: Ben Larkin (sophomore), Amy Redmond (junior), Charlie Moser (senior), Sydney Lewis (freshman), Arietis Fisher-Burns (sophomore), Angela Cirone (junior), and Stephanie Melsheimer (junior). Theatre Arts is alive and well at CHS, and the community of Carson City would do well to note the names of the students mentioned above for they may become future Broadway stars and one day may receive an Academy Award for all of the talent they possess.


CHS senior Gabby Amador, a student in Mr. Martin’s Advanced Ceramics class, received an Honorable Mention Award at the Scholastic Art Awards for her sculpture entitled “Virgin Mary.” Her most recent creation is a water fountain with a built-in pump. According to Amador, “My original idea was different from what I made, but Mr. Martin helped me come up with the idea of the fountain, and he also helped me with the colors so that all the colors would go together.” The exhibit will continue through April 25. The public may also view other award winning student work at the Carson City Arts Initiative, located at the Community Development Building, 108 E. Proctor St. Congratulations to Gabby for her award winning artistic ability.


Social Club just had a fun and social Saint Patrick’s Day celebration, and anyone is welcome to stop on by and enjoy the club’s fun and games at lunch every Wednesday in Room 123. Bring a lunch, enjoy a great time with new friends and even discuss the group’s upcoming events and excursions. This club is all about giving students a chance to meet new friends, learn tips about successful communication skills while eating lunch together. Social Club Advisor Carol Hellwinkel makes all kinds of opportunities available to attend art events, sports events, and other CHS activities. Many of these students have difficulty with anxiety and sometimes find it difficult to participate with others; however, they are learning to be “overcomers,” and they even went to homecoming and bonfire night this year at CHS. Additionally, some of the students are camera shy and would not participate in a photo. Though Mrs. Hellwinkel does not have all the answers, she is helping these students overcome some of their anxieties and camera-shy behavior. CHS Speech Language Pathologist Carol Hellwinkel may be reached at 775-283-1657 for questions or information.


March 19-23, there will be a tug-of-war tournament in the big gym at lunch. Sign-ups for teams are $10 per team, and there must be two girls on each team. The first known use of the term “tug-of-war” was in 1677: “A struggle for supremacy or control, usually involving two antagonists; a contest in which two teams pull against each other at opposite ends of a rope with the object of pulling the middle of the rope over a mark on the ground.”


Do any readers out there have a prom dress or a tuxedo that will never be worn again? How about donating it? CHS is running a formal wear drive until the Friday before spring break. Please bring any gently used dresses or tuxedos to the Leadership room or to a favorite club advisor. Financially challenged high school seniors really appreciate the help. Collection of these precious items will continue through March 23. Donations may be dropped at the main office between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.


After receiving a $2,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, Muscle Powered, Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City, launched a video competition to create public service announcements about the dangers of texting and driving. CHS students are being asked to put together 30-second PSAs. The video competition deadline is April 10 with a top prize of $750. Second place receives $500, and third $250. The goal is for teenagers to create videos that will educate other teenagers about the dangers of texting while driving, especially as they impact walkers and bicyclists. The name of the video campaign is “No Zombie Texting.” Copies of the video team application and scoring criteria are available at Students are encouraged to form teams to draft scripts, create a story line, shoot video, and create music. Members of Muscle Powered are still available to come to CHS classrooms to make a presentation and provide applications. The winning video will be distributed statewide to television stations. Kelly Clark, president of Muscle Powered, may be reached at 775-315-2719.


Congratulations to John Martin, the CHS Teacher of the Year. John teaches Ceramics I and II at CHS, and he specializes in going out of his way to reach every student in order to help him or her reach his or her full potential as an artist. Recently, as seen in the Scholastic Art Awards section above, one of his advanced ceramics students, Gabby Amador, received an Honorable Mention for her ceramics piece. John Martin epitomizes the word friend, and his advocacy and dedication for CHS, its students and staff, and the curricular programs teaches and at times provides for at CHS are outstanding. He is a truly talented and inspiring educator, and CHS has in part become great because of CHS Teacher of the Year John Martin.


Congratulations to CHS Senior Office Specialist Grace Greener, CHS Employee of the Year and CHS Support Staff of the Month. Grace is the heart and soul of the high school, making sure administrators, teachers, and staff members are truly taken care of as they fulfill their duties. If Grace even hears about a staff member in need on a particular day, due to poor health usually, she will get a hold of a sub faster than a lightning strike, and she does not take no for an answer. She cares so very deeply about everyone, and CHS would be lost without her; anyone and everyone who has ever met her sees and feels her welcoming smile. And just so everyone knows, Grace could have retired a long time ago; however, she knows what CHS would look like if she left. Vice Principals Bob Chambers and Gavin Ward on their knees, begging, might also have had something to do with how valued a team member is Grace Greener. Congratulations to Grace Greener for her well-deserved awards and for being a lighthouse of brightness, who assists everyone with their needs and directs all to their destination.


Congratulations to Jim Bean, CHS Teacher of the Month for March. Jim is a rock star inside and outside of the classroom as he teaches Advanced Placement Physics, Honors Physics, and Astronomy. On top of all this, he is the head coach of the CHS freshman football team and CHS’ designated announcer for all home varsity football games. He does so much more, too, but there are not enough words available to share his awesomeness.


The CHS Student of the Week is the Jazlyn Duran. Jazlyn is an intelligent and hardworking student who is currently taking Honors US History, Honors Rhetoric, Honors Anatomy, Algebra 2, Spanish 1, and Psychology. Athletically, Jazlyn said, “I do track, in which I started last year, and my favorite teachers are Mr. Vickrey and Mrs. Riggin, and my favorite classes are Anatomy and Honors US History with Mr. Morgan.” Though Jazlyn does not yet know what she wants to pursue as a career, she did say, “I know that I want to be happy, and in my free time, I love to paint, sing, play piano, and spend time with friends as often as I can.” Congratulations to Jazlyn Duran, a student others look up to and one to watch excel as she continues her success at CHS.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.