Senator Square: Senator pranks filled with fun and consequences |

Senator Square: Senator pranks filled with fun and consequences

Phil Brady

Senior pranks are a common tradition throughout high schools around the country, and Carson High School is no exception. This year, CHS seniors definitely kept the tradition going, as could be seen by everyone May 31 and again June 1. The first Class of 2018 senior prank synergistically manifested itself in a form of creative and artistic parking when seniors decided to park crazily in diagonal, vertical, rectangular, circular, and other crazy arrangements. Students were subsequently asked to move their cars or else they would be towed or ticketed. Even CHS Senior Office Specialist Grace Greener came over the school intercom with a gentle, yet firm, warning about what would happen to everyone who refused to correctly park their cars. According to School Resource Officer Dean Williams, “A total of 23 students received $25 citations, totaling $575.” CHS senior Lauren Lemburg said, “It was totally worth it.” As if this were not funny enough, a GoFundMe page was created in light of the situation asking for donations to go toward the payment of fines. CHS senior Ashley Lynch said, “It was created for pure enlightenment.” The following day, seniors planned another funny non-violent and non-destructive prank. Multiple students hid alarm clocks all around the school, including the ceilings. All the alarms were set to go off at 10:15 a.m. In Laurel and Hardy style, CHS deans and some teachers went on a wild-goose chase looking for all the ringing alarm clocks. Dean of Students Marc Rodina responded supportively and decorated his office window with the alarm clocks. Senior Ashley Lynch said, “CHS Vice Principal Gavin Ward caught me red-handed when the alarm clock I was hiding behind my back went off; he couldn’t help but laugh at me.” Traditions never fade here at CHS, so happy graduation, and happy peaceful pranking.


The 2018 CHS Safe Grad night happened last night and the next-day trip is happening right now. In fact, students will return to the Carson City Community Center from their trip to Great America by midnight tonight. The doors of the Community Center opened at 8:30 p.m. yesterday for the CHS 2018 graduating class. This morning at 5 a.m., graduates entered some amazingly comfortable busses to head to Great America, most of them probably sleeping all the way there. A tradition in Carson City for 29 years, Safe Grad provides CHS seniors a safe, fun, and sober celebration on graduation night and throughout the following day. The CHS Safe Grad Committee, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, and local businesses and residents help sponsor the event. This event would not take place without generous volunteers. Thank you to all the members of the CHS Safe Grad Committee who worked relentlessly for months to make this amazing event happen to celebrate graduation with fun and safety.


Following summer vacation, Aug. 20 is the first day students will return to school. However, though many students are now enjoying their summer vacation, there are hundreds attending summer school throughout the Carson City School District. Alice Valdez is the Carson City Schools’ district-wide dropout prevention specialist. She wrote the following article about attendance issues and solutions to share with the community:

“One of the biggest challenges I face as a truancy and dropout prevention specialist is helping students change habits and patterns established in early childhood, helping middle school and high school students recognize the importance of a high school diploma, and getting families to follow through with services. By the time a child is in elementary school, they may have already developed patterns which hamper them from getting to school, and many times research finds students are staying up too late, or there is no supervision to keep them on a schedule or take them to school. Research also finds students and families are struggling with medical, dental, or mental health issues, and many families take their children out of school for family trips. With early intervention, we often see improvement. When consistent action to make changes is put into place, the positive effects will often pave the way for educational success. With students in middle school and high school, we find that chronic absences are due to more than students not wanting to come to school; in many cases, there are other underlying issues. When meeting with students or parents, we found that some students work at jobs or care for their younger siblings instead of attending school. We also found mental health problems such as illegal drug use or negative family dynamics, which is often the root cause for chronic absenteeism. Some students who lack interest in school activities, or who do not connect with the school, lose their motivation to attend. We found that once we identify these underlying issues, we are able to provide a help plan. We provide this help in the form of school interventions, medical services, and mental health support, to name a few. However, connecting families with services is only part of the challenge. The other part is getting parents and students to follow through with those services or support. Many times, educating parents about the negative effects of absenteeism and how it hinders their child or teen’s learning is eye-opening for the parent. It has been proven that when a student misses school and instruction, it puts them at a disadvantage. To address these challenges, I work closely with the community, service providers, school staff, the sheriff, and Juvenile Probation. We are establishing campaigns to educate the community on the issues; doing home visits and one-on-one student meetings with school staff, truancy officers, and school resource officers; communicating to parents with letters or phone calls; and educating parents on the laws of Nevada which mandate attendance for school-age children. We are constantly working on this important issue, with our main goal of helping students make the most of their education and getting the education they deserve. Many times there are deeper issues found with students who are chronically absent, and this is why we look to first find out what a family may need rather than assume that the student is just reluctant to come to school. I have some important information that comes from the federal website “Attendance Works:” Research proves the most successful way to make headway with this issue is with community support. I can be reached at 775-283-2802.”


On June 6 the final assembly was held for the students who graduated on Saturday, and for over an hour awards were given from the various departments by the heads of those departments. Student after student received an award for something to do with a particular subject, and their awards had less to do with their academic standing and more to do with their work output and student behavior, like Best Senior Projects by category, Sign Language, and Foreign Language. After the assembly, CHS government teacher Angila Golik, whose senior daughter received three awards, sent out a school-wide email and said, “I wanted to thank you all for having a part in my daughter’s educational journey here at CHS. For those of you who may not know, she is headed to UNR, the only school she applied to, to study molecular biology and biochemistry, as her current career wishes are to be a medical researcher, and she will be living in the new Great Basin dorm, built specifically for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics majors; you all had a profound influence on her in some way, and she enjoyed learning from you. You gave her a positive learning experience to which her dad and I will forever be grateful. I know our jobs as teachers is often thankless, but I wanted you to know that Ralph and I are sincerely appreciative of all the time and energy you put into teaching not just our child, but all children! Thanks again! You truly left a mark on my child’s life! Have a great summer.”


The following was written by CHS student Destiny Hernandez:

“Spooner Lake is a stunning place to take a hike around and view the different sights of nature, and students in CHS teacher Cort Roselip’s AP Environmental Science class were taken on a field trip around the lake by guide Ed Smith, a natural resource specialist from UNR. At Spooner, there is a trail that runs all around the lake, which is three miles around if following the trail. Before entering the hike, Mr. Smith showed the students the four common tree types found at the lake: fir, lodgepole, Jeffrey pine, and sugar pine. During the class hike, students learned of the different types of plants such as the famous and also non-native verbascum thapsus, most commonly known as the ‘cowboy toilet paper plant.’ Students also spotted a growth known as the snow plant, which mostly grows underneath or near a Jeffrey pine, feeding off nutrients from the tree, kind of like a parasite. The trip was quite fun, spending time with classmates and getting to walk around Spooner Lake. Learning about nature, and seeing the trees and plants in their habitats, is much better than sitting in class and merely learning about them.”


According to the CHS Athletic Department, Register My Athlete opened June 7 for the 2018-2019 fall sports season. All athletes must register online at Those who already played in a sport last year will only need to reselect their sport; this is all the athlete needs to do. New athletes must go online and enter their information, which includes the yearly health information and NIAA form B and physical, if they did not already have one. The Sports Physical Night is June 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the big gym, where physicals will cost $10. The deadline for all athletes is July 31. Contact the Athletic Department at 775-283-1900 for information.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.