Senator Square: Carson High School begins new school year Monday

Phillip Brady

Phillip Brady

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” but it is difficult to imagine that Monday, just two days away, is nearly here, and it is now time once again for students, parents included, to set that alarm clock and prepare for the 2018-2019 school year. The CHS morning bell rings at 7:35, but before working mothers, fathers, guardians, and grandparents begin high-fiving one another, it is important to take a moment and reflect on some quotes from Einstein on education. For instance, he tells everyone, young and old alike, to, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Regarding learning, he said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new,” and to the educator he said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” and, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Einstein said some hilarious things about education, too, with, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education,” “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education,” and, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” From Einstein to all those who still follow the path of learning, one final thought: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” CHS welcomes all its new students and welcomes back all returning students, teachers, and administrators of the Carson City School District. And just in case anyone missed it, CHS starts Aug. 20 on a “C Day” schedule; students will attend all of their new classes, receive their very own Chromebook from librarian Ananda Campbell, and will return to the regular A/B schedule Aug. 21. One of the world’s most frequented vacation spots is just up the hill, so please enjoy Lake Tahoe on these last two remaining days of summer vacation.


CHS’ Safe Grad Committee shouts out a Brobdingnagian (early 18th century: from Brobdingnag, the name given by Swift in Gulliver’s Travels to a land where everything is of huge size) thank you to the Carson City community, its many businesses and individuals, for all their physical help and financial support before and during the 2018 Safe Grad Celebration Party making Safe Grad the best and safest celebration for CHS seniors every year. It was a huge success with more than 200 students in attendance, and Safe Grad could not have done it without the continued support of this community. For the past 32 years, parents, volunteers, and businesses have provided an alcohol- and drug-free environment for CHS graduating seniors. This program is a proven success every year, and since its inception, there has not been a single graduate fatality on graduation night. Additionally, now is the time to consider volunteering as a member of the 2018-2019 CHS Safe Grad Committee. Meetings happen the second Saturday of every month at RE/Max Realty, 716 N. Carson St. on the second floor. Contact CHS Safe Grad secretary Wendy Yang at 775-720-6160, President Kyra Hinton at 775-434-760-0635, or email for information.


Shanell Cavener and MaryAnne Weaver, Link Crew advisers, were inspired to rename and change the on-campus student-lead group known as Link Crew into Blue Crew because hopes are to have more freedom with events in which Link Crew formerly participated. According to the advisers, “We wanted to try something new to fit the CHS student body; we are extremely hopeful for the future of Blue Crew.” Blue Crew is a group of teachers, staff, and students working together to help ease the transition from middle school to high school. Their goal is to bring all clubs, sports, and groups on campus together to support incoming freshmen, and they are responsible for four events throughout the year: Big Blue Welcome, also called Freshman Orientation, Cookies and Cram, study session first semester, Big Blue Bash, 8th grade end of year dance, and School Tours, ongoing throughout the school year. Additionally, students in Blue Crew will earn community service hours for all the events in which they participate. Cavener said, “Our goal is to make welcoming students a schoolwide effort to strengthen our community and CHS Senator pride.” All clubs, activities, and sports were asked to be involved, and most have already nominated representatives. Teachers helping with Blue Crew are Shanell Cavener, MaryAnne Weaver, Ben Spence, Robben Williams, Erin Been, and Bridget Johnson. Ben Spence believes “it is great way to build ground relationships with kids from freshmen to seniors.” CHS graduate Ashley Lynch, a former director with Link crew for three years, said, “I think Blue Crew will be successful because it will include students of all backgrounds and interests.” CHS graduate Kamille Soderstrom, also a former Link Crew director and three-year member, said, “I think the change to Blue Crew will be great because it will make CHS more personable.” Clubs, sports teams, and groups, including special classes on campus, are helping Blue Crew in two ways: electing at least two freshman liaisons who are required to attend all events and to meet quarterly for event planning. In each group, there are also students helping already, or who have been part of Link Crew previously, and need to allow that to happen in a low-commitment way. These Blue Crew leaders are required to fill out an informational packet and need a recommendation form filled out by a coach, advisor, or teacher. Blue Crew is looking for students who are kind, outgoing, responsible, willing to participate, supportive of CHS teachers, staff, and students, and are able to work well with others. Questions? Call CHS teacher and adviser Shanell Cavener at 775-283-1747, or email her at


CHS FCA adviser Ty McMillen has some great ideas for the 2018-2019 school year, not to mention the other FCA groups in the area. Currently, there are also FCA groups at Dayton High School with adviser Melaynia Wick, Douglas High School with adviser Ginny Thomas, Carson Middle School with adviser Justin Clark, and Carson Valley Middle School. The goal of FCA is to foster unity and support between the groups as they follow their faith through word, deed, and by sharing with students and encouraging students to share as well. Leaders of CHS FCA include teachers Charles Mann, also a Living Stones Carson City Youth Director, Joe Clark, Nate Girdner, and Phil Brady. Also supporting FCA are Student Ministries Pastors at LifePoint, Student Ministries Pastors at Centerpoint, FCA missionary on staff Tim Plummer, Youth Pastor at Hilltop Community Church, Kurt Katzorke, and others. For the CHS lunchtime meeting on Aug. 21, in adviser Ty McMillen’s room, CHS graduates and current college students Jordan Aikins and Valerie Sue Meyer will be returning to their alma mater to share their Christian experiences as current college students and as former CHS FCA members.


CHS teacher James Bean’s students are participating with “RECON ... a citizen science research project aimed at exploring the outer solar system” and using a National Science Foundation grant, a Division of Astronomical Sciences, which allows high school students the opportunity to track Kuiper Belt Objects (Pluto) and TransNeptunian Objects. Students are collecting data in order to feed it to planetary scientists who form solar system models. Bean said, “We are prepping to track Pluto, weather permitting.” Bean’s students are from his physics and astronomy classes. Students Levi Woods, Chandler Tiearney, Adela Pachacho, Damian Branco, and Eli Thomas are shown in the attached photo. Mr. Bean spends a multitude of his personal time outside of the classroom prepping for his classes and working alongside his students because of his interest in science and his love of teaching. Getting a hold of Mr. Bean is easy: call 775-283-1714, or email him at


Stop by before school, at lunch, or after school to room 136, contact Mrs. Patt Quinn-Davis at 775-283-1782, or email her at because the time to purchase a copy of this year’s Carneta is now. A yearbook holds memories, and another year, ready to be filled with them, begins Aug. 20 with Vol. 97 of CHS’s Carneta yearbook. Parents, guardians, and students, copies of the 2018 Carneta yearbook are still available. Numbers of former CHS students return looking for a copy of the yearbook they never purchased.


The purpose of the electronics policy at CHS is to promote student safety and focus on student learning. For the safety and welfare of our students, cell phones are permitted on campus with limitations, but earbuds and headphones are not permitted on campus, and all cell phones and iWatches will be turned off and collected during formal assessments. Cell phones, iWatches, and similar devices should be turned off or muted at all times in the classroom and are not to be visibly seen in the classroom. Students are not allowed to even possess earbuds and headphone while on campus; however, these will be provided if needed to support student learning. Students who violate this policy face progressive discipline, including the confiscation of all items mentioned above, and violations of the CHS Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) may result in students losing use of a school Chromebook or desktop computer.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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