Senator Square: CHS marching band succeeds with community support

Phillip Brady

Phillip Brady

The Blue Thunder Marching Band placed second out of 10 participating bands in the 2018 Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, Calif. This was the first time the BTMB participated in this annual event, and it was quite an honor. CHS Band Director William Zabelsky knew the CHS band had the skills necessary to perform well. As soon as he found out how it placed by phone call on March 27, he could not wait to share this success with the community of Carson City. More than 100 entries participated in the televised parade, which featured floats, elaborate costumes, fireworks, and a 268-foot golden dragon. Even more amazing is how CHS teacher and band director Zabelsky, a 35-year veteran educator, decided to go above and beyond in the hopes of making this first-ever CHS event happen amidst the large price tag associated with the task. CHS band students needed to raise a combined total of $18,000, so Zabelsky enlisted longtime supporter Greater Nevada Credit Union and individuals in the Carson City community. Last week, GNCU presented Zabelsky with a $500 check to assist in their fundraising efforts, and many others helped by participating in the “Adopt-a-Band Member” program. Each band member was required to find a minimum of four adoptions, and boy did they go to work with excitement. Those individuals who adopted these band members received a certificate, picture, and letter of thanks.


Class of 2018, there are still a few spaces left in the 2018 Carneta to congratulate graduating seniors or any students for their achievements, so the yearbook staff has extended the submission deadline. Hurry, though, because when the spaces are gone, the Buddy Ad section is closed. Contact teacher and CHS Yearbook Advisor Patt Quinn-Dais at for more information.


The CHS Chamber and Concert Orchestras have returned well-decorated from the Washoe County HS Orchestra Festival. The Chamber Orchestra earned Superior ratings from all judges, while the Concert Orchestra earned Excellent and Good ratings. The groups have shown improvement compared to last year’s ratings and are competitive with peer groups from Washoe County. Chamber Orchestra will take pieces from this festival ­­— as well as something new — on the road in late April to impress audiences as part of the Forum Music Festival at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area. Good luck, CHS Chamber Orchestra! Brian Fox, PhD, is the string orchestra director for CHS, CMS, and EVMS. To contact him, call 775-283-1779 or 775-848-5643.


CHS senior Matthew Gunkel worked with Moment Ski Manufacturing to create his own downhill custom skis. Gunkel learned what type of wood to use, how to plank, how to press the boards into form, and how to work with epoxy, testing for proper camber. Ultimately, however, the true test of success will come when the he hits the hill. Congratulations to Matt Gunkel for taking an idea and turning it into a reality with the CHS senior project, a graduation requirement. Senior projects are drawing to a conclusion, and every year a host of new topics are set into motion by students who take it very seriously, students who take it upon themselves to make a difference. There is still a need for senior project judges, so please contact senior project coordinator Lavon Sollberger at


Due to inclement weather, the 8th Annual Safe Grad 5K Run & Walk has been rescheduled to a potentially warmer day with less snow on April 14, so it is time once again for a great workout at CHS to both support its students and potentially win a race. Presented by Carson High Safe Grad Booster, the 5K Run & Walk at the CHS track facility is set for April 14 at 10 a.m. Registration and raffle tickets may still be purchased by going to, or mail in a form and check to CHSGB, PO Box 486, Carson City, 89702. Late registration begins at 8:30, check-in time begins at 9, and the race begins promptly at 10 a.m. For information, contact CHS Safe Grad Secretary Wendy Yang at 775-720-6160, or email


A father of three, a CHS physical education teacher for over 18 years, a football coach, and a softball coach, just to name a few of the many community activities in which he participated, Shane Quilling will be remembered for all of them. The Shane Quilling Memorial Golf Tournament will raise money to help pay for his daughter to attend college and also to help another CHS student attend college with a scholarship. To participate, RSVP before April 8 to Cassie Pete at Arrowcreek Country Club at 775-850-4471, ext 209. The tournament begins at noon on April 15, with check-in at 11 a.m., at 2905 Arrowcreek Parkway in Reno. The cost is $100 per player and $375 per foursome. A box lunch and range balls are included with registration. Make checks payable to “Carson City Schools Foundation.” CCSF is a 501(c)(3) created to increase students’ achievement through philanthropic investment and involvement.


It is time to pick the CHS cheer team for 2018-2019, so come join the team. There is a mandatory cheer meeting for all parents and students on April 4, then the tryouts will be April 25, 26 and 27 in the CHS gymnasium. For information about trying out for cheer, contact Coach Sheila Story at 775-283-1675 or email her at


A brand new event at CHS, Night of all Nations, happens April 13 at 6 p.m. This unique evening is meant to celebrate cultural diversity at CHS through the thing that brings all people together: food. People will sign up to bring food reflecting their cultural identity, and there will be different tables in Senator Square for each country represented. They are still looking for people to bring food representing their culture, so sign up by April 6. All are invited to come and eat as well. Admission will be $2. Contact Rachel Avidano at for more details.


The CHS Student of the Week is Sydney Fields. Sydney volunteers in the CHS library before and after school, which frees up staff to work with students. Any student with mathematics questions goes to Sydney at the library desk because she is patient and explains concepts for students at all levels. Her dedication and willingness to lend a helping hand is so appreciated. She is currently taking a challenging class load, with AP chemistry, AP Language, AP Composition, and AP US History. She is also on the CHS Student Council, an officer in NHS, and a HOSA Nationals competitor last year for medical terminology. In her free time, Sydney loves to cycle. CHS is a strong community of students with the help of Sydney Fields.


This week’s Senior in the Spotlight is Ashley Lynch. Ashley has a weighted GPA of 4.19 and is maintaining that while taking a rigorous course load of honors courses and working her way toward an honors diploma. Ashley has contributed significantly to CHS through her involvement in Link Crew, National Honor Society, athletics, and most recently, as a tutor for special education students in the CHS after school program, Solutions. Passionate about athletics, Ashley has been a manager for various sports for three years and was a student athletic trainer for three years as well. She recently competed at the state competition for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) in sports medicine. She also received a score on the Health Care Issues test qualifying her for the national HOSA competition in Dallas, Texas, this summer. Since she was a child, Ashley has always had a special interest in working with individuals with disabilities, so she served as a peer advocate all four years at CHS, working part time at Eagle Valley Children’s Home as well. She has a unique gift that positively impacts the lives of many. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she will major in biochemistry with the ultimate goal of becoming a trauma surgeon. CHS thanks Ashley for her contributions and wishes her profound success in the future.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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