Senator Square: Carson City School District students and their families displaced

The senior class enjoys the sunset at the 2018 Senior Sunset event.

The senior class enjoys the sunset at the 2018 Senior Sunset event.

Two Eagle Valley Middle School students and two Pioneer High School students and their families experienced a tragic fire May 16 in Carson City. Antonio and Alexis Trujillo’s family and Jordan and Theodore Leyva’s family are now displaced following this incident. Thankfully, the Trujillo family was not injured in the tragedy, but Theodore Leyva suffered injuries. If it was not for the quick thinking of his brother Jordan entering the building to save his family, the outcome would have been much different. PHS is asking the wonderful members of the Carson City community to join them in raising support to help these families get back on their feet. Already, on May 22, Pizza Factory on Highway 50 East in Carson City generously donated a portion of all its proceeds made throughout the day to help these families with their growing expenses. Though the Pizza Factory event is over, there is another opportunity to help out, and PHS wants to thank the proven generosity of the Carson City community in advance for going out of its way to stop by Firehouse Subs, also on Highway 50 East next to the generous Pizza Factory, as it’s also offering kindnesses and holding a fundraising evening for these displaced families. The Firehouse Subs event will take place Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m. It goes without saying that in the most logical sense possible, the larger the number of visitors to Firehouse Subs on Wednesday, the larger a portion of all purchases will be donated to these families. Some people might call this common sense, a combination of contradictory and incongruous words, but it’s time to give foresight some 20/20 vision instead of its counterpart, hindsight. As Senator Square readers may recall, on Feb. 2 Firehouse Subs donated $513.91 to the CHS Class of 2018 Safe Grad Committee in order to provide seniors with a fun and safe graduation experience this year. So it’s time to prove once again the support of the members of the Carson City community. If anyone can make this happen, they can. For details and information about the families in need, contact PHS Office Manager Monica Ward at 775-283-1301.


The CHS Chamber Orchestra, directed by Dr. Brian Fox, sponsored the first Senior Showcase May 15 at CHS. The CHS Fine Arts Department featured 11 seniors who have shown particular dedication. Each senior presented either a visual art portfolio or a pair of musical or dramatic works. The Senior Showcase is part of a new Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement for graduating seniors. Photos include Kersten Law, Lissette Rivas, Fabian Fox Ventura, Melanie Proctor, Edson Lemus, Madeline Eustis, and Sarah Jeffries.


The fabulous CHS Blue Thunder Band concert took place May 23 at the Carson City Community Center featuring CHS senior Johann Thomsen, who conducted the Wind Ensemble at the performance. The musical performance featured the Concert Band as well as the award-winning Wind Ensemble and Midnight Blues Jazz Ensemble, both of which took home first-place trophies at the recent Music in the Parks Festival.


Congratulations to the CHS Dress for Success winners. Spanish teacher Marissa Morrow took first place among the participating faculty members. Among student winners, there was a tie between Emelly Davalos and Kenny Aydelot. May 24 was Dress for Success all day with teachers and students nominating the best-dressed staff and student, and it was also a welcoming of students with Mob the Halls from 7 to 7:30 a.m., when administrators and teachers welcomed students to school as they entered the building’s various entrances. Each winner received a $15 gift certificate to Starbucks. This competition happens once a month, with students and staff voting on the best-dressed people in the school.


The 2018 CHS Senior Class Sunset was May 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The sunset was celebrated with a taco truck and a bounce house.


On May 26, the CHS physics classes visited Grand Sierra Resort’s “Ultimate Rush” ride for its final exam. Students were equipped with camera systems and accelerometers for data collection. Students taking on this final exam challenge included Jessica Basa, Jakob Carlson, Jessica Stine, Evan Cherpeski, Daniel Escalante, and Derek Redlark. Making reference to his classes and his exciting experimentation and research-gathering, CHS physics and astronomy teacher James Bean quotes H.G. Wells: “We all have our time machines ... those that take us back are memories ... And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” Bean is also CHS head freshman football coach and head boys JV basketball coach. Photos of this radical group of students’ visit to the GSR will follow in next Sunday’s issue of Senator Square.


The last Senator Scholarship Scoop of the school year is online at with the latest in scholarships, testing, college visits, grants, and even jobs for seniors after they graduate. First, go to “Academics,” then click “Counseling Department,” and next “The Scoop.” Parents and guardians, have any questions about helping out? Call 775-283-1910, and ask to speak with a CHS counselor.


The final performances this year for the Choral Department are May 29 at 7 p.m. for the Musical Theater ensembles and May 30 at 7 p.m. Both performances will be held at the Carson City Community Center. A number of singing Senators have been recognized for their vocal talents this year. The 11 CHS members of the NMEA All-State High School Honor Choir are Dominic Ceragioli, Max Deeb, Hana Ikehara, Haylee Johnson, Paul McCorkle, Charlie Moser, Cassidy Painter, Nick Perondi, Quentin Powers, Melanie Proctor, and Wesley Sonnemaker. Please help support the Choral Department at CHS by attending concerts and making tax deductible donations to the Carson Choral Boosters. Corporate program ads may be purchased for publication in the programs for any of the concerts throughout the year. For information, contact J. Andrew Sonnemaker, CHS Fine Arts Department chair and choral music educator, at 775-283-1778,, or 775-313-5311.


The 2018 award-winning Carneta yearbook is in, and students are having the best time connecting with each other and signing yearbooks. Yearbook distribution was May 23 at 1:30 p.m. in the CHS big gym where more than 40 members of the publication staff distributed the memories. A few copies are still available for $85. Purchase a copy from Adviser Patt Quinn-Davis. Her contact is 775-283-1782 or


Know someone who is interested in joining the CHS robotics team? A new members meeting is May 30 at lunch in the Tech Center, Room 323, to cover information about upcoming events.


The 2018 CHS Safe Grad night and next-day trip happen June 9 following graduation from CHS. Organizers are reaching out to parents and guardians of CHS students to volunteer. The doors of the Carson City Community Center open at 8:30 p.m. Volunteers check bags, serve food, lead games and activities, monitor doors, run raffles, and clean up afterwards. Volunteers need to be at least 21 to supervise the party and are needed, in particular, June 9 from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and June 10 from 2:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 8 a.m. This is a fun-filled night of action and adventure, and it takes community members to make sure it happens. Email, or call 775-741-3918 to participate.


All senior students need to stop by the guidance office to let it know where and to what college eighth semester transcripts should be sent.


CHS Athletic Department’s Athletes of the Week for May 21-25 are Cameron Quilling and Benjamin Granados for varsity girls and boys track. These athletes, and all students who participate in school functions through leadership, clubs, and sports, deserve a high level of recognition and congratulations.


The CHS Student of the Week is Hailey Ponzcoch. Hailey’s classes this year reveal a young lady pursuing learning at its highest level with Honors World History, Honors English II, Health Science, Honors Algebra II, Honors Chemistry, and Honors Spanish III; she is also a member of Student Council, and next school year will be junior class vice president. In her free time, Hailey said, “I like to run and will participate next school year on the CHS varsity cross country team, which is so much fun; this year we had a great season.” What is Hailey going to do this summer? She said, “I am excited to go to Calaveras State Park and see the giant Sequoia trees.” Haley also enjoys singing, writing songs, performing, hiking, and taking naps in her hammock. This summer Hailey also plans to spend much of her time at Lake Tahoe with her family and friends. Hailey Ponzcoch — another reason why CHS is the best.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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