Senator Square: Author and Carson High School graduate visits her alma mater

The Carson High School Craft Fair is coming Nov. 16-17.

The Carson High School Craft Fair is coming Nov. 16-17.

The Carson High School Library was packed with students Thursday for a special occasion guest speaker, author and CHS graduate Teri Case.

She gave students who attend College Connections some practical and realistic advice on writing applications for both local and national scholarships. Case, a successful author and founder of the Tiger Drive Scholarship, came all the way from Florida to share her own story of hardship and success and the transformative experience of receiving a scholarship. Case, a native Nevadan, shared her story of growing up with an alcoholic father, bipolar mother, and nine siblings. They taught her to watch and learn from others and how laughter can lighten any load. In her travels, Case is always watching and learning from others. This is where she acquires some of her inspiration to write about people who want their lives to matter. Students sat and listened to Case, virtually mesmerized by her gentle and candid style of communicating with them in a way in which they could all relate.

“Teri was so amazing; I am inspired and wanting to create a scholarship of my own and pay it forward myself,” CHS teacher Erin Been said.

She took time to answer every student’s question as they asked her about her life growing up and what it means to become a successful writer. She discussed all things pertaining to her creation of the Tiger Drive Scholarship and then gave to students many pointers on writing successful scholarship applications, telling them what readers of scholarships look for along with the common errors they need to avoid. Case’s debut novel, Tiger Drive, won Best New Fiction in the 2018 American Fiction Awards. She authors the Vitality Stories newsletter, Goal Setting for Assistants, and has two children’s picture books, one of which, “I’m Going to the Doctor?!,” was shared on TODAY with Kathie Lee.

How rare and wonderful it is to hear firsthand about the success of former Carson High School students. It was amazing to have Teri Case freely giving back to her alma mater, to the next generation of students from CHS. Erin Been said, “Carson High School was fortunate to have her.”


It is that time of year again to organize the family adoption for the Angel Tree, put together by Denise DiMarzo at Eagle Valley Middle School.

More than 100 families in Carson City are in need of assistance at Christmas. Many children are from Empire Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, and the Eagle Valley neighborhoods.

In years past, CHS clubs, organizations, teams, and individual staff alone have ‘adopted’ 8-15 of these families and purchased gifts and gift cards for children and families, and DiMarzo, again this year, needs to know how many families both CHS and the community of Carson City are willing to help.

“While working as Office Manager at Empire Elementary School from 2008-15, it became apparent to me that many of our Carson City families struggle financially during the winter season, and children were going without the basics at Christmas,” DiMarzo said. “I found this difficult to watch, so I decided to do something about it.”

She explained about her project: “From the beginning it was clear there are many giving, generous people in this community who are more than happy to get involved; we have been helping many families in the Empire Elementary neighborhood for many years now, so this year we decided to branch out to include needy families from other Carson City schools.”

DiMarzo has been working with school counselors and school social workers to identify those families and help as many children in need as possible. Currently, the list includes 100 families and over 350 children. DiMarzo is collaborating with Larry Stock at Polymer Plastics Corporation who has offered his warehouse as a hub for the program and his expertise in organization. The Angel Tree needs help in many ways, including monetary donations, food drives for the holiday meals, all nonperishable food items for the meals, individuals or organizations to adopt a child for Christmas, and volunteers to help organize and sort when delivery time gets close. Everything is delivered to families the weekend before Christmas. Contact Denise DiMarzo, Administrative Secretary at Eagle Valley Middle School, 283-2600.


This year’s CHS Holiday Craft Fair is Nov. 16-17, with 140 booths, Santa, and a raffle. Admission prices are $2 on Friday night, which includes re-entry on Saturday and a raffle ticket. Saturday’s prices are $1.50 or $1 with a canned food donation. Students K-12 are free, as are any younger children. However, adult volunteers are still needed to help out with admissions and the raffle Nov. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents who volunteer help students qualify for a senior scholarship as well as provide additional stipends for school clubs and sports. The Craft Fair Committee awarded seven scholarships to graduating seniors last year who, along with their parent or guardian, volunteered to assist at the craft fair; the CFC will continue again this year adding another five to eight scholarships, depending on profits. Between $3,000 and $4,000 will be awarded in 2019. Currently, the Holiday Craft Fair is full with vendors; however, they are still accepting applications for the wait list. Any vendor wishing to be added to the mailing list for next year will receive an application in January. Contact Cathy Barbie at 882-8109 or email her at for more information.


Recently, nine members of the CHS NJROTC Senators Orienteering team attained national ranking from Orienteering USA, a member of the International Orienteering Federation. These members participate in land navigation competitions held throughout the school year, and their hard work has paid off for the following cadets, who were recognized for their achievements and may be selected to represent the USA in world competitions: Trinity Harvey ranked fifth and Bryar Fancher ranked sixth out of 37 nationally-ranked on Orange Course F-16 Class; Kyle Navarro ranked 14th out of 85 nationally-ranked on Orange Course M-16 Class; Briana Sanchez ranked seventh out of 33 nationally ranked on Brown Course F-18 Class; Chris Berggren, a 2018 CHS graduate, ranked 15th out of 102 nationally-ranked on Green Course M-18 Class; Chris Paluch ranked 17th out of 102 nationally-ranked on Green Course M-18 Class; Jared Deselms ranked 18th out of 102 nationally-ranked on Green Course M-18 Class; Jarrod Meyer ranked 24th out of 102 nationally-ranked on Green Course M-18 Class; and Darian Montalvo ranked 26th out of 102 nationally-ranked on Green Course M-18 Class. In the past four years, under the guidance of Coach Dan Ingram, the CHS NJROTC Orienteering Team has seen a great deal of success. For more information please visit


CHS Speech and Debate competed against Wooster High School in one of its most successful tournaments. CHS had three finalists in novice program oral interpretation. Vanessa Ladesma placed third with her speech focusing on depression; Marion Haffey placed fourth with her domestic violence program; and Rosiland Macy took fifth with her finding one’s identity.

Senior, Mary Milburn, took fourth with her program on humanity. Captain Sophia Peterson brought home first with her program remembering the destruction of Lideshay by the Nazis. Kieran Dazzo placed sixth in senior humorous interpretation with her piece “God’s Favorite.” In novice foreign extemporaneous, Nate Wetzel placed third. In novice Lincoln Douglas debate, Ivy Campbell, Marion Haffey and Nate Wetzel placed eighth, seventh and sixth in speaker points on the topic of reporter source confidentiality. Marion went undefeated in the tournament taking first place, moving her into senior division competition. In Senior Public Forum debate, Becca Trejo and Kieran Dazzo placed seventh and third in speaker points on whether or not the U.S. should join the Law of the Sea. Becca and Kieran also advanced to final round and won their event. For the first time in a decade, CHS competed in policy debate on the topic reducing restrictions on legal immigration. Jessica Knutson and Niko Ventura placed eighth and fourth in speaker points and earned second place. In senior policy, captains Evan Cherpeski and Sophia Peterson placed first with Sophia also claiming seventh in speaker points. CHS also earned the National Speech and Debate Association’s 100 Club, schools whose students achieve 100 or more national degree advancements during the course of the 2017-18 school year. Only 20 percent of schools who participate in debate earn this award, and this the third consecutive year for CHS debate.


The Capitol FFA Chapter’s sixth annual Cow Plop was a success. FFA student Lander Smith provided the adorable cow that dropped the plop, with CHS teacher Sheila Story and her husband, Bill, there to help and support the event. This year’s winners of the Cow Plop are Elizabeth Merrill, who received a grand prize of $250, and Shelly Bale winning $75 for the Cow Plop Drawing. CHS Ag teacher Charles Mann and the CHS Capitol FFA Chapter of the Agriculture Science Program is grateful for the support of the Carson City community.


Teachers and students were all invited to join parents and students Thursday morning in the CHS Library as they presented the “ofrenda.” An ofrenda is a collection of objects placed on a ritual altar during the annual and traditionally Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration. An ofrenda, which may be quite large and elaborate, is usually created for an individual person who has died and is intended to welcome him to the altar setting. Day of the Dead in the US began Wednesday and ended Friday. Teachers and students also were invited to have some pan de muertos and hot chocolate abuelita and to watch a special dance performed by one of the students dancing La Burga.


The Carson City School District’s Board of Trustees are sponsoring the 17th annual American Citizen Essay Contest. Winners will be selected from elementary, middle, and high school categories. Many teachers throughout the district have their students participate; however, if they do not, students may still turn in an essay. Completed essays are due to the CCSD office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.


Attention all girls and boys planning to try out for basketball. There will be open gym every day beginning at 2:30 p.m. The first day of tryouts for girls is Nov. 10 from 8 to 10 a.m. in the big gym and for the boys at 10 a.m. to Noon in the small gym. The second day of tryouts for girls is Nov. 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and for the boys from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the big gym. Cheer tryouts will be Nov. 12 from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the big gym.


Lindsay Chowanski is the CHS Student of the Week. Her classes this year are Algebra II, Honors Rhetoric, Honors Anatomy, Psychology, Honors US History, and Advanced Publications. When asked about her love of writing, Chowanski said, “Writing isn’t always a chore, it’s a passion; it doesn’t matter what you write because writing connects with all people in thousands of different ways.” Asked whether or not she writes in her free time, Chowanski responded with “When do I have free time.” Congratulations to Lindsay, one of the hardest working students at CHS.


This week’s outstanding Senior in the Spotlight is Adele Fliegler. Adele, an exceptional student with a 5.0 GPA, will have successfully completed 6 AP classes and numerous Honors classes upon graduation from CHS. In addition to exceling academically, Adele’s cheerful nature and genuine personality are assets that will serve her well in the future. Although Adele prioritizes her academics, she is also very involved at CHS as well as in the Carson City community. She has been a member of the CHS Varsity Tennis Team for two years, is a member of National Honor Society, and served as Vice President of the Gay Straight Alliance. Adele works as a tutor in the Solutions after-school program and has volunteered at the CHS Annual Craft Fair. Outside of school, Adele has volunteered as a math tutor at Carson Middle School and will be volunteering at the polls on Election Day. Adele plans to attend UNR next year. Her goal is to major in English and possibly pursue a career in journalism. CHS is very proud of the contributions Adele has made to her school and community and knows she will be successful in her future pursuits. Best of luck to Adele Fliegler.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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