CHS senior fulfills grad requirement with call to action

CHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas tree sales going on now.

CHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas tree sales going on now.

Though it would take some seriously intense research to prove the following, it is believed by many that the Carson City community is the most supportive group of people in the country. Hyperbole, maybe, but Carson High School senior Nik Hylan, in fulfilling his graduation requirement, is asking the community to give a gift of blood and receive a free gift this holiday season.

Hylan recently learned that blood donation drops dramatically during the holidays and in times of bad weather and illness, so he volunteered to work alongside the nonprofit company Vitalant. Founded in 1943, Vitalant provides blood and special services to more than 1,000 hospitals across 40 states to help provide blood to those in need. Hylan believes right now is a great time to encourage friends, family and peers to donate, and what better way to help those in need than to give blood? Food, shelter and clothing is essential, and so is the blood that carries nutrients throughout the body, fighting infections and healing wounds.

Though Hylan began his endeavor in early November, he knows this kind of need is not a one-time event. To say “thank you for donating blood,” Vitalant is giving away $10 Amazon gift cards and long-sleeved T-shirts that say, “What makes you go Awe in life?” and “Blood Donor” to people who donate.

Vitalant in Carson City is located at 256 E. Winnie Lane. What better time to schedule a life-giving, gift-giving blood donation than right now? It costs nothing to donate, and both giver and receiver find a gift.

Please call Nicole at 775-887-9111 to schedule an appointment, and please mention supporting Hylan’s call to action in fulfillment of his Senior Project graduation requirement. For more information, visit


Recently, CHS juniors took a field trip to Stewart Indian School in Carson City to learn some background about this historical Native American boarding school. Students were given a tour and lecture regarding its history and buildings. This cohort of students is currently reading “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, which deals with the main character’s experience living on the Spokane Indian reservation and making the difficult decision to leave and go to an all-white high school in another town. In order to empathize with the character’s journey, junior English teachers Shelly Bale, Emilee Riggin and Rachel Avidano decided the field trip would be beneficial to enrich students’ background knowledge.

According to Bale, “It is my understanding that learning about Indian boarding schools is not typically part of our curriculum.”

However, the students walked away with a new understanding of both positive and negative long-lasting impacts that boarding schools have had on Native Culture.

According to one student, “On the field trip to Stewart Indian School, I learned some very interesting facts about the school’s history, and we were introduced to the Native American schooling system in the Alexie book; I have been taught about the native culture since I was in elementary school, yet I have never been taught about Indian boarding schools until now.”

Another student said, “On the field trip to the Indian School, they talked about how all the kids were taken away from their homes and parents so they can learn how to live like a white person and leave their native culture behind; all of them had to learn English and choose a white name and give up their Native names.”

The student added, “The boys had to cut their hair and change into uniforms, and from what I saw from the field trip, it was very emotional for Indians to leave behind their culture and, most of all, their families.”

A lasting impression was made on another student who shared his thoughts: “The structures were really old and rusty and just looking at those structures was creepy; what made it so interesting was learning that the Indian students built these structures by hand, and I can see what the Indians have been going through having to leave their families and to educate themselves into speaking and learning English. It was actually very devastating.”

Overall, the field trip was a success and something the English junior teachers hope to continue next year when the full Stewart Indian School Museum is completed. CHS students and teachers would like to thank museum director Bobbi Rhader and museum curator Chris Gibbons for leading the tour of the campus and giving a lecture on the history behind Stewart Indian School.


Pastor Tim Plummer, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Missionary area director, has brought Christmas trees to Carson City to support FCA.

Christmas is almost here, and studies show that people who start decorating for the holidays early are lifted up both physically and emotionally, so what better way to start than with a fresh cut tree from Oregon? Lift Christmas Trees is located across the street from the Ormsby House in downtown Carson City, the corner of Carson Street and Sixth Street.

Christmas trees are available right now through Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tree varieties available are the Noble, Nordmann, Douglas, Fraser, organic and silver tip. Purchases benefit buyer and supplier as all profits go directly to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to assist CHS lead adviser and science teacher Ty McMillen as well as other FCA campus groups in the area.

According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, “Research suggests that U.S. residents may use holiday decorations … to communicate friendliness and cohesiveness with neighbors,” and this is what FCA is all about: friendliness with others. The goal of FCA this year is to always foster unity and support. FCA members serve the Lord Jesus Christ by sharing Him with students and encouraging students to share Him as well. So come purchase a tree for Christmas and support FCA student members.


HOSA — Future Health Professionals will be hosting a Celebration of Life memorial balloon release event at the CHS Baseball field Sunday. This event is open to anyone who has lost a loved one and would love to have the chance to celebrate or remember their life. Heart message cards and balloons will be sold from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for $4 at the baseball field. The event will start at 6:30 p.m.; those with pre-purchased heart message cards are asked to arrive by 6 p.m. to receive their balloon. Contact Kelly Gustafson at or Frank Sakelarios at for more information.


The American Sign Language students are putting on a Christmas production this year. Everyone, including students and the Carson City community, is welcome to attend this event at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in Senator Square. Please bring family and friends to join in a night of singing and signing. Contact MaryAnne Weaver, ASL teacher, at 775-283-1728 for more information.


The CCSD Orchestras will have a holiday concert fundraiser at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Admission is free to the Community Center. According to Orchestra Director Brian Fox, to raise funds, “we will have a silent auction, a bake sale, popcorn sales and a free TapSnap booth with Santa on site.”


Students who enjoy art, music and dance, or have an interest in writing, producing films and taking photos are being asked to participate in unleashing their inner artist with the 2018-19 National PTA Reflections Program formed more than 100 years ago. This year’s theme, “Heroes Around Me,” calls for a unique interpretation through the arts. Students wishing to participate need to pick up submission guidelines and an entry form from the CHS Library or from CHS teacher Wendy Tims and return it by Dec. 5. For inspiration, visit the Reflections virtual art gallery to learn more about prizes and scholarships at


The CHS Student of the Week is Bryce Stimka, a junior. Stimka is taking Advanced Jazz Band, Algebra II, Spanish II, Honors Chemistry II, Graphic Design II, Honors Rhetoric, Concert Band and Honors U.S. History. After graduating from CHS, Stimka plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno and major in law. According to him, “My uncle’s a lawyer, and it is a safe profession because everyone needs a lawyer eventually.” In his free time, Stimka likes to play video games and listen to music; his favorite instrument is the clarinet. Congratulations to Stimka.


This week’s Senior in the Spotlight is Nura Tung. Tung has a weighted grade point average of 4.7, and she maintains this with a courseload of Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She is also on track to receive Honors, Advanced and Career and Technical Education diplomas. Tung currently works as a tutor for the CHS Solutions class tutoring struggling students in various subjects. She has also been a member of the CHS chapter of National Honor Society for the past two years in which she serves as an officer. National Technical Honor Society, SkillsUSA, Mock Trial and various summer engineering and computer science camps round out her extracurricular activities. In June, Tung will be receiving the Career and Technical Education Diploma in the CTE pathway of Information and Media Technologies Web Design. At the state SkillsUSA competition last year, Tung placed fourth in the Related Technical Mathematics competition. Tung has applied to Amherst College, Wellesley College and the University of Nevada, Reno. She plans to pursue a degree in political science. Carson High School is appreciative of Tung’s commitment to her education and knows she will be successful in her future endeavors.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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