Senator Square: Winterfest filled with fun, excitement

CHS AP Art History student Emily Matuska analyzes contemporary Native American artwork, "Shot Through the Heart."

CHS AP Art History student Emily Matuska analyzes contemporary Native American artwork, "Shot Through the Heart."

“Winterflix,” a play on the popular Netflix streaming service, was the theme this year at the 2019 Winterfest week at CHS with dress-up days and nighttime activities all week long. Some of the events included the Netflix show “Stranger Things,” a Twins Day, “Riverdale,” “The Office” and even the ever popular once-a-month Dress for Success competition. Other events included 80s trivia, a movie night, Kahoot trivia, Central Perk with coffee and hot chocolate, waste basket basketball, bowling and the crowning of the Royal Court at the home basketball game against Damonte Ranch where the senior class Winterfest Queen and King were announced. Another exciting factor with Winterfest this year is how a female and male candidate from each of the other three classes were also announced. Female freshman candidates this year were Angelica Germain-Sanchez, Jennifer Acosta and Ginger Cullom with the male candidates being Lukas Taggart, Cameron Boeckman and Max Wood, and the 2019 Winterfest Queen and King of the freshman class being Jennifer Acosta and Max Wood. Female sophomore candidates were Haylee Solorio, Karen Beglin, and Cady Garrett with the boys being Walker MacKenzie, Isaac Harrison, and Chase Wixon, and the 2019 Winterfest Queen and King of the sophomore class being Karen Beglin and Chase Wixon. Female junior candidates were Stefanie Schmidt, Pru Knox, and Chloe Walt, and the males were Justin Stevens, Roberto Cazares, and Adrian Lopez-Meraz, with the 2019 Winterfest Queen and King of the junior class being Stefanie Schmidt and Justin Stevens. The senior class female candidates were Cassidy Painter, Valeria Martinez, Jessica Taylor, Maddison Matthew, Naralie Medrano, and Emily Gentile with the male candidates being Evan Cherpeski, Josh Ingram, Cole Ashton, Gabe Covington, Leo Rodriguez, and Evan Byassee, with the 2019 Queen and King of the senior class being Valerie Martinez and Leo Rodriguez. Finally, a big congratulations also goes out to CHS Dress for Success challenge winners, sophomore Mariah Dunham and teacher MaryAnne Weaver. Each winner receives a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks or Dutch Bros. This competition happens once a month, with students and staff voting on the best-dressed people in the school. This is just one more of the many exciting events happening this past week during Winterfest.


CHS Astronomy and Physics teacher James Bean is fortuitously connected with the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College, which allows for many of his students to make some type of astronomy their Senior Projects, a CHS graduation requirement. Project RECON — Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network — is where students are involved in tracking outer solar system bodies. CHS senior Ian Pettersen is the Lead Investigator in tracking Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and TransNepunian Objects (TNO), and he is being assisted by Lab Associates Levi Hemmingway and Honors Physics sophomore Levi Woods, who is doing it for extra credit. According to Bean, “Tonight the students were tracking TNO Centaur 14YY49; Centaurs are small Solar System bodies with distances between those of the outer planets, and they generally have unstable orbits because they cross or have crossed the orbits of one or more of the giant planets; almost all their orbits have lifetimes of only a few million years.” Centaurs, named after the mythological centaurs, a mixture of horse and human, are small solar system bodies with a semi-major axis between those of the outer planets, have unstable orbits because they have crossed one of the orbits of one or more of the giant planets, and this shortens their dynamic lifetimes, typically causing them to behave with characteristics of both asteroids and comets. All of the observational data conducted by CHS astronomy students is then submitted to the University of Colorado and Southwest Research Institute for Analysis. Tracking TNO 14YY49 and seeing photos of M42, Orion Nebula & Trapezium Stars may be seen by going to CHS would like to thank Dr. Tom Herring, Observatory Director, for the generous use of the Jack C. Davis Observatory.


Superintendent Richard Stokes and the Carson City School District recently hosted three school assemblies for students with a focus of rising above social media’s negative influence on minds, hearts, and souls. CHS 9th graders attended the Feb. 8 assembly in the Big Gym. Keynote Speaker, Collin Kartchner, is a social activist and youth advocate who started the movement. His goal is to speak to children, parents and educators across the country to spread awareness about social media’s impact on teen anxiety, depression and suicide. The assembly, called #SaveTheKids, focused on internet safety, social media responsibility, anxiety and depression coping skills, and suicide awareness. The following day, Feb. 8, Kartchner described the assemblies as entertaining but also extremely informative. “Be ready to laugh and learn how living IRL (in real life) beats a screen every time,” he said. “Students will learn how excessive device use is preventing them from really connecting to those they love. They’ll also learn how to overcome these obstacles and improve their overall mental health.” The locations and times of each assembly are detailed below. Carson Middle School, Friday, February 8, 8 – 9 a.m. Carson High School, Friday, February 8, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Eagle Valley Middle School, Friday, February 8, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Additional information may be found at


CHS AP Art History students spent a day applying their learning by analyzing a wide variety of artworks at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. They began with private tours with guides who challenged them to analyze Anne Bingham’s photography exhibit, evaluating the role of women in the field of art as well as the feminine form as a subject of art. From there, they moved on to analyze a series of murals reflecting changes in society in the US such as diversity, innovation, and movement. Students spent time comparing original Audubon society prints with modern interpretations infused with statements about human interactions with nature. Some of the artwork students enjoyed analyzing the most were works by contemporary Native American artists using Nevada themes regarding controversy surrounding Cave Rock and land usage. A highlight of the trip was the hour spent in the art studio studying social commentary artwork and screen printing a compilation of symbols on a particular contemporary topic in society to make a piece of social commentary artwork. Ava Covington reflected, “I really enjoyed taking the formal analysis skills I have learned in class with specific pieces of artwork and practicing trying it out of pieces of artwork new to me on my own.” As CHS students consider course options for next year, they are invited to think about taking this amazing course open to all grade levels.


CHS’ Safe and Sober 5k Run & Walk is Feb. 9. Interested walkers and runners may find the application at The Safe Grad Committee is looking for sponsors and raffle prize donations too, so call Social Media Advertising Coordinator, Nubia Leon.


Attention parents and guardians of Honors and Advanced Placement students, there will be a CHS Options Night Feb. 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. beginning in Senator Square. The Honors and AP presentation will be held in the CHS Library followed by the Jump Start presentation at 7 p.m. Applications for Jump Start College and Jump Start Career for next school year are now available in the Guidance Office. Jump Start College allows students to earn college credit while in high school and get a head start on their Associates’ or Bachelors’ degrees. Jump Start Career is for seniors interested in Auto Tech, Construction, Advanced Manufacturing or Cybersecurity. Applications are due to the Guidance Office by March 8.


Valentine’s Day is almost here, and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) floral class is selling roses through Feb. 11. They come in an array of colors: Red, yellow, white, pink, and purple. Orders will be taken in CHS teacher Charles’ Mann’s room, 162, or with any floral student. Single stem arrangements are $5, three stem are $15, a half dozen is $30, and a dozen is $45. Email Mr. Mann at for more information.


The National Honor Society Blood Drive is Feb. 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the CHS Library. Donors are urgently needed, and lives are saved because of this selfless sacrifice. Anyone choosing to donate must be at least 16-years-old, and anyone under 18 must have a signed parent consent form when donating. All donors must show photo ID with birth date. Students may sign up in CHS room 221; anyone else may simply drop by the CHS Library and donate. Snacks and drinks are needed also; these may be dropped off at the CHS Main Office, or email NHS Adviser Brian Branch at


Future Health Professionals (HOSA) is collecting new or gently used blankets to donate to the homeless community. Help someone stay warm this winter; please deliver donations to CHS teacher Kelly Gustafson in room 206 through Feb. 14. Make arrangements by emailing her at


CHS Athletic Department’s Feb. 4 through 8 Athletes of the Week are Lucas Van Brow for Boys Varsity Basketball and Lilian Bouza for Girls Varsity Basketball. These athletes, and all students who participate in school functions through leadership, clubs, and sports deserve a high level of recognition and congratulations.


Kyla Cox is the CHS Student of the Week, nominated by CHS Photography teacher Kara Ferrin. According to Ferrin, “Kyla not only chose to take Photography Advance Studies as a senior, in lieu of an off period, she is also creating some of her best pieces.” Ferrin added, “In most cases, after completing Photography III, there is no obligation for students to continue with the program because they have already earned their Career and Technical Education diplomas; however, those who choose to stay do so as a way to advance their studies, to work independently, and to better their photography skills, and Kyla is taking full advantage of the artistic process and really pushing herself toward creating meaningful pieces of art as well as to grow as a photographer.” Regarding the busy lives of seniors, Ferrin said, “Many times seniors have other obligations, like deciding on post-secondary plans, work takes more importance, and their art suffers, but Kyla is turning in the strongest work I have seen her create in all four years of her time with me; this speaks volumes to me because it shows true commitment to the art and craft of photography.” Congratulations to Kyla Cox on her outstanding commitment to her art and education.


This week’s Senior in the Spotlight shines on Jennifer Artz. Jennifer currently carries a GPA of 4.4. She challenged herself by choosing Honors and Advanced Placement courses for all her core classes since sophomore year, she has taken Health Science classes all four years, and she will complete the Pathway this year as well. She has competed on the CHS Tennis team all four years and is an active member of Future Health Professionals (HOSA) since freshman year. Additionally, Jennifer has competed in state and national tournaments for HOSA and currently acts as the reporter for the group. She is currently working with the police and fire departments to bring a program called “Stop the Bleed” to CHS that will bring training and awareness to teachers to better handle emergencies at school. Outside of school, Jennifer keeps busy by working part-time at Starbucks. Much of Jennifer’s success can be attributed to her good work ethic and the fact that she has received perfect attendance awards twice during her high school years. Her diligence will serve her well when she attends either UNR or WNC next year. Though she has not decided on a specific major, she would like to do something in the health sciences field. The faculty and staff of CHS wish Jennifer the very best in her future. Carson High is proud to call her one of its own.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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