About Ashley Garcia

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Ashley Garcia has created 22 blog entries.

Senior reflection: Ashley Garcia

Fresno Christian High school was the best experience of my life. I transferred here from Clovis North High School my freshman year. At North, I was surrounded by people who didn’t have the same morals as I did, and I really was just uncomfortable there. When I transferred, I was welcomed with the kindest, most warming welcome. My very first day here, I felt as if I was supposed to be here all along. I felt at home. I truly believe that moving here was the best decision I have ever made.

What I love about Fresno Christian is the family environment, and the small school experience. I love that everyone knows everyone, and we always come together to support one another. I have made friends here that I will forever cherish, and have met people that I belong with. I never knew that human beings had the capability to be so close with one another until I came to Fresno Christian.One main thing I really appreciate about Fresno Christian is the fact that we are based on Christ. Every single day, on matter what the circumstances, we always pray and do things the way the Lord intended for us. That is not something that people receive in public schools, and I will forever be grateful for that experience I got, living my life around people who shared the same love for Christ as I do.

Something I will never forget is chapel. My very first day here was a Tuesday, which was worship chapel day, and I walked in completely baffled because I had never seen anything like it before. There was a live band playing worship music that glorified the Lord and people standing up, singing their hearts out in symphony together as they declared their love for their savior. I was completely stoked to be a part of that beautiful experience.

This year was my first year in journalism and believe it or not, it was a very great decision. Journalism taught me many important skills that I need in the future such as communication, writing, and disciplinary skills. I am so humbled and blessed to have Fresno Christian High School as my alma mater, and I will forever be grateful for this school shaping me into the person I am today.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashgarcia.

By |2017-09-11T21:05:08+00:00May 23rd, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Alumna Heather Carr: life with professional athlete

carr 6Courtesy Heather (Neal) Carr

Campus alumna Heather (Neal, ’08) Carr) updates her story since graduating, including marriage to Derek Carr and new baby, Dallas. Carr updates her years since grad, wife of NFL quarterback

Carr updates her years since grad, wife of NFL quarterback

Many FC alumni move on to bigger and better things, taking what they have learned from their years in high school and applying them to life in the real world. Very seldom do we discover that some of those alumni end up being in the spotlight. Former FC alumna Heather Carr graduated with the class of 2008, and went on to marry current NFL Oakland Raiders quarterback and former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

During high school, Heather (Neal, ’08) Carr discovered her passion for cheerleading, hoping to pursue it in college. However at the time she attended Fresno State, the cheerleading program did not exist due to the absence of a cheer coach.

“Originally, I thought I would go to Azusa, they had a really good cheer squad, but then I think the whole dynamic of staying close to home really drew me in, and I wasn’t ready to leave, and God definitely knew I wasn’t ready to get out there and do things on my own, so I went to Fresno State,” Carr said. “Almost all of my cheer girls stayed in Fresno, and went to FPU, or Fresno State, and it was nice to know that they were there, so we could hang out and be with each other all the time. That really helped going to Fresno State.”

Carr majored in teaching, gaining her desire for teaching when she was in the fourth grade. Her inspiration for this was her mother, who was a fourth grade teacher, and who Carr would go watch intriguingly as she taught her students. Although she is still involved in spiritual mentoring, God led her on a different path from teaching when she met Derek.

Heather Carr worked at Hollister at the start of her freshman year at Fresno State and later went on to work at BJ’s, where she encountered the newly discovered football star.

“I met Derek my junior year, and I actually met him at my work,” Carr said. “It was his first year at Fresno State and after we met, we just started hanging out at school. He graduated high school early to come to Fresno State, so when I met him, he was on the team, but he didn’t start or anything he was just red shirting.”

After some time of dating and getting to know each other, Derek and Heather decided to take their relationship a step forward, marrying in 2012. Being married to a football player in college was a fun experience to Heather Carr.

“It was awesome to be married in college; I loved it. I think when you find that right person, it doesn’t matter how old you are,” Carr said. “Especially us, because we were both really mature for our age, and we were just ready to settle down. In college it was fun; we had class together. I think we made it that way, and so it made class really fun and interesting. But its always fun to have class with your spouse.”

In August of 2013, the Carr family added a new member: Dallas. Since Dallas was born at the beginning of football season, it made it difficult for Heather, being a married mom in college and Derek being away at practice, normally from 5-9 p.m.

“Derek knows exactly what he wants and what he needs to do, and he will get it done,” Heather said. “He took summer school before I even met him so that he could graduate, so he could just go play football. He had a plan, before he even got into college.

“Dallas was God’s plan, and according to Derek, he grew more chest hairs because with Dallas, he now had more responsibilities. So now he had a family, more responsibilities: Derek would even say in the games, ‘he would play harder knowing that he had to get into the NFL because he had a family, and he had to feed them.’ It does, it makes you work harder.”

All of the hard work and determination payed off in 2014, when Derek Carr was drafted to go play in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders. The lifestyle of Heather and Dallas Carr drastically changed with this new chapter in their lives.

You get to meet and interact with a lot of people. I am in a Bible study group with the other wives, and its awesome because you can share God’s love with people who don’t even have that. Because in the NFL, people have I guess, quote everything, so it’s awesome to be able to share what they don’t have, and that is Jesus. So that is definitely a pro of being a part of all this. It is just that you get to reach a lot of people with where you are at. –Heather (Neal) Carr, ’08, former FC cheerleader, wife of Derek Carr 

“It’s different in the NFL,” Heather said. “There is literally no phone conversation, no texting the whole day. He is gone from 4:30 a.m., to about 6 p.m., and we don’t hear from him all day. Then, he would come home at 6 p.m., we would eat dinner, an then he would study the playbook and watch film, so we really don’t get to see him all that much.

“It is very different being an NFL wife compared to a college wife,” Heather continued. “Especially since Dallas is at an age now where he knows when daddy is gone, so its hard. I get tired cause he’s moving around and crawling on everything, so when Derek is home, it is nice to get a little break.”

Although the football season is tiring for Carr with Derek’s absence, the off season is a much needed reward for the family of three.

“We get a break around December, and then they start back again in April,” Heather said. “I love that we get an off season, because with some jobs, a lot of people don’t get that, and we get to spend time together as a family. Our biggest thing we love to do when we get our family time is just staying home, going to the park, playing soccer, anything that we can do with Dallas, just because we don’t get to stay home a lot.”

Being a NFL wife, Carr loves the new experiences she gets to encounter. Born from a strong Christian family, Carr loves the opportunity to share with the other NFL wives the light of the Lord, something that is very important to her, and the family as well.

“You get to meet and interact with a lot of people. I am in a Bible study group with the other wives, and its awesome because you can share God’s love with people who don’t even have that,” Heather said. “Because in the NFL, people have I guess, quote everything, so it’s awesome to be able to share what they don’t have, and that is Jesus. So that is definitely a pro of being a part of all this. It is just that you get to reach a lot of people with where you are at.”

Although there are many benefits of being a family member of an NFL player, there are also some hardships.

“You really don’t have a lot of time with your family. I know it is Dallas and I alone a lot during the season,” Carr said. “My parents have a condo up by where we live, so they are there almost every week, and it is really nice to have my mom watch him sometimes so I can go run some errands, or stuff like that. Just connecting with the girls (the wives), we have playdates with the kids, and things like that is fun. But that is definitely a con is that you really don’t get a lot of time with your husband.”

The Carr family had a bit of a scare in August of 2013, when their son Dallas was born with intestinal malrotation, which is a blockage of the digestive tract due to the twisting of intestines, that prevents the proper passage of food. They found the problem approximately six hours after he was born, and they rushed him to Valley Children’s Hospital when they noticed he wouldn’t eat, and he kept throwing up. There, Dallas had his first of may surgeries at only ten hours old.

“We were actually really blessed, because he was born eight days early, and if he was born on time, he might have not made it. So, that was definitely God’s blessing on us,” Carr said. “Although the fist surgery went well, he still wasn’t getting better. After 21 days, we finally got to go home, even thought he was still throwing up, but they told us it would correct itself over time. We took him in again a week later, where they admitted him and he had his third surgery. That was the toughest, just because I remember thinking, is this ever going to end?”

Throughout this difficult time, Carr really relied on the Lord, and He did not disappoint.

At this time, Derek was gone, because he was in football, so his trainer would call him off of the field, straight from practice, to let him know when Dallas was having another surgery,” Carr said. “So, it was really hard for both me and Derek. It was really hard for him to focus on football when his son was having surgery in the hospital.

“Before Dallas’ surgery, Derek wasn’t here yet, but I was praying with Dallas, asking God to show me a sign that this is going to end. Yes, this was his plan, and he was making us stronger through this, and we are trusting in you, and praising you, but I would love a sign just to know. Dallas was asleep at this time, out completely, and he sits up, looks at me, and winks, and then instantly falls right back asleep. Right then, I knew, we were done with this. It was the best feeling ever.”

All of the obstacles they went through made them realize that they could handle anything, and that God was doing this for his glory. It was humbling to the Carr family that they got to share God’s love and light through Dallas’s story.

Heather hopes to continue her love of teaching and help share Jesus’s light with many young adults, and in the mean time, will continue to enjoy time spent with her family, and living the life of the Raiders quarterback’s biggest fan.

This writer can be reached via twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the March 17 article, Annual auction raises over 135,000 for campus
.

By |2015-03-18T00:00:00+00:00March 18th, 2015|Alumni, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Deserving cheerleader to receive scholarship

McEnteeEunieadmin | The Feather Online Archive

After leading the FCS cheer program from 1979-2004, Eunie McEntee and her husband Dave have traveled, volunteered at their church and loved on their many grandchildren.

FCS honors long time FCS teacher Eunie McEntee

The adventure of life comes with many pleasant discoveries. Discoveries including places, people, ideas or even objects. The most important discoveries however, are the ones that change lives forever. In this case, that pleasant discovery for the FCS family was Eunie McEntee.

McEntee started the campus cheerleading program in 1979, and has left a legacy ever since, despite her redirection in 2004. Not only did McEntee change the cheer program for the better, she also worked into students lives as well by educating them in Bible and PE. She was also very involved in drama and student activities, teaching leadership for a few years as well.

After many years at FC, McEntee took some time off to go to Belgium with her husband on a missionary trip in 2004. When she returned, she taught for one final semester at FC. Prior to being involved at FC, McEntee took her passion for gymnastics to Clovis High School, founding their gymnastics program in 1972.

As a result of all of her hard work and the impact that she has made on countless numbers of lives, there will be given a $1,000 cheer scholarship in her name at the FC sport award banquet on Feb. 23. Upon McEntee discovering the news about the scholarship, she was very humbled, and wanted nothing more than to shine God’s light through this experience.

“I did not know about this, so I feel very humbled,” McEntee said. “I want to honor the Lord. I feel like I wanted to call it {the scholarship} after Him instead of my name. Thats who I want to be recognized through this.”

McEntee thoroughly enjoyed her years as being the FC cheer coach.

“You want to be the best that you can be, and they really just had high quality girls and they made up their on routines and it was pretty exciting for them,” McEntee said. “So I said, ‘If the Creator of the niverse created that, then thats Who we trust, then thats Who we are going to depend on to create the things that we do. So it was fun to see how God really gave all these gals ideas and they did very well. It was a fun experience!”

There are many different coaching techniques, however, McEntee was unique compared the the normalcy of other coaches. The reason being is that she based everything she did trusting in the Lord and made sure that her girls knew to do the same.

“I think excellence can only be on the standard of what God’s word says. Gods word never changes. We live in a society where they say, ‘okay, here’s your belief, right here… and we move it according to times and changes but God’s truth just stays here. Yes, there will be changes, but God’s standard never changes, so excellence is just based on that,” McEntee said.

“The rules really are God’s word. I like the Phillips translation of I Corinthians 13, ‘This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience – it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people.’ So, when all of your rules are scripture and you can just say it like that, then its never a bunch of rules, its just Gods truth.”

These lessons went on to impact the lives of many, including Trisha Messer, a cheerleader of McEntee in 1987, and now an FC parent of Olivia and Courtney Messer.

“Eunie is a Godly woman who encouraged me to be the best I could be, in life and in cheer,” Messer said. “She did not have a daughter of her own, so the cheerleaders were her daughters. She loved us unconditionally and hoped that we would do the same with our teammates. She is creative, fun and energetic. She loves life and those around her. Eunie is so knowledgeable about God’s Word and is so Christlike in her daily walk with Him.”

Yet another life she has made a tremendous difference in is former FC cheerleader Melanie Wright Swager.

“Mrs. Mac is what we all called her, “Swager said. “She taught us about teamwork. She always said, ‘You’re only strongest as your weakest link,’ which meant we all had to work together, help each other and encourage each other.

“As we got older,” Swager said, “we definitely formed a friendship, though she was still our coach and leader so we always respected her and her ideas and suggestions. Her love and passion for cheerleading was contagious. She taught us hard work and dedication. I have such fond and wonderful memories of all those years.”

There is one person in particular that has been influenced greatly by McEntee and the person that she has become.

Being a Godly woman and teacher doesn’t stop on the cheerleading floor. She (McEntee) challenged the gals to be the best they could be in completing with hundreds of other cheerleaders, in the classroom, in friendships, in their walk with the Lord. — Peggy Thompson, mother of Tricia Messer

Peggy Thompson, mother of Tricia Messer, and best friend of Eunie McEntee. McEntee and Thompson became friends 40 years ago, when they attended Evangelical Free Church, and also became closer while they were pregnant at the same time with their second born sons. Throughout this time, they have gotten to know each other inside and out, and Thompson could not be more grateful for the friendship they share.

“Eunie is a great teacher whether in the classroom, teaching Bible Study or sitting at a table drinking coffee,” Thompson said. “When you are in her presence you are inspired by her high energy, her enthusiasm and love of learning and positive attitude.

“She loves to study and she oozes Godly insight so that challenges me to be the best I can be for the Lord,” Thompson continued. “Eunie is hospitable, a gracious hostess, very giving and helps when their is a need in your life. That’s a true example of a Proverbs 31 woman. She is Godly, of high integrity, loyal, giving, loving, kind and crazy. After 40 years, I can say crazy.”

Being a cheer mom, as well as a close friend of McEntee, Thompson saw multiple sides of Eunie, all of which were the same, Godly woman.

“Being a Godly woman and teacher doesn’t stop on the cheerleading floor, ” Thompson said. “She (McEntee) challenged the gals to be the best they could be in completing with hundreds of other cheerleaders, in the classroom, in friendships, in their walk with the Lord.

“She would challenging the gals in their faith, she always read scripture, gave them insight to life situations, she counseled them if they had issues (today its called drama). She cared and prayed for them even wrote notes of encouragement. She was a positive role model to the gals “walking the talk” Lord first in every minute of the day.”

Her reputation as a cheerleading coach influenced her cheerleaders in a positive aspect, along with her love and passion for the sport.

“Eunie was an awesome coach,” Messer said. “She had a lot of experience in cheer and gymnastics which spilled over into being the best cheer coach ever! She made us practice and learn all that we could about cheer. She took my team to Nationals which was the first time for Fresno Christian. It was an unforgettable experience. She loved her cheerleaders like daughters.”

The Eunie McEntee scholarship is seen as a deserving tribute, especially by former FC cheerleader Heather (Neal) Carr, ’08.

“She was really encouraging,” Carr said. “Mrs. Mac is very upbeat and she shares her love with God with everyone with bible verses and she just makes you feel very encouraged about life.

“I think the Eunie McEntee cheer scholarship is awesome,” Carr said. “I think its great that they’ve come up with for cheer because its expensive. Football has scholarships, basketball has scholarships, but cheer never really gets that recognition, so I think its really cool.”

Thompson and McEntee shared a special bond, and have watched each theory grow as individuals. Seeing all of McEntee’s hard work pay off made Thompson proud to be her friend.

“The scholarship in Eunie’s name is a great honor,” Thompson said. In order to compete for Eunie it was expected to reach for high standards in all phases of life and she exemplified it in her own life. Anyone who desires to be cheerleader and a Godly representative of FCS should vie for this scholarship, wanting nothing but the best to be the person that honors God in leadership, studies, being friendly and respectful to all, cheering together and representing our Christian school well. Eunie McEntee is the No. 1 Cheerleader of Godliness in my books.”

The scholarship will be rewarded to a freshman, sophomore, or junior for the upcoming 2015-’16 cheer season. The winner of this award will be announced at the FC winter sports award banquet, Feb. 23 in Ground Zero at 7 p.m.

With all of McEntee’s involvement at FC during her coaching years, she wishes hopes to be more involved currently, doing anything she can to help out the Eagle community.

“I would love to come back in be more involved in the FC community,” McEntee said. “I used to do a teachers luncheon in the fall, and have them over, and I would maybe like to do something of the sort, and be more involved. I just want to be encouraging that way again. I am just praying, and seeing what doors he opens, and which he shuts.”

History teacher and photo-journalism adviser Kori Friesen, also an FC alumni, has been impacted by McEntee and her joyful presence in the years that she has known her.

“Eunie was the joy of the school,” Friesen said. “She was the practical joker. You could hear her laugh all the way down the hallway. The teachers were a family because she was such an anchor. Having Mrs. Mac as a cheer coach was also always exciting.

“We learned to cheer for a purpose and had a blast in the process,” Friesen continued. “Every Friday we would dress out and perform in rallies. As a cheerleader we would come alongside, support the team, and to be there for them. I have absoluelty great memories of high school, and Eunie was a huge part of that.”

The FC community is encouraged to help honor Eunie McEntee and continue to support the FC cheer program and help a deserving cheerleader to receive scholarship monies.

Eunie McEntee influenced the lives of many. She will always be a part of this FC family, and will be remembered for her Christ-like lifestyle, and outgoing personality. Please be sure to say thank you to her next time you see her–for shaping FC into what it is today.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Feb. 20 article, Fresno hosts horror movie, to be released nationally.

By |2015-02-23T00:00:00+00:00February 23rd, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Substitue teacher makes the most of her experience

Whitney Nickerson serves as Bible teacher

IMG_7064FC file photo

Not only is Nickerson a substitute teacher for FC, but she also subs for schools around Clovis Unified.

Many people here on the FC campus make a tremendous impact. Among those people is Whitney Nickerson, substitute teacher at FC. Nickerson graduated from Buchanan High School with the class of 2008, and later went on to earn a degree from Fresno State in Animal science, specializing in Dairy Science.

Nickerson has been working in place of junior high Bible teacher Matthew Weimer while he is home recuperating from a tragic loss. She has loved the opportunity so far and has learned a lot from the experience.

“I wanted to be in a Christian environment,” Nickerson said. “So far I love it! This experience has been amazing! I have learned so much already and I continue to learn everyday. I love everything about coming to work here.”

Not only is Nickerson a substitute teacher for FC, but she also subs for schools around Clovis Unified. She aspires to become a teacher one day as well as running her own cow/calf operation at home. Working with cows is one of her dreams, and something she loves doing with her husband in her free time.

“In my free time I like doing anything outdoors,” Nickerson said. “I love riding my horses in gymkhana events, but mostly I love taking them to the mountains and going on trail rides. My husband and I love to hunt and regularly take our two German Shorthaired Pointers, Bubba Gump and Jenny, named after characters in the movie Forrest Gump, pheasant hunting up north.”

Nickerson goes on to explain her interest in cattle and its roots in her family.

“We love taking care of animals and have lots animals at home,” Nickerson said. “We are currently raising three Holstein calves that will help us start up our own cattle company which has been my dream (as well as my late father’s) for many years.”

Senior Justin Porter thoroughly enjoys Nickerson as a sub and appreciates what she does.

“Nickerson is a enjoyable and capable substitute teacher,” Porter said. “She engages with the class and also maintains a proper authority structure, and she likes horses a lot.”

One of her seventh grade first period Bible students, Lindsay Weimer, is very thankful for the time Nickerson has spent with the class.

“I really like Mrs. Nickerson as a teacher, it is very different to have her as a teacher, rather than my dad [/fusion_builder_column]

[previous teacher Matthew Weimer] but it is nice,” Lindsay said. “She talks about her horses and cows a lot.”

Matthew Weimer will return fourth quarter to relieve Nickerson of her substitute role. However, until then, The Feather staff encourages you to say thank you for all she has done!

Follow the Feather via Instagram and Twitter: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Feb. 4 article, Feather Highlights: Frame Rate.

By |2015-02-12T00:00:00+00:00February 12th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Where are they now? Todd Bennett

Prior to his move, Bennett worked at FC as principal for a number of five years after about 21 years of experience in education. Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Prior to his move, Bennett worked at FC as principal for a number of five years after about 21 years of experience in education.

Former principal reflects on recent weeks

As most know, many changes have arrived along with this 2014-15 school year. This includes the relocation of FC former principal, Todd Bennett. Prior to his move, Bennett worked at FC as principal for a number of five years after about 21 years of experience in education. Currently, he is the principal at Laurel Creek Elementary School in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. Laurel Creek is a large K-6 school with 940 enrolled students.

Garcia: How is Laurel Creek different from Fresno Christian?

Bennett: Laurel Creek is much larger than FCS, and it only serves kindergarten through sixth grade. It is similar to other public schools where I have worked. The school is ethnically and culturally diverse. Our largest ethnic groups are Hispanic, African American, and White. Our students represent all religions, as do our teachers.

Garcia: Do you miss FC?

Bennett: Yes! There are many things that I miss about Fresno Christian. I miss the students, faculty and staff. My family and I were so blessed to have spent five years in such a positive, faith-filled environment. The opportunity to focus on God’s Word every day at work, and to openly share my faith with students and colleagues was amazing. I am grateful that my children were able to graduate from such an outstanding school.

Garcia: How has God blessed you throughout the past year?

Bennett: The Lord has blessed my family and me in so many ways. I love my job, my wife is working at a small Christian school here in Fairfield, and my kids are both attending college up here. God has given me the opportunity to lead another great school, and be part of the lives of a new group of children. We are living in a great part of California. Fairfield is about mid-way between San Francisco and Sacramento. It takes about about an hour to get to either city.

Garcia: Is there anything that has changed?

Bennett: Moving to a new city, after a lifetime in Fresno, has been a pretty big change. My parents, sister, and closest friends are still in Fresno, so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. Other than that, the changes have all been positive. It is exciting to take on new challenges and experiences.

Garcia: Do you have any further career goals?

Bennett: I love being a school site principal. I hope that I can have a positive influence on the students and with whom I work, and that I can serve my Lord and Savior wherever He calls me.

A previous article about Bennett, upon his arrival at Fresno Christian in 2009 can be read here.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Feb. 2 article, Alumnus takes talents to professional level.

By |2015-02-03T00:00:00+00:00February 3rd, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Students cast off selfish actions for #RAKweek2015 (VIDEO)

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.45.20 AMThe Great Kindness Challenge

Students put away their selfish habits for a week of Random Acts of Kindness.

Imagine a world without kindness. A world where there was not a caring person, or anybody who had the simplicity to make someone feel loved. That is a world I do not want to live in. Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 8-15 and we need to start the awareness now. We need to admit our self-centeredness, put it aside and find simple ways to change that pretense.

The Feather Online and student leadership are piggy-backing on The Great Kindness Challenge. In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and #RAKweek2015 (Feb. 8-15), students should take into account to be kind to others, and change the world for the better. Often, we go about our everyday lives, forgetting to acknowledge the people around us, because of that fact that we are already wrapped up in our own problems.

The Great Kindness Challenge, if you choose to accept it, will hopefully bring out the greatness in you, because we all know there is greatness in all of us, we just have to dig deep enough to find it. There are many ways to participate, some of which include simple, kind gestures such as giving a compliment to five people per day, make a new friend, bring a flower to the office staff, or offer to help a custodian.

When all is said and done, it should become a habit. A healthy habit where we will all put our greatness together and make this world a kinder place. as Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

With that being said, as Random Acts of Kindness Week approaches, I encourage all of you to take the Great Kindness Challenge, find the greatness within yourselves, and help to make this world a better, kinder place.

Student leadership will be posting a poster on the downstairs hallway this week. Please take the time to add your name and take the Great Kindness Challenge. Be responsible, respectful and accountable to be kind these next two weeks and beyond. As someone to partner with to write out ways you will be selfless this month.

Additionally, students will have an opportunity to serve and show kindness Feb. 19. The high school students will be off campus to engage with the community and help with graffiti removal, Neighborhood Thrift, the Poverello House and others.

Additionally, please post your challenges to others via The Feather comments at the bottom of this article or Twitter: #RAKweek2015.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 1 article, Super Bowl XLIX blog: Roggenstein in Phoenix.

By |2015-02-02T00:00:00+00:00February 2nd, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Take the kindness challenge (Video)

KindnessFeather screenshot

The Feather Online and student leadership are piggy-backing on The Great Kindness Challenge and also encouraging Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb. 8-15.

Imagine a world without kindness. A world where there was not a caring person, or anybody who had the simplicity to make someone feel loved. That is a world I do not want to live in. Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 8-15 and we need to start the awareness now. We need to admit our self-centeredness, put it aside and find simple ways to change that pretense.

The Feather Online and student leadership are piggy-backing on The Great Kindness Challenge. In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and FCS Serve Day, Feb. 19, students should take into account to be kind to others, and change the world for the better. Often, we go about our everyday lives, forgetting to acknowledge the people around us, because of that fact that we are already wrapped up in our own problems.

The Great Kindness Challenge, if you choose to accept it, will hopefully bring out the greatness in you, because we all know there is greatness in all of us, we just have to dig deep enough to find it. There are many ways to participate, some of which include simple, kind gestures such as giving a compliment to five people per day, make a new friend, bring a flower to the office staff, or offer to help a custodian.

When all is said and done, it should become a habit. A healthy habit where we will all put our greatness together and make this world a kinder place. as Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

With that being said, as Random Acts of Kindness Week approaches, I encourage all of you to take the Great Kindness Challenge, find the greatness within yourselves, and help to make this world a better, kinder place.

Student leadership will be posting a poster on the downstairs hallway this week. Please take the time to add your name and take the Great Kindness Challenge. Be responsible, respectful and accountable to be kind these next two weeks and beyond. As someone to partner with to write out ways you will be selfless this month and take the kindness challenge.

Additionally, please post your challenges to others via The Feather comments at the bottom of this article or Twitter: #RAKweek2015.

Additionally, students will have an opportunity to serve and show kindness, Feb. 19. The high school students will be off campus to engage with the community and help with graffiti removal, Neighborhood Thrift, the Poverello House and others.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 1 article, Super Bowl XLIX blog: Roggenstein in Phoenix.

By |2015-02-02T00:00:00+00:00February 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized, Videos, Videos 2014-15|3 Comments

January, thank you month: Join the Discussion

newJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

The Feather staff will update this article throughout the month of January as individuals send in responses to join the discussion. Please check back multiple times per week to read the additional comments.

January: the first month of the year; the month of new beginnings, fresh starts, new years resolutions and also the national month of thank you. The words, “thank you,” are words that can go a long way in someones heart, however, they can be extremely underused. January is a perfect way to start off the new year, and show the people that invest in our everyday lives that we are grateful, and what they do for us matters.

Often, we go about caught up in our days not realizing the impact people around us have on our lives. People such as parents, teachers, mentors, police officers, janitors and encouraging friends. January is the month where we can give back, and let those people know that we are thankful for them. “Thank you” are not only words that let people know we are grateful, but also an expression of gratitude that can not only lift up the people around us, but also make ourselves feel proud, relieved and remembered.

There are ways that us as students can let those people around us know how thankful we are. We can make someones day this month by simply writing a thank you note, and letting people know we are grateful and appreciative of the things they do for us, and how they have made a difference in our lives. We can also give a compliment to someone. Believe it or not, when someone is having a bad day, or feeling like their work is not being acknowledged, a compliment can go a long way to boost their confidence, and their whole day.

Some students have shared stories of people who have made an impact in their lives, or have shared ways that they will try to show their gratitude towards others. The Feather staff encourages students to submit their stories, opinions, or ideas in the comment section, and let us know how they will make a difference in someones life this January.

Please use the hashtag, #TogetherWeAdvance in your Twitter and Instagram posts this month.

Thankful for Encouragement
Kori Friesen, History and Photo Journalsim advisor
Jan. 14, 2015

“I am so thankful for the FC community for rallying behind us in the months prior to my son Micah’s leg surgery. Not only did they support Micah through the process, but they also supported our whole family. Because of them, Micah isn’t ashamed of his leg. We received so many letters of encouragement, prayers, and love from the FC community, and I am so grateful for that. We definitely got to see the body of Christ through the whole experience.”

Christ Centered Lifesyle
Brittney Lewis, ’15
Jan. 14, 2015

“I would like to thank my Aunt, because I have seen her go through a lot of things in her life, and she has always centered her life around Christ. So, I have always looked up to her.”

Recognize Others
Andrea Donaghe, English advisor
Jan. 12, 2015

“I think to be thankful and appreciative of what people do for you is really important because it shows you recognized that something was done for you, and it didn’t have to be. I am personally thankful for the kindness that has been shown to me at this school. I have parents I have never met praying for me, staff member praying for me, and its not anything I have ever experienced at anywhere I have taught. I have an administration that actually cares, and I am so thankful. It is just important to recognize what the Lord had blessed you with and the people He has put into your life, and its important to pay it forward and be a blessing to others.”

An Inspirational Blessing
Mikayla Miller, ’15
Jan. 12, 2015

“I want to thank Jenna Weimer because of the wonderful influence she has been in my life. She has been a wonderful friend and an inspiration to me, and others, especially these last couple of months as we watch her live out her faith even through difficult circumstances. She is a light in my life and I am truly blessed.”

Teacher Appreciation
Johnathon Brushwood, ’15
Jan. 12, 2015

“I would like to say thank you to the teachers here at FC who put in countless hours of work for their students. They are always here for us and are willing to help with anything.”

Role Model Gratitude
Madelline Luginbill, ’16
Jan. 9, 2015

“This January, since its national thank you month, I would like to say thank you to Hannah Avila, who has made a huge impact on my life in more ways than one. She is an amazing Christian woman and having her as a mentor has really encouraged me and has made me want to strive to become a Christian leader, and to be able to leave a mark at this school like she did.”

Caring for others
Justin Porter, ’15
Jan. 9, 2015

“I think its important to recognize the people who have made an impact on your life because we often fail to show enough appreciation to the people we care about. Being that I am graduating this year, I want to makes sure all of the teachers that have helped me get to where I am know that I am thankful for what they have done.”

Love and grace
Vickey Belmont, Student Leadership advisor
Jan. 9, 2015

“I would like to thank my mother-in-law, Kathryn Belmont, because she is a very Godly woman that has always been there for me and my kids, as well as my husband. She has always shown love and grace in everything she does.”

Sister bonding
Brenda Warkentin, Office secretary
Jan. 9, 2015

“I would like to thank my sister Neva. She is eleven years older than I am, and as a teenager, when I was fourteen, she would take me to Sunday school every week. Because of that, I was able to get the background and become a Christian leader when I was a teenager, so I would just like to thank her.”

Thank you, Val
Sierra Duffy, ’16
Jan. 9, 2015

“I want to say thank you to Val, he is always doing everything for the school, and for football and soccer. I don’t play football or soccer, but I have helped him paint the lines before, and you don’t realize how much work goes into it until you actually have to do it yourself. He was mentoring us while me and a few other students were helping him, so I would just like to thank Val for all of his hard work.”

Count your blessings
Tim Melendez, ’17
Jan. 9, 2015

“I think it is important to say thank you, because we do a lot of stuff, and we don’t realize that we receive blessings all the time, and we often don’t get to say thank you for those blessings. We want to, but sometimes we might think it is embarrassing because we want to be cool. I want to say thank you to my mom, because she sends me to this school, and pays a lot of money, and if she didn’t I wouldn’t be able to know these great people.”

Teacher appreciation
Julie Donis, ’17
Jan. 9, 2015

“I would probably just want to say thank you to all of the teachers here, because my grades have literally gone up two points since I have been here. My teachers have really been helping me a lot and just making all of the subjects more clear, and it is making me look like a better college recruit.”

Brotherly love
Jonathan Penberthy, Co-athletic director.
Jan. 9, 2015

“It is important to say thank you because often times people don’t know that you are appreciative of what you do for them. So, going out of your way, and telling them that, and letting them know how much you appreciate them, and how thankful you are of them is really great. I am very thankful for my brothers, the example they set for me, and the encouragement they still give me to this day, so I would like to thank all three of my older brothers.”

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Jan. 6 article, Holiday season highlights: Join the Discussion.

By |2015-01-09T00:00:00+00:00January 9th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|2 Comments

BRIEF: National Bubble Day to take place, Jan. 8

During the trip students will visit the campuses of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine, Vanguard University and one other college yet to be determined.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

With the beginning of January being the first week back from a much needed vacation, what better way to celebrate than National Bubble Day.

With the beginning of January being the first week back from a much needed vacation, what better way to celebrate than National Bubble Day.

On Thurs., Jan. 8, FC student leadership will be celebrating National Bubble Day by distributing small bottles of bubbles to the student body. At lunch time, students will be able to blow the bubbles in camaraderie with one another.

Not only is Jan. 8 National Bubble Day, but it is also national Argyle Day, Earth Rotation Day, Joy Germ Day and National Show and Tell at Work Day.

Vickey Belmont, student leadership advisor, explains the background of this unique national day.

“Thursday Jan. 8 is actually National Bubble Bath Day, but since we can’t all be in a bubble bath at school, we decided to just make it National Bubble Day,” Belmont said. “We will be handing out bubbles at lunch, and students will be able to blow them.”

According to nationaldaycalendar.com, National Bubble Bath Day is an unofficial national holiday for the reason being that they were not able to find the creator of National Bubble Bath Day. However, it is celebrated because it is found that one of the most relaxing things to do on a typical winter day is to relax in a quiet and calm bubble bath, therefore it was made a day dedicated to bubble baths. It is also a fact that the bubbles on top of the water (also known as foam bath or foaming bath) insulate the bath water, keeping it warmer for a longer period of time.

Senior Breanna Jennings, expresses her opinion of this upcoming Thurs.

“I think it is really strange that they made a national day dedicated to bubble baths, but since we are getting free bubbles at school, I think it is going to be really fun and interesting,” Jennings said.

National Bubble day is not the only strange day on Thurs., Jan. 8. It is also National JoyGerm Day, which is a comical way of saying “spread the joy,” since germs spread very easily.

“National JoyGerm Day was created as a day to remind people across the country that by being positive and treating people with kindness they can influence those around them and pass that positiveness on to others, impacting the lives of people and even those that we do not even have direct contact with,” according to nationaldaycalendar.com.

With that being said, The Feather staff not only invites you to blow bubbles with us this upcoming Thurs., but we also encouraging you to spread those joyful germs, and be the best version of yourself on this day!

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more news, read the Dec. 15 article, BRIEF: Feather staff breaks for holiday, returns Jan. 5, 2015.

By |2015-01-06T00:00:00+00:00January 6th, 2015|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Home economics creates traditional 9-foot burrito (VIDEO)

Burrito1Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

The tradition continues for the 15th year in a row, as Sharon Scharf’s home economics class constructs a 9-foot burrito. The burrito contains the usual ingredients including beans, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese and olives.

Scharf received the recipe of this traditional Mexican dish from LaVictoria food company. In past years, the food company sent out recipes to cooking classes, and had them test the recipe to see of it turned out as they had planned. Scarf received the recipes and introduced them to her class, including the 9-foot burrito. After La Victoria cut their recipe program short, Scharf continued the 9-foot burrito activity.

“We’ve been making this burrito for 15 years now,” Scharf said. “It all started when my neighbor, who was teaching home ec. at Reedley High, alerted me to a program that La Victoria Foods had for high school home ec. classes. They would send us their recipes and their products in turn for an evaluation of said recipes.

One of those recipes was an 8 foot burrito. I thought, that would be fun and we could do that! I had to get a board to make it on, and I could only get a 10 foot board; so I thought we could bump that 8-foot burrito up to a 9-foot burrito since we have the board space! That’s how it all began.”

The first step of constructing the 9-foot burrito is preparation. The students set up a 12 ft. by 12 in. board on a clear surface, and covered it with aluminum foil. While the tortillas were warming up in the oven, other students were cooking the beans and meat on the stove. The condiments were being chopped up into small, intricate pieces by the remaining students.

Afterwards, the students transferred the ingredients onto the tortillas, which were placed on the board. Following that step, the students all lined up alongside of the burrito, and folded it over simultaneously. Hence, the 9-foot burrito was finished.

Junior Courtney Messer, who was a student in home ec. last year, enjoyed participating in the making of the burrito. This year’s burrito did not fall short of the previous one.

“I loved making the burrito, it was very easy, and it turned out to be delicious,” Messer said. “I was in home ec. last year and it was one of my favorite things to make. This year did not disappoint.”

Sophomore Brookyln Ainley was not disappointed with the outcome of the burrito.

“It was fun, I saw pictures last year of how they made it, and I thought it was interesting so I was looking forward to try it.It tasted the same as any other burrito, it was just longer.”

Gloria Xu, ’18, enjoyed the way the burrito turned out.

“I liked making the burrito, and learning new things about American food. It tasted really good too.”

Freshman Matthew Oliver explains the ingredients and process to making the 9 ft. burrito.

“During the process of making this burrito we had the different people prepare the different ingredients that were put into it,” Oliver said. “It was sort of like a conveyor system. My job stirring this was to spread the beans on it. Altogether this took about 25 minutes but if the ingredients were prepared before then it would have probably been done faster. I knew before hand that we were going to accomplish this assignment and that it would be sometime in the year that we had to accomplish it in that class.”

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Nov. 21 article, Jack Leonard: A veterans perspective (PODCAST).

By |2014-11-24T00:00:00+00:00November 24th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fall Festivus opens holiday season (VIDEO)

FallFestivusBree Castro

Freshmen Riley Endicott and Olivia Messer ham it up to get students to sign up for the Nov. 25 Fall Festivus.

After the success of last year’s Fall Festivus, student leadership has decided that the tradition of this much anticipated event must proceed to happen again. The second annual Fall Festivus will be held, Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving break.

The Fall Festivus will again be held at the Beal residence, starting at 6:30 p.m. and will end at 10:30 p.m. With last year hosting roughly 70 people, student leadership expects approximately 60-70 people to attend this year. The night will consist of movies, dinner, s’mores, bonfires, dessert, and lots of Fresno Christian fellowship.

Having attended the Fall Festivus last year, Justin Porter, ’15, enjoyed the overall aroma of the event, and is anticipating the upcoming one.

“It was quite an enjoyable evening with pleasant camaraderie, and it was a great opportunity to hang out with my fellow peers,” Porter said. “My favorite activity of the evening was probably roasting marshmallows so we could make s’mores, however I also enjoyed the line dancing. I am looking forward to this years fall festivus because i had such a great time last year, and I am excited to see how this year will turn out.”

With this year only being the second year having the Fall Festivus, freshman Roman Endicott is highly awaiting what the night has to offer.

“I have never been to the Fall Festiuvs before,” Endicott said. “And according to all of the upperclassmen, it sounds like it is going to be a good time.”

However, do not take these students’ word for it. There are 70 others who went last year. Talk it up. Find out for yourself. But plan on being there.

The entrance fee is $10, and must be paid by Nov. 24.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashgarcia.

For more news, read the Nov. 19 article, Food drive donates, makes difference in community.

By |2014-11-21T00:00:00+00:00November 21st, 2014|Announcements, News, Uncategorized, Videos|0 Comments

BREAKING: Night of the Stars venue changed

IMG_1181Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

With weeks of thought the decision has been made that the 2015, 23rd annual Night of the Stars will be held at Wolf Lakes.

Movies, elegant dinner, dessert, photo booth, grammy awards and lots of pictures: also known as FC’s Night of the Stars, the most anticipated event of the year.

For the past years, FC has confided in The Grand 1401 to hold the annual NOTS event, however this year, student leadership decided to go in a new direction.

With weeks of thought the decision has been made that the 2015, 23rd annual Night of the Stars will be held at Wolf Lakes. Normally, NOTS is held in mid Feb., however, due to the change in venue, it will now be held, March 28.

Wolf Lakes is a park, privately owned and located near the foothills of Clovis. Both of the two formal locations are alongside the lake. As a result, there will be lake cruises for the students during the night, which is included in the price of the ticket.

This year, the cost per ticket will be suspected to be between $50-60. This price includes a variety of different benefits including set-up/clean-up, tables and chairs, linen tablecloths and napkins, china/stemware/flatware, service staff, appetizers, full catered dinner, lake cruises and security throughout the night.

I think NOTS is one of the most anticipated events, especially as a freshman. I’ve never been to NOTS before, so I don’t know much about The Grand 1401, but from what I’ve heard, it’s always been kind of compacted, whereas at Wolf Lakes, you can be outside with the flowers, and the lake, so I’m very excited. –Erin Wilson

Normally, NOTS at The Grand 1401 would be an evening of going up and down elevators to take pictures, and a crammed space on the top floor of the building to socialize with friends.

Student leadership advisor Vickey Belmont, gives insight into the decision for changing NOTS venues.

“We were trying to keep the cost down,” Belmont said, “we wanted the students to see and be somewhere else plus we’ve been at The Grand for multiple years so we thought a change of venue at Wolf Lakes would be nice.”

Having attended NOTS last year as a freshman, Brooklyn Ainley, ’17, is anticipating the change of venue.

“I’m excited because it looks a lot prettier, and there will be a lot more room to move around,” Ainley said.

Erin Wilson, ’18, is expecting to be experiencing NOTS for the first time this year, and moving the location makes her excitement heighten.

“I think NOTS is one of the most anticipated events, especially as a freshman. I’ve never been to NOTS before, so I don’t know much about The Grand 1401, but from what I’ve heard, it’s always been kind of compacted, whereas at Wolf Lakes, you can be outside with the flowers, and the lake, so I’m very excited,” Wilson said.

Save the date for the 2015 Night of the Stars, March 28, from 5:30-11 p.m.

Follow The Feather on Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more news, read the Nov. 20 article, BRIEF: Fall Festivus, Nov. 25.

By |2014-11-21T00:00:00+00:00November 21st, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Thanksgiving #FCgivesthanks: Join the Discussion (VIDEO)

FallDiscussionAlexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

As Thanksgiving break approaches, students and staff share their traditions that make the holiday special for them.

With the end of the semester approaching, students get one more break until finals and the new year. During the Thanksgiving season, the campus will break for a three-day vacation, Nov. 26-28.

As the colder weather starts to arrive and the leaves begin to fall, campus clothes change from shorts to pants and t-shirts to coats. Many look forward to several holiday traditions like a Thanksgiving family dinner or watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Some students shared their crazy family memories, their favorite foods or even what the holiday means to them in this video. Other students have left comments below or stopped by the journalism lab to share their favorite Thanksgiving memories.

The Feather wants to encourage students to submit their opinions in the comment section on their favorite moments during the season or even their favorite holiday foods. Please take the time read the comments and type in your own Thanksgiving most embarrassing moments, favorite meals or best Thanksgiving memories below. These will be updated numerous times before Thanksgiving.

Watching Christmas movies
Kathryn Damschen, ’15
Nov. 26, 2014

“It’s always been a tradition in my house to watch a Christmas movie after the meal and during dessert, to get in the Christmas spirit. We usually resort to watching White Christmas, as that is my family’s favorite.”

Yummy Yams
Marissa Parker, ’17
Nov. 26, 2014

“Every Thanksgiving my family and I help each other make all of the delicious dishes to eat, and I help with the yummy yams, placing the marshmallows all close together so they taste extra scrumptious.”

I love Thanksgiving
Matthew Jones, ’15
Nov. 26, 2014

“I love Thanksgiving so much. It’s a great time to think of what you’re thankful for and have good memories with your family. I especially love the food.”

Potluck gone wrong
Michael Fenton, High School Math advisor
Nov. 25, 2014

“My dad has a very big family and one Thanksgiving my cousin went missing. We later found him under the Thanksgiving table. Another time, we decided to have a Thanksgiving potluck and some brought leftovers. One person didn’t handle their leftovers very well and the majority of the group got extremely sick. I haven’t gone to a Thanksgiving potluck since.”

Bubbly Turkey
Madelline Luginbill, ’16
Nov. 25, 2014

“A couple days before Thanksgiving, my siblings and I watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. When the grandma in the movie goes to pray, she says the national anthem instead. On Thanksgiving day, my younger brother went to pray and said the national anthem instead. I started laughing so hard that I spit my apple cider all over the turkey.”

Supportive Family
Tyler Villines, ’18
Nov. 25, 2014

“I’m thankful for my family and my friends and all the people who support me. Especially in how my family just recently supported me in my decision whether I wanted to play basketball or soccer. They always said that I can do whichever sport I feel and they will support me in whichever sport I decide to play.”

Family is everything
Melissa Tostado, ’18
Nov. 25, 2014

“As cliche as it sounds I’m extremely thankful for my family. Without my family I wouldn’t be the fun and outgoing person I am today. One family member that I am exceptionally thankful for is my brother. If I had a bad day or I needed to talk about something he was usually the first person I would talk to. Overall that’s what I’m thankful for this year.”

Turkey Shake
Robert Foshee, High School teacher
Nov. 24, 2014

“Every year I start preparing the turkey at 6 in the morning since our grandma likes to eat earlier. Before I put the turkey in the oven, I do my turkey dance with it and sing ‘hello my baby, hello my darling, hello my ragtime gal’ from Looney Toons. My kids wake up early too just to watch me.”

Tense Turkey
Jared Kaiser, High School teacher
Nov. 24, 2014

“Throughout college, my parents would go out of town for Thanksgiving so I would celebrate with my best friend. His parents loved me, but his grandma thought I was a terrible influence. She and I always got into little fights, but it was mutual.”

God Bless America
Nathan Wong, ’18
Nov. 24, 2014

“I’m thankful that I came to America because Hong Kong is pretty messy right now and living in America is just such a blessing for me. I’m also thankful that I get to come to this school and meet new friends who are so accepting of me.”

Not so board games
Kyle Dodson, High School English adviser
Nov. 24, 2014

“Every year during Thanksgiving, when all the food has been consumed and enjoyed, my wife’s entire side of the family will sit down for a lovely game of Canasta. It’s an old person’s type of card game similar to Rummy or Bridge. It’s a relaxing game, if it were not for the way her family plays it. Her family gets ruthless. Her Aunts and Uncles will cheat and connive their way to the top. Her grandmother will guilt you into making a wrong move. There’s nothing civil about this card game; it’s a competitive bout of psychological warfare.”

A yummy feast
Marisa Jonigian, ’16
Nov. 24, 2014

“For each Thanksgiving, my family heads to my grandmother’s house and have a yummy feast. It’s entertaining because my brother, Kyle, is always up to something mischievous, but it always makes for an eventful day. My favorite dish to chow down on is mashed potatoes and gravy.”

A fiery tradition
Jonathan Broersma, Sixth grade teacher
Nov. 21, 2014

“When I was in high school, we used a deep fryer to cook the turkey and accidentally set the grass on fire. Then, once I had my first daughter Lucy, I set the barbecue on fire.”

Off to Shaver
Courtney Messer, ’16
Nov. 21, 2014

“Instead of staying in Fresno, my family goes up to our cabin in Shaver. We like it because it the last couple times we’ve gone there’s snow. After we eat, the whole family gets to go outside and play in the snow.”

Spoiled Thanksgiving
Taylor Cowger, ’17
Nov. 21, 2014

“The night before Thanksgiving, I went to go drink some milk out of the fridge like I always do. Instead of grabbing the new milk, I grabbed the spoiled carton and threw up the next morning. But I ate some turkey anyways.”

Family togetherness
Erich Miller, ’18
Nov. 21, 2014

“I’m thankful for Thanksgiving break and being able to go visit family from out of town that we don’t see very often. Family is an essential part of the Thanksgiving holiday. I love sitting around and eating a bunch of food with all of my family and talking about all the stuff that’s going on in their lives and back home where they live. So visiting with my family from out of town is what I’m thankful for.”

Sleeping in
Emmaline Krohn, ’16
Nov. 20, 2014

“I’m excited for Thanksgiving break to sleep. Also I’m going to the coast to see my family which is always fun.”

Chickens on Thanksgiving
Hannah Hong, ’18
Nov. 20, 2014

“For Thanksgiving, we always go out of town, so we went to a friends house in LA, and when we got there, I saw 10 dead chickens without feathers. To make me laugh, my friends started playing with the chickens and talking to it like a baby. It was really strange.”

Holiday time feasting
Joseph Lange, ’15
Nov. 20, 2014

“It’s a holiday that we get to eat a lot… and I like to eat a lot.”

The perfect piece
Vickey Belmont
Nov. 20, 2014

“When I was younger my mom made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and we had a cat. Then, the cat decided to put a perfect paw print in the middle of the pumpkin pie. It was fabulous and we still served it once we cut out the kitty paw print.”

Black eye
Breanna Jennings, ’15
Nov. 20, 2014

“For Thanksgiving my seventh grade year I had a black eye. A couple days before I had P.E. and this kid named Jeremy threw the frisbee while he was standing two feet away from me. He let go too fast and it smacked me right in the face so I had a black eye for Thanksgiving.”

A beautiful life
Ivette Ibarra, ’15
Nov. 20, 2014

“I am thankful for life because it is a beautiful thing. During Thanksgiving season I think it’s really important to spend time with the people I care about.”

Turkey Hunt
Daniel Ayres, ’17
Nov. 20, 2014

“Instead of just buying a turkey at the store, my family goes on a turkey hunt. The whole family goes and we’ve been doing ever since I can remember. The most I have ever gotten is five in one hunt.”

A raw Thanksgiving
Roman Endicott, ’18
Nov. 20, 2014

“After my older brother had surgery, they gave him some Vicodin and he was out of it. When he got home, he started eating the raw turkey and never realized it was uncooked. Surprisingly he never got sick.”

Gobble down some turkey
Justin Porter, ’15
Nov. 20, 2014

“My favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving is turkey. It’s just one of the tastiest things and I don’t really eat it except during the season.”

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Nov. 19 article Featured App: goREACT, Molecules, VSB Chemistry.

Front page photo provided by Creative Commons 3.0 Flickr Tim Sackton.

By |2014-11-20T00:00:00+00:00November 20th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|1 Comment

BRIEF: Fall Festivus, Nov. 25 (VIDEO)

IMG_6918Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

High school students gather before Thanksgiving Break to roast marshmallows and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at the annual Fall Festivus, Nov. 25.

The second annual Fall Festivus will be held on Tues., Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving break. After the success of last year’s Festivus, student leadership has decided that the tradition of this much anticipated event must proceed to happen again.

The Fall Festivus will again be held at the Beal residence, starting at 6:30 p.m. and will end at 10:30 p.m. With last year hosting roughly 70 people, student leadership expects approximately 60-70 people to attend this year. The night will consist of movies, dinner, s’mores, bonfires, dessert, and lots of Fresno Christian fellowship.

Having attended the Fall Festivus last year, Justin Porter, ’15, enjoyed the overall aroma of the event, and is anticipating the upcoming one.

“It was quite an enjoyable evening with pleasant camaraderie, and it was a great opportunity to hang out with my fellow peers,” Porter said. “My favorite activity of the evening was probably roasting marshmallows so we could make s’mores, however I also enjoyed the line dancing. I am looking forward to this years fall festivus because i had such a great time last year, and I am excited to see how this year will turn out.”

With this year only being the second year having the Fall Festivus, freshman Roman Endicott is highly awaiting what the night has to offer.

“I have never been to the Fall Festiuvs before,” Endicott said. “And according to all of the upperclassmen, it sounds like it is going to be a good time.”

The entrance fee is $10, and must be paid by Nov. 21.

The Beal Ranch
13179 E Bullard Ave
Clovis, CA 93619

Follow the Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashgarcia.

For more news, read the Nov. 19 article, Food drive donates, makes difference in community.

By |2014-11-20T00:00:00+00:00November 20th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Non-profit director organizes holiday boutique

Last Saturday, on Nov. 8 began an opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done in advance, considering the holiday season is among us. Peoples Church employee Vanessa Markarian is organizing a holiday boutique named “Eagles Shop A Lot Holiday Boutique.”

Markarian coordinated this event for a chance to support the school, as well as her non-profit called “Square Heart Shops.”

“Square Heart Shops is a non profit that I started last year, and we ask people to de-clutter their craft closets, and donate things to us, and then we repurpose it and sell it,” Markarian said.

Both non profit, and direct sale booths were there, as well as simple homemade baked goods booths. One of the most popular groups was the Haitian bead project, started in the summer of 2011 by Mr. Ericlee Gilmore, and his wife Dorina Lazo Gilmore.

“They use paper and they twist it to make beads, and then they string them to make necklaces, bracelets, and lots of other things,” Markarian said. “Each bracelet comes with a tag that says something about the person who made it, and the money that is made from these goes directly back to the women and men in Haiti.”

Although the turnout was not what Markarian was hoping, she felt that it was a very successful for a first time event.

“I think next time, to make it even more successful, we need to have more advertising and signage would probably be helpful,” Markarian said. “Cayla Rivas and Lauryn Tucker helped with signs out on the street but having more students involved next time would be great.”

More of the shops that were there was Perfectly posh, Gold Canyon Candles, Origami Owl and Jamberry Nails. Each booth pays a fee of $25 for a 10 ft. by 10 ft. space.

“I think everyone enjoyed the range of shops we had,” Markarian said. “I was happy that Kylie Clem was able to have a booth with her handmade items. Altogether, approximately 150 people showed up.”

Breanna Jennings, ’15, wished she had attended the “Eagles Shop A Lot Holiday Boutique” due to the variety of different vendors that were there.

“It sounded like a very useful event to get Christmas shopping done early,” Jennings said. “I think this event was a great way to not only save money, and purchase homemade things for your loved ones, but also to support the school as well. I will definitely be going to the next one.”

Markarian hopes that the next “Shop A Lot” Boutique will be held during the spring, around Mothers Day.

For more information about “Square Hearts Shops,” please visit www.squareheartshops.com
Business inquiries: [email protected]
Facebook: facebook.com/squareheartshops
Instagram: @squareheartshops
Phone: (559) 492-8841
Tax ID: 46-3451448

Follow The Feather on Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

By |2014-11-13T00:00:00+00:00November 13th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Seniors strive to wrangle a win

SeniorFloat1Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

It’s that time of year again, and the homecoming festivities are underway. One of the most anticipated activities of the season is the float building. This year, with the theme being “A walk down Hollywood Boulevard,” each of the class floats will be based on a movie genre.

Freshman will be sci-fi, sophomores will be 1940’s mobsters and the juniors will be the roaring twenties. This year, as their last float, the seniors will take on the western genre.

Jordan Castro, ’15 shares his excitement about this years western float.

“The meeting this year are surprisingly very productive compared to my other years, and as such I’m pretty confident in our ability to make a nice looking float,” Castro said. “I think this will be the one float that i will remember in high school. That is, if we can beat the juniors.”

For their freshman year, with the theme of boardgames, the seniors took on The Game of Life, receiving third place for their efforts. Sophomore year, the theme was Fairytales, and their float theme was Wizard of Oz. The class of 2015 received third place, yet again. Last year, the theme was super heroes, and their float theme was The Avengers. For the third year in a row, they received third place.

Justin Porter, ’15, is ecstatic about this years float, and has high hopes for the outcome.

“Ever since freshman year, nobody has really cared all that much. Theres been a lack of enthusiasm, but this year, because it’s our senior year, people are caring more and things are productively getting done,” Porter said. “I am very frustrated about getting third every single year, so I am excited for my last year, and hopefully justice will be served. The seniors won’t be the underdogs, and come out with a win!”

During advisory, Sept. 18, the seniors had the first pick of float theme, they came together and voted on western. Due to the fact that it was said to be the most cost efficient, the seniors thought that western would be a perfect idea for their float.

The basic portrayal of the float will display a town front along with a fake shoot out involving nerf guns. A saloon, and a little bar serving root beer floats with popcorn, will be set up to go along with the western-theme. The layout of the float was a conglomeration of the student who had the will and desire to be at the float meetings.

With only three float meetings under their belt, the seniors have managed to complete almost 90 percent of their float, putting them above the other classes progress wise. Senior Jason Swain, head director of the float, explains how the the float came together.

“The float meetings have been very productive compared to the past three years,” Swain said. “The first meeting, we managed to re-enforce the trailer, put up the saloon, and frame the jail. The second meeting, we finished the jail, constructed the bars, and painted the float.”

At this point, the seniors were working at a feverish pace, making this the fastest progress over the past years.

“This past meeting, {third meeting} we built a fence around the trailer, painted a little more,” Swain continued. “And then made sure the float was more sturdy. We are making excellent progress, and I am very confident that we will come out with a win.”

The meetings have been located at the Beal household, from the courtesy of Trevor Beal, ’15, and his family.

“The Beals house is where we are doing the float meetings because it already has a western feel to it,” Swain said. “They race, train, and breed horses, and have plenty of hay and supplies to keep us going.”

The 40 ft. trailer was graciously loaned to the class of 2015 by the DeGroot family. Be sure to attend the Homecoming game, Oct. 31.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Oct. 23 article,

By |2014-10-23T00:00:00+00:00October 23rd, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Volleyball sport shorts: Fowler

VOLLEYBALL SPORT SHORTS, 2014
For a preview to the Eagles volleyball season and a look at their scores so far, check out the Fall sport box scores, 2014, for dates, scores, and all fall sports.

Also, please be sure to check out the Eagles’ schedule for the upcoming season at Max Preps. FC is currently 12-7 overall and 0-2 in the Central Sierra League as of Oct. 9. FC’s next game will be on Oct. 9, as the Eagles play a home game against Minarets High School.

IMG_3018Kylie Bell

The Eagles hosted their rivals, The Fowler Redcats, in their first league home game and faced defeat, Oct. 9.

FC loses 3-0, hopes for better, Oct. 9

The Eagles hosted their rivals, The Fowler Redcats, in their first league home game and faced defeat, Oct. 9.

The Eagles held their ground with a short lead throughout the whole first match until the last few points when the Redcats made a comeback and won, 23-25.

Head coach Jonathan Penberthy shares his thoughts about the first match.

“I think in the first match, we got off to a hot start, Penberthy said. “Yet once Fowler got a few points our energy and excitement started to deflate, and it was hard to pick up the energy once they caught up.”

The Eagles fought hard in the second match, however they were not able to pull through. Starting off the lead with 5-2, however loosing it yet again, 23-15.

“The first game we got out to a pretty good lead, which was nice, but the lack of communication really showed in the second and third game.” Penberthy said. “It was just the little things that we could have done better.”

The third match was a tough fight for the eagles as well, however the Redcats finished off the eagles, and beat FC 25-19, ending the overall game, 3-0.

“I thought that 90 percent of the game went awesome,” Penberthy said. “The other ten percent we just couldn’t finish out the game. We played very well, and It was our lowest amount of errors. We averaged less than 8 errors per set. We lost by a total of 10 points, which is a lot better than how we have been playing.”

Olivia Quebe, ’16, with nine total kills throughout the game, displays her excitement.

“I really do believe that was one of the best games we have had. I can’t wait to play them again, and show them what we are really made of.” Quebe said. “I think we can work a lot more on communicating, and just keeping up the intensity regardless of the score.”

The Eagles next home game is Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 pm, against the Parlier Raiders.

This writer can be reached via twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

By |2014-10-11T00:00:00+00:00October 11th, 2014|Fall, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Adoption leads to new experience, overcome struggles

DSC_5879xJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Adoption is a part of multiple student and family lives here in the FC community. Although adoption is not uncommon, most are unaware of the process and stories of those families.

The emotional and spiritual journey of adoption is a major passion for Allyson, FC alumnus ’93, and Ryan Howard, parents of Taylor Howard, ’15. Taylor’s family is made up of 3 biological and 4 adopted children, so he has first-hand experience with adoption.

“We chose to adopt for many reasons, but early in our marriage we saw that God placed a desire in us to add to our family through adoption,” Allyson said. “We first started the process of foster adoption in 2000. Although we didn’t adopt at that time, the idea was firmly in our hearts and minds.”

In 2004, the Howards made the decision to adopt from Russia. A year later, they returned home with a son, Noah. Since then, they have adopted Samuel from Russia (2008), Zachary through Fresno County foster care (2010), and then Ivy Grace in December (2012) from China.

Although adoption is a tedious process, Allyson, shares her immense gratitude towards Christ and the blessings he has given her family.

“There are many uncertainties in adoption, not unlike having biological children,” Allyson said. “But through the processes, we have been immeasurably blessed by each of our children and seen God put together our diverse family in a way we would never have dreamed or imagined. Adoption, although completely different than having children naturally, is just as great. And it has taught us in unique ways, about what God did for us. He loved us so much, that he didn’t stop with the great gift of salvation, but made us His heirs through adoption.”

Having a diverse family comes with struggles and hardships. Some adopted children struggle with loneliness, belonging or frustration. These struggles are a part of life, however that has not stopped the Howards from glorifying God or looking at this blessing in any different way.

“There have been struggles, yes. Sadness, anger, fear, and language barriers to name a few,” Ryan said. “But God has been very gracious to us, as He always is. We wouldn’t trade what we’ve experienced and learned for anything.”

Allyson believes God will be faithful and sanctify her children through their new experiences.

“We know some struggles may continue, but we also know God promises to be faithful, and use those to sanctify us,” Allyson said. “Our biological children have also learning much from watching their new siblings struggle. It has taught them patience and we believe it has shaped their character and confidence in the Lord.”

Curiosity is something that adopted children go through at one point in their life. They wonder why they are different, wanting to know their unique story, and how they came to be. This does not mean they are alone, they just have different circumstances and find it within themselves to figure out what to do with those circumstances to make themselves unique.

Throughout the self discovery process, Allyson seen that they have learned about the power of love, and the true meaning of family.

“Adoption has changed our lives, and we are extremely thankful for the grace and love God has demonstrated to us through the blessings of all 7 of our children,” Allyson said. “We have learned about unconditional love. As we seek to love our children and meet their needs, we are overwhelmed and in awe of our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us.”

Allyson sees her children transforming into believers of Christ through their transition into a new family.

“God has given us, as a human race a strong desire to belong,” Allyson said. “It has been amazing to see the transformation in our little ones as they snuggle into the security of a mom and dad who love them, but even more exciting to see their eyes and heart open to Christ and His sacrifice for them. We pray each one will find ultimate security in Him.”

PE coach and co-athletic director Mick Fuller, also an adoptive father of two children, Charles Emmanuel (13) and Lillian Rose (12), views his adoption journey with humility, and a great appreciation towards Christ.

“Adoption is a sort of representation of God’s redemptive plan for people, Fuller said. “He takes individuals who are not part of Himself and through the saving work of His true Son on the cross, He accepts those people as his own.”

Fuller explains how God lead him into adoption and uses Gods teachings to raise his children.

“Christ’s death and resurrection doesn’t make us perfect, but it draws us into His family so we can be God’s children and heirs,” Fuller said. “This is not to say that I am doing some great thing, saving my children from destruction by adopting them. Rather it is a reminder to me of how gracious God is. When my children are difficult or disobedient.”

Nicholas Morrison, ’15, shares his and his twin brothers’, Rick Morrison, ’15, adoption story, and their gratitude of the process.

“We were adopted out of 10 kids when we were two. We had a really big family and they couldn’t support us so we were adopted by the family that we have now. Sometimes we talk to our other relatives,” Nicholas said. “I think its better that we are out of that family because we get more attention now.”

Ryan and Allyson Howard are a part of the leadership team for Hope Found, the Adoption, Foster Care and Orphan Care ministry at Campus Bible Church. With founding help from Ryan, their goal is to raise awareness of foster children around the world, and to exemplify the love and grace God has given them by making those children His through adoption.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Oct. 9 article, Woodshop allows students to explore artistic ability, talent.

By |2014-10-09T00:00:00+00:00October 9th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|2 Comments

BREAKING: Garza finds anonymous donor

During the trip students will visit the campuses of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine, Vanguard University and one other college yet to be determined.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Prior to his procedure, Garza will have to endure two weeks of radiation, and if all goes well, he will carry through with the procedure late October or early November.

This is a follow up of the previous BeTheMatch. For more information on Garza, read the Sept. 15 article, BeTheMatch: Stand for more (VIDEO).

Central High head football coach Justin Garza, battling Hodgkins Lymphoma since Jan. 2011, has been in search for numerous months of a bone marrow donor to save his life. With multiple bone marrow drives in his name, and tremendous efforts to spread the word about BeTheMatch, Garza’s prayers have been answered: he has found a match.

Garza will be on his way to Stanford Medical Center this Friday for a 90-day transplant process. Prior to his procedure, Garza will have to endure two weeks of radiation, and if all goes well, he will carry through with the procedure late October or early November. After the transplant, he will have to stay and live in Stanford under direct doctor care for three months.

Childhood friend and bone marrow drive coordinator Tosha Giuffrida is filled with many emotions knowing they are headed in the right direction.

“I was estatic to hear that Justin is moving in the right direction towards the transplant, although I know this is just the beginning to the next chapter of his journey,” Giuffrida said. “It’s rewarding to know there is still hope and a stranger has committed to save the life of another.”

I was estatic to hear that Justin is moving in the right direction towards the transplant, although I know this is just the beginning to the next chapter of his journey. It’s rewarding to know there is still hope and a stranger has committed to save the life of another. –Tosha Giuffrida

Although Garza has found a match, the strong willingness to raise awareness of people in need of bone marrow donors will not stop here.

“We started these drives to educate people about the importance of joining the marrow registry, not only for Justin, but for the 18,000 people needing a match,” Giuffrida said. “Our mission has not changed. We will continue the drives and of course be there to support Justin and his family as necessary.”

Prayers for not only Garza, but also his anonymous donor would be greatly appreciated.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more information about Justin Garza, check out the Fresno Bee article, Prep football: Central’s Garza sees cancer fight hit higher risk level.

By |2014-10-07T00:00:00+00:00October 7th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Leadership attends monthly WSL meeting, improves events

IMG_0009Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

ASB officials from each of the seven schools in the WSL get together monthly to discuss upcoming events and brainstorm ideas.

As several well anticipated major school events are right around the corner, leadership classes around the West Sequoia League (WSL) put their minds together to make this year’s events worth the wait.

Events such as homecoming, NOTS and Sadies were the main topics at the most recent WSL meeting on Sept. 22, held and lead by Fowler High School.

Each year, ASB officials from each of the seven schools in the WSL get together monthly to discuss upcoming events and brainstorm ideas.

Not only do the schools learn about new ideas for school events, but they also come together to learn about each other. These meetings are a time where leaders can get together and bond so that they will get a better idea of how their school works, and gain a different respect for one another. The first meeting is especially crucial for the start of the year.

Senior Danya Diaz, from Mendota High School enjoyed the previous meeting because it planted new ideas that she will carry on to her leadership class.

“I thought it was really good, we got to get more ideas for our Sadies, prom, formal and homecoming,” Diaz said. “I came in without knowing what to do for my homecoming and now I have some really cool ideas, so I think we will just combine them and see what happens. The last meeting had more activities and more people. It was much more exciting but this was still good, we still got some good ideas from each others school.”

Compared to the previous WSL meeting, this meeting was a little more relaxing and productive, according to Erick Cortes, ’15, from Caruthers High School

“Overall, I think it was a great day,” Cortes said. “I got to know a lot of people that I didn’t know last year, because I came to these meetings since my junior year. I met new people from other schools. We interacted and bonded and I enjoyed today. I feel like there was more talking going around, people had something to say and everything went very smoothly. Everyone seemed to get their ideas out there so I felt pretty good about this year.”

Each school alternates hosting the meeting at their high school each time we meet. The high schools that attend these meetings include Caruthers, Dos Palos, Mendota, Tranquillity, Riverdale, Fowler, Firebaugh, and FCS. Hosted at Fowler, Senior Activities director Chandler Collins, put this meeting on with her fellow leadership class last minute, but was very satisfied with the outcome.

“I felt that it was really helpful,” Collins said. “It put a lot of ideas out there for everyone else, especially schools that are smaller and that don’t have the chance to do certain things so it brings different ideas to the table. We enjoyed leading the meeting. It was, to be honest, a last minute thing. We had to put the meeting together kind of on the spot, but i think it made it more fun.”

The next meeting will be held at Mendota High School, on Nov. 17.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather
This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop

For more news, read the Sept. 22 article, BRIEF: See You at The Pole, Sept. 24.

By |2014-09-24T00:00:00+00:00September 24th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|1 Comment

BeTheMatch: Stand for more (VIDEO)

garza journo4Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

BeTheMatch is a nonprofit organization which signs people up to be on the marrow registry.

Cancer is one of the highest causes of death in the world. Most people would do anything to save the lives of their loved ones, or even themselves. This is where BeTheMatch comes in.

BeTheMatch is a nonprofit organization which signs people up to be on the marrow registry and save the life of someone who has leukemia lymphoma and needs a bone marrow transplant to save their life.

Central High School head football coach Justin Garza, (39) is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of leukemia. He is partnering up with BeTheMatch to try and find a donor to save his life.

“I was diagnosed in January, 2011,” Garza said. “The process has been typical, it is frustrating sitting in doctors offices for hours at a time. I have taken 33 different days of chemo and six days of Brentuximab treatments for three years.”

Garza’s wife, Regina Garza, and one son, Joaquin, are the two things that keep him motivated to keep going strong. Regina expresses her hopes that her son will view his father’s illness as a learning experience, and will encourage him to grow stronger.

“I want my son to know that his father handled adversity with courage so when he becomes a man, he will do the same,” Garza said.

Before starting all of the Bone Marrow drives, Garza and his team wanted to set a goal for how many swabs they would get on the registry. Statistically, for every 500 people who sign up, one person would be a marrow donor.

“My goal was to save two lives by getting 1000 registries in the bone marrow database,” Garza said. “We recently achieved that and we now need to set a new goal.”

Although Garza has been through many obstacles over the years, he still seems to find ways to dwell on the positive aspects of it.

“I have learned the people will go out of their way if you give them a purpose greater than themselves,” Garza said. “You must attack fear and not wait. Do the things that scare you and you will be comfortable being scared. If you treat others with integrity, they will ‘carry your flag’ when you are down.”

Childhood friend of Garza, Tosha Giuffrida, was willing to do anything to help when she heard about Garza’s desire to spread the word about BeTheMatch. Giuffrida is now the coordinator of all of the BeTheMatch marrow drives.

Justin is my number one nephew. I am very grateful that so many people care enough about my nephew to come out and do this. It is very heartwarming and very uplifting. I’m overwhelmed with it, really. — Gene Chandler, Garza’s uncle

“Justin and I have been friends since the seventh grade, and when I found out that he was wanting to get the word out to recruit people to join the registry, I offered to help with the process,” Giuffrida said. “So I am coordinating all of his drives that are in his name up and down the valley.”

Coordinating all of the drives has opened Giuffrida’s eyes to new experiences and ideas.

“I think the biggest thing is one, you find out how many good people are out there and how many people are coming out to help, and also how many people really love Justin,” Giuffrida said. “Justin is one of those people who you don’t mind giving up your free time or your three day weekends to give up your free time or volunteer at a drive. He’s one of the good guys so he really makes it easy.”

Looking at Garza and his family from the outside, and watching them come together, has shown Giuffrida that they are all strong people who have raised great people.

“His family is equally as nice and so you can only hope that if it was my children or if it was my family that they would step up to be able to do that,” Giuffrida said. “So I feel like it is a privilege to be a part of his journey.”

Garza’s uncle, Gene Chandler, is entirely grateful for all everybody is doing for his nephew.

“Justin is my number one nephew,” Chandler said. “I am very grateful that so many people care enough about my nephew to come out and do this. It is very heartwarming and very uplifting. I’m overwhelmed with it, really.”

Raising awareness for finding a match has been rewarding in many ways for Garza, Giuffrida, and the BeTheMatch crew. The importance of the whole process has been passionately stated by Giuffrida.

“What’s important is what the registry needs is young people. They need to be between the ages 18 and 44. I personally have been on the registry for over 20 years now, and I have never been a match for someone,” Giuffrida said. “So, I know that if I were to be a match for someone, it would be important to do what you can do to help someone. You can literally save someones life, while you are still alive. Not many people can say that they can cure cancer, and this is a way you can do it.”

The goal of raising awareness for BeTheMatch is not only to find a match for Justin and save his life, but also to save the lives of others.

“When Justin first started this he never said once to me ‘I’m searching for a marrow donor for me,'” Giuffrida said. “He’s using his position as a coach and as someone who has access to media and someone who has access to young people who will listen, and he is using that to educate them on the importance of doing it. That is what is amazing about Justin.”

Giuffrida has spent numerous hours coordinating all of the drives, and as a result, she has personally learned that this process is not only helping Justin, but also helping her.

“I have learned that people can do more, they can stand for more. I have learned that as busy as people think they are, they can just take a minute to stop and help somebody,” Giuffrida said. “I think that is really critical. I think everybody is capable of doing more, it’s just a matter of pushing yourself to that point. That where our motto ‘Stand For more’ comes in.”

Signing up for the registry is typically thought to be a painful process, however it is only a cheek swab. A simple cheek swab to save a life.

Justin Garza’s bone marrow drive schedule:

Sept. 12: Selma High School at 11 a.m.
Sept. 12: Washington Academic Middle school at 4 p.m.
Sept. 12: Liberty High School at 5 p.m.
Sept. 12: Selma High School at 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Fresno State University at 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 17: Fresno State Universityat 10:30 a.m.
Sept. 18: Fresno State Universityat 10:30 a.m.
Sept. 23: Kerman High School at 1 p.m.
Sept. 26: Madera County Department of Social Services at 10 a.m.
Oct. 3: Hanford High School at 5 p.m.
Oct. 23: McLane High School at 4 p.m.
Oct. 31: Hoover High School at 4 p.m.

You can sign up for the national bone marrow registry and save a life at Bethematch or visit a Central California Blood Center location to join the marrow registry in his name.

Twitter: @bethematch4J and @BeTheMatch
Facebook: Bethematch4Justin

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather. This writer can be reached on twitter @ashhasthescoop.

For more features, read the Sept. 11, Public commemorates 9/11 tragedy (VIDEO).

By |2014-09-15T00:00:00+00:00September 15th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

First year teacher appreciates small school environment

Dodson teachingFeather file photo

Kyle Dodson joins the FC community as the new freshman and junior English teacher.

The FC family welcomed many new members this year, including Kyle Grant Dodson: freshman and junior English teacher, and high school bible teacher.

This is Dodson’s fifth year of teaching, previously coming from Sanger High also as a freshman English teacher, and a long term substitute for different schools around Clovis Unified.

Dodson was born and raised in Fresno, California, along with his older sister Jessica. Fresno was where Dodson discovered his love for teaching, English and theater. He graduated from Buchannan High School, class of ?06, where he met his high school sweetheart; they have now been married for 1 year and 3 months.

After high school, Dodson went to Fresno State University, and graduated with a major in English Education and an emphasis in theater.

Growing up, Dodson always knew he wanted to be an English teacher, and was inspired to pursue that dream by past experiences in the classroom.

“I had a couple of really awesome teachers that cared about me as a person and as a student,” Dodson said, “But then, I also had a couple of really awful teachers, especially in English, and I decided I didn’t want students to have to sit through crappy English teachers that make other kids have to sit through that, and that’s why I decided I wanted to be an English teacher and be better than those other crappy English teachers that I had.”

He was taught memorable lessons by two inspiring teachers in particular that later helped shape him into the teacher he is today.

“I had a couple of really awesome teachers, Karen Boon was an English teacher of mine in high school as well as my drama teacher Brent Mojer,” Dodson said. “The two of them really taught me that teaching wasn’t just about the subject, it was about the connection and making students feel respected and making them feel like they are a part of something special.”

With it’s small school setting, FC has turned out to be the place to make that happen. Dodson is very grateful for the opportunity.

“It was actually a crazy story, I was in the market, I was looking for a teaching position and a former teacher here, Mrs. Kaiser, had contacted me and said that if I was still looking, FC would be a great opportunity for me,” Dodson said. “I sort of always had that in the back of my mind and then one day FC just called me up out of the blue for an English position and it just sort of fell into place. It was all part of God’s plan.”

Being around a public school setting his whole life made the transition to FC very rewarding, sharing his favorite characteristics about the school.

“The connection that the students can have with the teachers at public schools is sort of like business,” Dodson said. “But already in my second week here you can really tell that there is a mutual admiration between the staff and the students, and that there is really an actual relationship being built between the teachers and the students that you don’t get anywhere else. That is one of the first reasons why I went into teaching was to make sure that I can connect with students and help them grow into themselves.”

Although Dodson loves English and has a passion for it, a hobby that has also been tremendous part of his life is theater. He participated in theater all throughout high school and hopes to have it be a part of his future career goals.

“In the future, I would like to be Drama teacher or I think it would be awesome to start trying to get some sort of dramatic literature course open,” Dodson said. “Some sort of position where I?m teaching English, but all we are doing is just reading plays and talking about stripped writing, theater history. I think it would really be an awesome opportunity to blend my two loves of English and drama together.”

Junior Maddie Luginbill, enjoys her English class with Dodson because of his energetic teaching style.

“I have Mr. Dodson for English,” Luginbill said. “I really like him. He’s very exciting and he keeps me really focused on class because he’s so energetic, so I don’t get bored.”

Alexis Cowan, ’16, enjoys the fact that Dodson is a younger teacher and the way he communicates with his students in the classroom.

“I think he has a younger, youthful appearance that is very calming, and not as assertive, but he still gets the message through,” Cowan said. “He is very good at reading, whenever he reads it just feels like hes talking.”

This writer can be reached via twitter: @ashhasthescoop. Follow The Feather via twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read Aug. 21 article: Brother to Brother program offers mentorship, togetherness..

By |2014-08-28T00:00:00+00:00August 28th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments