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Student of the Month: Mariana Fikse

IMG_2320Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

While freshman Mariana Fikse enjoys horseback riding, she is also playing varsity tennis and basketball.

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

Due to the Feather’s upgrade period during the end of March and April both a Male and Female student have been selected for the month of May.

May’s female student of the Month is Mariana Fikse, ’16, chosen by mathematics teacher, Jared Kaiser for her focus and curiosity in the materials.

“Mariana is a student who knows what it means to be an Eagle,” Kaiser said. “She is always willing to help her fellow classmates and is always on task wanting to learn more.”

Fikse first joined the FC community at the start of the 2014-15 school year after attending Cross Road Christian in Madera throughout elementary and junior high. Since her arrival, Fiske has kept exemplary grades as well as joined both the varsity basketball and tennis team.

“Mariana is a student who knows what it means to be an Eagle. She is always willing to help her fellow classmates and is always on task wanting to learn more.” –Jared Kaiser, mathematics teacher

Sports and athleticism comes naturally to Fikse who spends much of her free time outdoors or riding quads at the track behind her family’s dairy (located in Madera). As a first-year tennis player, Fikse says that she originally joined tennis for the team aspect however soon began to enjoy the sport as well.

“It’s a fun sport that you can play with almost anyone,” Fikse said. “There isn’t so much pressure because it is an individual sport so you learn at your own pace.  I first tried tennis because I didn’t know anyone at the school and I thought it would be a good way to get to know some people. But as the season went on I began to really enjoy tennis.”

She first started basketball at Crossroads in the 5th grade and has continued to build and hone in her skills since, as a freshmen on FC’s varsity level.

Team mate Olivia Tandadjaja, ’16, says that Fikse served as a vital member of this year’s girl’s basketball program as well as being a supportive teammate and friend.

“Mariana has such a positive attitude and always gives her all,” Tandadjaja said. “She definitely makes the most baskets in our team from her three-point-shots. She is also really funny and great to be around.”
Fiske hopes to help strengthen the girl’s program throughout the next three years and develop close bonds with her team mates.

“My favorite part is just being on a team and having fun and getting to learn the sport better,” Fikse said. “My hopes for next season are that we win more games and make it to the playoffs. I think next year we will be good enough to compete with a lot of teams.”

When not outdoors or practicing for tennis or basketball Fikse often plays the piano which she learned as a 1st grader. She still continues to take regular lesson and performs at recitals an average of twice a year.
Fikse has attended Cornerstone Community church is Chowchilla throughout her life and plans to become involved with the youth group over the summer.

Fikse wants to discover her future career by taking the classes that interest her. Though she is not yet certain about the exact path, Fikse considers a career in agriculture due to the significant role the family farm played in her childhood. Fikse accredits farming with her strong work ethic and with the appreciation of values and integrity.

“In the summer I work in our office and sometimes I will help my Dad with vet checks on Wednesday,” Fikse said. “It (farming) definitely makes you appreciate hard work and not take things for granted. I definitely would want to stay in agriculture. It’s like my life, I love it and I have never known anything different I guess.”

Friend Jenna Bynum says that Fikse is generally quiet but extremely caring and loyal.

“She’s quiet, funny, nice and caring,” Bynum said. “She’s just an overall awesome friend.”

Mother, Marie Fikse describes her daughter as focused and compassionate. Both parents want Mariana to stay strong in her faith and continue to pursue her interests and dreams.

“Mariana is a sincere and kind person,” Marie said. “She cares about others and has a sweet personality. She is humble and honest and works hard at whatever she does. She is a self-motivated person, she wants to do things right. She works hard and doesn’t give up easily. I see leadership qualities in her and a lot of perseverance. We pray that she will continue to grow in The Lord and seek Him first and His will for her life. Mariana brings joy and fun to our family everyday and we are proud of her and love her.”

Interesting facts about Mariana Fikse

• If Fiske was an animal she would be a bird so that she could fly.
• Her favorite food is Pizza
• If Fikse could have any superpower it would be super speed.
• Her favorite restaurant would either by California Pizza Kitchen or In n Out.
• She listens to Christian and Country music.
• She has four Labrador retrievers.
• When Fikse was in elementary school she read and re-read the Narnia Series multiple times.
• Her favorite subject is history because she likes to learn about how the modern connects with the past.

For last month’s Student of The Month, view Student of the Month: Roman Endicott.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee.

By |2015-05-08T12:35:36+00:00May 8th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Student of the Month: William Liao

IMG_9953 | The Feather Online Archive
Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.
Due to the Feather’s upgrade period during the end of March and throughout April both a Male and Female student have been selected for the month of May.

May’s male student of the Month is William Liao, ’16, chosen by school secretary, Michelle Warkentin for his genuine character and attention to detail.

“I think William should be student of the month because lately I’ve seen him being kind to the students,” Warkentin said. “He’s always very helpful and very polite when he comes into the office and he will ask if I need any help or those sorts of things. He always wants to make sure things are very clear and so I think that he needs to be honored for those things.”

Liao first attended FC in seventh grade after spending his elementary years at Maple Creek and as a homeschooled student.

This year Liao decided to join the drama department. The first year actor soon deemed the program his favorite class. He participated in Fc’s 2015 production of Music Man as part of the ensemble. Liao says that the best part about drama is learning to recite lines in various ways.

“I’m in drama for the first time so I’m enjoying that,” Liao said. “I thought it would be a fun class to join and since they were doing the music man, a famous play, I thought it would be fun to be in it. My favorite part about drama is getting to learn how to say lines differently and in different tones and getting to do all of the fun scenes in the play.”

I think William should be student of the month because lately I’ve seen him being kind to the students. He’s always very helpful and very polite when he comes into the office and he will ask if I need any help or those sorts of things. He always wants to make sure things are very clear and so I think that he needs to be honored for those things.” –Michelle Warkentin, academic advisor 

In addition to drama, Liao has played tennis with FC since freshmen year. The junior athletes’ persistence throughout the last two years has led in part to Fc’s impeccable record in the 2015 season.

“I have enjoyed playing tennis ever since my freshmen year,” Liao said. “Tennis has been going well so far. So far so good. This is the best year we have had; Fresno Christian has not lost any games this year.”

Teammate Andrew Moore,’16 says that Liao displays exceptional positivity and focus in each match.
“Will always puts out 100% effort each match,” Moor said. “It inspires the rest of us to play harder as well. He’s an encourager to the rest of us.”

On Liao’s free time he enjoys playing video games, watching movies with friends or simply spending some quiet time relaxing. Liao says that due to sports and academics, he often does not have the opportunity for much down time.

“I do consider myself really busy,” Liao said. “I manage my time well and sometimes I would have free time to relax but there are times when I am super busy and sometimes I don’t have time to relax. When I do, I surf the internet, play video games and sometimes listen to music.”

In the future Liao plans to pursue a profession in computer science. He recognizes the growing need for technological support and finds the study of computers interesting.

“Technology is taking over now days,” Liao said. “I thought it would be a good field to go into since pretty much every career is using technology and it makes good money. Also it is fascinating.”

Friend Nathan Wong attends the same church as Liao and sang alongside him in Music man’s ensemble. Wong describes Liao as a quiet and kind person.

“We were friends since the day I came here,” Wong said. “He goes to my church and that’s where I think I first met him. I would say that as far as personality he is very quiet and shy. However he is also a really nice person.”

Father Daniel Liao says that the family’s ultimate goal for Will is that he would remain strong in faith and develop the leadership qualities of a man after God’s own heart.

“Our number one hope is that he is close to Christ,” Liao said. “This trumps all other desires.
For his career we pray that he finds his passion and gift that God has given him and use it to be a productive citizen. We have always told him that our job as parents is to prepare him to be the best husband, father and/or uncle so long as God wills it. He knows that eventually he will be the man of the house and we hope that he is a Christ-centered leader of his household.”

Interesting Facts about William Liao
• His favorite book is the Harry Potter Series (he has read all seven of them!)
• Liao’s favorite movie is alien vs. predator.
• Liao has a Boston terrier and a tortoise that he got in the 1st grade.
• Liao attends church and Youth group at Fresno Chinese Gospel Church.
• If Liao could have any super power it would be super strength. He would use it to fight off criminals.
• Liao’s favorite restaurant is Red Lobster and his favorite food is orange chicken.
• Liao’s favorite video game is Super Mario Bros Wii.
• He often enjoys listening to Christian and Classical Music.

For a previous student of the month article read Student of the Month: Villanueba pursues passion for animal science, values relationships.

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

By |2015-04-03T12:31:08+00:00April 3rd, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Student of the Month: Roman Endicott

IMG_7984Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

The student of the month for March is Freshmen Roman Endicott, chosen by Spanish teacher Karen Almaraz. Almaraz says that Endicott has shown a great deal of responsibility, focus and positivity within both the classroom setting and the sport’s field.

“Roman is a wonderful student and athlete,” Almaraz said. “I chose him because I truly appreciate his great work ethic and positive attitude on and off the field. In class, he’s always on time and ready to start. I know I can count on Roman to participate whenever I ask for volunteers to answer a question or read. He is constantly going out of his way to help out his classmates and despite having such a busy schedule with baseball his dedication to his studies is outstanding.”

Endicott is a “lifer” at FC. This year he has taken part in two seasonal FC sports, showed dedication in the academic sphere and is a first year member of the California Scholastic Federation (CSF).

Endicott has been a member of FC’s baseball and football program for several years and fills most of his weekday afternoons with team practices. Though Roman enjoys athletics he says that the most beneficial part of participating in a team is forming close bonds with others.

“I like sports because a lot of the friendships I have developed over the years have been a result of them and I wouldn?t have those bonds with people that are really close to me without them,” Endicott said. “I feel like the biggest part of it to me is the people that play the sport not necessarily the sport itself.”

Junior teammate Bailey Brogan says that through the short time that Endicott has spent on the team he has displayed a strong work ethic and good sportsmanship.

“Roman is a valuable member of the team,” Brogan said. “He has a good work ethic and a drive to improve on his skills. As a freshman he is very talented for his age and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him.”

“We would describe Roman’s personality as friendly, easy-going, funny, smart, hard working and kind. Roman has a strong work ethic. He is disciplined and works hard, especially with his school work and athletics. Our hopes for Roman’s future is that he will always have the same sincere heart he has right now and will follow God’s leading.” Jennifer Endicott, Roman’s mom

After a long week of balancing sports and school work Endicott values a bit of downtime with friends and family in order to refresh himself. He says that though being productive is healthy, spending quality time with others is of the utmost importance.

“I hardly find time during the week (to relax) but during the weekend I find time to just relax with friends and family,” Endicott said. “I feel like if I spend a weekend without catching up with my parents or hanging out with my friends then I really didn’t get anything accomplished and it wasn’t fun at all.”

In addition to academics, sports, and making quality time for family, friends and relaxation, Endicott often aids his grandfather in taking care of his property. He also attends youth group at Bethany Church after practice when he is able.

Mother Jennifer Endicott says that her son is driven, intelligent and caring. She and her husband hope that Roman will continue to steadfastly uphold these qualities throughout his life.

“We would describe Roman’s personality as friendly, easy-going, funny, smart, hard working and kind,” Jennifer said. “Roman has a strong work ethic. He is disciplined and works hard, especially with his school work and athletics. Our hopes for Roman’s future is that he will always have the same sincere heart he has right now and will follow God’s leading. Roman is a wonderful son, brother and friend and we feel so blessed to have him in our family.”

In the distant future, Endicott plans on pursing a profession in the medical field due to his interest in science and passion for helping others

“I plan to hopefully go into something in the medical field because it has always interested me,” Endicott said. “Probably working with people in surgery or being a doctor. Science is my favorite subject and I feel like there’s a lot of different things that you can learn about. It’s just really interesting.”

Though still a freshmen Endicott has expressed interest in Fresno Pacific College.

Erin Wilson, ’18, says that Endicott displays both a humorous and a caring personality.

“He?s smart and he’s nice most of the time,” Wilson said laughing. “He’s also funny. He has a good personality. He cares about people and likes helping them too which is really good.”

Interesting Facts about Roman Endicott

-If Endicott could visit anywhere in the world it would be New Zealand because of the beautiful landscape.
– Endicott is the tallest person in his family.
-Endicott’s favorite fast food restaurant is In and Out
– If Roman had to eat one food for the rest of his life it would be Chile Cheese Dogs.
– His favorite animal is a Red Panda.
-His favorite TV show is The Office
– Endicott’s favorite video game is Madden NFL50
– If Endicott could have any super power it would be invisibility because he could do anything and have fun messing with people.

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

For February’s Student of the month article, read, Student of the Month: Villanueba pursues passion for animal science, values relationships.

By |2015-03-26T00:00:00+00:00March 26th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

College planning for SAT and ACT

IMG_7894

An informational meeting about SAT and ACT testing will be hosted by College Planning and Tutorial Center, March 25, 2015.

Students needing college planning for SAT and ACT are in luck. FC students grades 7-12 and parents are invited to attend an informational meeting about SAT and ACT testing hosted by and located at the College Planning and Tutorial Center, March 25, 2015. At this gathering, guardians and students will be informed about the standardized testing processes and the necessary steps to insuring optimal success.

Though FC hosts a similar annual meeting in the fall, the College Planning and Tutorial Center will be providing various details not otherwise available to the FC community. Students currently in the college application process are highly encouraged to attend.

Academic Advisor Michelle Warkentin says that students who attend the meeting will have the opportunity to gain valuable insight from experienced educational professionals.

“It is a good idea for students to attend this meeting to find out more about college from professionals who know the ins and outs of applying to college,” Warkentin said. “They will present valuable information regarding high school classes needed to take for college acceptance and helpful tips about the application process. This is a free event and a great way to get a head start on all things related to college.

“It is a good idea for students to attend this meeting to find out more about college from professionals who know the ins and outs of applying to college. They will present valuable information regarding high school classes needed to take for college acceptance and helpful tips about the application process. This is a free event and a great way to get a head start on all things related to college.”- Michelle Warkentin 

Junior Vanessa Shubin recommends that students attend the session in order to avoid any test day mishaps.

“An important reason to go to the meeting would be so that you are prepared for test day,” Shubin said. “One thing to remember before taking the SAT is that they don’t provide calculators. There were a few people who forgot theirs at home when I went and I’m sure they didn’t have a fun time.”

Senior Summer Villanueba has already taken the SAT however, she advises juniors and seniors who have not yet taken the test to go to the meeting in order to become familiarized with the testing process.

“Going to the Pre-SAT planning tests and getting lots of practice is good because it prepares you for future testing,” Villanueba said. “Colleges looks at all these tests and determine where your going to be, so it makes sense to study up hard so that you make a great impression. The extra practice does help to, because then you can improve your scores and go through problems easier.”

As students determine college planning for SAT, ACT, they are encouraged to check out the College Planning and Tutorial Center online or attend the seminar.

College Planning and Tutorial Center is located at 6729 N. Palm, Ste. 103 Fresno, CA 93704. For more information email academic advisor Michelle Warkentin at [email protected].

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

For more news read the March 23 article, BREAKING: Feather receives CSPA Gold Crown Award.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

By |2015-03-25T00:00:00+00:00March 25th, 2015|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Blood drive honors FC alumna in recovery (VIDEO)

gabyAlexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

The FCS community is again gathering support in a blood drive for Emily Krieghoff, March 20. Please donate for an Eagle alumna.

In the late hours of Saturday Feb. 21, FC alumni Molly Griffin and best friend Emily Krieghoff were victims of a fatal DUI accident. Molly Griffin was killed on site while Krieghoff is currently in recovery at Fresno Community Hospital.

Due to the essential role that blood donations have played in Krieghoff’s recovery and because of the tragic nature of the incident, the FC community will be partnering with Central California Blood Center in the first Emily Krieghoff Blood Drive, March 20.

The idea for the event was first purposed by Leadership and Economics teacher, Robert Foshee after Krieghoff’s mother suggested a blood drive. Foshee says that the event will provide an opportunity for both FC alumni and current students and staff members to come together as a community and support the Krieghoff family during a time in which they need it most.

“I think it’s a great way to give back to the community especially for our own alumni who have been touched by that,” Foshee said. “It’s something that you can do that’s easy. We’re also going to have a place where we can write messages and cards and if you want to help out the family during that time too there’s opportunities to do that. As a school it’s an opportunity to come together as a family.”

The Central Blood Center mobile will be stationed in the high school parking lot from 1-5 p.m., equipped with trained and experienced personnel. All potential donors are required to be in relatively stable health upon arrival at the mobile and must weigh at least 110lbs and be 16 years of age or older.

All student participants regardless of age, are required to obtain and present a signed permission slip upon arrival at the mobile. Permission slips are available for free download at Central Blood Center’s website. Students must also schedule an appointment for their donation prior to March 20 via email with either Foshee or school secretary, Vicky Belmont.

Central Blood Center holds all rights to deny donors participation if they fail to meet the before mentioned requirements or present any number of complicating factors such as abnormally high blood pressure or body temperature.

According to Central Blood Center, the process of blood donation works in a simple four step process. Firstly upon arrival participants must register with the use of a photo ID and social security number. These two items are required to register and those who do not posses proper identification will not be admitted into the Mobil.

The experience was fun and I felt important because I was giving to someone who needed it. I wanted to do it because I did it last year and I had a good time and wanted to do it again. I would encourage anyone who is able to participate because it is an easy and fast way to help people who are in need. –Senior Breanna Jennings

Secondly, Central Blood Center personnel will conduct a brief physical check up, measuring blood pressure and heart rate in order to assess the individual’s personal health. All health information that donors share with the personnel will be kept confidential.

The withdrawal of one pint of blood usually takes no more than 15 minutes and is a painless process. After completion participants will receive a T-shirt, a sweet treat and be encouraged to rest for a short amount of time before resuming daily activities.

Leadership member Breanna Jennings, ’15, previously donated at FC’s annual Max Hinton Blood Drive. She says that the opportunity provides a hands on and practical way to give back to the community and reach out to those who need love the most.

“The experience was fun and I felt important because I was giving to someone who needed it,” said Jennings. “I wanted to do it because I did it last year and I had a good time and wanted to do it again. I would encourage anyone who is able to participate because it is an easy and fast way to help people who are in need.”

Macy Mascarenas, ’16, knew both girls on a more personal level through her older sister. Mascarenas believes that the blood drive is a way to honor the memory of Molly Griffin and the generous sacrifice that saved Krieghoff’s life.

“I think the blood drive is a really good idea,” Mascarenas said. “These are young girls who went here and made such an impact on this school. I think the least we can do as a school is to dedicate it to them and to honor them.”

Update: Emily Krieghoff is scheduled to be released from Fresno Community Hospital, March 18.

To obtain permission slips or learn more information about donor qualifications, visit www. Centralvalleybloodcenter.com.

To follow Emily Krieghoff’s progress, visit caringbridge.org. Please read a guest post by Macy Mascarenas as she reflects on the life of Molly Griffin.

For another article news article read Campus families gather to support 32nd FC Auction.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee.

Column: Finish the year strong (PODCAST)

Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Junior Skyler Lee

From a personal vantage point, the last few weeks on campus have been characterized by an overall air of apathy and mental, if not physical, disengagement from academics as well as school spirit and social relationships.

While this pattern is not unusual, especially at the end of the year it does raise several harmful implications in the quality of academic, social and spiritual progress.

Before finding the cure, it is important to first diagnose the disease. Many call it ‘Senoritis’, although juniors and underclassmen seem just as susceptible to it. It is the strong desire to be anywhere besides the school setting. The symptoms: not completing assignments or taking the easy way out, general weariness and irritability (sound familiar?).

For many, this attitude and lifestyle choice has been in operation since the end of first semester or earlier. However, as the last few months of school whittle away it has become more apparent. One of the main reasons for this is simply that students are worn out both mentally and physically.

It would seem easy to ‘just get by’ during these last few months. After all, the brunt of the academic year, excluding finals, has mostly passed. Yet according to academic magazine, Eye on Education such behavior may actually shape students future study habits and their overall views of that particular year in a detrimental light.

“The ‘remembering self’ is comprised of the one or two ‘peak’ moments we have had in a situation combined with how it ends (this is known as the ‘Peak/End Rule’),” Eye on Education says. “‘It is the remembering self that tends to stick with us and the one we use to frame future decisions. From this perspective, what occurs in the final weeks of our classes will have a huge influence on how students feel about and make future decisions related to learning, schooling, the subject you are teaching, and how they might feel about future teachers.”‘

In addition to poor academic habits, this form of ‘underachieverism’ often takes a toll on personal relationships as well. Though the abandonment of responsibilities may appear to aid in a greater amount of time and therefore deeper relationships, this is rarely the case.

Rather, unmotivated individuals can often have a very self-serving and distant demeanor pushing away social interactions. Anxiety resulting from a stack of late assignments and homework that the student plans to complete five minutes before class starts may also cause friction in relationships.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. –Colossians 3:23-24, Bible

Perhaps the most convincing reason (at least for Christians) to throw aside any trace of a negative mind set is that, simply put, God tells us to. In Colossians 3:23-24, God reminds Christians who it is that they are really serving.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

If it is the Lord that FC students serve every day why do we complain so often? If it is the Lord that we serve why do we talk bad about others and forget about what really matters? The issue is not so much that we are good or bad students but that the focus of our lives is distorted. We have become what Revelation 3:16 calls “lukewarm.”

If we believe that the purpose of our lives here on earth is truly to glorify God with everything that we have, then ‘underachievement’ is a bit of a violation to our very existence.

God calls His people to be passionate and to act. Yet beyond the spiritual implications there is the cold hard facts that high school in only four years out of our lives. We have four years to participate in all of the activities offered at FC (which our many). We have four years to bound with our existing friends and perhaps make a few more. We have four years to reach out to someone who may never find love anywhere else but in that moment.

(PODCAST) Finishing the year strong–Feb. 28, 2015

Rather than looking back and whishing for greater involvement, why not pursue those things now? High school is not an eternity (though it may feel like one) and the choices that we make now will affect our futures as well as those of the people around us. Rather than go through the motions we need to take motion and lead the student body in a passionate and purposeful finish to the 2014-’15 school year.  finish the year strong.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerlee.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 18 article, COLUMN: Why every student should go to NOTS.

By |2015-03-05T00:00:00+00:00March 5th, 2015|Column, Podcasts 2014-15, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Where are they now? David Lee

Lee-1Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Lee expands upon the details of his current day to day life and the changes that have occurred in the last few months.

Previous mathematics teacher shares present experiences with FC community

The start of this year brought about many changes to the FC campus, administration and student life. One of which was the absence of four year mathematics teacher, David Lee.

Since his departure at the end of the 2013-14 school year, Lee has taken up a part time teaching position at Buchanan High School, where he previously taught for a total of 19 years. Due to an increase in free time Lee has been able to pursue his many interests and spend a greater amount of quality time with family members.

In addition, after a six year absence Lee has once again decided to coach tennis. He was originally one of the essential builders of programs at both Buchanan and Clovis West. Lee currently holds a coaching position for Alta Sierra’s junior high tennis team.

Below Lee expands upon the details of his current day to day life and the changes that have occurred in the last few months.

Skyler: What drew you back to the Buchanan Campus?

Lee: There were a couple of reasons I went back to Buchanan. First of all I’ve taught at Buchanan for so many years that it really is kind of like a home to me because of the staff I work with there and the administration. Just the feeling of the school itself is a good feel for me because I have been a teacher there for about 16 or 17 years. A number of the teachers that I had worked with are still there. So there’s a sense of going back to my home and the fact that I could also work part time there. At Fresno Christian I was working full time and that was just a little more than I wanted to do and so with a part time offering at Buchanan I was able to have more of a sense of being retired. Plus my daughter is a junior at Buchanan. It’s a chance for me to spend time with her.

Skyler: How has your teaching experience been at Buchanan?

Lee: The kid’s at Buchanan are great and I really enjoy the subject that I am teaching(Algebra II). Life has kind of simplified for me. It’s not as hectic and so I’m more at peace with myself because I’m not feeling so rushed. It gives me a chance to witness to the kids at Buchanan because there are Christian kids in my classes but there are also many kids who are not Christian. As a teacher of faith I can be a good example to them. That’s not to say that I don’t miss the kids at Fresno Christian because during the three or four years I taught at Fresno Christian I have never had a class room show more kindness and love for me than I experienced there.

Skyler: How has teaching at a larger school like Buchanan been different from teaching at Fresno Christian?

Lee: I think being at a small school you really get to know your kids well. I felt like I got to know all of my kids at Fresno Christian so much better than at a public school because the class rooms are small. At Buchanan there are kids in my class that I know by name and recognize them and know something about them but you really don’t get to know them in any depth. At Fresno Christian it’s a little different because you’re around the kids daily and because there are fewer numbers you get to know them as a person.

Skyler: Besides teaching what do you do with your free time now?

Lee: I really love camping we have a little pop up trailer and I think camping is really an excellent way of getting the family together because you’re out there and your away from the TV and get a chance to spend time with each other and also to really enjoy the nature that God has given us. We also love sports. As you know I’m a big 49er and Giants fan and I’m a big Bulldog fan. I attend a lot of sporting activities. All of my kids love sports and my wife loves sports. Also my daughter is playing basketball at Fresno Pacific,  so I go watch her play and my youngest daughter is still playing tennis at Buchanan. Now that I’m teaching at Buchanan it’s very easy to support her and her tennis. Besides camping, we just love vacationing when we have the opportunity.

Skyler: How would you say your life is different now than it was a year ago?

Lee: I would say that the stress is a lot less because my work load isn’t quite the same. I would say that because I’m part time I’m able to do more things with my family. It just gives me more time to spend around my family. I would also say that as I mentioned earlier I don’t have the same connection with God daily that I had while I was at Fresno Christian. You guys have a very special opportunity at FC to worship the Lord daily in a school setting and I miss that. I still get into my bible and am with the Lord that way but worshiping daily with His family is something that I don’t get as much.

Skyler: Lastly do you have any parting wisdom for the students at FC?

Lee: I would say that the students should not take lightly what privileges they have at a Christian school because sometimes you don?t realize what you have until it’s gone. I would tell the students there to enjoy and make the most of their opportunities at Fresno Christian because Fresno Christian not only offers an opportunity to be with the lord but because it’s a smaller school you can participate in so many activities… There are so many activities that are available there at Fresno Christian that kids should get involved in. Get involved in those things because you only go through high school one time and you?ll look back and ask why you didn’t do more.

To find out more about David Lee’s work at FC read Lifelong ambition motivates math teacher.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skyerklee.

For more features, read the Feb. 27 article, Sophomore discovers musical talent, excels.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline

By |2015-03-02T00:00:00+00:00March 2nd, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Student of the Month: Villanueba pursues passion for animal science, values relationships

Over the last few years Villanueba has become immersed in student life, school work and various extracurricular activities including Color Guard, Women's Ensemble and several sports.Austin Insco

Over the last few years Villanueba has become immersed in student life, school work and various extracurricular activities including Color Guard, Women’s Ensemble and several sports.

Senior applies herself to studies and extracurricular activities

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

The Student of the Month for February is senior Summer Villanueba, chosen by English and Yearbook teacher, Andrea Donaghe. Donaghe says she selected Villanueba for persistence in her school work and the quality of her character.

“Summer has an incredibly strong work ethic, completing all assignments on time and well done,” Donaghe said. “It is rare that I ask Summer to resubmit work. She has valid opinions and conveys them well in her writings and essays. As a student here at FC, Summer holds the ideals and qualities that this school strives for. Whether it is in my English class, twirling her flag for Color Guard or worshiping in Chapel, Summer is a true example of pursuing excellence.”

Villanueba joined the FC community as a 7th grader after attending Mountain View Christian throughout elementary school. Over the last few years Villanueba has become immersed in student life, school work and various extracurricular activities including Color Guard, Women’s Ensemble and several sports.

Summer says that while she is often preoccupied by these activities, there is a certain joy and contentment to be found in a life full of commitment.

“Yeah I’m busy most of the time, but I like to be busy,” Villanueba said. “I like to have things to do because I don’t always have the opportunity to spend time with the people I want to because their busy too. Instead of me sitting at home doing nothing I would rather be here doing something.”

Villanueba’s extracurriculars coincide with her own personal interests making passion for these activities natural.

Music has played a considerable role throughout Villanueba’s childhood up to her present involvement in Women’s Ensemble. As a young child Villanueba took part in baby pageants and attended special classes to enrich her musical talent. Throughout the years, programs at both Mountain View and FC have served to create an infinity toward the musical world. Although, Villanueba admits that her appreciation for the art was a slow developing process.

“At first when I was younger I didn’t much care for it {music} because it was like I had to do it for school,” Villanueba said. “But when I came to Fresno Christian where they had electives, where I got to choose what I wanted to do then it became: this is what I like to do. That’s how I first started to like music.”

“Summer has an incredibly strong work ethic, completing all assignments on time and well done. It is rare that I ask Summer to resubmit work. She has valid opinions and conveys them well in her writings and essays. As a student here at FC, Summer holds the ideals and qualities that this school strives for. Whether it is in my English class, twirling her flag for Color Guard or worshiping in Chapel, Summer is a true example of pursuing excellence.”–Andrea Donaghe 

In addition to Ensemble, Villanueba has taken up Color Guard as a sport of choice. Though she had, had no prior experience until junior year, Villanueba soon became a dedicated member of the team.

“Color guard has been the one sport where I feel like I don’t have to worry about people pushing me too hard or being too aggressive,” Villanueba said. “It’s just a thing that I know I can do. I’ve tried other sports, but Color Guard has just been the one that’s stuck.

Despite a loaded academic and extracurricular schedule, Villanueba, manages to make time for her interests outside of the school setting, one of which is animals.

From a young age, Villanueba was exposed to the animal kingdom through her older brother who worked at a local pet shop. Due to these interactions Villanueba developed a love for all creatures both ordinary and exotic. She currently owns a blue nosed pit bull, two tabby cats, a shih tzu and a Mexican King snake.

“I always had animals in my life and I guess I always felt I had a connection with them,” Villanueba said. “I was the type of kid that cried when Lassie died or if there was a movie where an animal got hurt I was always emotionally involved with it. It’s super important to treat animals well because sometimes their species won’t last that long otherwise.”

She hopes to take this compassion for animals to a professional level after high school, perusing an animal science degree at Fresno State University, attending Fresno Pacific University to continue animal science research and eventually becoming a surgical vet.

In order to gain experience for her future and out of a sheer fascination and compassion for the animal kingdom, Villanueba volunteers her time to organizations such as the SPCA and the Waterhouse Animal Hospital.

“For me I think it’s important to volunteer at shelters because it is something that I’m getting involved with in my career in the future,” Villanueba said. “For others it could be a way to help the community. It’s a good way to serve and get experience.”

When Villanueba has time that is not devoted to school, extracurriculars or animal care, she enjoys spending quality time with friends and with her boyfriend. In addition, she dabbles in poetry, creative writing, art and video games.

“I occasionally like to do artsy kinds of stuff,” Villanueba said. “I’ll draw pictures or I’ll write poetry. I’ll make stories up just to pass the time. Other than that I love to play video games.”

Long time friend and alumna Miriam Dewolf, ’14, says that Villanueba displays a unique ability to both maintain a calm demeanor and simultaneously remain focused on the academic sphere.

“Summer is laid-back and lazy, but at the same time dedicated and driven,” DeWolf said. “She is caring and loyal and willing to drop everything to help out with people she cares about. She’s honest. If you ask her ?does this dress make me look fat?? she’ll honestly say ‘yes it does now take it off.'”

Blog Editor Emily Ladd, ’16, considers Villanueba to have the likeness of an older sibling due to her honest and caring nature.

“Summer is kind of like a really cool older sister figure,” Ladd said. “She’s hilarious and fun to hang out with and play with. She’s also honest and always there for you.”

Villanueba values friendship as a high priority and often organizes get-togethers for the simple purpose of bonding.

“To me my friends are my family,” Villanueba said. “I have girl sleepover parties or I’ll take them to Disneyland or to Six Flags or Beach Boardwalk. All of that type of stuff, because these are the people I want to spend my life with. They’re pretty much my family.”

For more Student of the Month, read the Jan. 23, Poojan Gopal strives toward profession in mechanical engineering.

For more features, read the Feb. 18 article, New academic installment creates environment for change.

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

 

By |2015-02-19T00:00:00+00:00February 19th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

FC community invited to aid Community Food Bank, Feb. 21

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 8.32.36 AMFresno Community Food Bank

Juliana Rosik, ’16, first purposed the project to the FC community. Rosik mentioned the idea not only because she was obligated to do so for a leadership position but because she believes that service coincides with God’s ultimate will for the body of Christ.

Leadership Student suggests idea to help the food bank

Students and their families are encouraged to offer their services at Fresno’s Community Food Bank from 7-11 a.m. as part of the organizations 10,000 Hour Volunteer-A-Thon. This event aims to complete a total of 10,000 hours of service throughout the course of four non-consecutive volunteer days: Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7 and March 21.

Community Food Bank has been in commission since 1992 and currently feeds over 220,000 needy San Joaquin residents a month from throughout its multiple locations in Fresno, Madera and Kings County.

Juliana Rosik, ’16, first purposed the project to the FC community. Rosik mentioned the idea not only because she was obligated to do so for a leadership position but because she believes that service coincides with God’s ultimate will for the body of Christ.

“Initially I was making this service project for a director position that I have in my leadership class,” Rosik said. “But in the end I realized that I really wanted more service projects at the school. It’s something that’s really important to me. Service is important as a Christian and also just to be a part of your community so I think giving people opportunities to serve is a really good idea.”

While at the bank, participants will aid in sorting and packaging food for the needy. This is of upmost importance considering one out of three children in the San Joaquin Valley struggle daily to find adequate nutrition.

Leadership advisor, Robert Foshee says that the Community Food Bank provides a unique and simple way to serve the people of Fresno and invite others to do so as well.

“The Community Food Bank does so much in the valley for people who don’t really have a lot of stuff and they need a lot of help to keep things running,” Foshee said. “I know Juliana has a heart for the Food Bank and so she brought it up. You can go with friends, with family. It doesn?t have to be with someone from FC. It can be anyone that you know so I think it’s just a great opportunity to give back on a day where maybe you might sleep in otherwise.”

Jenny King, ’17, plans on attending the event in order to both obtain hours for CSF and future college transcripts as well as aid the less fortunate. She encourages others to bring friends and family members.

“Well first of all I enjoy doing service projects and helping out with the community,” King said. “It’s also good because I can put it on my college transcript. I?m also doing it because it counts for CSF service hours. Also I think it will be fun to go and hang out with my friends who are going. So if you have friends that may be interested in going make sure to invite them because it will be more fun that way.”

“The Community Food Bank does so much in the valley for people who don’t really have a lot of stuff and they need a lot of help to keep things running. I know Juliana has a heart for the Food Bank and so she brought it up. You can go with friends, with family. It doesn’t have to be with someone from FC. It can be anyone that you know so I think it’s just a great opportunity to give back on a day where maybe you might sleep in otherwise.”–Robert Foshee

To become involved in the 10,000 Hour Volunteer-A-Thon, students and adults must sign the school registration sheet as well as acquire and fill out a release form by the day of the event. Individuals who do not adequately complete this procedure will not be allowed to participate in the 10,000 Hour Volunteer?A-Thon.

Fresno’s Community Food Bank is located at 3403 E. Central Ave., in southwest Fresno. For more information, contact Juliana Rosik in person or via twitter @julesrosik.

For more news, read the Feb. 13 article, Student Leadership: Serve Day approaches

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

By |2015-02-18T00:00:00+00:00February 18th, 2015|Community Events, Features, Leadership, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Surviving the flu season, how to recover from illness

According to National Public Radio (NPR), the risk of a potentially fatal flu encounter has been increased this year due to the emergence of H3N2, an especially harmful virus.NPR

According to National Public Radio (NPR), the risk of a potentially fatal flu encounter has been increased this year due to the emergence of H3N2, an especially harmful virus.

Tips on preventing and recovering from the seasonal flu

The flu season is fully underway, in perhaps one of the most severe occurrences in recent years. Since early December people from across the nation have fallen ill displaying a plethora of varying symptoms and as the flu season is relatively unpredictable these trends are capable of persisting until the early spring.

According to National Public Radio (NPR), the risk of a potentially fatal flu encounter has been increased this year due to the emergence of H3N2, an especially harmful virus. The main victims of this year’s flu are estimated to be adults age 60 and above and young children with prior health concerns.

“The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2,” said NPR. “In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains ? and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.”

This raises the question of how to protect oneself and others from the seasonal flu and regain health after initially contacting it.

Flu shot

While there are various recommendations (some very useful) about seasonal prevention, the most frequently advised is the flu shot. As of early December, the government issued an official statement urging US residents over the age of 6 to be immediately vaccinated due to a high probability of contracting the illness. Despite these warnings, many question the vaccine’s effectiveness or simply refuse to be injected out of personal preferences.

According to WebMD, the flu shot’s rates of success depends upon several unique variables including age, fitness, and the strain of virus present in that particular year. However, the vaccine is estimated to have a 70% to 90% rate of affectivity regardless of any outside factors.

There’s two big things happening right now,” Walters said. “First we don’t have enough sunlight and number two people are confined closely indoors so it’s easy to spread. Because we don’t have enough sunlight you can help yourself by taking Vitamin D3 which replaces what the sun does and helps boosts our immune system. — Dr. Karen Walters

As for the procedure, Junior Alli Cowen describes it as quick and painless.

“The shot was really very fast,” Cowen said. “It was in my upper arm and I was honestly shocked at how quick it was. It was pretty painless too. I really never minded shots, but this one seemed easier than most.”

Vaccinations can be found at all medical facilities as well as some select drug stores.

Sanitation

The degree of cleanliness within home, work and school settings plays a large role in the spread of the flu. The virus is naturally prone to flourish in areas where sanitation is taken lightly. SFGate recommends the frequent washing of hands as a major flu deterrent.

“At the minimum, wash your hands in hot water every time you sneeze, cough or touch your nose or mouth, as well as after using the bathroom and before preparing food,” SFGate said. “Take it another step and wash your hands every time you touch another person. Take it to the extreme and wash your hands every time you touch any surface.”

Vitamin D3

The winter season often collaborates in combination with the virus to both increase the spread of the flu and deprive the human body of many essential nutrients necessary for recovery.

Science teacher Dr. Karen Walters points to a lack of sunlight as well as the close proximity of living quarters during the cold months as a major contribution to the flu epidemic.

“There’s two big things happening right now,” Walters said. “First we don’t have enough sunlight and number two people are confined closely indoors so it’s easy to spread. Because we don’t have enough sunlight you can help yourself by taking Vitamin D3 which replaces what the sun does and helps boosts our immune system.”

This simple vitamin is available for both children and adult consumption alike and according to Mercola.com highly effective.

“According to the findings from a 2010 study, vitamin D is a highly effective way to avoid influenza. In fact, children taking low doses of Vitamin D3 were shown to be 42% less likely to come down with the flu.”

How to recover

For those who have managed to contract the flu virus, complete recovery is an essential step in returning to normalcy. Perhaps, one of the most important parts of this process is rest. While prescription medicines and substances such as fever reducers may be necessary, many times rest and nourishment serve as the best remedy, according to Healthline.

“In most cases, the flu just needs to run its course,” Healthline said. “The best advice for people sick with the flu is to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. You may not have much of an appetite, but it’s important to eat regular meals to keep up your strength. Stay home from work or school and don’t go back until your symptoms subside.”

Dean of Students, Amy Deffenbacher says that attending school when ill not only violates FC’s policies, but is likely to lead to more significant health problems for both the individual and those around them.

“If you’re already sick the best thing to do is to stay home until you are well enough to come back,” Deffenbacher said. “Returning too soon will either expose you to new germs, give your cooties to someone else or weaken you so that you’re going to be sick longer. The rules are that you have to be fever free for 24 hours without medicine, have nothing green coming out of your nose and keep away if you have a cough that is likely to disturb others.”

For more features, read the Jan. 4 article, Get to Know: Andrew Guthrie.

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

By |2015-02-05T00:00:00+00:00February 5th, 2015|Announcements, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

One of FCS’ founding kindergarten teachers passes away

Mrs. Cookingham was one of the founding teachers at FC upon it's opening in 1977 and became the first K-2 teacher at Hume Lake Charter School at the age of 72.Cookingham Family

Mrs. Cookingham was one of the founding teachers at FC upon it’s opening in 1977 and became the first K-2 teacher at Hume Lake Charter School at the age of 72.

FC honors the life and memory of Melva Cookingham

On Jan. 13, 2015 at the age of 88, Mrs. Melva Cookingham, mother of four, wife, friend and FC kindergarten teacher for over 20 years, departed from this earth and was united with her Heavenly Father.

Mrs. Cookingham was born June 8, 1926, in Columbia Falls, Montana to Mr. and Mrs. Helen and Siebert Williamson. When she was six months old her family moved to Monmouth, Oregon.

Mrs. Cookingham graduated from Monmouth High School in 1943 and pursued higher education at Willamette University.

After graduating from Willamette in 1947, Mrs. Cookingham attended Columbia University, earning a master’s degree in music at age 24. She married Paul Cookingham after meeting him at Columbia on June 27, 1948 and together they moved to the Fresno area in 1953.

Mrs. Cookingham was one of the founding kindergarten teachers at FC upon it’s opening in 1977 and became the first K-2 teacher at Hume Lake Charter School at the age of 72. In 1985 she was declared Fresno County’s Mother of the Year by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Cookingham also played an integral role in her local church,The Bridge, and became involved with several short term missionary endeavors throughout the years.

Previous first grade teacher, Gladys Kerfoot taught alongside Mrs. Cookingham and remained a close friend for 37 years. In addition to Mrs. Cookingham’s gentle sprit, and bold faith Kerfoot recalls a class tradition deemed ‘the beauty spot’.

“When you would watch her with her children she could always correct somebody over there but never do it in a harsh way,” Kerfoot said. “I remember she always had a place in her class called the beauty spot. It was a table that had a Bible on it and maybe some pretty flowers or a picture. Her relationship to God and her faith really stood out in her life. She lived what she believed.”

Mrs. Cookingham is survived by her three sons, Kent and wife Menta, Kevin and wife Kelli and Curtis and wife Pamela as well as eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. In December of 1970 Mr. Cookingham passed away followed by her son Mr. Craig Cookingham in August of 2010.

According to Kerfoot, any misfortunes in the life of Mrs. Cookingham paled in comparison to her positive attitude and compassion for others.

When you would watch her with her children she could always correct somebody over there but never do it in a harsh way. I remember she always had a place in her class called the beauty spot. It was a table that had a Bible on it and maybe some pretty flowers or a picture. Her relationship to God and her faith really stood out in her life. She lived what she believed. — Gladys Kerfoot about her friend Melva Cookingham

“Mrs. Cookingham was one of the most godly people I know,” Kefoot said. “I could talk to her about anything. She would pray about it. We would pray together. She had a lot of tragedy in her life yet she always had faith that God was going to take her through it all.”

Jim Wiens grew up a close friend with Mrs. Cookingham’s sons. Although he did not attend FC, he kept in close contact with the family for over 50 years and eventually sent his own children to be taught by Mrs. Cookingham.

Wiens describes Mrs. Cookingham as a kindhearted and reliable friend.

“She was kind and gracious,” Wiens said. “She impacted me as an example of a true believer. She ran the race well and finished strong. She was a solid testimony. … She was kind to people and very concerned with and kind to children. Mrs. Cookingham was faithful in friendship. She would be considered consistent and valued as a consoler. She was always kind.”

Jim Wiens children John Wiens, Mary Schramm and Sara Contreras have all graduated from FC and created families of their own. They still recall however, spending long hours at Mrs. Cookingham’s home at a young age and calling her by the affectionate title ‘Grandma Cookingham.’

“She had a really fun two-story house that she would let us play at when we were growing up and she always let us be creative and do adventurous things,” Mary said. “I remember she had a really amazing garden. She just let us play and be kids.”

Wiens says that Mrs. Cookingham always had a habit of keeping her guest’s plates full especially after a long day of play.

“I remember going to her house quite a bit when we were young,” Wiens said. “We loved playing up in her attic, sliding down the stairs and going swimming. She always put extra food on your plate and made you eat it even if you weren’t hungry. It was one of the funny things she did. She always wanted to make sure you had enough food.”

In addition to her teaching profession and church involvement, Mrs. Cookingham had a passion for gardening and for music. She taught piano for several years and often brought her musical expertise to the classroom.

“She was always playing the piano and always singing whether it was at her house or at school,” Wiens said. “I remember in kindergarten she would always give little performances and she would play the piano and sing for that. I definitely remember her love for music.”

For the Wiens family Mrs. Cookingham’s influence reached far beyond childhood. Schramm says that the kindergarten teacher and surrogate grandmother continued to take interest in her family and personal life up until her passing.

“She was passionate about relationships;” Schramm said “She was always very interested in what was going on with us and what was happening in our lives. Once I got married and had a family she was interested in knowing what was happening with each of my kids and with my husband.”

Although Superintendent Jeremy Brown did not know Mrs. Cookingham personally he expresses gratitude at her twenty years of service and of her unwavering pursuit of God’s will.

“Melva loved children and she loved teaching,” Brown said. “She always had time to counsel and encourage parents and staff. Her words of wisdom are remembered to this day. She was a woman of God trusting Jesus to lead and care for her needs and her life. She played a critical role in setting the standards and laying the ground work for future kindergarten teachers.”

A service celebrating the life of Mrs. Melva Cookingham is to be held at the The Bridge Fresno, 3438 East Ashlan Ave., Fresno, CA 93726, on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at 1 p.m. The family prefers that all remembrances be sent to Hume Lake Christian Camps, 5545 East Hedges, Fresno, CA 93727 instead of floral arrangements.

For more features, read the Jan. 28 article, Air quality affects campus, valley.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee.

By |2015-01-30T00:00:00+00:00January 30th, 2015|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Student of the Month: Poojan Gopal strives toward profession in mechanical engineering

IMG_6610rKylie Bell

The student of the month for January is sophomore Poojan Gopal, chosen by history and photojournalism teacher, Kori Friesen.

Sophomore acknowledges the value of hard work

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

The student of the month for January is sophomore Poojan Gopal, chosen by history and photojournalism teacher, Kori Friesen. Friesen says that Gopal actively displays a determination to work hard and improve in his studies.

“I picked him because I have seen an exceptional amount of dedication and commitment in APUSH (AP U.S History),” Friesen said.”Poojan doesn’t complain, he has a great attitude and he is committed to doing the ‘hard’ stuff to get it right. I appreciate what he brings to the table each time. I’m very proud of him.”

Gopal joined the FC student body three years ago after attending Clovis Christian Schools. He transferred with the intention to grow in both academic excellence and personal faith.

This year, Gopal has taken on a full academic load as well as his first AP class. In addition, Gopal plans to apply to the California Scholarship Association (CSF) this semester. Although, he does not focus solely upon school work, Gopal understands the potential impact of academics on the future.

“If you want to be successful in life you have to know stuff education wise,” Gopal said. “Getting an education helps you out a lot in life. It gets you a job so you have enough to support yourself and your family.”

Mother, Manisha Gopal, says that her son has shown a great deal of dedication to his classes this semester.

“He works hard a lot,” Manisha said. “Usually he does good at whatever he does. He always does his homework at home and has improved a lot since the beginning of the year with a 4.0 (GPA). My hope for him is that he will continue doing what he is doing with advancement.”

I picked him because I have seen an exceptional amount of dedication and commitment in APUSH. Poojan doesn’t complain, he has a great attitude and he is committed to doing the ‘hard’ stuff to get it right. I appreciate what he brings to the table each time. I’m very proud of him.–Kori Friesen.


During his free time, Poojan enjoys socializing with friends, playing video games and following professional basketball, football and baseball. His favorite teams are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Browns. Gopal says that time to relax and rejuvenate plays an important role in being a well-rounded student.

“You can?t always be focused on school,” Gopal said. “You have to take a break every once and awhile to relieve stress and unwind. Watching sports and taking that time definitely does that for me.”

Nevan Gonzalez, ’17, has been friends with Gopal since his arrival in junior high three years ago. Gonzales says that Gopal is a loyal companion and overall fun person to be around.
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“He?s the type of friend that you can just hang around with,” Gonzales said. “In a group he would probably be most likely to talk but not extremely often. In general, he?s just the type of person you can be around all the time.”

After high school Gopal plans to attend classes at Fresno State before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and eventually to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in order to pursue a profession in mechanical engineering. Gopal says that engineering is a stable profession that aligns with his own personal work ethic.

“I decided last year to become a mechanical engineer,” Gopal said. “I decided to do this just because it?s something that I think is a good job. I?d be a good mechanical engineer because I would always get the work done. I would try my best and give 100% effort.”

A video on Poojan Gopal is to be added at a later date.

For more features, read the Jan. 22 article, National holiday reminds citizens of civil responsibility.

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

By |2015-01-23T00:00:00+00:00January 23rd, 2015|Academics, Features, Leadership, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Annual camp focuses on trusting God, builds relationships

unnamedNicole Hudecek | The Feather Online Archive

The churches of the San Joaquin Valley join together for a weekend of worship and community at Hume Lake Winter Camp.

Hundreds of youth crowd into the small doorway of the chapel building, dressed in puffy winter apparel. While they wait for the sermon to begin, friends both new and old, chat amongst themselves about tube runs, box sleds and broom hockey.

From Jan. 9-11 the churches of the San Joaquin Valley joined together for a weekend of worship and community at Hume Lake Winter Camp. This particular trip was estimated to be amongst the greatest attended with 15 charter buses and approximately 1000 high school, junior high and elementary students. During this annual trip, campers are provided the opportunity to attend daily worship services and sermons, participate in a plethora of activities and simply escape the stresses of daily life.

The theme of Hume’s 2015 winter camp was “Ordinary Things”. Its main focus was complete trust in God centered upon the key passage, Proverbs 3:5. Timothy Nyberg,’,16 says that the camp?s straightforward yet integral message taught him to rely upon God in all circumstances.

“I think the theme of this year was a simple but powerful message,” Nyberg said. “Although, it was on a verse that most of us know and a story that is common to us all, it was a refreshing reminder. It reminded us all that we are never alone and that no matter what God will always keep us on the right path.”

The speaker for the weekend was Jeff Gokee founder of non-profit organization Wallets for Water and Executive Director of outreach program, PhoenixONE. First time attendee, Michael Gibson, ’17, enjoyed the way Gokee balanced humorous storytelling and deep theological reasoning within his sermons.

“It was a good experience and they definitely did a good job of presenting God?s word,” Gibson said “I thought the speaker (Gokee) was very good. He was very animated and had good way of tying his stories to the message.”

The band responsible for leading worship during the 2015 camp chapels was The Advance, a young contemporary trio. Alexis Kalugin, ’16, says that The Advance made worship a very personal and unique experience.

“I really enjoyed the worship band, Kalugin said. “They were really refreshing and not what I expected but they made worship with God very intimate. My favorite song would probably be ‘Give us Faith’ or ‘Cornerstone'”.

“I thought it was a really amazing experience and I think that everybody should be able to go on it if they can with their church,” Vanderlin said. “It’s just a really good opportunity to connect with friends and get closer to God while you’re up there. You go up to the camp with different friends each time but you always get this same experience.”

Besides being a time for renewal, Winter Camp provided an opportunity for snow sports and rare contests. Broom hockey and box sledding are amongst the camps most revered traditions. In one, campers compete in a shoeless ice hockey tournament using brooms for sticks. In the other, each church is required to make a functional sled out of duct tape and card board boxes.

Triton Siebert, ’17, says that he enjoyed the free time and wacky church contests most. Although, he believes that the camp impacted him spiritually as well.

“My favorite part was playing broom hockey and snowboarding,” Siebert said. “Also chucking ice snowballs at my friends. But I also took away a better understanding of how God works in our lives.”

The campers loaded back into their charter buses at approximately 1 p.m., on January 11 and arrived between 3 to 4 p.m. at the People’s Church parking lot.

Multi-time camper Tyler Vanderlin, ’17, says that Hume Lake always provides an opportunity to both bond with friends and draw near to God.

“I thought it was a really amazing experience and I think that everybody should be able to go on it if they can with their church,” Vanderlin said. “It’s just a really good opportunity to connect with friends and get closer to God while you’re up there. You go up to the camp with different friends each time but you always get this same experience.”

For more information on Hume Lake Winter Camp visit www.humelake.org.

For more features, read the Jan. 15 article, Math teacher travels through Europe over break.

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

By |2015-01-16T00:00:00+00:00January 16th, 2015|Community Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Final novel concludes The Giver Quartet

Student reflects upon Lowery’s work, solves unanswered mysteries

I was first introduced to The Giver Series from an elementary school reading list. I remember author, Lois Lowery’s, intricate plot, detailed characters and particularly the cliff hanger conclusion of the first novel.

Only years later when The Giver became a major motion picture did I decide to check out the other three novels. This collection of stunning dystopian drama was the first of its kind and I believe a prelude to modern teen thrillers such as The The Hunger Games and Divergent.

 This collection of stunning dystopian drama was the first of its kind and I believe a prelude to modern teen thrillers such as The The Hunger Games and Divergent.Amazon Books

This collection of stunning dystopian drama was the first of its kind and I a prelude to modern teen thrillers such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Son is the fourth and final novel in The Giver Quartet. It follows the journey of Claire, a simple girl chosen as birthmother within the same intensely structured community as Jonas (the main protagonist from The Giver).

When Claire encounters complications in the birth of her son, she is relocated to labor in the fish hatchery. However, due to strong maternal instincts and the fact that she does not take the pills that suppress the rest of the community’s emotions, Claire develops a strong yearning for her son.

The determined young mother decides to volunteer at the nurturing center in order to find the child. After some time she notices that the baby is abnormally restless and needy. The child is held back due to these tendencies and receives special care from a particular nurturer (Jonas’s Father) who brings the baby home to his family every night.

At this point the multiple lives of Lowery’s characters began to coincide and fit together like jigsaw pieces.

Claire’s son (Gabe in the first book) is declared unfit and scheduled to be released (killed by lethal injection). Before Claire is aware of the situation Jonas hatches a plan of escape taking the toddler with him.

The sudden and traumatic events within the community cause Claire to have a physiological breakdown and take drastic action.

The distraught girl then climbs aboard a sea bound supply vessel. Yet when the ship wrecks Claire is left unconscious and wounded off of an unfamiliar coastline. The kindhearted villagers of the surrounding community rescue and accept her as their own. Yet due to physiological and perhaps a great deal of physical trauma, Claire is rendered unable to remember specific details of her past.

A large portion of the remainder of the book is dedicated to the resurgence of Claire’s memories and her relentless pursuit of her son.

This last installment is unique in one aspect. Unlike the main characters of the previous three novels, Claire has no special powers or talents than enable her to complete the task at hand. She is beautifully simple. The girl has only compassion, loyalty, and determination; yet it is enough. — Skyler Lee

In the process the young woman sacrifices love, comfort, youth and life itself to find a boy who doesn’t even know her name. These strong themes of sacrifice and faithfulness are woven throughout the plot of Son and the Giver series as a whole.

This last installment is unique in one aspect. Unlike the main characters of the previous three novels, Claire has no special powers or talents than enable her to complete the task at hand. She is beautifully simple. The girl has only compassion, loyalty, and determination; yet it is enough.

Claire finds her long lost son but at enormous cost. In the end it is Gabe who must rescue his mother and his community from a long standing and powerful evil.

Son ties the other three novels together in near perfect harmony, clarifying the mysteries of Lowery’s world. The only criticism I have is that there is not a more full picture of the events leading to the creation of these rigid communities, nor any given time frame in history. Although the text reads at a very simple level, the concepts and plot are anything but simplistic. Son concludes the Giver series with remarkable grace and with an air of overall satisfaction.

For more reviews, read the Dec. 2 article, Third film in franchise raises expectations for final installment.

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

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By |2015-01-05T00:00:00+00:00January 5th, 2015|Books, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Student of the Month: Tyler Sellers focuses on military based future, shows class participation

IMG_4205Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Dodson says that over the course of the semester Sellers has become increasingly dedicated and focused on his academic responsibilities.Junior pursues studies founds club

Junior purses studies, founds club

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

The student of the month for December is junior Tyler Sellers, chosen by English and Bible teacher, Kyle Dodson. Dodson says that over the course of the semester Sellers has become increasingly dedicated and focused on his academic responsibilities.

“I chose Tyler as student of the month because I would give him the most improved award from the beginning of the school year until now,” Dodson said. “In the four months of school, he has transformed into a hard worker and an eager learner. In my class, he is quick and responsive in adding to discussions, makes outside connections to the readings in class, and overall promotes a healthy community within his classes. He is encouraging to others to try their best.”

In addition to his rising participation and involvement in academics, Sellers takes part in baseball and enjoys fitness. He is confident about the skill level of FC’s Varsity Baseball team this season and hopes to aid them in a championship title.

“Last year we did pretty good for the first year being together,” Sellers said. “This year I think we?re going to be much better since we?ve already played together for a year. We know how each other plays and we are much more bonded. I think we have the talent to win valley championship this year.”

Sellers spends most of his free time at the gym or doing chores at home. He says that utilizing one?s time efficiently is important.

Tyler is a very outgoing person. He’s very funny and the type of person that will just stick with you no matter what. I have known him for literally forever and he’s a great guy.–Daniel Ayres 

“I’m usually at the gym or doing something a bit more constructive,” Sellers said. “When I get home I kind of just do work or whatever my Grandpa says. I?m not usually having that much free time but when I do it?s always something more constructive.”

Two years ago Sellers entered a Cadet Program and is currently planning to join the marines after college. He was prompted to research national service after several acquaintances joined the program.

“A lot of my friends last year went into the marines and into the military so I became interested in going into it,” Sellers said. “The biggest thing was that they paid the best and had the better branch. I looked into it and researched it and so that is what happened.”

Besides being opportune, service is among one of Seller?s greatest passions. He says that his family has always held patriotism and respect as highly valued ideals.

“Patriotism pretty much comes from my roots it comes from my home,” Sellers said. “It?s just how I was raised. A lot of my family was in the military so they taught me to respect people and just live for God, family and country.”

Sellers is the founder of Valor Club, a gathering focused on honoring veterans and service men. He formed the idea after being impacted from several veteran service and awareness based programs.

“Over the summer I went to a lot of programs like the Wounded Warrior Project and I just thought I could do more and wanted to start,” Sellers said. “It?s about honoring veterans and letting them know that we?re here as a school and in the community. We can show that we care about them and that we still know that they?re there. About 42% of homeless people are veterans so we want them to know that we still do care.”

Long time friend Daniel Ayers,’17 says that Sellers is a faithful friend and humorous companion.

“Tyler is a very outgoing person,” Ayers said. “He’s very funny and the type of person that will just stick with you no matter what. I have known him for literally forever and he’s a great guy.”

Read Student of the Month: Katy Blankenship reveals hobbies, interests for November’s Student of the Month.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: Skyler Lee.

By |2014-12-23T00:00:00+00:00December 23rd, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Children's Electric Christmas Parade celebrates 27th anniversary, attracts sizable crowd (VIDEO)

Parade lights up Old Town Clovis

Approximately 80 entries including floats, marching bands, color guard squads, equestrian riders, motorcyclists, and a variety of other vehicles were presented in electric Christmas lights.Emily Ladd

Approximately 80 entries including floats, marching bands, color guard squads, equestrian riders, motorcyclists, and a variety of other vehicles were presented in electric Christmas lights.

Rows upon rows of curious by standards line the streets as the first float glides down the boulevard. Cheers erupt from the crowd as the bright lights fastened upon the spectacle flash red and green.

One by one the floats make their way down the street followed by a variety of persons and groups all decked in brilliant Christmas lights.

The Children’s Electric Christmas Parade is an annual event encompassing about six blocks of the Old Town Clovis area, starting and concluding at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. The event is sponsored by the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club. This year marks the parade’s 27th anniversary.

Approximately 80 entries including floats, marching bands, color guard squads, equestrian riders, motorcyclists, and a variety of other vehicles were presented in electric Christmas lights.

Dwain Miracle, a fifth year spectator says that the festivities and lights add a sense of joy and community to the Old Town atmosphere.

“I came to this event because I have always liked to see the lights at night,” Miracle said “It brightens the year up if you know what I’m saying. I could never tell you what my favorite thing is because it’s all really great. It’s a very good community event, very good.”

In addition to the brilliant Christmas displays, street vendors offered glow sticks and other electric light products so that the audience could participate in the illumination of Old Town as well. Store’s bolstering strings of Christmas lights stayed open throughout the parade and offered food and refreshment to the public.

Kingsburg residence, Deborah (last name withheld) attended the parade for the first time with her Grandson and a group of friends. She says that the horses draped in Christmas lights were the highlight of the night.

“I?m from Kingsburg and we decided to come to the Clovis Parade just to check it out,” Deborah said.”I heard it was really good and I wanted to bring my Grandson. I think it?s great so far I really like it. I like Clovis so this is great. I think he (her Grandson) is really enjoying it too. He loves seeing the horses with the lights on them. That would probably be our favorite part.”
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In addition to various school marching bands and church groups, floats often represented a particular company or movie.

University High student, Emily Rodwin, enjoyed the float containing Disney Princesses and Frozen characters in full costume.

“I heard about this event and it sounded really cool,” Rodwin said. “I really liked the Disney princesses and the Frozen characters. I?m excited to see what the rest of this parade has in store.”

The parade started at 6:30 p.m. and ended far past its approximated finish time at around 8:15 p.m.

For those who came early to the parade, they could hitch a ride on one of the free horse drawn carriages which run from 1-4 p.m. every weekend. Santa was also on the porch of the Old Town Bistro for photos.

For another features article read Santa’s elves return to the North Pole with Operation Santa.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected].

By |2014-12-10T00:00:00+00:00December 10th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

DeWolf brings drive and intensity to team, balances extracurricular load

Through the years the sports enthusiast has taken part in a traveling baseball team, triathlons, tennis, golf, varsity cross country, varsity baseball and varsity basketball.Kylie Bell

Through the years the sports enthusiast has taken part in a traveling baseball team, triathlons, tennis, golf, varsity cross country, varsity baseball and varsity basketball.

Senior focuses on finishing the year strong

From a young age senior Aaron DeWolf was drawn to the world of athletics, participating in both t-ball and soccer at the pre-school level. Through the years the sports enthusiast has taken part in a traveling baseball team, triathlons, tennis, golf, varsity cross country, varsity baseball and varsity basketball.

According to DeWolf, this passion for all things active results from an appreciation of competition. DeWolf deems basketball his favorite sport to play although, baseball and football rival as close seconds.

“I’ve always liked competition,” DeWolf said. “I’ve always been drawn to it. My favorite sport to play is basketball. I love the pace of the game and the constant excitement. I love to watch football because it’s entertaining and I love to follow the teams and players. But I also love baseball. No other sport has an atmosphere that can compete with baseball.”

DeWolf first started to play basketball during his 4th grade year in 2006. For the last eight, he has been a dedicated and essential member of the team. This season marks DeWolf’s third and final year on FC’s varsity basketball team. He is currently a guard in the starting lineup.

DeWolf says that his affection for the sport made commitment throughout the years easy and worthwhile.

“I’ve stuck with it because I’ve never had a reason to stop,” DeWolf said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing and even despite the injuries, I’ve always had a reason to come back.”

First year coach Jonathan Penberthy regards DeWolf as a committed player and important asset to the team. He commends his ability to influence and empower fellow team mates as well as heed instruction.

“Aaron is probably our hardest worker; he leads by example, and has a drive to succeed,” Penberthy said. “He is a leader; his interactions with his teammates are to make the team better. My goals for Aaron is for him to continually get better, he is a very coachable player, so we should see improvements every game from him.”

DeWolf’s father Jonathan DeWolf is proud of his son’s achievements and determination to persevere and improve despite multiple injuries obtained over the course of his time on the team.

“It is pure joy watching my son on the court,” Jonathan said. “He exudes leadership, passion, and has amazing jumping, ball handling and driving ability. Defensively, well, it’s hard to explain, just pure entertainment. After numerous injuries, fractures and a concussion, Aaron has become rather adept at learning how not to fall, nor to sacrifice his body on that incredibly unforgiving floor.”

Teammate Roy Brown, ’17, says that DeWolf’s hard work and fine tuned skills makes a positive impact on the team as a whole.

“He’s aggressive and fast,” Brown said. “He scores a lot and always makes a good hustle. As a teammate on and off the court he is very fun to hang around with.”

Aaron is probably our hardest worker; he leads by example, and has a drive to succeed. He is a leader; his interactions with his teammates are to make the team better. My goals for Aaron is for him to continually get better, he is a very coachable player, so we should see improvements every game from him.–Johnathan Penberthy 

Throughout his high school years, DeWolf, has participated and excelled in many different activities both within and outside the athletic sphere. He is currently a member of a junior high mentoring program, Student Leadership, drama, as well as being president of California Scholastic Federation (CSF). He is also involved regularly in both the community and at his church, First Presbyterian.

In addition to a sizable extracurricular load, DeWolf is taking this year Advanced Placement classes like Language and Composition and Calculus. He says that the benefits of these often demanding activities ultimately outweigh any disadvantages.
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“It’s very tough, this year in particular with it being my senior year and all and being so involved in school, I am often over scheduled this time of year,” DeWolf said. “But you have to take time out of your personal life and your time to relax and use that to accomplish those things. So it can be very tiring and stressful, but it is worth it in the end.”

Jonathon says that scholarships, high grades, and an active social life are among some of DeWolf’s goals for senior year.

“In addition to playing varsity sports, Aaron is actively involved with a multitude of extracurricular activities and organizations,” Jonathan said. “His goal is to conclude his four years of high school with perfect straight “A”‘s, be awarded a few scholarships, participate in as many high school social events that are offered, and make as many memories as possible.”

Despite a heavy extracurricular and academic schedule, DeWolf still makes time for his interest. Among them are baseball, building things, cars, oldies music and simply spending time with friends and loved ones.

DeWolf plans to major in mechanical engineering after he graduates in the spring. He intends to pursue a dream profession in sports car engineering.

“Ever since freshman year I have wanted to design cars,” DeWolf said. “I went to a racetrack and saw all the cars and all the engineers and realized how cool it would be to work on and design these types of cars for the rest of my life. I fell in love with the idea and never looked back.”

For more sports, read the Dec. 3 article, World of Sports: MLB Off-season proves comparable to league.

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

By |2014-12-05T00:00:00+00:00December 5th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

BRIEF: Christmas Tree Lane scheduled to open, Dec. 2

Christmas Tree Lane, located at Van Ness Blvd between Shields Ave and Shaw Ave, was founded in 1920 by a residing family after the death of their child.Meredith Monke | The Feather Online Archive

Christmas Tree Lane, located at Van Ness Blvd between Shields Ave and Shaw Ave, was founded in 1920 by a residing family after the death of their child.

Christmas Tree Lane celebrates 92 year anniversary

The Christmas season is quickly approaching with stores and TV stations bolstering low prices for early shoppers and decorated trees popping up in windows across the country. Fresno like any other town or city during this season, contains several unique events and spectacles. One of which is the color display at Christmas Tree Lane.

Christmas Tree Lane, located at Van Ness Blvd between Shields Ave and Shaw Ave, was founded in 1920 by a residing family after the death of their child. The bereaved loved one’s lit their house in brilliant Christmas lights and decorations, in order to honor their child’s memory.

The family’s example was contagious. Soon the street was engulfed in the twinkling lights of remembrance and Christmas Tree Lane was born.

Since its humble beginnings 92 years ago, Christmas Tree Lane has accumulated 140 participant homes and accommodates an average of 100,000 visitors per-year. Recently, Washington Post deemed the lane a holiday tradition.

Sophomore Amber Wilson attends Christmas Tree Lane annually with family. She says that the bright lights and lavish decorations add to the Christmas atmosphere within the city.

“I just love how every single house is decorated,” Wilson said. “It’s a very spectacular thing to see because when your in the Christmas mood it just works perfectly. It make you feel really happy and excited about Christmas.”

Christmas Tree Lane’s opening day is Dec. 2 and will continue every night until Dec. 25.

Admission is free although donations are appreciated due to the fact that the lane is a non-profit organization and supported solely through sponsors. A sum of all donations will be dedicated to the Tree Fresno, a local forest support group and partner of Christmas Tree Lane.

From Sunday through Thursday the gates will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Tuesday Dec. 2 and Wednesday Dec. 10 are walking nights. During these dates Christmas Tree Lane will be closed to all vehicle traffic in order to insure safety for visitors on foot. Bus rides from Figarden Village will be provided by Tree Fresno for these two nights.

For more news, read the Nov. 25 article, BREAKING: Night of the Stars venue changed.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee.

By |2014-12-01T00:00:00+00:00December 1st, 2014|Community Events, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Student of the Month: Katy Blankenship reveals hobbies, interests (VIDEO)

IMG_3283Kylie Bell

November’s student of the month is sophomore Katy Blankenship, chosen by science teacher Karen Walters for her devotion to academics and compassionate personality.

Junior shares love of the outdoors and science

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by Feather staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

November’s student of the month is sophomore Katy Blankenship, chosen by science teacher Karen Walters for her devotion to academics and compassionate personality.

“Katy is an outstanding student both academically and in terms of citizenship,” Walters said. “She is always willing to help fellow students and makes any group work. Her attention to detail makes her a great asset in the laboratory environment. Simply stated, Katy is a pleasure to have as a student and a good friend to her classmates.”

In addition to her diligence in the academic sphere Blankenship is a member of California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Sister to Sister and Spanish Club. She also intends to join Creative Writing Club this semester.

Blankenship says she participates in these clubs and activities in order to take full advantage of the opportunities placed before her.

“I think application is essential in whatever I do,” Blankenship said. “I am blessed to have so many opportunities in my classes and school activities so I want to try as hard as I can to utilize what I have been given.”

For Blankenship music has always been a significant part of life, with her mother bringing her to classes at an early age. Throughout, the years she has developed a passion for the art and continues to improve her skills.

Due to a hectic schedule Blankenship no longer takes piano lessons. However, the music enthusiast attends vocal lessons weekly and is currently a first year member of FC’s Adoration Ensemble.

Blankenship says that ensemble provides a place to both interact with friends and pursue her passion for music.

“I enjoy ensemble so much,” Blankenship said. “I have lots of friends in the class and Mrs. (Susan) Ainley is doing a great job as the director. The music she picks out for us is outstanding.”

Blankenship prefers to sing and play classical music, although, she appreciates a more modern indie style in her personal library. She considers her favorite artists to be Christiana Perri and Yael Naim.

For Blankenship, music is an outlet for self expression, a way to praise God, gain confidence and find peace simultaneously.

“I love music because it is a great way to express myself rather singing a praise song or writing one of my own to fit my situation,” Blankenship said. “It is always there to comfort me. I can?t remember not liking music it has always been such a large part of my life.”

Another of the underclassman?s main interests is the outdoors. Blankenship currently lives at the base of the foothills and enjoys hiking, horseback riding and fishing during her free time. Blankenship and her Dad often spend a day hiking and fishing at Hume Lake .
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Blankenship believes her affection for the outdoors resulted from her parents’ own enthusiasm for all things involving nature.

“I love the outdoors because my parents especially my Dad, love the outdoors,” Blankenship said. “They do a lot of outdoor things with my siblings and me. We love going to Hume usually it’s just my Dad and me but sometimes the rest of the family will come too.”

Close Friend, Caitlin Gaines says that Blankenship manages to balance school work and social life while remembering to be imaginative and funny.

“She {Blankenship} is kind, sweet, creative and witty,” Gaines said. “She adds a lot of humor to our group. Katy is both the type of person to be devoted to her school work at school while still making time for her friends.”

Blankenship considers herself to be an animal lover with four dogs, a rabbit, a guinea pig and a hamster.

In the future she hopes to specialize in animal science or biology. Blankenship is interested in (Texas Christian University) TCU and Fresno State although, she is unsure about the high temperatures of the two locations.

Ultimately she hopes to unearth something new and beneficial. A family is also among Blankenship’s plans.

“I’m not sure specifically what I want to go into, but I would love to discover or invent something that would make an impact in the world,” Blankenship said. “I think discovering a new species of animal, or finding some new insight toward animal communication would be absolutely fantastic. I would also hope to have a family one day.”

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

For more features, read the Nov. 21 article, Students reflect on the privilege of driving, pros and cons.

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

By |2014-11-25T00:00:00+00:00November 25th, 2014|Academics, Announcements, Features, Uncategorized, Videos|0 Comments

Fulton ice rink adds community aspect to downtown area (VIDEO)

Since it's beginnings the Fulton Ice Rink has  accommodated thousands of visitors and continues to thrive during Fresno's chilly months.Emily Ladd

Since it’s beginnings the Fulton Ice Rink has accommodated thousands of visitors and continues to thrive during Fresno’s chilly months.

Seasonal ice rink opens to Fresno public

The air is frigid and people dressed in heavy jackets and miscellanies winter wear stop to watch their breaths swirl into a thick mist above them. Couples skate hand in hand, friends laugh and families prop wayward toddlers upon makeshift ice walkers. Music plays over the sounds of blades against ice as each figure travels around the circular rink.

The holiday season in Fresno and in nearly every city or town is characterized by traditions, events and special activities. Among them is the Fulton Ice Rink, located in the Fulton Mall on Mariposa Plaza.

The rink was implemented into Fresno holiday traditions several years ago. It is currently financially supported by a board of generous sponsors.

Since it’s beginnings it has accommodated thousands of visitors and continues to thrive during Fresno’s chilly months.

Richard Roman, assistant manager of the rink’s evening shift believes that the annual event prompts Fresno’s residents to gain a deeper appreciation of their city and community as a whole.

“I think the rink adds a positive vibe {to the community} and I think that’s something that the Fulton mall and this downtown area really needs right now,” Roman said. “It’s a positive vibe with people loving their city. If people don’t love their city it isn’t going to change positively it?s going to change negatively. That’s one thing that Fresno people need to realize: if you don’t love your city your city’s not going to love you back.”

This seasonal attraction is open Nov. 13 through Jan. 19, to the general public and to single parties upon prior contact and negotiation.

The rink is open for daily sessions Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

On week days, admission is $8 for children and $10 for adults. Saturday through Sunday admission runs at $10 per child and $12 per adult.

Parking validation at Garage 8 located at 1077 Van Ness Ave, is included in admission cost. However, it should be noted that parking in any city lot with a parking meter, after 6 p.m., on week nights and on weekends is free of charge.

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[last name withheld], has a history in gymnastics and fencing. Her children as well as herself are frequent visitors of the Fulton Ice Rink. The mother of four says she appreciates the serene atmosphere and the rink’s cost efficient family plan.

“I love that it’s outside, it’s so beautiful under the stars to bring the community together,” Kimmy said. “It’s different people every night. There’s fresh air and it’s not freezing cold like it is indoors. It’s fun and people usually come out once or twice a year here and their all beginners. It’s also affordable here. The family pack is a great deal and makes a big difference.”

First time attendee Shani [last name withheld], enjoyed a night of laughter on the ice with a group of friends. She purchased a season pass in order to skate more often and plans to return many times within the next few weeks.
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“Skating is fun but hard,” Shani said with a laugh. “We will definitely come back because we got a whole season pass. My favorite part would probably be me falling.”

Skates in all sizes are available for rent. The charge is included in admission. However, those with their own skates are welcomed to bring them as well.

Seasonal passes are available for families and individuals who plan to attend the rink frequently. An adult seasonal pass is $49 and a child’s pass is $39. A family of two adults and four children can by a pass bundle for $99, but $20 is required per every additional child past the quantity of four.

Junior Marissa Jonigan is familiar with the Fulton mall, but was unaware of the annual ice skating event. She thinks the idea of an outdoor ice rink in the midst of the mall is a both interesting and fun concept.

“I’ve been to the Fulton mall, but have never heard or been to the ice rink before,” Jonnigan said. “It sounds really fun to go to. I would definitely go if I had the time and a good group of friends to go with.”

Bailey Brogan, ’16 visited the rink last year with a group of friends. He enjoyed the family oriented setting and the overall experience, despite the fact that he slipped a few times.

“There were lots of families there taking their children skating,” Brogan said. “It was nice to see all the dad?s spending time with their kids and laughing. For me it was fun even though I fell a few times because let’s face it, I’m pretty clumsy.”

For more information about the Fulton Ice Rink local events, check out the Downtown Fresno Partnership.

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

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

By |2014-11-25T00:00:00+00:00November 25th, 2014|Community Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Girl's basketball team returns after two-year absence

In 2010 the FC girl's basketball team won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Division V Valley Championship. Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

In 2010 the FC girl’s basketball team won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Division V Valley Championship.

Young team builds basic skills

In 2010 the FC girl’s basketball team won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Division V Valley Championship. The team won with a nine-point lead on Central Valley Christian winning 49-40. The game took place at Fresno’s Sellend Arena and left the Eagles with a large plaque for their achievements and the euphoria of the title: Valley Champions.

Unfortunately, 2012 was the last time FC successfully fielded a girl?s basketball team. In the following years, interest in the sport among the female population dwindled, in favor of other fall and winter teams.

There have been several attempts over the last two years to rekindle girl’s basketball at FC. However, due to a lack of devoted athletes, the teams all fizzled out before their first game.

Co-athletic director, Jonathan Penberthy says that gathering awareness, a devoted coaching staff and sufficient amounts of players were among some of the major difficulties encountered in establishing a team.

“Some of the difficulties of starting a basketball team were getting the news out that we were going to have a team,” Penberthy said. “We had multiple girls? wanting to play multiple sports in the same season. Other difficulties were getting a coach that wanted to develop the program. It most likely fell through in previous years because of a lack of girls.”

Fortunately, after a two-year absence, the team has recently been able to generate enough players for the 2014-15 season.

Currently, there are eight dedicated individuals who will make up the team along with several possible additions.

Tamika Thomas, mother of alumni N’Gai Jones has assumed the position of coach for the team this year. One of her main goals for the season is to teach each team member the fundamentals of basketball and encourage them to achieve personal goals.

“I think right now a major goal is just to get everybody fundamentally sound, and get everybody going in the right direction,” Thomas said. “It?s important to get their spirits up and get them to set personal goals. We?re a new team and we?re going to be starting up slow but we?ll get there.”

There are no try-outs for the girl?s basketball team this year and members are not required to have previous experience. On the contrary a significant number of players on the team joined the sport for the first time or have had very little prior experience.
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One of these new players is Korean foreign exchange student, Min Lee,’16. Lee was inspired to join the team after watching boys? basketball last year. She plans to continue working hard and is excited for the upcoming season.

“First I really wanted to learn basketball,” Lee said. “I also really liked to watch our school?s boy?s basketball team last year and they were really good, so it just made me want to try basketball. It is really fun so far. Usually I don?t like to exercise but this was fun and I am enjoying it a lot right now.”

Team mate Mariana Fikse is new to the FC student body this year. She had some experience with basketball at her previous school and anticipates aiding the Eagles in developing a strong team this season.

“I?m just looking to get closer together as a team and want to see our team build up,” Fikse said. “My goal this year is to just try my best. I like the competiveness of basketball and I think it?s one of the more exciting sports to play.”

The team?s first scrimmage will be Nov. 22 against Orange Cove, Mendota and Alpaugh, starting at 10 a.m.

For more information on girl?s basketball, contact coach Tamika Thomas at [email protected] or 559.554.8999.

For more features, read the Nov. 14 article, Broadway Studios displays local cultures, backgrounds.

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

By |2014-11-18T00:00:00+00:00November 18th, 2014|Fall, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mock election challenges student involvement in politics, familiarize with issues

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.Kylie Bell

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.

Students adopt political points of view

On October 28, students gathered in their Tuesday advisory sessions to vote in the My Vote California Student Mock Elections. The mock election mirrors California’s general election (Nov. 4) and is offered to public and private schools across the state.

The mini-ballot was originally created by Sectary of State, Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson in order to inform the younger generation of the importance of politics in modern day society.

Leadership advisor Robert Foshee says that the election was designed to spark a genuine interest in political issues within the student body and introduce them to the voting process.

“One of the purposes was to get the students involved in who was running and the issues,” Foshee said. “The students will soon be in the age of voting and by getting them interested early, they are more likely to vote when they can vote. I hope that the students realized that the process isn?t too cumbersome and that they can see the results first hand. They can see that as a democracy their vote counts and can make an influence in their state, county or city.”

The impact and implications of each proposition were explained in detail by leadership members before students cast their ballots. Individuals were not required to vote but were highly encouraged to do so and rewarded with an ‘I voted’ sticker upon the completion of their ballots.

Leadership student Juliana Rosik, ?16 says that the election served to alert the student population of state-wide issues. Although she doubts the results will be accurate due to an observed lack of seriousness from the student body.

“It {Mock Election} makes people aware of the issues going on around them,” Rosik said. “Even though we?re not old enough to vote we should be starting to look into the political issues, especially in California. I think it was useful but I also think that the results will not be conclusive because a lot of people kind of blew it off and just checked no or yes for all of them. It?s interesting but I?m not sure the results will necessary reflect the general opinion.”

Sophomore Daniel Ayres decided to vote because the issues presented interested him. He is curious at the outcome of the election despite a lack of previous interest in general politics.

“I chose to vote because it looked fun and I wanted to see who won the election,” Aryes said. “I?m not really interested in politics at home. I don?t really spend that much time on them at all. I tried to understand all of the propositions and I think I voted for the ones I believe in.”

Results of the FC MyVote Mock California Elections:

Senior Jonathan Brushwood, noticed that some results did not follow that of the state election. He was surprised at these abnormalities and accredits them to a teen population not aware of national issues.

“I noticed that proposition 46 got our schools support and passed for us while in the community it did not,” Brushwood said. “Also prop 47 was not passed by the student body. However, in the community it was passed. Other than that our school followed the community?s pattern which is surprising. This is probably because most teens don?t pay attention to politicians and elections, which is sad.”

For other county and individual school results visit Myvote Student election.com.

For more features, read Nov. 4 article, Photojournalism advisor adjusts to new position, offers professional experience.

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

By |2014-11-06T00:00:00+00:00November 6th, 2014|Academics, Features, Opinions, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Campus halls star Hollywood dress up days: Wake Up Wednesday (VIDEO)

Bizarre sights are not unusual in the FC halls during homecoming week. On the contrary, wacky outfits and class participation are encouraged.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Bizarre sights are not unusual in the FC halls during homecoming week. On the contrary, wacky outfits and class participation are encouraged.

Wake Up Wednesday
Skyler Lee, Writer
Oct. 29, 2014

Bizarre sights are not unusual in the FC halls during homecoming week. On the contrary, wacky outfits and class participation are encouraged. Over the last few years, dress up days have included everything from pirates to Wizard of OZ characters. This year student will participate in Hollywood dress up days. One of the many reoccurring favorites among the student population however, is Wake Up Wednesday.

Students arrived on Oct. 29, equipped with their comfy clothes, pillows and stuffed animals. The tired troopers proceeded through their respective schedules in many cases adorned in colorful pajamas or baggy onesies.

This is Carlee Whipple’s, ’17, first year participating in dress up days. She enjoyed the casual tone of the day although she often struggled to stay awake.

“Its pajama day, I mean, come on, who wouldn?t want to wear pajamas to school?” Whipple said. “The best part about pajama day is being comfy and wearing pajamas to school. The only bad part about Pajama Day is that you always feel like falling asleep in class.”

Students were creative with their apparel this year some making great efforts to express class spirit. Jordan Castro, ’15, brandished a colorful and unique outfit this year despite, last minute complications.

“First I had planned to go shopping for a good pajama costume,” Castro said. “But then my parents never gave me the money they said they would. So instead I raided their closet this morning and got all the pajamas I could wear to school.”

Although a large proportion of students took full advantage of the opportunity to wear pajamas to school, a few decided against it. Among them was Tyler Dondlinger, ’15.

Dondlinger enjoys dress up day but was unable to participate because of a job interview scheduled after school.

“I didn’t dress up because I have to go to two job interviews right after school,” Dondlinger said. “I like pajama day and was planning to wear an onesie to school. But I got the call about the interviews and figured it wouldn’t work out.”

Andrew Moore, ’16, decided to dress up because he assumed pajamas would lessen the expected work load.

“Well for one thing it?s a great opportunity to sleep in class,” Moore said. “You get your pajamas on and you can do less work. The only thing is that it gets a little hot and it?s hard enough to stay cool in Fresno. Other than that pajama day is pretty awesome.”

Tomorrow’s dress up day is think-alike-Thursday. Students will team up in pairs to create similar outfits. FC’s annual King Dance will also take place, Oct. 30.

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

By |2014-10-29T00:00:00+00:00October 29th, 2014|FC Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Max Hinton Blood Drive, Oct. 27

Six years ago Max Hinton, a seven year old student at FC was diagnosed with nueroblastoma. The school community rallied around the young survivor, establishing a blood drive in his honor.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Six years ago Max Hinton, a seven year old student at FC was diagnosed with nueroblastoma. The school community rallied around the young survivor, establishing a blood drive in his honor.

Sixth Annul Max Hinton Blood Drive

Six years ago Max Hinton, a seven year old student at FC was diagnosed with nueroblastoma. The school community rallied around the young survivor, establishing a blood drive in his honor. Although, Hinton’s cancer is currently in full remission, FC continues the tradition in his name.

Now in the 5th grade Hinton still recalls the gratitude he felt for those who provided encouragement in the midst of his illness.

“When I first heard about the blood drive done under my name I felt good,” Hinton said. “I wasn?t really expecting it to happen. I’m very grateful for the support the school gave me during that time.”

The sixth annual Max Hinton blood drive will take place from 1-4:30pm, Oct. 27. The Central Blood Center mobile will be stationed in the high school parking lot, equipped with trained and experienced personnel.

According to Laura Geuvjehizian, donor recruiter for the Central California Blood Center, the blood drive program is a strong support for the medical system in our community.

“Each pint of blood collected can save up to 3 lives. It can give the person in need of blood more time to be with their loved ones,” Geuvjehizian said, “The Central California Blood Center provides 5,000-6,000 pints of blood a month to 31 local hospitals. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, lives are being saved and prolonged on a daily basis.”

This year FC has implemented another incentive for students to give. Any donor, student or adult who donates under the name of a particular grade level will secure points for that class in the homecoming competition. In addition to this, participants will receive a free t-shirt upon donation and a sweet snack afterwards.

FC students, faculty members and families are encouraged to participate in the charity. All donors however, are required to be of at least 16 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110lbs and be in relatively good health. A guardian signed permission slip is required for all students under the age of 17 who plan to donate.

Participants are advised to drink plenty of water and have a large meal about four hours before donation in order to insure optimum comfort and safety.

Tyranophonia is the medical term for a fear of needles and injections. An estimated 20% of the population has this phobia among them is Allison Breedlove, ’16’. Although, reluctant to donate at FC’s annual blood drive, Breedlove plans to overcome that fear and contribute to her class’s overall ranking.

“I don?t like needles they scare me,” Breedlove said. “I have had a fear of them for at least as long ago as junior high. It?s just something that?s always been there. They really hurt and freak me out. I get really light headed and dizzy and feel like passing out whenever needles are in me, so I?m not a really big fan. I think I?m going to try to face this fear and donate but if I don?t I may have my mom donate for the junior class.”

Sign up for the sixth annual Max Hinton blood drive at the high school office. For any additional questions or concerns please contact the Central California Blood Center at 559.389.5433.

For more news, read Oct. 23 article, Parents to host movie night for students of all ages.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email:[email protected]

By |2014-10-24T00:00:00+00:00October 24th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

International Student, Krit Metanopphakun chosen as student of the month

Metanopphakun journeyed to America from Thailand about two years ago in order to better his English skills. He believes that exposure to American culture will increase college and job opportunities within his own country. Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Metanopphakun journeyed to America from Thailand about two years ago in order to better his English skills. He believes that exposure to American culture will increase college and job opportunities within his own country.

Foreign Exchange Student excels in new country

Every month The Feather will highlight one student recommended by a teacher and voted upon by staff members. Students are chosen depending upon several factors including and not limited to good grades, class engagement, positive attitude and special extracurricular activities.

The student of the month of October is foreign exchange student Krit Metanopphakun, chosen for his hard work and positive attitude by math teacher and Director of Academics, Michael Fenton.

“Not only is he a hard working student who does well in class (and color codes his notes and assignments), but every time I see Krit a huge, contagious smile breaks out across his face,” Fenton said. “It’s hard not to smile in return.”

Metanopphakun journeyed to America from Thailand about two years ago in order to better his English skills. He believes that exposure to American culture will increase college and job opportunities within his own country.

Upon his arrival, Metanopphakun noticed a distinct change in cultural norms, student teacher interaction and freedom of speech. He says that he enjoys the difference between the two cultures and revels in new found liberties here in the US.

“When we act or do something (in America) we don?t have to think about who they are,” Metanopphakun said. “We can even talk with teachers equally. It doesn’t matter how old you are here, we can talk and share anything we want to. Everyone understands what we are. I love when we share something and no one blames you.”

As a foreign exchange student Krit has encountered and continues to encounter several challenges typical of international students. In addition to the new atmosphere, language and culture he is separated from his friends and family in Thailand by thousands of miles.

“I miss them every day but I still have fun here,” Metanopphakun said. “I talk with my family everyday but it?s not face to face you know. Food is also a big thing; I love to eat but the Thai restaurants here just are not the same.”
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After spending a year of studies at Clovis West he decided to finish his senior year at a private school. Due to the recommendation of several family members and friends, Metanopphakun settled on the FC campus for the 2014-15 school year. Although Metanopphakun has attended the school for less than three months he appreciates the friendly atmosphere and has accumulated several friends

“I love FC because all of the students have good minds and totally care about each other, and they always help each other no matter what,” Metanopphakun said. “And all the teachers are also nice to me. They show kindness. I believe I love this school. It will be my last year but it changed my life.”

On his spare time Metanopphakun also enjoys watching movies, listening to music and hanging out with friends. His favorite sports are badminton and volleyball. He expresses great disappointment at the fact that FC does not yet have a male volleyball team.

Fellow foreign exchange student Olivia Tandadjaja, ’16, has become friends with Metanopphakun over the last few months. She says that he possesses a quiet but unique humor.

“He has a bubbly personality,” Tandadjaja said. “He is just always so positive. He?s hilarious; not like the telling jokes kind of hilarious but more of the laughing all the time hilarious.”

Metanopphakun enjoys both English and math at FC. He credits his appreciation of the subject to the insightful teaching methods used in the classes.

“I like English because (Andrea) Mrs. Donaghe is like the best teacher,” Metanopphakun said. “She?s so nice and helps me learn really fast. Mr. Fenton is also a kind person and teaches the class in a really professional way.”

After High School, Metanopphakun plans to return to Thialand, where he will attend a four year college and then determine his future profession.

For more features, read the Oct. 16 article, Get to know: Trevor Trevino.

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

By |2014-10-22T00:00:00+00:00October 22nd, 2014|Academics, Announcements, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Featured App: Duolingo

Duolingo currently offers up to nine language courses for English speakers including Spanish, French and German. Duolingo

Duolingo currently offers up to nine language courses for English speakers including Spanish, French and German.

Language App revolutionizes world of learning

Occasionally The Feather highlights one app that is relevant to campus life. This week Duolingo, a free multilanguage learning guide will be featured.

Doulingo

Duolingo was created by Guatemalan entrepreneur Luis Von Ahn in 2012. Since then the app and online site has generated more than 25 million users and won App of the Year from both Apple and Google. In addition, the company received Best Education Startup at the 2014 Crunchies, a series of technological based awards.

Duolingo currently offers up to nine language courses for English speakers including Spanish, French and German. An additional course on American English is available in 15 foreign languages. It is compatible for both iOS and android systems and contains a colorful and user friendly format.

The Duolingo learning process involves a series of interactive games that enables a person to progressively move to higher and higher levels within the program. It even has the ability to record one?s voice. This is designed to aid in proper vocalization methods.

Once users master the basics they begin to advance to more difficult levels of expertise. Users have the ability to review their lessons and retake sessions at any time. There is also an option for inviting friends, making the world of Duolingo a social sphere as well. Check the Duolingo app on Facebook as well.

Junior Emily Ladd missed a year of Spanish due to schedule issues. As a Spanish II student Ladd decided to refresh her knowledge through Duolingo. She says that the site makes learning a new language an enjoyable experience.

“It?s fun, but challenging and really useful,” Ladd said. “It’s more like a game than just a quiz. It also encourages you to take a refresher course after awhile and can figure out the words you?re struggling with. It teaches you the basics with words and phrases you would use in daily language too. You learn grammar and all the basics you need, yet still a fun way.”

For more information on Duolingo, check their Twitter page: @Duolingo and/or read about it on the TNW blog.

For more features, read the Oct. 10 article, Woodshop allows students to explore artistic ability, talent.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee.

By |2014-10-13T00:00:00+00:00October 13th, 2014|Arts & Entertainment, Features, Media, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Students prepare for future SAT, College Board gives advice

College Board recommendations for upcoming state test

All factual information in this article is product of the College Board Website.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a comprehensive assessment of a student?s critical reading, writing, and mathematical skills. It is offered in the US seven times a year in Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., March, May and June. Internationally (outside of the US) the test is offered a total of six times per year.

The next SAT will take place at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The deadline to sign up for this session was Sept 12. However, one may still be eligible if signed to the waiting listAlexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

The next SAT will take place at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The deadline to sign up for this session was Sept 12. However, one may still be eligible if signed to the waiting list.

. General attendees of the SAT are college bound junior and senior students. Nearly half of these participants take the test at least twice and generally improve upon retaking it.

Jordan Castro, ’15, is retaking the SAT this Saturday, Oct. 11. Despite his initial fears, Castro hopes to improve his overall score and further bolster his college application.

“I am nervous for the SAT because basically the higher your SAT scores the more opportunity for scholarships and benefits for your future you have,” Castro said. “Of course there?s stress to do well, but at this point I?m feeling pretty confident in my previous scores. My biggest fear would not be improving because it would make the last week pointless and I have put a lot of work into it.”

The SAT is considered in the college application process among a number of factors including and not limited to, high school grades, GPA and extracurricular activities. The weight of these individual factors depends upon the particular school’s standards and requirements. To search the SAT requirements for colleges of interest the College Board has provided a School Search on their website.

Senior Zach Smith, ’15, is confident about his next attempt at the SAT and plans not to study.

“I plan not to study for the SATs this year,” Smith said. “I don?t think it?s necessary because it is a pretty general test. I would not say I am nervous at all.”

Students are encouraged to take advantage of several study methods including the Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT); Prep courses, and free online resources. However, such preparation should also be supplemented with practical in class experiences and hard work.
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Junior Morgan Miller will be taking the SAT for the first time in this next week. Over the last few months she has prepared for the ACT and hopes that her studies will benefit her in future tests. She fears that the stress of the experience may cause her to forget key information. However, Miller is consoled by the realization that she will have the chance to retake it.

“I?m nervous, but it helps to know that I will probably take it again,” Miller said. “A major fear for me would be blanking on the information or running out of time. My hope is to get a good score and see where I?m at. I know that after this year I will have time to improve it.”

The SAT is graded on a 2400 point scale with 200-800 points per section. A fraction of a point is subtracted for all wrong answers except for questions entered into a grid format in the math section. There is no penalty for unanswered questions.

In the spring of 2016 the SAT is scheduled to be reformatted. Some of the future modifications include greater focus on the meaning of words in context, interpretation of evidence, analyzation of a source, applicable math sections, real world contexts, social studies and US founding documents. The redesigned SAT will not penalize wrong answers.

For more news, read the Oct. 1 article, Annual Grandparents Day set, Oct. 3 (VIDEO).

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

By |2014-10-10T00:00:00+00:00October 10th, 2014|Academics, Announcements, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

85th Caruthers Fair leads to unity, participation (VIDEO)

For the last 85 years, the citizens of Caruthers have come together in order to celebrate their community's unity and achievement.Emily Ladd

For the last 85 years, the citizens of Caruthers have come together in order to celebrate their community’s unity and achievement.

Small town fair continues in traditions

For the last 85 years, the citizens of Caruthers have come together in order to celebrate their community’s unity and achievement. From Sept. 24-27 several hundred people from Caruthers as well as outlying communities convened on Tahoe Street for their annual county fair.

Toby Alvares, Director of first aid, security and safety for the Caruthers Fair was raised in the town and has been a part of the fair board for the last 38 years. He says that the event provides a social outlet for Caruthers residents and connects those who once lived there.

“You see people who you haven?t seen in years,” Alvares said. “It?s like coming home for a lot of people. They come to the Caruthers Fair to rekindle relationships that they haven?t had for years and years. There are people here who haven?t seen each other in thirty or forty years and come here to get reacquainted with their friends.”

During these four days, spectators were able to partake in various rides, contests and games. More than 2 dozen independent and church sponsored food booths were available for public enjoyment, boasting an abundance of diverse menus.

Agriculture and live stock from the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was also presented and judged in addition to the valley?s arts and crafts.

Vanessa Subuin, ’16, attends the fair annually with her family. This year she enjoyed the animals and fair rides most.

“I liked to poke the animals,” Shubin said while laughing. “I liked the food too, they have really good corndogs. I also liked the fair rides. My nieces and I went on the Farris Wheel. It?s a family tradition to go every year and I am excited to go back next year.”

On Sept. 27 the fair unleashed its grand finale. FC’s music department has been involved in the Caruthers Parade for several years. This year Color Guard and the Percussion Ensemble marched the streets alongside bands from across the valley and lines of colorful floats.

FC’s new Instrumental Director, Lesley Bannister says that the Caruthers parade was an opportunity for her students to further develop their skills.

“I think it was a great learning experience for the students,” Bannister said. “This was the first parade and marching experience for several of our students. It also gave us some time outside of class to get to know each other better, and to just let loose and have a little fun.”

According to three year color guard member, Rory Culton, ’17, the group performed better than in previous years and conquered their initial fears.

“It was a pretty fun experience,” Culton said. “This year we did way better than last year so it made everyone feel really happy. My favorite part was walking through the competition zone, because we were pretty nervous and we had to overcome that fear.”
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After completing the 40 minute march, color guard and percussion ensemble were allotted time to enjoy the fair’s numerous attractions. They then attended the band award ceremony where FC received a plaque of participation.

Although band and color guard members continue to struggle with rhythm and unity, Bannister believes that the Caruthers parade was a major milestone in their learning experience. She says that the skill growth in these individuals was visually evident at the event.

“My favorite part was seeing how far the students have come,” Bannister said. “Watching them progress over the last seven weeks has been so exciting. Their movements are getting better, and they’re really working on keeping the beat steady, moving together as one.”

For information on the 84th Caruthers fair, be sure to check out Caruthers Fair presents small-town attractions.

For more features, read the Sept. 23 article, Guest speaker tells story, delivers powerful message.

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

By |2014-09-30T00:00:00+00:00September 30th, 2014|Community Events, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Eldery Fresno resident uses talents to benefit community (VIDEO)

For the last two and a half years, Charles Owens and his wife Patricia have come to play Farmers Market nearly every Friday, with violin in hand.Emily Ladd

For the last two and a half years, Charles Owens and his wife Patricia have come to play Farmers Market nearly every Friday, with violin in hand.

Clovis Fiddler Charles Owen’s shares story

Amongst the carefree chatter and the distant rumble of cars a lone violin can be heard. The instrument’s melody escapes into the warm summer air and a few bystanders stop to listen.

A black violin case with a bright red interior sits open inches away from the violin?s owner, a few abstract dollars scattered about inside.

The eldery gentlemen smiles warmly as a little girl drops a shiny quarter into the case.

Most often its in Old Town Clovis. Charles plays traditional hymns and manages to generate a considerable profit in donations by the nights end. The Owens then donate this sum to areas of need within both the San Joaquin Valley and Charles home state, Oklahoma.

Charles says that the charity or need that they choose to fulfill each week depends upon God?s lead.

“Generally speaking the Lord will tell us by Monday who we are to send it to,” Owens said. “We send it to the Salvation Army. We send it to the Fresno Rescue mission. We send it to Valley Children’s Hospital. Sometimes we just give it to people on the street who seem to have an immediate need. We don’t know until after we leave here where the Lord wants us to send it.”

Owens was originally born on a farm in Oklahoma. At the age of 8 he learned to play the violin and has continued to practice throughout the last 82 years. After graduation from high school Owens spent some time working on his family?s farm.

During WWII Owens abandoned his farm work for a uniform. He served for three years under the US navy. At the end of those years Owens returned to the states and decided to settle in the Fresno area, where he met his wife. After WWII he learned the art of plastering and assisted several churches in the creation of their facilities.

Owens says that despite, being raised in the church, he officially became a Christian in 1946 after attending a meeting at Blackstone and Clinton 67 years ago.

“I officially accepted Jesus in 1948,” Owens said. “When I first came to Fresno a man held a tent meeting off of Blackstone and Herndon. One night I went down there and gave my heart and dedicated my life to God”

Currently Owens is 90 years old and has been a member of People’s Church for the last 40 years. His wife was a charter member of the early church.

For the last 46 years up to present day, Owens has worked as an insurance agent. He also plays his violin occasionally for the People’s Church Sunday school.

Owens says that the couple first became interested in Farmers Market because they noticed a lack of Christian influence at the event.
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“We decided with all these people that we would like to play before them and bring the story of Jesus to them,” Owens said. “The place has been very courteous with us and very helpful. They allowed us to come and play. God has been blessing us and those in the Fresno area. We love to do this”.

The Owens continue to come to the Farmers market every Friday. This is often made difficult due to Fresno?s summer temperatures. However, Owens says that his ability to persevere through the heat comes from the Lord.

“The good Lord has endowed me with the ability to take the heat,” Owens said. “I can stand it however hot it gets. There are so many wonderful people who will come by and give. It?s a pleasure and a joy to give to those who have needs.”

The Owens family bestows all honor and profit to God.
Charles says that the Lord values service regardless of the amount of talent one possesses.

“To God be the glory we just come out here,” Owens said. “I know I am not a great fiddler but here?s the thing about it, when I fiddle the tunes are great, the songs are great, because Jesus came into my heart. You don?t have to be great. God will take what you have and use it to the purpose he has intended.”

For more features, read the Sept. 23 article, Guest speaker tells story, delivers powerful message.

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

Caruthers Fair celebrates 85th anniversary, Sept 24-27

The small community of Caruthers rallies together to throw their annual fair, Sept. 24-27. This rich traditional center has been in commission since 1923 and was the first fair implemented by a small community within the San Joaquin valley. Emily Ladd

The small community of Caruthers rallies together to throw their annual fair, Sept. 24-27. This rich traditional center has been in commission since 1923 and was the first fair implemented by a small community within the San Joaquin valley.

Traditional country fair unites community

A diverse and disorderly array of people mill about the fairgrounds, some talking, others sampling an assortment of country styled deep fried delights. A few appear rather ill after riding the Zipper or the Graviton.

Livestock bray in the distance over the sound of live country music and a variety of vegetables are displayed for judging. The Caruthers Fair has arrived once again.

The small community of Caruthers rallies together to throw their annual fair, Sept. 24-27. This rich traditional center has been in commission since 1923 and was the first fair implemented by a small community within the San Joaquin valley. The function was originally held on the Caruthers grammer school grounds. Later, the fair took residence at an old horse track in the area.

Due to a lack of funds, the Caruthers fair was originally quite small with very few attractions. It was a community effort to continue the event with only $165 in funds put aside for the second fair. In 1925 the Caruthers District Fair Association was formed in order to promote agricultural achievement.

The expanding fair was halted during WWII and served as an emergency labor camp. After the war?s end the Caruthers community felt the need to continue the tradition. However, unfavorable conditions and damaged facilities hindered the grand reopening for several years. In 1946, the Young Famers , a group of recently returned veterans, decided to restore the grounds. Under the leadership of John R. Adams the Young Farmers resestablished the Caruthers fair.

The event continues to flourish today and is considered the largest free gate fair in California. This year marks the events 85th anniversary. It is funded primarily by raffle tickets sold by Caruthers Queen Candidates. The young lady who accumulates the highest ticket sales is deemed Queen of the Caruthers fair. Raffle ticket winners receive various degrees of prizes the most valuable of which is a new car.

In addition to amusement rides and prizes, the fair also displays the arts, crafts, food and agricultural achievements of the outlying community. Future Farmers of America (FFA) students throughout Fresno County come to exhibit their livestock with the hope of a blue ribbon. Similar contests occur for floriculture, horticulture and the arts.

Morgan Miller,’16 attended the Caruthers fair about two years ago. She says that the combination of rides and the food made for a very memorable experience.

“I remember the food most,” Miller said. “There was so much and it was all really good. It seemed like all I did was eat. My favorite thing was the rides. They were a lot of fun.”

One citizen of the Caruthers community is chosen yearly for their contributions to society and given the honored position of Grand Marshall. This year Fred Helm , age 91 was chosen as the community?s representative.

Helm was born September 22, 1923 in Selma CA to Juanita and Fred. Soon after he and his parents moved to Fresno, and then to Caruthers where Helm attended the first grade. When in high school Helm lettered in varsity football for four consecutive years and won several track and field medals at the West Coast Relays. Upon his graduation in 1942 the town?s sport programs were temporarily cancelled in preparation for the war.
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From 1943-1946 Helm served in the navy. Upon his return the veteran continued to work at Caruthers? local market, Andersen?s, as a meat cutter. After several years he and a friend Sam Ulmer bought the store and renamed it F&S. Helm retired in 1987 after 58 years in the grocery business.

Currently Helm has four children, nine grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. As Grand Marshall Helm will partake in the Caruthers Parade. He will enter the scene in a vintage car accompanied by his four granddaughters.

Helm recalls the progress that the fair has undergone since his first visit in 1929. The Grand Marshall enjoys the company of old friends who continue to attend.

“When I first started going to the Caruthers fair my favorite thing was the Ferris wheel,” Helm said as he recalled a day at the fair more than 70 years ago. “When the fair started the only thing it really had was the marry-go-round and the Ferris wheel and not that much else. They used to have a booth that had tri-tip every year that was my favorite thing but they?re no longer there. Now my favorite thing is visiting with the older people who still go to the fair every year.”

The Caruthers fair will open daily Wed-Fri at 8 a.m. and close at 12 p.m. On Sat Sept. 27, due to the parade the fair will open at 10 a.m. and close at its usual time. For more information about specific dates visit the Caruthers Fair Calendar.

FC marching band and color guard will be participating in the Caruthers Fair Parade at 10 a.m., Sept. 27.

For more news, read Sept. 24 article, Student leadership: See You at the Pole, Sept. 24
.

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

By |2014-09-23T00:00:00+00:00September 23rd, 2014|Community Events, Features, News, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Annual ClovisFest inspires community

ClovisFest is currently one of the largest annual attractions of the area with over 230 craft and business booths, about 12 dozen food venders, live entertainment, a carnival and hot air balloons.Emily Ladd

ClovisFest is currently one of the largest annual attractions of the area with over 230 craft and business booths, about 12 dozen food venders, live entertainment, a carnival and hot air balloons.

ClovisFest celebrates 40th anniversary

In 1974 a small craft fair was held in a parking lot in Old Town Clovis. Throughout, the last forty years the roadside attraction has grown to encompass a total of eight blocks

. ClovisFest is currently one of the largest annual attractions of the area with over 230 craft and business booths, about 12 dozen food venders, live entertainment, a carnival and hot air balloons. This year Clovis Fest was held Sat.-Sun. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at its traditional location on Pollasky Ave, Sept. 20-21.

Long time ClovisFest attendee Ron Sundquist founded The Clovis Museum in 1987 and served as the foundations first director and curator for 16 years. He is currently a photographer for the Chamber of Commerce and the Clovis Round up Newspaper. During ClovisFest, Sundquist often doubles as Sheriff Clomar, a legendary lawman from Clovis?s lesser known history.

Sundquist says that ClovisFest acts as a prelude to the fall season and is among the numerous events offered within the community

“The ClovisFest is the first introduction into the fall season,” Sundquist said with camera in hand. “It is one of the last big events of fall until the Christmas Parade in December. Other organizations have antique fairs in Clovis during the interim between what the chamber has. Clovis is an active community it has many activities for you.”

Various booths lined the streets, some with vibrant colored banners and advertisements. One of these booths was that of Arlene Cromer. Cookie Lee is a second year returning booth that advertises “fine fashionable jewelry at affordable prices”. Cromer says that she enjoys the large crowds of people and hopes to return in future years.

“My favorite thing about this year is that there are so many people and so many venders,” Cromer said. “Today we have been fairly successful. Hopefully, God willing, we will be able to return next year.”

In addition to crafts several charities adorned Polasky Avenue including Pink Heals, a foundation for Cancer awareness. A large pink fire truck signed by those effected was parked in front of the booth alongside a similarly decorated police car.

The Society of Cruelty Prevention(SPCA) also made an appearance. They offered pet adoption for a variety of dogs and cats. The Grey hound adoption center was present as well with a number of their dogs.

Spectator Mark (unidentified last name) lives in Springfield Missouri. When he visits relatives in the area he often attends ClovisFest. Mark says that he partakes in ClovisFest because of the unique products sold there.
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“I come just for all of the different things that they sell here that they don?t sell back from where I?m from,” Mark said. “I like the friendliness of the people and the open air feel about it.”

A number of street performers also contributed to the festivities drawing large crowds. Among them was a magician, a woman dressed as Disney’s Ariel and a women dressed as Disney’s Elsa who performed “Let it go” acapella.

Courtney Lowitz attended Clovis Fest with her booth Leah B Boutique this year. The 22 year old grew up in the Clovis area and recalls attending the event from a young age. She says that the best thing about the ClovisFest is the liveliness and unity it brings to the surrounding community.

“I like the diversity of the venders including the food and selling venders,” Lowitz said. “The balloons and the little train that comes around makes it?s a great experience. I think it just allows people to be free and take pride in community involvement.”

Aside from the variety of booths, attractions and food offered at ClovisFest, there is also a Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly. The balloonist arrive as early as 5:45 a.m. and are scheduled to fly from 6:15 a.m.-7:15 a.m.. The Fun Fly has 8-10 participants and occurs both Sat.-Sun., Sept. 20-21.

For more information on ClovisFest, Sept 22 article, Flying high, Clovisfest excites crowd (SLIDESHOW) or last years article ClovisFest hosts 39th annual event, flies hot air balloons.

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

New blogger shares expierences in Haiti

COTP House Parent's are designated to guide six to twelve orphaned children of various back grounds and ages until they are adopted to homes in the US and Canada.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

COTP House Parent’s are designated to guide six to twelve orphaned children of various back grounds and ages until they are adopted to homes in the US and Canada.

Alumna pursues mission field

Since 2008, The Feather has featured a number of original blogs by both students and faculty members. This year several new bloggers will be introduced in addition to returning installments. One of these recent extensions to The Feather’s blogosphere is Opening our Hearts to make a home. The blog is run by FC alumna Melissa Johnson, ’98, and her husband Seth Johnson.

While at FC, Johnson partook in four consecutive years of Color Guard. She says that her fondest memories on campus are of the teachers who impacted her life.

“I was a part of Color Guard all four years of high school,” Johnson said. “Memories from that and teachers who truly cared are my best memories of FC.”

When Johnson was ten years old her family adopted a pair of Haitian children, Marie and Rony. Since then, she yearned to see the nation first hand. After graduation from FC in 1998 Johnson attended Dordt College, a private Christian Institution in Iowa.

During, her sophomore year she went with a group called A Mission Outreach (AMOR) to serve in Haiti. While there, Johnson worked with the founders of Children of the Promise (COTP), a foundation developed to aid orphaned children across the world.

Johnson says that despite being unaware of the path God intended she felt inexplicably drawn to serve in Haiti.

“Haiti had a way of sucking me back in,” Johnson said. “Haiti is a very difficult place, but yes, I knew God had a plan for me there. I just had no idea what it was until the summer of 2012.”

Upon her graduation from Dordt, Johnson received an elementary level teaching position at Sutton Christian School in Nebraska. Later she taught at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Johnson continued to serve in Haiti during summer vacations and after several recurrent visits throughout her eleven years of teaching she realized God was calling her to a long term missionary effort.

In the fall of 2011, Johnson married her husband Seth. After a visit to Haiti, Seth too realized the importance of missionary work in the area and felt similarly called to a long term vocation. Last year the couple joined COTP as House Parents.

Johnson says that the call to Haiti was distinct and individual. She admits that leaving the familiarity of America to serve in a foreign country was difficult.

“We both felt God call us separately to long term at COTP and a year later, we were moving,” Johnson said. “The calling was unique in that Seth and I felt that God was speaking to us individually, and when we talked about it, we just knew it was where God was leading us to next. It was definitely tough to leave everything that is familiar behind. We miss our families and it is hard to miss out on holidays, big events, and seeing nieces and nephews grow up.”

COTP House Parent’s are designated to guide six to twelve orphaned children of various back grounds and ages until they are adopted to homes in the US and Canada. The Johnson?s are responsible for the spiritual, physical and mental needs of these children.

Melissa says that the couple?s role has already started to yield fruit, evidenced by the new found trust of their foster children.
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“We can already see a difference in these kids in how they react to visitors that come to COTP,” Johnson said. “Kids who live in the Baby House model (or typical orphanage setting), run up to any visitor which is not typical for a toddler. The kids in our home act very typical and hide behind our legs or wait until they know it is ok to play with other people. When they are hurt or scared, they know they can come to us. How it will impact them in the long run to be healthy kids, teens and adults, we will have to wait and see, but by God’s grace, we will have given them an experience of love and trust in their lives.”

The couple first began to write their blog in the spring of 2013. The main purpose of Opening our hearts to make a home is to inform friends, family and former students of the Johnson?s new life in Haiti. Johnson hopes that the blog will bring both recognition to COTP?s cause and encourage fellow believers in their personal struggles.

“Our primary audience is mostly our friends and family back home, I was a teacher for eleven years, so I also think of my former students a lot as I write, since I know quite a few of them read the blog,” Johnson said. “I mostly want to be honest with them about what our life is like in Haiti. I want them to see that no matter where we live in the world, God is there and can use you to advance His kingdom. I don’t want to pretend to have it all together. Missionaries are not “super” Christians, but are just like you: sinful and saved by grace. I also hope that the blog and our being in Haiti will raise awareness for orphan prevention and caring for orphans.”

Opening our Hearts to make a home can be read under The Feather’s blog section.

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

Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site. Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not to be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.

For more features, read Sept. BeTheMatch: Stand for more (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-09-17T00:00:00+00:00September 17th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Freshmen explore college options, early preperation (WHEN IN DOUBT POST THIS)

For many freshmen college tends to be viewed as a matter to be dealt with in latter years of high school. However, students have the potential to prepare for college even in their first year. Through a collection of simple steps, a student is capable of developing skills and plans in the present that will aid them in the future.

Freshman grades do affect a student’s overall college Grade Point Average (GPA). Although, some colleges focus on the last three years, more competitive colleges observe freshman year as well. The GPA of a student who receives C’s and D’s freshmen year may be significantly lower than one who gets A’s and B’s.

A student who has an academically shaky first year of high school can still be accepted to a quality college. However, the road there may be more difficult due to the time lost. Early preparation for college may enable one to have less stress as an upperclassman.

Therefore, this year provides a time to pursue interests and find subjects that one is passionate about. Colleges approve of a well-rounded student with academic, athletic and social talents. Yet at the same time, students need to prioritize their schedules and refrain from over commitment. After all it is better to succeed in a few things then struggle in many. The level of participation possible depends on the individual.
ENTER QUOTE ABOUT OVER COMMITMENT

Since high school and even freshmen year is cable of causing students to develop habits that affect them in college, it is important to create the right ones. All students need some amount of time to complete their homework, study and reflect on academics. However the way each person does this and for how long depends on the individual.

For example some students require complete concentration in silence for long periods of time while others prefer shorter sessions of concentration and more frequent breaks. A study habit applicable to one?s personality and dailey schedule may aid them significantly throughout their high school career.

ADD QUOTE WHAT IS YOUR STUDY ROUTINE

Most colleges look favorably upon students who take college prep classes in high school. These courses serve to prepare students for the amount and quality of work expected of them in higher education. It is important that one take core classes as freshmen in order to optimize time, future options and meet all high school requirements.

Students should plan out a plausible road to college so they can clearly organize their thoughts and options. This may require the aid of one?s guardians. Students may want to ask their guardian?s opinions about college budget, location and other factors in order to aid in their selection.Parents may also share their experiences and guide one to make the correct choice in classes. If an individual is still confused or unsure of which classes to partake in they should seek an appointment with the schools guidance counselor.

FC Guidance Consoler Michelle Warkentin says that the selection of classes that students choose freshmen year is essential to early preparation for college. She also states that the first year of high school prepares one for the next three, and higher education.

“Freshmen can start preparing now (for college) by taking the right classes and maintaining a good GPA,” Warkentin said. “It is helpful for them to meet with me to set their four-year plan as soon as possible to ensure that they are signing up for the classes they need. Freshmen grades are definitely important. Some colleges look at freshman grades while others do not. Freshman year should be focused on developing good study skills and work habits that will help them to be successful throughout their four years of high school and beyond. Hard work and dedication in these areas will pay off both now and for the rest of their lives.”

Often a student falls behind in a subject due to comprehension issues or missed classes and needs some extra help. There are several different ways to find this help. It may be wise to consult parents, teachers or a tutor in order to understand a concept. Also, the internet, books and many other sources can serve as learning aids. Often the simplest resolution is to ask piers who understand the subject. Regardless, there are various resources that students can obtain to keep up with their academics.

Summer provides three free months out of the year. These months can be used to get ahead and consider college opportunities. One way to prepare for college over the summer is to do volunteer work, or pursue a hobby. Again, over commitment and high amounts of stress are not healthy. However, taking summer classes, volunteer work or a sport is recommended.

Although college is a few years away, freshmen have the opportunity to prepare in the present. The decisions made now can affect the future either for better or worse. Wise decisions, a good work ethic and determination can allow freshmen to take a successful first step on the road to college.

For more features, read the Junior dedicates time, displays service qualities.

 

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-09-16T00:00:00+00:00September 16th, 2014|Academics, Uncategorized|0 Comments

International students assimulate to campus life

The Foreign Exchange Program has grown and flourished at FC since it's origin in 2003, with over twenty foreign students in high school alone.Kylie Bell

The Foreign Exchange Program has grown and flourished at FC since it’s origin in 2003, with over twenty foreign students in high school alone.

Foreign Exchange Program brings new aspect to FC community

The Foreign Exchange Program has grown and flourished at FC since it’s origin in 2003, with over twenty foreign students in high school alone. The countries that these individuals originate from include and are not limited to Korea, China and Japan. Regardless of country or culture foreign students have had to assimilate to American society and the expectations of a different school system.

International students are required to be hosted by a family in the US, due to the fact that they are not yet qualified for citizenship. They undergo the same process for admittance into the FC community as all new students. After graduation, some decide to return to their native country while others seek to become permanent residents of the US.

Hoon Kim, ’16, moved from Korea two years ago and has attended FC since freshmen year. Kim does not plan to return to Korea after graduation. He says that while he was thrilled to explore a new country he was also nervous. In his opinion the most stark difference between Korean schools and American schools is the teacher student interactions.

“I felt a lot of emotions such as excitement about going to a new place,” Kim said. “At the same time I was a little scared too. The most different thing (about America) is that we joke more with our teachers than in Korea.”

Many times these students leave behind more than their homeland. Often in order to study abroad they give up family, friends, and deep set traditions.

Foreign exchange student, Min Lee ’16, has attended FC since her sophomore year. She says that leaving behind her family was and is a major struggle despite, the friends she has made at FC.

“The hardest thing for me moving here was learning the language and leaving my family,” Lee said. “I miss my family. I think going to Fresno Christian is better than public school so far. People are nice, teachers are nice and I love chapel.”

In addition to a whole new country, these students must also adjust to the atmosphere at FC. Foreign students are faced with a plethora of possible challenges in both the academic and social sphere.

Exchange student Trisha Qixue Cui, ’18, says that the kindness of Fc?s student body helped her to dispel many initial fears.

“Before I came here I was very anxious because I thought that my insufficient English skills would hold me back from adapting to this new environment,” Cui said. “But during these 3 weeks of school, I realized that everyone is friendly and supportive. I actually made a lot of friends. Nonetheless, I still know that it will take a considerable amount of time for me to get fully accustomed to American life”.

Last year international student Jason Kim ’14, started a lunchtime club for his fellow foreign students to discuss academic and social problems while building strong internal bonds. The program has continued through the 2014-15 school year but with a new leader.

Senior Toby Pan ’15, is a foreign exchange student from China. He arrived in the states last year and attended junior year at FC. He says that Kim?s guidance and tutorage inspired him to continue the foreign exchange lunch meetings, in order to benefit other students with similar struggles.

“I truly learned a lot from this club last year. When I first came here I had a huge language problem and a huge academic problem,” Pan said. “Jason Kim helped me through this program so I feel like I should keep running this club and help the new students.”

Dean of Students Amy Deffenbacher says that she is grateful for students like Pan who have taken time from their schedules to guide FC’s multicultural students. She anticipates that with time the foreign students will find their place on campus.

“We have a large group of international students and I am thankful for the opportunity they have to be here,” Deffenbacher said. “I am thankful for students like Toby who are organizing ways for them to meet together and connect with each other. I?m concerned mostly that they would find others that speak the same language as them so they can navigate the school expectations and the academic needs that they may have. I?m hopeful that as the weeks pass they will be more and more comfortable on our campus.”

Anthony Zhng, ’15, is a Chinese international student who moved to the U.S last year. He spent some time in the Chicago area before coming to the Central Valley and attending FC. He says that he enjoys the school?s calm mood and is debating upon playing basketball this year.

“I love it here,” Zhng said. “It is a very peaceful school. My favorite class is PE because I like moving and hanging out with my friends. I?m probably going to join the FC basketball team when the season starts.”

International student meetings are held every Thursday at lunch in room 602. For more information check the high school office or with Toby Pan.

For more features read the Sept 4 article, Advisory period offers academic assistance.

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

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

Students prepare to take SAT, testing schedules and information

All juniors are required to take the PSAT test this year. Warkentin says that it is the most useful resource for students who plan to take the SAT.Austin Insaco

All juniors are required to take the PSAT test this year. Warkentin says that it is the most useful resource for students who plan to take the SAT.

Academic Adviser gives test taking advice

Every year in the months of October and September, seniors and juniors across the country prepare to take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). On this day the PC Gym is laden with tables, chairs and in many cases nervous students. The test begins and pencils bubble in answer after answer. Below are the SAT and PSAT (Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test) testing dates along with the best ways to study according to Academic Advisor Michelle Warkentin.

Schedule

PSAT
Date: Oct. 11
Location: PC Gym
Time: starts at 8 a.m.

Students should arrive at least ten minutes early.

SAT
Date: Oct. 11
Registration ends: Sept. 12
Location: Check out the SAT Test Search Center for a list of all testing areas near you
Time: starts at 8 a.m.
Late registration with fee: Sept. 13-30

All juniors are required to take the PSAT test this year. Warkentin says that it is the most useful resource for students who plan to take the SAT.

“It {the PSAT} is the best preparation for the SAT that a student can do,” Warkentin said . “It will give them an idea of what the SAT will look like types of questions, structure, etc. The PSAT is a great tool for students to identify where they are at academically compared to other juniors in the state and local context. It is also a great rubric for FC to identify where our strengths and weaknesses are at and gives us a good idea on what areas our students need more support.”

Worship Band member, Alexis Kalugin, ’16, plans to take the SAT in the spring. She says that she is apprehensive about the math and language sections.

“I’m nervous because my opportunity to go to college sort of relies on my SAT scores,” Kalugin said. “I?m most nervous about math and English because I?m afraid I?m going to forget the different math formulas. For English the issue is not studying all the right vocab.”

Warkentin recommends several programs in the Fresno area for those who have pre-test nerves or wish to increase their testing skills. One of these recommended programs is the College Planning and Tutorial Center.

To sign up for the SAT, visit the The College Board.

For more news, read Aug. 29 article, Student Leadership: Speaks out.

For more information contact Michelle Warkentin in the academic advisory office:
Email: [email protected]

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

By |2014-09-03T00:00:00+00:00September 3rd, 2014|Academics, Announcements, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Estudiantes con herencia hispana comparten historias, hablan sobre tradiciones

Student share Hispanic traditions

As part of an ongoing assignment, Beatriz Foth's  Spanish III students will each be publishing at least one bilingual article per year, in order to highlight the skills they have accumulated throughout their studies. Kylie Bell

As part of an ongoing assignment, Beatriz Foth’s Spanish III students will each be publishing at least one bilingual article per year, in order to highlight the skills they have accumulated throughout their studies.

This first installment will focus upon hispanic youth and feature a number of FC students with Hispanic and Latino heritage.

For the previous installment, read the March. 28 article, Vista hispano de las tradiciones familiars de vacaciones

“We have never even begun to understand a people until we have found something that we do not understand. So long as we find the character easy to read, we are reading into our own character.” G.K Chesterton

According, to the United States Census of the year 2013, 51.6% of Fresno County’s population is of Latino or Hispanic decent. The growing numbers of Latino American households across the nation and especially in the San Joaquin Valley adds to the abundance of multi-cultural youths that reside within America.

Lindsey Biehler es mitad mexicana y mitad caucasica. Ella dice que ella disfruta estar expuesta a las dos culturas.

“El lado de mi madre valora mucho el respeto, dice Biehler. El lado de mi padre es mas relajado. El estar entre ellos es algo extrano pero tambien algo lindo porque puedo ver las cosas desde dos perspectivas. Es algo que siempre ha estado presente en mi vida.”

Los personas de descendencia hispana en el pais celebran muchos feriados y tradiciones que son unicos de su porpia cultura. Cinco de Mayo y el Dia de los Muertos son algunas de las fechas que son celebradas por muchas de la familias hispanas de los Estados Unidos.

Julian Castro,’17 es tambien medio mexicano y medio caucasico. Aunque su familia no celebra todos las fiestas tradicionales de su cultura, ellos anaden un toque hispano a algunas de las celebraciones de EE.UU.

“Nosotros no celebramos el Dia de los Muertos pero tenemos algunas influencias hispanas en algunas de las festividades de este pais”, dice Castro. “En vez de comer la cena tradicional para Accion de Gracias y Navidad nosotros comemos platos hispanos. Para Accion de Gracias nosotros comemos tacos, o frijoles, o tamales. Cada Dia de Accion de Gracias nosotros vamos a la casa de mi abuela en Stockton y ella siempre tiene preparada una cena de Accion de Gracias.”

El estudiante Timoteo Melendez,’17 y su familia tambien celebran muchas fiestas mexicanas tradicionales.

“Nosotros celebramos el Dia de la Independencia de Mexico y algunas veces celebramos el Dia de los Muertos,” dice Melendez. Para el Dia de la Independencia todos vamos a la casa de mi abuela y celebramos juntos alli. Algunas veces tiramos fuegos artificiales. Para el Dia de los Muertos, cada ano o ano por medio nosotros vamos a visitar las tumbas de nuestros familiares y celebramos ahi.”

Tambien hay muchos lugares y oportunidades para los jovenes hispanos de involucrarse con la comunidad. Iglesias bilingues en la zona de Fresno y Clovis tales como El Puente y la Iglesia Bautista El Encino son solo algunas de las iglesias que ofrecen servicios tanto en espanol como en ingles.

En muchos casos, los jovenes de descendencia hispana no se sienten directamente afectados por su cultura. Para otros su herencia cultural tiene una gran influencie en su infancia y en su vida cotidiana.

Macy Mascarenas,’16 dice que crecer en la cultura hispana ha sido siempre parte de su vida en el hogar y que llevo consigo durante su experiencia estudiantil.

“El ser hispana ha tenido un gran efecto en mi vida,” dice Mascarenas.”Aprendi los numeros cuando era nina y mi familia siempre me ha llamdo M?ija. Pasa a ser parte de tu vida. Yo puedo hablar bastante bien el espanol y toda mi familia tambien lo habla. Ellos estan bastante orgullosos de su herencia cultural y creo que me estan ensenando a nunca estar avergonzada de la mia.”

La multideportista Gaby Siqueiros ,’15 dice que su cultura hispana es un gran parte de su vida. Ella puede hablar el espanol con fluidez porque practica a diario en casa.

“Es un gran parte de mi vida”, dice Siqueiros. “Muchos parientes de mi padre todavia viven en Mexico pero algunos viven aqui y nos reunimos todo el tiempo, asi que siempre lo estoy usando y practicando. En mi casa siempre habalamos espanol.”

For more features read First year teacher appreciates small school environment

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

By |2014-09-02T00:00:00+00:00September 2nd, 2014|Academics, Community Events, Features, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

New teacher encourages debate, shares story

Donn Rojeski was passionate about argument and debate at a young age. He dreamed of attending law school and one day becoming a lawyer, despite the difficulties of the profession.Kylie Bell

Donn Rojeski was passionate about argument and debate at a young age. He dreamed of attending law school and one day becoming a lawyer, despite the difficulties of the profession.

Donn Rojeski joins the FC staff

Beginning last year second semester, Donn Rojeski, formed the debate team, as an after school activity for students who were interested. This year, the team has grown into a elective that students can now take during school hours.

Donn Rojeski was passionate about argument and debate at a young age. He dreamed of attending law school and one day becoming a lawyer, despite the difficulties of the profession. He stated that he knew in his childhood that rhetorical logic would become his lifelong ambition.

“By fourth grade I knew I wanted to go into law,” Rojeski said. “I viewed it as a stepping stone to whatever else I wanted to do. Debate was just natural. I guess I just have a little bit of an argumentative spirit.”

Rojeski was born in Kearney, Nebraska to school teacher Doris Rojeski and her husband, Max. From an early age, Rojeski was interested in the art of debate. The majority of his friends were also rhetoric and law devotees. In high school, he and his best friend cultivated their skills by joining the debate club.

Rojeski says he remembers the club as one of the activities he enjoyed most.

“I have debated in high school and all through college,” Rojeski said. “It was one of my favorite things. I considered myself a debate buff, in some sense, because we were traveling from the first of November to the first of April. We practically went to a debate every weekend all over the country.”

After a quiet childhood and graduation from Kearney High School, Rojeski attended the University of Nebraska and Northern Illinois University where he studied debate. He then returned to Nebraska to study law.

His education was interrupted in 1967 when he was drafted to Vietnam and trained to be a fire direction officer for the artillery. This involved both mathematical calculations of weaponry and providing coordinates to shooters on the field. He served for two years and was thankful to return to America at the end of that time. Unfortunately he developed tinnitus, a hearing condition characterized by ringing in the ears from his time of service.

Rojeski says that his involvement in Vietnam left him with some very painful memories that are typical of many veterans.

“Things happen in war that you would like to forget and sometimes you can’t,” Rojeski said. “I can’t say that I have any major issues with anything in particular but at the same time there are things I won’t talk about.”

Upon his return, Rojeski earned his law degree and began to practice in government and private law. He continued this lifestyle for several years during which, he met his wife.

Hallie Rojeski, current teacher of FC’s Junior High Leadership, bible and history was introduced to Donn by a friend who was dating one of his friends. They were married in Denver in 1972 This year will be their 43rd anniversary.

Hallie says that having her husband work with her is a wonderful experience.

“It?s great having him here,” Hallie said. “It?s easier to share what?s going on at school because now he has a lot greater understanding of it.”

Besides debate Donn and Hallie both follow sports. Donn is a long term San Francisco Giants fan and follows the Denver Broncos as well. He also reads an average of 100 books per year from a variety of genres.

Donn decided to end his law profession soon after he and his wife became born-again Christians. He says that the moral obligations of Christianity often conflicted with the circumstances he dealt with as a lawyer.

“During this time my wife and I became Christians,” Rojeski said. “I simply could not continue my practice on Christian principles given the circumstances that we were in. Then we came up to Fresno and I attended the Mennonite Brethren Seminary here at Master Divinity.”

After several years working with Mennonite Brethren Church as an assistant pastor, Greek Instructor, and plan advisor, Rojeski retired. Recently he was contacted by FC about a teaching position. Due to his connections to the school, he was familiar with most of the teachers and culture.

For Donn, it has been difficult to find students interested and able to take part in his debate class. He plans to teach some students independently. Rojeski says that it is imperative to establish a debate team and spark an interest in the class this year.

“It’s a big challenge finding students who have room in their busy schedules to take it on because we didn’t have any notice of it in the spring,” Rojeski said. “We are going to start with a small class, but then I am also going to have a few students who I work with outside of the class setting. My hopes for this year are that we can get a foothold in the league and have a few students get to tournaments so we can grow substantially in the years to come.”

Rojeski says that debate is an important class that will prepare students for both future courses and real life confrontations.

“If you look at the objectives of Fresno Christian for the students, I can?t think of any class other then debate that reaches everyone of them, from excellence in academics to effective communication,” Rojeski said. “We are in a Christian league, so there is a spiritual emphasis on it as well. It?s good to look at issues from a technical point of view, but it also important to look at it from an ethical point of view.”

For more information on FC debate team be sure to see Debate team to help improve critical thinking skills.

For more features, read the Aug. 26 article Student run publications gives knowledge, resources to school.

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

By |2014-08-27T00:00:00+00:00August 27th, 2014|Academics, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sister-to-Sister program leads to growth, companionship

The program involves a partnership between a high school and junior high student for one year. During this period the sisters will partake in lunch time exertions and holiday events among many other opportunities for fellowship. Kylie Bell

Sister to Sister involves a partnership between a high school and junior high student for one year.

Sister-to-Sister program continues after nearly a decade

On sister-to-sister days you will see groups of girls scattered here or there chattering amongst themselves as they make their way off campus. They head towards a place deemed the promise land because of its oasis of fast food restaurants.

There is however, an unusual aspect of this group. Some of its members are older, some younger and all different shapes and sizes. Yet despite, any physical differences the girls come together for these social outings and in some cases the bond is so close that they could be mistaken for sisters.

Sister-to-Sister is an offshoot of a program called Peer Consoling, started by English Teacher Molly Sargent, nearly a decade ago. Over the years the program’s leadership role has been held by Sargent, junior high English and History teacher Natalie Douty and most recently by Hallie Rojeski teacher of Bible, History and junior high Leadership.

The program involves a partnership between a high school and junior high student for one year. During this period the sisters will partake in lunch time exertions and holiday events among many other opportunities for fellowship. The girls will meet in the 2014-15 school year and thus honor FC’s Sister to Sister 4-5 year tradition.

The program has not changed drastically since its origin. However, this year there will be one difference. Lunches will take place on Wednesdays instead of Mondays due to the school?s new schedule. According to Rojeski the only foreseeable modification in future Sister-to-Sister code involves greater sophomore admittance.

Previous older sister Macy Mascarenas,’16, was chosen for the program as a sophomore due to a lack of junior and senior participants. She encourages all upperclassmen girls who are able to take part in the club to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I would definitely recommend sister-to-sister,” Mascarenas said. “Even if you do have a little sister, still do it because you get to create a bond with someone you wouldn’t see otherwise. Sometimes they [/fusion_builder_column]

[junior high girls] just need that advice. They need someone to look up to. I think it’s a great opportunity to reach out.”

Throughout Rojeski?s four years of leading the program she has gained a deeper respect for the older sisters. She is convinced that for many high school students the program inspires maturity and spiritual growth.

“I have learned to appreciate the high school girls a great deal,” Rojeski said. “Having them as 8th graders and then seeing them grow up into high schoolers has been a real refreshment for me. I have seen the maturity, I have seen the growth in their spiritual lives as well as their personal lives and it is really neat to see.”

Being accepted by one?s sister is a common fear amongst even upper classmen. First time sister to sister applicant Sierra Duffy,’16 admits that she is a tad nervous about meeting the girl assigned to be her year-long sibling.

“I have a fear that my sister may not like me,” Duffy said. “I love girls that age and want her to accept me. I was first inspired to join sister to sister by my two previous older sisters: Amanda Merzon,’12 and Logan Rood,’13. I want to be a big sister as good as they were.”

Senior Madison Seib ,’15 has fond memories of her days as a younger sister. She says that despite the initial uneasiness of the first meeting a strong bond was formed with her older sister Megan Stewart,’11, now FC’s color guard coach.

“I remember when I was a younger sister that it started off slow and there were a lot of older persons there,” Seib said. “Then we got used to each other and started talking. It felt kind of cool because it was my first year here (at FC) and I had an older friend in high school.”

Alena Orth,’17 is a more recent example of a younger sister. Orth says that she and her older sister,Katie King, ’14, formed a strong bond of trust throughout the duration of the school year.

“It was nice knowing there was an older person at school that you could talk to,” Orth said. “You can really connect with them. I knew that I could always go to them because they were older and knew more. You can always tell them everything and I liked that.”

Currently, there are several spots open for upperclassmen participation. See Hallie Rojeski for applications and program details. For more information and interviews with past sisters be sure to see High school girls prove leadership through counseling at The Feather Online.

For more news articles, read Aug 15 article Its a wrap, 2013-’14

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

By |2014-08-18T00:00:00+00:00August 18th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Beast’s of England’ encapsulates freshmen unity, passion (VIDEO)

This year will be the last year that Stobbe teaches freshmen English and perhaps the last round of "Beasts of England."Rayna Endicott

This year will be the last year that Stobbe teaches freshmen English and perhaps the last round of “Beasts of England.”

Fourteen-year English class tradition continues

Every year Greg Stobbe’s freshmen English class reads Animal Farm by George Orwell. In order to honor this classic piece of literature and have a little fun along the way, the class annually parades the halls of FC singing the novels anthem, “Beast’s of England.”

This tradition has been in place for 14 years and continues to escalate in sound and intensity each year and the May 8, 2014, version is now a memorable reminder of novice know-how.

However, this year will be the last year that Stobbe teaches freshmen English and perhaps the last round of “Beasts of England.” Stobbe however, will continue to be journalism adviser at FC. He says that this activity was meant to inspire students to join a cause as well as demonstrate the power of unity.

“As this is my final year teaching English for the foreseeable future, I was really hoping the classes would understand what they could accomplish by getting together and singing this song,” Stobbe said. ‘While this is just fun and games, it does give the students a sense of what it would be like to gather together under a cause. These two classes are probably the strongest ever, which is why I had to put them together.”

Unlike previous years Stobbe choose both English classes to participate in the Beast of England chant. The event was made into a competition to find the loudest and most enthusiastic class. Freshmen English student Katie Jacobson says that the competition between the two classes aroused anxiety as well as friendly rivalry.

“The competition between fourth and seventh period freshmen English was very intense,” Jacobson said. “When Mr. Stobbe announced that both classes would parade through the classrooms, Room 623 erupted with shouts of joy and excitement. I believe I speak for my classmates as well when I say how anxious we were for the next day.”

The 2014 version of the Beasts of England chant was unique in that it included musical instruments for the first time, including a bass drum, cymbals, shakers and a Glockenspiel. According to Mathew Garza the instruments were generously lent to the cause by Music Director Michael Ogdon. Students came equipped with vibrant animal costumes and their various instruments, May 8. English student Karagin Udall admits that she was initially embarrassed at being so loud however she eventually warmed up to the idea and enjoyed it.

“I felt embarrassed,” Udall said. “People laughed and took videos. I forgot the words and so I mumbled quietly to myself as I tried to just get through with it. But after awhile I realized I wasn?t alone. The whole class was singing and dancing around then I got more comfortable and didn?t want it to end.”

The group also visited the junior high and performed before the future high school students. Zack Passamore enjoyed the confusion and amusement the junior high students drew from their arrival. He says he was inspired to sing louder in front of them.
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“During the performance I saw some people screaming their hearts out,” Passmore said. “The pure confusion on the 7th grader faces when they saw Stobbe in the middle on his knees made me sing louder. The symbols and the drums nearly made the room shake. All of the animal hats also added to the feel of the room.”

Among many it is estimated that this year?s English class was the loudest and most enthusiastic yet, history department head, Kori Friesen, says that she was taken aback by the sheer intensity of the group’s voices.

“They were all very flamboyant,” Friesen said. “Being my first year seeing the Beast of England performance, I couldn?t help but notice how over the top the whole thing was. It was very loud you could hear them coming down the hallway from far away.”

Freshmen participant Nick LeBlanc says that he received several compliments about his class? performance. And despite initial concerns, he admits that he enjoyed the assignment.

“Throughout the day and even the next day, I heard people talking about our song,” LeBlanc said. “I hear people say that we did a good job and we were very loud. I also heard that we were the loudest in a long time and we had the most heart. I think that it was a good assignment.”

For more information on the Beast of England tour, be sure to watch the freshman practice in The Beast are back in 2014 or the 2013 version as the ‘Beasts of England’ entertains campus classrooms (VIDEO). Each of these also have links to previous years’ mayhem.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-05-12T00:00:00+00:00May 12th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized, Videos|0 Comments

BRIEF: AP students receive test schedule

There is a mandatory meeting on May 6 for all students signed up for AP courses in the next year to discuss the requirements for the program.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

There is a mandatory meeting on May 6 for all students signed up for AP courses in the next year to discuss the requirements for the program.

This year FC has widened its class itinerary with a total of five Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students enrolled in these courses will be taking their AP tests from May 7 through May 14. The tests average a total of three hours each and are scheduled as follows:

May 7: AP calculus test (8-11 a.m.)
May 8: AP English test (8-11 a.m.)
May 12: AP Biology test (8-11:30 a.m.)
May 14; AP US history test (8-11 a.m.), AP European history test (12-3 p.m.)

There is a mandatory meeting on May 6 for all students signed up for AP courses in the next year to discuss the requirements for the program.

For more information call the high school office at 559.299.1695 ext. 125.

For more news, read the May 1 article, BRIEF: Class of 2014 receives senior schedule

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-05-05T00:00:00+00:00May 5th, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

BRIEF: Class of 2014 receives senior schedule

 In the next few weeks seniors will follow a different schedule than the rest of the school due to their early graduation.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

In the next few weeks seniors will follow a different schedule than the rest of the school due to their early graduation.

Seniors prepare for graduation

The end of the year is quickly approaching for the class of 2014 as they prepare to graduate, May 22. Their last full day of academics will be May 14, followed by a series of celebratory events and finally graduation. In the next few weeks seniors will follow a different schedule than the rest of the school due to their early graduation.

The senior schedule for the month of May:

May 1: End of year Convocation
May 3: Sadies at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
May 7: Half Day, AP calculus test (8-11 a.m.)
May 8: Senior Chapel, AP English test (8-11 a.m.), and softball Senior Night
May 9: Baseball Senior Night
May 12-14: Senior Finals (test days are yet to be determined)
May 12: AP biology test, spring sports awards banquet
May 14: AP US history test (8-11 a.m.), AP European history test (12-3 p.m.)
May 15-17: Senior Trip
May 19: CSF Senior Banquet
May 21: Graduation rehearsal (8-10 a.m.), senior awards chapel (10-11 a.m.)
May 22: Graduation (grads arrive at 6 p.m.), followed by Sober Grad

For more information call the high school office at 559.299.1695 ext. 125.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more news, read the April 30 article, Prayer, celebration crowns year-end Convocation.

By |2014-05-01T00:00:00+00:00May 1st, 2014|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

AP class travels to San Fran, observes impressionism

On April 24 the Advanced Placement (AP) European history class journeyed to the San Francisco Bay Area to study the art found in the Legion of Honor Museum.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

On April 24 the Advanced Placement (AP) European history class journeyed to the San Francisco Bay Area to study the art found in the Legion of Honor Museum.

Legion of Honor Museum provides learning expierence

On April 24 the Advanced Placement (AP) European history class journeyed to the San Francisco Bay Area to study the art found in the Legion of Honor Museum. The class was accompanied by their teacher Kori Friesen and her sister Kimberly Bell. While there, students were given the opportunity to become acquainted with European art while experiencing the city?s tourist attractions and displays.

This year is the first time AP European history has been offered on campus. The idea for the class sprung from the interest of previous history teacher Jordana Kaiser. After Kaiser departed from FC in the beginning of the 2013-’14 school year the class was taken over by Friesen.

As a former graduate of FC, Friesen posses a masters degree in education and a vast knowledge of both world and US history. It is no surprise that she quickly adapted to her new position.

In the upcoming AP test students will be expected to recall not only historical knowledge but eras of art and artist associated with the time periods. Friesen believes that taking her students to the Legion of Honor museum allowed them to gain first hand learning experiences that may help them succeed in the art section of the AP test.

“The reason why we took the field trip is to learn more about art,” Friesen said. “We need to for the test, to identify the key artist during the different eras. We need to understand the different art styles and tell them apart, and then try to analyze the art and understand what the artist was trying to say through his art.”

A party bus was generously provided by the Roggenstein family to transport the class to their destination. After an approximately three hour bus ride in which the class both relaxed and discussed European history they arrived at the Legion of Honor Museum.

In the museum the class viewed the era of art termed Impressionism. Impressionism is defined as an art style that depicts everyday life in a realistic manure and often uses light to convey a focus or purpose. It was practiced in varying degrees throughout the 19th century.

Senior Tynin Fries thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and was especially fond of the impressionism tour, particularly favoring Claude Monet.

“I loved everything about the trip,” Fries said. “I thought it was a great way to study the art we’ve been reading about all year. My absolute favorite was the Monet section, he’s really inspiring. I hope that the trip helps on the exam; it definitely makes me feel more confident.”

After impressionism the class joined a guided tour that explored art styles throughout the various European eras. Friesen challenged her students to find the deeper more intricate meanings within the art and to consider the artists influences.

AP student Rees Roggenstein, ’16, admits that finding the deeper meaning to some of the art pieces was difficult for him. Roggenstein, however, was proud of and intrigued by the facts that he eventually drew from the pieces.

“We actually had to interpret some art pieces and find the deeper meaning in the art for Mrs. Friesen to let us continue on our tour of the museum,” Roggenstein said, “It was difficult to understand what the artist was trying to say, sometimes I had to stare at the piece for more than 10 minutes trying to come up with something. But I enjoyed myself when I finally came up with an interpretation.”

The class spent a total of three hours at the museum. They then took some group pictures and went in search of a late lunch. They decided to eat at Bubba Gumps, a restaurant created as tribute to the movie Forest Gump, located at Pier 39. Before the meal, students had the opportunity to explore the area and check out some shops.
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Friesen said that for her the museum was especially exciting because she got to see paintings she had heard of but only seen in books. She was also impressed with the museum?s overall beauty and prestige.

“The architecture itself was surprisingly beautiful,” Friesen said. “I was most impressed with the amount of art they had on display. My favorite part of the museum was the nostalgia. It was fun walking through the museum and seeing art pieces I had seen before in my childhood in books and catalogs.”

After sharing a meal together the group had dessert at the Ghirardelli chocolate shop. Here students not only enjoyed lavish chocolate and ice-cream treats but explored the company’s history and the chocolate making process. At about 6 p.m. the class made their way back to the party bus and toward Fresno.

On the way back students discussed what they had learned and had much time to bond. AP European student Emily Ladd, ’16, says that the day was extremely fun for her and that she considers her fellow AP Europeans students and teacher to be like a big family.

“I was excited because I enjoy museums and love being at the coast,” Ladd said. “I did try to find the story behind the paintings and tried reading into them, especially the paintings that were really stunning. I loved hanging out with the group and exploring the museum and pier together. Having such a small class and spending so much time with them makes them feel like family.”

For more features, read the April 25 article, Laser pointers pose dangers, lead to felonies.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-04-28T00:00:00+00:00April 28th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Math Field Day seeks higher mathematic skills

Math field day is an annual event hosted by the Fresno State Department of Mathematics. It consists of five diverse math games in which there is a first, second and third place winner.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Math field day is an annual event hosted by the Fresno State Department of Mathematics. It consists of five diverse math games in which there is a first, second and third place winner.

FC students to participate in annual mathematics event

On April 26 the FC math department will be taking part in Math Field Day at Fresno State. Math field day is an annual event hosted by the Fresno State Department of Mathematics. It consists of five diverse math games in which there is a first, second and third place winner. The events range from simple to complex and may include a partner. FC has students registered to participate in all events this year.

Michael Fenton, head of the FC math department, feels that Math Field day offers a unique opportunity for students to engage math in a environment outside of a school setting.

“I think this is a great opportunity to experience math outside the classroom,” Fenton said. “It?s also nice to support FC and compete. It’s good for those students who are at the top of their class to see that there?s an even higher level of math out there.”

In contrast to past years, schools are only allowed to bring twenty selected students from the high school and junior high. It is estimated that approximately 400 students from the Fresno Area will attend in all. The decrease of students allotted per school is due to the amount of volunteers available this year.

Since FC’s first math field day in 2007 the school has won several awards both by individual students and as a collective group. Over the last ten years the junior high has won first place five times and the high school won first in the small school division.

Math Field Day contestant, Tyler Laird ,’14 anticipates being challenged at this year’s contest. He says that although the questions are difficult, he enjoys Math Field Day.

“I did the leap frog contest last year and some of the questions were pretty hard,” Laird said. “Hopefully it will go well this year. In junior high we got second place which was a pretty nice victory. Overall the event is usually pretty fun.”

Fenton has high hopes for the FC team this year. He believes that students will give their uttermost effort to achieve the goals set before them.

“I’m hopeful that we will at least place in each division,” Fenton said. “It would be nice to get to first place overall again for the junior high. A long term goal would be that the high school team would win the overall award. I?m not sure if it will happen this year or next but we will give it our best shot.”

Those selected for math field day come from advanced and honors classes. However, for many this will be their first time attending the event. One of these said persons is foreign exchange student and Algebra 2 Honors student Olivia Tandadjaja. Tandadjaja is excited to experience the event and discover the skill level of other students her age. She also admits that she is slightly nervous.

“I feel really excited just because it?s my first big event here at FC,” Tandadjaja said. “I want to see how the competition’s skill level is. I?m a bit nervous because I tend to get nervous and then do poorly during competitions. However, I’m going to try to have a nice experience and not focus too much on winning.”

Math field day will also coincide with the annual Vintage Fair at Fresno State. For more information contact Michael Fenton or the high school office.

For more news, see the April 22 article, BreakAway challenges students to service

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

By |2014-04-24T00:00:00+00:00April 24th, 2014|Announcements, Community Events, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Zoology performs week-long dissection

The first animals in the curriculum were very simple, however as the year progressed so too did the complexity of the specimens. Currently students are studying the class Mammilla and have been provided a quite interesting learning resource.Skyler Lee

The first animals in the curriculum were very simple, however as the year progressed so too did the complexity of the specimens. Currently students are studying the class Mammilla and have been provided a quite interesting learning resource.

Day 1 of the fetal pig dissection

To cover the zoology class’ week-long experiment, The Feather will daily update this feature with the latest information. Check back daily to see new pictures and text about the dissections.

Day 1: April 8
At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year zoology was introduced to the assortment of science courses already present. Since then, its first-year teacher, Karen Walters, has provided the class with a series of dissections, experiments and a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The first animals in the curriculum were very simple, however as the year progressed so too did the complexity of the specimens. Currently students are studying the class Mammilla and have been provided a quite interesting learning resource.

The week-long dissection of a fetal pig evokes different responses from different people. Those who are squeamish find the assignment something less than pleasant. Others have no problem working with the specimen and may even have piqued their curiosity.

Sophomore zoology student Zoe House admits that she was a bit uncomfortable at first. However, once the dissection commenced she began to relax and was fascinated at what she learned.

“I was actually very anxious and nervous about the dissection at first,” House said. “Then when I started dissecting, I found out how interesting it was. It was cool to look at the different parts of the pig and then be able to identify them.”

On the first day, April 8, students became acquainted with their specimens and performed a few basic procedures. This included making incisions in the jaw of the animal so that students could open the mouth and observe the structures within. They also studied the eye and compared it to that of a human. By the end of class, some students had already started to open the body cavity and to explore the creature?s digestive system.

Juliana Rosik, sophomore zoology student, has been positively impacted. Rosik has considered a career as a surgical assistant and believes that this hands on experience will give her insight and help her defeat any squeamish tendencies.

“I?m getting used to working with the tools that I may have to work with some day,” Rosik said. “I’m not getting grossed out about it so that?s a good thing. It?s beneficial to me to look at something very similar to the human anatomy that?s not just on a diagram.”

Day 2: April 9
On the second day of the fetal pig dissection students further explored the digestive and respiratory system. For many, this second day was made easier than their prior experience. Yet for others the procedures still felt a bit out of their comfort zone.

Sophomore Zoology student Courtney Messer falls into the latter. Although she loves to learn about the pig?s anatomy she admits that she is still a bit squeamish and is content to watch and observe.
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“I was actually more grossed out the second day because we dug further into the anatomy,” Messer said. “My first impression upon seeing the pig was disgust, and I thought it was a little sad too. I think that tomorrow I may be a little more used to it. Today I just liked to watch and encourage.”

Throughout the second day students moved at their own pace. Although they relied upon the help of a dissection guide and the supervision of zoology teacher Karen Walters, they worked with their assigned partner to explore the intestines, lungs and heart. This included using tools to cut, pry open and examine aspects of the specimen.

While this part was deemed “gross” by a large percentage of the class, some found it interesting. One of these was senior Ryan Stewart. Stewart?s father is a biologist and has acquainted his son with some of the procedures that he encountered during the dissection. Stewart says that he owes his lack of squeamish tendencies to his dad and actually enjoyed most of the dissection.

“Today I learned more about the pig?s body system and how it works,” Stewart said. “I?m sort of used to the whole dissection process because my dad is a biologist, and I have seen a lot of this stuff before. I wouldn?t say I?m very squeamish about this and I?m looking forward to doing this again tomorrow.”

Students concluded the day with their routine clean up and sanitation procedures. They plan to dig deeper and examine the individual organs closer during their next lab.

For more features, read the March 8 article, Mennonite Central Committee fundraises with annual event.

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

By |2014-04-10T00:00:00+00:00April 10th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Music department prepares for end of the year concerts

This year the FC music department, as a whole, has hosted and participated in a series of performances including ASCI, the musical Bye Bye Birdie and several Christmas productions.Tynin Fries

This year the FC music department, as a whole, has hosted and participated in a series of performances including ASCI, the musical Bye Bye Birdie and several Christmas productions.

Music Department to take part in end of the year festivities

This year the FC music department, as a whole, has hosted and participated in a series of performances including ASCI, the musical Bye Bye Birdie and several Christmas productions.

As the end of the school year quickly approaches, some assume that the music department will slow its pace. On the contrary, the department plans on partaking in more events and showcasing the performer?s talents, dedication and passion for what they do.

Music Director Michael Ogdon recognizes that although the end of the year is approaching the music department will continue to work hard and participate in several more performances. He hopes that his students will continue to grow in their musical as well as spiritual aptitude as the year comes to a close.

“There?s still a lot to work for,” Ogdon said. “The music department is one of the only departments that is truly year-round. I fully expect we will each continue to improve our skills and musicianship as we concentrate on finishing well. We want to emulate the life of Jesus who was described as “growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.'”

In this last semester the department will be subject to interesting opportunities which were previously unavailable to them. One of these opportunities is “The Star Wars Wedding.”

An FC graduate formulated the creative idea of having a flash mob at his wedding. He has since called upon the help of the FC band and some Fresno State band members to make this unique surprise possible.

Besides this, FC has been invited along with five Christian southern California schools to the Disney Fine Arts Workshop, April 4. Here the FC choir along with those of the other five schools will have the opportunity to record at Disney backstage.

Percussion and Jazz band will also perform and be judged at Biola University, April 4. The music department participates in the Biola Band Festival every other year.

Freshmen Mathew Garza, ’17, a member of percussion and Jazz band, loves music and has loved it since he was very young. He believes that the pace is currently quickening and is excited about the upcoming performances. Garza enjoys learning something new every day and treasures every moment he can.
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“I most definitely like band,” Garza said. “I have loved music since I was very little. The best thing about coming to band everyday is improving. I know that the harder we practice the better we will get.”

In addition to all of this, the department has planned a few local endeavors as well. The Kings Men Quartet sang for First Presbyterian Church, a local church in the downtown area, Mar.30. The Adoration Ensemble is scheduled to do the same in several weeks. Due to the abundance of events scheduled for the next few weeks the students will need to utilize class time to prepare.

The instrumentalist section of the department will perform an end of the year concert for the FC community, May 5. A week after the choral department will give their end of the year performance.

According to sophomore choir student Ali Cowan the group has come to be like a family unit. Although she admits they can often get distracted, she believes that in the end they come together and perform well. She believes that Ogdon is a major source of encouragement and a driving force for them.

“Sometimes we get a little off track and need to work on our focus a little more,” Cowan said. “I?d say that it?s kind of like a big family. We can definitely all laugh together. Mr. Ogdon helps us a lot because he knows when to make jokes and when to be serious.”

Sophomore quartet member Joshua Carter enjoys the class?s relaxed atmosphere and admires the way he and his fellow singers accomplish their work.

“I enjoy practicing for the quartet,” Carter said.”The general feel of the class is relaxing. However when we need to get things done we always work hard.”

For more features, read the March 28 article, New location adds spark to annual event (VIDEO).

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

By |2014-03-31T00:00:00+00:00March 31st, 2014|Arts & Entertainment, Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Eagle Madness aims to create fellowship, March 25

Leadership students create basketball tournament

In honor of the annul National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college basketball tournament, March Madness, FC students have decided to create an event of their own.Skyler Lee

In honor of the annul National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college basketball tournament, March Madness, FC students have decided to create an event of their own.

In honor of the annul National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college basketball tournament, March Madness, FC students have decided to create an event of their own. A group of freshmen leadership students first conceived the idea of a basketball tournament involving the FC high school many weeks in advance.

However, in order to put their plan into action the underclassmen relied upon the guidance of ASB President Caleb Nale,’14, as well as other upperclassmen. At long last their idea was approved and admitted to the FC calendar. It has since been dubbed, quite appropriately,Eagle Madness.

One of the cofounders in the creation of Eagle Madness is Trevor Trevino,’17. The idea first came from a passion for basketball and a desire to unite the student body through the sport. Trevino is impressed with the schools response.

“Eagle Madness is a basketball tournament organized for students to go out and have fun,” Trevino said. “We (freshmen founders) were just so into basketball and loved the idea of creating our own mini version of the tournament. The school has responded well considering twenty teams have sinned up so far. We really appreciate everyone including the girl?s participation in this event.”

The guidelines for Eagle Madness are simple. Each team must consist of three players with at least one female teammate. All points scored will count as two points. Four teams will be able to play simultaneously. The games will be featured during lunch in the FC gym on March 25, 27, and 28.

Eagle Madness is a basketball tournament organized for students to go out and have fun. We were just so into basketball and loved the idea of creating our own mini version of the tournament. The school has responded well considering twenty teams have sinned up so far. We really appreciate everyone including the girl’s participation in this event–Trevor Trevino

Throughout the tournament losing teams will be eliminated whereas winners will advance to the next round. The championship game will take place and the winner will be announced, March 28. Prizes are yet to be determined.

Student participants such as Claire Kollenkark,’16, are excited to form closer bonds with their teammates. Kollenkark mildly nervous to play basketball but anticipates that her experience with Eagle Madness will be a positive one.
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“I signed up because Chris (Kollenkark) and Justin Houts wanted me to and it sounded fun,” Kollenkark said. “I hope to gain some hoops and a closer relationship with Justin and Chris. I?m more nervous than excited about it because I have no idea how to play basketball. I plan on just trying my hardest and having fun with it because that is all that really matters.”

In preparation for this event leadership arranged time for teams to practice together, March 24. In addition to honing in on their basketball skills, the additional time allowed for participants to gain an even closer bond with their team as well as connect with the other teams.

Nale believes this unique opportunity will allow students the time to express themselves over a common cause and participate in the basketball season. He hopes that students will not be afraid to be outgoing and try their hardest despite any lack of previous knowledge about the sport.

“March is time for basketball and I thought this opportunity would be interesting,” Nale said. “It?s just something fun to be involved in. It?s another opportunity to get involved in school activities and a lot of people like basketball so it?s a good way to do it. I hope people aren?t afraid to dress up funny and embarrass themselves a little.”

One of leadership?s goals in establishing this event was to create an opportunity for fellowship in both upper and underclassmen, and encourage them to mingle in a positive atmosphere. Leadership advisor Robert Foshee hopes this event inspires friendly competition and highlights the uniqueness of each individual.

“The purpose of Eagle Madness is to have a great time to enjoy athletics and get a team together,” Foshee said. “Not every team is going to win but some will dress up together or make a cool name for themselves. It’s just something fun to get together and compete but to have a good time doing it.”

Eagle Madness champions will be unveiled on March 28 and will receive a prize yet to be determined. The games are open to spectator viewing.

For more news, read the March 25 article, BRIEF: Cheer tryouts approach, March 29.

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

Feather in The City, Day 0

The Feather staff essentially first started their journey in the mid-to-late afternoon of March 16 when they made the approximately three and a half hour drive to the San Francisco International Airport.Tynin Fries

The Feather staff essentially first started their journey in the mid-to-late afternoon of March 16 when they made the approximately three and a half hour drive to the San Francisco International Airport.

Journalism Students Travel to New York

On March 16th 22 members of The Feather staff set out on the annul New York trip. Journalism advisor Greg Stobbe and staff grandparent Angie Fries are to chaperon the students as they visit New York attractions, Broadway productions and attend an assortment of journalism conferences. However, before this was to take place the students first needed to arrives in New York.

The Feather staff essentially first started their journey in the mid-to-late afternoon of March 16 when they made the approximately three and a half hour drive to the San Francisco International Airport. Students were responsible to find their own mode of transportation for this first leg of the journey and many made arrangements for car pulling.

Freshman writer Matthew Garza was driven to San Francisco by his mother and says that the ride was tolerable and looks forward to visiting the East Coast.

“My mom took me to San Fran,” Garza said. “It was a pretty smooth ride. I’m looking forward to seeing the landmarks. My mom and sister visited before and they say they had the time of their lives.”

At long last the travelers arrived at the JetBlue’s Terminal 1 ticket counter in the San Francisco International Airport at around 5 p.m. Here, the students were all checked in and took a seat as they waited for flight 916 which was scheduled to depart at 8:47p.m.

This was sophomore writer Emily Ladd’s first time on an plane or out of the West Coast time zone. Although originally concerned about the outcome of her experience, she found that it was an positive one.

“I’ve never been on a plane ride before or been in the air before,” Ladd said. “I was generally nervous but one I got on the plane I just felt excitement. Right now I’m looking down at the San Francisco coast and all of the city lights and it’s absolutely amazing. I love it.”

After an smooth take off The Feather staff readied themselves for a five to six hour flight. Many utilized this time to sleep as the time for this function would be limited the next day.

At roughly 5:10 a.m. (New York time) flight 916 landed at the JFK Airport. After gathering their luggage and wits, The Feather staff boarded a shuttle bus and arrived at Hotel Edison. They quickly dropped off their luggage at about 7:30 a.m. and prepared for the day.

Multimedia Anchor Cally Fries, ’15, says that the flight and general travel scheme was similar to the her previous visit. However, it was far less pleasant for her then the first time.

“My stuff got puked on this time so I wasn’t very happy,” Fries said. “The flight was basically the same and it was good that we didn’t have a lay over this time. I still got my stuff puked on so it wasn’t necessarily pleasant.”

For more news, read the March 11 article, BREAKING: NSPA honors finalists, Feather absent from list.

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

By |2014-03-16T00:00:00+00:00March 16th, 2014|Arts & Entertainment, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

We are One: Growing in Christ (VIDEO)

The idea for a Christian school containing high educational and moral standards was conceived in 1970 by a board of pastors and educational leadersJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

The idea for a Christian school containing high educational and moral standards was conceived in 1970 by a board of pastors and educational leaders

Celebration of Fresno Christian Schools

Fresno Christian Schools celebrates over 30 years of educational and spiritual service to the youth of the San Joaquin Valley. Since its opening in 1977, the school has been sponsored by several evangelical churches in the area. FC is currently open to kindergarten through high school students and has a wide variety of electives, honors classes and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

The idea for a Christ centered school containing high educational and moral standards was conceived in 1970 by a board of pastors and educational leaders. After thoughtful consideration, the mission statement was completed and Fresno Christian was born. Seven churches of denominational differences decided to unite together to support a school system where students could pursue their talents while actively expressing their faith.

Today, Fresno Christian is home to approximately seven hundred students, many of whom are from surrounding areas such as Madera, Kingsburg, Selma and Sanger. A large percentage of students present at FC have attended since kindergarten, thus earning the title of “lifer.” However, FC continues to bring in new students yearly from various places and backgrounds.

Students are given the opportunity to interact in an abundance of different sports, clubs and electives such as Jazz Band, drama, Cycling Club and many others. FC?s very own online newspaper, The Feather, has won several national awards, including five Online Pacemakers from the National Scholastic Press association (NSPA) and multiple Crown honors from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) five years in a row.

Various sports teams throughout the last few years have also carried their team to victory, such as the JH Baseball Team who won the Fresno Unified Baseball Championships in 2008 and the Varsity girl’s basketball team who won the Valley Championship in 2010.

The music department attends numerous banquets, performances and competitions throughout the year and has been acknowledged with many honors for their performance. FC offers a wide range of musical based courses that focus on different genera’s and skill sets. These groups include Celebration Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Men’s Ensemble, marching band, jazz band, Worship Team and Color Guard.

Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the whole student body gathers at the Student Ministries Center (SMC) for chapel. Worship team often leads the crowd in a session of praise and reflection. However, on some special occasions FC welcomes guest speakers, teachers or even students who have a message to speak.

In order to raise school spirit and highlight the hard work of certain sports teams, FC often has rallies. At these rallies each individual player of the particular sport being honored is presented amongst a showering of applause. Rallies also often consist of contests between the classes and an abundance of entertaining games.

However, FC is not all fun and games. An array of academically challenging Honors and AP classes are available to students as well. These classes include Honors math and English, AP calculus, AP English, AP European history and many more.

One of the main differences between FC and public schools rests in the genuine nature of the teachers. Elementary, junior high and high school teachers at FC openly share their faith with their students and conduct prayer in the classroom setting. These closer, more genuine student-teacher relationships enable teachers to better prepare their students for life outside of the FC campus.

Since its opening, FC has continued to enable students with necessary educational, social and spiritual skills. The school offers a wide variety of opportunities for students of all ages and an environment consistent with a Christian World View. Although FC has implemented many new ideas and added to its criteria over the last few years the mission statement stays the same, ” . . . to equip young people for life and service for Jesus Christ through biblical foundations, Christ-like character development, and academic preparation in partnership with the home and local church.”

For more videos, read the Feb. 21 article, Feather press conference: #SJW2014 (VIDEO).

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: [email protected]

By |2014-03-03T00:00:00+00:00March 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized, Videos|1 Comment

WSL Talent Show awards top three winners (PODCAST, VIDEO))

Talent3Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

The group of students participating, attended several performances, over a period of one week, at the various schools. The final show took place at FC’s Student Ministries Center, Feb. 27.

Some of FC’s brightest talents have decided to take part in the annual West Sequoia League (WSL) Talent Show. Fellow school participants in the production include Fowler, Caruthers and Riverdale. Each of the individual contestants displayed a unique personality, style and talent within their particular act.

The group of students participating, attended several performances, over a period of one week, at the various schools. The final show took place at FC’s Student Ministries Center, Feb. 27. Here the contestants displayed their final act, the scores were tallied and at long last the final scores announced.

Petey (last name withheld), participant from Fowler, received the first place trophy with a reward of $100, Ariana Mendoza, from Caruthers, clinched second with a reward of $75 and FC’s own Matthew Garza received a prize of $50 for third place.

Leadership advisor Robert Foshee believes the schools participation in the event allows students to express themselves, while potentially spreading the gospel throughout the Fresno community.

“Participating and hosting the WSL talent show is a great opportunity,” Foshee said. “Our students get to practice talents that God has given them, they get to interact with students from other schools and our students are allowed to cheer and minister with students from other cultures and backgrounds. It’s also great for students who compete on the athletic field to interact in a non-sports related activity.”

Mark Bennett, ’14, placed fourth in the event. He decided to do a comedy act because it is one of his most prevalent talents and he loves to do it. He believes that he has had a successful year.

“I did a comedy bit, because I’m not good at music so I decided to do comedy,” Bennett said. “I wasn’t really nervous to perform in front of my peers rather than performing in front of strangers because I feel that my friends are going to be more accepting. I think I did pretty good at the other schools. It’s hard to judge because you are kind of biased against yourself. So I think I’ve done okay.”

Garza, ’17, plays a wide variety of instruments and has been greatly involved in music over the last few years. He chose to play the piano in his act because he has played it since the first grade and believes it is one of the instruments he is best at.

“I played the piano, but I didn’t sing,” Garza said. “I picked piano because it has been my main instrument that I’ve played since the first grade. I wasn’t nervous to play, I was actually really excited. When we went to Riverdale I think I did okay, the sound wasn’t that great and there was no sustaining on the piano. In Fowler I did a lot better, everything was planned out and went a lot smoother.”

Petey’s passion for singing stemmed from an early childhood exposure. He dedicates every performance to the memory of his mother, whose ten year passing anniversary was this very day.

“I decided to sing because ever since I was five I’ve always had a passion for it,” Petey said. “Whenever I thought about giving up, my mother was always the one to give me a push so I kind of stuck with it. I’m never nervous when I sing, I’m always excited.”

Mendoza who placed second believes like Petey that her interest in music originated in childhood experiences. She was apprehensive about this performance because her friends were present.

“I decided to sing because I’ve been singing since as long as I can remember, and it’s just something I love to do,” Mendoza said. “I was more nervous to perform in front of my peers because they all know me and I feel like I’m being more judged.”

The whole student body along with many parents and friends came out to support the FC representatives. Senior, Lucas Lopez was present at the event and enjoyed the various genera’s that were presented this year. He congratulates Petey for his performance and success.

“This year we had a great lineup of singers,” Lopez said. “I enjoyed the country genre that we saw and it was very different. But I liked it a lot. I’m glad he won first place.”

(PODCAST) WSL Talent Show 2014: March 3, 2014–

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

WSL Talent Show (VIDEO) from The Feather Online on Vimeo.

For more features, read the Feb. 24 article, Podcasting enhances media world (PODCAST).

By |2014-02-27T00:00:00+00:00February 27th, 2014|Features, News, Uncategorized, Videos 2014-15|0 Comments

‘Bee’ writer visits publications, imparts helpful knowledge (VIDEO)

Orzaco also explained the impact of the Christian faith on his profession and described his recent pilgrimage to Israel. He was inspired by viewing the supposed sights of biblical stories and standing on the very same ground that Jesus once tread.Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Orzaco also explained the impact of the Christian faith on his profession and described his recent pilgrimage to Israel. He was inspired by viewing the supposed sights of biblical stories and standing on the very same ground that Jesus once tread.

Professional Journalist advises Staff

The Feather staff welcomed Ron Orozco, current writer of the Faith and Values Page for the Fresno Bee, to speak on behalf of journalism, Feb. 24. Orozco offered advice and insight on the writing process, the impact of social media, the future of the modern newspaper and much more.

He also explained the impact of the Christian faith on his profession and described his recent pilgrimage to Israel. He was inspired by viewing the supposed sights of biblical stories and standing on the very same ground that Jesus once tread. He even brought the class stones from the valley where David and Goliath fought and a pebble from the table of the Last Supper.

Orozco graduated from Fresno State and found an opportunity to write for the Fresno Bee. Over the years he wrote in several different sections of the paper including sports, news, and the Sunday features. However after his conversion to Christianity, Orozco developed a passion for places of worship and their influence on society. He then decided to write the Faith and Values page. This year marks Orozco?s 40th anniversary with the Fresno Bee.

Orozco believes that writing is a form of expression similar to music, art or athletics. To him the purpose of journalism is to use self expression while simultaneously informing and bettering the community.

“When we sit down with our laptops, it?s like a canvas and we’re Monet, Rembrandt and Da Vinci,” Orozco said. “We can create an expression. Writers express themselves; we communicate, educate and inform.”

Many of the concepts that Orozco covered were already known or at least discussed to some extent by The Feather staff. These ideas included the use of social media, the correct way to interview and the writing process, to name a few. However, Orozco did breach upon several new or overlooked concepts that The Feather benefited from.

Editor-in-Chief Tynin Fries, ’14, was grateful for Orozco coming to share his knowledge on journalism.

“I was really appreciative of Ron for coming to speak to the staff,” Fries said. “I think it was good for everyone to hear from an experienced journalist. He gave good points for the staff members grab hold of and put into practice themselves.
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Orozco addressed the value of the new technological age and predicted the impact it would have upon newspapers. Despite, the wide spread idea that the print newspaper will eventually reach extinction, Orozco is confident that this is not the case. He acknowledged the strain that such developments are likely to put on the newspaper franchise but believes writers will simply reinvent the traditional paper.

He pointed to social media as a chance to inform the public in a faster, often more effective, way and draw their attention towards particular articles.

Orozco emphasized the value of efficiency in journalism. He provided a simple writing process that eliminated the alleged writers block and insured a fast written but factually sound piece.

Independent sports journalist, Joshua Carter, ’16, appreciated Orozco?s tips and believes that in the future they will benefit both him personally and The Feather as a whole.

“As a sports writer I appreciated his insight and ideas about writing in the midst of everything that is happening,” Carter said. “It is a great way to get readers and people who weren?t there, interested in the game. Many of his other ideas and knowledge will help improve this paper and the sports section.”

Throughout his presentation Orozco challenged students to abandon lazy habits and strive for excellence. He encouraged The Feather to interview people in person rather than by email and text and also to write and read others’ work often and to take notes on the constructive criticism of editors or peers.

Although Timothy Timothy Nyberg , ’16, is a video production student and is not currently involved in journalism, he believes the message applies to his work as well. The experience caused him to see both writing and video production in a new light.

“What he talked about even applied to me in video production,” Nyberg said. “I think it was really good when he talked about how you literally need to run to get your work done. You really have to get on top of things like that and the laziness definitely applies to me. It helps me think differently about writing and video.”

For more features, read the Feb. 24 article, Japanese-American recalls post Pearl Harbor discrimination (PODCAST).

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

By |2014-02-25T00:00:00+00:00February 25th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|2 Comments