Category Archives: Student Life

Eagle Senior Spotlight: Angel De Alba

By Coal Ahime Ruiz

Angel De Alba, a Jalisco native, immigrated to the United States at the age of 14 to reunite with his father, who had relocated to the United States to provide a better life for his family. He was immediately enrolled in Benton Middle School after arriving here, where he struggled to keep up due to a significant language barrier. He was able to take English classes before coming here, but they were insufficient for him to maintain a conversation. He didn’t feel like he fit in at school or in society, feeling lonely and like a pin in a stack.

Angel recalls telling his father on his first day of school that he couldn’t do it, that he couldn’t adapt to a new nation, culture, society, language, and a new life. Not to be discouraged any longer, he took a break from school and did everything he could to assist him to improve his language skills. Angel was encouraged to overcome all odds and learn from it by taking English classes, reading small books with small stories, and even watching TV in English as much as possible. Not only did he use his feelings of loneliness and frustration to propel him, but he was also able to communicate with his cousins in English. With this assistance, he was able to travel to Waite, where he made wonderful friends who made the transition much easier.

Not only did this experience change him, but he also used it to his advantage, allowing him to grow and obtain a better grasp of his capabilities. With his charisma and motivation, he was able to place in the Top 10 of our graduating class and participate in programs, clubs, and athletics, including our school’s soccer team, CSF, AVID, and Cerritos College’s President Scholars Academy. It is also with his faith, that he also takes pride and is grateful for being catholic as it helped him keep a clear head and that good will come to those who work for it. He would like to express his gratitude to his friends, family, instructors, and tutors for making all of this possible and for assisting him in achieving his objectives. Now that he has been reclassified as a fluent English speaker, he wishes to inspire others who have had to adapt to a new environment to not give up and to keep working hard, because one day everyone will achieve their full potential.

His advice to other students is to get involved in as many activities as possible to not only get unique experiences and outstanding awards but also to value any kind of aid and direction, particularly from our amazing instructors. Angel hopes to pursue Kinesiology or Exercise and Sports Science after high school because he wants to be a physical therapist or an athletic trainer, and thus support and assist his parents as they have always done for him and his three younger siblings. He also hopes that not only his peers, but also his siblings will see that with hard work, devotion, and support, everything is achievable. He hopes that his experience inspires others to not only achieve and pursue their goals but also to keep pushing forward no matter what obstacles they face.

Marching Eagles Defy the Odds

By Edmund Shryock

As the 2021 school year started, the JGHS Marching Eagles found themselves smaller than previous years. They were facing the decision whether or not to have a marching season.

However, the determination of both the students and their band director, Mr. Hinojoz, allowed them to push through their concerns and compete. This commitment came with hardwork and dedication. Every day during first period, the band slowly developed their skills in marching and playing. As the weeks progressed, the Marching Eagles had found their groove. 

The first competition took place on Saturday, November 13 at Martin Luther King High School, where the Eagles took second place in their division. Other bands had scored lower than they usually do on average at that competition, however the Eagles kept their same score of 91.25.

The second place win gave the Eagles a confidence boost before heading into the big Arcadia Band Review. This review is the band’s equivalent to championships and one of the biggest band reviews in California. 

On Saturday, November 20 the Marching Eagles placed second in their division, earning one of the highest scoring years for the Eagles at Arcadia with a 89.75. That was not it for this band as they also got the second place Seaver Award for the best music score on a John Philip Sousa march. Finally, the Eagles also placed 18 out of the top 20 bands for marching and maneuvering, which means that next year the band will move into Division A. 

This success and dedication is a huge honor for the band and John Glenn High School! I would like to give a special thanks from the senior band members to Mr. Hinojoz for all his hard work and support throughout their high school career.

Community Schools Update: Food Drive

By Edmund Shryock

District members, school officials, and volunteers from both John Glenn and SEA, gathered together in association with Community Schools on Thursday, November 18, kicking off John Glenn High School’s first Food Drive.

Starting at around 3 pm, numerous cars were already lined up to receive food. The John Glenn Community Schools program teamed up with Norwalk city officials and public safety distributing bags alongside the food boxes. 300 boxes were ready to be given to families. 

As the cars pulled into the school, they were all given the opportunity to sign up for the CalFresh program. This would provide families with monthly nutritional food needs. The event started at 4 pm and lasted until 6 pm.

All 300 boxes were successfully distributed to families in need. The success of this event has encouraged The Community Schools program to do another food drive in the spring. 

  Through this event, John Glenn was able to help families–not just in Norwalk, but in neighboring cities too. Special thanks to all the volunteers and staff that helped support Community Schools as they change the lives of others.

Adopt-A-Family Event at SEA

By Itzmali Vazquez

It’s that time of the year were children get excited to receive gifts from Santa Claus and parents go Christmas shopping for their children. However, there are some children that do not get to celebrate Christmas like others–they don’t get a Christmas tree or receive any gifts because their parent or guardian can not afford them.That’s the reason that Mrs. Garcia put in the effort to create the Adopt-a-Family Event through the Red Cross Club for cadets that have the opportunity to help others in need.

Cadets will make a group with other cadets to adopt a family or they also have the choice to adopt a family on their own. Each person or group gets a family that has kids and they can pick if they want a girl or boy. Then they receive a paper with the kids information like their name, age, and also their family’s information just in case we need to contact them for anything that we need. Sometimes we want to know their favorite foods, snacks, color, or cartoon character.

Once cadets have the information that they need, each cadet in the group will be assigned to buy something for the child and create a basket. If they are alone they will have to buy everything that they need. They are given a specific time to make some type of basket including their child’s favorite things like toys, snacks, clothes, or shoes. Children are then given a specific day where that family will come and meet the group or person that made the basket for them and the cadet will have a chance to meet the child that they made a basket for and open their gifts with them.

Every year the Red Cross Club hosts an Adopt-a-Family event. This is an event where you are assigned to a family in need. Once you are assigned that family you get the wants and needs of the family including the sizes of clothes, shoes, etc. You independently go out to a shop for the family and are able to get them gifts and wrap them. And when it’s time the ones who adopted a family are able to meet the families and they get to exchange words with the family.

Staff Spotlight for December: Mr. Johnny Brown

By Naidy Cuadras

Many students and staff at the school have had several questions about new Southeast Academy teacher Mr. Brown. Mr. Johnny Brown is an African-American man who was born and raised in California. He is a teacher at Southeast Academy and he teaches Academic Enrichment. He enjoys being active, listening to music, watching sports, and enjoys the company of his friends and traveling.

In an interview, Mr. Brown said, “To me being a successful teacher involves putting students first, having a desire to grow and evolve and the rest will fall into place.” After working with children in an after-school program, he decided to pursue a career as a teacher. His desire to work with children began there, and he chose to pursue a career as a teacher. He’s always been curious about what it’s like to teach in our district. He was thrilled when the chance arose.

Evan Patino, a cadet who has Mr. Brown as a teacher said, “He is very funny and kind. He knows different subjects and is really helpful. He takes the time to help each and every one of us and even asks the other teachers at the school for clarification.” Friendly, funny, respectful, outgoing, and resilient were some of the adjectives Mr. Brown used to characterize himself. Furthermore, Southeast offers structure and discipline, which he appreciates.

Master Sergeant Allard stated, “He is very professional and looks out for the cadets’ best interests. He is also very approachable and constantly interacts with other teachers.” Because the school is smaller, Mr. Brown feels a strong feeling of community among the Southeast staff and students. He’s impressed by the students’ interactions with one another and how respectful they are to the teachers and campus staff. The teachers he has come into contact with have been really friendly, approachable, and passionate about what they teach. Mr. Brown is a very good teacher that will help cadets grow at this school.

Toys for Tots at SEA

By Jawan Moreno De Souza

The Toys for Tots event at Southeast Academy has been happening for two decades now. Toys for Tots is an event that allows students to consider what we have and be grateful for what we have and give back to the less fortunate by donating a toy or two. Other than just benefiting those less fortunate, you are also benefiting yourself.

Southeast Academy finds ways to motivate their cadets to participate in this event. There are six boxes placed in the front office. Each box has a different platoon name, and whichever platoon gets the most toys in for the drive wins a mini prize, either having a platoon day at the beach, or a small gathering for a pizza party. Another prize that has been added for individual cadets is that if you buy a toy for the event that is a value of $15 or more, you qualify for a ribbon. Ribbons are colorful tabs for acts of kindness, courage, or skill that a cadet receives in order to decorate their uniform.

With that being said, Southeast Academy will always care and strive for a better future for those less fortunate, and keep striving for excellence.

Colors at Southeast Academy

By Naidy Cuadras

When Master Sergeant Schafer and Master Sergeant Allard moved to a new campus in 2009, Southeast Academy Military and Law Enforcement High School was formed. Every morning, students at the school execute a “ceremony” called Colors, in which they march to the flag pole and raise an 8 by 12 ft United States Flag. Colors are performed twice a day, in the morning and evening. Two separate groups of cadets perform this ceremony on a daily basis. Junior cadets raise the flag at the front of the school where the pole is located. This is called Junior Colors. Senior colors are performed next to the field with the 50-foot pole.

The flag pole located at the front of the school has been there since the school was established. However, the flag pole located next to the field was placed there in 2010. It is 20 feet deep, which means that it can withstand hurricane winds so it is well designed to remain in place and not be a hazard during a storm. To make this new flagpole significant, before the pavement was in place, Master Sergeant Allard and Master Sergeant Schafer threw in two Master Sergeant ranks and a Southeast Academy coin. Additionally, the roses that surround the pole are in tribute to Master Sergeant Allard’s mother. She loved roses, especially white and red, which is why the flagpole’s border was designed this way.

The flagpole not only has a special meaning to both Master Sergeants, but to the cadets at the school who stand quietly at the position of attention when colors go off.  The afternoon ceremony is a reminder to the cadets that another day has passed. It is a quiet event which encourages unity among the cadets. The ceremony allows students to take the time to remember its meaning- that there are many people who have fought for and are fighting for our country. The Colors Ceremony is more than an everyday event: it is one of our most symbolic acts.

Opinion on the Electronics Policy

By Daniela Galindo

It is no secret that students dislike the “new” phone policy even though it has always existed at John Glenn. Is it because there is a higher percentage of students failing this year that the phone policy is being strictly enforced? Maybe adults think phones prevent us from getting good grades.

What I’ve seen is that students use their phones for just a minute or so to answer a text. It’s not like students use them all the time in class. Our phones are not the reason why we don’t pass our classes. I was failing a class, but it wasn’t because I was on my phone. It was just because I needed a little help and to concentrate on class. But, it wasn’t the phone that was distracting–it was other classes, exams, and extracurricular activities that I had. Additionally, students dislike how parents need to communicate with us through the office. If there is an emergency, it takes the office some time to contact the student. Rather than that, we should tell the teacher that our parents are calling and maybe show them and allow the students to go out for a moment with the door open so they do not wander off, but still give them privacy.

It would have been great if this policy had been explained more clearly by the school from the beginning, like its consequences. We students need to understand why this is happening so suddenly. We don’t know why suddenly this has become something big, and it’s unfair. Students will feel as if they’re in prison. Rather than feeling forced to study, studying should be enjoyable. Rather than negative reinforcement, kids need motivation.

Christmas Traditions from Mexico

By Betsy Carranza and Rigo Macias

During the Christmas season, the weather is warm and mild in Mexico. This is the time of year when the Mexican celebration of Christmas, called Las Posadas, takes place. Candle-lit processions, beautiful nativity scenes, Spanish Christmas carols, dancing, and fireworks are all part of the festivities. While Christmas trees and Santa Claus have made an appearance in Mexican celebrations, the holidays are deeply rooted in Spanish and indigenous cultures.  

Christmas is celebrated in Mexico from December 12th to January 6th. Children usually perform ‘Posada’ processions or Posadas from December 16th through Christmas Eve. Posada is a Spanish word that means “inn” or “lodging.”

There are a total of nine Posadas. They commemorate the time when Joseph and Mary were looking for a place to stay, according to the Christmas myth. The outsides of houses are decorated with evergreens, moss, and paper lanterns during the Posada celebration. A Posada party is held in a different residence each night.

On Christmas Eve, at the final Posada, a manger and shepherd figures are placed on the board of a Nativity scene. After finding the final Posada house, a figurine of baby Jesus is placed in the manger and families attend a midnight church service. Following the church service, there are usually fireworks to welcome the beginning of the Christmas season.

JGHS Blood Drive

By Daniela Galindo 

JGHS’ blood drive was a success, with almost 70 students donating blood. It would not have been possible without the Red Cross nurses and volunteers from CSF and AVID club. While students and staff waited for their turn to donate, they were given some snacks, including juice/milk, croissants, fruits, granola bars, and more. To make the students feel less anxious, calm music was playing, and they were well taken care of by nurses. They were also gifted a shirt when they donated.

 “It’s a good thing students are donating” says Daniela Reyna, one of the volunteers that made this possible. She is a student from Vanguard University where she is studying nursing, and she is grateful for the students from JGHS who donated because every day she sees how patients constantly need the blood. Just knowing and seeing those who donated she feels relieved.

CSF Advisor and ELA instructor Mrs. Cynthia Johnson added that she feels proud seeing her students donating. “It’s a great thing; you never know when you need it.” She also added the fact that, “One pint of blood can save 3 lives!” It sure was helpful having those students donate.

I talked with a junior named Stany Hernandez, who said, “If you get a chance, do it. And do it because it comes from the heart.” Jessica Gomez, who is a senior, told me how she felt towards this situation, proceeding to say, “It’s really good because after the pandemic more people need it. It’s so good students are doing this. When there’s an opportunity, take it.”

I couldn’t agree more with my fellow classmates. Students are saving lives and they probably don’t even know. If you didn’t have the opportunity to donate, in March 2022 we will be having our next blood drive.

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