Category Archives: Student Life

Behind the Scenes at the Rose Parade

By: April Zavala

THE AUDITION: My name is April Zavala and I auditioned successfully as a trumpet player for the Tournament of Roses Honor Band of 2022 which is the official band of the Rose Parade. Being a part of this band has been a dream of mine since freshman year, and finally being able to be a part of the rose parade was a once in a lifetime experience. 

REHEARSALS: Our first rehearsal was on November 7, 2021, and we continued having five hour music rehearsals every Sunday for a month. Once winter break began, we began marching rehearsals at Pasadena City College, Dodger Stadium, and Santa Anita Park to begin conditioning for the 6 mile long parade. The first few marching rehearsals were tough. The honor band as a whole was not conditioned to march (Play Instruments at an attention position while marching) for hours. But as the days went by it got easier and it proved to be worth it because it made the Rose Parade feel easy.

PERFORMANCES: We had a total of 4 performances before the big day. Our Disneyland performance was on the verge of not happening due to the high probability of rain. Thankfully, Disney agreed to having us perform in our “Rain-Day” uniform. When we arrived at Disney we still weren’t sure if our performance was going to be canceled due to rain, and unfortunately we would not be able to know until the very last minute. Finally, at 1:30pm, our performance began, and the rain did not start until half way through our performance. 

BandFest is a performance put on by all the bands that will be performing in the Rose Parade. Our bandfest performances were to be performed rain or shine, and unfortunately we had rain for all three shows. Since we are the host band, we performed at all three BandFest shows. 

 THE BIG DAY: Finally, it was the night of the “Big Day”, New Years Eve. We had a call time of 3am which meant that we all had to be in bed by 9pm to get a good night’s rest before the parade. I left my house at around 1:30am to ensure I got to Pasadena on time. One thing I wish I was more prepared for was the cold. I wore a white long sleeve shirt and double gloves and it was still not enough to bear the freezing temperatures that morning. (If you’re ever going to perform in the rose parade, make sure you have HotHands!) Finally, we arrived at the step off for the Parade and it was the greatest rush we all felt. Nothing anyone said could have prepared me for “TV Corner”. There were thousands of people, cameras, flashing lights, all eyes on us. There was a moment we turned and played facing the audience and it was the most magical moment of my life.

Opinion: Schools Should Not Close

By: April Zavala

Although returning home for a few weeks to let COVID-19 cases settle down ultimately sounds like a good idea, there are some major consequences in doing so. For example, last year’s quarantine proved that doing school from home made students see school as an option which resulted in low assignment turn-in rate and plummeting grades. We need to keep the school open.

It is important that we take everything into consideration. The nation already spent over a year staying at home, in complete isolation from their family and friends, so going home again may affect our student’s mental health. This year, teachers planned out their year without the intention of returning to online school, and doing so may cause teachers to fall behind on lessons.

Another consequence is the student’s limited access to a good WIFI connection. Over the quarantine period, having good connection was an inevitable obstacle that would stand between a student logging onto class on time and getting their assignments turned in on time. Ultimately, I believe that with time, cases will slowly start to plummet, and we should trust that John Glenn students and administration will continue to do an excellent job with staying safe and making sure they stay home if they have any symptoms.

Eagles Winter Sports Round-Up: Basketball, Wrestling, Soccer

By Oliver Cisneros

In our first month back for the second semester, winter sports are wrapping up their seasons. Soccer, basketball, and wrestling each have had their own great experiences this season and here is a recap.

SOCCER:

To help recap soccer, here is a quote from Jimmy Torres. Jimmy has been playing soccer for all 4 of his years at Glenn and provided me with a statement about how the team has performed this season: “It’s been a work in progress, the program is trying to build with the potential that the underclassmen have. Upperclassmen play a big role when it comes to the games. Overall, the guys on the team will fulfill their potential in the next upcoming years.”

The varsity boys soccer team defeated Whitney 1-0 on Tuesday, January 25th, the second time they defeated Whitney this year. The team is led by Giovanni Martinez, who scored a hat-trick (3 goals) against Whitney on January 7. In addition to Torres, Junior Jose Navidad also leads the defense at left back.

Aerial photo by O.Cisneros from January 4, 2022

WRESTLING:

For the fourth straight year, JGHS Boys and Girls Wrestling has won the 605-League Championship title. In a meet on Tuesday, January 25th, varsity girls defeated Pioneer 42-15, including junior Trinity Escobar winning her match with a pin. The girls also soundly defeated Artesia 60-12 in a meet on January 24th. The defeat of Cerritos High on January 20th was also notable, as pins by Diana Bravo and Mia Ramirez helped the Lady Eagles win 54-18.

Varsity boys also beat Pioneer by a whopping 66-18 on January 25th. Emmanuel Enriquez, Daniel Altamirano, Diego Lopez, Benjamin Sanchez, and Alex Valdez all won their matches by pins. It has been a dominating finish for wrestling, as the boys also defeated Cerritos in a much tighter contest 39-26, including pins by Freddie Valdivia, Robert Renteria, Diego Lopez, and Jacob Enriquez.

The JV team also finished their season with an undefeated league record.

Initially, our wrestling team was off to a rocky start with the effects of Covid but as their season progressed, it has been pretty successful. All members of the team have been putting in hard work and have pulled through in the end with a much more successful season. In addition to the league matches, Freddie Valdivia, a senior, and junior Emmanuel Enríquez placed 5th at the Monte Claire Classic Bob Bellot Tournament on January 21st.

BASKETBALL:

Finally, the basketball season has been pretty successful this year. The team’s overall score is 9-9 with hopes of making it to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Here’s a quote from Natanael Jacobo, a senior who has been playing basketball for all four of his years at Glenn: “As for us we know what we are capable of and I would say we could’ve done much better than what our record says. It’s been really fun and hard but it’s always a rollercoaster when there is success!”

Overall, Covid can be to blame for any of the teams’ lack of performance this season as it greatly impacted the whole school and it’s programs. All the teams this season have worked hard and put in the effort to get to where they are now and will continue to work harder for more successful years to come. 

Security Guard Louie Esparza: Classified Employee of the Year

By: Jacob Miranda

Louie Esparza is probably one of the most friendly and recognizable staff members here. He is also one of the best, as he was recently voted in by the rest of the classified staff as “Classified Employee of the Year” for 2021-22. He is usually stationed near the 1000s building, and welcomes anyone to hang out there. Luckily for me, he was also willing to provide some insight on his life, both in and out of school.

Q1: Where did you go to High School and College? What type of degree(s) did you get?

I went to Franklin High School in Highland Park, and then went to Rio Hondo College. Specifically, the Rio Hondo Police Academy, where I got my diploma and my concealed carry permit.

Q2: What did you originally plan to do as a career?

I originally wanted to have a job that works with kids. 

Q3: Where have you worked previously?

I’ve worked for companies like Coca-Cola and Naked Juice as private security. I’ve also been hired by celebrities like Kobe and Beyonce as a private bodyguard, and have been hired by Coachella for the past 10 years.

Q4: What do you believe is your favorite part of Glenn? 

The students, working with students and giving them a safe environment. My strongest belief is having a bully-free campus and providing a safe area for the students to hang out. I sometimes find kids by themselves, and I tell them that, “You can come hang out in my area, you don’t have to talk to me but just feel safe.” They come and sit around where I’m at, and I just kinda keep an eye on them. Knowing I have a safe environment for the students brings me warmth to my heart.

Q5: What is your average, out-of-school life like? Do you have any pets, children, etc?

I have 2 daughters, 16 and 18. I have 3 pets; I have Lucy, a 12-year-old turtle, who has been with us since she was a baby. She’s a tortoise and she’s huge. And we also have a dog and a cat. I also love the outdoors and like to do hiking.

Q6: If you could give the students one piece of advice (Life, School, etc.), what would you say?

Say no to drugs, and Yes to hugs.

Q7: Any final comments or statements?

Don’t be a fool, stay in school!

Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Savala-Lee

By: Orion

Mrs. Savala-Lee has been selected as teacher of the year, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with her to make conversation and discuss some questions I had for her.

How long have you been teaching at Glenn and in general?

“I started teaching in Norwalk-La Mirada in 1987 at Edmondson, I taught third grade for three years, then fifth grade for two years. And when Waite opened up as a middle school, I taught Eighth grade for three years. And in 1997, I came to Glenn to do a program called Puente, it was to help students get into college, it was like AVID but a little different ya know. So, I’ve been here since ‘97.”

Did you plan on becoming an English teacher or a teacher at all?

“No. I didn’t plan that, my major was liberal studies and while I was in liberal studies classes, I heard other people talk about what they were gonna do, and they talked about being a historian, a librarian, a lawyer, or a teacher. And none of those sounded good to me except a teacher, and I went and got a teacher’s aide job and I liked being in the classroom. And I got a substitute teaching job, and that’s when I realized that this is what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be a teacher.”

What did you originally want to do?

“I think I just wanted to be a wife and a mom, an educated wife/mom, maybe go to a community college, take some art classes, ceramic, and just have a good/proper family. (Jokingly) And in the end I have no children, things don’t turn out the way you plan, ok.”

What are your alumni?

“Cal State Fullerton and Cyprus College”

Retirement plans/parties? 

“Throw parties, yes, I’ll have several. Small groups ya know I’ll have a special one with my teacher friends, one with my family, just friends from the past that don’t fit either group, but ya know I’m close to them. So ya I will celebrate. But as far as I’m going to tour the world or bucket list, I don’t have any, I am very content with staying at home, taking care of the house, making it pretty aesthetically beautiful.

I have my two dogs Violet and Olive (pictured, left), I wanna take care of them. I still have my mom, I can drive her to Mervyn’s/Kohls if she can’t, but yeah if someone invited me to Italy I would go. I like being athletic, workout, running, whatever comes my way I’ll make use of it or not.”

Hobbies? Goals?

“I wanna play the guitar, I bought one eight years ago when my husband passed away because I didn’t know what to do that summer. I thought I’d learn how to play but instead it’s been a piece of art hanging on my wall, no not here, at my house, and I look at it, I have music, it sometimes I pluck on it to have fun, I wanna do gardening in my yard, running, working, might even learn to bake some bread.”

How was online teaching for you? Would you do it again?

“I would only do it again if I had to, it was … terrible, I never knew if my students were with me, I couldn’t really see my students doing the work and I like to be watching them. I couldn’t do my spelling tests and that’s a big deal to me that kids know how to spell. I couldn’t teach cursive and that’s important to me that students know how to handwrite, I couldn’t be how I really wanted to be as a teacher, and I don’t think students really gained much from it and that bothers me too. So only if I have too.”

Are you hopeful for the future?

“For my own life I am very healthy and feel really good on how I lived my life up to this point, that I feel going into retirement, I still feel very young, even though my age says I’m old. But I think that’s what I’d recommend to everybody to take care of their health while they’re young and that way when the time comes you can be free from work and you’ll be able to enjoy whatever lifestyle you want. But as far as education goes, I don’t wanna say this to sound terrible, but it’s not what it used to be. I would love to see be 1987 again, I’m not crazy about the laptops and computers and all that, I think they’re good for one reason and they’re entertaining and fun, but in another way it’s made kids antisocial and too dependent on immediacy, I mean I dunno, I’m old fashioned.”

What do you think of all the dad joke posters around the school, do you know who does them?

“I love them, I think they’re great, I like clean humor, I think it’s more creative than dirty humor, and no I don’t know.”

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.

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.

Opinion: Admin Zoom Wednesdays

By Jacob Miranda

Ever since the beginning of November, we have had a 10-minute Zoom meeting discussing different parts of the student handbook for JGHS during 4th period. The first one was about the phone policies, the second was about tardies, absences, and the procedures and consequences of both. The most recent ones were about dress code on November 17, and information about tutoring this past Wednesday, December 1.

The main point of these meetings is to make sure students stay informed and know what the rules are at school. Dr. Padilla also puts the slides for each meeting on her weekly newsletter, and then tells us the subject of the next meeting and the pages of the student handbook to look for.

In my opinion, we are actually better off without these meetings. When Dr. Padilla tells us what is going to be covered days beforehand, we don’t really need 10-15 minutes of class time to be lost just for the school to tell me not to flash people with inappropriate clothing. And that is assuming that students are actually paying attention to said meetings. If they aren’t, then it just seems to waste everybody’s time.

Instead, I propose that we should just have a friendly reminder whenever situations get too extreme (for example, if people are on their phones way too much during class, we should have an announcement saying that the next day, phones being used for unimportant reasons will be taken away).

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