This month’s staff spotlight focuses on Mr. Ray Niemann, who teaches at both John Glenn and Southeast Academy. Mr. Niemann has been a teacher at Glenn for 22 years and has not lost his passion to help his students succeed in anything they do. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Niemann and was able to get a true sense of how much he cares for his students.
When asked What is your favorite part about being a teacher? He was quick to express how much he loves the students. He would go on to explain that his love for the students encouraged him to be a part of numerous activities at Glenn throughout his teaching career. Some activities that Mr. Niemann has been a part of include ASB coordinator, Head Wrestling and Football coach, Athletic Director, Renaissance committee, TCAP, and ACE.
When asked if he always wanted to be a teacher? Mr. Niemann would explain that he went to school to become an archaeologist. However, it took a former high school teacher to help him find his love for teaching.
Mr. Niemann would express how he loves listening to classic rock, naming the group Journey in particular. He also said that one of his favorite all-time singers is Sam Cooke, sharing a connection to the song “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Mr. Niemann was asked what he loves to do in his free time? He smiled and answered that he loves to spend time and travel with his wife, be in the company of friends and family, and loves cooking barbecue. Also, he expressed that some of his favorite movies include Glory, The Green Mile, and The Godfather. Finally, Mr. Niemann expressed his love for Notre Dame Football and the Raiders as some of his favorite sports teams to watch.
Mr. Niemann was asked at the end of our interview: Any advice that you would like to give the student body at Glenn? Which he responded: “Don’t sell yourself short, and start developing a plan now to be successful in the future. This involves getting over roadblocks that present themselves, however do not be stopped by these roadblocks as they are steps to help you reach your goals.”
It was a great pleasure to interview Mr. Niemann, his passion and care for Glenn truly shows both inside and outside the classroom!
For the last 3 weeks, the world has looked upon Russia and Ukraine as their conflict appears to escalate on a daily basis. At the same time, the world looks upon the United States and NATO for a response to the largest conflict Europe has seen since WWII.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine stems back to 2014 after Russia invaded the peninsula of Crimea (which was a part of Ukraine). Tensions between the two countries escalated to a boiling point in February 2022, as Russian troops were sent from the Russian-Ukrainian border into Ukraine as part of a “Special Military Operation.”
On February 24, explosions were heard throughout Ukraine as the Russian invasion was launched, shocking NATO as countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States warned of serious economic sanctions on Russia if an invasion were to commence.
The Russian invaders met fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military, crushing the idea of a swift victory of Ukraine. This provided hope for NATO as they realized that Ukraine could possibly defeat the Russians. This resulted in numerous NATO countries sending weapons and supplies to the Ukrainians to effectively combat the Russians.
A hero that has emerged through this conflict is the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has demonstrated bravery and loyalty to Ukraine in its darkest time. He vowed to not leave the capital city of Kyiv despite being advised to. He continues to address his people and the world, even though his city is being shelled constantly and he has been marked as “enemy number one” by the Russians. Zelenskyy’s determination for justice and victory over tyranny offers a hope for the survival of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, March 16, President Zelenskyy addressed Congress asking for the United States’ support by establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This plea came after Russian missile strikes on civilian areas and military facilities. However, the United States is against setting up a no fly zone over Ukraine as it could lead to American fighters being engaged in direct combat with the Russians. This could potentially lead to a full scale global war, with the high possibility of going nuclear.
As the war approaches its first month, the world holds its breath as tensions rise and sanctions continue to be put out against Russia’s economy. Support and aid continue to pour into Ukraine and those affected, as a diplomatic resolution to this war does not appear imminent.
President Biden’s politicized first year as President came to a close, after facing challenges of the pandemic, inflation, immigration, and foreign policy. Americans are curious to see if Biden accomplished what he wanted to in year one. Here is a look into 5 things Biden was able to accomplish in his first year as President
Passing of a 1.9 Trillion Dollar Covid Relief Bill- In March of 2021, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package known as the “American Rescue Plan,” which was to offer a $1,400 dollar stimulus to a majority of Americans. $350 billion was going to K-12 schools to reopen and local and state aid.
Rejoined The World Health Organization- As one of President Biden’s first acts as President, he signed letters retracting former President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO). This was supported by the appointment of Dr. Anthony Fauci as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, allowing the U.S. to become a full participant in the WHO as the pandemic continued.
Removed Travel Ban from Several Muslim Countries- Speaking of Biden striking down decsions made by his predecessor, Biden removed the Muslim travel ban set in place by Trump in 2017. This allowed for travel from several Muslim majority countries to be allowed for the first time in four years.
Signed Juneteenth National Independence Day as a Federal Holiday- On June 17, 2021 President Biden signed into law the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act” which honors the date of the last slaves being notified of their freedom. This was the first legal public holiday signed into law since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983 by President Reagan.
Signed a Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill- President Biden signed a new legislation into law in November, that would disperse $1.2 trillion into America’s infrastructure such as bridges and roads. This bill was agreed on by both parties, with $550 billion of that going into American roads, bridges, waterways, and airports. This is the first part of Biden’s two part infrastructure plan that is known as “hard” infrastructure. With the second part consisting of a climate and economic package of $1.75 trillion called “Build Back Better” that has not been passed by the senate.
In late 2021, Russia placed around 70,000 troops on the border with its neighbor Ukraine. This number would rise to about 127,000 troops by mid January 2022. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are on the rise due to the border standoff.
The United States responded to Russia in regards to their massive troop buildup on the Ukrainian border, on Wednesday, January 6. As a method to deter Russia from invading Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. response “sets out a serious diplomatic path forward should Russia choose it.”
Reports from the Kremlin deny an attack on Ukraine, but blame NATO for expanding its influence in Ukraine posing a threat to the Russian Border. NATO, however, believes that Russia is in no place to invade Ukraine, and will face serious consequences and tough sanctions if they do.
The Escalation to the Ukrainian Crisis
The situation in Ukraine stems back to 2013, when Ukraine was working out a trade deal with the European Union (EU), but at the last minute suspended talks with the EU. This angered many Ukranians who were intent on having this deal with the EU, having them rise up in protest against this.
Why did Ukraine suspend the trade deal in 2013?
Ukraine’s then-President Victor Yanukovych was an avid supporter of Russia. Reports of pressure from Moscow against Yanukovych making a deal with the EU was the reason Ukraine suspended the talks.
Ukrainians revolted against the government in anger against the influence that Russia had in their government. Eventually, they overthrew the government and removed Yanukovych from office, in which he fled in exile to Russia. He was replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov as “acting” Ukrainian President to Russia’s dismay. Russia came out in 2014 saying that they do not regard Turchynov as the legitimate Ukrainian President. He was succeeded by Petro Poroshenko in 2014, who was succeeded by Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019.
As Yanukovych fled Kiev, Russia set its sights on the autonomous peninsula south of Ukraine, Crimea. In March 2014, Russia invaded and eventually annexed Crimea (who had high loyalties to Russia) within a matter of days. Believing that it was acting in the best interest of Crimea’s Russian speaking citizens, Russia’s referendum “certifying” the annexation was not recognized by NATO or Ukraine. NATO placed economic sanctions on Russia as a response.
Pro-Russian separatists declared their independence from Kyiv shortly after in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, prompting heavy fighting. This led to a cease fire agreement to be moderated by France and Germany in Minsk 2015. However, this ceasefire was violated numerous times until this day.
Why might Russia Possibly invade Ukraine?
Russia believes that Ukraine has broken the Minsk agreement and is stirring up tensions between the two countries. This was brought about as Ukraine has been receiving more support from NATO than it has in recent years. This is seen as a threat for Russian security as NATO support expands eastward.
This prompted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to demand agreements from NATO that would keep them from expanding eastward towards Russia. Putin believes that if NATO does not agree to these terms and continues expanding the way they have been these last few years, and that Moscow would have the “right to choose ways to ensure its legitimate security interests,” stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in December 2021.
Ukraine’s Reasons to be Prepared for a Russian Invasion
Ukraine believes that they have the right to join NATO if they want to and Russia can not prevent them from doing so.
Also, a recent coup plot was discovered to overthrow the current Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky which led many Ukranians believing that Russia is trying to undermine the Ukrainian Government and put in a pro-Russian President.
Finally, Ukraine believes that the recent energy crisis that is within Ukraine has been sparked by the Russians, leading the Ukrainian military to prepare for an invasion with NATO support. There may be possible sanctions to be placed on Russia, and numerous battlegroups in the eastern part of NATO’s reach and the Black Sea. As the U.S. has evacuated families of U.S. ambassadors out of Ukraine, they have placed 8,500 U.S. troops on “high alert.”
The world watches and waits to see what will happen next, as leaders discuss and negotiate the potential fate of Ukraine, trying to avoid the largest conflict in Europe since WWII.
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.
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.
Virginia and New Jersey’s Democratic Governors were up for reelection on November 2, 2021 after months of campaigning to gain support throughout their states. The results sent shockwaves through the political world as Republican candidates gained more support than expected.
Virginia’s incumbent candidate Terry McAuliffe was supported by President Biden before the election, while his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin, distanced himself from the support of former President Trump’s endorsement.
In New Jersey, incumbent Governor Phil Murphy squared off against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. As the night progressed, Ciattarelli would take the lead. However, as the vote continued to pour in, Phil Murphy would manage to squeeze out a victory. This makes Murphy the first Governor to be reelected in New Jersey history in 44 years.
The results of these Gubernatorial elections could provide insight into the type of election the country will see in the 2022 midterm elections. Also, it provided Republicans with momentum as the 2024 Presidential election looms over the nation. Democrats learned that they should not underestimate Republican votes in typically “Blue States” in future elections. So now the country looks forward as both sides prepare for critical elections in 2022 and 2024.
“I have been a teacher for six years here at John Glenn, I was also an AVID Tutor for 2 years.” Mrs. Braun has been a serving member of the district for 8 years.
What is your favorite part about John Glenn?
“I love the community on campus and the family feel from the students. My students go out of their way to make me feel appreciated as a teacher.”
What clubs and activities are you involved with on campus?
“I participate in the Cinema club!”
Did you always want to be a teacher?
“No way! When I was younger I did not want to be a teacher.” She realized in her 20’s that she really enjoys helping people. She expressed how, “It takes time to know who you are as a person, and to accept yourself.”
Favorite genre of music?
Mrs. Braun really enjoys 90s rock. Her favorite band is Weezer.
What do you do in your free time?
“If I am not playing with my kids, I love spearfishing, rock climbing, and rollerskating.” Mrs. Braun is a certified free diver who has the ability to hold her breath for 3 minutes and dive to 60 feet underwater. She is also a rescue certified scuba diver.
Favorite sports team?
She does not watch professional sports but she follows the Orange County Octopush Team, which is an underwater hockey team. She has played before and was quick to admit that it is a really difficult sport.
“My favorite movie is Labyrinth!” she said with excitement. One of her favorite things about the movie is that it had the singer David Bowie which she really enjoys.
Any advice that you would like to give the student body at Glenn?
“Find what motivates you in life, whether it is a hobby, sport or an idea! However, find something you love to do because doing it will bring you joy in life when things get tough.”
Anything else you would like the students to know about yourself?
“I have a lot of hidden talents, however if you do not ask me, I won’t end up sharing. I am more than just a teacher, so reach out if you ever see me!”
1. 1939 – WWII Begins in Europe: On September 1st, 1939, Adolf Hitler’s armies swept into Poland. Poland was also invaded by Russia at the same time. This would be the spark that would drag the French and the British into another war with Germany. This war in Europe would eventually turn into a global conflict. Most commonly known as “The Second World War.”
2. 2001 – 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: On the morning of September 11th, 2001 the lives of millions of people would be changed. Four American commercial planes were hijacked and turned into missiles against the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and possibly the U.S. Capitol. There were 2,996 deaths that day, and the country had to unite. Airport security would be strengthened as a result, and America would declare war on Afghanistan shortly thereafter, that would end up ending 20 years later.
3. 1862 – Battle of Antietam: On September 17th, 1862, the deadliest day in American military history would take place. The Confederate army, under general Robert E. Lee, met heavy resistance from Union forces under George B. McClellen. The fighting began at dawn and lasted throughout the day, and by the end of the first day 26,000 men were killed, missing, or injured.
4. 1960 – First-Ever Televised Presidential Debate: Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy squared off in the first televised Presidential debate in the election of 1960. This took place on September 26th, 1960. This new way of meeting the Presidential candidates allowed more people to turn out for the election. This debate also gained Kennedy support from people who did not know him, as he looked calm and collected, unlike Nixon.
5. 1955 – James Dean Dies: On September 30th, 1955 the 24-year-old movie star James Dean died in a car crash, abruptly ending his promising acting career. He was made famous with movies such as Giant and Rebel Without a Cause. Dean’s death was a tragedy as he made a vast influence on\ teenage lifestyle in the 1950s for numerous teens.
Edmund Shryock is a senior at John Glenn High School, in his second year at The Shoemaker Bugle. He is President of the California Scholarship Federation club, President of the Journalism club, and captain of the Boy’s Varsity Golf Team. Edmund loves to read and write about historical events and current political events. He plans on pursuing a career in political science/ law. This is his second year as a journalist for The Shoemaker Bugle and is now the Copy Editor and Political Correspondent. He wants to help make the Bugle “A fun and hardworking space for his fellow journalists!” Some of his top news sources are PBS, Vox, CNN, Fox News, and The Los Angeles Times.