By: Christian Bernal, Daniel Espinoza and Rigo Macias
The Corona Virus has affected people in many different ways. Many people have lost their jobs and are going through hardships as we speak, particularly students and teachers. It has affected us as students because there were a lot of difficulties learning how to cope online. Many students were not interested in learning anymore because they had all the distractions in front of them. For example when the students would log in online they would just log in and go back to sleep, or many people didn’t have the motivation to pay attention online. Not only did the students not have any motivation, many didn’t have the best environment for learning online while at home.
Additionally, the Corona Virus has affected everyone during in-person learning because so many of our students have had to miss school because of testing positive. This has led to students feeling as though they are being left behind because they’re not in school and are missing assignments which leads to failing the class and struggling to raise failing grades back up. Looking around campus back in January, it felt like a ghost town. One third of our campus was out on quarantine and the classrooms were noticeably empty. Things have started to level out since then, but it was definitely a rough start coming back from Winter Break. We have to keep going and hope for the best.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being back in school may be a difficult transition from distance learning, we wanted to know the opinions on how students feel about being back in school. A survey was given to students to see how they felt about the transition. They were asked if they had felt comfortable being back in school and the results were 57.6% of the students who took the survey said that they do feel comfortable to be back in school, 36.4% of the students say that they kinda feel comfortable to back in school and 6% of the students said that they do not feel comfortable at all.
We had felt that maybe students are having a tough transition being back in school, so we wanted to see if being back in school was more difficult than online learning. The majority of the students had said that being back in school is easier than online learning because they are able to receive better help through face to face assistance and not just through a computer. The rest of the students say that it is more difficult because since we go to a military school we have more responsibilities than a regular student would have, students say that it was easier and because it was not as stressful to be in online learning then in person learning.
Being in online learning did separate a lot of students from their friends because not being able to see each other. The students were asked how they felt about returning to school and seeing their friends. Majority of the students had said that they were excited to be reunited with their friends and to be able to talk face to face, 24.3% of the students said that they were on the fence about it, and 12.5% said that they weren’t excited at all to see their friends. Being on distance learning was very different from in person learning because the student didn’t have that face to face help that they can receive back in school. The students were asked which subject is the most difficult in person learning then from online learning. The majority of them responded that math was the hardest subject with the runner up being language arts. Students have a difficult time right now because they have to transition back into school and have to struggle with subjects that felt so different from online learning to in person learning.
Being back in school with masks, 55% of the students say that they don’t like wearing masks but they understand why they have to wear them. 32.5% of the students say that they like wearing masks in school. 12.6% of students say that they hate wearing masks in school. In addition to that, almost all of the students are saying that it’s easier being back to school than doing online learning because they don’t have to worry about wifi issues and sleeping, and about 82.4% say that they would rather be back in person compared to the 17.6% that they would rather be back in distance learning.
The pandemic affected a lot of people’s daily lives. One of the groups most affected by the pandemic were students, especially the ones after quarantine ended and returned to in person learning at school. Incoming freshmen have never experienced a high school environment, in addition to not being on a campus in nearly a year and a half.
We surveyed freshmen at Southeast Academy on why they wanted to attend and what their expectations were. Student responses varied from wanting more structure to improving themselves; some even expressed interest in military and /or law enforcement. We surveyed them on their thoughts and struggles coming into a high school environment and how COVID affected them. The responses that we received varied from grades dropping, not being with friends, or being with other family members. Surprisingly, 21.4% shared that COVID did not affect them at all.
When asked how they felt about attending school in person, some said that it felt good being in class and hanging out with friends and better than having a screen in front of their faces. About 64% of students say that they feel more productive without the distraction of phones, and many enjoy hanging out with their friends again. Students’ negative responses were that they felt weird, anxious, and stressed. Some even had a feeling of hating school.
This year is a unique one for our current freshmen. Having to come back to a school environment that is entirely new after being gone for more than a year is a challenge, but one they will surely overcome.
What does privilege mean to you? Southeast Academy has a lot of problems on the campus and it includes a lot of items that need to be remodeled and it doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. We have been given hand-me-downs while the district helps out other schools, allowing them to get new items every year. Where are the resources for SEA? Southeast Academy has not been remodeled, which it badly needs and students are also getting injured every year because of the numerous holes in the grass. John Glenn just got a new field and it made their campus look very impressive, while Southeast hasn’t gotten anything from the district. We need a new field because so many cadets have gotten injured and we don’t have a voice here because the district never listens and this needs to change. Student voices matter. The following are a few comments about this issue that were brave enough to speak up.
These are some of the questions asked of Cadets and their thoughts about our P.T. Field:
Do you feel safe running on the grass at P.T.?
Cadet Martin Gonzalez: “I don’t feel safe at all when I run on the field at P.T. and I’m constantly looking out for holes in the grass worried about rolling my ankle. This is not fair because John Glenn never has to worry about the issue.”
Do you have any likes or dislikes about P.T.?
Cadet Bernal: “I am very motivated to workout because the workouts are very intense and I learned through the challenging workouts how to push myself to my limit and not give up.”
Have you or someone you know at Southeast Academy gotten injured while running on the field at P.T.?
Cadet 2nd Class Bandera : “Yes. When we were running a mile for the PT test, Cadet Macia and I were running together. His ankle got stuck in a hole and he rolled it. Luckily everything was okay.”
How challenging are the workouts at P.T.?
Cadet Johnny Quezada: “PT has been really challenging but it is getting easy day by day for me and I want to get in shape.”
Do you have any solutions to fix the problems at Southeast?
Anonymous: “Funding from the district so we can make our school look very appealing.”
Should we be required to work out in the P.T. field?
Anonymous: “If safe, yes. I’m just a little frustrated that cadets at Southeast Academy keep on rolling their ankles constantly and I just want to stop worrying about it and hopefully the district comes up with a solution soon. “
We are not asking for a lot, just what we know that we deserve. Students shouldn’t have to worry about possible injuries they could sustain while exercising. Southeast students have enough on their plates as it is. We need this problem addressed. It’s the right thing to do.
The tragedies were massive. 2,996 people died and over 6,000 were injured after the tragedy that ensued the morning of September 11, 2001. Two aircrafts struck the Twin Towers in New York City and one struck the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The final plane also known as flight 93 landed in a field in Pennsylvania after attempting to crash into the White House. 19 Al-Qaeda members were the hijackers of the four different aircrafts, the most notorious of them being Osama bin Laden. This has been America’s most tragic event so far (the day of September 11, 2001). It affected Americans daily lives severely in many different ways.
Every year Southeast Academy High School has a ceremony to remember all of the lives that were lost on that tragic morning. This ceremony consists of emergency responders, Norwalk city council, and the cadets of Southeast Academy. The ceremony also includes the flag folding team, and a 30×20 foot flag held up by two cranes. Many cadets take pride in partaking in the ceremony, and some cadets come around 5:30 to help set up for the ceremony.
There was a massive change to our ceremony this year because of COVID-19 health and safety measures that were in place. Usually there are fire fighters, police officers, and emergency responders who attend the ceremony. Another aspect that was missing from previous years was the presence of John Glenn’s band and color guard. The changes made to this year’s ceremony resulted in a much shorter memorial, but not in any way less important.
Mayor Perez, a guest speaker at the ceremony this year, helped cadets understand the value of the ceremony a little more. When cadets know that the mayor will come, it symbolizes that the ceremony is something important- so important that even the mayor attends. She has spent most of her life in Norwalk and decided to run for mayor, since she believes that it is important to have someone who will put everyone’s perspective into practice and tries to figure out the best situation for all of Norwalk’s residents. She considers what is best for everyone using programs to help the community grow stronger.
After the ceremony, everyone goes back to class with the thought of all who lost their lives that day. Many of our guests paid tributes to our fallen heroes. This tragedy forever changed Americans’ daily lives. After this event all Americans were traumatized for a while, but we stood as one nation, and 20 years later, we still do.
By: Diego Avalos, Jacob Quintana & Itzmali Vasquez
Around fall there is a holiday most of the kids are happy to celebrate. The holiday is Halloween where kids can express themselves through the costumes they wear. Whether the costume is scary, funny, or creative, people always find a way to enjoy and have fun on Halloween night. We asked freshman and senior cadets about what they did for Halloween.
About 80% of the freshman and senior cadets celebrate Halloween. One of the many activities people partake in and is very common amongst the younger generations–trick or treating. 54.9% of the cadets plan on trick or treating this year. Out of all of the cadets’ favorite candies, the Hershey’s Bars were favored above the rest. Aside from eating delicious candy, Halloween is also a great way to spend time with family and have fun.
Another fun thing to do during the Halloween season is going to theme parks to experience frightening mazes or just generally get the thrill from the park actors. Out of all of the amusement parks, Knott’s Scary Farm got the majority vote as the most visited amusement park during the Halloween season. Although the prices are high and guests deal with the long lines of an amusement park, people still visit these attractions seeking the thrilling blood rush of being chased around by scary actors.
Overall, Halloween is a great time of year to go out and experience all the different activities that there are to enjoy. So this Halloween, whether you trick or treat, go to an amusement park, or just simply stay home and binge watch scary movies or shows. Whatever you do, though, make sure to stay safe.