Monthly Archives: February 2019

Basketball program builds up Summit Shasta school spirit

By Jenny Hu, Brian Bodestyne and Darren Macario

Staff Writers

Sports are an important part of the high school experience. The basketball program is particularly influential in the Summit Shasta school community. How do student basketball players contribute to the Shasta community?

According to Shasta freshman Allison Blair, sports help contribute to the Shasta community by helping bring different grade levels together. Blair explains that since “you can play on varsity as a freshman, it helps bring the community closer.”

As a prominent member of the girls basketball team, Blair inputs that “for the girls, they are actually developing it into a good program, which is great for Shasta because we’re not really known for our sports.”


Shasta freshman Sam Zhang PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Bodestyne

Sam Zhang, a freshman player, states that the support that classmates bring to the games helps bring the community closer. “On average, [up to] 50 people come to our games at Shasta. […] Basketball is very important to this school because it helps build leadership, […] new connections, and show how teamwork is important in life.”

Shasta freshman Lucas Velasco, a varsity player, says that around 50 to 100 fans can show up to each basketball game. Velasco agrees that playing basketball has helped him become more close with friends.

Students have multiple chances to attend the weekly basketball games, with nearly 50 percent of students (out of 34 responses) in a recent sports survey sent out to Summit Shasta students saying that they attend the games at least once per month. In the same survey, around 75 percent of respondents stated that they are interested in or are already playing sports at this school.


Many players state that sports have helped them establish bonds with friends and teammates. These players also cite sports as a source of school spirit. But what is the staff opinion of the Shasta basketball program?

Adelaide Giornelli, Shasta dean of instruction and culture, affirms that the boys and girls basketball teams at Shasta have a diverse set of grade levels that participate in the popular sport. “I think it’s really fun, and [I] look forward towards going to the games. The coaches do a really good job of making sure that the student athletes take themselves seriously “as both of those things.”


Dean of Instruction and Culture Adelaide Giornelli PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Hu

Ms. Giornelli later commented that she thinks that “there’s more we can do to make sure that the fans are building community [such as] taking time out of your day to support someone you know.”

In the aforementioned sports survey, many people seemed to feel that Summit Shasta generally does not seem to focus on sports or support the athletes. They say the school has not provided sufficient support to teams.

An anonymous surveyee mentioned that they noticed that teams do not have buses, which makes being an athlete hard: “Last year, soccer was so difficult because transportation was poor.”

Although sports might not be the main focus of Summit Shasta, the basketball program is still a very important part of the school culture. The athletes can overcome obstacles and can still have a good time.

See below for a video featuring the Shasta basketball players:

Shasta Dungeons and Dragons Club provides a unique experience

By Albert Chang-Yoo and Zachary Navarra

Staff Writers

Imagine fighting off a monstrous dragon with your flaming battle axe. Your best friend and a total stranger stand by you, weapons in hand ready for their last stand. With the role of the dice, the battle begins.

Dungeons and Dragons, commonly referred to as D&D, is a relatively new club to Summit Shasta. The D&D club was founded last school year by current sophomores Joe Hernandez, Archer Prochazka and Aaron Susantin.

The club itself meets every Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Shasta’s E building. In its second year, the club boasts a relatively large 41 student members. New members are welcome any time. You can contact Hernandez when the club meets or at the following email address:

D&D is a tabletop game that consists of the player characters and the Dungeon Master. The player character is the human-controlled in-game character. Player characters are created using specialized books, the roll of dice and one’s imagination.

Shasta junior Michael Maccallum acts as a Dungeon Master. According to Maccallum, the role of the dungeon master is to “manage all interactions that are not between characters, the setting of the campaign and the story. The DM acts for the world and the player character’s surroundings.”

If a Dungeon Master does his job right, he should create an environment of organized chaos. The nature of the game itself is to be fun and not constricting. This environment allows the players to decide their own fate.

As the leader of his group, Maccallum has been able to see the unique connections that the game provides. He said, “In a sense it has definitely helped build bonds that wouldn’t have been created otherwise. The game pushes people into an environment where they have to go out of their comfort zone to communicate with people they normally would not talk to.”

However, not all students feel this way. While the club boasts a relatively large 41 members, only five of these members are female students. Shasta freshman Evelyn Archibald is one of these five students. “In my time there I was in a small group; it was a little awkward. In general, I feel like D&D is male-dominated. I have felt lonely; being the only girl in my group can feel isolating in a way,” Archibald said. “I don’t think it is the club itself; I just think it is how society has put stereotypes on D&D.”

A commonly held belief is that D&D is a game played by a bunch of nerdy boys in someone’s basement. Another common stereotype is that girls can’t play D&D, and it is only for guys.

Hernandez believes that “stereotypes do have a large role to play in why female students might feel more uncomfortable. I think these stereotypes help decide who actually joins the club. The reason for the large gap is because very few of their friends join.” Hernandez added that “anyone is welcome” and that he hopes to create an environment that is inclusive to all students.

The D&D Club at Summit Shasta provides a unique experience for students to come together in a creative unconstricted setting. It encourages teamwork and imaginative thinking that leads to a fun time. In the words of Hernandez: “D&D is a place where friends and strangers alike can come together to die trying to feed a dragon a hot pocket.”

Shasta Art Expeditions impacts the lives of students

By Kalysta Frost and Sophia Woehl

Staff Writers

Here at Summit Public Schools: Shasta, the Intermediate Visual Arts and the Intro to Visual Arts teacher is Meridith Burchiel, and the Intro to Video Production teacher is Vincent Nelson. In these classes, students work on making videos, scripts, drawings, paintings and being creative.

Summit Public Schools has six different art and design Expeditions this year, and students are required to take at least one in their four years at a Summit school. Many students who take art and design classes find themselves enjoying the projects, the teachers and the ability to express themselves.

During this round, students in the Intro to Video Production class are making public service announcements related to sexual health. In Intermediate Visual Arts, students are creating their own logo and learning how to print them onto tote bags. In Intro to Visual Arts, students are making portable murals and learning about street art.

Some students have experience before taking their art classes and take these Expeditions to improve their skills, like Shasta sophomore Alexa Huaman.

Huaman said, “I’ve been interested in art ever since I was really little.”

Some students take these classes with no prior experience, but they learn how anyone can produce something inspiring. Kathryn Currier-Herzallah is a Shasta junior and an Intermediate Visual Arts student who gained a greater understanding of what she was capable of after taking an art Expedition.

Art has always been something I’ve been interested in, but I didn’t always feel like like I was super good at it,” Currier-Herzallah said.

Learning and creating art also impacts the everyday lives of students, sometimes in a big way. Students have become more confident in their art skills and in themselves.

Shasta sophomore Travis Hamilton, in the Intermediate Visual Arts class, said creating and learning about art has made my life more fun.”

The art teachers also want students to take away important lessons about art and more.

Mr. Nelson said, “So, at the end of the day, what I want them to take away is the tools that they need to get a job in the real world, and hopefully have fun too.”

Ms. Burchiel also had something to say about what students learn in her class: “I want students to take away from my class knowing that they can make anything if they want to make it, and I want them to take away the feeling of having found something that really speaks to them.”

Students’ attitudes can also change when they are creating something unique. They can become more calm, focused and happy.

Aiden Regodon is a Shasta freshman taking Intro to Video Production. He said taking this class “makes me feel like I’m the best photographer in my family” and “it just inspires me to keep going in doing that Expedition.”

These classes change students, and the teachers really make an impact; after taking these classes, some students have also considered a career in the arts.

Huaman said, “In middle school, I considered being a graphic designer, like making video games and 3D models and stuff like that. In high school, I was thinking about doing animation.”

Ethan Pang, a Shasta sophomore in Intermediate Visual Arts, said, “I think that I could see myself being like a graphic designer or an illustrator.”

See below for a look at the art Expeditions at Shasta:

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