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Rocklin High, CA 95765

flash volume 17. issue 02. January 2009


The Flash

“People receive little recognition for all they do.”


we book ourselves to sleep What you need to know about the 2009 yearbook: • We have a few senior ad slots left, contact us at 643-7498 ASAP • Prices are set at $70, you can order online at • RHS yearbook is in the Hall of Fame- you know anyone else who can say that? • We want you to own a book. It’s all about RHS students

All information on the RHS website under yearbook, or e-mail


the anatomy “The unrecognized people of Rocklin High School.”


anatomy of

They are the unheard voices. They are the unrecognized. They are the underestimated. They are the secret talent, the determined, the intelligent, and the unknown passion of Rocklin High. Each of these admirable individuals are unveiled in this issue of The Flash. There are stories of their hard work and dedication to everything from competitive diving to French cooking. A melody of music tells of an RHS senior battling Aspergers disease through the power of music. Rocklin’s little Mozart is a story of a sophomore music prodigy. Thunder babies share their experiences growing up with Rocklin High teachers as parents and a freshman whiz describes his life as a genius. Teachers such as Mr. Craig Waechtler competed in a softball team called the Thunder Cats. Also, Ms. Pilar Padilla began the Impact a Village club to recruit students to help the Lost Boys of Sudan. Each and every underestimated individual comes together to build the anatomy of Rocklin High.

Editorial Board:

Mallory Valenzuela, Co-Editor-in-Chief Alexis Coopersmith, Co-Editor-in-Chief Amber Diller, Co-Editor-in-Chief Lauren Bloemker, Co-Web Editor Shannon Stowers, Co-Web Editor Michelle Ahronovitz, Copy Editor Megan Taaffe, Ad Director Casey Nichols, Adviser Cover Design by Sami Wittwer

Staff Writers:

Justin Brooks, Amanda Calzada, Megan Cardona, Paige Chandler, Cassie Clauser, Victoria Clark, Cheryl Ford, Julie Griesmer, Ashley Linnane, Kailee Loughlin, Wesley McNair, Rebecca Nitz, Karin Oxenham, Hayley Richards, Kate Rose, Lauren Rygh, Heather Smith, Kelsey Smith, Christian Soares, Ashley Sorci, Lauren Sotir, and Tanya Sukkari. The Flash is a public forum produced by students for students in an attempt to inform and entertain its audience. Journalism students have the final authority for any content found in this publication. The Flash Staff encourages letters regarding content to constitute a constructive avenue for student opinion. Letters should be directed to the newspaper’s email,

January 2009

Mr. Richard Morris

Rocklin High

The entire student body gathers in the amphitheatre.

5: 7: 9: 11: 13: 15: 17: 19: 21: 23: 25: 27:

Rocklin’s little Mozart “I play the alto, baritone, soprano, and tenor saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, piano, and bass guitar.”

Emily Shields “Her performance was exceptional this year during the varsity golf season.”

Raised on the Thunder “For my 5th grade birthday party, instead of using a regular bat to break open the pinata, we used a thunder stick.”

Academic whiz-kid “You are facing the absolute top students in the state, sometimes in the nation.”

Far from home “Students all over the world can live amongst other cultures.”

The ASB geeks “The Spirit Committee is possibly the most recognizable apart from the class officers, especially during spirit weeks.“

Cooking up a future “Being a chef is way different than cooking for your family or friends.”

Diving into college “Runsten’s natural talent has launched into a rare opportunity, the chance to attend Stanford University, all expenses paid.”

Get back on the horse “I’ve always loved horses, ever since I was little. I’ve been riding for seven years now.”

No pain, no gain “Mr. Waechtler was one of our best and most intense players.”

Impact a village “Jongkuch was among the 26,000 young boys who escaped and walked all the way to Kenya.”

A scout’s honor “I can’t see anyone I know in that little uniform roasting s’mores and learning how to tie knots in the wilderness.”


The Flash

“Not accepting people with disabilities is basically another form of racism. She’s smart enough to know she’s different.”

A melody of medicine

Senior Delaney Phillips overcomes ASpergers with music Looking beyond a disability or a distraction can sometimes be impossible, but if achieved, the result is beautiful and a hidden treasure is released. Delaney Phillips, a senior at Rocklin High School, has an indescribable love for music. She started playing piano at a young age, and has continued to perfect her skills through piano lab and choir classes. Her ability to play and read notes is at a very high level. What students may not know about Phillips is that she suffers from a concrete form of Autism, known as Aspergers. It impairs social skills and confuses her between what’s right and what’s wrong. However, for teens, that’s not an unusual challenge. Overcoming this disability is a constant fight, but Phillips channels it in her own way. “Some people learn visually, or by reading. Delaney is a musical learner. Music helps her to overcome her disabilities.” Mr. Scott Shier said. Choir has been an excellent way to control her struggle. It is an environment full of musicians, who work hard to get each note right and a place where she can contribute. She started out in Concert Choir her sophomore year, and for the past two years, has been in Advanced Women’s Ensemble. She also participates in the winter and spring concerts annually.

Ms. Meredith Hawkins, her choir teacher, describes Phillips as “a very talented pianist”. Phillips’ peers often fail to look at her with acceptance, but her amazing characteristics deserve a second look. As teenagers, we are automatically pushed to face challenges everyday. Her challenges are only multiplied. “She has a beautiful singing voice and helps out tremendously with her piano playing abilities. She really is a sweet girl,” Chanel Anderson said. With music as a tool to cope, Phillips graces her brilliant mind to the piano as girls walk into the choir classroom. She not only plays, but composes her own pieces. “She is a very accomplished musician,” Shier said. Allowing acceptance for Phillips requires a great deal of patience. In reality, everyone is different. Whether it is in race, sexuality, or having a disability. The intelligence she portrays is extremely impressive. “Not accepting people with disabilities is basically another form of racism. She’s smart enough to know she’s different,” Shier said. Singing and being able to play the piano is the closest thing to a cure for her. She is unstoppable, and “she works very hard to meet her eligibility”. -By Lauren Rygh, Staff Writer

the pianist

Males are four times more likely to have autism than females Behaviors related to autism are usually present before the age of three

There is no single for autism


1.5 million Americans today

are believed to have some form of autism Information from


This portrait of Delaney was painted by her mother, Katrina Ernst. There is a bee on her head to symbolize the constant buzzing going on in her mind.

the musical prodigy

“I play the alto, baritone, soprano, and tenor saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, piano, and bass guitar.”

Rocklin’s little Mozart Sophomore Jake Asaro steals the spotlight Take 1

Take22 Take

Asaro performs at the Sierra College Honor Band

“OMG!!! I love him!!! He’s my favorite person EVER.” Girls squeal with delight when they hear his name. To those who know him for his music, he stands out for his rare talent. Sophomore Jake Asaro only smiles and says, “You don’t want to write a story about me….” He chuckles to himself and squirms in his chair. “I don’t even have any words to explain why I love music so much.” Asaro’s musical infatuation reflects his intensive involvement in the music programs both on and off campus. His talent has reciprocated into a regular salary when he performs for plays at Finn Hall. “I play the alto, baritone, soprano, and tenor saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, piano, and bass guitar,” said Asaro. “I’m also in Chamber Choir, and I’ve been a paid musician since the 7th grade.” He began his musical career with the piano in the second grade and discovered wind instruments three years later. However, his complete devotion to music separates him from the rest. Teachers praise him for his consistency for days on end. He has been designated as the first chair for the alto saxophone since his freshman year. “He’s an amazing musician,” said Mr. David Dick, January 2009

Asaro’s band teacher. “It comes naturally to him.” Outside of the musical realm, Asaro plays select soccer and golf. He exudes brilliance in his classes, and he motivates himself based on his pure passion for living. “I do what I do because I love life,” said Asaro. “I love it! I love my life!” He considers senior Becka Nitz his hero. Nitz, also regarded as a musical standout, plays sixteen instruments. “She’s an amazing musician,” said Asaro. “She doesn’t even have to try.” Nitz thinks of Asaro in the same way. “I’ve never seen someone pick up as many instruments as he has,” said Nitz. “One day in band he’ll be playing the bass clarinet, and then he’ll transition to the flute with ease.” His future holds a career in music and he describes his plans without hesitation. He knows what he needs to do to in order to accomplish his aspirations and will do so with the proper rationale. “I hope to become a music professor in college,” said Asaro. “I want to enjoy my job and instead of doing something for the money.” Wise beyond his years, Asaro deserves the all the success he has been granted with. -By Mallory Valenzuela, Editor-in-Chief


The Flash

“Sarah Fung walks on campus everyday, hearing aids in, with a positive attitude, ready to live each day to the fullest.”

Battling with her hearing loss

Sarah Fung finds the will to conquer

Her whole life she has been misinterpreting what people say to her, missing half of the sounds that surround her each day. She has always felt like she was living her life a few steps behind everyone else, but has come to realize thinking that way will only make it true. Sarah Fung walks on campus every day, hearing aids in, with a positive attitude, ready to live each day to the fullest. She is not deaf, but hard of hearing, which leaves her unable to hear certain frequencies and often times she misses a lot of what is said and goes on around her. It is said that Fung’s hearing loss is in result of her being sick as a newborn infant. Because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck in the womb (also known as nuchal cord), she became very ill, including a high fever which is known to cause lifelong hearing loss. For three years, she has taken American Sign Language classes at Sierra College as her foreign language for Rocklin High School’s graduation requirements. This coming summer, she plans to continue taking the class after she graduates this year. Because she is an audio learner and cannot process certain information as well as other students with visual and hands-on activities, being hard of hearing makes learning very difficult. As a result, Fung has been placed in Special Education or basic learning classes throughout her entire educational career. “It’s hard to hear my teachers sometimes, so I usually sit in the front of my classes to hear better and read their lips,” Fung said. Lip reading is something she has done her entire life, which helps her understand what people say if she knows what she was hearing was wrong. For her first three years of high school, Fung played on the Rocklin High water polo team, and has been swimming competitively for 11 years. But because her hearing aids are not water-proof, her time spent in the pool, especially with water polo has been greatly affected. “My coaches and teammates would get upset with me all the time because I couldn’t hear instructions, or my name being called while we were playing.” Fung said. Often times in swim meets, she would miss her races because she would not hear the announcements. Having a normal conversation with someone can be difficult for her because she cannot hear all of what is said sometimes and can really miss a majority of the conversation.


“My friends can get really frustrated with me sometimes, because they’ll be talking about something right in front of me, and I have no idea what they just said,” Fung said. When wearing her hair back, showing her ears can sometimes leave her feeling uncomfortable, knowing people can see her hearing aids. She is sometimes afraid of what people will think of her when they see them, but realizes that it is better for others to know and understand why she can’t hear them sometimes. -By Kailee Loughlin, Staff Writer

the challenge

Senior Sarah Fung

Hearing loss 23.3 million

Americans have hearing loss

1.3 million

are 18 years old or younger

1 out of 5 people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them Statistics from


the athlete

performance was exceptional this year during the varsity golf season.”

Emily Shields

Devoted athlete and student

She has played three sports all through high school. Shields never stops moving and plays for success. She is involved in golf, basketball, and track and is a college-bound student, currently taking AP Statistics. In the fall, she played for the varsity girls golf team and plans on playing varsity basketball and track. Last year, Shields was one of three on the basketball team who received a 4.0 during the season, and the team came out with a 12-14 game record. Her older sister, Alison, also played for Rocklin varsity girls basketball and in 2002, she made school records for most assists in for a game, season, and career, so that partly influenced her to play basketball. “I started playing basketball in the 4th grade. My dad has been the basketball coach for a long time and since the 4th grade, I have been on a team with most of the same people,” Emily Shields said. “She is one of the best players out there and she can always read my mind where I am going to go [for the ball],” Sasha Brown said. 4 years varsity basketball In addition, her performance was exceptional this year during the varsity golf season and she scored under 50 on all of her matches in league. All year long, she is busy with long practices after school for each varsity team. Practices are usually a couple hours and from Monday through Friday, unless there is a game or meet scheduled, so she usually has a tight schedule. “I miss my classes a lot for sports and I always have to catch up on homework and make sure I don’t get behind.” Along with sports, she is currently in the Photo Club and is involved with her church. “Outside of school, I also help out with my youth group and I organize the events that we do.” Even though she has a busy schedule throughout the year from the sports she plays, it makes it much easier to balance her activities being a senior, because she only has six classes and has more time after school. Not only does she enjoy all of her activities, but they serve as a major benefit when applying to colleges. She has applied to BYU (Idaho), a church school, and looks forward to her future in college. The wide variety of activities she takes part in will give her important skills that will be January 2009

useful for college and careers in the future. “I really hope I will get into BYU, because both my parents and my older sisters attended, but I still have to do a lot of interviews,” Shields said. Shields is especially dedicated to being an athlete and is making the most of the time she has at Rocklin High. Not only is high school a major part of her life, but the activities she is involved in now will be a huge benefit to her and will give her a variety of opportunities for the future. 4 years varsity golf -By Lauren Sotir, Staff Writer

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The Flash

“[He] is responsive and cares a lot about doing what he is assigned as perfectly as possible.”

“Mighty” Miles

Shining the light on ASB’s Tech God

Rallies and spirit weeks without music wouldn’t be rallies or spirit weeks at all. All we would have would be Mr. Thompson running backwards in circles yelling at the top of his lungs for a half hour at lunch for five days straight. This would be the reality without Miles Smith, the newest tech recruit of ASB. “One day Thompson said ‘Hey, you should think about student government’ and I said ‘Okay,’” said Smith of his formal invite into the ASB universe from his “Tech God” standing in theater. Miles and his mentor, 2008 RHS graduate Robbie Wanamaker, were both recruited from the Tech Theater. Entering into the student government program towards the end of last year was an interesting experience for Miles. “My first week here was during Sadies spirit week of last year and it was pretty busy and fast and I was trying to absorb everything that I had to learn in that short amount of time.” However, since Miles already knew a good portion of the members, the transition was simple. “Yeah, I’ve known Miles for years and we’re pretty good friends, so of course I like having him in the class now,” said Jacob Moore, an Assistant Commissioner in the Special Programs committee. The tech position isn’t just about picking and choosing rally songs for a CD. Making sure everything is set up decently and will run smoothly without a hitch is all part of his job description. Luckily, because of all of his experience, there is rarely a problem. There was, however, one instance where there was a minor default during the homecoming football game at halftime when the CD skipped during the sophomores float skit, “…but that is the kind of thing I have to look out for and prevent or fix during a high energy situation where plans may change and things may go wrong.” Mr. Mark Douglas, the junior class supervisor, also in charge of overseeing activities as a whole, says Miles is, “…responsive, and cares a lot about doing what he is assigned as perfectly as possible. He pays attention when someone is speaking to him or directing him, and to the performers’ needs when it comes to their performance’s music sequence and does his best to get what they need.” Miles is always known for going beyond his duties. “Miles Smith is one of the hardest workers in ASB, he is constantly working on something, and if he has nothing to do for his job, you can find him helping someone else,”


says Jennifer McDevitt, two-year member of ASB. And even when nobody has anything for him to help with, he’s keeping busy. In the meantime between spirit weeks and rallies, Smith is prepping the music sequence for upcoming events. Mr. John Thompson, Activities Director, describes Smith as someone who “…continues to prove himself to be an exceptionally dependable young man who is a viable asset to the student body.” Going above and beyond has become what Miles is known for and he deserves a lot of recognition for his efforts. -By Paige Chandler, Staff Writer

The Tech God

Photo By Paige

“[He’s] an exceptionally dependable young man who is a visible asset to the student body.”

Photo By paige Chandler

The Thunder Babies

“For my 5th grade birthday party, instead of using a regular bat to break open the piñata, we used a thunder stick.”

Raised on the Thunder

Three Freshmen boys are now “coming home”

They’ve spent their life on the Rocklin High School campus. The map of the school is imprinted in their mind, And even though they all have parents who are faculty instead of crumpled up on a paper in their hand. Instead members at Rocklin, none of the boys seem to notice of looking around anxiously, trying to navigate Rocklin, or mind. However, Arino said “It was a little weird at first they walk through campus with their heads high, filled to because everyone on the faculty knows who I am and then the brim with Thunder spirit. On their first day of freshmen most of the campus knows her.” Both Arino and Toepke year, Kyle Toepke, Philippe Arino, and Zach Douglas, the have their moms on campus, and Douglas has both of his parents on the Rocklin campus. But Douglas seems Thunder Babies, were merely coming home. They became known as the “Thunder Babies” because unfazed by it. He said “Even though I am the only one their parents were among the original staff at Rocklin High with both my parents on campus, it doesn’t feel weird or anything.” School. So in essence, A big part of the RHS these three boys have experience includes the grown up with the Rocklin countless clubs that RHS Thunder. In fact, Rocklin has to offer. All three of the High School was born boys were waiting for their in the same year – 1994. freshman year to join two Since their parents were specific clubs. As Toepke staff members, they’ve said, “Ping Pong for sure!” been attending football Douglas and Arino both games, rallies, and other agreed adding the Rowdy Rocklin events since Rooters to their lists. birth. Arino remembers when Philippe Arino he first really wanted to join remembers coming to Rowdy Rooters. Rocklin’s renowned spirit “I remember seeing rallies in 3rd grade with Taylor Hedbald (Mrs. Hayes’ Son), Toepke, Douglas, and Arino them at football games and Toepke and Douglas and “it was totally huge and loud, it seemed a lot bigger then.” how much spirit and fun they were having. That’s why I Also, football games were a frequent activity for the Thunder really wanted to be a part of it,” he said. Since all three of them wanted to join the same clubs, it Babies since “our parents were staff, so we always got to is clear that that is only one of many things the boys have sit behind the field goal and play football there.” In fact, not only were they behind the scenes of games, in common after growing up together after all these years. but sometimes they got right in the middle of the action. The three boys have been friends since birth and going to When Douglas was three years old, he remembers running school together since pre-school. So starting high school into the middle of the mat at a wrestling match, almost wasn’t much different. “It wasn’t hard at all. I already knew where all the knocking down a wrestler in the process. Yet the part of growing up with the Thunder that probably classrooms were and I knew most of the teachers,” Toepke permeated the three boys the deepest is pure Rocklin said. Students leave with some sense of school spirit after just Thunder spirit. Both Arino and Douglas are members in Student Government, an activity Arino wanted to join four years. Kyle Toepke, Philippe Arino, and Zach Douglas before even attending RHS because his mother is actively have had 14 years of high school spirit exposure. When they look back to Rocklin High School, they will not just involved in student government. Douglas recalls one particular event that screamed be reminded of the four years they spent at school here, Thunder pride. He said, “For my 5th grade birthday party, but their childhood and their entire adolescence. For them, instead of using a regular bat to break open the piñata, Rocklin Thunder has been there through it all and it’s not we used a thunder stick. My dad has it in his office.” Not going anywhere anytime soon. -By Michelle Ahronovitz, Copy Editor to mention that “I have so much Rocklin stuff in my house, it’s ridiculous.” January 2009


The Flash

“It’s fun fighting with Mr. Kirk, especially when I get the chance to prove him wrong.”

the math genius

Freshman Jeffery Seyfried takes two senior classes Seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. Upperclassmen and underclassmen. A freshman being thrown into a trash can by a senior may be a myth at Rocklin High School, but there is a fine line between owning the school and those who like to think they own the school.

Jeffery Seyfried is a unique exception to the high school chain of command. Being a freshman in a senior class is like diving into a pool full of sharks. Seyfried is immersing himself into two of these pools, seeing how he is in two senior classes. “It’s not that weird - until people find out I’m a freshman. Then I have to tell the whole story and people just look at me like I’m crazy,” Seyfried said. He is taking AP Statistics and AP Calculus AB this year. But this isn’t his first time being in a class full of people three years older than him. In 5th grade, his teacher decided that Seyfried was going to be bored in regular 6th grade math. It was then that the decision was made that he was never going to be in math for his grade level again. During 6th grade, Seyfried’s teacher gave him a series of algebra problems instead of the regular curriculum for that year. He was off to the side doing his own thing during math. “At the end of the year, my teacher gave me an algebra


test and I tested out of Algebra I,” said Seyfried, “since then, I’ve always been in an advanced math class.” This was the beginning of Seyfried’s experience with an older crowd. Since then, he has adapted to being thrown into the midst of students three years older than him. “After this year, everything is going to change again. I will probably be taking some math classes at Sierra College, which will be a whole other world for me,” Seyfried said. Being a ‘math genius’ isn’t difficult for just Seyfried. “Having him is a challenge, but it keeps me on my toes. He questions just about everything I do, and I always have to make sure I know what I’m talking about,” said Mr. John Kirk, Seyfried’s AP Statistics teacher. “It’s fun fighting with Mr. Kirk, especially when I get the chance to prove him wrong,” Seyfried said. The students that have a class with Seyfried find it entertaining when he fights with his teachers. “We all just stare and laugh when Jeffery starts to fight with Mr. Kirk. It’s really funny because they both get so worked up about it thinking they are right. The best part is when Jeffery proves Kirk wrong,” said Brandon Odion. -By Amber Diller, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Freshman Jeffery Seyfried

the competitor

“You are facing the absolute top students in state, sometimes in the nation.”

Academic whiz-kid

Junior Shawn Kim competes with skill

When people think of school competition, football or basketball is usually what comes to mind, but there are a plethora of academically centered competitions in which many students go head-to-head with rival schools. Shawn Kim embodies this type of student. Shawn is a member of Academic Decathlon, Speech and Debate, Mock Trial and Math League and competes for Rocklin High School using his academic prowess. He competes head-on with students from rival schools, trying to defeat them using words and logic rather than strength and speed. Shawn Kim is a junior who has attended Rocklin since the beginning of his sophomore year. He puts a lot of effort into his schoolwork and his extracurricular activities in the hopes of one day being accepted into Stanford University. School, along with all of his competitions, take up a lot of time. He goes to these competitions both because he enjoys them, and because colleges seem to love them. The competitions themselves require you to use knowledge, skill, logic, or just math, to outdo and outmaneuver the opposing schools. For instance, in a debate tournament, you are literally having a conversation with the opposition, trying to shoot down their argument either by giving a better one or just finding a reason to make theirs irrelevant. “You are literally in a fight, trying to outmaneuver them and blast away every one of their arguments” said Kim. In Mock Trial, participants are assigned roles, whether it be lawyer, defendant, plaintiff, juror, or any other position, and then go through all the processes of an actual trial. Each school prepares a defense and a prosecution argument and then goes up against the other schools, trying to win the case. Academic Decathlon is literally a competition involving academic knowledge. Students compete against each other by answering questions about math, science, language, and other subjects. “Acadec (academic decathlon) is interesting, you take tests, write essays, and give speeches, all at a tournament at some school campus. It’s basically a giant tournament, you study for beforehand and then hope you know everything that you need to know” said Kim. Math League is similar to academic decathlon in that participants compete with opposing schools by answering school related questions. The only difference is that Math League questions focus solely on math. These questions January 2009

are actually not overly complicated, there is no calculus and usually very little algebra, the focus is on logic and thinking the problem through. Math League helps to develop critical thinking skills. You are required to focus on a problem and work through it step by step, much like problems in real life. “All of these competitions really help to develop real-life skills, you get a lot of experience Shawn Kim speaking publicly or answering questions that someone might ask you in dayto-day activities” said Kim. “They are also great for college, these activities show that you are proactive and colleges absolutely adore you for having been in them.” It also takes a lot of hard work to succeed in these competitions. For instance, at Speech tournaments, you are required to memorize a ten minute speech and then recite it to an audience from memory, using any notes will automatically put you in last place. “These things are really hard! You are facing the absolute top students in the state, sometimes in the nation, and if you are not working constantly, then you will be crushed” said Kim. Even working hard does not necessarily mean that you will do well or place high. “You have to add emotion and passion, you have to pull the audience in and make them believe you, if they don’t like you, then you’re not going to do well, period” said Kim. Even with such a rigorous schedule, Shawn and other students at these events take a light-hearted approach to the process. “The competitions are actually fairly laid back. There is a lot of socialization. While it’s true that you are trying to defeat your opponents in the actual competition, you remain friendly at all times. Everyone is trying to do the same thing, and we all have a lot in common” said Kim. -By Justin Brooks, Staff Writer


The Flash

“‘I have to have someone take me to the bathroom and help me eat because I can’t eat by myself.’”

A smile through it all

Vic Munger finds his way through cerebral palsy the positive thinker

Though everything in life is a challenge for him, his smile never fades. On October 27, 1991 Vic Munger was born with cerebral palsy. He began living in Rocklin at age three when his adoptive mother took him under her care. He now lives with her, along with two foster brothers. He is 17 years old and a junior at Rocklin High. “I have to have someone take me to the bathroom and help me eat because I can’t eat by myself. It is hard communicating with people. I need someone to help me get in the shower,” said Munger. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a type of neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. Although CP manifests itself in movements, CP is not a muscle or nerve problem. Rather, “it is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements” (NINDS). Munger started using a wheelchair when he was about three years old and began driving it himself when he was five. Munger can get around and talk on his own, and despite his physical challenges, there are many ways in which he is independent. “I work on my laptop, type in my room, and go on the Internet. I play the drums every night,” said Munger. Munger has attended Rocklin High since freshman year. His favorite classes are P.E. and band. He is also involved in One (the RHS Christian club) and Adventure Church, and

is planning to join an additional band soon. Munger owns a drum set and enjoys playing the drums immensely. Despite Munger’s challenges, he maintains a positive attitude and exemplifies an open, friendly personality. Vic loves people and helps make the atmosphere at Rocklin High more welcoming and enjoyable. “Vic’s personality is awesome because he is never negative. He is always friendly and treats people equally. Vic will be a friend to anyone,” said David Cummings. “I had P.E. with Vic last year, and the coolest thing I remember doing with him was country swing. It was so much fun and he really enjoyed it!” said Elizabeth Bond. “Vic contributes to Rocklin by coming to school with a smile and good attitude everyday! I don’t know how he does it, but every time I see that smile I catch myself smiling afterward,” said Camille Clark. Though he has overcome many obstacles and has many more still to come, cerebral palsy has not stopped Munger as he continues to wear a smile day after day. While Munger’s determination, positive attitude, and love for other people helps him to overcome his own challenges, those who know Munger at Rocklin High have also been encouraged to persevere through their own trials, inspired to live with hope, and challenged to become a person with the strength and joy of Vic Munger. -By Karin Oxenham, Staff Writer

How early? About 10,000 babies per year in the U.S. will develop cerebral palsy

How much? In 2003 dollars, the average lifetime cost of cerebral palsy is an estimated $921,000. This does not include hospital visits, emergency room visits, residential care, and other out of pocket expenses

How many? An estimated 800,000 people have cerebral palsy in the U.S. Information from


the exchange student

“Students from all over the world can live amongst other cultures.”

Far from home

Senior Josefine Olandersson makes the switch from Sweden to America Imagine leaving home for a full year to live across the world. Imagine being so far from home that there are nine hours between you and your family. For one student on the Rocklin High campus, this is her reality. Josefine Olandersson is a current senior enrolled in the Rocklin curriculum. However, prior to the Saturday just before the school year, Josefine attended school her home town of Åhus, Sweden. Åhus is port city in southern Sweden, open to the Baltic Sea. There, Josefine entered the Rotary Youth Exchange, a program where students all over the world can live amongst other cultures and stay with host families. Students in the exchange are given a choice of regions in another country that they wish to stay in. Josefine chose the west coast of America, particularly California and from that choice she was put with a host family in Rocklin that currently has a daughter doing the exchange in Belgium. The Rotary Youth Exchange also brings exchange students in the same region together to go on trips and visit places within the area. Josefine said, “We’ve already gone to Santa Cruz and San Francisco.” The Exchange plans to go on many more trips to give the students a larger picture. “Everything is bigger here, the houses, the malls, the stores,” Josefine said in regards to the US, “In Sweden there seems to be a lot more nature.” Appearance isn’t the only thing that is a lot different

across the globe. Academics and teaching styles are completely different. “My high school in Åhus is like college here,” Josefine said. “Here, teachers give you information to study and know, but in Sweden, students do more research work to find things on their own.” These differences presented a challenge at first. Crossing the cultural barrier and the changes in lifestyles proved to be difficult. Josefine said, “At first I thought everything was hard.” On top of these differences, being away from home for a full year can make someone a little homesick. “No one in the exchange program was homesick at first, then after like three months, everyone was,” Josefine said. Luckily, for Thanksgiving break, Josefine’s sister, Johanna, came to visit and brought a little family to Rocklin. Josefine plans to return to Åhus in July after the rest of her family comes to visit and vacation in California. “The first half of my stay here is basically over, I’m already planning graduation. The rest of the year is going to go by so fast,” Josefine said. There is no doubt that student exchange programs help to open the eyes of other students. “Its nice to get a different perspective, be in a different country, experience a different culture, and give people a more global view of their life in America,” said senior Sima Bouzid. -By Hayley Richards, Staff Writer

Step 1

Step 2

Josefine Olandersson

January 2009


The Flash

“Cabinet is there to lend support and positive encouragement.”



the anatomy geeksof student government

Rocklin High School Associated Student Body (ASB) is one of the many factions that keep Rocklin High running. But does anyone truly know all the things that ASB does? The duties of student government officers include planning, budgeting, brainstorming, having fun, and most importantly, creating memories for the students of RHS. Assumptions are made everyday about the members of ASB and the program itself. “There is no one to check ASB, and they create a large gap between the students and the members of ASB,” Jon Ogata said. However, student government officers follow the same rules as every other student on campus. In fact, members of ASB are expected to follow the guidelines more strictly than most, because they are supposed to be ‘setting an example for the school.’ Approximately 70 students at RHS take pride in being

part of the program that works everyday to keep this school running smoothly. “I don’t care what everyone says about ASB. I know how hard we work and everything that we accomplish. I just wish that people took the time to realize all that we do before they judged us,” said senior Megan Ginther, a member of the Activities committee. ASB is broken into numerous sub-divisions, each with a special job description. The number of students involved in each committee differs depending on the job description of that committee. Within this group of students, one student has the opportunity to become ‘commissioner,’ or the leader of the committee. Each member of the committee splits the duties evenly, and the commissioner is there to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Here is a quick look into the daily duties of five ASB committees.

Council Cabinet And what would leadership be without a cabinet? The Council Cabinet’s main job is to keep everyone else in check and relaxed, especially during stressful Spirit Weeks. “I get to kick off the New Year. Cabinet works more behind the scenes,” said ASB president Karl Cannon. “Cabinet is there to lend support and positive encouragement” said Cannon. “We are always there as a shoulder to lean on and create stress-free days.” But overall, it takes everyone to create the positive, immense spirit of RHS. “It takes all 70 of us. Every component is as important as another,” said Cannon.

Other Committees: Athletics Special Programs Class Officers ASB Historian Publicity

Technician Videographer Student Store Manager Coke Dogs

Activities The Activities committee has six people that work together to plan every dance. “We hardly ever argue, because we really don’t have time to. If we have a disagreement, we take a vote,” Commissioner Tori Shirhall said. Each intricate aspect of the dances is taken care of by Activities, from the budget to the decorations on the snack bar to the shape of the tickets. “Without Activities, there might still be dances, but they definitely wouldn’t be as fun. Just imagine Rocklin High without Homecoming,” Shirhall said. Another aspect of the Activities committee that is often overlooked by the student body is clubs. Activities is in charge of putting on Club Rush, and passing all the requisitions for the various costs of the clubs. “We’re the committee that pretty much has no down time. As soon as Homecoming is over, we get started on Club Rush and the Winter Jig; then planning for Runaway has to start. It gets hectic, but I love being involved,” Shirhall said.

Karl Cannon, ASB President and member of Council Cabinet


the leaders

“The Spirit Committee is possibly the most recognizable apart from the class officers, especially during spirit weeks.“

Spirit Visual and Performing Arts “My job description says that I am in charge of Thunderpalooza and the VAPA assembly, but because I’m so involved in VAPA, I can easily be a liaison between VAPA and ASB,” said VAPA commissioner Sarah Stinchfield. With sports grabbing most of the student body’s attention, it can be difficult to snatch some of those students back into the drama department. “We would have a fraction of attendance at VAPA events. Relations between ASB and VAPA are as strong as they ever have been this year,” said Stinchfield.

The Spirit Committee is possibly the most recognizable apart from the class officers, especially during spirit weeks. “There are six girls in the committee,” said member Gigi Grana. “We all brainstorm with each other about the theme for the dances/spirit weeks. Then after we figure out the theme we start brainstorming rally opening ideas. Everyone in the committee is pretty easy going and we can agree on what we like and don’t.” But with so many girls in the committee, it is difficult to agree on everything. What’s better for the school? What looks better to the audience? Will it offend anyone? “We have to vote on some ideas where we are split. We all pick what we like the most, like for the lunchtime and rally games,

Council Cabinet runs recon at the end of a hard class’ work in the cafeteria, where ASB meets every class period. 70+ students are involved in Leadership.

Photo by Hayley Hucks

Campus Recognition Those other posters we see around school every once in awhile with all the honor students’ names can be given credit to Campus Recognition. “It is the job of the Campus Recognition Committee to organize Honor Society, Staff Brunches, the Academic Assembly, Honor Guard, and recognize students on the Rocklin High Campus for outstanding performance in sports or academics,” said member Christi Schimke.

January 2009

It’s easy to see all of the work that goes into running student government. These five committees are only a small portion of the people that work together to keep the entire school running smoothly. Only so much could fit onto this page, and the recognition that should be given to every member of ASB was nearly impossible. Just keep in mind, without ASB, nothing would be the same. -Amber Diller and Lauren Bloemker


The Flash

“Hopefully I’ll be able to pursue Fashion Merchandising in the future.”

Taking it one step further

ROP students discover their futures

Meet McCall Pettey: avid shopper, and as a result, a student of ROP Fashion Merchandising. “I didn’t really know about ROP Fashion Merchandising until my friend, Alyssa Johnson, talked to me about it. She told me that we would basically learn about the history of clothes and get to work at cool clothing stores. I decided it was a good fit, so I signed up! That was last April, but I signed up late compared to others,” said Pettey. Many students like McCall have taken their interests to another level through ROP. Because she knew she liked shopping, she was able to see the occupational aspect through this program. After joining the class though, McCall found out that there was more to ROP than learning about clothes; it also entailed a lot of work. “I’m working at Heritage as an intern. That’s the store over by BJ’s Restaurant. I work two times a week, three hours at a time. It’s a lot harder than I expected; it takes up a lot of my time so it makes it hard for me to get any other job. It will be nice to have the experience though when I look for a job later on,” said Pettey. Many students like McCall find that ROP not only helps them with job resumes in the future, but also saves them time in deciding their major in college. “ROP has helped me think about a possible career path. Hopefully I’ll be able to pursue Fashion Merchandising in the future,” said Pettey. With ROP Fashion Merchandising acting as a catalyst to McCall’s career plans, she is well on her way to achieving her dreams in the fashion industry. -By Cheryl Ford, Staff Writer Meet Brooke Thayer: ROP Cosmetology student, and as a result, aspiring hairstylist. Many of you might be saying, well aren’t cosmetology and hair styling two different things? Yes, you’re right! But, being a part of ROP Cosmetology doesn’t focus on just makeup, it enrolls the students in the Western Career College where they can work towards registered beauty licenses. This would qualify Thayer as a registered hairstylist. But, getting into the program wasn’t an easy task. With ROP Cosmetology being a highly competitive program, only three of the six students from Rocklin High School were admitted. “For the application, we had to write three essays and get two letters of recommendation. I applied in January. There were only three girls from our school selected, but there are 17 total in the area with us in the ROP program,” said Thayer. Thayer has made ROP Cosmetology act as a platform to her future plans. “After I get my license, I want to find a job and work at a salon for a few years until I can start my own salon.” said Thayer. But, unlike a lot of other ROP programs, ROP Cosmetology isn’t just a 9 month long program during the school year. Thayer doesn’t finish up getting her license until November 2009, after she graduates.


“Since beauty school was a part of my original plan, it wasn’t hard for me to decide to do this program because it gave me a jump-start on beauty school. That’s why they made the application process so hard. They wanted to make sure applicants were serious about sticking with the program,” said Thayer. Brooke Thayer is a great example of an ROP success story, using the program as her first step towards her dream of being the owner of a hair salon. -By Cheryl Ford, Staff Writer

the ROP students

“Being a chef is way different than cooking for your family or friends.”

Cooking up a future

Senior Wayland Whitney studies at Bistro Le Petit

As far as teen jobs go, Wayland Whitney’s takes the cake. Or is it crepe? Wayland works (and studies) at the Bistro Le Petit France in Roseville. He got the job through the ROP Culinary class, which meets up every Monday from one to four p.m. At this weekly meeting, the students share their personal job experiences and give cooking demonstrations. But the rest of the week, Wayland heads off to work in the kitchen, helping the chef with prep work and customer service. Bistro Le Petit is a cozy little restaurant, with seating for only 50. But don’t let the small scale fool you. Within its strip mall shell lies a treasure straight from the heart of France, including a full scale wine list, Bohemian décor, and intimate lighting. Although he does not get paid, he believes that the lessons he is learning from the class are completely worth the lack of a paycheck, as the chef (and owner) is renowned Christophe Ehrhart, who was born in France and even prepared meals for President Clinton and his staff. Wayland is definitely learning from the best. But he also says that it isn’t all that easy. “Those who cook fine at home and think, ‘Oh! I want to be a chef!’ should think again. Being a chef is way

Senior Wayland Whitney

January 2009

Senior Wayland Whitney chopping potatoes at home

different than cooking for your family or friends,” he said. He refers to the fact that on an average day at the Bistro he could make 40 crab cakes, or peel dozens of butternut squash. “It all comes down to how much pride you have in your work, and what experiences you want to take away from the job,” he said. Wayland is a senior who is also involved in Orchestra and a rigorous academic schedule, including AP English and AP Microeconomics. His experiences at Bistro, however, count for three classes, since it is an ROP. This gives him time to both get his homework done, and hone his cooking skills. “You can’t expect to be the best chef right off the bat, so instead I use this as a learning experience to build on for the future,” said Wayland. He is one of many who have chosen to take a ROP class, and is definitely getting what he needs from his studies to fulfill his dreams. Wayland hopes to eventually become a chef, one who will think back on his days of peeling twenty pounds of potatoes as his first steps toward success. -By Wes Mcnair, Staff Writer


The Flash

“I like Rocklin way better than my old school. I like the kids way better but the classes are still harder.”


kids on the block

new Junior Kristen Henry and Senior Ryan Gillis transfer to RHS together

Changing schools is forced upon most teens, and usually involves an unpleasant new beginning. However, for two new students at Rocklin High School, change is just what they needed. Formerly attending Sierra Christian Academy, Junior Kristen Henry, and Senior Ryan Gillis, decided to leave their small private school to be a part of Rocklin High. Henry’s journey to RHS started last April, when she tried out for the ‘08-’09 cheer team. After a few administration problems, Kristen made the team and was admitted to Rocklin. “I came here basically for my friends and to try out for the cheer team. It’s a lot different from Sierra Christian Academy. The rules are a lot stricter, and my old school was legit. The rules at Rocklin are very confusing and the classes are so much harder. At break on the first day of school, I pulled out my cell phone to text a friend and all my friends yelled at me and said that we don’t do that here! It was funny,” Henry said. Since she already had friends here and even a boyfriend, Henry fit right in when coming to Rocklin High. Also coming from Sierra Christian Academy was Ryan Gillis. The two were an inseparable pair when choosing to come to Rocklin. Gillis, a senior now on campus, chose to come to Rocklin for his friends as well. “I like Rocklin way better than my old school. I like the kids way better, but the classes are still harder. I already had friends at Rocklin so it was no big deal making the change. I like the campus at Rocklin and the dances are cool.” Gillis is taking six classes here at Rocklin but if he were still attending Sierra Christian he

would only have two: Language Arts 4 and Bible. Since Sierra starts at 8:30, Gillis says he has a hard time waking up so early to be at Rocklin on time. Overall, the change has been considerably easy, and both seem to have fit in right away. Change seems to be a trend this year as we have eight new people on the basketball team alone. It seems as if everyone wants to be a part of the Rocklin High School legacy. -By Ashley Linnane and Cassie Clauser, Staff Writers

Q: How many new students came to Rocklin this year?

A: 130 students

Kristen Henry and Ryan Gillis


the scholar athlete “Runsten’s natural talent has launched into a rare opportunity, the chance to attend Stanford University, all expenses paid.”

Diving into


Senior Tyler Runsten vies for a Stanford University scholarship

He walks down the plank with nerves fluttering in and has traveled as far as the Netherlands to compete in every muscle. Goose bumps creep up all over and he takes competitions where he has placed 4th in the nation and 12th a deep breath as he gains his footing against the damp in the world. He has continued to train for trampoline on top stucco that feels so much rougher than the slick rubber of a of diving every day. Runsten will also be competing on the trampoline. He glances at the water that sparkles a daunting Rocklin High swim and dive team as the only diver. 33 feet below from behind his foggy goggles. “I am the Rocklin High diving team, or I will be at least,” Every thought is one of complete concentration, with absolute he said. determination to do this, something His years of gymnastic experience and he has never attempted. His mind skill have been a key element to Runsten’s clears for a split second before he newfound talent in diving, and his ability is springs off the board into the air, flips increasing rapidly. his body 900 degrees and dives, One dive that began as an experiment head first, into the chlorinated water soon lead to diving training, and two below. months later Runsten’s natural talent Tyler Runsten is an award winning has launched into a rare opportunity, the gymnast. He has been involved in chance to attend Stanford University, all competitive trampoline gymnastics expenses paid. for the six years, but at the beginning “My coach knows the Stanford diving of his senior year, he took his talent coach and their team is now down to off the trampoline and focused it two divers, so we looked at the odds and somewhere new: the pool. figured I have a good shot at a full ride,” “At first I didn’t like the idea of Runsten said. diving. I spent years of trampoline Runsten compiled a video of his diving training to land on my feet; it didn’t moves as well as a resume of his athletic seem right to have to try to land on Diving from the 33 foot plank, Tyler Runsten extends history. He also attended a diving clinic on from a flip and prepares to hit the water. my head,” Runsten said. December 13th where he performed in front His trampoline coach first suggested Runsten try diving of Stanford’s coach. years ago, but it did not spark his interest until recently. “I applied for early decision and I’ve done everything I “Now it’s time for me to buckle down on college. I finally can do to get into Stanford. It’s just up to the coach now,” came to my senses and realized I would not be able to get said Runsten. a scholarship with trampoline,” said Runsten. “Diving offers Runsten is also applying for full ride diving scholarships more scholarships and it made the most sense with my at UC Berkeley and the University of Arizona. trampoline experience.” “No matter what I’m going to keep diving,” Runsten said. Runsten has been a member of both the National Team “I want to get better, that’s just what I do.” of 2008 and the World Champion Team of 2005 and 2007, -By Alexis Coopersmith, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Tyler’s workout schedule Diving

4-6 p.m.

January 2009


2-5 p.m.

Diving 4-6 p.m.

Trampoline 2-5 p.m.

Diving 5-7 p.m.

Trampoline 6-7 p.m.

Diving 5-7 p.m.

Trampoline 2-5 p.m.

Diving 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m.

All day platform practice in the Bay Area once a month


The Flash

“Driver Carries No Cash...My Daughter Ice Skates!!!”

Sleep, eat & skate every day Two students take on the challenge of figure skating

Jumps, spins, and footwork; Emily Schwab and Atrin Toussi can do them all and they do them on the ice! Toussi became interested in ice skating by watching it on television when she was little. “It is the most unique sport out of them all and it’s the only sport I didn’t fall asleep watching.” Schwab became interested in ice skating by going ice skating once for fun with one of her friends. “My friend decided to sign up for lessons, so I did too.” Watching it on television and taking one trip to the ice skating rink turned into about six years of ice skating starting when they were both about nine years old. Now they both have a rigorous practice schedules. Toussi practices two hours a day at Skatetown in Roseville usually after school but sometimes before. The days that she practices varies from week to week. She also does Pilates and works with her choreographer to work on her core training off the ice. Schwab is up bright and early to practice. She practices before school at 5 a.m. She also practices at Skatetown in Roseville. She takes dance classes year round to help with flexibility and grace and during the summer her coach also leads an off the ice conditioning class. Emily Schwab and Atrin Toussi both have coaches that help them land that hard jump, perfect their routines, and push them to be the best they can be. “Whenever I’m having trouble with a move or I’m scared to try it, my coach says ‘What have you got to lose?’ That saying has not only helped me take risks in skating but also in life outside of skating,” Schwab said. All that hard practicing and pushing from their coaches leads up to one thing: competitions. Before a competition Schwab and Toussi do one thing: skate, skate skate! “Competitions are so much fun. I do get nervous right before I skate, but the Emily Schwab Ice Skating at the Spring adrenaline rush during Jubilee


the figure skaters

and after my performance is well worth the nerves,” Schwab said. Schwab and Toussi both agree that the judges are very intimidating. “There are ten judges up there and they all stare at you for three minutes straight!” Toussi said. Besides ice skating Schwab and Toussi have tough academic schedules. Toussi takes Advanced Language Arts, Spanish 3 Atrin Toussi Ice Skating (Picture honors, and Pre-Cal. She Taken by Reaction Photography) is an officer in CSF and the President of the Sudan club. Schwab is taking AP World and Pre-Cal. She is involved in Speech and Debate, Key Club, and CSF. Without their parents, Schwab and Toussi wouldn’t have gotten this far in ice skating. “Without my parents’ contributions, I would absolutely not be able to skate. My dad wakes up ridiculously early to take me to practice, and my mom spends entire weekends at competitions with me. My mom also beads all my costumes and helps pick out music to skate to,” Schwab said. Toussi feels the same way, “My dad sometimes comes to my practices but he is always there to film my competitions. My mom is very active with my skating; she always tells me when I am doing something wrong on the ice so I can make it right.” Right now, Schwab and Toussi are working to perfect their Christmas routine. Schwab is also working on a few jumps so she’ll be able to move to the next level. In the future, they hope they can do ice skating as long as possible and possibly coach later on. “My favorite thing about figure skating is that you can put all your troubles aside and just do your thing on the ice,” Toussi said. -By Heather Smith, Staff Writer

the equestrian

“I’ve always loved horses, ever since I was little. I’ve been riding for seven years now.”

Getonback the horse....

Nathalie Pinna injured in fall, returns to sports competition

You don’t need a ball for sports. But you do need passion. As for overlooked extracurriculars at RHS, anything involved with country living is at the top of the list. Because the campus spotlights high school sports, many students have the false impression that RHS sports are the only activities students are involved in. They’re due for a wake up call. Many students, with passions other than water polo or football, have looked to outside sources for fulfillment. Sophomore Nathalie Pinna is one of these people. “I’ve always loved horses, ever since I was little. I’ve been riding for seven years now,” Nathalie said. Horseback riding is a largely unacknowledged hobby at RHS. This is most likely because we’re a suburban campus, and we don’t live on much land other than a square of backyard. However, this makes Nathalie’s passion an even greater achievement. “I started out riding in Alameda, Oakland Hills at Oak Creek training stables,” she said. She rode several different horses while taking lessons growing up at Oak Creek, but none compared with the horse who stole her heart. “We leased a thoroughbred named Shasta. He was a retired racehorse, and he wouldn’t let anyone ride him but me. He would be a pain if they tried,” she said. She bonded with Shasta in a way that many horsepeople have experienced. She developed a type of relationship based on trust and understanding, fairness and obedience. As a team, they participated in events and competitions, as well-paired horse and rider teams tend to ascend to. One of the many sporting events they did was three-day English Eventing. Eventing is a “competition that combines Dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping, usually held over a three-day period. [It is] a recognized Olympic competition,” ( This competition, held in Marysville, was a success. The pair continued on with several novice shows, and was still heavily involved in dressage, jumping and cross-country jumping. But all this success never guaranteed that nothing could go wrong. After all, horses are animals, and powerful ones at that. They’re unpredictable, even when you think you January 2009

Nathalie and Shasta at Eventful Acres

know them well. “We took one formal lesson together, and Shasta spooked at something. He bucked, and I fell and fractured my left elbow,” she said. This put an unexpected damper on their relationship. Nathalie wanted to continue riding, but it was hard to use her elbow even after the healing process, which is necessary for riding horses. This elbow injury effected more than her riding, though. The scar, which stretches the length of her elbow, provides severe evidence as to the extent of her injury. The fracture slowed her progress on the RHS golf team as well. But it was Shasta who would break her heart. “I wanting nothing more than to keep him,” she said, “but we had to give him away… it was just too hard.” With a physical barrier such as Nathalie’s elbow, keeping a horse that she couldn’t ride was not only a waste of Shasta’s time but not very beneficial to Nathalie either. Regardless, Nathalie will continue to persevere, as she plans on riding as a hobby as she grows older. “I won’t ever do such intense horseback sports again, but I still love horses,” she said, “and I won’t stop riding just because I fell once.” Nathalie Pinna took the risk, she took the chance—and she fell. But she got back on the horse. -By Ashley Sorci, Staff Writer


The Flash

“Pugh’s productions can be viewed at and”

PughTUBEProductions Seen this guy’s work? Check it out. If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then a movie is worth a million. Justin Pugh, junior, would know. To him, life is a motion picture. Currently, he is working on his 63rd production. “People who watch my videos tell me that it is the funniest thing they’ve ever seen and it makes me want to get back to work on the next movie,” said Pugh. Initially, the classic movie, Jurassic Park, launched his inspiration. Nothing urged the eleven-year-old boy to explore filming in the same way. Two years later, Pugh began uploading his videos onto

“You know that you are made for film when you can spot the techniques used in making your favorite theatre movie” The first videos YouTube users saw featured his dogs. Gradually, Pugh started capturing moments of his teammates in action throughout their seasons, a skill that has provided services to the community. Over the summer, Pugh created a slideshow for his swim team, the Rocklin Wave. The synthesis of his filmmaking skills and passion for water polo also provided his water polo team slideshows during their award banquets. The creative entertainment doesn’t end there. Pugh created the original idea of RHS Fantasy Water Polo, an interactive game that involves actual water polo team players and their statistics. With the help of his friend, James Whistler, the boys created the game’s rules, while his other friends, Sean Backes and Austin Diele, helped build the roster and website information. The website is looked at by both the male and female athletes and coaches. Simply, Pugh saw Fantasy Water Polo as an original alternative to Fantasy Football. Through his creation, he enjoyed his interaction with the players from game to game. It takes skill, not to mention effort to create the quality


videos. Between school, sports, and jobs, Pugh manages to create a new video about every two weeks. From the first thought to the final scene, there’s certainly serious directing. An outline gives him a general idea of the storyboard. After an hour or two of filming with his friends or brothers, Pugh edits the footage at home. Later, the footage is uploaded to YouTube and the link is sent to his friends and subscribers. Pugh has taken a few film classes at Sierra College over the past three summers. Already, he plans to be a movie director, emulating techniques Stephen Spielberg used in the film industry. This year, the junior is a Broadcasting II student. Pugh’s productions can be viewed at apestorm and Scores and statistics of RHS Fantasy Water Polo can be found http:// For those interested in filming, Pugh gives advice. “You know that you are made for film when you can spot the techniques used in making your favorite theater movie.” -By Amanda Calzada, Staff Writer

the videographer

Justin Pugh

the team

“Mr. Waechtler was one of our best and most intense players.”

No pain,

no gain

Rocklin teachers compete in softball league

Taking care of yourself becomes more important than winning, when it’s a Sunday co-ed softball league. The motto was used by a few Rocklin High teachers who came together with some teachers from Whitney High to assemble a softball team, the Thundercats. These teachers got together with their wives and participated in the Rocklin Adult Recreational League. Sixteen people were on this team including, Ryan and Andrea O’Donnell, Dale and Ashley Eckenburg, Glen and Emily Mitchell, Geoffrey and Cathy Clarion, Craig Waechtler, Meghan McKinney, and Jason and Tiffany Feuerbach. This talented team went 3 - 4 and made the playoffs, but lost to the only undefeated team, Phat Kids With Bats. Having their wives on the team, some of which have never played softball before, really encouraged the “just for fun” aspect of this team, and the teachers all thoroughly enjoyed it. Some teachers would bring their children with a baby-sitter so they could watch their parents dominate the field. The team would usually go out to dinner afterwards and discuss the day’s events. But this league is not as safe as one would think. For example, Eckenburg reinjured his back playing softball, and O’Donnell strained a muscle. Because the team is co-ed, there is a “no sliding” rule, but players from an opposing team kept sliding and injuring the Thundercats by cheating. Eckenburg thought that it would be more fair if they slid, ended up sliding with his cleats in the air to take someone out, which slowly but surely, started his back pain once more. The camaraderie between the teachers is impressive, and teams like this make the school dynamic very enjoyable. “Mr. Waechtler was one of our best and most intense players,” said Clarion about one of his teammates. “He turns it into a clone war,” said Eckenburg, agreeing with Clarion. Teachers keep busy outside of school mainly with their families and other activities like this. There is a fantasy football league, a guys’ only softball league, and a guys’ weekend in Tahoe. Also, individual departments have Christmas parties, and the English department has an end of the year kayaking trip. Family trips to Tahoe and Mexico, and Fourth of July parties keep the teacher’s bond strong. The teachers also band together to humor their students and show off their talents in the Faculty January 2009

Follies. The teachers enjoyed the softball league so much, they intend on playing again in the spring. Hopefully they follow their motto and don’t get hurt. -By Tanya Sukkari, Staff Writer

Geoff Clarion - offense Cathy Clarion - left center field Ryan O’Donnell - right center field Andrea O’Donnell and Ashley Eckenburg - catchers Glen Mitchell - pitcher Emily Mitchell - 1st base Tiffany Feuerbach - 2nd base Dale Eckenburg - 3rd base Craig Waechtler - shortstop Meghan McKinney - right field Jason Feuerbach - left field


The Flash “Seeing people that are passionate about what they do makes me want to be passionate about what I do.”

Contributing positively

Senior Brittany Huggins goes above and beyond

It is easy to stereotype the average teenaged student “Two things should happen when a student does as someone who only cares about themselves. Students community service: one, something should change have been stereotyped as people who are more concerned because you did it and about the brand of clothes they are wearing than serious two, more importantly, how issues that are taking place around the community and the is your outlook different? world. From the outside, this may be all you see; however, How does your awareness and sensitivity about the world is this an accurate stereotype for around you change?” said the students of Rocklin High? “I love helping people and seeing the smile Cutts. One person that breaks the Huggins is no exception; stereotypical mold for present on someone’s face and knowing it was me she too has been changed day teenagers is Rocklin High that put it there.” by the community service Senior Brittany Huggins. Huggins Alyssa DiPippo she has done. “A lot of has documented approximately people that I’ve met have 450 hours of community service, changed my perspective. “I do community service to help the people Seeing people that are although to date she has around me in any way I can, but I also find passionate about what they completed over 500 hours. The question remains: why it enjoyable. There’s always a reason to do makes me want to be so many hours when only 25 are help out. Sitting around and not helping passionate about what I do,” required for graduation? Why said Huggins. others is just boring.” spend one of your most sacred Huggins’ life, however, entities as a teenager, time, on Elizabeth Bond does not revolve solely helping others? around community service. “I don’t think about it as ‘oh I “I do community service because it’s the She is actively involved need to get community service,’ I in the drama department least I can do for others in need. I’ve do it for the people and the looks spending an average of two gone to Mexico and built houses. That was hours after school every on their faces,” said Huggins. To earn her community service by far the most rewarding experience.” day– similar to the time your hours Huggins does a lot with her Laura Pickrell typical athlete dedicates. In church (St. Peter and Paul) such fact, she was the lead in the as pasta dinners for the elderly, fall play. “The most rewarding thing about doing and pancake breakfasts after She belongs to eight or community service is knowing that you mass. Her sophomore, junior and nine clubs. She is taking senior year she participated in help others.” seven classes because her the link program here at Rocklin Bryan Edwards schedule wouldn’t work to High. Her sophomore year she fit eight, three of which are also coached a cheerleading APs. And to top it all off, she team for five and six year olds. is on a competitive tap dancing team. When it comes to community service, she is most Not only is she busy with all of those activities, but she passionate about working with young children. When is also currently occupied with applying to colleges. Her explaining why she likes to work with children, Huggins first choice is Stanford; however, she is also applying at said, “You can learn so much from them; they say things three UC’s. so blatantly. It is important to affect the kids of tomorrow “Community service forces you to go outside of your positively.” comfort zone. Rocklin is a sheltered community, get out Community service not only affects the people who and see the big, bad world before you have to get thrown are being helped, but also the people who are doing the into it,” said Huggins. -By Victoria Clark, Staff Writer service.

the overachiever


the activist

“Jongkuch was among the 26,000 young boys who escaped and walked all the way to Kenya.”

Impact a Village

Helping the Lost Boys of Sudan

Completely decked out in her gangster regalia, Ms. Pilar Padilla stood at the front of her classroom addressing the room full of expectant underclassmen. She was wearing her backwards hat complete with hip-hop pins and her “flavor flav bling” for Faculty Follies. But underneath, she wore her Impact a Village program T-shirt. “My friend is the one who started Impact a Village- my BFF,” said Padilla. Her friend, Katrina Wachs, who is also an English teacher, started Impact a Village at Granite Bay High School after she and Padilla watched a film about the Lost Boys of Sudan. Deng Jongkuch was one such boy. “It was a fluke that when she came back, she ran into him. So I was helping her and that’s when I realized that we could do this too. We could do it better,” said Padilla. Deng Jongkuch’s village was ravaged in 1987 when Sudanese government troops attacked, killing the adults and keeping the girls. Jongkuch was among the 26,000 young boys who escaped and walked all the way to Kenya. When Jongkuch returned to his village after 18 years of separation, he was shocked to find it in complete disrepair: no roads, clean water, or schools. This year Pilar Padilla started an Impact a Village program at Rocklin High School. They meet every silver Tuesday morning at 7:15 AM in Padilla’s room. They are devoted to building a school in Sudan. This means raising awareness and money.

“It’s only going to be about $ 30,000 to make a school there, so if they [Granite Bay] keeps raising money and we keep raising money, we can do it,” Padilla said. Today, Jongkuch lives in San Jose and gives speeches throughout California, telling people his story. After having seen his speech Padilla knew he needed to speak at Rocklin High so she arranged for him to visit in March. “He was incredible. This is a great cause,” she said. Padilla has been involved in many other humanitarian efforts in the past, “When I was in Santa Cruz, I was very involved, mostly in Greenpeace. When I moved to Rocklin I stopped for a while. But now I’m back and we’re gonna build a school!” said Padilla. When asked about the future she said, “I’d like to have a club in the future that helps people. I think there are people everywhere who need something. Our hurting in America in economic hard times is a lot different than other people’s. 98 percent of our population has a color TV.” Because of the Impact a Village club’s efforts it should be no surprise that this year’s culture week will be centered around Sudan. Culture week will be the week of March 23rd, and although the week will include it’s usual arts, crafts, and food, the main focus will be on the political issues of Sudan. Padilla highly anticipates March 25th, when the student body will see the fruits of her efforts and meet Deng Jongkuch, a Lost Boy of Sudan. -By Kate Rose, Staff Writer

What is Impact

a Village?

Impact a Village, Inc. strives to make a positive impact on impoverished villages through donations and empowerment and, at the same time, make a positive impact on U.S. communities through the awareness and community service given to villages in need. Impact through Donations: Contribute resources to impoverished villages to help them improve their education and healthcare. Impact through Community Service: Encourage donations and action from U.S. communities who already enjoy basic education and health services. Information from

January 2009


The Flash

“You definitely have to be committed to the sport. It is very dangerous, and people don’t realize how dangerous a sport it really is.”

Never board


“You know when you get something new on Christmas, and you just have to go out and do that or play with that? When I’m longboarding it’s like that feeling you get on Christmas but times ten,” senior Justin Leung said. Long boarding is similar to skate boarding, but the board is longer and wider, and is used for downhill racing. The greater weight of the board makes it less suitable for tricks, but provides more momentum. Leung started as a street skater, but that Wheels $40-70 all changed when he bought his first Boards $200-1000 longboard in July. After buying a $350 longboard from Dan Henderson, who Slide Gloves $30-60 owns Team Tactis skate shop team in Granite Bay, Justin Leathers $1300 officially called it quits with street Trucks $200 each skating. “Street skaters are really rude and obnoxious and say really mean things if you don’t land a trick right. In longboarding everybody is friends with everybody. Plus, I really liked the flow of longboarding and liked how it felt, so then I started learning all the disciplines,” Leung said. Team Tactis is also a Jr. Pro skate team. After buying his first board, a loaded Dervish flex 2 with Randal 180s and Abec 11 flashbacks, Leung raced a couple of Henderson’s racers and landed a spot on the team. They race the Jr. class and the Open class, which is what the pros race in. “We go to races which are held all over. The last one I went to was in San Luis Obispo over Halloween weekend. I placed 6th in Juniors. When I’m at a competition, I have to listen to my music to get myself pumped up. If you don’t get pumped up you don’t have a chance,” Leung said. When practicing, the team usually doesn’t practice together. They usually just “skate around”. “I usually skate Thunder Hill, Whitney, Piute, and Sandy Trail Drive,” Leung said. With regular practices and competitions, longboarding may sound like an average sport, but the level of

cost of gear


commitment it takes to participate in the sport sets it apart from the rest. “You definitely have to be committed to the sport. It is very dangerous, and people don’t realize how dangerous a sport it really is. The gear is also really expensive, so you definitely have to know you want to do it before you buy all of the gear,” Leung said. Sophomore Dakota Giltner who is also on Team Tactis said, “I’ve been skating for about one year, but just recently joined Team Tactis. I’m on the team with Justin. It’s really amazing being on the team with him. We skate together all the time, and he’s just a very hardworking and dedicated skater.” Leung definitely has dedication to the sport, and has set long term goals for himself. “I want to race Maryhill and I want to beat James Kelley. He is the fastest racer in the U.S., or he will be until I beat him,” Leung said. -By Megan Taaffe, Ad Director

THINK AHEAD Soon you’ll be deciding on electives for 2008-2009. You can make a difference: • Get into broadcast production (Broadcast 1-3) • Join the newspaper staff (Journalism 1-3) • Build better web pages (Web 1-2) • Yearbook always needs hard workers (Publications 1-3)

Communication StudiesWe’re about people sign up next year Broadcast • Digital Art • Graphics • Journalism • Photography • Publications Technology (Architecture, CADD, Drafting) • Web

the Boy Scout

“I can’t see anyone I know in that little uniform roasting s’mores and learning how to tie knots in the wilderness.”

A scout’s honor

Chess club enthusiast; theater tech god; flutist at band camp – high school student in boy scouts. If active in such groups, a bystander’s opinion could be drastically different then that of the attendee. At ages where an individual’s reputation is at stake on a daily basis – high school – joining the right clubs, groups, and cliques quickly divides peers into social statues that teenagers often make. For fifteen year-old sophomore Christian Young, who became a member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization at the age of eight, he has encountered ups and downs while progressing through the years. Though living in a day and age where different views of life are becoming more socially acceptable, where does the line of judging others reputations based off of personal interest stop? “For sure not Boy Scouts. I can’t see anyone I know in that little uniform roasting s’mores and learning how to tie knots in the wilderness,” said senior Lou Maninang. More than roasting s’mores and tying knots, this Rocklin High School student understands what it truly means to be active with the BSA organization. “Why not be a part of boy scouts? It looks great on college applications, I’ve learned skills that I can use in my everyday life, and it’s not like I have to wear the uniform to school,” Young said. Currently apart of the Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC) and involved in the RHS’s music program, Young enjoys keeping his activities wellrounded. “I’m not afraid to let others know how I spend my Wednesday nights. They’re my friends for a reason. Sure the jokes January 2009

Saluting to more than just tying knots come in here and there, but it’s not the end of the world that I’m apart of boy scouts,” said Young. Boy scouts has six different levels that need to be accomplished before achieving the title of Eagle Scout. Young has completed Scout, Tenderfoot, First Class, Second Class, and is currently on Star. To obtain Eagle Scout, it must be done before one turns eighteen years of age. For Young, with only Life and Eagle Scout left to master, he is determined that “Eagle Scout is definitely within [his] reach.” Aside from the training each scout gains from meetings and outings, being apart of the BSA shapes adolescent boys into young men. “Honor, pride, and respect,” Young said. The Rocklin/Loomis Basin Rotary 333, recites the BSA oath: “On my honor I will do my best. To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Being apart of a prestigious organization recognized world wide, Christian Young does not let the fear of others judgmental thoughts effect his participation within the Boy Scouts of America. -By Rebecca Vanessa Nitz, Staff Writer


Honor Guard 2010 Meena Sandhu- Tennis, Track, Key Club, CSF, Ping Pong, Habitat for Humanity, Math League, Rowdy Rooters, Dance, Cultural “Live, Learn, Love.” Marc Van Camp- Volleyball, CSF, ASB

publicity “Stand up for what you believe in and what you believe is right.” Lauren Bloemker- Junior Class Officer, CSF, NHS, Habitat for Humanity, Sudan, One, Key Club, Students for Animal Welfare, Dance, Global Awareness, Dare to be Different, The Flash Co-Web Editor “There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”



Junior Class

President, Volleyball, Habitat for Humanity, Key Club “Life’s a journey of trial and error, live for the moment, plan for the future.” Kayla Zellars- Junior Class Officer, Dance Team Captain, ASB, Link Leader, Yearbook Staff “Life isn’t about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.”

David Sur- Water Polo, Ping Pong Club VP,

Key Club Treasurer, Orchestra Concert Master, Sacramento Youth Symphony

“Live life to the fullest.”

Brought to you by ASB

Student of the Week Foreign Language Stepfanie Studen- productive Leandro Praseli- active participant Angela Bassal- positive Julia Habian- friendly Sarah Roth- interacts well Daniel Martinez- diligent VAPA Caitlyn Hall- helpful (dance) Zachary Schuett- good listener (art) Shane Keefe- creative (ceramics) Jackie Summers- motivating (dance) Lisa Polyudova- dedicated (art) Bryan Wardlaw- persistent (ceramics) Social Science Sheldon Wen- contributive Chase Ochrach- role model Yu Xia- enthusiastic Abby Von Savoye- hard worker Maria Baland- highly motivated Eli Byron- engaged in discussions Avid Haley Clifford- positive Lindsay Myers- great attitude Chase Wargin- positive influence Anna West- encouraging Taylor Ingraham- always prepared Tyler Green- goal-oriented Math Trevor Morris- comedic Dayne Zub- open-minded Anthony Ruiz- interactive Sarina Mooneyham- active participant Grant Wilson- good work ethic Yasmine Cira Delgadorespectful Cole Louis Uranga- quiet leader Austin Reed Spainhour- math whiz Vianeey Guadaluppe Osorioresponsible Samantha Zaraly Manriquezmagnetic personality Health Maureena Sutton- hard working Emily Brown- caring person Becca Kinsey- self motivated Jesse Leimbach- inquisitive Joey Ramos- positive role model Athletics Sammie Bartels- hard working Steven White Bill Howe- Hard Worker Isabel Lopez- Great Player Shelby Bergman- Strong Player Tyler Garrison- Great Athlete Hannah Anderson- Great Teammate Stacy McTaggart- Leader

jan 2009  

This is the second feature magazine of the year for the Rocklin HS journalism class.

jan 2009  

This is the second feature magazine of the year for the Rocklin HS journalism class.