Category Archives: Around Bosco

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Activities Director Mrs. Mayra Fernandez

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

St. John Bosco is delighted to welcome Mrs. Mayra Fernandez, Activities Director, Spanish teacher and St. Joseph High School alumnus, to the Brave community.

Q. What college did you attend, when did you graduate, what did you study and why did you choose to study that?

A. I attended California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and graduated in 2007. Although my original major was math and Spanish was my minor, after a trip to Argentina, I decided to change my major to Spanish. I then graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts (BA) in Spanish.

Q. What brought your interest in becoming an activities director? 

A. Although I love teaching Spanish, I also love to plan and organize events. I love supporting my students in and outside of the classroom. I am always at their games and events, so it seemed like the right fit for me.

Q. How did you find St. John Bosco and what made you interested in working here? 

A. I attended St. Joseph High School and taught there for 7 years. As a junior moderator, I would plan events with Bosco and I just loved the campus. It has always had a great reputation, so it was always my goal to work here. Also, the fact that it is less than 10 mins away from my house is an extra bonus. 

Q. What is your favorite part about St. John Bosco thus far, why? 

A. My favorite part about Bosco is working with my friend Ms. Schnorr and spending more time with my nephew, Isaac Aguilar, who is a senior.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of your job as an activities director? 

A. I love the adrenaline rush of planning and executing events. I’m always trying to make it the best experience possible for students, as well as learning from my mistakes in order to make events better the next time. But most of all, I love working with Associated Student Board (ASB). These gentlemen are amazing. They make me laugh, and I love to see them shine at what they do best. 

Q. What do you enjoy most about being back at school in person? 

A. I enjoy getting to build relationships and really know my students – not just their ceiling fans.

Q. What activity or activities are you most looking forward to and why? 

A. I’m most looking forward Día de Los Muertos. I began to come to this event when my children were small, and the school has always done a marvelous job putting this event together. 

Q. What accomplishment are you most proud of, and what makes you proud of this accomplishment? 

A. My most proud accomplishment is having my two boys. They are my pride and joy.

Q. Favorite music, artist, or genre? 

A. I am all over the place when it comes to music, but I do love Spanish rock and 90’s alternative rock the most.

Q. Favorite movie/movies? 

A. Horror movies are my favorite, especially anything with zombies and vampires.

Q. What are your favorite colors/colors? 

A. My favorite colors are mint green and teal.

Q. Where is your favorite place to eat? 

A. My favorite place to eat is Thai BBQ, in Cerritos.

Q. Favorite sport and team? 

A. I like soccer, and I cheer for Mexico during the World Cup. I also like Baseball. Go Dodgers!

Q. Where did you grow up? 

A. I grew up in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

Q. Do you have any pets? 

A. I have one dog, Titan, and two fish, Jimmy Jr. and Fishy.

Q. Do you have any hobbies? 

A. I like trying to find new and better ways to organize my home.

Q. If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

A. I would go to Machu Picchu, Perú as well as Greece and Egypt.

Q. What is your favorite holiday? 

A. I love Halloween. Dressing up in family-themed costumes, the decorations, the horror movies, trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving are awesome. I also like Día de Los Muertos. I enjoy making an altar, remembering our loved ones, and passing down traditions to my sons.

Q. Do you have any favorite TV shows? 

A. My favorite TV shows are the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

Q. Do you have any favorite video games if you play them? 

A. I do not play video games. I can’t even pass the first level in the original Mario Bros. However, I was pretty good at Duck Hunt as a child. 

Q. Did you play any sports growing up? 

A. As a child, I was in ballet, tap, and gymnastics. I was a baton twirler for eleven years. In Junior High, I played basketball, volleyball and softball. In high school, I was on the swim team.

Around Bosco: Triduum Week Returns To Spread “Brave Love”

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

In keeping with Salesian tradition, St. John Bosco celebrated Triduum this week, a period of self-reflection and preparation for a new school year, which includes the release of the new strenna for 2021-2022. 

The word “Triduum” itself is defined as a three day preparation for an event. The most notable is the Paschal Triduum, or the three day period that precedes Easter Sunday. The Salesians of Don Bosco, however, observe another Triduum, one which is observed in September and is celebrated by the release of a strenna. 

The strenna, which is taken from the Italian word for gift, is a theme that students and members of the Salesian community strive to live by. This year, the strenna released by the Salesians of Don Bosco was: “Do all through love, nothing through constraint.” At St. John Bosco High School, however, it is adapted to align more with the school community. Thus, at Bosco, the strenna amended, while still maintaining its general meaning: “Brave love still stands, even when all else has failed.” 

“We wanted to make our strenna something that is more personal for us. We get to live out the same prayers that St. John Bosco used to give the same spirit and joy to the students, and we want to carry that tradition,” said Brother Quang Nguyen, Bosco’s director of Campus Youth Ministry. 

Although COVID-19 regulations have limited some of the more festive celebrations of the Triduum at Bosco, the three-day period still has a lot of spiritual value. At St. John Bosco, students had the opportunity to reflect, go to Reconciliation, and celebrate Mass, which was the first event on campus with the new strenna. 

Furthermore, Triduum Week is important to the St. John Bosco High School community because it is vital in kicking off the school year the right way. 

“Triduum Week really sets off the entire theme for the whole school year in good spirits,” said Nicholas Neoman, ASB’s Youth Delegate of Campus Ministry.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with the Newest Member of the Athletic Training Team, Kiana Gleason

by Matthew Parsons

This year, St. John Bosco welcomes Kiana Gleason, certified athletic trainer, to the community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

A. I grew up in Oxnard, California, which is about an hour north of Los Angeles.

Q. Where did you go to college?

A. I got my bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and my master’s degree from California Baptist University.

Q. What made you want to work as an athletic trainer?

A. During high school I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. My high school was small and didn’t have athletic trainers, so I had no idea what an athletic trainer was until my mom told me about the profession. I looked into it and loved it. It was the perfect combination of sports and healthcare.

Q. What is your favorite and least favorite part of being an athletic trainer?

A. My favorite part of being an athletic trainer is working closely with athletes during their rehabilitation and watching them get stronger and get back to performing on the field/court. My least favorite part is the administrative duties that come with it such as dealing with insurance and other paperwork. 

Q. Where have you worked previously?

A. Prior to St. John Bosco, I had a short-term position at Loyola Marymount University for about 4 months. Before LMU, I was working at San Bernardino Valley College.

Q. How long have you worked as an athletic trainer?

A. I have worked as an athletic trainer for five years.

Q. How did you come across St. John Bosco?

A. I was actually contacted by a family friend who was told that St. John Bosco was looking for a certified athletic trainer and at the time I was looking for work, so I just went for it.

Q. How has your time at St. John Bosco been so far?

A. So far it has been great! All the faculty and staff have been very welcoming.

Q. What do you think of Bosco and it’s students?

A. I think Bosco is a great school. This is my first time working at an all boys school, so it was a little different in the beginning but I’ve gotten used to it. The students are awesome. Never a dull moment with them.

Q. Who was your role model growing up? 

A. I would have to say my mom. She’s very loving and kind, and has always supported me in everything I do. She also showed me how to have a strong work ethic and to always persevere.

Q. Do you have any siblings? 

A. Yes, I have an older brother.

Q. What are your hobbies? 

A. I love music, so I really enjoy just listening to music and going to concerts. I also like doing outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and roller skating.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. I really love seafood. I eat almost all seafood, including fish, crab, shrimp and mussels.

Q. Are you a morning or night person?

A. I’m a night owl. 

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. I don’t, but I want a dog.

Q. What is your favorite movie or TV show? 

A. My favorite TV show is The Office, it never gets old.

Q. What is your favorite sport and what team is your favorite?

A. Basketball is probably my favorite sport, and my favorite team is the Lakers.

Q. Do you have a favorite athlete?

A. My favorite athlete is definitely Kobe Bryant.

Q. Did you play any sports in high school, and if so, what did you play?

A. I did. I played basketball, soccer, tennis, and ran track.

Q. What type of music do you enjoy?

A. I enjoy mostly R&B and Hip-Hop.

Around Bosco: Club Carnival Returns To Widespread Excitement

by Eric Torres, Editor-In-Chief

St. John Bosco High School hosts its first Club Carnival in two years after a long drought caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to participate in clubs around the campus and get more involved with the school. 

Twenty-nine clubs, representing many different students’ interests, filled the quad with each club having a table designed with posters and other decorations. From Tribe Robotics to the International Club, students had a wide variety of options. Hundreds of students, of all grade levels, signed up to participate in clubs with many students joining multiple clubs. 

At St. John Bosco, every student has the opportunity to start or join a club that piques their interests. If a student finds that there is no club for them, all they need to do is find a teacher to moderate and they can start their own club. Although clubs are student-ran, staff members are still active members of the club process. 

“Teachers wanted to get more involved with clubs, and we went from 16 to almost 30 clubs. So it doesn’t just stop with the students, the staff wants the student’s to be more involved,” said Diego de la Cerda, Club Coordinator for the Senior Board.

On campus, clubs are important for many different reasons. First, students can take ownership over the club’s operations. Although there is a teacher moderator, students have to take the initiative to keep the clubs running. In addition, having clubs allows for students to be more involved on campus, especially because clubs naturally surround students with other peers who hold similar interests.

“I think clubs and activities are a huge part of student life. It is a great way to grow as a person and a great way for students to make friends,” said Activities Director Ms. Mayra Fernandez.

It appeared that clubs had sparked more interest than usual, as tables for most of the clubs were crowded with students. After such a harsh year and a half, the club carnival provided a beautiful reminder of what campus life was like before the pandemic. Possibly, a return to school for the first time since early 2020 sparked the Brave student body to be more interested in joining clubs.

“After 18 months of being inside and not being engaging with other students, it’s exciting to be with each other. It’s joyful. It brings an energy,” said Mr. Edward Torre, a moderator of Bosco’s Filipino Club, which had at least 50 student sign-ups this year.

Ultimately, clubs represent what St. John Bosco is all about, capturing the brotherhood that makes our school unlike any other.

“Having clubs means that we can achieve our mission here at St. John Bosco, which is to bring joy to the young, whether it be through academics, sports, culture or clubs,” said Mr. Torre.

With most of the student body being new to Bosco’s campus, this event gave them a great opportunity to meet new peers and really expand their horizons to figure out who they are and how to make the most of their Bosco experiences. 

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New Teacher and Baseball Assistant Coach A.J. LaMonda

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco welcomes Mr. A.J. LaMonda to the community, a teacher of anatomy and physiology as well as an assistant baseball coach.

Q. What college did you attend and what did you study?

A. I attended Loyola Marymount University, and I studied anatomy, physiology and biology.

Q.  Who is your favorite athlete and why?

A. My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson, who is the greatest athlete of all time. Just go watch highlights; the man was a monster in the NFL and MLB

Q. What schools did you coach and teach at before Bosco?

A. I started coaching at the Webb School, then got a job coaching at Servite and then I got a job at Orange Lutheran, where I was a science teacher and coach.

Q.  Why did you choose to teach anatomy and physiology?

A. It’s what I got my degree in, and I love how it relates to athletics. Thank you to St John Bosco for giving me my favorite subject to teach!

Q. What is your favorite type of food?

A. My favorites are home cooked meals, preferably on the barbecue!

Q.  Morning or Night person and why?

A. I am a morning person. I love the morning because it’s much more quiet and peaceful and makes me feel like I’m not wasting my day.

Q. For how long have you been teaching and coaching?

A. This is my fifth year teaching and eleventh year coaching (ten in the Trinity League).

Q.  Did you play any other sports outside of baseball that you loved and wish you continued?

A. I played football and basketball, but my love was volleyball

Q. How long did you play baseball and what was your favorite memory?

A. I played baseball from age three until I retired at 24. My favorite memory was hitting a grand slam in the first inning of the WCC Championship Game vs Pepperdine. The crowd went crazy and it was exhilarating, unfortunately we lost the game, but I usually keep that part out of the story.

Q. What are your favorite sports teams?

A. My favorite college team is the Florida State Seminoles, and my favorite professional team is the Los Angeles Angels.

Q. Where were you born and grew up?

A. I was born and raised in Orange, California.

Q. Do you like coaching or teaching more and why?

A. That’s a trick question. The simple answer is both, but they each have their advantages. Coaching is amazing because it’s the sport I grew up playing. Teaching is amazing because you get to know the students/people on a different level. You see how they interact with their peers and you can connect with them on different levels

Q. What’s your least favorite thing about both coaching a sport and teaching?

A. My least favorite part of coaching is Picture Day (easy), and my least favorite thing about teaching is grading (haha!).

Q. With your free time outside of coaching and teaching, what do you like to do?

A. Free Time? What’s that? If I have any, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my almost four-year-old daughter

Q. What made you choose to come to St. John Bosco and what excites you the most about it?

A. I have known Coach Barbara for almost 18 years, and he has been a very close friend. He helped inform me of a science position that was open and here I am. What excites me is getting to teach, coach and make a difference in the lives of these young men.

Q. What was your preparation like coming into a new school and coaching job?

A. Preparation was a little difficult, as I accepted the teaching position at the end of summer. But getting used to new technology, learning platforms, etc. Coaching just making sure what my role is and doing it to the best of my ability.

Q. What position did you play and why?

A. I played everywhere. I went wherever the team and my coaches wanted me. My favorite position was shortstop and centerfield.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about teaching and coaching?

A. My favorite thing about teaching and coaching is the atmosphere, the competition, the knowledge and the passion.

Q. Growing up, who was your role model?

A. My father was my role model.

Q. What are your goals for this upcoming school year?

A. I’d like to strengthen my faith, become more knowledgeable and continue my professional development on and off the field.

Q. Who is your favorite movie or TV show?

A. I am a huge movie guy so this is tough, but it would have to be Field of Dreams.

Around Bosco: Bosco Community Rejoices As On-Campus Learning Returns

by Aydn Morris

After a long 522-day wait, St. John Bosco High School has finally completely reopened for on-campus learning.

On May 13, 2020, St. John Bosco closed their school campus due to the spread COVID-19. As of Aug 17, 2021, St. John Bosco has officially reopened their whole campus for all students and staff, but still has to hold strict restrictions due to the Los Angeles County Health Guidelines.

As everyone would expect, the school wants to be able to have the campus open for the entirety of the school year. This would mean that there will have to be health and safety restrictions and complete cooperation between students, teachers and staff.

“The best way to keep everyone safe is to follow the rules with mask and if there is  any sort of symptomatic feeling of COVID-19 to not come to school because it would be safer for everyone, even if it feels like it’s a sacrifice to make,” said newly appointed Vice Principal of Student Affairs, Mrs. Jen Schnorr.

The school is asking for this because if anyone were to come to school with COVID-19, it could very easily spread and become unsafe for the students to attend school on campus. A COVID-19 outbreak is considered 3 or more cases that are linked together. If an outbreak were to ever happen the whole school would have to go into quarantine and switch back to online. This could heavily affect the students that are involved in any sports, clubs and student activities. 

“Having an outbreak would mean that sports teams could have games postponed or even cancelled, and senior activities as well could be cancelled or postponed. But as long as everyone can stay safe, all activities will go as planned,” said Mrs. Schnorr.

Although the vaccine is not required to attend school, there is a difference in the close contact guidelines for someone who is vaccinated in comparison to someone who is unvaccinated. 

“If you are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 [anyone who has been around them for 15 minutes and six feet away], you would have to be contact traced by the school. If you are vaccinated, you are cleared to stay at school as long as you don’t come up with any symptoms. If you are unvaccinated, you automatically have to go in quarantine for eight days, even if you don’t have any symptoms and come up with a negative test,” said Mrs. Schnorr.

The upside to being vaccinated would be not having to miss any of school, practices or games if the student tested negative for COVID-19, but the student still will have the same restrictions in keeping their mask on at all times. The school is doing their best to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 by holding all events outside, such as pep rallies, mass, homecoming and dances. Also, every L.A. county student-athlete has to get tested weekly, vaccinated or not.

In the 2021 Spring semester, students and staff were allowed back on campus but not at full capacity. Not having the school at full capacity really diminished the Bosco brotherhood because not all students had attended at the same time, which led to less communication between the students. 

“The reopening has strengthened our bonds again because being away for a year and a half has definitely pulled us apart brotherhood wise so it definitely affects us in a positive way,” said junior Manuel Huerta.

Not only was the Bosco brotherhood and communication affected by online learning, but the students’ grades were impacted, as well. Many of the students have said that learning online brought up too many distractions and temptations to overcome. Most, if not all, of the students and teachers prefer face-to-face interactions with each other, rather than looking at a screen.

The reopening of St. John Bosco has been fantastic so far. If any students are having trouble with the rough times, there are always people on campus who are available to help, such as Counseling Partners of Los Angeles (CPLA) and the counselors.

Around Bosco: Bosco’s Brand New Weightroom Fit For A Brave

by Ian Cook

St. John Bosco announces a new and improved strength and conditioning facility just as the 2021-2022 school year and athletic seasons kick off.

A brand new, state of the art Strength and Conditioning Center will open at St. John Bosco High School in just a few days. Although the Pandemic has put many obstacles in front of Bosco, this has not stopped the school from working toward the goal of helping boys become men in all facets of the academic and athletic experience.

The school received brand new dumbbells, bumper plates branded with the St. John Bosco Brave logo, squat racks, leveled out rubber flooring and more modern technology.

“We have a camera system coming in that will record every athlete’s reps, sets and also track their speed and velocity so that our guys will have something to shoot toward,” said Steven Lo, the football program’s offensive coordinator and the school’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.

Bosco decided to start this new project so that students can be prepared for what college athletic programs have in store for them in the future. Furthermore, the Strength and Conditioning Program has always focused on doing all they can to ensure students have the opportunities to reach their fullest potentials. 

“Facilities are one of the things that the school takes pride in. Anytime we can take advantage of building something that can match the school’s motto of students becoming the best version of themselves, we want to do that as much as possible,” Lo said. 

With this new Strength and Conditioning Center, Bosco hopes to continue to accomplish the goals they set out for their students, but also to progress and become the best school they can be. However, this wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution from the considerate donors who made this remodel possible. 

Most of the donors were St. John Bosco alumni and parents of current students. With the donations, Bosco worked with PLAE, a company that builds and remodels college and NFL weight rooms. PLAE has worked with many big institutions, such as The University of Maryland, Vanderbilt University, The University of Miami and Purdue University, to name a few. After seeing PLAE’s work, St. John Bosco decided to start this new project so that students can be prepared for what college has in store for them in the future. 

After the school announcement of the remodel of the new Strength and Conditioning Center, the Bosco community is excited to see what impact it will have on the our athletics and strength and conditioning programs. Although, the student-athletes themselves are more excited to specifically see how this new facility will improve their individual overall athletic performance. 

The football team has been looking forward to the day it opens, as they have already begun their 2021-2022 season with victories over Miami Central and Alemany High Schools. The program is glad that this remodel arrived when it may matter most.

“Like Coach Lo told us during our lift the other day, I am looking forward to the weight room because it’s come at the right time and will help make this year even more special then it already is,” said Malachi Finau, a senior defensive linemen.

With considerate donors as well as thoughtful coaches and administrators, St. John Bosco has continued to put a significant amount of effort into making our school the ultimate destination for male student-athletes. 

News/Op-Ed: Pfizer First Again, Vaccine Approved by the Food and Drug Administration Ahead of Bosco’s Vaccination Drive

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

As the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to surge, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became FDA approved, which in turn has led to a rise in vaccinations as there is less hesitancy amongst the citizens.

Photo by Getty Images

On December 11th 2020, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized under “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) for individuals of the age 16 or older. Since this time, many people in the United States have chosen to get vaccinated, though a large number of people have waited as they are hesitant due to the absence of an FDA approval. However, this all changed on August 23rd, as the FDA have now fully approved the use of the vaccine.

The vaccine will now be advertised as Comirnaty, which is now the new full name of the vaccine. This comes from an agglomeration of the words “COVID-19 immunity.”

With the Delta variant becoming more and more prominent in the country, the FDA approval could not have come at a better time, as people who were hesitant are now feeling a lot more confident in the vaccine. Since the approval, the vaccination numbers have increased with more and more people continuing to become vaccinated everyday.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken in June, a third of unvaccinated people said that they would be much more likely to receive the vaccination if it was FDA approved. With more people becoming vaccinated, the chances of a return normalcy in the U.S. are at an all-time high.

Since the approval of the vaccine, numbers for the vaccine have improved significantly, and many attribute that to the FDA approval. The amount of people receiving the vaccine per day has increased from 260,000 to 450,000 in the last month.

This increase in vaccinations comes at a dire time, as the Delta variant continues to surge, with vaccinations being the best way to defend against it. With these vaccinations, the amount of symptoms contracted by COVID-19 are significantly less and weakened, vastly outweighing any health risk for the average person.

Alongside the FDA approval, there has been continued support from many health officials and even political officials, including both former-President Trump and current-President Joe Biden, who were two of the first people to receive the vaccine publicly.

The vaccine is also available to children from ages twelve to 15 under EUA which has helped slow the spread of the virus immensely. With schools starting to re-open, safety is of utmost importance and having these children vaccinated makes it so the schools will not only be able to re-open but stay open.

If you are located in the Bellflower area, some local places that you can safely acquire the Pfizer vaccine are, Walgreens Co. 15740 Woodruff Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706-4018, Rite Aid 15924 Bellflower Boulevard, Bellflower, CA 90706-4602 and CVS Pharmacy, Inc. 11011 Alondra Boulevard, Norwalk, CA 90650. 

St. John Bosco High School will be also be providing both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for all students who are interested and have parental permission from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the gym this evening.

Life of A Brave: 21 Questions With First-Year Teacher And Bosco Alum Mr. Ruben Solorza

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

St. John Bosco welcomes back alumnus Mr. Ruben Solorza, a 2012 CIF Champion in cross country and member of the class of 2013.

Q. Where are you from, and what schools did you go to for elementary/middle school?

A. I am from Whittier, California. I attended St. Bruno’s Elementary, in Whittier, from Kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. 

Q. Did you play any sports or do any extracurriculars in high school?

A. I tried out wrestling for one season (yikes), and then ran cross country and track for three years after that. I occasionally helped out with The Brave newspaper as well.

Q. What are some things you wish you could have done differently in high school, and why?

A. I wish I would have developed better study habits early on. This would have helped me perform better as well, but I guess that’s all part of growing up. 

Q. What was your favorite memory of high school?

A. My favorite high school memory was winning the 2012 State Championship for Cross Country with my team. It was an amazing experience.

Q. Are you currently involved in any clubs or sports here at St. John Bosco, and if so, which ones and why?

A. I am the assistant coach for Cross Country and track. I’m also looking forward to helping out in the garden (shoutout to Mr. Corkhill).

Q. Where did you go to college, when did you graduate, and what was your major?

A. I went to Whittier College and was a double major in Environmental Science and Psychology. I graduated in 2017.

Q. What was your favorite memory of college?

A. My favorite college memory was getting to compete at the national level for NCAA in cross country. I enjoyed traveling with the team to different cities. Also, studying abroad in Denmark with great people was a lot of fun.

Q. Were you involved in any organizations in college, and if so, what?

A. Aside from cross country and track I was a part of the sustainability club and the culture center. In the cultural center, we put on a lot of events for different cultures. The food was great too.

Q. What brought you back to St. John Bosco and what excites you the most about teaching here?

A. This place is a second home to me, and everyone here is like my family. Of course, there are rough days, but I always leave this place each day feeling good about myself and the day. I love that I get to teach what I am passionate about and feel very thankful for this opportunity. It is the perfect place for me to learn and improve in my teaching career.

Q. What subject do you teach, where have you taught before St. John Bosco, and how long have you been teaching?

A. I teach Environmental Science as well as the AP course. Before Bosco, I taught two years at the elementary level in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have gone from helping kindergarten kids open milk cartons to well… still helping kids open milk cartons here at Bosco.

Q. Why teach environmental science, and how did you discover that this is what you wanted to do?

A. I love that it can be very hands on and engaging with fun labs and visuals. I also find it very relevant to our everyday lives. Growing up, my family loved the outdoors and we were always exploring the country. I have to thank my family for planting the seeds of interest there.

Q. What is your favorite part of being both a coach and a teacher, and why?

A. I love that I can really get to know the student body as a whole now. I feel I am a full member of this community again, and it’s exciting. I am still adjusting to being called “Mr. Solorza.” That will take some time.

Q. Do you enjoy traveling, and what is your favorite place that you have traveled to?

A. Absolutely! I am always always planning something. It is hard to say, but when I went to Hawaii for school in college, it was an amazing experience. We got to visit many great landmarks and stayed in a five-star hotel one night, which I will never forget. It also started my coffee addiction when we visited a coffee plantation.

Q. Where is one place you’ve never been to but want to go to, and why?

A. I have to pick two: Germany for the Berlin Marathon and for the history of the country, and Switzerland for the Alps! I have always wanted to go down one of those sleds on the mountains; it looks fun.

Q. What are some of your hobbies, and why do you enjoy doing them?

A. I love fishing and camping. I have been going with my family since I was very little. I also enjoy playing pickup sports games. I am always down for competition and often meetup with my alumni group for sports days.

Q. Do you enjoy sports, and if so, what are your favorite sports and sports teams?

A. I watch them all, but my favorite sports teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Eagles, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Lakers, USA men’s soccer and Bayern Munich. I also enjoy playing fantasy football.

Q. What types of music do you like, and who are some of your favorite music artists or bands?

A. I listen to a lot of different types thanks to my parents. Favorites would be The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Blink-182 and Sam Cooke. Basically, if you tell me to listen to something I am going to check it out and most likely enjoy it.

Q. What is your favorite food or restaurant?

A. I like anything barbecue. Also, my favorite post race meal was a classic burger, fries, and coke.

Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?

A. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love when everything is decorated and Christmas music. I definitely will be decorating my classroom when the holidays come around.

Q. Do you have any pets, and if not, what pet would you like to have?

A. I have a dog and a turtle. The turtle just goes about his business every day and eats. However, I have always wanted a chameleon.

Q. What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

A. My favorite shows are The Office, Ted Lasso and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. My favorite movies are The Dark Knight, The Other Guys and Rudy.

Around Bosco: As Los Angeles County Enters The Yellow Tier, Bosco Prepares TO Return To Normality Next School Year

by Joseph Theisen

As the percentage of the population that is vaccinated raises, COVID-19 restrictions fall, but what does this mean for Bosco students?

There are many changes for the better in the yellow-tier; music classes can now play wind instruments indoors and outdoors, theater classes are allowed to host indoor productions, high contact sports are now fully allowed indoors, and can have minimal spectators, and athletes no longer have to get weekly covid tests if previously required.

Mr. Adan Jaramillo, the Interim Principal, is excited to finally see a decline into what has been one of the most detrimental viruses.

“Moving into the yellow indicates that the county (L.A. County) is moving in the right direction to best mitigate the spread of the virus. The vaccinations have played a major role in how our county has been given less restrictions and been able to do more as a school” Mr. Jaramillo said.

If things continue on a downward trend, it is predicted that Los Angeles County will be in the green-tier by June. Foreseeing these factor, Bosco has decided to take action and create a plan that would benefit all students and take all precautions when coming back next school year.

“All activities and school operations will resume traditionally as we did before the pandemic. However we are challenged to look at how we operated and be innovative. 7 periods throughout the semester, white periods 1-7, blue 1-4, gold 5-7 with an X period. X periods will be community time, late start, or academic support” said Mr. Jaramillo, laying out the plans for the next school year.

In one of the strangest school years in recent history, the SJB staff and students have succeeded in the face of adversity. One of the factors that has allowed the school to prevail during times where everyone needs each other, being recognized by the people of administration.

“Our staff have been working so hard to be safe, be cautious, and provide the best education for all of our young men. Our teachers have rocked transitioning into COVID and coming back to campus. As a school our teachers shifted their entire paradigm of teaching and rocked it! As a Bosco Family we have gone through so many challenges, transitions, and changes. However, we are resilient and will continue to meet the moment. We are ready to bring all our brothers back to campus,” Mr. Jaramillo said.

But it’s not just business for the Interim principal, Mr. Jaramillo, as he is also excited to feel safe while socializing with his family and friends, and to see his two-year old make new friends at parks and other social settings. Bosco is a community that could never be separated and has proven to accommodate to in the most difficult of times. When coming back in the fall, students can be guaranteed to have a support program that they can lean on in their very own community.

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