Category Archives: Around Bosco

Bosco: New Band Teacher Bobby Easton Fills The Gap

by Lucas Agatep

When our Bosco community lost Mr. Eugene Fabiero, a space in our community was left and a position in the music program appeared. New band director Bobby Easton has come in to fill that gap.

A graduate of Long Beach State, Mr. Easton has 20 years of teaching experience, previously working around the Long Beach Unified School District mainly as a substitute teacher. Eventually, he taught full time for 4th and 5th grade students for a year each and worked in various after school programs, all in music. He worked with kids from preschool all the way up to college and adult students.

Apart from teaching, Mr. Easton likes to indulge himself in the music industry, working as a professional musician in his own band, playing around the LA area with different bands, records and music producers.

He has also recently even played at Coachella. On a more personal side, Mr. Easton also enjoys teaching Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), Brazilian music, swimming and is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.

With it being close to the end of the school year, it was sudden to have to bring in someone that can pick up were Mr. Fabiero had left off. Though difficult, Mr. Easton is confident about his teaching skill due to him having much experience as a substitute teacher and picking up where others had previously left off.

“Absolutely, it is very challenging, but my experience as a substitute teacher has trained me to adapt quickly to situations that I come into. With Mr. Fabiero passing and the turning over with various different subs, I know it’s a challenge to come in here but I look at what we have to work with and just try to do my best with what’s at hand,” said Mr. Easton.

This type of community is actually a new teaching environment for Mr. Easton. This is the first time he has worked in an all-male and Catholic school. But, the way he teaches hasn’t changed because of that. The way he runs his class is what he calls an “organic approach” that tries to connect the art and feelings that is in music to help his students learn the material.

“Music is a mix between art and science in a way, because the theory of music can be very scientific, but music is an art of expression and feeling,” said Mr. Easton.

He could tell that the current state of the music department has potential and has heard of some indication of improvement in the future due to some of the current renovations and implementations that the school has done in recent years.

“I recognize that the music department has a lot of potential but needs a lot of help to pick up where the previous teachers had left off. I understand that the school has had renovated other parts of the school and I heard that VAPA (Visual And Performing Arts) would possibly be renovated in the near future. I really see a lot of potential in this school and students for their desire to learn,” said Mr. Easton.

With that in mind and the mention of possible changes in the program’s future, Mr. Easton would like to see a more diverse and unique field implemented into the music program. He requested that a modernization of the program would be beneficial and a nice addition due to the advancements of technology that are currently being used in music production around the world.

“I would like to see a jazz band. I would also like to see a music technology program here that teaches kids about digital music production and studio recording as we move deeper into the 21st century, teaching the kids the newer tools that are becoming commonplace in music,” said Mr. Easton.

Though it was sudden to have to replace such a memorable member of the community, it is nice to know that the music program is in good hands with Mr. Easton. Please welcome Mr. Bobby Easton to the St. John Bosco family and community!

 

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Margie Woods

by Elliston Ospina and Jake Newman

“Through my husband, I was able to see the eyes of Bosco.”

Ms. Woods is one of the most beloved members of our school’s faculty. She represents the light and kindness of Don Bosco in her everyday routine.

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The legend herself – Ms. Margie Woods – has a very dynamic role at Bosco. She is responsible for attendance control and messages, absences and notes, an everyday, all-day type of task.

This is what makes Ms. Woods a hero at St. John Bosco High School. She cares about the students at Bosco and who they are. She goes out of her way to make sure we are doing well and carrying our weight academically and in the community.

Not to mention, she is known to make the best cookies on the planet.

Ms. Woods explained her motivation to be such a light on our campus and why she gives so much back to the students. It lies in a traumatic event in her past.

On October 19th, 2011, she lost her husband. He was a freshman math teacher at Bosco who was regarded with high remarks. All latter math teachers would always tell Ms. Woods of how great of a teacher he was and how much he cared for his students. 

When he passed away, she received a ton of love and support from her students and from the faculty and staff at Bosco. They were there for her at one of her most difficult times.

“Through my husband, I was able to see the eyes of Bosco,” said Ms. Woods.

She is referring to Bosco being more than just a place for academic growth, but a place for spiritual and individual growth as well. However, if she could have one recommendation for our faculty, it would be for Bosco to return to its core values of being more purposeful and engaging in what we do. 

She is an extreme advocate of the ‘Pay It Forward’ mentality. This is why she does what she does: the cookies, the long talks, the cup o’ noodles. She makes little to no profit off of it, but spends every night preparing these things for her students the next day. It’s all meant to cater to the students.

Ms. Woods represents something we all need to embrace: a selfless train of thought. We need to look after those in our community just as we look after ourselves.

IMG_1106This is the very thing that attracted her to come to St. John Bosco. She was attracted to how much of a family the community tends to be. Since her husband was already a teacher, her getting job here wasn’t a shock. 

“My husband and son graduated here, and I went to Savio in seventh and eighth grade. So this school has been apart of my life for along time,” said Ms. Woods.

After her 15 years of being on the staff here at Bosco, Ms. Woods is still embracing every little moment she has and is enjoying it very much. The kids is what keeps her here at Bosco.

“The students is my favorite thing about this job. I enjoy the students and understanding where they are coming from,” said Ms. Woods.

However long she decides to stays here, one thing is for certain, the student and the rest of the staff will continue to love and embrace her and she will do the same to everybody else.

Bosco: Annual Blood Drive Another Success

by Joshua Lucero and RJ Johnson IV

St. John Bosco High School has connected with Cedars-Sinai Hospital D2mRbosUcAAEd42.jpg-largeto put on the school’s annual blood drive from this year. Students, faculty, staff and other people of the community were given an opportunity to donate blood on March 26th.

Students who were 16 or older were given a chance to help save lives with their donations, with help from a signing from their parents. Students who are 17 years or older were welcomed to donate.

Bosco students had to answer a number of questions, making sure they were cleared to help save lives. Blood donations serves for a number of purposes, asit helps with open heart surgeries, liver, and kidney transplants. Trauma victims that have been in car accidents, shootings, fatal injuries and other life-threatening situations are helped.

The blood donations serve more than just helping adults with these surgeries and life-threatening accidents, but also with helping babies through various conditions.

Mr. Weinandy, a teacher at St. John Bosco, was one of the main instructors who orchestrated the blood drive. The blood drive itself took almost two weeks to advertise to the student body, teachers, and to the public.

Mr. Weinandy was happy to see so many Bosco Braves helping others. He hopes for next year to see an even stronger support, not only from Bosco students but from those who represent Bosco as a whole.

Through Cedars-Sinai, the Bosco community was able to donate blood to all types of patients. Each donor gave a pint of blood. Among the students, there were an estimated 58 Bosco Braves who aided to help save a life.

From these 58 donors, there were 55 pints of blood donated, which is 6.875 gallons. In the fall – when Cedars-Sinai partnered with Bosco in the beginning of the year – the turnout had an estimated 60 donors. All together from the fall and from March, there were 118 donors and 113 pints collected, which is 14.125 gallons.

Faculty and staff were able to donate as well. Mr. Salmingo was among the many of Bosco’s staff who donated. He, like many others, did this to help give back to those in need.

After donating to those who gave their blood, the donors were given food and drinks to help aid with the loss of their blood. In the end, many helped out those in need.

 

SJB Unsung Heroes: Bobby Bernado

by Jacob Jornadal and Jake Bailey

In any well-functioning community, there are always certain individuals that keep everything running smoothly, like the oil that keeps the engine running in an automobile.

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Within the St. John Bosco High School community, there are many stars – academic and athletic – that shine very bright in all aspects of life, but without the unsung heroes doing the blue-collar work that they do, those “stars” at Bosco would struggle to succeed as much as they do.

Bobby Bernardo is Bosco’s “Mr Everything.” From maintenance to organizing sporting events, Bobby does just about anything he is asked to do and more with a smile on his face at all times.

It’s humbling to see the impact one person can have on someone or something when that person consistently does his job the right way.

“I have helped organize many events like flag football tournaments, volleyball events, and I also work the snack bar for such events as well,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby’s main responsibility around school is to manage the locker room as well as work the concession stand at sporting events. Even with these main and major responsibilities, Bobby is extremely flexible and does much more that usually goes unheard and unseen.

If Bobby wasn’t already loved by everyone in the Bosco community, his story about how he arrived at our school will surely compel everyone to jump on the Bobby bandwagon. His background and journey to SJB shows that through hard work, dedication, and consistency, anything is possible.

“I was born and raised in the Philippines, and graduated from Don Bosco Tech in the Philippines. When I moved here with my family, my son attended Bosco and while there, I got involved in many activities around the school,” said Bobby.

Bobby continued to speak about how he began by helping with sporting tournaments, as well as Catholic youth organizations, and now is an area representative for local youth programs.

Bobby has what seems to be a deeper love for St. John Bosco than most, as a result of the family ties that he has with the school.

“My son graduated from Bosco and absolutely loved his time spent here. My brother in-law as well as many of my cousins have graduated from here too, so I am very familiar with the environment and culture here,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby has not worked at any other school and does not plan to anytime soon. His love for Bosco and the people within is a massive part of who he is. SJB has helped Bobby mold into the person he is and has offered him comfort and structure for which he is forever grateful.

“My favorite part about SJB has to be the brotherhood. It is unlike anything I have ever seen and it truly is special,” said Bobby.

“Outside of the brotherhood, I love attending the sporting events here, especially football and volleyball games. The energy and excitement is a feeling one can only experience in person, at the game itself, and it is really indescribable. Bosco has a special place in my heart forever,” he continued.

Many schools have important and resourceful people at their school but unlike others, Bobby continues to keep a close relationship with the entire community, helping out anyone in need.

Bobby is an essential key factor in keeping Bosco in top-notch condition, making it one of the best overall high schools in California. It really would be impossible for SJB to thrive in the fashion that it does without Bobby.

Everyone around campus adores and appreciates Bobby, but now more than ever, students, faculty, and staff should give an extra thanks to Bobby when they see him, making sure he knows just how much he is appreciated.

Thank you Bobby, on behalf of all the St. John Bosco faculty and students, for everything you do!

Bosco: Sports Med Pathway Proving Its Worth On Campus

by Gabriel Botello

Last year was the first year in the annual Sports Medicine competition for St. John Bosco High School.

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Photo – Jalen Manson and Michael Beltran

The team competed for the first time as juniors, and with six of them representing St. John Bosco, placed 26th place.

The team had to take 150 multiple choice questions about injury scenarios, different types of injuries, legal terms, nutrition, and other things related to the field. In addition, students also had to perform a practical exam where they were given a structure to palpate, an injury to evaluate, a scenario to perform, and a taping job.

For it being the team’s first year and with over 75 schools from the United States being present, the outcome was successful. This year, the team is coming back with more students and feel more prepared than last year.

The Sports Medicine pathway is all about educating, showing, and preparing students for how to treat injuries resulting in any sporting activity.

“The pathway has inspired me to pursue a career in the medical field. All four years of the pathway has definitely benefited me and made me grow as a person and [see a future] career wise,” said senior Sebastian Padilla.

The pathway has clearly been regarded as highly successful and continues to trend in the right direction. It’s benefits towards students looking to pursue a future career in sports medicine is clear.

“The Sports Medicine pathway gave me structure throughout high school. Entering Bosco I was unsure as to what subject I would study in college, I didn’t have any passions. I was interested when I heard about the pathway and decided to see where this interest would take me,” said senior Javier Ochoa.

Just from the experience of two students, as well as myself, the Sports Medicine pathway at Bosco has been a great addition to an already wide pathway realm.

 

Bosco: Hambones BBQ Near Campus

by RJ Johnson

Hambones! An alive piece of Southern hospitality located in Bellflower, California on Alondra Boulevard. This barbeque restaurant brings about a unique presence within the BBQ community that not many other restaurants can offer.

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At Hambones, you have a wide variety of different main courses to pick from, along with side dishes that do more than compliment the meal.

Unlike larger barbeque restaurant chains, Hambones prides itself in building personal bonds and relationships with all of their customers. Instead of just being a quick bite to eat, it feels more like an experience. Revisiting Hambones feels like catching up with an old friend, home-cooking away from home.

Hambone’s owner – Kenneth Hambone Hamilton – had the Hambone’s franchise and original recipes passed down to him by his father and was expected to carry on the legacy. Mr. Hamilton did more than just meet expectations, opening up several locations across America in Mississippi, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

A signature item on Hambones Chicago location’s menu are turkey tips. Kenneth

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Photo – RJ Johnson

Hamilton says that he is the originator of this dish and it would be extremely rare to find this anywhere else in America.

Since there are very few Hambone locations in comparison to other barbecue restaurants like Johnny Rebs and Lucille’s, what you see at each location will always have it’s very own unique form.

“Our number one ingredient for our meat at every single one of our locations is wood! It has a more distinctive taste, unlike propane. Wood is extremely important for what we do,” said Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton isn’t only a restaurant owner, but an active leader of the youth, hosting seminars and helping young men stay on the right path throughout the rest of their life. He believes that how we mold our youth is very important and that the future starts with them.

Hamilton has given a few endangered youth job opportunities working with him, and helping them build connections with other successful people.

With all of the things that Kenneth Hamilton already has to do in the community, it would seem as if he has hardly any time left. He still finds the time to be the president of a Motorcycle Club.

Juggling work, the growth of others, and the community around him has found its way to become a norm for Mr. Hamilton. The passion he has shown for his craft has paid off, making Hambones a personal favorite for many barbeque fanatics.

 

Bosco: “Ragtime” Play Review

by John Gallegos

The St. John Bosco theater program entered 2019 with the task of tackling the play Ragtime: The Musical. A play with a social message that resonated with the audience as the material, although taking place in the early 20th century, parallels similar struggles we face today.1_Ragtime_Poster_(1)

Like many great works of art, there are a plethora of layers to be depicted throughout “Ragtime”. Yet these layers are glaring as they deal with the continuing problems in American society with topics like social justice movements, race relations, immigration, as well as privileges stemming from affluence.

Although these may take place in at the turn of the century, over a hundred years ago the relevance is enhanced in this tumultuous time period we are in. 

Malcolm X once said  “You can’t drive a knife into a man’s back nine inches, pull it out six inches and call it progress. The progress is healing the wound the blow made.” 

Many of these issues have been addressed, yet no true healing has ever occurred as social problems have been drawn out through the last century and carried over into today’s society. 

The issues surrounding immigration are not just a topic that just we as Americans are familiar about. The play followed the journey of Tateh, a Jewish immigrant played by Victor Curiel, and the struggles he faced throughout his search and hopes for the so-called American Dream. Although coming from different places and for different reasons, immigrating at this time was still a hot topic and a pressing issue.

 The issue of privilege deriving from affluence and authority is another issue touched upon throughout the play in several different ways. Actor Joshua Dreyer played the Father in the play. Father was a character who was extremely wealthy yet received no true repercussions for his actions.

A topic all too familiar at this time as the recent college admissions scandals have been publicized and the means in which certain public figures would get around the college admissions process. The saying goes “access is power”, which happens to resonate with today perfectly, as the access to virtually anything is possible to those with the means to achieve it. 

“Ragtime” may brush through several issues that surround us today but none is more glaring than the issue of race and race relations, especially in regards to the African-American community. Taking place during the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment began to surge and spread like wildfire as people were questioning what does justice mean, and if it has a color.

Newer movements like Black Lives Matter and other self-empowering movements are still asking the same questions. “Ragtime” was able to capture a snippet of what it was like to be a black man at this time. Although we have come a long way from the early 1900’s, we still see residual effects that people have to deal with.

The audience was able to peer into the life of a troubled African-American in Coalhouse Walker Jr. through the portrayal of actor Ryan Jones. He played the position with extraordinary passion as well as a demeanor that captured the attention of the audience with a charismatic charm. Smooth piano playing Coalhouse was willing to put his life on the line, after everything was taken, for what he believed and never lost hope in the Promised Land. Jones took the play over with his extraordinary vocals throughout, even with the extremely challenging task in playing as Coalhouse.

Director Martin Lang said, “[Ryan] is a unique individual who has great strengths and has done a great job with the broad emotions and was able to do it all.”

Mr. Lang also did a stupendous job, especially while challenging the theater program with such a deep and difficult musical. He created a stunning atmosphere through the scenes, as the set was remarkable in achieving its goal. His set didn’t do too much but did the perfect amount to spark creativity throughout the play, allowing the actors and actresses to take the reigns.

“They did an amazing job, as they were given truly tough material that they rose up to produce, but most important of all… they told the story well,” said Mr. Lang

Ultimately, the play “Ragtime” was another success out of the SJB/SJHS theater programs as they gave the audience a memorable performance each and every night.

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