Category Archives: Life of a Brave

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s Seniors Got Their Groove On At Annual Senior Luau

by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

This year’s Senior Luau was filled with plenty to see, do and eat. The successful night is a strong indicator for what the rest of the year has in store for the graduating Class of 2023.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

After long preparation, the Senior Luau made it’s return to St. John Bosco High School. Every year, each class hosts an annual class bonding event. This includes the Freshmen Barbecue, Sophomore Lock In, Junior Picnic and Senior Luau. A luau is a Hawaiian party with food and live entertainment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Luau is only the second class event for the class of 2023, as they hosted a successful Junior Picnic last spring.

The luau was held last Wednesday and started at 6:30pm and concluded at 9:00pm. Upon entering the Mary Help of Christians Quad, seniors were greeted with Hawaiian music, pick up volleyball games and plenty of students dressed to the theme. The quad was lined with round tables for Bosco and Joseph’s seniors to socialize.

Not long after the beginning of the luau, seniors were served Hawaiian food, while they caught up with their Brave brothers and Jesters sisters. Even after four years together, to many, it was surprising to see there were still a lot of new faces to meet and befriend.

“Because this was only our second class event, I was still unfamiliar with some [St. Joseph’s] seniors, as we don’t see them everyday. However, it was good to introduce myself and make new friends,” said senior Sam Hentges.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

As the night began to wrap up, hula dancers took the spotlight. The dancers even called on Braves and Jesters to come up and dance. The grand finale would be a fire dancer that would take the senior class by surprise. The fire dancer choreographed elaborate moves and tricks to keep seniors at the edge of their seats.

“My favorite part was when all of the water polo seniors got called up to dance,” senior Victor Murillo said. “I thought that was pretty funny as the hula dancers were guiding them.”

Spearheaded by Ms. Kelly Blakeman and the Senior Board, Bosco and Joseph’s students can be excited for what is to come. As this is first of many lasts, senior participation is at a high with over 100 Bosco students attending the luau.

With Homecoming weeks away, it is not too late for the class of 2023 to make some final memories of their high school days.

“This is my senior year, and I want to do every activity I can,” said senior Evan Chavez. “I am happy I get to spend my last events with my friends and end my high school career on a good year.”

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Science Teacher, Krista Welty

by Michael Barba

The Brave family is proud to welcome new biology teacher, Ms. Krista Welty.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Long Beach, CA.

Q: What is your ethnicity?

A: A Mix of Irish, German, Turkish and Spanish.

Q: What is your favorite meal?

A: Sushi. It’s an acquired taste, so I understand why some people don’t like it. I think the key is to mix your wasabi into the soy sauce then dip the sushi in.  If you put it on top, you can’t taste anything else.

Q: Do you have a favorite sport?

A: Football. Go Packers!

Q: Who are some of your role models and why do they inspire you?

A: Anyone who is kind to others and doesn’t give up on their goals.

Q: Do you prefer DC or Marvel?

A: Marvel. Black Panther is my favorite Marvel hero. Wonder Woman is my favorite DC hero.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

A: Reading.

Q: What did your parents do for a living?

A: My mom was one of the first female programmers in her field.  My dad was a manager at Southern California Edison.

Q: What was school like for you when you were growing up?

A: We didn’t have phones and had to use the card catalog to find books.  Teacher’s either wrote on a chalkboard or used a light projector.  My math teacher would always spit on a tissue to fix her answers, which I thought was gross.

Q: Where did you go to high school and what were some of your favorite memories?

A: I went to Los Alamitos High School. Going to football games and having lunch with my friends were my favorite memories.

Q: What three subjects interested you the most throughout your entire schooling career?

A: History, science and photography.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school or throughout your life at all?

A: Nope. I have zero athletic coordination. 

Q: Which colleges were you considering attending while in high school?
A: UCLA and CSULB.

Q: Where did you end up going to college?

A: CSULB because it was close to my house.

Q: Which school experience was more memorable for you, high school or college?

A: My lab courses in college were the most memorable. 

Q: Why did you decide to teach at Bosco?

A: It’s closer to my home than my previous job.

Q: How is Bosco treating you so far?

A: Everyone is very nice.

Q: What made you want to teach science?

A: I like doing experiments.

Q: Have you ever watched any Bill Nye “The Science Guy” videos?

A: I do like his quirky way of teaching science, but I don’t think he made videos when I was in school. There was no such thing as YouTube when I started college. I have always enjoyed science, and I had several really good professors in college that encouraged my love of science. One of the worst teachers I ever had was my Biology teacher in high school. I probably would have never majored in Biology if it wasn’t a required course in college. My college professor was a really great teacher, and I decided at that point that I could do a way better job than my high school Biology teacher.

Q: What was the most disgusting lab experiment you ever done?

A: Dissecting a sheep’s testicle. It was filled with this nasty smelling liquid, and we had to dig into it.

Q: Do you have any advice for people keen on entering the field of science?

A: Science is not about memorizing facts. It’s about asking questions and coming up with creative ideas to solve problems. 

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New Teacher, Mr. Brian Miller

by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Science teacher Mr. Brian Miller returns to education this school year after two years away from the profession and is another welcomed new addition to St. John Bosco High School.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. I grew up in Pasadena, CA

Q. What high school did you attend?

A. I attended La Salle High School in Pasadena.

Q. What college did you attend?

A. I attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where I studied Ergonomics, or movement efficiency. Unfortunately due to family issues, I returned home and complete my degree at California State University, Los Angeles. I also have an MA in Educational Administration from Concordia University in Irvine.

Q. Have you always been a teacher? If not, what did you do before becoming a teacher?

A. I have been teaching in one form or another since my junior year in college. I did take one year off and sold insurance for New York Life when I was 27 and spent the last two years selling and training sales people at CarMax, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. What brought you to Bosco?

A. After two years away from education, I had to return to who I am and what I do: my vocation as an educator.  I was an associate of Mr. Salmingo at La Salle High School, and he was instrumental in assisting me in joining the faculty here at Bosco.

Q. What’s been your favorite part of teaching at Bosco so far?

A. I am just very happy being back in my role as an educator.  I think that Bosco provides an excellent opportunity for me to interact with an amazing community of students and faculty. I am excited about a community that represents more than 20 countries with great cultural diversity. I am excited to be at a school that provides an outstanding balance of academics, athletics, arts and activities.

Q. What classes do you teach at Bosco?

A. Biology, Environmental Science, Anatomy and Chemistry

Q. What is your favorite field of biology?

A. Environmental Ecology and Human Anatomy.

Q. What is your favorite biology fact?

A. Alice the Algae and Freddie the Fungus took a Lichen to each other in one of the most amazing symbiotic relationships.

Q. What’s your favorite genre of music?

A. I am partial to storyteller songwriters like Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Jack Johnson, Dan Fogelberg and Gordon Lightfoot. But I also like a wide variety of music: Motown, R&B, soul, country and western as well as classic rock.

Q. What’s your favorite song?

A. So many, but some of my favorites are “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg, “What a Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I ride my bike, hike, paint watercolor, bake bread, garden and cook.

Q. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?

A. I miss having a dog, but where I live does not allow for pets.

Q. What is your favorite color and why?

A. I love the shades of indigo that appear at sunset from the horizon into the night sky.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. My favorite is anything that contains shrimp. Although pizza provides carbs, dairy, veggies and protein all in one bite.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant?

A. Lawry’s Prime Rib and Paco’s in Mazatlan.

Q. What is your favorite sport?

A. Baseball.  I coached at Bishop Amat, Saint Paul and La Salle.  At La Salle, my team won a CIF and State Title in baseball.

Q. What are your favorite sports teams?

A. I am an LA homer: Dodgers, Lakers, Rams and USC.

Q. What is your favorite drink?

A. Agua de Sandia (watermelon water).

Q. What can students expect in your class?

A. My class will make you think and look at the world in different ways.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in your time at Bosco?

A. Making my future better by teaching Bosco students how to make our world better.

Life of a Brave: Triduum Week Reveals New Strenna, “Sharing Our Gifts, Transforming Our World”

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

During Triduum Week, St. John Bosco High School Campus Ministry unveiled a new guiding theme for the year, called a “strenna” (Italian for “gift”), which calls for Braves to embrace their gifts while pursuing improvement and change in the world.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

In a society that is increasingly polarized, this message of combining individual talent with cohesive and unified action is a powerful one. It is consistent with a Bosco community that has thrived being an environment of many perspectives and ideas while retaining the core principles of a Salesian community.

“What any good strenna is meant to do is simultaneously uplift our Salesian family while presenting them with a gentle but concrete call to action,” said Campus Ministry President and senior Ricardo Rodriguez. “The first step in achieving that goal is recognizing and developing a sense of courage and security from the gifts we’ve been blessed with as individuals. Once we do that, we are empowered to point those gifts outward to engage in the Oratory.”

Rodriguez refers to the Oratory system of schooling pioneered by Don Bosco and continued at Salesian institutions around the world – a holistic educative system fostering learning around the tenets of home, school, church and playground.

This year’s strenna calls the Salesian community to action in all four parts of the Oratory. Campus Ministry Vice President and senior Ryan Gutierrez shared ideas about how that call to action can manifest itself in the actions of Bosco’s student body.

“As students of St. John Bosco High School, we can all share our gifts to other students and our community through various ways, such as programs like peer-to-peer tutoring, which allows students talented in various subjects to teach other students,” said Gutierrez.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Of course, the Strenna is all call to action beyond the parameters of the classroom, and many students are already using their talents to contribute to the larger Bosco community.

“Clubs at SJB, such as Key Club and Brothers of Bosco, strive to support their community through park and beach clean-ups, school supply and clothing donations and numerous fundraisers. By utilizing the gifts that God has blessed all of us with, we are able to make our world better,” Gutierrez said. 

The simple yet complex nature of the strenna calls all members of the Bosco community to action. 

“Like any good art, [the strenna] can be interpreted differently by different people while still getting the message across that meaningful impact is something we are all called to do, we are capable of doing and something we can find true joy in,” said Rodriguez.

Joy is something that Don Bosco sought for all of his children. That holistic, Christ-like joy is something that he preached and something that is found from humble service. This year’s strenna is undoubtedly a continuation of that idea, spreading joy through the humble use of one’s talents to better oneself, one’s community and the world at large. 

Life of a Brave: Bosco Esports Welcomes Their Newest Alumni Assistant Coach, Damon Jimenez

By: Ed Crowe and William Reynolds 

St. John Bosco High School alumnus and former esports player, Damon Jimenez, serves now as an assistant coach for the program. With every alumni that comes back, the esports program and the Bosco community overall grow stronger as a brotherhood.

Photo by Bosco Esports

“The amount of brotherhood I felt when first entering the Esports Lab was unreal,” said Coach Jimenez. “I was given so many opportunities. I felt like I should repay them by offering my help and giving more students the same amount of help I was given.” 

The decision to become a coach for Bosco Esports was backed by fellow alumnus, Head Coach Gabe Giangualano. Coach Gabe was a key factor in Damon’s decision in coming back and helping out the team that he played for when he was at Bosco, which is their Rainbow Six Siege team. 

“As a person, he is fantastic. He is a good young man that is very committed, focused and goal oriented. He knows what he wants to do and how to get there,” said Coach Gabe.

Damon Jimenez is currently attending college. However, he is still excited in giving his spare time back to Bosco. 

“It’s pretty insane to think about walking down the halls and up the stairs but not as a student, just feels different but also refreshing,” Coach Jimenez said. “As a college student, it is very stressful to balance education as well as coaching, which is what I am starting to experience.” 

From a player perspective, senior and Rainbow Six Siege team member, Ezekiel Tejeda, is excited that Damon will be coaching this season, as he has gotten to know Damon not just as a player but as a friend.

“We played Rainbow Six Siege for the second semester. It was nice having another football player on the team. He was one of the best new players we had,” said Ezekiel. “He learned fast and was just a natural player. He’s a wonderful dude. We play other games on the side after practice and school.”

Bosco Esports anticipates that their new assistant will bring the already dominant team closer together through commitment, focus and leadership to get the team to even greater heights.

From November 19-20, Coach Gabe said there will be a tournament called the “Grim Cup” held in the Esports Lab, where our very own Braves will take on colleges in the area and start to bridge the gap between high school and college level Esports.

Life of a Brave: Alder Meets The Braves 

by: William Reynolds and Ed Crowe

During Fall orientation for the 2022-2023 school year, the St. John Bosco High School senior class had a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak with members of Alder, an organization featuring a diverse collection of motivational speakers from various professional fields.

Photo by St. John Bosco High School Instagram

Principal Dr. Kris Anderson got the idea to collaborate with Alder when he met with Bosco parent, Mr. Kyle Cox. As a member of Alder, Mr. Cox possesses connections with dozens of successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and professional athletes who were willing to come and share their stories with the senior class.

Their stories were shared in the course of a panel discussion. The main focus of the discussion was the three principles of self, family and community. Alder believes that in order to help your family, you must first fix yourself, and in order to help your community, you must first fix your family. You cannot go to the next step without completing the previous step. If the steps are not followed in order, the goal will be harder to obtain.

“I felt proud to see our senior class, the leaders of our school, were engaged, asking great questions and giving thorough responses. I am just proud of the seniors that rose to the occasion,” said Dr. Anderson.

With every guest speaker came a story of perseverance. Their main focus was on how hard work and dedication can take someone a long way and how the choices they made impacted where they are today.

Mr. Cox, one of the most impactful speakers that led the event, unveiled his treacherous journey. When he was younger, he struggled to mature. To help him shape up, he enlisted in the Navy to attain leadership, discipline and hard work. After six years as a satellite technician, he was honorably discharged and began to set foot on a career of marketing strategy as well as marketing development. He then created his business TCG, a men footwear and lifestyle brand who are making a Bosco exclusive shoe for the school.

However, Cox was not the only one of Alder presenters who displayed perseverance.

Nancy Gale was one of the more inspirational speakers from the symposium. She told her story about how she made a living from being an entrepreneur in the world of fashion design. But she also went through a despairing time in her life following the murder of her mother in a home invasion. In the end, she used this tragedy and made something good out of it. She decided to start an organization called Ambition in memorial of her mother, which is a nonprofit organization that helps young entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

Another prominent speaker was Ryan Hollins, who offered his experience of persistence as a child growing up in the projects. Hollins became an NBA journeyman who played for nine teams in his career. But at the beginning of his childhood, he grew up in the worst of the worst environments and brought himself up on his own, falling in love with basketball from a very early age. After ten seasons of professional ball, he decided to retire and pursue a career in broadcasting so that he can still stay close to the sport he knows and loves.

After the panel spoke, the seniors went into small groups and conversed more personally at a table with two representatives from Alder. Everyone spoke about their life experiences and answered some ice breaker questions. The leaders talked to the seniors about the vast number of opportunities they have available to them as young men.

“I thought that the whole experience was one I will never forget because I learned so much about all of the potential opportunities that await me within the next couple of years from my two Alder mentors,” said senior Paxton Allison.

Dr. Anderson has confirmed that Alder will be making another guest appearance to next year’s senior class. They plan on having smaller discussions that are more specifically tailored to our six academic pathways.

Life of a Brave: Alumnus Dr. Eric Lane Returns to Fill Big Shoes as Athletic Director

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Eric Lane, Class of 2003, returns as the successor to St. John Bosco High School legend Mr. Monty McDermott, with an overarching plan to, in his terms, “trust the process,” as he looks to continue and evolve the rich tradition of Brave athletics.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Dr. Lane is aiming to first and foremost develop Bosco’s student-athlete’s as holistic young men, emphasizing the importance of both academic and athletic life. Dr. Lane mentions that to develop a holistic man, certain parameters have to be met.

“Trust the process. We are extremely blessed here at St. John Bosco high school because we have developed a reputation of excellence. We didn’t get here by not being holistic,” Dr. Lane said. “We’ve done things the right way since this school’s creation in 1940. We have to continue to trust that process, and it’s our job to foster those young men and continue to implement the strategies we’ve learned.”

He believes that retaining that guiding principle will allow Bosco to continue its success in athletics, but also serve as the springboard for even greater success. Trusting that process, but reimagining it at the same time.

Dr. Lane attended Bosco from 1999-2003. During his time at Bosco, he served as team captain for the varsity basketball team, and his team won a CIF Championship in 2003.  Succeeding a prolific winner in Mr. McDermott, Dr. Lane is no stranger to success and winning at a high level.

Beyond Bosco, Dr. Lane would go on to play collegiate basketball at Boise State and professionally in the Europe for TG Renesas Landshut in Germany and BC Rakvere Tarvas in Estonia. Dr. Lane attributes his success in both athletics and education to his time at Bosco. 

“Bosco was really a turning point in my life. As an African American from South Central Los Angeles, coming to Bosco opened up so many different opportunities,” Dr. Lane said. “The four years I spent here were really transformative to my life and set the tone of how I went into adulthood. [Bosco] taught me how to translate my athletic skills into life skills.”

One of his contemporaries, Principal Dr. Kris Anderson, Class of 2004, spoke admirably of Dr. Lane and is excited to work with him.

“He has an infectious personality, he’s incredibly knowledgeable, and he was quickly able to articulate his vision. I think ultimately what he brings is a perspective that has a lot of crossover that brings value as a former athlete and, beyond that, a man of faith. With all of his experiences combining, it’s just exciting to have him back on campus,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Lane notably represents the African American community, as the first black Director of Athletics at Bosco and being hired in a Trinity League that continues to diversify. Given that, Dr. Lane has a unique perspective regarding representation.

“As a person of color – as a black man – we are all aware of the racial inequities and societal issues that we have around race. I take a lot of pride to be the first black man in this position, but also that I can show all of our students and anyone else that you can elevate yourself to be in a position of leadership and inspire real change,” said Dr. Lane.

Dr. Lane is succeeding Mr. Monty McDermott, Bosco’s most successful and notable Athletic Director. Under McDermott’s tenure, St. John Bosco became an athletics program that consistently sits at the top of the Trinity League in multiple sports and holds two national, nine state and 18 CIF team championships.

“When I think of Monty, I was a student here when he was first hired, and he was always a great leader and supporter. I stayed in touch with him throughout my career as an athletic administrator,” said Dr. Lane. “I feel a sense of responsibility to not only carry on his legacy, but to do exactly what he would want to do and continue to elevate our standards of excellence and continue to build more opportunities for students and continue to build winning programs. I want us to change our departments to where we are running like a well-oiled machine, with the infrastructure and protocols and procedures to allow our coaches to be great.” 

Dr. Lane is beyond qualified in the field of athletic administration, serving as the Director of Development in Athletics at Cal Baptist University and Associate Director of Development in Athletics at California State University, Fullerton, and his high level degrees are a Bachelors in Communications from Boise State University, a Masters in Coaching from Concordia University and a Doctorate in Leadership and Education from California State University, Fresno.

Bosco President Dr. Brian Wickstrom, who has plenty of athletic administrative experience himself, gave an overwhelmingly positive view of the hiring of Dr. Lane.

“[Dr. Lane] is an outstanding individual who genuinely cares about the St. John Bosco student experience, understands St. John Bosco and its culture since he is a graduate, and has a very deep understanding of athletics from his years of experience in athletics,” Dr. Wickstrom said. “[He is] a very caring person, who genuinely cares about the future of St. John Bosco and St. John Bosco Athletics, cares about preparing students for successful post-high school careers in academics and athletics.”

Dr. Wickstrom mentions Dr. Lane’s eyes for the future successes of student-athletes beyond their time at Bosco, on which Dr. Lane placed a unique emphasis. 

“Alumni need to show that they are walking proof of St. John Bosco’s mission, and I want to highlight the importance of getting people back on campus to do that,” said Dr. Lane. “Come back home!”

There is no doubt that Dr. Lane holds a great regard for the values of Salesianity, the keystone of Bosco’s culture. A major part of his plan for Bosco Athletics is derivative of that need for Salesianity.

“[St. John Bosco High School] needs to continue to carry out those things that Don Bosco had wanted us to carry out. One thing I talk a lot about with my coaches is the importance of developing good young men, and from my experience that is rooted in part in Salesianity.”

Dr. Lane encompasses all of what Don Bosco intended and more, and his return to Bosco marks a continuation of that legacy.

Life Of A Brave: 21 Questions With New History Teacher, Kevin Jung

By Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

A new school year welcomes new faces to St. John Bosco, and Mr. Kevin Jung is one of the more notable arrivals, as he joins the Brave family to teach AP U.S. History, AP U.S. Government and Politics as well as AP Human Geography.

Photo by Bo Visty, Photo Editor

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. I was born in South Korea and moved to California when I was four. I grew up in Orange County all my life, originally living in Cypress and eventually settling down in Fountain Valley. 

Q. Do you have any siblings?

A. I have one younger sister named Jessica. She currently lives in Santa Cruz, contracted with Apple Maps to work on GIS models. 

Q. Are you a morning person or night person? 

A. I’m definitely an evening person, but I love that hygge feeling you get in the mornings. Maybe I’ll eventually switch over. 

Q. Where did you attend high school and college? What did you study?

A. I went to Cypress High School and attended California State University, Fullerton. I majored in English and minored in Business. Then, I got my Masters in Education from Union University and Masters in Divinity from SBTS. 

Q. Did you play sports in high school? Which ones?

A. I played tennis during my freshman and sophomore year, but never got into playing sports in high school. 

Q. How did you find St. John Bosco?

A. Honestly, I just happened to stumble upon St. John Bosco by accident. I didn’t know much about the school and just decided to apply when I found the job application online. I remember arriving on campus for the first time for the job interview, looking at the large football stadium, and thinking, “Huh, I guess they really like football.” 

Q. How have you liked Bosco so far?

A. It’s honestly been really refreshing so far. Back in Memphis, I had to constantly break up fights with students, in which I had “come back to Jesus” moments. It’s been a blessing to be a part of a supportive teaching staff and faculty, teaching in such a diverse, creative, and friendly student body. 

Q. What is it like teaching at an all boys school?

A. It’s not that drastically different. I’m not sure what exactly I expected, but it’s not really something that’s on my radar when I’m teaching anymore.  

Q. What is your go-to drink while teaching?

A. Definitely coffee!  My goal is to have a coffee machine in my class. 

Q. Do you have any advice for students taking your classes?

A. I’m always available if you need clarity or help. I’d recommend you make sure you take advantage of the resources in class, pay attention to the lectures, and participate in the discussions and activities. Put in the work and you’ll be fine. 

Q.  What do you do in your free time?

A. My free time usually goes into my church. But whenever I have time, I am usually hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants, going on road trips, reading, writing, and exploring hidden gems. Recently, I’ve been trying to get into fishing and cooking though. 

Q. What kind of music do you listen to?

A. Definitely have a weird range of genres that I listen to, whether it’s J Cole or Porter Robinson, but usually much chiller songs. A couple artists that I like are Lany, Lauv, Honne, Oh Wonder, Keshi, Astn, and Jeremy Zucker.

Q. What shows are you watching right now? What is your favorite show/movie?

A. I like Neil Gaiman so I recently got into “Sand Man”. Otherwise, usually rewatch “The Office”, “Friends”, and “Community.” I’m usually down to try out any show/movie/anime so let me know if any of you guys have recommendations. 

Q. What is your favorite video game?

A. I started out with Starcraft, but lately I just play League of Legends, TFT or chess whenever I have time. 

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. My dad’s a sushi chef, so I’m kinda biased towards anything seafood. 

Q. Are you a hypebeast? What is your favorite piece you own?

A. Hahaha, not really a hypebeast. I never really jumped on the “Supreme” train. I have a couple F.O.G. shirts, though. 

Q. What is one place you would like to travel around the world?

A. Probably one of the Scandinavian countries. 

Q. Lebron James or Michael Jordan?

A. Michael Jordan. Still, you definitely can’t deny [Lebron James’] impact and influence that comes from bringing home the championship to three different franchises.

Q. Who has the best chicken sandwich?

A. I’d rather eat at In-and-Out. 

Q. If there is a zombie apocalypse, where would you go and why?

A. I’d go home. Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away. 

Q. What are some hidden talents that you would like to share?

A. Ask me about it the next time you see me.

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Longtime Golf Coach and Faculty Member, Mr. Jack Hastert

By Aydn Morris

Mr. Hastert continues to make his mark in the Bosco community, even after first stepping foot on campus 56 years ago.

Mr. Hastert has been all over the Brave community. Whether it was as a student, teacher, coach or counselor, he has done it all.

Mr. Hastert taught 37 years at Bosco, focusing mainly on the religious aspect of teaching, as that is what he wanted to give back to the students. He taught sophomore Morality, Social Justice and Relationships, as well as freshmen Old Testament and New Testament. He also taught Christian Service, which was a senior class that took place off-campus. The class was for seniors to serve their community any way that they can, whether it was tutoring, helping out at handicapped kids, among many other noble causes, with the goal to follow God’s will to serve others.

“I never really had much of a career plan. My goal was always to have this vague idea to help others, but I never really knew how I would go at it,” said Mr. Hastert. 

About a year after graduating, Mr. Hastert applied to a Jesuit volunteer group, called Jesuit Volunteer Corp, in which he ended up spending two years in Seattle teaching physical education. At the time, it was one of the biggest Catholic grammar schools on the west coast. In 1978, he got a job as a youth minister at St. Dominic Savio, which is also where he met his wife of 42 years. 

Mr. Hastert was in need of another job with his kids being on the way, but luckily, Bosco asked him to run the bookstore for year. After the year, St. John Bosco asked him if he would like to teach, but Mr. Hastert was hesitant about taking a teaching job. At first, he declined, but Bosco was able to convince him to take the job, and he made sure he was great at his job every single day. 

Mr. Hastert spent two years teaching, and then was asked to become Campus Minister, which led him to quitting the job that he still had at St. Dominic Savio, even though he continued to run the bookstore. He held one and a half jobs for about six years so that his wife could stay with the kids while they were still little. 

In addition, Mr. Hastert was the Religion Department’s chairperson and the Athletic Director, which he said no to at first because he thought he would be too busy for it, with his kids just getting ready to go to high school. However, he ended up serving that role for ten years. This was special to him, as for all his time at Bosco, there were only three other athletic directors: Marty Duissere, Ed Riley and Monty McDermott.

Not only was he a teacher, Athletic Director and Campus Minister, but he was also known as coach for Bosco football and golf. Coaching was one of the jobs Bosco did not ask Coach Hastert to do, but athletics was something he wanted to be a part of. He coached football for 26 years, serving as freshman head coach and varsity special teams coordinator. He then moved his coaching career into golf, which Mr. McDermott suggested because he knew he loved the game of golf. 

Lastly being a guidance counselor was the only job Mr. Hastert ever asked for. He held this job from 2002 to 2011 and it was one of his favorite jobs at Bosco because of the psychological love for dealing with the students, their families and their feelings. 

“One thing I would’ve done differently in life would have been change my major to Psychology, because at the time I didn’t know what that was but now that I do, I would have done that,” said Mr. Hastert.

He also enjoyed it because the people, even those that retired in the department, which he is still very close friends with, made it feel like it wasn’t work at all.

“Bosco has always been this place where you don’t feel like you are going to work with people you hate, but going to work with people you consider friends and family,” said Mr. Hastert

Mr. Hastert has taught and coached many Bosco alumni, which just makes his job so much easier. 

Mr. Hastert has always been a family person, as many of his decisions have been made for his family. He was the oldest of his three brothers and three sisters, and they all bonded very closely as they did everything together growing up. His youngest sibling was born when he was 14 years old, and crazy enough, Mr. Hastert taught his youngest brother at Bosco twice. 

He also has three kids: two daughters and one son. Both of his daughters went to St. Joseph High School and his son also went to Bosco. His oldest daughter, Julianne, is a nurse with two children, his other daughter, Rachael, also has two kids and works for many companies’ websites, and his son Jacob sells medical equipment to hospitals, and he has a son and daughter as well. 

Mr. Hastert loved sports as a kid, and he is a fan of the Rams, Dodger, Lakers and USC. 

“I know a lot about sports. I should have been a sports announcer,” said Mr. Hastert.

His love for sports is the reason he started coaching, as he also played many sports growing up, including baseball, basketball, soccer, football, cross country and golf.

As much as Coach Hastert loves sports and golf, he announced his retirement from coaching, with this season being his last.

“I wanted to have more free time to spend with my wife, to go traveling, visiting our family and not missing out on family events. It certainly wasn’t that I didn’t like it anymore, although I did get frustrated at players not listening or responding to emails, text or not showing up to matches. The main reason was to spend time with my wife and my family,” said Mr. Hastert.

Although he is stepping down as the head coach, he will still be a part of the team to help out if needed, which shows true love and dedication to Bosco.

“There are many things about Bosco that I really like, but the diversity of the place is one thing I love. It’s not just ethnic diversity, it’s financial diversity. There is academic diversity. We have people from all over the world at the school. If you point one direction there are people coming from there and from the other direction there are people coming from there, you can point any direction and there are people coming from there,” said Mr. Hastert

He doesn’t believe that the students realize how much of an advantage that is to their lives because the diversity allows one to hear from multiple people’s perspectives, and that has even opened his eyes up about everyone’s unique challenges that they have to overcome to be successful, helping him grow as a person.

“What has made Bosco such a special place to me is the family spirit. The Salesians really fostered the concept of Don Bosco and are all about being family, which is really important. With less Salesians, I am concerned we will lose that family spirit. They used to really push us on how important family was, but if Bosco loses the concept of family, it might not be as good as it was,” said Mr. Hastert

Although Mr. Hastert may be leaving his Bosco occupation, he definitely values family in his life, and will always be a part of the Bosco family.

Life of a Brave: Q&A with St. John Bosco’s Class of 2022

By Ethan Gibbs

As graduation approaches, many seniors are reflecting on their past years here at Bosco.

Kai Storch

Q. What is your favorite memory at Bosco?

A. The junior ring ceremony where I got to speak at the event and get our rings was my favorite moment.

Q. What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or shadows?

A. Get involved. Make sure you come to Bosco and do something. Don’t come here and do nothing because you will be bored. Come here and try to get involved in something, as everyone here has open arms.

Q. Where do you imagine yourself ten years from now?

A. Hopefully I’m successful and doing what I’m passionate about, which is public health. I’m majoring in public health, and that’s what I like to do, so hopefully I’ll be able to be stable and happy.

Q. Who is your favorite teacher at Bosco and why?

A. My favorite teacher at Bosco would have to be Mr. Perez. I had him sophomore year for Algebra 2, and he is funny and always made me laugh.

Q. What is different about the school from your freshman year?

A. The dress code. Freshman year, the dress code was so strict and now, senior year, you can have long hair, earrings, facial hair. Everything is so more lenient, and I think it’s better for our community because we’re finally modernizing.

Q. Describe your senior year in three words?

A. Happy, healthy, strong.

Nova Goldsby

Q. What is your favorite memory at Bosco?

A. I liked hanging out with my friends at the lunch tables and sometimes food fights that would happen. The bus rides to and from school were fun, as the bus drivers were always really dope and chill.

Q. Who’s your favorite teacher and why?

A. Mr. Vigil because he always asks me how I’m doing, and it makes me feel better.

John-Paul Lim

Q. What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or shadows?

A. Get involved in anything you can, get more inclusive in the school.

Q. Where do you imagine yourself ten years from now?

A. Hopefully with a decent job, hopefully in biology or business.

Q. What career are you looking to go into?

A. I want to become a doctor or do something in marketing.

Q. How has Bosco helped you grow as a person?

A. Bosco has helped me grow as a person by introducing me to new people from around the area that I otherwise would not know.

Q. Who is your favorite teacher at Bosco and why?

A. Mr. Requerme because he understands not to give too much work, but also to not be too easy so he has a good balance of work and free time in his classes.

Q. What subject was your favorite and why?

A. Probably AP Biology senior year.

Jack Earley

Q. What is your favorite memory at Bosco?

A. It was definitely online learning.

Q. What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or shadows?

A. You might not have the best time here compared to your friends outside of school, but you’re going to have a lot of opportunities here, so try your hardest because at the end of it, you’ll appreciate it.

Q. What career are you looking to go into?

A. I’m looking to go into the arts and entertainment industry such as movies, acting and stunt men.

Q. Who is your favorite teacher at Bosco and why?

A. My coach, Mr. Beatty, because he has helped me become a better student and helped me grow as a student and as a Bosco Brave.

Q. What subject was your favorite and why?

A. Entrepreneurship because we got to go to UCLA and present a project there for free, and it helped me see what a college campus is like.

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