Category Archives: Life of a Brave

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Dean Of Enrollment Mrs. Becky Ellison

by Ed Crowe

Anyone who has walked into Mrs. Becky Ellison’s office has been the beneficiary of her kindness, compassion and selfless attention. 

Mrs. Ellison is a treasure to the Bosco community. As the dean of enrollment, she has helped many students of St. John Bosco High School in their admissions process. She works with many eighth graders with their incoming freshmen interviews, along with giving tours of the St. John Bosco campus. However, her biggest work comes with the responsibility of planning and organizing Open House. 

As part of the admissions department, Admissions Coordinator Mrs. Patty Lazcano works alongside Mrs. Ellison and has developed a strong friendship with her.

“I think there is no better person than Mrs. Ellison. She has a strong faith that is lived out everyday. She is always serving others and being a role model to our Bosco community. Her laughter is contagious and her heart is huge. I feel very honored and blessed to be working alongside her,” Mrs. Lazcano said.

“Smart, funny, committed, honest, Godly woman. A wonderful Mother and hard working.”

Even though they have only been working together for the past two years, they still relish each other’s company, especially when working together on admissions events. The admissions department teams up to give many stellar presentations about the four pillars of St. John Bosco to schools and families throughout Southern California. 

Anything in the realm of admissions, from applications to interviews and class presentations to high school fairs, Mrs. Ellison is essential behind the scenes. 

Another coworker that thinks highly of Mrs. Ellison is Mr. Michael Crawford who has been part of the Bosco community since 2015. While he started as a Bosco Football coach, he was brought on in 2020 to work on admissions with Mrs. Ellison.

“She is the most selfless person I know. There is not a kinder human being than Mrs. Ellison,” said Mr. Crawford. 

Mr. Crawford is not the only person that looks up to Mrs. Ellison. Her son, sophomore Andrew Ellison, believes that she is fantastic at her jobs of being Dean of Enrollment and also a great mom. 

“I think that she’s a very caring person and that she treats everyone equally with the same amount of love and respect,” said Andrew. 

Much like Mrs. Lazcano, Andrew also believes that his mom is a huge help in the admissions process for students.

“She’s helped get a lot of people into the school, and she’s helped a lot of kids working with ambassadors,” Andrew said. 

In the perspective of mother-to-son, Mrs. Ellison is kind and caring to her family as well as the students she has helped out in her time at Bosco. Not only is she helpful around her own family, but she is also helpful around the Bosco family, and because of her sons – Andrew as well as Jake Ellison who graduated last year – she has been involved in the Bosco community for years and hopefully will be for years to come.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New SJB Global Director, Mrs. Diane Gihring

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

St. John Bosco High School welcomes SJB Global Director Mrs. Diane Gihring, as she works to serve all students on campus and around the world with St. John Bosco High School’s innovative online learning option.

Photo by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. I grew up in Corona, California.

Q. What school did you attend for university?

A. I got my Bachelors degree at Concordia University Irvine. I studied English and got my Teaching Credential at Concordia University. I also attended Chapman University and got my Masters degree in English. I am currently attending Claremont Graduate University and pursuing my Doctorate degree in English.

Q. Do you have any prior experiences working in constructing an online school program as SJB Global?

A. Yes! I helped build Orange Lutheran Online starting 20 years ago. I created online classes, trained and taught online as a teacher, became an administrator and oversaw the day to day running of the online school and visioning for the future.  This included hiring, training, and supervising online teachers, developing and overseeing curriculum creation, and working with students and our office team to support everyone in their roles.

Q. For how long have you been teaching?

A. This is my 29th year in education. I taught full time high school English in the classroom for 11 years and now have been working in online education for 21 years.

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

A. Mr. Crawford, our Dean of Admissions, is one of my former English students and we have been co-workers in the past. He recommended me as someone who could successfully build an online school for Bosco. I was interested in moving to a new school because of the opportunity and challenge of starting at a new school, being reinvigorated as an educator, and I believe God led me to this school.

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

A. I love the general atmosphere at Bosco. I feel very peaceful here on campus and with the students. I also love the Salesian Mission and the commitment to the students. Don Bosco set a great example for us and I hope to follow in his footsteps.

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

A. I have loved being at Bosco. The administration is incredibly supportive. The teachers are all on a mission together, which I especially appreciate. The best part, of course, is working with individual students and seeing them succeed.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of your job as Director of SJB Global? 

A. At this point, I love checking in with our students who work in the Learning Commons every day. I really enjoy supporting and encouraging students. I also like doing the same for our online teachers. I am a nurturer so I like taking care of and coaching those around me to be their best. I also really appreciate working with the administration and teachers and being a part of the overall mission of the school.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish with the launch of SJB Global?

A. What I have seen happen at a school with an online option is that it becomes a normalized part of the day and schedule. It offers more flexibility and options for students to help pursue their passions and be involved in everything they want to. It also helps grow the school because we can have more students with the opportunity to be a part of the Bosco community. Right now we have online students living in the Pacific Northwest, Northern and Southern California, New England, and China who are full-time online students. That’s pretty cool!

Q. What are your favorite hobbies?

A. I like to pretend I am living on the frontier! I garden and make jam. I make beef jerky and dried fruits. I like to make quilts for special people. I work on my house.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I am a little bit obsessed with Star Wars right now and am trying to watch all of the movies and series in order. I am watching Rebels right now. I also love to travel, bake, swim, paint, and walk!

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

A. Yes, of course, we have the best pets! I have 2 tortoises. Truman is a desert tortoise. He is about the size of a dinner plate. Sheldon is a Russian tortoise and is about the size of my hand. They are great pets because they sleep all winter–so we don’t have to take care of them at all, and then when spring comes around, they wake up and they get to start living their best life again exploring our backyard. I grow foods they can eat all over the yard.

Q. What is your favorite type of food? 

A. That’s a tough one! So many favorite foods! I guess I’ll say chips with salsa and Coke are a perfect combination! Having tacos with them is even better!

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

A. I love baseball and the Angels! I live only about 1.5 miles from the Big A so I can hear their fireworks when they hit a homer! I usually go to about 20 games a season with my dad, husband, and or other friends. I am glad we have a few other Angels’ fans here on campus!

Q. Do you have any favorite athletes? 

A. Trout and Ohtani are stand-out professional athletes for me for sure. They are both incredible athletes who, in addition to being naturally gifted, also work hard to improve and be the best they can be. I appreciate their work ethic and their fair play.

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

A. I always want to go somewhere warm and tropical! Hawaii, Bora Bora, the Bahamas, Mexico, anywhere with warm blue ocean water!

Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?

A. That’s a hard one. I am not sure I have a favorite holiday. I like celebrating any holiday, major or minor. I especially love the candy associated with holidays. I always decorate the house for each holiday, make special foods for each one, and listen to special music.

Q. What are some difficulties that you went through to get to where you are today?

A. I am a recent breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in July 2020 with Stage 2 cancer. I underwent chemo, 4 surgeries, and radiation. God healed me and has allowed me to use this experience to give him glory and to share my experiences with others and support them through similar circumstances. I have no evidence of cancer for almost 2 years now.

Q. What is your favorite movie and tv show? 

A. My favorite movie hands-down is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It came out when I was in middle school and I have loved it ever since. I have probably seen it 100 times. And for TV, my favorite show right now is The Curse of Oak Island. I am waiting for them to get the gold! 

Q. What is your favorite drink?

A. There is nothing better than a Coke from a fountain with lots of ice, or ice-cold bottled Mexican Coke.

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

A. I make a pretty good amateur Disney Tour Guide. I worked there in college, and I have had a pass for several years. I still go several times a year, and I love learning Disney Trivia. Let’s go!

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New Learning Specialist and Counselor, Mrs. Cathy Roohan

by Noah Dawson

St. John Bosco High School welcomes Mrs. Cathy Roohan, a former Bosco parent, to the counseling staff as a Learning Specialist and STEP Counselor, working to serve all students with their academic needs.

Photo By Christian Angel, Managing Editor

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. As an immigrant family, I moved to where my father’s job took us. After we arrived in the United States, we lived in Eagle Rock and Koreatown. I also lived in Costa Mesa, Garden Grove and Huntington Beach. When people ask where I am from, I say Huntington Beach because I spent my high school years in HB, and it is the city where I spent the most years growing up as a teenager.

Q. What school did you attend for high school?

A. For high school, I attended a very small religious-based school, Liberty Christian School, in Huntington Beach. This is significant because it formed the foundation for my spirituality and Catholic-Christian worldview. 

Q. What school did you attend for university?

A. I attended Boston College, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts for my undergraduate years. At this Jesuit college, I re-discovered my Catholic-Christian identity, which reshaped or redefined my worldview.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. Philosophy and History double major. Many of my classes were in my pursuit of understanding my Korean/Asian American history, culture and identity. I was also interested in world religions in my pursuit to better understand my Catholic-Christian faith.  I received my Master’s of Arts at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles in Special Education. 

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. I have had a series of cats and dogs over my youth and adulthood. Our last family dog, MacDougal, passed away in 2021. He was very special to my family… a big loss.

Q. What do you like to do as a hobby?

A. I love to eat yummy food and cook! I spend a lot of my free time volunteering at my children’s clubs and organizations.

Q. What’s your outside interest?

A. Hiking and walking. 

Q. Do you like or play any sports?

A. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I picked up jogging. I have completed a few half marathons and a 10K in the past few years. Also, I do 5Ks regularly for fundraisers or just to get out there.

Q. What is your role at Bosco?

A. At Bosco, I am the Learning Specialist and Counselor. I coordinate the STEP program for students.

Q. What made you decide to come to work at Bosco?

A. I came to work at Bosco through Mr. Salmingo, but I first learned about Bosco through my son, who graduated a few years back, Class of 2020.

Q. What specifically drew you to Bosco?

A. The best part of Bosco is that everyone is excited about their roles and people are fun and nice to work with. As a volunteer, I found that the staff and faculty were welcoming and grateful to the parents who volunteered. As a parent, over the years, I got involved in more activities because there was such a positive energy here. When considering working at Bosco, the positive, grateful and fun energy attributed to my wanting to accept the job!

Q. Where did you first become inspired to get into counseling?

A. I became interested in counseling in recent years because, in my previous job, I noticed that I effectively guided parents and students along their school and parenting journey. 

Q. How are you acclimating to the all-boy environment?

A. Slowly but surely. This would be the newest aspect of my job here. 

Q. Which event are you most excited about here at Bosco?

A. As I mentioned, I love community events or events where I can share my enthusiasm for SJB with others. I look forward to Open House, too. 

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

A. So far, I have been busy trying to learn and assimilate new information. Busy, but fun! I love meeting with students one-on-one to talk about how they feel about their learning and to offer different learning strategies, tricks or perspectives. 

Q. What are your most exciting experiences this school year?

A. I enjoy the community activities; the latest one was Spirit Week for Homecoming. I dressed up for Twin Day and Adam Sandler Day and had a lot of fun! I also loved going to a high school fair representing SJB.

Q. What’s your favorite memory so far at Bosco?

A. I have many favorite memories as a parent: Mother-Son Mass & Brunch, Margherita’s Guild hospitality events–Salesian Dinner, baking pumpkin loaves for the staff and faculty, the football [CIF] championship game in 2019. I have fond memories of organizing the Lunar New Year Celebration. Lastly, I loved the Dia de Los Muertos celebration!

Q. Do you have any advice for any students that wish to become counselors?

A. To have empathy but to develop self-preservation techniques.

Q. What are your favorite types of food?

A.  I love Indian, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Hawaiian, Sushi and, of course, Korean BBQ (Kalbi). I love fresh baked pastries and bread, fruit, boba, coffee and tea.

Q. What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?

A. It is difficult to use music category names as it has different meanings throughout time! I feel nostalgic and giggle when I hear 80s music and see its popularity with young people these days. These are a few of my favorite vocal artists or bands: Adele, Elton John, Sarah Brightman, Queen, Eurythmics, Sting, The Beatles, Blonde and Coldplay. And I enjoy Saturday Night Live.  

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

A.  I would love to go back to Korea to see my relatives. My family and I were planning to go to Korea in Summer 2020, as a graduation celebration for my son. But with the pandemic, those plans got deferred. Secondly, I would love to return to Peru, as I was an exchange student there as a high school student and haven’t had the opportunity to return.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with the Newest Addition to the Athletic Training Team, Christian Knighten

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

St. John Bosco High School welcomes new athletic trainer and sports medicine teacher, Mr. Christian Knighten, as he works his hardest to give the best possible experience, treatment, and wisdom to the athletes and students on and off the field.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. Where were you born?

A. I was born at Torrance Memorial Hospital.

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. From the age of three, I was raised in Mariposa California. So while I was born in Los Angeles, I consider my hometown to be Mariposa, a small little mountain town at the base of Yosemite National Park.

Q. Where did you go to college and what did you study?

A. I studied at Long Beach State university, with my major being Athletic Training.

Q. What was your dream job growing up as a kid?

A. As a kid my dream jobs changed from wanting to be a movie director or screenwriter to working in physical therapy.

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

A. When I tore my ACL in high school, I learned about sports medicine through my physical therapy / rehab process. I wanted to do something involving medicine in my life, but also wanted to stay connected with sports. Finding athletic training was the perfect balance between those two ideals. 

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

A. My favorite part of athletic training is the people you meet. In the sports world, there are tons of unique individuals that can really leave an impact on your life.

Q. Where have you worked previously?

A. Bosco is my first athletic training job, I was hired right after graduating from Cal State Long Beach. But I did internships at Upland High School, Bosco, and Long Beach State during my time as a student. 

Q. How long have you worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer?

A. I have been a Certified Athletic Trainer for about four months now since June.

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

A. I had interned at Bosco the previous year, and really enjoyed my time there as a student and the environment that exists at Bosco. While it can be hectic with the little time and small space we have to work with the athletes during lunch, those times are also fun and exciting.

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

A. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bosco so far – everyone has been super helpful with helping me get accommodated with teaching and putting myself out into the professional world.

Q. What is a typical day like for you as an Athletic Trainer at Bosco?

A. I wake up around six in the morning, make breakfast, get ready for the day and usually leave my apartment to get to school around 7:20-7:30 am most days. Then depending if I have class or not, I either get caught up on grading or getting my next lesson plan ready for my classes. Then at lunch, we give treatment for athletes or either help setup for games or practice. Usually the day ends with football practice in which we leave around 6-6:30 pm and on game days we leave around 11pm-12am.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. I mostly play video games in my free time.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Steak and mashed potatoes.

Q. What is your favorite fast food and what is your typical order?

A. In-N-Out 4×4 with Animal Fries and strawberry milkshake

Q. What is your favorite movie?

A. My favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption.

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

A. My favorite sport is Basketball, and my favorite team is the Warriors.

Q. Do you have a favorite athlete?

A. Steph Curry, he is just so inspirational!

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

A. I played basketball all throughout high school, hence my torn ACL sophomore year.

Q. What type of music do you enjoy?

A. I bounce around a lot between the music I listen to, but it’s usually different forms of Rock. Whether it is Classic Rock, Metal, Grunge, Punk Rock, Alternative, Emo, etc. But I do also dabble in some Country as it does remind me of my hometown a bit.

Q. Morning or Night person and why?

A. Morning person, I always wake up around 6-7 am everyday even on the weekends. And I usually go to bed around 11 pm no matter what. I am more productive in the morning than at night. 

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

A. If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would say Japan. 

Life Of A Brave: For Alumni Teachers, Bosco Is A Home Away From Home 

by William Reynolds and Ed Crowe

In the wake of Homecoming Week, alumni faculty reflect on the influence St. John Bosco High School had on their own academic career. With many alumni returning to teach at Bosco, the brotherhood continues to grow stronger within the Brave community.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Since St. John Bosco was established in 1940, the school has been constructed around four core values. These include the ideals of St. John Bosco being a home, school, church and playground. Homecoming made the students feel the pillar of home more than ever with all of the fun activities. This is especially true for the alumni faculty, as Bosco is much more than just a job.

Many great alumni teachers, such as Mr. Walter Wippler ’83, Mr. Joe Griffin ’75 and Mr. Derrick Fernando ’00, have found their way back to Bosco. All these teachers have truly been a major part of the Bosco community over the years as students, athletes, coaches and teachers. These experiences that they have attained from all these years is now shared to the community, which brings a sense of unity. Although the reasoning for returning differs amongst teachers, the concept of the second home is viable in each of their stories.

Mr. Wippler ’83 has been in the Bosco community for over 30 years. He is currently the head of the Engineering pathway as well as a physics instructor. Outside the classroom, he is the faculty moderator for Bosco’s Robotics Team 4123.

“I worked part-time for the youth program here at Bosco when I was in college and I really enjoyed teaching. And so Jim Cross, one of the English teachers at the time, and Brother Nold, one of the Salesians during this time, said, ‘Hey we have an opening in the science department.’ So I applied and both Brother Nold and Jim Cross were very happy that I took on this position,” said Mr. Wippler. 

However, there is still a reasoning behind why Mr. Wippler came back to his home at Bosco specifically and why he has stayed for all these years. 

“I came back because of the welcomeness of the Bosco home and I thought to myself, if I’m going to work anywhere I would want it to be here,” said Mr. Wippler.

As a student, he immediately picked soccer, which he enjoyed and played for a long time. Ultimately, he found his love for music, which prompted him to join the marching band. In his years in the marching band, they went on to have over 50 members. One of his favorite memories was being apart of the band when Bosco defeated the “Team in Red.” As a student, Bosco truly was a second home for Mr. Wippler.

“ I see the brotherhood of Bosco is the students that I have taught,” Mr. Wippler said. “For example, not too long ago, a student of mine graduated in 2017, who was in the first Engineering [Pathway] cohort, came back to visit to catch up on what has been going on in this student’s life, letting me know that he is finishing up a double master’s in Business and Systems Engineering”. 

Mr. Griffin of the class of ’75 is another one of the profound alumni teachers Bosco has had. Mr. Griffin has been part of the Salesian family for over 40 years. As of now, Mr. Griffin is a religion teacher as well as the freshmen football offensive line coach. When it comes to a classroom or on the field, Mr. Griffin is a teacher of experience. 

Much like Mr. Wippler, Mr. Griffin has a backstory as to why he became a teacher. 

“If you would have told me I was going to be a teacher when I was here, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. But I started to think about becoming a teacher when I started taking school seriously in my senior year of college,” said Mr. Griffin. “After ten years of teaching, I came back because there was a greater opportunity at Bosco for me as a teacher to be here and this is going to be my 33rd year here, coming in with Mr. [Bob] Linares and Mr. [Ernie] Antonelli.”

The brotherhood that has impacted all of us has impacted Mr. Griffin the most.

Many students have received great advice from Mr. Griffin given his many years of experience. One of his most notable quotes: “To work like a champion, not play like a champion.”

Mr. Griffin also believes that students should not wait until the end of their academic career to take their studies seriously. It is teachers like Mr. Griffin that contain a lot of wisdom that can be shared to newer generations. This is a key reason why having alumni teachers is crucial for the Bosco community. 

Mr. Fernando of the class of ’00 also has been an integral part of the community. Although Mr. Fernando has not been teaching as long as Mr. Wippler and Mr. Griffin, he still attains the wisdom that is beneficial for many students of Bosco. Today, Mr. Fernando teaches American Literature for juniors and British Literature for seniors. 

Like his alumni colleagues, there is a story as to why he decided to come home to Bosco. 

“The short answer is I was just good at it. But a couple of my professors from LMU made mention of a graduate degree and a teaching fellowship that would help pay for it. And while my grandmother and aunt were both teachers, I never considered being a teacher until that point in time,” said Mr. Fernando.

Bosco also includes great younger alumni teachers that are just as important to the home of Bosco as the more veteran ones. By having young and old alumni teachers, the community is brought closer together in the younger and older generations. 

Some other notable alumni teachers include Mr. Garcia-Esparza ’16, Mr. Nold ’08 and Mr. Solarza ’13. Even though these teachers have not been around as long as Mr. Wippler, Mr. Griffin and Mr. Fernando, they still have a tremendous impact with the younger students and making them good young men. 

Mr. Garcia-Esparza, has had an impact on the classroom and on the court since he graduated in ’16. When he was a student, he was the head football and basketball manager. Along with this, he was a student council member, student ambassador and played rugby. 

“I started looking into this path when I started coaching football and basketball at St. Raymond Catholic. I was very much into sports, the sports world and sports careers,” said Mr. Garcia-Esparza. “I worked for the Clippers and the Rams, but when I took that experience, I saw the little things. Then I got the call here that we needed somebody to fill in the role of a Spanish teacher and felt that I was well prepared for our Spanish courses. Great teachers like Mrs. Rayas and Mrs. Hunt helped me get through my college classes, and I was more than happy to answer the call back home.”

Another young alumni teacher is Mr. Nold ’08. Although he did not participate in as many extracurriculars as Mr. Garcia-Esparza, he found himself in the film and media world. In college, he took a film and media class and found his love in the visual arts. Later in college, he found calling in animation and soon after decided he would like to share his skills to other aspiring animators.

These skills he has attained were all self-taught, which shows his true passion behind the visual arts. As of now, Mr. Nold teaches Animation one, two, and three. Mr. Nold also has a major role in the production Brave Vision. 

Mr. Solorza ’13 is another example of a great young alumni teacher. He was in cross country as well as track in his time as a student. He also published a few articles for the Brave News. Mr. Solorza is now in his second year teaching Environmental Science, AP Environmental Science and Astronomy. 

“I started coaching back in 2017 and realized how much I enjoyed it. Andd I love being around the guys, which ultimately led me into teaching, and fortunately I got to teach what I learned in college, which was pretty cool, and now be with the guys on and off the field,” said Mr. Solorza.

From all these teachers, older and younger generations, there is one clear idea about their so-called second home, which is the idea that the Salesian family spirit will never die. It is vital that more alumni come back to Bosco because their experiences are too valuable to not be shared with future generations of Braves.

Life Of A Brave: The Bosco Community Welcomes Geoff McArthur, New Dean Of Students And Wide Receivers Coach

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Geoff McArthur arrives at St. John Bosco High School seeing his younger self in many of the Brave student body and with the hope to teach the Braves about how perspective as well as respect can better the world.

Photo By Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Mr. McArthur grew up in South Central Los Angeles and went to Palisades High School, where he was coached by Steve Clarkson, father of current Braves quarterback Pierce Clarkson. He attributes finding out about the opening at Bosco to Coach Clarkson.

Mr. McArthur holds the record for most receiving yards at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recruited after having the most receiving yards in the country during his senior year at Palisades. He was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ primary target during their shared time at Cal – and was a projected second round draft pick prior to his decision to walk away from playing football. Educationally, he received a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare from UC-Berkeley and went on to receive a Master’s in Education from Lindenwood University.

Prior to coming to Bosco, McArthur started Canada Prep Academy to provide Canadian student-athletes with the opportunity to achieve a football scholarship from American colleges. There, he was the head football coach and a philosophy teacher. McArthur served as the wide receivers coach at El Camino College from 2018 to 2019 and the head coach at St. Monica High School from July 2020 to January 2022.

Coming from another Catholic school, McArthur is no stranger to the impact that the presence of God and the Church at a school provides.

“It’s something I’m familiar with, especially coaching and teaching at St. Monica Catholic High School,” said Mr. McArthur. “I enjoy being Catholic. I enjoy trying to emulate people like St. John Bosco. Being Catholic really matters to me.”

After going to the doctor in the Spring of 2022 because he was feeling lethargic and sickly, Mr. McArthur was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. He thought his exhaustion was due to his commute that encompassed over a hundred miles and multiple hours each day, as he was coaching Spring ball at Bosco and continuing to teach at St. Monica’s. Mr. McArthur received his last chemotherapy treatment this October.

“Anytime you have your life on the line, you start to reflect – I can get kind of emotional about it – because it’s one of those things where you don’t know where your time is meant to end, and when you have something looming over your head, you look back at your life and then decide how to move forward,” said Mr. McArthur. “The first thing I decided to do was to stay active and involved. I was definitely worn out.”

A true “Brave,” he continued to coach and teach throughout his treatment. He improved his diet, and now drinks a cup of tea every morning, which he sees as a testament to the lifestyle changes he made to attack his disease with as much strength as possible. In addition to personal changes, Mr. McArthur attributes a lot of the successes in his fight against cancer to the intangibles, rooted in the support and love of the Bosco community.

“I don’t think I would have done as well if I didn’t have the Bosco family. They have been super supportive throughout the entire process. At times, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thought I would be too weak, but Dr. Anderson and Coach Negro really came in and gave me the support I needed to go even harder,” Mr. McArthur said.

“Bosco has kept me proud and happy and purposeful, and I’m forever grateful for being here during that time.”

Coach Negro hired Mr. McArthur in early 2022, and the success of the move is already clear. On the field, the Braves receiving room has produced 1386 total receiving yards on 76 total receptions.

His wide receivers, the Bosco Football and students at Bosco on the whole are people he looks at with awe and admiration for their work ethic and brotherhood.

“Watching them mature and develop is really fun to watch. Our guys are bonding – went to Oregon and Texas, and the team bonding has been fulfilling to see,” said Mr. McArthur.

His happiness for the 6-1 Braves is palpable, but he admits that the more exciting thing is what the Braves have yet to accomplish.

“We’re playing at a really high level, but there’s room to improve,” Mr. McArthur said. “We haven’t peaked yet, and it’s like, ‘Oh my god! We can be better than we are right now?’”

There’s no doubt that Mr. McArthur will be instrumental in that improvement, helping not just Bosco Football but our entire community reach their peaks.

Around Bosco: Bosco Welcomes Back “Brave For A Day” Shadow Program

By Marcelles Williams

The “Brave For a Day” shadow program is one of Bosco’s top admissions resources. With a successful start to the application season, more prospective students are learning about Bosco’s Brotherhood.

Photo by Bosco Admissions

St. John Bosco hosted its first group of “shadows” on September 7th and have been going strong ever since. The school has hosted around 150 shadows so far and that number is going to grow with more future Braves shadowing over the upcoming months. There is expected to be over 500 shadows by the end of the application season. The shadow program is essential for our admissions as over 50% of shadows end up attending Bosco and joining the Brotherhood.

When students shadow, the parents of those prospective students are able to take a tour around campus. Spearheaded by Ms. Patty Lazcano, parents get to learn about the Bosco experience and the programs the school has to offer.

“We start in the 200 building, go over to the 300/400 buildings, then we crossover to the athletic side and show them the weight room and talk about the garden, then talk about our other soccer and lacrosse fields, then we come back with a Q and A at the end,” said Ms. Lazcano.

Ms. Lazcano as the Shadow Program Coordinator has a big role in the school’s admissions and getting new students into the Bosco Brotherhood. When asked how parents feel about shadowing at Bosco, she replied, “Really really good. The kids are no different, either; they always say they had a great day.”

Shadow Luca Liren is an eighth grader and hockey player from Long Beach. He shadowed Patrick Cech and enjoyed his time learning about the day-to-day life and programs on campus.

“[My experience has] actually been pretty good. The sports team, the people and the teachers are nice,” said Luca.

Luca enjoyed his time at Bosco and would is strongly considering coming back as a student next year. This is because he believes it would help prepare him for college and sports. If he attends, he will play hockey for the Braves and could be seen being a key contributor in a few years for the school’s team.

These kinds of experiences are a testament to what the Bosco community is all about. The Bosco Family welcomes anyone from anywhere from any background.

A lot of our current Braves were once shadows, and now, the roles are reversed, as they become role models by showing the next generation how to be a Brave. This is the case for Ignacio Fonseca. He shadowed as an 8th grader and loved his experience, ultimately driving him to enroll at Bosco.

“It was different for me because I really looked up to this school. I’ve been wanting to come here as a kid and the shadow day really solidified that for me,” said Ignacio, Class of ’24.

Life of a Brave: Br. Artemide Zatti To Be First Salesian Brother Canonized As A Saint In The Catholic Church

By: Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced the certification and widespread publication of the decree that proclaims the miracles of God that were seen through Artemide Zatti’s works as true, paving the way for Zatti to be the first Salesian brother to be canonized as a Saint.

Saint Artemide Zatti, provided by The Salesians of Don Bosco.

Br. Artemide, born on October 12th, 1880, in Boretto, Italy, was a prolific lay Salesian Brother and doctor. He immigrated to Bahía Blanca, Argentina at 17 but spent the rest of his life in Viedma, Argentina. An immigrant, he assimilated to Argentinian culture by a Salesian parish in Bahía Blanca and attending Spanish language masses held by Salesian Priest Fr. Carlo Cavalli, who later guided Br. Artemide to a Salesian life.

He ran a pharmacy and hospital for the sick and poor for forty years, in which time he cared and aided countless patients and provided hundreds of jobs and opportunities for work to his community in Viedma. His philosophy, adapted from his predecessor and mentor, Fr. Evaristo Garrone, was to provide all patients, no matter their class, with high quality and holistic care. He followed Garrone’s philosophy: “He who has little, pays little and the one who has nothing pays nothing.”

Poverty stricken and sickly as a child, he decided to renounce the priesthood and dedicate his life to help those who were afflicted with those same blights after he was cured of tuberculosis by the intercession of Mary Help of Christians when promised to dedicate his life to service if he was healed. He would later write of the events of his curing.

“I believed, because I knew by reputation that Mary Help of Christians helped him [(Father Garrone)] in visible ways. I promised, because it was always my desire to help my neighbor in some way. And, since God listened to his servant, I recovered,” Br. Artemide wrote.

Br. Artemide was a fervent and proud Salesian. He undoubtedly lived the message St. John Bosco preached to the first Salesians that were sent to the Americas on missionary vocations.

“Take special care of the sick, the children, the elderly, the poor, and you will receive God’s blessing and the respect of those around you,” Don Bosco said.

After his death, several miracles were attributed to his intercession with God. He was beatified and declared blessed by St. John Paul II on April 14, 2002.

Br. Artemide embodied all it meant to be a Salesian and Catholic. His example of tireless dedication, strong belief and unbounding love and care are now being immortalized. He is to be a patron of immigrants and pharmacists.

Saint Artemide Zatti is due to be canonized at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican tomorrow. Salesian Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime and the Pope are set to make appearances. A livestream of the festivities can be viewed via the Salesian Info Agency’s (ANS) YouTube channel here – or alternatively, at their Facebook page, here.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja

by Noah Dawson

St. John Bosco High School welcomes new counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja, to the counseling staff, as she works to serve all students with their academic needs.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Q. What is your hometown?

A. I am from La Mirada, California

Q. What school did you attend for high school?

A. La Mirada High School

Q. What school(s) did you attend for college? 

A. Cerritos College, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Oregon State University.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. I was a Psychology major for my undergraduate and a School Counseling major for my graduate degree.

Q. Do you own any pets?

A. YES! Two silver labs. They are my babies :).

Q. What do you like to do as a hobby?

A. Two of my hobbies are exercising and meditating.

Q. What’s your favorite outdoor hobbies?

A. I like being outdoors as much as possible, so I really enjoy hiking, walking and camping.

Q. Do you like any sports or have you played any?

A. I swam for my high school varsity swim team for three years and played softball for eight years. 

Q. What’s your favorite sport to watch. 

A. I will watch any sport! 

Q. Can you explain what you do as a counselor at Bosco?

A. I help with academics, career and college readiness as well as social emotional learning.

Q. What specifically drew you to Bosco?

A. I was drawn to work at Bosco because of the school’s reputation. This is a prestigious high school filled with young scholars who are motivated and families that are supportive. That is a counselor’s dream!

Q. Where did you first become inspired to get into counseling?

A. I was first inspired to get into the field of human services when I was in high school.                                                

Q. What was your first introduction to counseling and psychology? 

A. I took my first Psychology class as a junior in high school and fell in love with the field. From there, I knew I wanted to work in psychology and with children, so I pursued counseling. I never thought an elective course would be my key to figuring out what I wanted to do as a career.

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

A. Great! Everyone is so kind and helpful, especially the students. I feel so welcomed.

Q. How are you acclimating to the all-boy environment?

A. I grew up with two younger brothers and was the only girl of three, so I am used to an “all-boy environment.”          

Q. What’s your favorite thing about Bosco? 

A. I appreciate how well mannered and respectful all the boys on campus are.

Q. Which event are you most excited about here at Bosco?

A. To experience a football game! I heard those are super fun. I am excited to bring my family along and share the experience with them too.

Q. What are some difficulties that you went through to get to where you are today?

A. My journey to college was somewhat rocky. I did not have a lot of guidance when it came to the college application process. I made a lot of mistakes that affected my college entrance. However, I am now able to utilize the lessons I learned throughout my journey along with my professional training to best help students reach their post-secondary goals.

Q. Do you have any advice for any students that wish to become counselors?

A. DO IT! If you like helping people you’ll love this job. It’s fun and rewarding.

Q. What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?

A. Pop.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Mac n’ cheese. I could literally eat it every day.

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.”

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